Publications (Selected)

Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings and Invited Talks:

Nolan, K: 3D and VR Reconstructions of Japan’s Game Centres. Japanese Game Centres as Urban Play Spaces workshop, DiGRA 2022, July 2022, Jagiellonian University, Kraków. [Link] [Link]

Nolan, K: Art Research through Arcade Interfaces. D.A.T.A. – Dublin Art and Technology Association, DATA Event 69.0, April 2022, NCAD / National College of Art and Design, Dublin. [Link]

Nolan, K: Art Research Experiments in Arcade Interface Reflexivity. ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community SPARKS – Artists’ Games: Critical and Creative Approaches in New Media Art, March 2022, Online. [Link]

Nolan, K: VR SuperGun: Interfacing 1980s Arcade Hardware with Online Virtual Reality. In Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Conference Immersive Pavilion. SIGGRAPH ’21 Immersive Pavilion. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery, 2021. DOI: 10.1145/3450615.3464526. [Link] [Video] [BibTex]

author = {Nolan, Kieran},
title = {VR SuperGun: Interfacing 1980s Arcade Hardware with Online Virtual Reality},
year = {2021},
isbn = {9781450383684},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {},
doi = {10.1145/3450615.3464526},
abstract = {VR SuperGun is a custom hardware and software prototype allowing play of original arcade platforms through a network connection, reconstituting the material form of the arcade cabinet in digital space. It extends the format of the SuperGun, a device that contains the wiring of an arcade cabinet in consolised form.},
booktitle = {ACM SIGGRAPH 2021 Immersive Pavilion},
articleno = {16},
numpages = {2},
keywords = {webxr, videogames, emulation, arcade, virtual reality, physical computing},
location = {Virtual Event, USA},
series = {SIGGRAPH ’21}

Nolan, K: Eagle’s Computer Warrior: Japanese Arcades to UK Comics via Licensed Coin-Op to Home Computer Conversions – Replaying Japan 2021, The 9th International Japan Game Studies Conference, August 2021, University of Alberta / Online. [Video]

Nolan, K: Panel Talk Participant.Digital Art in Ireland, with EL Puttnam, Conor McGarrigle, and Chris Clarke, April 2021, Sample Studios Cork, University College Cork Digital Humanities / Online.

Nolan, K: JAMMA Arcade Standard, Association, Platform, and Aesthetic.History of Games 2020, Transnational Game Histories, October 2020, Online. [Link] [Video]

Nolan, K: DIY Micro Arcades and Game Centre Dioramas.Replaying Japan 2020, August 2020, University of Liege / Online. [Link]

Nolan, K: Arcade Videogames as Aesthetic Interfaces and Self-Reflexive Research Artefacts.SHU Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI), November 2019, Sheffield Hallam University. [Link]

Nolan, K: Arcade Archive Authenticity: Schematics, Spare Parts, and Retrofits.Collaborative Game Histories, October 2019, Finnish Museum of Games, Tampere. [Link] [Video]

Nolan, K: Arcade Game Design Adaptations: 1980s and 1990s Japanese Coin-Op Conversions and Pseudo Sequels for Western Computer Platforms.Replaying Japan 2019, August 2019, Ritsumeiken University, Kyoto. [Link] [PDF] [BibTex]

author = {Nolan, Kieran},
title = {Arcade Game Design Adaptations: 1980s and 1990s Japanese Coin-Op Conversions and Pseudo Sequels for Western Computer Platforms.},
booktitle={Replaying Japan 2019 Conference Abstracts},
language = {English},
year = {August 2019},
pages = {182-183},
publisher={Centre for Game Studies, Ritsumeikan University},
Location = {Kyoto, Japan},

Nolan, K: VR SuperGun: Arcade Game Materiality – ELO2019, The Electronic Literature Organization Conference & Media Arts Festival, July 2019, University College Cork. [Link]

Nolan, K: Arcade Materiality Across Analog and Digital Space. – Sites of Gaming and Arcade Situations, International Conference on the Cultural History of (Video)Game Arcades, June 2019, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. [Link]

Nolan, K: Arcade Videogame Materiality: VR SuperGun. – The State of Play, May 2019, Technological University Dublin, City Campus.

Nolan, K., Sloane, K., Retro Videogame Aesthetics and the Alien Universe. 40 Years of Alien Symposium, The Centre for Film, Television and Screen Studies, Bangor University. [Link]

Nolan, K: Teaching with Twine to Author Media Rich Interactive Narratives. – EdTech, May 2019, Dundalk Institute of Technology. [Link] [PDF]

Nolan, K: Game Aesthetics: Platform Constraints + Creative Affordances. – Game Talk #4, April 2019, MA in Game Design, IULM University of Milan. [Link]

Nolan, K: Indie Game and New Media Exhibitions as Interface Layers. – Irish HCI Conference 2018, November 2018, University of Limerick. [Link]

Nolan, K: JAMMA Arcade Platform: Interface Constraints and Aesthetic Affordances. – Replaying Japan 2018, August 2018, National Videogame Arcade, Nottingham.

Nolan, K: Bridging Authenticity and Virtualisation in Arcade Videogame Interaction. IEEE Games, Entertainment and Media Conference (GEM) 2018, August 2018, National University of Ireland Galway. DOI: 10.1109/GEM.2018.8516455. ISBN: 978-1-5386-6304-2. [Link] [BibTex]

author={Nolan, Kieran},
booktitle={2018 IEEE Games, Entertainment, Media Conference (GEM)},
title={Bridging Authenticity and Virtualisation in Arcade Videogame Interaction},

Nolan, K: The Human Machine Art Interface: Arcade Port Aesthetics and Production Practices. – Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message, July 2018, University of Turin. [Link] [PDF] [BibTex]

author={Nolan Kieran},
title={The Human Machine Art Interface: Arcade Port Aesthetics and Production Practices},
booktitle={DiGRA \&\#3918 – Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message},

Nolan, K: Arcade Videogame Platform Art, Materiality, and Preservation Tactics. – Game Studies Seminar, Centre for Computer Games Research, November 2017, IT University of Copenhagen. [Link]

Nolan, K: Indie Game and New Media Exhibitions as Interface Layers. CHI Play 2017, October 2017, Pakhuis de Zwijger and Mediamatic, Amsterdam. DOI: 10.1145/3130859.3131430. ISBN: 978-1-4503-5111-9 [pp. 37-45]. [Link] [BibTex]

author = {Nolan, Kieran},
title = {Indie Game and Media Art Exhibition Spaces as Interface Layers},
year = {2017},
isbn = {9781450351119},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {},
doi = {10.1145/3130859.3131430},
abstract = {This paper explores how the human computer interface of the experimental indie game Control was augmented through five different exhibitions across both new media art and indie game spaces. Interface elements considered include the tangible control input type, the style of visual display used, as well as the situated space of the game installation itself. Each installation setup encouraged a different style of interaction with the artifact. Observation of users in the exhibition spaces both live and through promotional video documentation alongside feedback given both in-situ and through press reviews provided valuable feedback into the development of the game, influencing its future development path.},
booktitle = {Extended Abstracts Publication of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play},
pages = {37–45},
numpages = {9},
keywords = {constraints, arcade, exhibition, interface, curation, indie game, control, metagame},
location = {Amsterdam, The Netherlands},
series = {CHI PLAY ’17 Extended Abstracts}

Nolan, K: Copyright Circumventions, Gameplay Modifications, and Platform Augmentations of Classic Coin-Operated Video Games. – CEEGS / Central and Eastern European Game Studies Conference 2017, September 2017, Univerzita sv. Cyrila a Metoda, Trnava.

Nolan, K: Arcade Video Game Conversion Processes and Aesthetics, Workshop Paper. – CEEGS / Central and Eastern European Game Studies Conference 2016, October 2016, Centre for the Meetings of Culture, Lublin.

Nolan, K: Arcade Videogame Interface Art, Aesthetics and Materiality. – DiGRA and FDG 2016 Conference, August 2016, University of Abertay, Dundee.

Nolan, K: Indie Games as Art Research. – The State of Play 2016, July 2016, Dublin Institute of Technology.

Nolan, K: Arcade Videogame Art. – Playing the Game, May 2016, IED Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan.

Nolan, K: Arcade Videogame Interface Aesthetics. – ISEA / International Symposium on Electronic Art 2016 香港 Cultural R>evolution, Hong Kong, May 2016, City University of Hong Kong. ISBN: 9789624423976 (pp. 128-134). [Link] [PDF] [BibTex]

address = {Hong Kong},
title = {Arcade {Videogame} {Interface} {Aesthetics}},
shorttitle = {Cultural {R}{\textgreater}{Evolution}},
language = {English},
booktitle = {Cultural {R}{\textgreater}{Evolution}: proceedings of the 22nd {International} {Symposium} on electronic {Art}},
publisher = {School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong},
author = {Nolan, Kieran},
year = {2016},
pages = {128–134},

Hogan, T, Hornecker, E, Stusak, S, Jansen, Y, Alexander, J, Vande, A, Hinrichs, U, Nolan, K: Tangible Data, explorations in data physicalization – TEI ’16: Proceedings of the TEI ’16: Tenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, February 2016 (pp. 753–756). DOI: 10.1145/2839462.2854112. [Link] [BibTex]

author = {Hogan, Trevor and Hornecker, Eva and Stusak, Simon and Jansen, Yvonne and Alexander, Jason and Moere, Andrew Vande and Hinrichs, Uta and Nolan, Kieran},
title = {Tangible Data, Explorations in Data Physicalization},
year = {2016},
isbn = {9781450335829},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {},
doi = {10.1145/2839462.2854112},
abstract = {Humans have represented data in many forms for thousands of years, yet the main sensory channel we use to perceive these representations today still remains largely exclusive to sight. Recent developments, such as advances in digital fabrication, microcontrollers, actuated tangibles, and shape-changing interfaces offer new opportunities to encode data in physical forms and have stimulated the emergence of ‘Data Physicalization’ as a research area.The aim of this workshop is (1) to create an awareness of the potential of Data Physicalization by providing an overview of state-of-the-art research, practice, and tools and (2) to build a community around this emerging field and start to discuss a shared research agenda. This workshop therefore addresses both experienced researchers and practitioners as well as those who are new to the field but interested in applying Data Physicalization to their own (research) practice. The workshop will provide opportunities for participants to explore Data Physicalization hands-on, by creating their own prototypes. These practical explorations will lead into reflective discussions on the role tangibles and embodiment play in Data Physicalization and the future research challenges for this area.},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the TEI ’16: Tenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction},
pages = {753–756},
numpages = {4},
keywords = {Embodiment, Tangible User Interface, Shape-changing Interfaces, Data Physicalization},
location = {Eindhoven, Netherlands},
series = {TEI ’16}

Nolan, K: Video Games as Self-Reflexive New Media Research Artefacts. – Research Leaders Seminar Series, October 2015, Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Nolan, K: Experimental (Game) Interaction Design. – D.I.C.E., 2015, Letterkenny Institute of Technology. [Link]

Nolan, K: Open Source Hardware Technologies in Art, Design, Interaction, & Learning and Teaching. – MAKE Symposium, March 2014, CIT Crawford School of Art & Design, Cork.

Nolan, K: Panel Talk Participant: Post Digital Research. – Transmediale, February 2014, Berlin. [Link] [Video]

Nolan, K:  Control, an Experimental (Meta) Game about Interface Constraints – Digital Arts and Humanities Institute, CultureTECH, 2013, Derry.

Nolan, K: Control: Critical Play Through Interface Constraints. – Irish HCI Conference 2013, June 2013, Casala Research Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology. [Link] [PDF]

Nolan, K: Panel Talk Participant. – Banter, Make a Move Festival, 2012, Daghdha Space, Limerick. [Link]

Mallon, B, Quinlan, J,  Nolan K: eLearning Modalities: A Framework for Selecting Audio – European Conference on eLearning, Groningen, 2012, ISBN: 1908272732.

Nolan, K: Circuit Bending Talk and Demo. – Musica Nova, 2012, Dundalk.

Nolan, K: All Your Mediums Are Belong To Us. European Communications Research and Education Association / ECREA, 2011, Barcelona. [Link]

Nolan, K: ARGJacking 815, How I Hacked Lost. – Ignite!, Mindfield, 2011, Dublin.

Nolan, K: Alternate Gaming Interfaces. – Future and Reality of Gaming / F.R.O.G., 2010, Vienna, Austria. [Link] [BibTex]

title = “Alternate Gaming Interfaces”,
abstract = “Game interface design as a discipline is concerned with making the connection between a video game and its player as natural as possible. It aims to facilitate an ease of conversation between human and machine. This communication is facilitated by two aspects. These are player input hardware in the form of the game controller and game feedback, typically provided by visual, audio and tactile means. The ultimate goal of an interface design is a balance of aesthetics, functionality and playability.
The rise of availability of open-source software and hardware prototyping tools has seen the emergence of a vibrant DIY scene in experimental interaction design. This has led to many video game consumers manufacturing custom-made game interfaces for motivations including art, education and accessibility. Off the shelf video game control peripherals are been hacked and re-purposed to perform functions beyond the purposes their creators had originally envisioned, these alternate gaming interfaces feeding fresh inspiration back into the video games industry.”,
author = “Kieran Nolan”,
year = “2010”,
language = “English”,
pages = “39”,
editor = “Konstantin Mitgutsch”,
booktitle = “Book of Abstracts of the 4th Vienna Games Conference. FUTURE AND REALITY OF GAMING – F.R.O.G. 2010. GAME\\PLAY\\SOCIETY. , 24-26 September 2010”,
location = “Vienna City Hall, Austria”
publisher = “Universität Wien, Institut für Bildungswissenschaft”

Nolan, K: The Real Virtual Living. – 15th International Symposium on Electronic Art / ISEA, 2009, Belfast. [Link] [PDF]

Journal Articles:

Nolan, K: Retro arcade games as expressive and performative interfaces.International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, June 2021. DOI: 10.1080/14794713.2021.1943632. [Link] [BibTex]

author = {Kieran Nolan},
title = {Retro arcade games as expressive and performative interfaces},
journal = {International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media},
volume = {17},
number = {2},
pages = {215-233},
year = {2021},
publisher = {Routledge},
doi = {10.1080/14794713.2021.1943632},
url = {},
eprint = {},
abstract = {This chapter explores arcade videogames as interfaces for performance in the context of digital art. When a new medium is invented it inevitably undergoes experimentation, and the hardware and software of coin-operated videogames are no exception to this rule. Performance is framed as it applies to the arcade videogame medium as a machine-driven act, and as human-machine interaction across user contexts. Retro game platforms provide a challenging set of audiovisual and interface constraints for focusing artistic output. Arcade games are accessible, immersive, and by nature of their public and competitive setting also performative. While this performance is not always deliberate on behalf of the user, it represents suspension of disbelief to act within the given play narrative. The black box nature of legacy arcade platforms as creative materials is explored through the practices of hacking, preservation, and reappropriation and reinterpretation of arcade hardware and software for creative means by independent artists and industry alike. This examination of arcade videogames as performative interfaces includes detailing the motivations, process, and results of the author’s own creative practice in arcade videogame interface art, in addition to a genealogy of arcade videogame themed artworks from media art practitioners going back to the 1980s.}

Nolan, K: Arcade Operator, an Art Game Experiment about Arcade Repair.Video Game Art Reader, November 2017, Video Game Art Gallery, Chicago. ISBN: 978-1-38-947045-5. DOI: 10.3998/mpub.12471115. [Link] [BibTex]

ISBN = {9781943208432},
URL = {},
abstract = {Arcade Operator (Fig. 1) is the sequel of sorts to Control (Nolan, 2013), an experimental art game about interface constraints. While Control articulated the limitations of physical game controllers through a down-sampled onscreen representation of the hand-to-joystick and gamepad link, Arcade Operator uses arcade-brawler gameplay conventions to abstract the act of manually interfacing with arcade circuitry. Arcade Operator is also a critical artifact, a metagame using the medium of the arcade video game interface to reflect on the software and hardware of game interfaces. Specifically, Arcade Operator reflects on the context of user interfaces by articulating the non-play actions of},
author = {Kieran Nolan},
booktitle = {Video Game Art Reader: Volume 1},
pages = {43–51},
publisher = {Amherst College Press},
title = {Arcade Operator: An Art Game Experiment About Arcade Repair},
urldate = {2022-08-16},
year = {2017}

Nolan, K: VRAME: A VR Arcade Cabinet Emulator Prototype.Post Digital Research Newspaper, Digital Aesthetics Research Center, February 2014, Aarhus University w/ Transmediale, Berlin. ISBN: 87-91810-21-3. [PDF] [BibTex]

title = {{VRAME}: {A} {VR} {Arcade} {Cabinet} {Emulator} {Prototype}},
volume = {3},
issn = {2245-7607},
url = {},
abstract = {This article is a background research piece into the development of an experimental installation that prototypes the post-digital trajectory of arcade videogame emulation. It explores how interfacing with arcade videogame cabinets can be recreated in VR space, not just authentically recreating videogame input and feedback aesthetics, but also the external and internal physicality of the cabinet, alongside the ambience of the videogame arcade.},
number = {1},
journal = {Post Digital Research},
author = {Nolan, Kieran},
editor = {Andersen, Christian Ulrik and Cox, Geoff},
year = {2014},
pages = {21},

Lynch, R., Mallon, B., Nolan, K: Mastering the Puppets: Criteria for Pulling the Strings in an Alternate Reality Game – Journal of Online Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 2013. ISSN: 1757191X. [Link] [BibTex]

title={Mastering the puppets: Criteria for pulling the strings in an Alternate Reality Game},
author={Ronan Lynch and Bride Mallon and Kieran Nolan},
journal={Journal of Gaming \& Virtual Worlds},

Book Chapters:

Nolan, K: Experimental Arcade Video Games as Self-Reflexive Media Art. Digital Art in Ireland, New Media & Irish Artistic Practice, Anthem Press, 2021. ISBN: 9781785274787. [Link] [BibTex]

@inbook{nolan_2021, title={Experimental Arcade Video Games as Self-Reflexive Media Art},
booktitle={Digital Art in Ireland: New Media and Irish Artistic Practice},
publisher={Anthem Press},
author={Nolan, Kieran},
editor={O’Sullivan, James},

Lynch, R., Mallon, B., Nolan, K: Blending Narrative, Play and Learning: An Examination of Alternate Reality Games as a Game-Based Learning Tool. – Game Based Learning: Opportunities & Challenges, 2014, Cambridge Scholars. ISBN: 978-1-4438-5345-3. [Link] [BibTex]

title={Mastering the puppets: Criteria for pulling the strings in an Alternate Reality Game},
author={Ronan Lynch and Bride Mallon and Kieran Nolan},
journal={Journal of Gaming \& Virtual Worlds},

Nolan, K: Control – Every Day is Play. Game Paused, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-9929930-0-9. [BibTex]

@inbook{nolan_2014, title={Control},
booktitle={Every Day is Play},
publisher={Game Paused},
author={Nolan, Kieran},
editor={Kenyon, Matthew},


Nolan, K: Built to Play 55: Interface The Machine. – Built to Play, March 2015, CJRU 1280AM, Ryerson University, Toronto. [Link]

Nolan, K: Interview. – Feature on Vector Festival YYZ Gameshow, March 2015, Toronto.

Peer-Reviewed Exhibitions:

Nolan, K: VR SuperGun. – (Selected Exhibit, Indie Games Arena) Tokyo Game Show, September 2020, Tokyo.

Nolan, K: VR SuperGun. – (Jury Selection, Entertainment Division), 23rd Japan Media Arts Festival, 2020, Tokyo. [Link] [Catalogue]

Nolan, K: VR SuperGun. – Amsterdam JSNation Conference 2019, June 2019, Amsterdam.

Nolan, K: VR SuperGun. – 3DCamp Dublin AR / VR Meetup, February 2019, Workday, Dublin.

Nolan, K: Control. – ISEA / International Symposium on Electronic Art 2016 Cultural R>evolution, Hong Kong, May 2016, HK Polytechnic University. [Link] [Catalogue]

Nolan, K: Control. – Game on! El arte en juego, November 2015, San Martín Cultural Center, Buenos Aires.

Nolan, K: Control. – Out Of Index 2015 offline showcase, July 2015, Google Campus Seoul.

Nolan, K: Control. – Materiality, University Gallery, May and June 2015, National University of Ireland Galway.

Nolan, K: Control. – The Blank Arcade, DiGRA Conference 2015, May 2015, Lunebürg. [Link] [Catalogue]

Nolan, K: Control. – Art.CHI 2015, ACM SIGCHI 2015, April 2015, Seoul. [Link] [Catalogue]

Nolan, K: Control. – Vector 2015, February and March 2015, Interaccess Gallery, Toronto.

Nolan, K: Control. – EGX 2014 Leftfield Collection, September 2014, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London.

Nolan, K: Control (Concept Cartridge Artwork). – My Famicase Exhibition 2014, May 2014, METEOR, Tokyo.

Nolan, K: Control. – A MAZE. 3rd International Independent Video Games Festival, April 2014, Berlin.

Nolan, K: App Concept. – The Imaginary App Exhibition, 2013-2014, Artispace, VA.

Nolan, K: Bionic Roshambo – GAME: The Future of Play, Zil Cultural Centre, July 2013, Moscow.

Nolan, K: Bionic Roshambo – GAME: The Future of Play, The Science Gallery, 2012-2013, Dublin. [Link] [Catalogue]

Nolan, K: App Concept – The Imaginary App Exhibition, 2012, Museum London, Ontario.

Nolan, K: 2D Artwork.– Synth Eastwood, 2007, Dublin.


Nolan, K: The Art, Aesthetics, and Materiality of the Arcade Videogame Interface: A Practice-Included JAMMA Era Arcade Platform Study.PhD in Computer Science (Game Studies, Media Art), Digital Arts and Humanities Programme, Trinity College Dublin, 2019. [Link] [BibTex]

title = {The {Art}, {Aesthetics}, and {Materiality} of the {Arcade} {Videogame} {Interface}: {A} {Practice} {Included} {JAMMA} {Era} {Arcade} {Platform} {Study}.},
url = {},
school = {Trinity College Dublin},
author = {Nolan, Kieran},
year = {2019},

Nolan, K: Paper Prototyping and User Testing as a Method for Helping Game Interface Design Students Improve Critical Thinking Skills.MA in Learning and Teaching, Dundalk Institute of Technology, 2012.

Nolan, K: Bionic Roshambo, hand gesture recognition as an arcade gaming interface.MA in Interactive Media, University of Limerick, 2002. [Link] [PDF] [BibTex]

title={Bionic Roshambo Hand gesture recognition as an arcade gaming interface},
author={Nolan, Kieran},
journal={Diss. U of Limerick},

Nolan, K: New Media Culture and Cyberspace.BDes (Hons) in Digital Media, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, 2001.

Nolan, K: Graffiti’s Filtration into Commercial Graphic Design.NDip in Design Communications, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, 1998.

Peer Review:

I’m on the board of reviewers for Game Studies Journal and I’ve previously peer-reviewed for DiGRA / Digital Games Research Association, DRS / Design Research Society, TEI / Annual Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction, CEEGS / Central and Eastern European Game Studies Conference, FDG / Foundations of Digital Gaming, Interaction Design Awards, ACM CHI, History of Games, and ACM CHI Play.

Conference Organisation and Volunteering:

Chair for the ISSS 2022 / 17th Irish Screen Studies Seminar panel Practices of Making: Policy and Production, DkIT, 2022.

Co-Chair, Installations, ISSTA – Irish Sound, Science & Technology Association Conference, DkIT, 2017.

Picteilín Conference, Dundalk Institute of Technology: 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018.