Dr Lawrence May

BA(Hons), PhD


Lawrence leads the Digital Learning Team, a team of highly qualified and creative Learning Designers building digital learning and teaching capacity within the Faculty. The team drives digital and technology-focused learning and teaching innovation, and collaborates on practice-focused research to support the Faculty’s goals for the widespread adoption of digital pedagogies. The Digital Learning Team primarily engages with projects related to blended and online learning, innovative curriculum design, mobile learning and learning space design. 

Lawrence has spent a number of years providing leadership, project management, pedagogical advice, technology implementation and professional development for projects that enhance teaching and learning with educational technologies. He has also designed and delivered curricula related to video games, interactive narrative, critical media theory and creative software development.

Research | Current

  • Game studies
  • Narrative emergence
  • Player communities
  • Video game zombies
  • Learning design
  • Digital learning

PhD: Exquisite Corpses: Narrative Emergence in Multiplayer Zombie Video Games (awarded January 2018).
Placed on the Dean’s List in recognition of excellence achieved in a PhD at The University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Teaching | Current

Lawrence has taught on the following courses at the University of Auckland:

  • FTVMS 212/328 Video Games: Theory and Culture [convenor/lecturer]
  • FTVMS 781 Research Project [guest lecturer]
  • MEDIA 236/336 Horror Media [guest lecturer]
  • FTVMS 213/324 Gender, Politics and the Media [guest lecturer]
  • COMMS 303/FTVMS 313 Sites of Contest: The Media Sport Nexus [guest lecturer]
  • EDUC 384 Information Technology in Education [guest lecturer]
  • EDPROFST 714 e-Learning in Practice [guest lecturer]
  • EDCURRIC 700 Contemporary Pedagogies [guest lecturer]
  • FTVMS 100 Media Studies [tutor]
  • FTVMS 203/314 Techno-culture and New Media [tutor]

And outside the University, developed or delivered Bachelors level courses for animators and game developers related to interactive narrative, academic and professional practice, and critical contexts related to interactive media and games. Lawrence has also designed and managed the delivery of a diploma-to-degree bridging programme, and worked as part of a small degree development team to take a Bachelor of Creative Software to approval.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • May, L. (2019). Getting Hands-on with Virtual Spaces: An Approach to Students’ Unequal Prior Experiences of Digital Media. Films for the Feminist Classroom, 9 (1). Related URL.
  • McKissack, F., & May, L. (2019). Running With the Dead: Speedruns and Generative Rupture in Left 4 Dead 1 and 2. Games and Culture10.1177/1555412018821528
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46052
  • Mei, B., & May, L. T. (2018). Reflective renovation: Insights from a collaborative and active learning space project evaluation. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34 (6), 17-26. 10.14742/ajet.4476
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46080
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bing Mei
  • May, L., & McKissack, F. (2017). Queering Stories and Selves: Gamer Poop and Subversive Narrative Emergence. Intensities: the journal of cult media (9), 1-17.
  • May, L. T. (2017). Exquisite corpses: Narrative emergence in multiplayer zombie video games The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/36871
  • May, L. T. (2017). Book Review: Zombies: A Cultural History. Cultural Sociology, 11 (1), 139-141. 10.1177/1749975516689520f
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33464

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 201J
New Zealand

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