Videogames and wellbeing

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Daniel Johnson
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Videogames are unique in the level of immersion they engender and the motivational pull they exert on people. Because of this they offer an opportunity to have a powerful positive impact on people's lives. Projects in this space deal with understanding when and for whom videogames have a positive impact or a negative impact. In particular we are interested in videogames that improve wellbeing but also on when negative outcomes are more likely (e.g., in the context of obsessive passion).

Projects in this space could involve working with existing commercial games or serious games (games specifically designed for a positive impact including gamified applications). The focus may be on evaluation of games (through lab tests, surveys, interviews, observations etc.) or on the design and development of games (depending on the background of the student).If game development is undertaken possible areas of focus are games designed to promote wellbeing, ego resilience, growth mindset or similar.

Students will work within QUT's Games Research and Interaction Design Lab. Our team includes senior research staff and higher degree students working together on related projects. We aim to continue building a supportive and collaborative environment that helps everyone in our team achieve the best outcomes they can in their research. We have two dedicated laboratories with a range of high-end gaming equipment and biometric equipment set up for experimental and observational research.

Research activities

These would vary depending on the background and expertise of the students and also on the specific area of focus, but could include:

  • literature reviews of the existing research in the field
  • interviews, surveys, observational studies or experiments exploring the impact of videogames on wellbeing (e.g., mood; sense of competence, autonomy and relatedness)
  • designing and developing videogames


  • contributing to understanding of the impact of videogame play on wellbeing
  • building games to use in research studies and/or for public release

Skills and experience

The background of the student would inform which aspects of the project they would be invited to consider. However relevant skills include:

  • experience with literature review
  • game development
  • experimental design and analysis


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.