Mr James Sweeting

Mr James Sweeting

Lecturer in Game Studies

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



James Sweeting is a PhD student with Transtechnology Research (University of Plymouth) investigating the hauntological form of videogames. This is supported via an understanding of nostalgia present across the medium itself and the relationship the industry has with the past.

He is Leader of Transnational Education (TNE) for i-DAT and a lecturer in Game Studies at the University of Plymouth. Also teaches on MA Game Design, BA Game Arts and Design, and BA Digital Media Design (Games Design) in partnership with Nanjing University of the Arts.

In addition, he is an Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, having attained recognition for meeting the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education.


PhD in Transtechnology Research (Hauntological Videogame Form: nostalgia in a “high technology” medium). University of Plymouth: 2015 – exp 2022

Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy: 2019

MA in War Studies. King’s College London: 2012-2013

BSc (Hons) in International Politics. City, University of London: 2009-2012



Teaching interests


  • Transnational Education (TNE) for i-DAT delivery. 

As Module Leader: 


  • Strategies for Digital Design (Game Design) [Nanjing University of the Arts]
  • Emerging Technologies [NUA] 
  • Game Development
  • Gameplay


  • Game Studies
  • Professional Practice (Game Design)
  • Final Project (Game Design)


  • Final Year Project (Digital Media Design - Game Design)
  • Dissertation (Digital Media Design - Game Design)
  • Final Project (Game Arts and Design)



Research interests

Focusing on the implications of nostalgia upon the videogames medium and industry. With research interests including videogame industrial form, hauntology, historical game studies, and temporal cultural transferability.

Other research

Sweeting, J. (2022) ‘Can you Make Money from Nostalgia in a Galaxy Far Far Away? The difficulty of effectively utilising nostalgia to bring Star Wars to both a new and existing audience.’, in Transtechnology Research Reader 2019-21. Plymouth: University of Plymouth, pp. 63–81.

Sweeting, J. (2019) ‘Authenticity: Depicting the Past in Historical Videogames’, in Transtechnology Research Reader 2018. Plymouth: University of Plymouth, pp. 62–83.

Sweeting, J. (2018) ‘Illusions of Choice in Digital Narratives’, in Transtechnology Research Reader 2015-17. Plymouth: University of Plymouth, pp. 68–87.

Book Reviews

Sweeting, J. (2021) [Book review] ‘Handmade Pixels: Independent Video Games and the Quest for Authenticity’, Leonardo. MIT Press – Journals, 54(2), pp. 257–259. doi: 10.1162/leon_r_02025.

Sweeting, J. (2020) [Book review] ‘How to Play Video Games edited by Matthew Thomas Payne and Nina B. Huntemann’, Leonardo. MIT Press – Journals, 53(3), pp. 347–348. doi: 10.1162/leon_r_01900.

Sweeting, J. (2020) [Book review] ‘Star Wars after Lucas: A Critical Guide to the Future of the Galaxy by Dan Golding’, Leonardo. MIT Press – Journals, 53(2), pp. 233–235. doi: 10.1162/leon_r_01874.

Sweeting, J. (2019) [Book review] ‘Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware by Dominic Arsenault’, Leonardo, 52(2), pp. 199–201. doi: 10.1162/leon_r_01727.

Sweeting, J. (2018) [Book review] ‘Playback: A Genealogy of 1980s British Videogames Playback: A Genealogy of 1980s British Videogames by Alex Wade’, Leonardo. MIT Press – Journals, 51(2), pp. 201–203. doi: 10.1162/leon_r_01587.

Sweeting, J. (2017) [Book review] ‘Atari to Zelda: Japan’s Videogames in Global Contexts by Mia Consalvo.’, Leonardo. MIT Press, pp. 213–215. doi: 10.1162/LEON_r_01390.



Reports & invited lectures

Sweeting, J. (2020) ‘Vicarious Nostalgia and Authentic Depictions of the Past in Historical Videogames.’, The Present and Future of History and Games. University of Warwick.

Morcom, J. and Sweeting, J. (2019) ‘Video Game Nostalgia’, Think: Digital Futures – 2ser, 17 September. Available at:

Sweeting, J. (2019) Relative Nostalgia and the Revival of Past Aesthetics in Videogames – The Arts Institute, Arts Institute. Available at:

Drayson, H. and Sweeting, J. (2017) ‘From digital to post-digital memory’, in Digital Memory Symposium. Plymouth. Available at:

Sweeting, J. (2017) ‘Remediation of digital nostalgic myths’, in Digital Memory Symposium. Plymouth.