Conor McKeown

  • PhD candidate

Film & Television Studies


Research title

Coding the Natural: Independent Videogames and Ecological Philosophy

Summary of research

The aim of my PhD research is to further current eco-conscious readings of videogames. By extending analysis beyond the level of aesthetics and gameplay to a material focused analysis of the hardware and software that digital texts rely on, this project will realise the symbiotic relationship between the biological world and the machines on which videogames are played. Key to this is a posthuman, material focussed analytical frame work, drawing on the work of key posthuman theorists such as N. Katherine Hayles and Donna Haraway but also on German media theorists Friedrich Kittler and Wolfgang Ernst. Through a greater focus on hardware, working in tandem with analysis of videogames as interactive texts drawing on the methodologies developed in the gamestudies movement, I will illustrate that videogames activate nrealms of perception fusing machine, posthuman and postanimal experience.


Conor Mckeown, “An Alternative Trajectory: A New Approach to Game Physics”,
Performance Research, Volume 21, Issue 4 -

Tim Barker / Conor McKeown, “Unearthing Techno-Ecology: On the Possibility of a
Technical Media Philosophy of Ecology”, Digital Culture & Society, Volume 1,
Issue 1 (2015), Pages 21–38.
Conor McKeown, “‘You have all the weapons you need’ - Sucker Punch and the Multiform
Gaze”, The Computer Games Journal, Volume 3, (2014), pp. 56-65.


  • 2016: College of Arts Research Training Support Grant
  • 2015: College of Arts Research Training Support Grant
  • 2014: AHRC Travel Scholarship Award
  • 2013-16: AHRC Scholarship at the University of Glasgow
  • 2013: Queens' College Cambridge award
  • 2012: University of St Andrews, Richard Dyer Prize
  • 'Public, Private, Protected: Analysing the Source Code of Jason Rohrer's The Castle Doctrine', MeCCSA PGN Conference, Leicester, 2016.
  • 'Playing Alone Together: That Dragon, Cancer and Karen Barad's Diffraction', Future Think, Manchester, 2016.
  • 'Grief Play: Group Play and That Dragon, Cancer', Games and Dramaturgy Conference, Glasgow, 2016.
  • 'Ecologically Approaching Videogames', Play Conference, Glasgow, 2015.
  • 'Shinto and The Cinema of Studio Ghibli', SCMS, Seattle, 2014.
  • 'Videogame Studies is Dead', The Mays workshop on interactive fiction, Cambridge, 2013.
  • 'Why Mario and Masterchief both Love Bees: ARG's and Ludology', Queens' College Graduate Conference, Cambridge, 2012.
  • 'This Reunion is for You: Deleuzian Vectors in Final Fantasy: Advent Chlidren', CODE Conference, 2012, Anglia Ruskin University and Philosophy of Videogames, 2012, Madrid
  • 'A Software Religiousness in Japanese Game Design', Anthropology Association of Ireland, 2011, Belfast


  • Glasgow University "Looking, Listening, Reading" level one with Amy Holdsworth


  • Glasgow University "Looking, Listening, Reading"


  • Reviewer, Glasgow Review of Books
  • Reviewer, Press Start Journal