In 2018/19, I’m an Immersion Fellow for the South West Creative Technology Network—a £6.5 million Research England-funded project to expand the use of creative technologies across the south west of England and explore new ideas in the field of immersive experiences.
My fellowship is informed by my background as a writer, experience designer, director and interactive artist at Story Juice, working across video games, live games, interactive and immersive theatre/experiences.
My practice and research is often concerned with storytelling modes, techniques and affordances, designing for player/audience agency and the impact of interaction on identity, empowerment, knowledge and wellbeing. I’m exploring similar concerns through the fellowship with a focus on AR/MR technologies, including HoloLens, Magic Leap and mobile AR. I’m especially interested in the spatial storytelling affordances of AR/MR experiences, how they can use poetic mechanics, how they can fuse a player’s real and virtual world and how they enable multiplayer gaming.
What I’m working on:
I’m exploring forms of intimacy, human connection and collaboration in immersive experiences and their impact on health, wellbeing, knowledge and agency. This includes investigating poetic and subversive mechanics and how they can create embodied metaphors and alternate realities that excite and empower people.
I’m interested in how narrative frames and mixed reality technologies, like HoloLens and Magic Leap, enable intimacy through interaction and immersion, and how we can design accessible experiences that challenge some of the existing content creation models to represent diverse perspectives, bridge physical and digital worlds, and create shared and personalised experiences in games and interactive/immersive theatre.
Twenty per cent of the current games workforce is female, and even fewer are directly involved in the making. This is way behind other creative industries and has impacted on Player Character (PC) and Non-Player Character (NPC) creation, the kinds of stories that get told, who gets to tell them and the realities created as a result. Another aspect of my research is exploring how the grammar of immersive storytelling can be opened up to new and different voices.