Accessibility statement

Cristobal Catalan
PhD Student



Cristobal is a writer and director of interactive media, researching 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, whilst evoking engaging, evidence-led digital experiences that draw on cognitive interventions from third-wave psychotherapies.

Having a wealth of experience, Cristobal has produced research conferences, developed digital health games, and has taught media courses at the University of London, as well as serving as a Trustee for a social arts charity.


  • MA Global Cinemas and Transcultural Studies (Distinction)
  • BA Degree Television, Film and Photography



Cristobal’s study investigates the effectiveness of narrative-led gamification as 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 alternative digital health approaches to support mental health and well-being. That includes developing multidimensional approaches for engaging in person-centered, narrative-led gamification for digital mental health experiences.


  • PhD by Research in Gamification and Narrative Experimentation for Digital Mental Health
  • 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
  • West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) - Innovation Exchange initiative

Research group(s)


Selected publications

  • Mind games; Lancet Journal; Psychiatry; Insight Feature; Volume 5, Issue 9, E22-E23, September 2018

External activities

Invited talks and conferences

  • 2016, Mental health, media & human rights in Asia Media. London
  • 2021, The Immersive Storytelling Symposium, University of Nottingham

Contact details

Cristobal Catalan
PhD Student