The IGGI Programme

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) is the world's largest PhD research programme aimed at games.

IGGI conference 2018

Based at York, Goldsmiths, Queen Mary and Essex Universities, IGGI students undertake a four year PhD focused on developing cutting-edge research in collaboration with industry and social partners including Sony Interactive Entertainment, Bossa Studios, Microsoft Research, or Women in Games.

IGGI students advance entertainment and applied games with research studies, software, patents, algorithms, data analytic techniques and games across a wide range of topics, from AI and machine learning in games, to player experience and game design, to games for health, education, or research.

Examples of the work of IGGI students can be seen in the following showreel:

Research themes

  • Game Artificial Intelligence

    Game Artificial Intelligence

    Using AI techniques to create more effective and engaging agents in games

  • Games with a Purpose

    Games with a Purpose

    Using games to understand human behaviour and advance learning and wellbeing

  • Computational Creativity

    Computational Creativity

    Using AI techniques to create, assess, and adapt rich game content

  • Game Experience and Design

    Game Experience and Design

    Measuring, understanding, and designing for bespoke player experiences in games

See Research Themes

Industry placement

IGGI students spend at least 8 weeks working with one or more of our industry or social society partners, tackling genuine challenges, bringing their expert knowledge to the business, and increasing the impact of their research.

IGGI students have worked with Sony SIE, Splash Damage, Media Molecule, Bossa Studios, MindArk, Google DeepMind, Prowler, Sue Ryder, BT, Spiral Productions, Microsoft Research, Square Enix, Lightspeed Research, and many others. Find out more here if you are interested in becoming an IGGI partner. 

Academic expertise

Over their four years of study, IGGI students receive a full year's worth of training to optimally prepare them to do impactful work.

Formal Training

In their first year, students take four 'core' training modules, delivered at the University of York and Queen Mary, University of London:

  1. Game Design: Students learn how to conceive, design, prototype and playtest their own games, be it for entertainment or a 'serious' purpose like health, education, or research. 
  2. Game Research & Data: Students learn various methods for empirically studying games and players, including standard HCI methods and data science techniques for gaining insights from large game data sets.
  3. Game Development & AI: Students learn how to develop game prototypes using standard industry game engines, explore novel interaction techniques and interfaces, and the state of AI applications in games, like AI opponents and collaborators, procedural content generation, or player modelling.
  4. Impact & Engagement: Students learn how to engage industry, players, and other societal stakeholders early on in their research, how to conduct responsible research and innovation that is overall beneficial to human wellbeing, and how to present their work online, to the media, and industry.

Workshops, Events, and Travel 

Every year, students co-organise the IGGI conference showcasing their research to academia and industry, and participate in the Global Game Jam. Students also travel to major industry and academic conference like Develop, CoG, or CHI Play to network and disseminate their work. Students also co-organise research workshops on joint topics of interest with leading researchers and practitioners, and conduct research visits with IGGI's academic partners abroad.