PhD Student, Goldsmiths
Having studied in five countries, Robert is currently undertaking a PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London where he is part of the EPSRC funded IGGI (Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence) program. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Game Design and Production Management from the University of Abertay Dundee which included a year of studies at the George Mason University Computer Game Design Program. He also spent a year studying Serious Games at Masters level at the University of Skövde in Sweden (which has the longest running Serious Games program in the world). Robert’s professional experience includes designing educational game, working as a producer for a game development studio in Thailand and designing a gamified sharing system for a prominent photo-sharing website. Robert has an active interest in the media arts field and has exhibited his work in three countries.
Born in South Africa with its rich cultural diversity, Robert has a flair for creative thinking and a boundless curiosity. His passion is to make a difference to the world through games and educational technology.
Personalised Aesthetics for Games
The worldwide games industry is a huge market and as the spectrum of people who spend time playing games increases, there is more and more competition to create games that capture the attentions of a wide audience. Whilst games have been traditionally designed with specific cultural demographics in mind, a game that could dynamically match the cultural values of a range of demographics would maximize its potential market. Robert’s research looks at developing techniques for procedurally generating dynamic game assets that can be viewed as being ‘culturally relevant’ at a ‘per player’ level. He aims to do this by actively profiling a player’s portfolio of social networks and building up a picture of the contemporary and anthropological references with which they identify. This knowledge could then be used to create game assets that match an aesthetic the player would likely feel comfortable with, allowing a more flexible decoupling between game mechanics and aesthetic during the design process. Designers could then focus on creating interesting game mechanics that could work in a variety of settings and the system would fill in the aesthetic detail based on the requirements of the individual player at run-time. Robert’s work has the potential to make games not only more appealing to individual players (making the game more competitive in the market) but also generate analytics data on the matching of aesthetics and game mechanics to specific demographics in a discrete and empirical manner.
Home Institution: Goldsmiths, University of London
Supervisors: Jeremy Gow (Goldsmiths), Udo Kruschwitz (Essex), and Kate Devlin (Goldsmiths)