Perth Games Lab was founded by a collection of gaming academics across Perth who are conducting research on games and social inclusion.


Tauel Harper (Curtin/University of Canberra) has written articles and book chapters on the social implications of game design, sexism in game culture and the persuasive power of games. He is also working with Sian Tomkinson on investigating how isolation due to gaming can lead to radicalisation and extremism.

Sian Tomkinson (UWA/Curtin) wrote her PhD thesis on gender in game communities. She has published work on women’s treatment in game communities and is working on projects including game design for behavioural change, and the positive and oppressive social potential of games. She has a profound understanding of games culture and how game designs and game production practices effect the social impact of games. Find out about her work at her Linktree and podcast.


Ross Hollett (ECU) is a lecturer in psychology with expertise in research design and statistical analysis. He also conducts research on media use (including video games) and social attitudes and behaviour. He is currently using eye tracking technology and skin conductance technologies to understand people’s responses to visual media. Ross has also worked with industry partners to develop algorithmic solutions to personnel matching in recruitment contexts.

Sam Illingworth (Edinburgh Napier University) is a Senior Lecturer in Science Communication, games designer and gamer. His most recent game, Carbon City Zero, is a card game about net zero emissions that was co-created with policymakers, students, community groups, and activists. Find out more about how work via his website and connect with him on Twitter @samillingworth.

Brad Power (Murdoch) is a lecturer in games arts and design, specialising in game design techniques and theory, as well as 2D and 3D games art. He is also a member of a local independent games development company: RocketHands. His research interests include artificial intelligence and emergent game systems, and the psychology of game design and user interface design, with respect to gameplay ramifications.

David Savat has taught game design at UWA since 2008, and has supervised a number of theses on games and game design and culture. He has also written on game design and game culture as part of his broader work in media theory. David provides insight into issues surrounding how meaningful play arises from game design.

Tama Leaver (Curtin) has been researching games since 2010, with a number of publications including co-editing Social, Casual and Mobile Games (Bloomsbury, 2016; with Michele Willson), the outcome of an ARC Linkage grant. He brings industry contacts, expertise in the game industry and a track record of grant success.

Juliana La Pegna (UWA) recently completed her PhD on culture and arts policy in Australia, examining cultural subsidy and creative industries support and development programs in WA. She is interested in video games as a cultural product and the need to find ways to support game developers on a grass roots level. Juliana has a background in teaching cultural studies, communications and media, and writing skills.