Cristobal's core research examines how story-led games can enable proactive and preventive digital interventions for mental health through ‘play’. In particular, formulating a multidisciplinary narrative framework for game-based media that will support developers in the diversification of therapeutic games, while evoking engaging, evidence-led digital experiences that draw on gamified interventions from third-wave psychotherapies. Mediating between ludological and diegetic contexts, Cristobal aims to contribute towards more engaging purposeful games, leveraging positive psychological digital interventions for user wellbeing that can benefit large numbers of people.
A winner of the Creative England and Wellcome Trust competition, Create Open Health, Cristobal focuses on narrative diversity and inclusive participatory interactive experiences, strengthening the links between creative industry and the wellbeing sector. Having collaborated with the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) in the Innovation Exchange initiative, he has also collaborated with esteemed organisations such as the Arts Council, English National Ballet, The Royal Photographic Society, Somerset House and BBC.
Bringing his extensive industry experience, Cristobal is also an award winning film-maker, curator, game designer, VR creative consultant and festival programmer. He has presented at and produced several international conferences, as well as developed and taught media courses at the University of London, and served as a Trustee for a social arts charity.
Cristobal’s study investigates the development of narrative-led gamification as a digital intervention for reducing symptoms of anxiety in users. Through iterative game prototyping, Cristobal's research addresses the needs and perspectives of users through gamified narratives, evaluating the effectiveness of codesigned digital health approaches to support mental health and wellbeing. That includes developing multidimensional approaches for engaging in person-centred, narrative-led gamification for digital mental health experiences.