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Robin J. S. Sloan

Senior Lecturer

  • 31 Citations
  • 3 h-Index
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Personal profile

Personal profile

I am a Senior Lecturer within the Division of Games and Arts, and Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Game Design and Production. I also hold the University-wide research role of Creative Industries Theme Leader.

I studied Computer Arts at undergraduate level, before entering the games industry to take on roles in game art and post-production. I left the industry in 2007 to pursue a PhD in game character animation, and joined Abertay as a Lecturer in 2011.

As a researcher and practitioner, my main areas of interest are gaming nostalgia, critical and experimental game design, applied games, and production studies. As an educator, I specialise in teaching visual design for games, team game development practice, and games research.

I have published my research into game characters, gaming nostalgia and applied games in leading journals and conferences such as Games and Culture, Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and DiGRA. I’m also the author of Virtual Character Design for Games and Interactive Media.

You can find further details about my work on my website and follow me on Twitter


My Undergraduate teaching is focused on 3D production, game art pipelines, and game design and development.

UG Project Supervision

  • BA Computer Arts Honours projects
  • BA Game Design and Production Honours projects

PG Research Supervision (Completed)

  • Martinez, S. (2011-2013) [PhD] 
  • Primrose, K. (2014-2016) [MbR]
  • Mavridou, O. (2014-2019) [PhD]
  • Reed, E. (2015-2019) [PhD]
  • Sansare, V. (2018-2019) [MbR]

PG Research Supervision (Current)

  • Fee, K. (2015-) [PhD]
  • Clarke, G. (2017-) [PhD]
  • Tarvet, A. (2017-) [PhD]
  • Wall, D. (2020-) [MbR]

Other Teaching Experience

  • Guest lecturer, EUCROMA, Copenhagen, Denmark, January-February 2014
  • Guest lecturer, MIT Pune, Pune, Maharashtra, India, February 2012
  • Part-time lecturer in Animation, Dundee College, UK, 2010-2011 
  • Guest lecturer, Buskerud University College, Kongsberg, Norway, February 2009
  • Module tutor, Adam Smith College, Fife, UK, 2007-08

Research interests

My research interests encompass gaming nostalgia, visual design for games, character design and development, game design for education and cultural engagement, and game development practices.

My PhD research (2007-2011) centred on facial animation for game characters, with a particular emphasis on how psychological theories and methods can enhance animation practice. I've published a range of papers on animation strategies for perceptually valid facial performance and the presence of the Uncanny Valley in virtual characters.

Since the completion of my PhD, my research has focused more on practice-based game design research, critical analyses of games, and research into gaming culture.

My current PhD students have a diverse range of research topics. This includes: fan culture and the links between play and fandom, approaches to the curation and exhibition of games in museums and galleries, and the creative practices of professional game artists.

You can keep up to date with my current research projects and publications by visiting my website:

My research publications can be accessed via the Abertay Research Collections


Total funding to date: > £3.6m

  • 'Living Histories of Sugar in Scotland and the West Indies: Transnationalisms, Performance and Co-creation' (AHRC, 2020-2022)
  • 'InGame: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise' (AHRC, 2018-2023)
  • 'Visualizing Sugaropolis: Interdisciplinary Recreations of Greenock’s Transnational Past' (British Academy / Leverhulme, 2017)
  • 'Games and media facilitated e-learning' (Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, 2016-18)
  • 'Process, Product and Play: Research in Support of the Exhibition of Videogames' (Association of Art Historians, 2016)
  • 'Play to Promote: Developing Innovative Games for the Communication and Promotion of Science' (Scottish Crucible, 2015)
  • 'Sugaropolis: Transnational Foodways and Dietary Change in Scotland' (Scottish Crucible, 2015)
  • 'NCR Retail Games Concept Design' (NCR Financial Solutions Ltd., 2012)
  • 'NCR Design Visualisation Project' (NCR Financial Solutions Ltd., 2011)
  • 'Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning and Innovation in Games Art Education' (Higher Education Academy, 2011)



External Examiner - MSc Digital Media Production, Oxford Brookes University (2017-2021)

External Validation - BA (Hons) Game Art, Staffordshire University (2015)

External Validation - FdSc and BSc (Hons) Games Development, SSR Manchester/University of Bolton (2015)

External Examiner - BA (Hons) Games Art, University of Northampton (2013-2017)

External Approval - MDes Digital Culture, Glasgow School of Art (2013)



Peer Review College Member
Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2017-2020

Editorial Board
Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Intellect), 2017-
The Computer Games Journal (Springer), 2014-

Committee Member
DiGRA 2017: The 10th Digital Games Research Association Conference
School of Arts, Media and Computer Games Ethics Committee, Abertay University, 2014-
HCI 2013: The 26th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
HCI 2012: The 25th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference

Judging Panel
Independent Games Festival 2017, 2018
Games 4 Health 2017

Scottish Media and Communication Association (SMCA), 2013-


  • Public lecture - 'Random Access Memory: Nostalgia and Video Games', Cafe Arts, McManus Galleries, Dundee, February 5th 2019
  • Public lecture and event organiser - 'Game Making in Dundee', Gaming and Digital Weekend, Dundee Science Festival, Dundee Science Centre, November 12th 2016
  • Public event - Perth Tech Day, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, September 10th 2016
  • Researcher and Advisor - 'PLAYER: Videogame interaction from Atari to Toys to Life', Exhibition, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, June-September 2016
  • Event organiser - 'Serious Play workshop', University of Stirling, November 24th 2015
  • Guest speaker - 'Possible Worlds course', Bell Baxter High School, Fife (2013 to date)
  • Guest lecture and tutorials - Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune, India, February 2012
  • Public lecture - 'Emotional Avatars', Cafe Arts, McManus Galleries, Dundee, November 2nd 2010
  • Public lecture - FilmCamp, Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow, September 28th 2010
  • Exhibitor - Science in the City Event, Sensation Science Centre, Dundee, UK, January 31st and February 1st 2010
  • Exhibitor - Dundee Science Festival, DISC, Dundee, UK, October 25th 2009
  • Emotional Avatars Exhibition 2009, University of Abertay Dundee, October-December 2009
  • Exhibitor - Dare Protoplay, EICC, Edinburgh, August 14th-15th 2009
  • Emotional Avatars Exhibition 2008, University of Abertay Dundee, November-December 2008

Education/Academic qualification

Computer Animation, PhD, Abertay University

Higher Education Teaching, PGCE

Computer Arts, BA (Hons)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Robin J. S. Sloan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output 2005 2019

15 Downloads (Pure)

The enemy within: designing a cell-based gameplay system for cancer education

Sloan, R. J. S. & Saurin, A., 22 Oct 2019, CHI Play '19 Extended Abstracts: Extended Abstracts of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Companion Extended Abstracts. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), p. 117-123 7 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
Young Adult

Virtua Walker ’87: step into the past in a 2-bit-tinted headset

Sloan, R. J. S., Robertson, P. & Galloway, D., 12 Jul 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Consumer electronics
Virtual reality

Designing Sugaropolis: digital games as a medium for conveying transnational narratives

Sloan, R. J. S., Brown, G., Wilson, M. & Bond, E., Jun 2018. 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Open Access

Dundee and Me - interactive piece

Sloan, R. J. S., Mackie, L., Marshall, T., L'Hortalle, A., Small, E. & Moore, F. R., Jun 2018

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Open Access
primary school

Game‐based virtual learning environment for human anatomy teaching

Clarke, J., Carr, A., Dolan, J., Pedro, E., Watt, C., Pérez-Pachón, L., Robertson, P., Sloan, R. & Gröning, F., Jun 2018, In : Journal of Anatomy. 232, 6, p. 1052-1053 2 p., P11.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Emotional avatars: choreographing emotional facial expression animation

Author: Sloan, R. J. S., May 2011

Supervisor: Robinson, B. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis