Co-Production of a Bluprint for the Inclusion of Children in Digital Game Design  

April 2014- July 2014
Industry Sabbatical Funded by HEIF
Dylan Yamada-Rice (formally) University of Sheffield and Peter Robinson, Dubit

This was a funded industry sabbatical to work with Dubit, a research, development and strategy company specialised in digital content for children. During the sabbatical we undertook a co-produced research to explore children as co-designers in the early stages of video game development.

At the time of the study, I was a full-time academic lecturing in Early Childhood Education. My research to this point had primarily been concerned with how children use digital tools for play. In other words, I was a researcher working at the end of the design process looking at children’s use of products already on the market. During these earlier studies, I often had questions about why certain design decisions were made. For example, if I found a design feature that children didn’t like or couldn’t use, I wondered how it had materialised. Was it because of limitations in the technology? A financial decision? Or a lack of understanding of young children on the part of the developers? Peter Robinson who was at the time Head of Global Research at Dubit talked to me about the different research processes Dubit used to ensure the best 
possible products were being made for children. Following this we undertook a very small-scale project working with three children aged 5–6 years old to explore what would happen if we included them in the initial design process.

Related Publications

Yamada-Rice, D. (2019) Including Children in the Design of the Internet of Things. In: Mascheroni, G. & Holloway, D. (eds) The Internet of Toys: Practice, Affordances, on the Political Economy of Children’s Smart Play. 

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