Research Team

Sara Grimes

Dr. Sara M. Grimes is a Professor in the Faculty of Information and Director of the Kids Play Tech Lab (KMDI) at the University of Toronto in Canada, and Principal Investigator of the CAGD project. She is an expert in children’s game design and policy research and has published numerous books and articles in the field, including Digital Playgrounds: The Hidden Politics of Children’s Online Play Spaces, Virtual Worlds, and Connected Games (University of Toronto Press, 2021). She is the main lead and contact for the CAGD project, and the person to talk to about age-appropriate design in Canada and the US, and regarding our focus groups and interviews with Canadian children and children’s game devs. Her favourite game is Dark Souls.

Darshana Jayemanne

Dr. Darshana Jayemanne is a Lecturer in the School of Design and Informatics, Division of Games and Arts, at Abertay University in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He has conducted many studies involving children, teens, games and other media. He is the author of Performativity in Art, Literature and Videogames (Palgrave MacMillan 2017), and Co-Investigator of the AHRC/ESPRC-supported “Reality Remix” project on the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences. Darshana designed the CAGD methodology and will lead policy and industry analysis in the UK, as well as our cross-cultural comparison (Canada and UK).

Seth Giddings

Dr. Seth Giddings is an Associate Professor of Digital Culture and Design at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton in Southampton, United Kingdom. His research ranges from children’s media culture to game studies to AI and robotics and his exemplary background in digital games research has led to countless publications, including Gameworlds: Virtual Media and Children’s Everyday Play (Bloomsbury, 2016). Seth’s leadership and insight into children’s play and gaming is an invaluable asset to the CAGD project, and he will lead focus groups with children in the UK.

Bronwyn Swerdfager

Bronwyn Swerdfager is a PhD student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. Her previous research includes talking to children about how they understand their digital devices. Bronwyn’s interest in facilitating children’s participation in society led her to become a researcher for the CAGD project. Her favourite video game is Super Mario 64 because it’s the first game she learnt to play and brings up heaps of fun memories of discovering the childhood joy of gaming with her brother.

Alan Bui

Alan Bui is a researcher for the CAGD project and also serves as a project manager. His background includes research in age appropriateness in movies and video games as well as effective practices in children’s books. His interest in children’s media and knowledge mobilization brought him to the CAGD project. Alan is also an avid gamer and his favourite games include Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon.

Kenji Toyooka

Born in Ottawa, Canada to Japanese immigrants, Kenji Toyooka is a web developer, graphic designer and illustrator who has been in business for over 20 years in the overlapping worlds of application development, digital media and visual arts. A software programmer by training and a multi-media artist at heart, his varied skill set enables him to work on a wide variety of projects, including web development, mobile game design, branding, marketing campaigns, product packaging, digital art and painting. His list of clients have spanned the North American continent and include corporations, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, music festivals, wine and spirits companies and independent artists.

Game Development Team

Findings from the CAGD project will be tested, refined, and applied through a research-creation collaboration with A-Game Studios focused on the development of a children’s digital game.
Details here.