Gone phishing

Lynsay A. Shepherd* (Other), Christos Michalakos (Other), Robin Griffiths (Other), Martin Lynagh (Other), Calum Findleton (Producer), Jordan Hughes (Designer), Matt Ledger (Artist), Bruce Scott (Artist), Michael Dunnion (Artist), Ella Threlfall (Programmer), Avery Black (Programmer), Gabriel Rodrigues (Programmer)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Non-textual formSoftware


Gone Phishing is an educational puzzle-based serious game focussed on raising phishing awareness, which was developed in co-operation with a student team at Abertay University in 2022.

The student team was Play Now Games, and featured Calum Findleton (Producer/Designer), Jordan Hughes (Game Designer), Matt Ledger (2D Artist), Bruce Scott (2D Artist), Michael Dunnion (3D Artist), Ella Threlfall (Programmer), Avery Black (Programmer), and Gabriel Rodrigues (Programmer). Dr Lynsay Shepherd was the client and supervisor, whilst Dr Christos Michalakos, Ms Robin Griffiths, and Mr Martin Lynagh also acted in a supervisory capacity.

Phishing emails generally persuade recipients to reveal private or confidential information such as passwords or bank details, placing users at risk of identity theft and significant financial loss. In Britain, users have lost millions of pounds to scams and phishing attacks. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, incidences of cybercrime have increased considerably, including a sharp rise in phishing attempts. An understanding of basic security measures is needed to ensure users behave safely and securely online.

Much of the existing material designed to educate users about phishing is derived from simple text-based websites or handouts. Whilst these websites contain a wealth of informative content, they are not engaging. The Gone Phishing serious game prototype seeks to raise awareness of how to spot phishing emails and explores the consequences these messages can have. Thus, Gone Phishing is a piece of practice-based research which explores the research question, "Can serious games be used as a method of promoting phishing awareness?".
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • phishing
  • phishing awareness
  • serious games
  • gamification
  • usable security


Dive into the research topics of 'Gone phishing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this