I’m a cultural geographer and interactive narrative designer whose research and creative practice explores how people engage with place through playful, site-specific, experimental and/or immersive media forms.

I am currently working as a Research Associate at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, based in the Pervasive Media Studio at Watershed, a digital creativity centre in central Bristol.

I recently completed a practice-based PhD project at Royal Holloway, supervised between Geography and Media Arts, which involved independently making and testing location-based games in my home district of Canterbury and more widely in East Kent. This method sought to understand the potential of location-based game development and play for discovering, sharing and engaging purposefully with the wide-ranging narratives through which this area is imagined, lived, performed and contested today.

This project led to the publication of my paper Location-Based Games as Platforms for Site-Specific Story Mapping in the LivingMaps Review in 2021 and has also produced several presented conference papers over the course of my PhD (see my Portfolio page for details).

Creative works developed during my PhD have included The Timekeeper's Return, a mixed-reality treasure hunt in Canterbury's Cathedral Quarter played using QR codes; Canterbury in 3 Words, a participatory storytelling platform and location-based treasure hunt played using the what3words app; and The Gates to Dreamland, a locative audiowalk game based around Margate's Dreamland amusement park, made as part of A Different LENS (a collaborative story-mapping project funded by Arts Council England, Kent County Council and Margate NOW).

The development of these projects followed prior professional experience in the area of pervasive media art and games, having worked with four times BAFTA-nominated interactive arts organisation Blast Theory before beginning my PhD.

In parallel with my PhD research, I have had a longstanding interest in the cultural geographies of digital game environments; in particular how a sense of place can be crafted in their hybrid physical and digitally-rendered landscapes. Having previously undertaken research on 'walking simulator' video games, I'm interested in how we might make sense of the relationships between practices of game design and play and the experiences that result.

These research interests stem back to a broader fascination with psychogeography, particularly how different kinds of practices might engage with elements of a place’s cultural significance. To me, this is a creative challenge as well as an academic one, hence why I’ve long been interested in research that bridges between disciplines, reaches beyond the academy and explores creative methods of inquiry.

During my time at Royal Holloway, I was an active member of the StoryFutures Creative Cluster network, acting as an expert consultant for SMEs by sharing insights on game design, location and environment in digital narrative experiences. This notably led to my involvement as a writer, narrative designer and consultant for Interrobang?!, a theatre-meets-online gaming experience developed by immersive theatre company Gideon Reeling.

Alongside my creative practice and research activities, I have taught as a visiting lecturer on Digital Storytelling for undergraduates in the Media Arts department at Royal Holloway. This involved designing a bespoke lecture series on location-based games. I have also had further teaching roles as a workshop leader on Digital Methods and Ethnography for Geography Masters students and as a teaching assistant on Geographical Techniques for Geography undergraduates. During my PhD, I passed RHUL's Programme in Skills of Teaching to Inspire Learning (inSTIL) programme with a commendation, conferring Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

I am an active member of the Digital Geographies Research Group (DGRG) of the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers), where I sit on the committee. Most recently in my work with the DGRG, I developed the group’s YouTube channel and have curated and contributed to their Work in Progress YouTube series. I also organised DGRG-sponsored sessions at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in 2018 and 2019, as well as a sponsored session at the online RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-term Conference in 2021 and a symposium on Digital Games and VR in July 2019.

Outside of my professional life, I am a self-taught musician, avid player of story- and exploration-rich video games, prolific geocacher and lover of walking and wildflowers. I campaign regularly on environmental issues in my local area in East Kent.

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also email me on my Hotmail and Royal Holloway email addresses.