Professor of Immersive Storytelling, I am a researcher and artist specialising in play and storytelling for children. Having a doctorate in Education and MA degrees in Research Methods, Early Childhood Education and Japanese Semiotics my work crosses academia and industry. I am the Co-Founder of a storytelling consultancy and studio called X||dinary Stories

My research sits at the intersection of experimental design and social sciences, focusing on digital storytelling, games and play on a range of platforms such as apps, augmented and virtual reality, as well as new content for television, all with an emphasis on media for children.

As an artist I use drawing, emerging technologies and game engines to explore experimental visual and multimodal methods as part of the research process. In this way I take an Information Experience Design approach to including participants in the research process, also to connect data findings [the information] to design and production [the experience].


2023                Exploring Children’s Attitudes Towards Notions of Digital Good/Bad through Hybrid Arts Practice. ESRC, £50K.
Principal-Investigator. (Co-Is) RCA, GSA, UCL and X||dinary Stories.

2023                Rear Window for Brick Moon Virtual Theatre. Arts Council of Northern Ireland, £10K.  
Principal Investigator with Eleanor Dare, X||dinary Stories in collaboration with Big Telly.

2023                Communication Design in the Context of Child Health. Impact Accelerator Funding, University of Sheffield, £16K.   
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jill Thompson, University of Sheffield (Co-I) LEGO.

2022                Trials with MRI Playkit, TiTCH Network and University of Sheffield, £30K.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jill Thompson, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Children’s NHS Trust.

2022-2023      Future of Broadcast Media for 7-11-Year-olds, AHRC via XR Stories, £24K.              Principal-Investigator with Eleanor Dare X||dinary Stories. Read more here. 

2019-2023       Promoting Disaster Resilience in Children: Developing a Network to Research Culturally Appropriate, Sustainable Public Health Interventions in Fiji and Samoa. GCRF, £25K.     Co-Investigator. (PI) Jill Thompson, University of Sheffield, Universities of Fiji, Samoa and Auckland (Delayed by COVID). Read more here.

2019-2021       VR and Mixed-Realities Play Kit to Prepare Under 10s for an MRI. Innovate UK. £388K (including additional COVID-19 support)
Principal Investigator. (Co-I) University of Sheffield, GSA, Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Trust. Read more here.

2021                Counter measures: Giving Children better control over how they're observed by digital sensors. EPSRC, £50K.            
Co-Investigator. (PI) Angus Main, Royal College of Art. (Co-I) UCL. Read more here.

2019-2020       Location-Based Virtual Reality Experiences for Children: Japan-UK Knowledge Exchange Network. ESRC/AHRC, £50K.
Principal Investigator. (Co-I) RCA, GSA, UCL, Hashilus, Japan, University of Tokyo, WEARVR.
Read more here.

2016-2018       The Potential Role of FabLabs and Maker Spaces in the Lives of Children. RISE, Marie Sklowska Curie Action, €531K.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield. Read more here.

2016-2018       VR and Children: Emerging Possibilities and Challenges. Commercially funded, £45K.
Principal Investigator. Read more here. 

2016                Investigating the Design and Use of a New Smart-Toy in Relation to Children’s Play. COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), €2484. 
Principal Investigator. (Co-I) Vai Kai Ltd, Berlin. Read more here.

2015                Play and Creativity in Preschoolers use of Apps. ESRC, £54k.
Co-Investigator. (PI) Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield, Cbeebies, University of Edinburgh, Foundling Bird, Dubit, Monteany Primary School. Read more here. 

2014                Developing Videogames & Play for Hospitalised children. AHRC, £30K.
Co-investigator. (PI) Wood, University of Sheffield. (Co-Is) Birmingham and Sheffield NHS Trusts, Stripey Designs and Distinctive Games. Read more here.

Recent Conference 
Presentations & Talks

Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Evolve-it. 
Plymouth Undokai, University of Plymouth (24/11/23)

Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2023) The Future of Broadcast Media according to Kids.International Conference on Texhnologu, Innovation, Entrepreneaurship and Education (EAI) Conference Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. 

Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2023) The Future of Broadcast Media according to Kids.
Children’s Media Conference 2023. Recorded talk disseminated online.

Dare, E. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) The Future of Broadcast Media according to Kid.
The Future is Northern, The Studio, Leeds (28/3/23).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Storytelling in a Digital Age: how immersive entertainment can support childhood development.
Invited talk for NESTA. (23/02/23).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) A visionary look at how the metaverse could change research and insights practices in the near future.
Insights from the Metaverse 2023, Market Research Society. (20/01/23).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Games & Play to Engage Research Participants in Projects about Change.
Invited talk for Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, online. (26/10/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022)  Art and Design in Protests,
Village Green Talks, MMU. (12/10/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Games & Play to Engage Research Participants in Projects about Change.
Games for Change, New York City.(13-16/07/22). Keynote.

Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2022)  Equity and the Immersive Lab: Polygon by polygon, how do we build an equitable world. Kingston University, London (22/06/22) Keynote.

Main, A.  Grierson, M., Yamada-Rice, D. & Murr, J. (2022) Augmenting Personal Creativity with Artificial Intelligence.Creativity & Cognition, Venice. Full-day Workshop (20/06/22). 

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) The Art of Storytelling. 
Invited talk for The Richmond Market Insight Forum, Savoy Place, London (08/06/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Re-Imagining Data Storytelling and Impact. Invited presentation for Western Cape Education Department’s Empower Hour, South Africa (20/05/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2022) Virtual magic: sleight of hand in immersive storytelling. Connecting Screens: Playing with Immersive Systems Research Symposium, Leeds School of Art, Invited Keynote (30/03/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Designing with Children: How to Involve them in Research. Digital Kids Today, Aarhaus, Denmark, Invited Keynote (3/3/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Dismantel the Doors: approaches to interdisciplinary research and practice. Invited keynote speaker for i-Dat Visitng Lecturers and given as part of the University of Plymouth’s Professional And Creative Attributes Week (24/02/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022)  Dismantle the Doors: an interdisciplinary approach to information and experience in the design of play and storytelling, Manchester School of Art (10/02/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Invited Keynote presentation for "What Matters in Early Childhood Studies Now? Dialogues of Pasts, Presents and Futures" Conference, Brock University (27/01/22).

Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2021) Virtual [UN]Reality: the role of magic in immersive storytelling, Immersive Storytelling Symposium, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham (02/11/21).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2021) Invited panel presentation for 'Digital Devices Before 5' Workshop for Bradford City Council organised by University of Leeds, Invited Talk (10/05/21).

On this site you can find details of my RESEARCH & GRAPHIC NARRATIVES with links to related publications, reports, stories and games/ 

There is also a BLOG which documents work and ideas as they are in progress interlinked with details of finished publications. 

Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2024)‘In the Future We Will Make Our Own Superheroes’: Reflections on the Future of Broadcast for Children Aged 7–11. In: Crawford, D., Foss, J., Lambert, N., Reed, M. & Kriebel, J. (eds)Technology, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Education. Springer.

Scott, F., Parry, B., Marsh, J., Lahmar, J., Nutbrown, B.,  Scholey, E., Baldi, P., Law, L., & Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Addressing the ‘whys’ of UK children’s YouTube use: a purposes approach. Journal Social Media and Society.

Thompson, J., Yamada-Rice, D., Thompson, S., Murray, L. and Taylor, M. (2023) Development and introduction of a mixed realities playkit: decreasing the incidence of general anaesthesia for paediatric MRI. British Medical Journal, Early Innovation Report. Online first (09/11/23). doi:10.1136/ bmjinnov-2023-001083.

Yamada-Rice, D. et al (2023) The Importance of Multimodal Play and Storytelling to a Mixed Realities Playkit for Preparing 4 to 10-year-olds for an MRI scan. Multimodality & Society, Volume 3, Issue 2. 

Dare, E. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2023) Queer Psycho and the HE Circus: Applying Queering, Magic and More-than-Human Theories to Immersive Visual Story Worlds as an Antidote to Late Capitalism. Presence, MIT.

Yamada-Rice, D. & Dare, E. (2023) The Future of Broadcast Media According to Kids: Final Project Report. Available online. 

Main, A. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Evading Big Brother: using visual methods to understand children’s perception of sensors and interest in subverting digital surveillance. Visual Communication, Vol.20(3).

Yamada-Rice, D., Thompson, J., Love, S., Thompson, S. & McQuillian,H. (2022) Mixed Realities Playkit to Prepare Children for an MRI Scan: Findings for health, families and industry. Available online at: <http://dubit.us/mri>.

Fass, J., Yamada-Rice, D., Shelley, J. , Lewis, M. & Pappas, G. (2022). Information is Ugly. Visual Communication, Vol.20(3). Editorial.

Main, A.  Grierson, M., Yamada-Rice, D. & Murr, J. (2022) Augmenting Personal Creativity with Artificial Intelligence.C&C '22: Creativity and Cognition, June 2022 p.462-465. https://doi.org/10.1145/3527927.3531205. Published online at ACM Digital Library.

Dare, E. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2022) Reading the Cards: Critical Chatbots, Tarot and Drawing as an Epistemological Repositioning to Defend Against the Neoliberal Structures of Art Education. In: Filimowicz, M. (ed) Systematic Bias: Algorithms and Society. London: Routledge 

Nash, R., Yamada-Rice, D., Dare, E., Love, S., Main, A., Potter, D., Rodrigues, D. (2021) Using a collaborative zine to co-produce knowledge about location-based virtual reality experiences. Qualitative Research Journal, Vol.21(2).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2021) Children’s interactive storytelling in Virtual Reality, Multimodality & Society, Vol.1(1), p.48-67.

Ikon, E., Wee, C., Dare, E., Lewis, M., Biderman, K.,  Gordon, L., Pochodzaj, J., and Yamada-Rice, D, 'Exercises in Exorcism, Ways of Healing (through) Art Education'. In: Baier, W., Canepa, E., Golemis, H. (eds) (2021) Capitalism's Deadly Threat: transform!  London: Merlin Press.

Yamada-Rice, D., Dare, E. Main, A., Potter, J., Ando, A. Miyoshi, K., Narumi, T., Beshani, S., Clark, A., Duszenko, I. Love, S., Nash, R., Rodrigues, D., and Stearman, N. (2020) Location-Based Virtual Reality Experiences for Children: Japan-UK Knowledge Exchange Network: Final Project Report. Available online at: <https://ukjapanvr.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/nalprojectreport/>

Yamada-Rice, D. & Love, S. (2019) Designing tech for health: Developing a mixed reality playkit to help children who need an MRI Scan. RIAS Quarterly, Vol.38, p.57.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2019) Including Children in the Design of the Internet of Toys: In Mascheroni, G. & Holloway, D. (Eds) The Internet of Toys: Practices, Affordances and the Political Economy of Children’s Smart play.

Yamada-Rice, D., Rodrigues, D. & Zubrycka, J. (2019) Makerspaces and Virtual Reality, Chapter 5. In: Blum-Ross, A., Kumpulainen, K. & Marsh, J.(eds) Enhancing digital Literacy and Creativity: Makerspaces in the Early Years. Routledge.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2018) Licking planets and Stomping on Buildings: children’s interactions with curated spaces in Virtual Reality. Children's Geographies, Vol.16(5).

Yamada-Rice, D. and Marsh, J., (2018) Using Augmented and virtual Reality in the Early Childhood Curriculum. Printed Publication available online at:
<http://digilitey.eu/wpcontent/uploads/2018/06/DigiLitEY-Policy-VR.pdf >

Marsh, J. A., Plowman, L., Bishop, J, Lahmar, J and Scott, F, Yamada-Rice, D. (2018), Play and creativity in young children’s use of apps. British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol.49(4).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2018) Designing Play: young children’s play and communication practices in relation to designers’ intentions for their toy. Global Studies of Childhood, Vol.8(1), p. 5-22.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2017) Designing Play for Dark Times. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, Vol.18(2), p.196-212.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2017) Using visual and digital research methods to capture young children’s interaction with and comprehension of images. In: Christensen, P. and James, A. (2017) Research with Children: Perspectives and practice, 3rd Edition, Routledge.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2017) Designing connected play: Perspectives from combining industry and academic know-how. In: Chaudron S., Di Gioia R., Gemo M., Holloway D., Marsh J., Mascheroni G., Peter J., Yamada-Rice D. Kaleidoscope on the Internet of Toys - Safety, security,privacy and societal insights, EUR 28397 EN, doi:10.2788/05383

Yamada-Rice, D., Mushtaq, F., Woodgate, A., Bosmans, D, Douthwaite, A, Douthwaite, I, Harris, W, Holt, R, Kleeman, D, Marsh, J, Milovidov, E, Mon Williams, M, Parry, B, Riddler, A, Robinson, P, Rodrigues, D, Thompson, S and Whitley, S, (2017), Children and Virtual Reality: Emerging Possibilities and Challenges. Available online at http://childrenvr.org.

Yamada-Rice, D. & Marsh, J. (2017) Working Together on Young Children’s Digital and Media Practices: Fostering Academic and Industry Partnerships. Published online and available for download here.

Marsh, J., Plowman, L., Yamada-Rice, D., Bishop, J. & Scott, F., (2016) Digital play: a new classication, Early Years an International Research Journal, Vol. 36(3). p. 242-253.

Marsh, J. and Yamada-Rice, D. (2016) Bringing Pudsey to Life: Young Children’s Use of Augmented Reality Apps. In: Kucirkova, N. and Falloon, G. (eds) Apps, Technology and Younger Learners. Routledge.

Nutbrown, C., Clough, P., Levy, R. Little, S., Yamada-Rice, D. Bishop, J., Lamb, T., (2016) Families’ roles in children’s literacy, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Vol.15(35).

Marsh, J., Plowman, L., Yamada-Rice, D., Bishop, J.C., Lahmar, J., Scott, F., Davenport, A., Davis, S., French, K., Piras, M., Thornhill, S., Robinson, P. and Winter, P. (2015) Exploring Play and Creativity in Pre-Schoolers’ Use of Apps: Final Project Report. Available at: <www.techandplay.org>.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2015) Semiotic Landscapes: Cultural
affordances of texts in and of Japanese landscapes. In: Pahl, K. & Rowsell, J. (eds) (2015) Routledge Handbook of Literacy Studies. Routledge.

Yamada-Rice, D. & Stirling, E. (2015) (eds) Visual Methods with Children and Young People. Academics and Visual Industry in Dialogue. London: Palgrave.

Stirling, E, Yamada-Rice, D with Walker, K. (2015) Introduction. IN: Yamada-Rice, D. & Stirling, E. (2015) (eds) Visual Methods with Children and Young People. Academics and Visual Industry in Dialogue. London: Palgrave. Chapter 1, p.1-13.

Hackett, A. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2015) Producing Visual Records of Movement: Making Meaning of Young Children’s Interactions with Place. IN: Yamada-Rice, D. & Stirling, E. (2015) (eds) Visual Methods with Children and Young People. Academics and Visual Industry in Dialogue. London: Palgrave. Chapter 3. p. 29-49.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2015) Visual Industry Perspectives on Production and Meaning Making: in dialogue with Jo Peel (Artist), Andrew Davenport (Foundling BirdLtd),Wendy Harris (Tutti Frutti), and Matt Burtonwood (Toy Designer). IN: Yamada-Rice, D. & Stirling, E. (2015) (eds) Visual Methods with Children and Young People. Academics and Visual Industry in Dialogue. London: Palgrave. Chapter 5 , p.73-85.

Yamada-Rice, D., Procter, L., Stirling, E. & Almansour M. (2015) Review: Margolis & Pauwels (eds) (2011). The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods, Visual Communication, Vol.14(2).

Yamada-Rice, D. (2014) The Semiotic Landscape and Three-Year-Olds’ EmergingUnderstanding of Multimodal Communication Practices, Journal of Early Childhood Research, Vol.12(2), p. 154-184.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2014) Using Multimodal Social Semiotic Theory and Visual Methods to Consider Young Children’s Interaction with and Comprehension of Images. SAGE Research Methods Cases Collection.

Hackett, A. & Yamada-Rice, D. (2014) Special Issue on New Directions in Research on Emergent Literacy. Early Education Journal, Vol. 74. 

Levy, R., Yamada-Rice, D. and Marsh, J. (2013) Digital literacies in the primary classroom. In: Hall, K., Cremin, T., Comber, B. and Moll, L. (eds) (2013) International Handbook of Research in Children's Literacy, Learning and Culture. Wiley-Blackwell.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) New Media, evolving multimoda literacy practices and the potential impact of increased use of the visual mode in the urban environment on young children’s learning. Literacy, Vol.45(1), p.32-43.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) A Comparative Study of Visuals in the Urban Landscapes of Tokyo and London, Visual Communication, Vol.10(2) p.175-186.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2011) The Benefits of Sign Language in the International Preschool Curriculum. In: Murphy, E. (ed) (2011) Welcoming Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Classrooms. Multilingual Matters. p.112-124.

Yamada-Rice, D. (2010) Beyond words: An enquiry into children’s home visual communication practices. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Vol.10(3), p.341–363.