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Dr Dean Bowman

Dr Dean Bowman is an Associate Lecturer for Games Art and Design at Norwich University of the Arts.

Dean is a scholar specialising in the fields of narratology, cultural studies, production studies, and game studies. He has a PhD from the University of East Anglia analysing innovative storytelling in the indie games sector and has book chapters in Rerolling Board Games by McFarland Press, Crank It Up! Jason Statham by Manchester University Press and Gender in James Bond by Emerald Press. He lives in Norwich with his collections of Synthwave records and board games.

As a scholar and Associate Lecturer at Norwich I have been introducing Games Art and Design students to the intellectual fields of game studies and cultural studies since 2015. During that time, I also obtained a PhD exploring storytelling techniques in the games industry, during which I interviewed some of the great writers of the moment including Sean Vanaman, Rhianna Pratchett, Lucas Pope and Greg Kasavin.

My approach to teaching and research is transdisciplinary and deeply informed by my background in studying Film (MSc at the University of Edinburgh) and English Literature (BA at UEA), and I see a huge amount of value in considering games alongside the broader history of art and media. However, ever since I first played Bioshock I’ve been irrevocably drawn to the storytelling potential of video games as the most important expressive media of the twenty-first century.

I’ve published an eclectic range of articles and books chapters including on the topics of colonialism in board games (McFarland Press); gender and technology in GoldenEye 007 (Emerald Press); the gamer person of Jason Statham (Manchester University Press); and recently edited a special issue of Loading… The Canadian Game Studies Journal on the Kingdom Hearts franchise.



  • Transmedia Storytelling Workshop — Writing up a workshop that I co-organized (with Dr James McLean) at the Digital Games Research Association Conference (DiGRA) in Kyoto, Japan for the Journal of Asian popular culture ‘Mechademia’.
  • Hard bodies in virtual worlds: assessing the reception of Abby’s spectacular body in The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog, 2020). — Book chapter in: Gerrard, S. & Middlemost, R. (Eds.), Gender and Action Cinema. Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, West Yorkshire.


  • Charting the Kingdoms Between: Building Transmedia Universes and Transnational Audiences in the Kingdom Hearts Franchise — Co-editor (with Dr James McLean) of a special issue of the Canadian Game Studies Journal ‘Loading…’


  • Standard Operating Procedure. Boys with Toys: Hackers, Gamers and the Hegemony of Play in GoldenEye 007. — Book chapter in: Gerrard, S. (Ed.), From Blofeld to Moneypenny: Gender in James Bond. Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, West Yorkshire
  • Guilt Trips for the Cardboard Colonialists: The Function of Procedural Rhetoric and the Contact Zone in Archipelago. — Book Chapter in: Brown, D., MacCallum-Stewart, E. (Eds.), Rerolling Boardgames: Essays on Themes, Systems, Experiences and Ideologies. McFarland, Jefferson, North Carolina.


  • The Avatar Hero: Exploring the Virtualisation of the Statham Brand — Co-authored (with Erin Pearson) book chapter in: Gerrard, S., Shail, R. (Eds.), Crank It Up! Jason Statham – Star. Manchester University Press, Manchester
  • Playing Around with Studio Ghibli: Understanding the Remediated Meaning of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch through its Transcultural Marketing Paratexts. — Article for the International Journal of Animation Studies.
  • Domesticating the First-Person Shooter. Press Start 5, 150–175. — Article for the Journal ‘Press Start’
See Dean’s research (opens in a new window)