The D.O.T. programme comprises a series of interlinked projects across 2018-2021.
Part smartphone game, part immersive theatre, LINA is a highly novel experience in which an entire class participates together.
“It’s another day at school… your teacher calls the register… but one name’s missing. Where’s Lina? And what’s in the mysterious notebook she’s left under your desk?”
Unfolding over ‘episodes’ of interactive mystery-style narrative, players use augmented reality on smartphones to ‘discover’ artefacts left in their classroom by a fictional classmate. The game steers peers together for face-to-face collaboration, in which they must co-operate to solve puzzles and unlock the story. The narrative explores the pressures experienced by a young person with an atypical background, and the difference between supportive and hostile classroom environments. It gives a class (and their teacher) space to reflect together on prejudice, stigma and social wellbeing, while transforming the familiar space of the classroom into something surprising and new.
BrainZ is a quirky and entertaining smartphone game in which players learn about emotion regulation as they try to repair a brain which has been invaded by a miniaturised zombie!
That pesky zombie is chomping its way through each of the brain’s systems for emotion regulation. Players must repair the damage by demonstrating their understanding of different emo-reg approaches, from positive thinking to attentional control, through mastering a lively assortment of mini-games. Carefully scripted psychoeducation segments support the learning throughout.
Using the well-established computer game genre of an adventure game, School’s a Nightmare throws players into an exciting journey as they learn about interpersonal relations and the different ways we can help and support each other.
When fever keeps you away from school for a day, you return to find everything different… and not in a good way. The kids are fighting, the teachers are rude – even the sweet shop lady’s turned nasty. Then – puff – everyone disappears! Just you and a small group of pupils are left to explore a school turned upside down. Where’s everyone gone? Why are you the only ones not to have vanished? You’ll have to go through a mysterious portal into another world to find out…
Your companions have distinct personalities, and different ways of interacting with the curious creatures you meet. It’s up to you to work out the best approach for each of the increasingly complex social problems you face on your quest to rescue your schoolmates and restore order.
Each of the sub-projects described above is designed to support young people’s social-emotional well-being in slightly different ways. By 2021, each component of D.OT. will be developed to the point of a highly-evolved prototype. We will take each of these experiences into classes of children currently in their first year of secondary school. We’ll use scientific methods to test how well each module achieves its specific goals in pursuit of supporting social-emotional well-being. We’ll also test how eager children are to engage with the experiences and how easy they find it to engage. We’ll spend a lot of time talking to children about their experience so that we can learn from their perspectives. This testing will help to tell us how to move forward with developing the various experiences more fully, and pulling them together into larger support packages that could be rolled out more widely across schools.