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Rebecca Ferriday

Research student, School of Biosciences

Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


Video gaming is often perceived as a lonely experience and the antithesis to the development of wellbeing. Yet, contrary to fears that excessive play time leads to poor mental health, contradictory research also suggests there is a positive relation between game play and affective wellbeing.

There is little research around accidental by-products, unintended consequences or ‘happy accidents’ in gamification and education, and what does exist is wholly negative in its findings. My research seeks to address this imbalance and fill this gap in research by looking for enhancements to the student experience brought about as by-products of playing digital, OpenWorld Role Playing Games. I propose to conduct a range of experiments that examine any improvements in player wellbeing, problem solving skills, and educational attainment.

The purpose of this research will be to provide guidance, recommendations, and case studies for Higher Education lecturers and students with an interest in using video gaming to improve mental health, employability skills, and academic achievement.

Undergraduate Education:  My first degree is a BA in Art and Design, awarded by Falmouth College of Art and Design (now Falmouth University) in 1991.

Postgraduate Education: I was awarded the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) in Post-Compulsory Education from Exeter University in 2006. In 2016 I was awarded a master's degree (MA) in Education from Plymouth University

Employment: My career in education began in 1997, when I was employed by Cornwall County Council as a Senior Tutor in Adult Education, specialising in teaching literacy, numeracy and IT skills. I then moved to Cornwall College where I worked as a Lead Practitioner in Education Studies, delivering introductory courses in teaching and learning, the Certificate in Education and the PGCE (PCE). I was also responsible for developing, teaching, and assessing a curriculum at postgraduate level for in-service teachers wishing to specialise in the teaching on linguistics. I moved into a learning technology management role for the same institution, before becoming Digital Education Manager for the SChool of Healthcare Studies (HCARE) at Cardiff University; a role I still hold.


Research interests

Adult and higher education and pastoral support in virtual worlds (with a specific interest in academic tutorials held in ‘Second Life’) and the development of soft and transferable skills such as problem-solving skills and educational attainment in open-world-based video games.


What are the Unintended Consequences of Playing Digital, Open-World Role Playing Games on the Student Experience?


Professor Stephen Rutherford

Professor Stephen Rutherford

Head of Education Division


Dr Nigel Francis

Senior Lecturer