Open Positions

Ph.D. positions in Geo Games

Geo games (GG) are games that (primarily) are played with cellphones that use location-aware technologies as part of their interface. Examples of recent GG are Pokémon GO, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. GG incorporate elements of the ordinary world into the gameplay and use both physical and digital media to create the game experience. The play space of GG is constructed in digital, physical, or represented space, and the gameplay experience depends “not only on the events on the screen but also on the player’s position in the physical world”. As such, GG does not draw the players into an entirely imaginary world as video games do; rather, they draw play and fiction into real spaces by focusing on the interplay of the gameplay, content, and physical locations.

We are looking for two Ph.D. students to explore the following aspects of locative play:

People-place relationships, civic engagement (REF: GG01)

Several authors have tried untangling how locative play affects people-place relationships and civic engagement. However, most of this work is highly theoretical and is, for the most part, based “on descriptions of game mechanics or incidents from second-hand sources, rather than empirical research”. The PhD candidate through extensive fieldwork will try to address this lacuna by not only substantiating these theorizations but also by exploring: (1) the antecedents and drivers that influence civic engagement and people-place relationships to form through locative play, (2) the surrounding and supporting structures of these, (3) and the effects of these in relation to attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, etc. regarding various locations.

Accessibility and inclusion (REF: GG02)

Scholarly attention around GG has, for the most part, focused on either on the technologies used to construct these games or the lived experiences of GG players. Consequently, what is notably missing from surrounding discussions is a deeper engagement with recent reports that demonstrate that not everyone is able to partake in these services. To this end, the successful PhD candidate through will explore how we can increase the accessibility and broaden the inclusivity of GG.

The successful candidates must hold a BSc or MSc in a related field (E.g. Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, Information Science, etc.), and show a great interest in performing high-quality research. They must demonstrate experience in software development. Creativity, communication skills, independence, team working, and being comfortable engaging with users of geo games are valuable advantages. Academic publications as well as a track record of prior participation in research projects is desired (but not required). A good level of technical and scientific English is required.

The positions are full-time and fully funded. Aside from receiving a full tuition waiver and a 12-month stipend, the successful candidates will also receive a budget to support the projects' costs and dedicated research space.

The positions are based in Rochester, NY in the School of Interactive Games and Media which is which is housed in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences of Rochester Institute of Technology.

Please contact Prof. Konstantinos Papangelis ( to express your interest. Please include the following in the email:

  • A CV, including a list of publications (if any).
  • Transcript of grades (unofficial is fine at this stage).