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Personal profile


My work is driven by a passion for innovation and engagement. My research focuses on the political and cultural impacts of emerging technologies, and my teaching harnesses the power of innovative pedagogy to make learning enjoyable, understandable, and rewarding. I joined Macquarie in 2011, after teaching at Sydney University and UNSW. In my time at Macquarie I have integrated my research into my teaching by radically gamifying my units. I use video game mechanics: points, rewards, feedback, and social connection, to motivate and assist my students’ learning. This work has been recognised with Departmental, Faculty and University Teaching awards and in 2016 I received an Australian Awards for University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. In that same year I was an Optus Future Maker Grant Winner, with my gamification project Game Change receiving full funding. Game Change is a gamification platform designed to help disadvantaged and vulnerable youth navigate the challenges of education.

At Macquarie I have taught a variety of undergraduate units covering digital media and video gaming and I am an experienced post-graduate supervisor. I have served as program director for the Bachelor of Arts: Games and Interactivity major, and was on the Macquarie University International College executive. I offer gamification consulting services, where I help businesses improve staff satisfaction, and client engagement through the use of game mechanics and logics.

Research interests

My research focuses on how video games teach people. I look at this both within and outside the boundaries of games themselves. Within games, I explore how game systems train players to perform, and the politics contexts and impacts of these processes. Outside of games, I am interested in how education institutions, businesses, government agencies, etc. can better engage their audience/clients. I look at what lessons can be learned from video gaming, and how these lessons can be applied. My research project The Gamification of Higher Education Teaching Practices analysed the effectiveness of different models of gamification in the university classroom environment. From this research I formulated new frameworks for conceptualising gamification, and developed Game Change my gamification platform designed to help school and university teachers better engage students through simple gamification techniques. I have been published in the top journals in my field, and was an invited guest editor of Games and Culture in 2017.

Research Areas

  • Video Games
  • Gamification
  • Serious Games
  • Play
  • Digital Culture


I currently teach three undergraduate digital media and video gaming units:

  • MAS111/COMP111: Introduction to Video Games
  • MAS240: Cybercultures
  • MECO329: Critical Game Studies
  • From 2012 to 2016 I taught MAS110: Introduction to Digital Media

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Rowan Tulloch is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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computer game Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
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mechanic Social Sciences
neoliberalism Social Sciences
education Social Sciences

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Research Outputs 2002 2019

  • 9 Article
  • 2 Conference proceeding contribution
  • 2 Abstract

Playing around with morality: introducing the special issue on "morality play"

Ryan, M., Formosa, P. & Tulloch, R., 1 Jun 2019, In : Games and Culture. 14, 4, p. 299-305 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

computer game
field research
moral philosophy
Video Games

Riot grrrl gaming: gender, sexuality, race, and the politics of choice in Gone Home

Tulloch, R., Hoad, C. & Young, H., 2019, In : Continuum. 33, 3, p. 337-350 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


A gamification design for the classroom

Hitchens, M. & Tulloch, R., 2018, In : Interactive Technology and Smart Education. 15, 1, p. 28-45 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The politics of gamification: education, neoliberalism and the knowledge economy

Tulloch, R. & Randell-Moon, H. E. K., 27 May 2018, In : Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. 40, 3, p. 204-226 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

knowledge economy
educational setting

Video games and dystopia: total cities, post-cities and the political unconscious

Johnson, C. & Tulloch, R., 1 Sep 2017, In : Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. 9, 3, p. 243-256 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Activities 2018 2018

  • 1 Editorial work

Games and Culture (Journal)

Malcolm Ryan (Editor), Paul Formosa (Editor), Rowan Tulloch (Editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work