Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice

Senior Lecturer
Immersive Storytelling

Dylan Yamada-Rice is an artist and researcher specialising in storytelling and play. She works in a range of media including drawing, film photography and virtual Reality. Dylan studied Japanese Art History, semiotics and social science research methods before moving into experimental design. She obtained a BA in Art History and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London before going on to do postgraduate research in Japanese Art History at the University of Kyoto. She then went on to complete two Masters degrees in Childhood Education and Research Methods, before undertaking a PhD looking at children’s understanding of the visual mode within Japanese environments. This inter-disciplinary background has brought about a specialism in the role of culture in storytelling and use of emerging technologies, as well as how art and design practices can be combined with social science research methods to produce experimental means of collecting and analysing data. She has previously held academic posts at the University of Sheffield and in Information Experience Design at the Royal College of Art.

Email: d.yamada-rice@mmu.ac.uk


In addition to being a Senior Lecturer in Immersive Storytelling, Dylan also works as a Senior Research Manager for the digital games company-Dubit. In that role Dylan bridges research, product design and development for clients such as Lego, Duplo, Cartoon Network and CBeebies, as well as leads on collaborative research and development between industry and academia. Dylan also work as a consultant to industry. She was recently credited as the Educational Advisor on Foundling Bird’s new TV show, Moon and Me.


Dylan’s research sits at the intersection of experimental design and social sciences, focusing on digital storytelling, games and play on a range of platforms such as apps, augmented and virtual reality, as well as new content for television, all with an emphasis on media for children.

Research Funding

Countermeasures: Giving children better control over how they are observed by digital sensors.
PI Angus Main, and Co-I Dylan Yamada-Rice, RCA, John Potter, UCL.
EPSRC via the HDI Network £50k

2010- 2021
VR and Mixed-Realities Play Kit to Prepare Under 10s for an MRI Scan
PI Yamada-Rice, RCA & Dubit, Co-I Jill Thompson & Penny Curtis, University of Sheffield, Steve Love, GSA and Helen McQuillian, Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Trust
Innovate UK £389k

Location-based Virtual Reality experiences for children: Japan-UK knowledge exchange network
PI Yamada-Rice and Co-Is Angus Main and Eleanor Dare, RCA, John Potter, UCL, Steve Love, GSA, Ando, Hashilus, Kei Miyoshi, Location-based VR Association Japan, Narumi, University of Tokyo

Sweet Dreams: R&D project creating a theatrical performance about the benefits of sleep.
PI Wendy Harris, Tutti Frutti, Co-I Yamada-Rice, RCA & Dubit, Sheffield Children’s Hosptial NHS Trust
Wellcome Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation

Makerspaces: Enhancing Digital Literacy and Creativity (MakEY)
PI Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield, Co-I Yamada-Rice, Dubit and multiple academic and industry partners

Children and Virtual Reality: emerging possibilities and challenges
PI Yamada-Rice, Dubit

Designing the Internet of Toys: play and communication practices in relation to designers’ intentions for their smart-toy
PI Yamada-Rice

Exploring Play and Creativity in Pre-schoolers’ Use of Tablet Apps
PI Jackie Marsh, University of Sheffield, Co-I Dylan Yamada-Rice, University of Sheffield, Lydia Plowman, University of Edinburgh, Cbeebies and Dubit

Co-production of a blueprint for the inclusion of children in digital game design
PI Yamada-Rice, Co-I Pete Robinson, Dubit
IIKE-funded industry sabbatical

Developing videogames and play for hospitalised children
Co-I Dylan Yamada-Rice

Videogames network exhibition, AHRC Creative Economy Showcase