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Exploring the potential of serious games to enhance user engagement with real-world applications

Serious games, which are defined as digital games that do not have entertainment as their main focus, have been shown to be an effective platform for improving training, education or modifying objectives. They are increasingly applied in a range of areas and disciplines, as they offer interactivity coupled with immersive experiences to engage people in tasks and activities that are not necessarily considered fun.

There are numerous studies into the positive impact of serious games and they have been successfully applied to a wide range of scenarios. However, areas such as accessibility design, cybersecurity, and health self-management are scarcely addressed in the literature.

This research will investigate the potential of serious games as an effective approach to support engagement with various activities within the above areas.

Candidates should have an interest in Multimedia Computing and Digital Games, as they will be exploring the potential to design, develop and evaluate serious gaming applications within the above domains. They should have good game/software/prototype design and development skills. Knowledge of cybersecurity and accessibility, experience of carrying out user-centred research and collecting and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data are also desirable.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


Fotios Spyridonis - Fotis is a Lecturer in Computer Science focusing on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Digital Media. 

Damon Daylamani-Zad - Damon is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Media, focusing on Creative Computing (AI and Games).

Related Research Group(s)

Creative Computing

Creative Computing - Multidisciplinary research at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (machine learning), serious and fun gaming, and cognitive modelling to simulate a physical world either as a virtual, augmented or mixed reality environment.

Interactive Multimedia Systems

Interactive Multimedia Systems - Building sensor and media-rich, cross-layer, inclusive e-systems, with an interest in human-machine interaction, sensorial-based interfaces, data visualisation and multimedia.