Robin J. S. Sloan

Robin J. S. Sloan

Senior Lecturer

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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, and I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

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.

My current research includes three AHRC-funded projects InGAME: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise (AH/S002871/1), InGAME International (AH/T011491/1) and Living Histories of Sugar in Scotland and the Wst Indies: Transnationalisms, Performance and Co-creation (AH/S01148X/1). Other current projects include an Erasmus+ funded project exploring the co-design of nutrition games for seniors, and a collaboration with Culture Perth & Kinross funded by Museums and Galleries Scotland that will develop an online user-generated gallery platform.

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.

I currently lead the Honours year modules for the BA programmes Computer Arts and Game Design and Production, teaching research methods to art, design, and production students.

Postgraduate Research

Successful completions

  • PhD - 3
  • MbR - 2

Current supervision

  • PhD - 3

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 secured to date: > £5.97m

  • InGAME International. 2020-2023. [PI]. AHRC, AH/T011491/1, £403k.
  • Food Gaming for Active aGeing. 2020-2021. [Co-I]. EU Commission / Erasmus+, 2019-1-FR01-KA204-062101, €175k.
  • Living Histories of Sugar in Scotland and the West Indies: Transnationalisms, Performance and Co-creation. 2020-2022. [Co-I]. AHRC, AH/S01148X/1, £36k. 
  • InGAME: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise. 2018-2023. [Co-I]. AHRC, AH/S002871/1, £5.25m
  • Dundee and Me: How the City Shapes our Moods. 2017-2018. [Co-I]. ISSF University of Dundee / Wellcome Trust, £2k.
  • A Computer Game to Educate the Public About Cancer Progression. 2017-2018. [Co-I]. ISSF University of Dundee / Wellcome Trust, £5k.
  • Visualizing Sugaropolis: Interdisciplinary Recreations of Greenock’s Transnational Past. 2017-2018. [Co-I]. British Academy / Leverhulme, £8k.
  • Breaking the Chain. 2017. [Co-I]. European Commission, £48k.
  • Games and media facilitated e-learning. 2016-2018. [Co-I]. Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, £32k.
  • Process, Product and Play: Research in Support of the Exhibition of Videogames. 2016. [PI]. Association of Art Historians, £1k.
  • Play to Promote: Developing Innovative Games for the Communication and Promotion of Science. 2015. [PI]. Scottish Crucible/RSE, £4k.
  • Sugaropolis: Transnational Foodways and Dietary Change in Scotland. 2015. [Co-I]. Scottish Crucible/RSE, £4k.
  • Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning and Innovation in Games Art Education. 2011. [Co-I]. Higher Education Academy, £5k.



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

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Computer Animation, PhD, Emotional Avatars, Abertay University

Award Date: 7 Jul 2011

Higher Education Teaching, PGCE

Award Date: 8 Jul 2010

Computer Arts, BA (Hons)

Award Date: 7 Jul 2005


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