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Cristobal Catalan

PhD by Research

Thesis

Thesis

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.

Biography

Biography

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.

Research

Research Interests

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.

External Activity

External Activity

  • 2016, Mental health, media & human rights in Asia Media. London
  • 2020, Create Open Health Initiative with Creative England and Wellcome Trust; Digital ideas, solutions or products that could help build resilience in young people and support positive mental health
  • 2020, West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) - Innovation Exchange initiative
  • 2021, The Immersive Storytelling Symposium, University of Nottingham

Publications

Publications

  • Play the Game, Lancet Journal; Psychiatry; Insight Feature; Volume 8, Issue 12, January 2022
  • Mind games; Lancet Journal; Psychiatry; Insight Feature; Volume 5, Issue 9, E22-E23, September 2018

Contact details

Cristobal Catalan
Postdoctoral Researcher
School of Arts and Creative Technologies
University of York