Lawrence (Larry) May
Researching videogames and digital cultures.

I am a game studies and digital cultures researcher at Waipapa Taumata Rau | the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work. My research typically seeks to understand how people come to generate and tell different kinds of stories while playing videogames or engaging with new media, and my teaching expertise encompasses videogames, media and communications, digital pedagogies, and learning design. I also provide curriculum development and digital learning leadership in my current role. I occasionally create zines as part of Team 3000 Press.

Book

May, L. (2021). Digital zombies, undead stories: Narrative emergence and videogames. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Articles and Book Chapters

May, L., & Hall, B. (2024). Thinking ecologically with Battlefield 2042. Game Studies, 24(1).

May, L., & Hall, B. (2023). From aesthetics to asymmetry: Contradictions of ecological play in Cities: Skylines. Games and Culture, OnlineFirst.

May, L. (2022). On the road: Emergent spatiality in #vanlife. Platform: Journal of Media and Communication, 9(1), 56-72.

May, L., & Denton, J. (2022). Emergency designs: Lessons for the rapid implementation of online teaching. In D. Forbes & R. Walker (Eds.), Developing Online Teaching in Higher Education: Global Perspectives on Continuing Professional Learning and Development (pp. 85-95). Springer.

May, L. (2022). Virtual heterotopias and the contested histories of Kowloon Walled City. Games and Culture, 17(6), 885-900.

May, L. (2021). Confronting ecological monstrosity: Contemporary video game monsters and the climate crisis. M/C Journal, 24(5).

Mei, B., May, L., Heap, R., Ellis, D., Tickner, S., Thornley, J., Denton., J, & Durham, R. (2021). Rapid Development Studio: An intensive, iterative approach to designing online learning. SAGE Open, 11(3), 1-9.

May, L. (2020). 100-yen apocalypse: Sensorial experiences of zombie play in Japanese game centersReplaying Japan, 2, 83-93.

McKissack, F., & May, L. (2020). Running with the dead: Speedruns and generative rupture in Left 4 Dead 1 and 2. Games and Culture, 15(5), 544-564.

May, L. (2019). Getting hands-on with virtual spaces: An approach to students’ unequal prior experiences of digital media. Films for the Feminist Classroom, 9(1).

Mei, B., & May, L. (2018). Reflective renovation: Insights from a collaborative and active learning space project evaluation. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34(6), 17-26.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2017). Queering stories and selves: Gamer Poop and subversive narrative emergenceIntensities: The Journal of Cult Media, 9, 1-17 .

May, L. (2017). Book review: Zombies: A Cultural History, by Roger Luckhurst. Cultural Sociology11(1), 139-141.

Conference proceedings

Kleffmann, D., May, L., & Fowler, A. (2024). Holistic education co-design: A taxonomy for consistent documentation. OzCHI '23: Proceedings of the 35th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, 518–525.

May, L. (2023). Building and rebuilding the Anthropocene in Cities: Skylines. DiGRA23 – Proceedings of the 2023 DiGRA International Conference. Digital Games Research Association.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2022). Speedruns as assemblage: Witnessing reterritorialization through developer reaction videos. DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together. Digital Games Research Association.

May, L. (2020). The Shōwa era’s living dead: The ludic reemergence of Japanese zombies. DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere. Digital Games Research Association.

May, L. (2020). Disciplined play: Finding Foucauldian architecture in virtual worlds. DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere. Digital Games Research Association.

Invited presentations, seminars and lectures

May, L. (2023). Ephemeral Ecologies: Player Paratexts at the End of the World. Game Research Lab, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.

May, L. (2023). Ephemeral Ecologies: Player Paratexts at the End of the World. Center for Cultural Research of Technologies, Institute of Humanities, SWPS University, Warsaw, Poland.

May, L. (2023). Ephemeral Ecologies: Player Paratexts at the End of the World. Jagiellonian Games Research Centre, Faculty of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland.

May, L. (2023). Undead Ecosystems: The Videogame Zombie in the Anthropocene. Dead or Alive? The Current State of Zombie Studies: An International Conference, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt, Germany.

May, L. (2023). Respondent: Videogame Temporalities panel discussion. Media and Screen Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland.

May, L. (2020). Learning Through Play: Games and Gamification. School of Foreign Languages, Henan University. Kaifeng, China.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2015). Queering video game stories and selves. Media, Film and Television (Research Seminar Series), Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland.

Conference and workshop presentations

May, L., & Hall, B. (2024). Capitalocene horizons: Producing, exploiting and mourning nature in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. DiGRA Australia 2024, Melbourne, Australia.

May, L. (2023). Death Stranding and the ecosystemic zombie. CEEGS 2023, Leipzig, Germany.

May, L., & Hall, B. (2023). Yelling at clouds: Battlefield 2042 players’ encounters with the climate crisis. DiGRA Australia 2023, Sydney, Australia.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2022). Speedruns as assemblage: Witnessing reterritorialization through developer reaction videos. DiGRA Annual Conference. Kraków, Poland.

May, L. (2022). Telling scary stories: Players, paratexts and the climate crisis. DiGRA Australia 2022, online.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2020). The disciplinary architecture of videogame houses. DiGRA Australia 2020, Brisbane, Australia.

May, L., & Mei, B. (2019).  Unstable reflections: The construction of Chinese histories through heterotopic game spaces. Chinese Digital Game Research Conference 2019, Beijing, China.

May, L. (2019). 100-yen apocalypse: Sensorial experiences of zombie play in Japanese video game arcades. Replaying Japan 2019: The 7th International Japan Game Studies Conference, Kyoto, Japan.

May, L. (2019). Reconstruction and remembrance in the ruins of Minecraft’s post-apocalypse. DiGRA Annual Conference pre-conference workshop Ruins in Digital Games, Kyoto, Japan.

May, L., Mei, B., & Heap, R. (2019). Rapid prototyping as an approach to designing online learning. HERDSA Conference 2019: Next Generation, Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and Opportunities, Auckland, New Zealand.

Ellis, D., Heap, R., May, L., & Coombes, M. (2018). Online course design: The Rapid Development Studio [Poster presentation]. Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand (TERNZ), Wellington, New Zealand.

May, L. (2018). On the road: spatiality and emergent storytelling in #vanlife. #MINA2018: Towards a Theory & Practice of Smart Storytelling, Melbourne, Australia.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2017). Running with the dead: Speedruns and generative rupture in Left for Dead 1 and 2. DiGRA Annual Conference 2017, Melbourne, Australia.

May, L. (2016).  Building the apocalypseScreen Studies Association of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand conference, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2015).  Narrative emergence as creative and subversive intervention: Gamer Poop’s queer stories and selves. Creative Gaming Symposium, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.

May, L., & McKissack, F. (2015). Subversive narrative emergence in Gamer Poop: Queering video game stories and selves. DiGRA Annual Conference, Lüneburg, Germany.

May, L. (2015). History at the front lines of the zombie apocalypse: DayZ players and their strategies of narrative emergenceGame Research Lab Spring Seminar: Adult Play, University of Tampere. Tampere, Finland.

May, L. (2014). Citizen journalism at the frontlines of the zombie apocalypse: DayZ players and their strategies of conflict remediation. Media, War and Memory – Journalism, Media and Democracy Research Centre 2014 Conference, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.

Thesis

May, L. (2018). Exquisite corpses: Narrative emergence in multiplayer zombie video games (Doctoral Thesis). University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Selected for University of Auckland Dean’s List. The Dean’s List recognises theses that are of exceptional quality in every respect including scholarship, research content, quality of expression and accuracy of presentation.

Zines

Liam Bowen, Larry May & Sergio Cornaga. (February 2023). The Maize Man. Team 3000 Press.

Max Coombes, Larry May & Gabriella Stead. (August 2021). The Porcelain Chronicle - Issues I & II. Porcelain Press/Team 3000 Press.

Liam Bowen, Max Coombes & Larry May. (July 2018). The Wizard's Swamp. Team 3000 Press.