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Personal profile


I am a Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Design in the School of Creative Technologies at the University of Portsmouth. I am the Deputy Course Leader for BSc(Hons) Computer Games Technology. Previously, I have taught Games Design and Development at both Further and Higher Education level, focusing primarily on game design, 3D asset creation, gameplay scripting and academic games research. I have design and development experience in the UK games industry, including in my role as Game Designer at The Chinese Room.

I completed my PhD in 2015, with my thesis focusing on Disruptive Game Design - an approach to game design that aims to subvert 'typical' game rules and associated player expectations of how games 'should' work. I now lead the Advanced Games Research Group (AGRG) within the school which is currently engaged in multiple projects, developing research-driven commercial game products in areas including disruptive game design, narrative design, player psychology, and playful prototyping. Additionally, I serve on the Editorial Board for The Computer Games Journal (TCGJ) and peer review for Games & Culture Journal, the Creative Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis, and McFarland.

More information can be found at my official website and my blog.

Research Interests

My research focus is Game Design and specifically, Disruptive Game Design and the subversion of player expectations during gameplay, underpinned by cognitive psychology. I also write on the philosophy of games.

I am currently developing commercial game titles alongside authoring and publishing articles around their development. In addition, I am also working alongside other members of the Advanced Games Research Group on projects focusing on the cognitive factor in gameplay and game-based storytelling, ambient games, and educational game design.

Teaching Responsibilities


  • Head of the Advanced Games Research Group (AGRG)
  • Deputy Course Leader for BSc(Hons) Computer Games Technology
  • Creative Technologies Enrichment Events Coordinator
  • Admissions Tutor for the Play, Code, Create theme area
  • Member of the CCI Faculty Ethics Committee


  • Prototyping and Iterating Game Designs
  • Games Research
  • Psychological Theory for Game Designers

Education/Academic qualification


1 Feb 201123 Nov 2015

Award Date: 23 Nov 2015

PG Cert

1 Sep 20101 Dec 2011

Award Date: 31 Jan 2011

External positions

Lecturer in Gaming and Computing, Fareham College

Aug 2012Jun 2014

Game Designer, The Chinese Room Ltd

1 Jun 201130 Nov 2013


Dive into the research topics where Peter Howell is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or
  • Taylor & Francis (Publisher)

    Peter Howell (Peer reviewer)

    Jun 2021

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

  • Taylor & Francis (Publisher)

    Peter Howell (Peer reviewer)

    May 2021

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

  • Games Education Summit 2021

    Peter Howell (Organiser), Philip Oliver (Organiser), Rick Gibson (Organiser), Jacob Habgood (Organiser), Ian Goodall (Organiser), Liz Prince (Organiser), Charlie Hargood (Organiser), Aurore Dimopoulos (Organiser), Paul Parry (Organiser), Alan O'Dea (Organiser) & Mark Flanagan (Organiser)

    31 Mar 20211 Apr 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  • Speaker at "The Great Debate" Panel Session

    Rick Gibson (Speaker), Peter Howell (Invited speaker), Jacob Habgood (Invited speaker), Ian Goodall (Invited speaker), Liz Prince (Invited speaker), Charlie Hargood (Invited speaker), Stuart O'Brien (Invited speaker) & Charlotte Pook (Invited speaker)

    31 Mar 2021

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  • University of Northampton (External organisation)

    Peter Howell (Member)

    11 Nov 2020

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee or panel