Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme


Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Computer Science

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Daniel Johnson
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Video games are unique in the level of immersion they engender and the motivational pull they have on people. Because of this, they can have a powerful, positive impact on people's lives. Projects in this space deal with understanding when and for whom video games have a positive or negative impact. We're interested in video games that improve wellbeing but also on determining when negative outcomes are more likely.

Projects in this space can involve working with existing commercial games or serious games (games designed for a positive impact). The focus may be on the evaluation of games or on designing and developing games. If game development is undertaken, you may focus on games designed to promote wellbeing, ego resilience, growth mindset or similar.

One potential area of focus is self-determination theory which identifies that people often play games to satisfy their need for feelings of competence, autonomy and relatedness. Satisfaction of these needs can lead players to develop a passion for playing which can be either harmonious or obsessive. Harmonious passion (where play is in balance with other activities) can lead to positive impacts on wellbeing, while obsessive passion can lead to negative impacts on wellbeing.

Research activities

The activities you'll undertake will vary depending on your background, expertise and specific research area of focus. Some of these activities include:

  • literature reviews of the existing research in the field
  • interviews, surveys, observational studies or experiments exploring the impact of videogames on wellbeing
  • designing and developing videogames.

You'll have the opportunity to 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 continue to build 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.


On conclusion of the project, you'll have:

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

Skills and experience

Your background will inform the scope of the project you're involved in. 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.