Tanya started playing computer-based games on ‘Usenet’ when working at the Digital Equipment Corporation while doing her Masters in film. Several years later, after completing her PhD and teaching film and media, she realised that there was very little academic writing about video games and decided to remedy that. She gave her earliest paper on horror games at one of the first ever academic conferences on games in 2000 and, soon after, edited with Geoff King the first collection of essays to be devoted to the study of the relationship between games and cinema. Since then, she has focused her attention mainly on games, with a particular interest in their formal properties, graphical styles and ‘world creation’. She has, however, maintained her enthusiasm for the gothic and horror generally across various media.
Joining forces with Steve Jackson, a veteran of the games industry, in 2005, Tanya developed and convened a successful MA focused on videogame design, boasting 60% graduate employability in the games industry. Subsequently, a suite of BAs in Games Design were added to her portfolio of course development, most recently a Single Honours award in Games Design. She has joined Falmouth University to bring her expertise and experience to the development of a Digital Games Academy that will offer a suite of Games BA and BSc (Hons) courses in Digital Game Art, Animation, Design, Music, Programming and Writing in 2014. She will also supervise PhD students on the Games PhD programme and mentor start-up game development companies.
Over the course of her career, Tanya has had published many articles and books on screen-based and interactive media fiction. She became President of the Digital Games Research Association in 2006. She is currently writing a monograph, ‘Gothic Games’ for Palgrave and developing a ‘ludic’ fiction entitled ‘The Witch’s Room’ for the iPad. She recently designed a game to accompany a literary essay by Will Self on Kafka’s short story ‘The Country Doctor’, for The Space in conjunction with the London Review of Books, the BBC and AHRC.