Preview – Kids with Stones in their Pockets

Posted on: Sunday 16 June 2019 11:15pm by Alison Norrington

Thursday 4 July 2019, 12:30-13:30

HUBS Common Room

What do you get if you put a Creative Story Lead from Lego, a Senior Researcher in Kids’ Education and VR, and a Flying Seagull together in a room with a bunch of CMC delegates?

A collective knowledge about how children play that is far bigger than the sum of its parts.

With a title inspired by the 2013 academic study from Pauliina Rautio at the University of Helsinki – the topic of how kids play was repeatedly raised across the research sessions on VR+Kids that storycentral conducted for the Children’s Media Foundation in 2018 and was resonant across the research roadshows in Leeds (Dubit), London (National Theatre)  and Manchester (Immotion VR).

Mikkel Lee, Creative Story Lead at Lego, will share insights on how story influences kids and how to design a story so that children can play it out, with or without product. Ash Perrin of The Flying Seagull Project will discuss what he sees that children love in terms of play – from clown doctors and shows at hospital wards or in refugee camps, Ash has first-hand experience in creating the space for children to step forward to play.  Dylan Yamada-Rice will offer insights, from designing play environments for kids through games and VR – what she has found and learned through prototype testing.

With a central focus on story + play, this session looks at narrative design, experience design and emotional design and how, as content creators and story tellers, we can create the space for children to intuitively step forward and use their imagination to co-create and learn, rather than being overloaded and handed all the answers. In short, how media experiences designed for them can achieve some of the more positive aspects of free play that all children naturally engage in. How can our content become more like the “stones in their pockets” which mean so much to them.

Picasso once said, on playfulness, that he had “spent a lifetime trying to paint like a child” and was quoted in Time magazine in 1976 as saying, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he/she grows up.”  This session aims to bridge the gap between a child’s freedom of play and our adult focus on what they need and how story and experiences can inspire them.

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Alison Norrington

About the author

Alison Norrington

storycentral, Founder, Storyteller & Experience Designer

Alison is a best-selling novelist, playwright and journalist, and a PhD researcher with a Masters in Creative Writing & New Media. She is Conference Chair for StoryWorld Conference LA, Exec Producer of Virtual Reality sessions for CMC and a two-time TEDx speaker. She is a BAFTA Guru and member of… Read more