Kerri Thornton (She/Her)
Hello, I’m Kerri. I am an XR content developer from the Serious Games and Virtual Reality course.
Before undertaking this course, I had no coding experience.
I completed my BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Media), at the National College of Art & Design, in Ireland. Previous to that I had studied Philosophy, English, and Music at the National University of Ireland, in Maynooth. My background had very little technical experience.
Thanks to the Serious Games course, I’ve completed many projects from this course and feel confident in my technical skills.
I’ve always been really interested in meditation and how it can help people with mental health, having been a practitioner of it for over a decade after having been introduced to meditation during a time when I struggled with my own mental health. For my Master’s project, I was interested in mindfulness specifically and looking at ways I could remove some of the barriers that people may face when trying to learn meditation or mindfulness.
Undertaking this course was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I now get to continue my work with The VR Hive in Paisley. Since I started working with The VR Hive, this project won the second prize with the Interreg IT4Anxiety project initiative, and as result, we receive mentorship and guidance from the Scottish National Advisory for Digital Health in the NHS, as well as support to develop this project with a more focused approach for anxiety disorders.
TW: eating disorders
BuliMia was a collaborative project that I worked on with Yuanrong Wang during our first semester on the Serious Games course.
We wanted to create an interactive game that conveyed what it’s like to experience having an eating disorder, specifically Bulimia Nervosa.
The game is divided into 2 Acts, and it is told through the perspective of Mia. In the First Act, the game is set while Mia is struggling with this eating disorder. The world visualizes her state of mind, by being a physically small and darker space and she is isolated. When Mia interacts with objects around the world, we can see her distorted mental state. In the Second Act, Mia has been in recovery for a while and the world is a much brighter and more colourful space. It’s also much bigger to explore and there are new characters. When Mia interacts with the world, she demonstrates a much healthier mental state.
There are over 266,000 individuals in the UK alone struggling with eating disorders. The recent pandemic saw the NHS experience a 240% increase in referrals for anorexia, alone. Eating disorders are a huge issue today, and early preventative measures can really help individuals recognize distorted thoughts that if left unchecked could develop further into an eating disorder.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, you can talk in confidence to an adviser from eating disorders charity Beat by calling their adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.
Carbit Capture – Board Game
Carbit Capture is a game about removing ‘carbits’ from the environment. Players will navigate the game board, using their carbits as a currency to plant trees, harnessing their knowledge and social skills and competing with other players to be the first to reach carbit neutrality.
At its core, the game design is intended to encourage players to understand that their actions have consequences. That the small decisions they make can have a dramatic effect on their personal climate impact, and that carbit neutrality is a difficult but achievable option which will in turn improve the world. By encouraging players to understand the problems the world is facing at all scales, from a household to a country, we hope to empower them to understand that using that knowledge can turn their footprint into a net positive for the world by trapping their carbits in sustainable forms.
Each player represents a household within the community of the other players. The main goal of the game is to become a carbit free household by making good choices along the way. Once any player has reached this carbit free state, they are the winner of the game.