Professor Tanya Krzywinska

Job title
Professor of Digital Games
01326 259357 Ext: 59357

Tanya started playing computer-based games on Usenet when working at the Digital Equipment Corporation while doing her Masters in film. Several years later, after completing her PhD and teaching film and media, she realised that there was very little academic writing about video games and decided to remedy that. She gave her earliest paper on horror games at one of the first ever academic conferences on games in 2000 and, soon after, edited with Geoff King the first collection of essays to be devoted to the study of the relationship between games and cinema. Since then, she has focused her attention mainly on games, with a particular interest in their formal properties, graphical styles and world creation. She has, however, maintained her enthusiasm for the gothic and horror generally across various media. 

Joining forces with Steve Jackson, a veteran of the games industry, in 2005, Tanya developed and convened a successful MA focused on videogame design, boasting 60% graduate employability in the games industry. Subsequently, a suite of BAs in Games Design were added to her portfolio of course development, most recently a single honours award in games design. She has joined Falmouth University to bring her expertise and experience to the development of a Digital Games Academy that will offer a suite of Games BA(Hons) and BSc(Hons) courses in Digital Game Art, Animation, Design, Music, Programming and Writing in 2014. She will also supervise PhD students on the Games PhD programme and mentor start-up game development companies.

Over the course of her career, Tanya has had published many articles and books on screen-based and interactive media fiction. She became president of the Digital Games Research Association in 2006. She is currently writing a monograph, Gothic Games for Palgrave and developing a ‘ludic’ fiction entitled The Witch’s Room for the iPad. She recently designed a game to accompany a literary essay by Will Self on Kafka’s short story The Country Doctor, for The Space in conjunction with the London Review of Books, the BBC and AHRC.


YearQualificationAwarding body
MA Authorial Illustration (distinction)
Falmouth University
University of North London
MA Modern Drama & Film
Polytechnic of North London
BA (Hons) Modern European Literature and Film & Drama (2:1)
Reading University

Honours and awards


MA Digital Games Theory & Design Dr Krzywinska developed for Brunel University was short-listed for Times Higher Innovation in Teaching in the Arts


DiGRA Distinguished Scholar award


Winner of the Staff Excellence Award in the Outstanding Innovation or Research Category

Membership of external committees

Digital Games Research Association
International Gothic Association
Editor-in-Chief of journal Games and Culture (Sage)

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

Tanya's research interests are largely within the domains of digital games, transmediality and immersion, mixed and augmented reality in terms of content and experience. She is particularly interested in visual storytelling in games and virtual spaces, in art and asset creation, and virtual modes of creative and artistic expression. She is concerned with how digital assets can come together to make compelling experiences for audiences, users and players. She has a wealth of expertise in applying critical theory to games and other media, and has a strong research interest in fantasy, horror and the gothic more generally, as well as gender and representations of sex and the body. She is currently working on an AHRC funded project to make a mixed reality experience for visitors to the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. 

Research topics

Games Theory & Design
Augmented and Mixed Reality
games and virtual spaces as modes of artistic expression; Dark Economies; visual languages ans visual storytelling in digital contexts; Monsters.

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs


Krzywinska, Tanya (2016) Dangerous Agencies: Norns, Games and Aesthetics of Emergence. Dangerous Women Project, no volume number. ISSN no Issn

Perez Ferrer, Blanca, Colton, Simon, Powley, Edward, Krzywinska, Tanya, Geelhoed, Erik and Cook, Michael (2016) Gamika: Art Based Game Design. Art/Games, Beginnings. ISSN n/a

Krzywinska, Tanya (2015) The Gamification of Gothic Coordinates. Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural, 1 (1). pp. 58-78. ISSN 2397 8791

Krzywinska, Tanya (2015) Gaming Horror’s horror: Representation, Regulation and Affect in Horror Videogames. Journal of Visual Culture, The Design and Componentry of Horror (14(3)). pp. 293-297. ISSN 14704129

Krzywinska, Tanya (2014) Conspiracy Hermeneutics: The Secret World as Weird Tale. Well Played: a journal on video games, value and meaning, 3 (2). ISSN ISSN 2164-344X (Print) ISSN 2164-3458 (Online)
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Krzywinska, Tanya (2006) Blood Scythes, Festivals, Quests and Backstories: World Creation and Rhetorics of Myth in World of Warcraft. Games and Culture, 1 (4). pp. 383-396. ISSN 1555-4139

Book Chapter

Krzywinska, Tanya (2017) Gothic Gaming: Monsters, Otherness and Dislocation. In: Cambridge Companion to the American Gothic. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN not yet assigned (In Press) Item availability may be restricted.

Krzywinska, Tanya (2016) Formations of Player Agency and Gender in Gothic Video Games. In: Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion. Edinburgh Companions to the Gothic . Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh University, pp. 214-227. ISBN 9780748699124 (hdb) 9780784699131 (webready PDF) 978 1 4744 0951 3 (pub) Item availability may be restricted.

Krzywinska, Tanya (2016) Playing the Intercorporeal: Frankenstein's Legacy for Games. In: Global Frankenstein. Palgrave Macmillian UK, London. ISBN not yet issued (Submitted) Item availability may be restricted.

Krzywinska, Tanya and Brown, Douglas (2015) Games, Gamers and Posthumanism. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Posthumanism in Film and Television. Palgrave Handbooks . Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 192-201. ISBN 9781349577019 Item availability may be restricted.

Krzywinska, Tanya and Brown, Douglas (2015) Genre and Online Games. In: International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society. John Wiley & Sons/Blackwell, Oxford. ISBN 978-1-118-29074-3 Item availability may be restricted.

Krzywinska, Tanya and Brown, Douglas (2015) Games, Gamers and Posthumanism. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Posthumanism in Film and Television. Palgrave Macmillian UK, London, pp. 192-201. ISBN 9781137430328 (online) 9781349577019 (print) Item availability may be restricted.

Krzywinska, Tanya (2014) Digital Games and the American Gothic: Investigating Gothic Game Grammar. In: A companion to American Gothic. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 503-516. ISBN 9780470671870 Item availability may be restricted.

Krzywinska, Tanya (2013) Transmedial Aesthetics: Where form and content meet - Film and Videogames. In: Content and Representation. International Companions to Media Studies . Blackwell-Wiley, Oxford, UK. ISBN 978-1405193566

Krzywinska, Tanya (2012) The Strange Case of the Misappearance of Sex in Videogames. In: Computer Games and New Media Cultures: A Handbook of Digital Games Studies. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-94-007-2777-9

Krzywinska, Tanya (2009) Movie-games and Game-movies: Towards an aesthetics of transmediality. In: Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies. Routledge/AFI, New York, USA. ISBN 978-0415962629

Krzywinska, Tanya (2008) Arachne v. Minerva: The Spinning out of long narrative in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and World of Warcraft. In: Third Person: authoring and exploring vast narratives. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. ISBN 9780262232630

Conference or Workshop Item

Scott, Michael James, Parker, Alcwyn, Powley, Edward, Saunders, Rob, Lee, Jenny, Herring, Phoebe, Brown, Douglas and Krzywinska, Tanya (2018) Towards an Interaction Blueprint for Mixed Reality Experiences in GLAM Spaces: The Augmented Telegrapher at Porthcurno Museum. In: Proceedings of the 32nd BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, 2-6 July, 2018, Belfast, NI. (In Press)


Krzywinska, Tanya, MacCallum-Stewart, Esther and Parsler, Justin, eds. (2011) Ring Bearers: The Lord of the Rings Online as Intertextual Narrative. Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK. ISBN 978-0719082924

Krzywinska, Tanya and Atkins, Barry, eds. (2007) Videogame, Player, Text. Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK. ISBN 978-0-7190-7400-4

Krzywinska, Tanya and King, Geoff (2005) Tomb Raiders and Space Invaders: Video Games in the 21st Century. I B Tauris, unknown. ISBN 978-1850438144

Krzywinska, Tanya and King, Geoff, eds. (2002) ScreenPlay: cinema/videogames/interfaces. Wallflower Press, unknown. ISBN 190336423X

Krzywinska, Tanya and King, Geoff (2000) Science Fiction Cinema: From Outerspace to Cyberspace. Wallflower Press, unknown. ISBN 978-1903364031

Krzywinska, Tanya (2000) A Skin for Dancing In: Witchcraft, Possession and Voodoo in Film. Flicks Books, unknown. ISBN 978-0275976552


Geelhoed, Erik and Krzywinska, Tanya (2017) Games Research Opportunities and Research Excellence in Cornwall and the EU (project): GRO / ERA. [Project] (Unpublished) Item not available from this repository.



DiGRA Conference 2009

Externally funded research grants information

Year startingYear endingProject titleFunderValueCollaboratorsHESA Category
Tomb Raiders project
1 DIUS Research Councils
The Augmented Telegrapher: Mixed reality in a Museum context

Ed Powley, Michael Scott, Alcwyn Parker

1 DIUS Research Councils
ERA Games Research Project
6 EU government bodies

Research students

Current research students

Jack Hackett (Falmouth University)
Justin Parsler (Brunel University)
Rory Summerley (Falmouth University)
Steph Comley (Falmouth University)

Previous student supervision

Supervised 7 PhD students to completion as first supervisor at Brunel.
Indicative (shortened) titles of PhDs supervised and currently supervised:

  • Heroic Quest: A comparative study on the relationship between Old Norse and Old English heroic literature and Western Role-Playing Videogames
  • Move Fast, Think Slow: Videogaming and the Embodied Experience of Time
  • Sexuality, Addiction and the Wonderful World of Walt Disney
  • Suspension and Disbelief in VideoGames
  • Space as a means of Expression in Videogames
  • Taxonomies of Agency in Digital Games
  • Glitching, Cheating, Trolling: Transgression in Digital Games
  • The Besieged Ego in the Horror Film
  • Girls and Women as consumers of games
Number of research students supervised to completion: 11

Research degrees examined

External Examiner for 6 PhDs at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University, Waikato University NZ, Adelaide University Aus, two at Portsmouth University, University of West of England and an MPhil at Birkbeck University. Internal Examiner for 7 PhDs and 2 MPhils.

Number of research degree examinations: 15


Areas of teaching

Digital Games; Film & Media Studies; Popular & Visual Culture

Courses taught

New courses that will come onstream in 2014: Digital Games: Art & Animation; Digital Games: Digital Games: Design; Digital Games: Programming; Games: Writing

Business engagement

Consultancy and facility services

Feb 2010-March 2011: Commissioned by UK Council for Internet Child Safety to write advisory document for UK Government policymakers informing them about contemporary videogames.

Professional engagement