Joe Cutting

Joe Cutting

Measuring the experience of playing self-paced games (Industry Placement with Spiral Productions)

Most research into games looks at fast paced action games. But there are lots of games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga which hold player’s attention without needing fast reflexes or good co-ordination. Not all of these games are casual titles. Games like XCOM and Civilization still manage to be compelling even though they are “self paced” – the speed of the game is set by the player.


Joe’s PhD looks at the features in self-paced games which trigger and sustain players’ engagement. To do this he uses eye tracking and memory tests to develop reliable ways of measuring how well a game holds your attention. He will then use these measures to find out how adding different features to a game changes how well it holds your attention.

Before starting his PhD Joe worked at the Science Museum and then spent ten years running his own business which created games and digital media for museums and galleries. He also provided consultancy and management for large and complex projects.

Home institution: York

Supervisor: Dr Paul Cairns

Ready to apply?

Once you have identified your potential supervisor, we would encourage you to contact them to discuss your research proposal.

Learn More