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:

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., & McKissack, F. (2017). Running with the dead: Speedruns and generative rupture in Left for Dead 1 and 2. Paper presented at DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association) 2017, Melbourne, Australia. 3 July - 6 July 2017. Related URL.
  • 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). Book Review: Zombies: A Cultural History. Cultural Sociology, 11 (1), 139-141. 10.1177/1749975516689520f
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33464
  • May, L. (2016). Building the Apocalypse. Paper presented at Screen Studies Association of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, Victoria University Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. 23 November - 25 November 2016. Related URL.
  • May, L., & McKissack, F. (2015). Subversive Narrative Emergence in Gamer Poop: Queering Video Game Stories and Selves. Paper presented at DiGRA 2015: Diversity of play: games - cultures - identities, Lüneburg, Germany. 14 May - 17 May 2015. Related URL.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26657
  • May, L. (2015). History at the front lines of the zombie apocalypse: DayZ players and their strategies of narrative emergence. Paper presented at Game Research Lab Spring Seminar: Adult Play, University of Tampere. Tampere, Finland.. 11 May - 12 May 2015.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26316
  • Bowes, M. I., Patterson, W., & May, L. (2012). Assessment, Physical Education and Mobile Learning. Paper presented at ASCILITE 2012 Future Challenges, Sustainable Futures, Wellington, New Zealand. 25 November - 28 November 2012. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Margot Bowes

Contact details

Primary office location

New Zealand

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