Professor of Digital Games

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 developing the use of games technologies and design in heritage contexts. She has also 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 supervises PhD students on the Games Doctoral programme.

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 and has been the editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Games and Culture, published by Sage The journal has an impact factor of 1.574 and a 5-year impact factor of 1.685. She is also an artist with a studio at Krowji, Redruth.

External Links

Contact details

Telephone 01326 259357



Year Qualification Awarding body
2012 MA Authorial Illustration (distinction) Falmouth University
1996 PhD University of North London
1992 MA Modern Drama & Film Polytechnic of North London
1988 BA (Hons) Modern European Literature and Film & Drama (2:1) Reading University

Honors and awards

Year Description
2009 MA Digital Games Theory & Design Dr Krzywinska developed for Brunel University was short-listed for Times Higher Innovation in Teaching in the Arts 2009.
2015 DiGRA Distinguished Scholar award
2017 Winner of the Staff Excellence Award in the Outstanding Innovation or Research Category
2020 Elected as Higher Education Video Game Alliance Fellow

Membership of external committees

Digital Games Research Association

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 has be working with museums and heritage providers, co-designing apps and experiences focused on interpreting their collections in new ways. She is particularly interested in visual storytelling in games and virtual spaces, 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. 

Research Topics

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

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

  • Scott, Michael

    Herring, Phoebe, Greer, Terry, Hickey, Kat, Rothwell, Sandra, Krzywinska, Tanya and Goonhilly Earth Station, (2022), Space on Earth: Assessing the Feasibility of Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality for a Visitor Experience, Audiences of the Future: Design Foundations, (Unpublished)
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2023), Curses, Rites and Questionable Offerings, In: Folk Horror: New Global Pathways, University of Wales Press, unknown, ISBN: 9781786839794, Item availability may be restricted.
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2018), Playing the Intercorporeal: Frankenstein's Legacy for Games, In: Global Frankenstein, Palgrave Macmillian UK, London, pp. 283-300, ISBN: 9783319781419
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2017), Gothic American Gaming, In: Cambridge Companion to the American Gothic, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 229-242, ISBN:
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2016), Formations of Player Agency and Gender in Gothic Video Games., In: Women and the Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh University, pp. 214-227, ISBN: 9780748699124
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

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

    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)
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

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

    Heholt, Ruth, (2021), Gothic Kernow, Anthem Press, London, ISBN: 9781785279065, Item availability may be restricted.
  • 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

    (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
  • Ray, Emma

    Pavarini, Gabriela, Hugh-Jones, Siobhan, Mankee-Williams, Anna, Belinskiy, Anton and Bhui, Kamaldeep, (2023), Typologies and Features of Play in Mobile Games for Mental Wellbeing, In: Simulation and Gaming, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, 0 (0), ISSN: 1046-8781
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    Ma, Eunice, Belinskiy, Anton and Bhui, Kamaldeep, (2023), Coziness in Games: Second Homes, Audiences and Aesthetics, In: Games and Culture, Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, ISSN: 1555-4120, (Submitted), Item availability may be restricted.
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    Scott, Michael, (2020), From Immersion’s Bleeding Edge to the Augmented Telegrapher: A Method for Creating Mixed Reality Games for Museum and Heritage Contexts, In: ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, USA, 13 (4), ISSN: 1556-4673
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2019), “Everything is True”: Urban Gothic meets the Chthulucene in Multiplayer Online Game, The Secret World., In: The New Urban Gothic: Global Gothic in the Age of the Anthropocene, Palgrave Mamillan, Basingstoke, ISBN: 978-3-030-43777-0
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2016), Dangerous Agencies: Norns, Games and Aesthetics of Emergence, In: Dangerous Women Project, Dangerous Women Project (Edinburgh University), Edinburgh University, ISSN: no Issn
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2016), Dangerous Agencies: Norns, Games and Aesthetics of Emergence., In: Dangerous Women Project, Edinburgh University, Online, ISSN: no Issn
  • Perez Ferrer, Blanca

    Geelhoed, Erik and Cook, Michael, (2016), Gamika: Art Based Game Design, In: Art/Games, ArtSlashGames, Beginnings (1), pp. 18-24
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

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

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

    (2014), Conspiracy Hermeneutics: The Secret World as Weird Tale, In: Well Played: a journal on video games, value and meaning, Carnegie Mellon ETC Press, Online, 3 (2), pp. 123-143, ISSN: 2164-344X
  • Krzywinska, Tanya

    (2006), Blood Scythes, Festivals, Quests and Backstories: World Creation and Rhetorics of Myth in World of Warcraft, In: Games and Culture, SAGE, unknown, 1 (4), pp. 383-396, ISSN: 1555-4139
  • McDonald, Brian

    Brown, Douglas, (2022), The Kerdroya Postmortem: Navigating the Labyrinth of Co-creative Design and Collective Vision, Athens, Greece
  • Scott, Michael James

    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, pp. 1-5
  • Geelhoed, Erik

    Krzywinska, Tanya, (2017), Games Research Opportunities and Research Excellence in Cornwall and the EU (project): GRO / ERA, In: GRO/ERA, 1st May 2017, AIR, (Unpublished)

Externally funded research grants information

Collaborators Currency Funder HESA Category Project title Value Year ending Year starting
AHRC 1 DIUS Research Councils Tomb Raiders project 2003
Ed Powley, Michael Scott, Alcwyn Parker AHRC 1 DIUS Research Councils The Augmented Telegrapher: Mixed reality in a Museum context 2018 2017
EU 6 EU government bodies ERA Games Research Project 2019 2013
Porthcurno Telegraph Museums; Cornwall Museums Partnership AHRC 1 DIUS Research Councils The Augmented Telegrapher_Follow-in 2019 2018
UWE, Bath Spa, Plymouth Uni, Kaleider, Watershed UKRI 1 DIUS Research Councils SWCTN 2018
CMP Coastal Communities 4 UK central government bodies/local authorities, health & hospital authorities wAVE 2019


2009 DiGRA Conference 2009

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


Research degrees examined

External Examiner for six 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 seven PhDs and two MPhils.

Number of research degree examinations



Areas of teaching

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

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

Engagement with professional associations and societies

Editorial Board member for the following journals:
Horror Studies; Game Studies; Eudalmos; Games and Culture; Games and Simulation Journal of Virtual Worlds; Intensities; GAME    
Research Association work
Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Executive Board Member (elected June 2005). President DiGRA, 2006-2010.
Host organiser DiGRA Biannual conference, 2009.
Member of Human-Computer Interaction Research Group (Brunel University)
Member of International Gothic Research Association.

Professional esteem indicators

Year Description
Invited speaker, Contemporary Fiction Seminar, Institute of English Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, February 2013. Invited speaker. Film Studies programme Falmouth University College. June 2010 & June 2011 Keynote International Gothic Association, Lancaster University, July 2009 Keynote Digital Arts, University of Falmouth, September 2009 Keynote Gaming After Dark, University of Montreal, Canada June 2009 Digital Cultures, University of Magdeburg, Germany, March 2009; Future and Reality of Gaming, University of Vienna, October 2008. Invited speaker ‘Horror and Videogames’ Institute of Education, London November 2007. Invited speaker AURORA Animation Festival Norwich, November 2007. Keynote speaker: ‘Games, Meaning and Methodology’ Knowledge Lab, London, January 26th 2007. Keynote speaker: ‘Witchcraft and Paganism in the Media’ Harvard University, Boston, US. June 2006. Keynote speaker: ‘Technology and Identity’ Buckinghamshire and Chilterns University College. May 2006. Keynote speaker: ‘Bring Your own Sub‐text: Social Life, Human Experience and the World of Joss Whedon’ Huddersfield University, June 2005. Invited Speaker: New Femininities: Third seminar ‘consuming new femininities’ University of East London. July 2005. Invited Speaker: DiGRA biannual conference, Vancouver, Canada ‘British Game Studies: A snapshot’ for international panel of speakers each outlining contemporary game studies at national level, June 2005. Invited Speaker: Playful Subjects Symposium, UWE, May 2005. Invited Speaker: ‘Animating the Game World: Textures of Reality’ NFT/Royal College of Art/British Animation Awards Animation Festival, Feb 2005