This week, Christina Myers defended her thesis titled ‘A Framework to Democratise the Design of Educational Games on Social Issues during Game Jams’. Game Jams are multi-day events organised to create computer games, usually attended predominantly by male game developers with game design and development skills.
Christina’s thesis proposes a framework with educational resources, dynamics, and tools to support diverse group participation in Game Jams, including people from different ethnicities, genders, ages, sexual orientations and who do not have any prior experience designing games. It explores Game Jam participation as an opportunity to discuss social issues. Her thesis involved 138 people to co-create stories and tools on ‘everyday sexism’ and engaged and empowered 22 people that created and developed their games on this topic as part of a game jam.
On the day of her PhD viva, the examiners Prof Helen Kennedy, University of Nottingham, and Dr Alexander Mikroyannidis from KMi recognised the relevance of her work and its applicability to the framework to engage young people with social issues.
Dr Lara Piccolo and Dr Trevor Collins are also celebrating the success of this PhD! They have supported Christina in this journey that applied principles of Participatory Design, Educational Game Design, and Paulo Freire’s Critical Pedagogy as part of this multidisciplinary and impactful work!