Jim works on and leads projects, particularly in the area of collective intelligence and collaborative research and innovation, such as the Brain (project-brain.org) and Inspires (project-inspires.org) projects. He has a particular interest in virtual worlds and games in learning and research and has recently been working on the use of immersive environments to facilitate collective thinking, creativity and interaction. He previously was based in the Innovation Group at the University which he set up, working on investigating, prototyping and advising on strategy for new ICT related developments. He has been responsible for the technical and project management of major initiatives at the University and ran the €40 million EU funded CW2000 project working with businesses.
He has a background in the electronics, computer and games industries, and was responsible for the design and development of a stand-alone commercial computer game, the research and development for what was believed to be the world’s first “blitter” video graphics microchip platform, as well as the first educational robotics system. He has also worked as a designer and consultant for a number of the leading companies in the wider games and toys sector.
His research interests include serious games design and pedagogic principles, the analysis and facilitation of research and innovation communities, and how practice, expertise and knowledge can be elicited, represented and shared – including using a pattern language approach. His work covers many disciplines and especially focuses on cross-disciplinary and Citizen Science communities and their development, but recently has highlighted environmentally related areas. He also has a particular interest in how physical and virtual worlds can be merged to create multimodal spaces, including in the area of games and performance, where he has run improvisational theatre and performance groups and workshops, worked on alternate reality games, and created machinima performances in virtual worlds.