Dr Paul Coulton

Coulton
Senior Lecturer
Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Game Design, Design as Rhetoric, Phygital Design, Atoms and Bits, Internet of Things, Play, Toys
p [dot] coulton [at] lancaster [dot] ac [dot] uk

I have a background as a game designer, programmer, and hardware designer and now spends my time subverting perfectly good technology to create novel games, playful experiences, and toys. My research largely falls into what is known as Game Studies, an area of research that deals with the critical study of digital and non-digital games. More specifically, it focuses on game design, players and their role in society and culture. This means that Game Studies has evolved naturally as an inter-disciplinary field with researchers and academics from a multitude of areas, such as computer science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, arts and literature, media studies and communication, etc. This activity is embodied as ‘research through design’ and, in particular, to the speculative design of novel, hybrid, physical/digital interactive games, playful experiences, and artefacts. Much of this research is conducted using techniques I helped pioneer and relates to an, 'in the wild' evaluation methodology utilising 'app stores' and social networks as an experimental platform. This element of my work has led to international recognition by industry as well as academia in that I was selected as one of 50 most talented mobile developers worldwide from a community of over 2 million to be a founding Nokia Champion and the first academic invited to speak at the mobile section of the Game Developers Conference. Increasingly, my work encompasses the non-entertainment use of ‘gameful design’ through procedural rhetoric across a range of application areas and increasingly the use of Design Fiction as a way of exploring digital futures for areas such as the Internet of Things and Digital Empathy. 

“Play is the highest form of research.” - Albert Einstein

"Games are the most elevated form of investigation" -Albert Einstein

Updates and Outcomes

Hack Lancaster: A 24hr hackathon in celebration of local data in Lancaster.

Upcoming Eventin 1 day
Hack Lancaster: A 24hr hackathon in celebration of local data in Lancaster.

29th of November 2014, A-wing, Lancaster Castle

As part of the ongoing ‘Beyond the Castle’ project, Lancaster City and County Councils will be running an intensive hack day in Lancaster Castle at the end of this month.

The hackathon will bring together local coders,...Read full update

Game Design in an Internet of Things

OutcomeJournal Paper
Game Design in an Internet of Things

Partly inspired by various projects on the Creative Exchange, and while on my sabbatical at the BBC, I wrote up this journal paper with my PhD students on the challenges for Game Design in an Internet of Things. The reality is that one of the most successful examples of the Internet of Things is the...More information

BARTER Project goes Open Source

The code base produced as part of the BARTER project is being released Open Source so that other communities can benifit from the research.

As we enter the final stages of the BARTER the project where we are starting to release the project code base to the open source community. This code...Read full update

Wicked Persuasion: A Designerly Approach

OutcomeConference Paper

Persuasive computing has tended to be applied toward the promotion of minor behavior change in the direction of easily understood and uncontroversial goals. Such approaches may not make sense, however, when designing for so called ‘wicked problems’. We argue that while wicked...More information

Augmented Reality Art

Augmented Reality Art

Using augmented reality to curate your own art exhibitions

The application we have designed for the NESTA R&D fund project is now live on the Google App store and will work across a range of devices. The app uses Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) to allow people to digitally curate their own...Read full update

Television in the Internet of Things

Television in the Internet of Things

How will traditional media such as television and radio adapt as they become part of a larger Internet of Things.

I had the great pleasure of spending last term on sabbatical within the BBC R&D lab at MediaCityUK to effectively engage in some knowledge exchange between my research...Read full update

Hack Lancaster: A 24hr hackathon in celebration of local data in Lancaster.

Upcoming Eventin 1 day
Hack Lancaster: A 24hr hackathon in celebration of local data in Lancaster.

29th of November 2014, A-wing, Lancaster Castle

As part of the ongoing ‘Beyond the Castle’ project, Lancaster City and County Councils will be running an intensive hack day in Lancaster Castle at the end of this month.

The hackathon will bring together local coders,...Read full update

BARTER Project goes Open Source

The code base produced as part of the BARTER project is being released Open Source so that other communities can benifit from the research.

As we enter the final stages of the BARTER the project where we are starting to release the project code base to the open source community. This code...Read full update

Augmented Reality Art

Augmented Reality Art

Using augmented reality to curate your own art exhibitions

The application we have designed for the NESTA R&D fund project is now live on the Google App store and will work across a range of devices. The app uses Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) to allow people to digitally curate their own...Read full update

Television in the Internet of Things

Television in the Internet of Things

How will traditional media such as television and radio adapt as they become part of a larger Internet of Things.

I had the great pleasure of spending last term on sabbatical within the BBC R&D lab at MediaCityUK to effectively engage in some knowledge exchange between my research...Read full update

How to Win in the Age of Now?

How to Win in the Age of Now?

An Inspirational Masterclass delivered by the Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts on Monday 10th of February.

The event attracted many creative and digital companies looking to take their business to the next level, and become high-growth creative leaders loved by their...Read full update

Initial User Experience Testing for Mobile Augmented Reality App

Initial User Experience Testing for Mobile Augmented Reality App

Today we tested the current version of the app with some of the volunteers from Live at LICA to ascertain how usable and understandable it was. The test was successful in that we got useful suggestions for improvements to guide users understanding on first use but everyone found that once...Read full update

Mobile Augmented Reality in the Cloud

Articleby Paul Coulton, Emma Murphy
Mobile Augmented Reality in the Cloud

Our Digital R&D Fund for the Arts project 'Taking the Artwork Home' is exploring how digital technologies can facilitate engagement with the arts and unveil new curatorial strategies. After further development and testing, we have just launched the second prototype of the mobile augmented reality application. In much of this development period we have been ensuring that the application will work across a wide range of phones and...Read full article

Local Trade-Local Wealth prototype testing with ESTA

Articleby Paul Coulton
Local Trade-Local Wealth prototype testing with ESTA

Local Trade is a Catalyst launch pad to create a system which records trading patterns within the local trading economy of Lancaster. We are working with Lancaster Ethical Small Traders Association (ESTA) to create a prototype system using NFC enabled phones and cards to help record the local trading economy. Last night we demonstrated the first prototype to the ESTA group and will be incorporating some suggested changes before ‘in the wild’...Read full article

Books

S60 Programming: A Tutorial Guide.. / Coulton, Paul ; Edwards, Reuben ; Clemson, Helen.

Wiley and Symbian Press, 2007. 328 p.

Research output : Book/Report/Proceedings Book

Book Chapters

Designing mobile and ubiquitous games and playful interactions. / Coulton, Paul .

Playful user interfaces: interfaces that invite social and physical interaction. ed. / Anton Nijholt. Vol. 1 Singapore : Springer, 2014. p. 71-95 (Gaming Media and Social Effects).

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

Living with the dead : emergent post-mortem digital curation and creation practices. / Ellis Gray, Selina ; Coulton, Paul .

Digital legacy and interaction: post-mortem issues. ed. / Cristiano Maciel; Vinícius Carvalho Pereira. Berlin : Springer, 2013. (Human–Computer Interaction Series).

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

Talk, technologies and teenagers : understanding the school journey using the mixed-methods approach.. / Walker, Marion ; Whyatt, J. Duncan ; Pooley, Colin G. ; Davies, Gemma ; Coulton, Paul ; Bamford, Will.

Researching Young People. ed. / Amanda Coffey; Thomas Hall. Vol. 1 London : Sage, 2011. p. 141-161.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

Mobile, experimental, public. / Buscher, Monika ; Coulton, Paul ; Hemment, Drew ; Mogensen, Preben Holst.

Mobile methods. ed. / Monika Buscher; John Urry; Katian Witchger. London : Routledge, 2011. p. 119-136.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Intelligent Mobility Systems : Some Socio-technical Challenges and Opportunities. / Buscher, Monika ; Coulton, Paul ; Efstratiou, Christos ; Gellersen, Hans ; Hemment, Drew ; Mehmood, Rashid ; Sangiorgi, Daniela .

Communications Infrastructure: Systems and Applications in Europe. ed. / Rashid Mehmood; Eduardo Cerqueira; Radoslaw Piesiewicz; Imrich Chlamtac. Berlin : Springer, 2009. p. 140-152 (Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering; Vol. 16, No. 3).

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

Exploiting the Phone Hardware.. / Coulton, Paul ; Chehimi, Fadi.

Games on the Symbian OS. ed. / Jo Stitchbury. Wiley and Symbian Press, 2008. p. 175-216.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

RFID and NFC on Mobile Phones.. / Coulton, Paul ; Rashid, Omer ; Edwards, Reuben .

RFID Handbook: Applications, Technology, Security and Privacy. ed. / Syed Ahson; Mohammad Ilyas. CRC Press, 2008. p. 375-391.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

Mobile Games: Challenges and Opportunities.. / Coulton, Paul ; Bamford, William; Chehimi, Fadi ; Edwards, Reuben ; Gilbertson, Paul; Rashid, Omer.

Advances in Computers. ed. / Marvin Zelkowitz. Vol. 69 Academic Press, 2007. p. 191-242 (Advances In Computers ).

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

Using In-built RFID/NFC, Cameras, and 3D Accelerometers as Mobile Phone Sensors.. / Coulton, Paul ; Bamford, William; Chehimi, Fadi; Gilbertson, Paul; Rashid, Omer.

Mobile Phone Programming. ed. / Frank Fitzek; Frank Reichert. Springer, 2007. p. 381-396.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

The UK'S Game Industry. / Edwards, Reuben ; Coulton, Paul .

Embracing the Challenge,Exploiting the Opportunities: Building a World Class IT Profession in the Era of Global Sourcing. Swindon : British Computer Society, 2006. (Report by the British Computer Society).

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Chapter

Show all 10 book chapters Hide book chapters

Other Book Contributions

PAC-LAN: the human arcade.. / Rashid, Omer; Bamford, William ; Coulton, Paul ; Edwards, Reuben .

ACE '06 Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGCHI international conference on Advances in computer entertainment technology. New York : ACM, 2006.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Other chapter contribution

Journal Articles

Revealing the Participation Inequality in Mobile Location Based Games. / Lund, Kate ; Coulton, Paul ; Wilson, Andrew.

In: Computers in Entertainment (CIE) , 2014.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Game design in an Internet of Things. / Coulton, Paul ; Burnett, Dan ; Gradinar, Adrian ; Gullick, David ; Murphy, Emma .

In: Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association (ToDIGRA) , Vol. 1, No. 3, 11.11.2014.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

BARTER : a technological strategy for local wealth generation. / Knowles, Brandin ; Lochrie, Mark ; Coulton, Paul ; Whittle, Jon .

In: IEEE IT Professional , Vol. 16, No. 3, 05.2014, p. 28-34.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Spraycan : a PPGIS for capturing imprecise notions of place. / Huck, Jonny ; Whyatt, Duncan ; Coulton, Paul .

In: Applied Geography , Vol. 55, 12.2014, p. 229-237.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

From the board to the streets : a case study of Local Property Trader. / Gazzard, Alison ; Lochrie, Mark ; Gradinar, Adrian ; Coulton, Paul ; Burnett, Dan ; Kershaw, Daniel .

In: Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association (ToDIGRA) , Vol. 1, No. 3, 11.11.2014.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Designing Scalable Location Based Games that Encourage Emergent Behavior : Special issue on Ambient and Social Media Business and Application (Part I). / Lund, Kate ; Lochrie, Mark ; Coulton, Paul .

In: International Journal of Ambient Computing and Intelligence (IJACI) , Vol. 4, No. 4, 2012, p. 1-20.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Investigating user experiences with spatial and temporal context-aware applications to support mobile virtual learning environments. / Benachour, Phillip ; Crane, Laura ; Coulton, Paul .

In: International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation , Vol. 6, No. 1, 4, 06.06.2012, p. 38-51.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Student Experiences with Mobile Electronic Updates from a Virtual Learning Environment. / Crane, Laura ; Benachour, Phillip ; Coulton, Paul .

In: International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL) , Vol. 4, No. 3, 2012.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Experimenting Through Mobile ‘Apps’ and ‘App Stores’. / Coulton, Paul ; Bamford, William.

In: International Journal of Mobile Human-Computer Interaction , Vol. 3, No. 4, 10.2011, p. 55-70.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Virtual learning environments for mobile learning : constrained by infrastructural and social boundaries?. / Crane, Laura ; Benachour, Phillip ; Coulton, Paul .

In: ITALICS , Vol. 10, No. 1, 02.2011, p. 12-21.

Research output : Contribution to journal Journal article

Show all 10 journal articles Hide journal articles

Other Journal Contributions

SKYLANDERS: Near Field in Your Living Room Now. / Coulton, Paul .

In: Ubiquity: The Journal of Pervasive Media , 10.2012, p. 136-138.

Research output : Contribution to journal Book/Film/Article review

Conference Contributions

Supporting empathy through embodiment in the design of interactive systems. / Huck, Jonny ; Coulton, Paul ; Powell, Phillip; Roberts, Jennifer; Hudson-Smith, Andrew; De-Jode, Martin; Mavros, Panagiotis.

Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction.: Stanford University, January 15-19, 2015. 2015.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

The use of surrounding visual context in handheld AR : device vs. user perspective rendering. / Čopič Pucihar, Klen ; Coulton, Paul ; Alexander, Jason .

CHI '14 Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems. New York : ACM, 2014. p. 197-206.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

Rethinking plan A for sustainable HCI. / Knowles, Brandin ; Blair, Lynne ; Coulton, Paul ; Lochrie, Mark .

CHI '14 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York : ACM, 2014. p. 3593-3596.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

"Convince us'' : an argument for the morality of persuasion. / Knowles, Brandin ; Coulton, Paul ; Lochrie, Mark ; Wohl, Benjamin.

2014. 1-5 Paper presented at CSCW '14 Workshop, Baltimore, United States.

Research output : Contribution to conference Conference paper

Mobilising Monopoly : game design, place and social values. / Lochrie, Mark ; Gazzard, Alison ; Gradinar, Adrian ; Coulton, Paul .

Proceedings of 9th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games. 2014.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

Mapping traffic pollution exposure : the quantified self. / Huck, Jonathan ; Whyatt, Duncan ; Coulton, Paul ; Gradinar, Adrian .

Proceedings of the GIS Research UK 22nd Annual Conference: The University of Glasgow 16th-18th April, 2014. ed. / Jane Drummond. Vol. 1 Glasgow : Geomatic Group, University of Glasgow, 2014. p. 243-251.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

BARTER : promoting local spending behavior. / Knowles, Brandin ; Lochrie, Mark ; Coulton, Paul ; Whittle, Jon .

CHI EA '14 CHI '14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York : ACM, 2014. p. 1933-1938.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

Wicked persuasion : a designerly approach. / Knowles, Brandin ; Coulton, Paul ; Lochrie, Mark ; Whittle, Jon .

Persuasive Technology: 9th International Conference, PERSUASIVE 2014, Padua, Italy, May 21-23, 2014. Proceedings. ed. / Anna Spagnolli; Luca Chittaro; Luciano Gamberini. Berlin : Springer, 2014. p. 137-142 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Vol. 8462).

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

Designing interactive systems to encourage empathy between users. / Coulton, Paul ; Huck, Jonny ; Hudson-Smith, Andrew; Ralph, Barthel; Mavros, Panagiotis; Roberts, Jennifer; Powell, Phillip.

DIS Companion '14 Proceedings of the 2014 companion publication on Designing interactive systems. New York : ACM, 2014. p. 13-16.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

Growing an interpretation ecology in a walled kitchen garden. / Edwards, Liz ; Coulton, Paul ; Chiasson, Mike.

DIS Companion '14 Proceedings of the 2014 companion publication on Designing interactive systems. New York : ACM, 2014. p. 65-68.

Research output : Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings Paper

Show all 10 conference contributions Hide conference contributions

Software / Digital / Web

Coulton, Paul (Artist); Murphy, Emma (Artist); Smith, Richard (Artist) ; Copic Pucihar, Klen (Artist). 2014. Taking the artwork home app .

Research output : Non-textual form Digital or Visual Products

Patents

Non Contact Cable Testing. / Peyton, Anthony (Inventor) ; Coulton, Paul (Inventor) ; Mackin, Robert (Inventor) ; John, Kelly (Inventor).

Patent No.: US7705606.

Research output : Patent

Key Projects

Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy How do we unlock the digital communication of empathy
BARTERBARTER BARTER moBile sociAl netwoRking supporTing local Ethical tRading
CaTalyST: Citizens Transforming Society (Tools for Change)CaTalyST: Citizens Transforming Society (Tools for Change) CaTalyST: Citizens Transforming Society (Tools for Change) This £1.5 million EPSRC funded 4 year project examines the role of new technology in citizen led ...
Telling Tales of Engagement: The Wray Broadband ProjectTelling Tales of Engagement: The Wray Broadband Project Telling Tales of Engagement: The Wray Broadband Project Scarebot and scARecrow Time Machine
CheckinDJCheckinDJ CheckinDJ The first crowdsourcing jukebox to use NFC technolog.