Staff Profile


Dr Alan Meades

Principal Lecturer (Learning and Teaching)

School: School of Creative Arts & Industries

Campus: Broadstairs

Tel: 01227 925157

Profile summary

I run the BA (Hons) Games Design undergraduate programme at CCCU, where we teach students how to design, make, and study games. I've worked at CCCU since 2002 and have run lots of different successful degrees in creative arts and design, including BA (Hons) Graphic Design, BA (Hons) Web Design, and BA (Hons) Multimedia Design. I have a BA in Interactive Arts, an MA in Electronic Arts, a PhD in videogame communities (spending five years with hackers, modders and glitchers on the Xbox360), a PGCHELT, and I'm a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Alongside my teaching, I have lots of experience in Quality Assurance and programme development. In addition to working as Faculty Director of Quality and School Director of Curriculum Development while at CCCU, I have written several degree programmes and supported colleagues in turning their ideas into successful courses. I have held External Examiner positions at Bournemouth University, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Futureworks (UCLan). I have also assisted Pearson with the development of their esports L3 qualification. 

I'm an active researcher, in 2015 I published Understanding Counterplay in Video Games (Routledge), exploring the motivations and processes behind cheating and game-breaking on the Xbox 360 platform. Since 2015 I've focused on British arcade culture - I've rescued long long arcade games, interviewed arcade game designers and industry veterans, and have produced comics about all of this. I've run sessions for SEGA and BACTA (the arcade industry trade body), and delivered lectures at various universities around the world. These include Stanford University, New York University, The University of Malta, and institutions in Norway and Germany.

I've recently completed a book manuscript for MIT Press, called Arcade Britannia telling the history of the British amusement arcade. This is due for publication in late 2021.

Research and knowledge exchange

Here's a link to my Stanford University lecture:

Teaching and subject expertise

All of my interests and research dynamics feed into my teaching, which focuses around design theory, research methods for design, play and digital humanities… and at the end of a busy week I’m always up for a round or two of Street Fighter 2 in the design studio. I’m always happy to hear from people who might want to talk about any of my interests, please feel free to contact me via email. 

If you'd like to find out more about the Games Design programme that I designed, wrote, and now lead take a look here:

External activities

• Arcade Tales / Shutterbugs (game), The George Wilson Collection, Daphne Oram Building inaugural exhibition, Canterbury Christ Church University, May – August 2019.

• Still Under the Map, Games as Arts / Arts as Games, Falmouth University, 2016.

• Arcade Tales, Burton Gallery, Broadstairs, 2016.

• Exhibition of the Lost Cabs: Digital Heritage and Arcade Restoration, Dreamland Visitor Centre, Margate, May 2016.

• Under the Map – the Art of Transgressive Play, Burton Gallery, Broadstairs.

• Mobile Seven Visualisations, Orange Street Hall, Sounds New Music Festival 2010, Orange Street Canterbury.

• In the moment visualisations, Orange Street Gallery, Sounds New Music Festival 2009, Orange Street Canterbury.

• IAAYTSMM, 2 Days Later, Pharmacy Gallery, Margate, October 2006.

• Better than chess, Renewal, Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, April 2004.

Publications and research outputs

• Conference paper: Coin Slots, Showmen and Sandancers, Sites of Gaming, University of Oldenburg, Germany, June 21-22nd 2019.

• Invited lecture: Arcade History and SEGA Amusements, SEGA Europe Ltd. Annual Review 2019, Olympic Studios London, 16th May 2019.

• Journal Article: The George Wilson Collection, T&F Journal of Photography and Culture, Vol. 12, issue 1. March 2019.

• Book chapter: Meades, A. (2019), The American Arcade Sanitisation Crusade, in Transgression in Games and Play, MIT Press.

• Public lecture: Arcade Photographs, Arcade Comics, Arcade Tales, University of Malta, June 2018.

• Public lecture: Arcade Tales – A Social History of the British Amusement Arcade,  British Amusement Caterers’ Trade Association, 23rd November 2017.

• Article: Space Invaders, Pac-Man and the British seaside arcade, photography article in The Financial Times. October 20th, 2017.

• Public lecture: Arcade Photographs, Arcade Comics, Arcade Tales – A Social History of the British Amusement Arcade, Public Lecture: Stanford MediaX Series, Stanford University, March 7th 2017.

• Public lecture: Arcade Tales – A Social History of the British Amusement Arcade, Public Lecture: Games and Culture Series, University of Kent, December 2016.

• Conference paper: From Kill Screen to Goat Simulator – Rhetorics of the Videogame Glitch, GLITCH2015, CCCU, Dec. 2015.

• Monograph: Meades, A. (2015), Understanding Counterplay in Video Games, Routledge.

• Conference paper: The Digital Carnival: Misrule in Digital Culture, A Virtuous Circle colloquium, June. 2015.

• Book chapter: Meades, A. (2015), Boosting, Glitching and Modding: Assertive Dark Play in the Call of Duty franchise, in: Dark Play, Mortensen and Brown (Eds), Routledge.

• Book chapter: Meades, A. (2015), Strategies of Remediating Landscape in: The Animated Landscape, Pallant (Ed), Bloomsbury.

• Public lecture: Exhibition of the Lost Cabs: Digital Heritage and Arcade Restoration, Dreamland Visitor Centre, May 2014.


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Last edited: 09/09/2019 10:29:00