Associate Head of the School of Communication and Media
Alan Hook is a Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media, Associate Head of School for the School of Communication and Media, and a Researcher in New Media and Play in the University’s Centre of Media Research. He is a maker of experiences and oddities for Human and Non-Human Animals.
He has worked with games, immersive media and virtual environments development as a way to investigate and interrogate ideas of play, politics and identity for over 15 years displaying work in exhibitions such as Paraflows (Vienna), international festivals such as Zero1 in San Jose and RXIC in Riga.
He has exhibited virtual environments research in The Tech Museum, Americas largest Science and Technology Museum and continues to work with virtual environments and immersive game experiences as a way to build understanding of complex social, cultural and political issues. Alan’s current research looks at games as a way to tackle ‘wicked problems’ such as Climate Change or Civic and Societal Responsibility.
He has published a large body of work over the past 10 years which explores transmedia narratives, alternate reality games, and playful encounters with blended reality Fiction. He has written on ‘This is Not A Game’ (TINAG) as an aesthetic, Making a Murderer as a Transmedia Experience, Social Justice Storytelling, Indie ARGs, Networked Narratives, and produced a wide range of practice outcomes in the form of ARGs and ARG-like experiences.
Alan is Co-Investigator on the £13m FutureScreens NI AHRC Creative Cluster which explores emerging technology, the creative industries and economic growth (PI Prof Paul Moore). The grant delivers expert technical skills, opportunity and growth across film and broadcast, animation, games and immersive technologies and industries in Northern Ireland.
Through the partnership, Northern Ireland's creative companies will develop strategies to collaborative, grow productivity and maximise their global potential, delivering new jobs and a £400 million increase in GVA to boost the local economy.
He is Co-Investigator on the €2m Northern Periphery and Arctic Program (PI Dr Helen Jackson) Digi2Market. The project aims to address challenges that companies in peripheral areas may face, such as small size of market, distance from the market and isolation. The project explores how immersive technologies can help SMEs access new markets and support economic growth.
Alan is Co-Investigator on the UK Research and Innovation funded-project Museums, Crisis and Covid-19: Vitality and Vulnerabilities (PI Prof Elizabeth Crooke), which is investigating how the museum sector will emerge and refocus in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis.
Outside his funded research Alan is working on a series of projects which explore speculative methods to increase inter-species empathy and understanding such as Equine Eyes, a headset that helps you ‘see like a horse’ and toolkits to help promote interspecies thinking as a form of speculative methodology.