Videogames Network: Developing videogames and play for hospitalised children

Dr Elizabeth Wood and Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice have recently been awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to develop a network that will focus on 'Developing videogames and play for hospitalised children'.

The network will bring together academic researchers from different disciplines, videogames developers and hospital play specialists in a series of workshops, using multi-modal and arts-based approaches.

Currently, UK hospital play tends to be based on ‘traditional’ toys and games, with limited innovation in digital play, such as children using tablets/ smart phones brought in by family visitors to access video games.

The network will explore the considerable scope for development in the videogames industry, using expertise from the arts and humanities to co-create digital play opportunities that respond to the specific needs of hospitalised children, to stimulate their play experiences, imaginations and creativity when confined to medical and recovery spaces, and to connect with siblings and friends.

Follow our research process for the AHRC Game project on the IED Game Research blog.

Workshop materials

Journeys, battles and engines (PowerPoint, 2.9MB)

Generalisations of children's experience of hospital spaces (PDF, 2.1MB)

Core members

  • Professor Elizabeth Wood (PI), School of Education, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice (CI), School of Education, University of Sheffield
  • Dr Mattew Cheeseman, School of English, University of Sheffield
  • Richard Finn, School of English, University of Sheffield
  • Charlotte Taylor, Sheffield Children's Hospital
  • Kevin Hartshorn, Sheffield Children's hospital
  • Steve Taylor, Stripey Design
  • Emma O'Kelly De Conejera, Stripey Design
  • Nigel Little, Distinctive Games
  • Xinglin Sun, Information Experience Design, Royal College of Art
  • Caroline Claisse
  • Information Experience Design, Royal College of Art

Additional network members

  • Medikidz, Comic books educating children about medicine
  • Dr Jo Birch, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield
  • Helen Mason, Founder and CEO Animation Therapy Ltd
  • Sarah McNicols, Research Associate, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Muna Al-Jawad, Medical doctor and graphic medicine novelist
  • Dr P. Solomon Lennox, Lecturer in Theatre Studies, Institute of Performing Arts Development, University of East London

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