James Hodge 👋 ,

I'm a... researcher 🔎,

Based in Open Lab, Newcastle, UK 🍻.

Virtual Reality Character
Coding VR

A bit about myself


So,

I'm James - PhD student at Open Lab, Newcastle University. My research focuses on creating positive experiences using Virtual Reality with people living with dementia, exploring the importance of using personal and non-personal designed VR environments which orients towards the present and makes use of a full spectrum of interactivity.

My approach to research is an experience-centered design that requires to work closely with participants to engage in open and exploratory examinations of their lived experience. With 3+ years of experience in HCI, I've had the opportunity to work closely with a wide range of communities such as people living with dementia, and young people in a youth work setting.

Through the past three years, I've had the chance to explore and influence the field of social VR. My interests in VR, continue to grow with how it can bridge the gap between communities and how we can create evocative shared experiences with the technology.

Ongoing projects


Red Cross Escape Room Image

Escape To The Future: Designing an Immersive Escape Room for Red Cross Strategy 2030

We designed an immersive escape room to use five digital projectors to achieve 360-degree projection, as well as a suite of stage lights to set ambience and immersion. The game focuses on the five global challenges expressed in Strategy 2030. Through the duration of 30 minutes, teams of up to eight, are transported to a range of immersive scenes from a pandemic control room, to the middle of a forest fire, to a recently abandoned home. In each chapter, teams must solve several puzzles that further highlight the challenges that Strategy 2030 must face over the upcoming years.

Check out Strategy 2030 & our blog
Families living with dementia picture

Exploring Media Capture of Meaningful Experiences to Support Families Living with Dementia

Although designing interactive media experiences for people living with dementia has become a growing interest in HCI, a strong focus on family members has rarely been recognised as worthy of design intervention. This work considers working closely with families living with dementia to create personalised media experiences. In the analysis, we focus on individuality, relationships, and accepting changed realities. Furthermore, we describe directions for future research focusing on designing for contested realities, the personhood of carers, and the ageing body and immersion.


Academic Paper & article
DemVR Image

DemVR: Exploring How Hackathons can Bridge the Gap Between Content Creators and People Living with Dementia

Hackathons have become a popular tool for bringing people together to create novel or innovative possibilities to tackle a problem. Despite originating in technology-oriented communities, hackathons are now being adopted by other communities making them more inclusive and accessible. By redesigning the conventional hackathon format to accommodate engagements with those with lived experiences of dementia, we ran a hackathon last April to bring people together to design shared VR experiences with people living with dementia.

Check out the event page
Results of the event coming soon

Relational, Flexible, Everyday: Learning from Ethics in Dementia Research

James Hodge, Sarah Foley, Rens Brankaert, Gail Kenning, Amanda Lazar, Jennifer Boger, and Kellie Morrissey. 2020. Relational, Flexible, Everyday: Learning from Ethics in Dementia Research. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–16.


‘Time travel’ as dementia care is spreading, but the future may be more powerful than the past

Kellie Morrissey, James Hodge 2019. The Conversation


Intersections in HCI, Design and Dementia: Inclusivity in Participatory Approaches

Rens Brankaert, Gail Kenning, Daniel Welsh, Sarah Foley, James Hodge , and David Unbehaun. 2019. Intersections in HCI, Design and Dementia: Inclusivity in Participatory Approaches. In Companion Publication of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2019 Companion (DIS '19 Companion). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 357-360. Workshop


Using Design Fiction to Explore the Ethics of VR ‘In the Wild’

David Philip Green, Guy Peter Schofield, James Hodge, Mandy Rose, Kirsten Cater, Chris Bevan, and Stuart Iain Gray. 2019. Using Design Fiction to Explore the Ethics of VR ‘In the Wild’. In Proceedings of the 2019 ACM International Conference on Interactive Experiences for TV and Online Video (TVX '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 293-299.


Participatory Design of a Virtual Reality-Based Reentry Training with a Women's Prison

Melissa Qingqing Teng, James Hodge, and Eric Gordon. 2019. Participatory Design of a Virtual Reality-Based Reentry Training with a Women's Prison. In Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper CS14, 8 pages.


Exploring Media Capture of Meaningful Experiences to Support Families Living with Dementia

James Hodge, Kyle Montague, Sandra Hastings, and Kellie Morrissey. 2019. Exploring Media Capture of Meaningful Experiences to Support Families Living with Dementia. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper 423, 14 pages.


Exploring the Design of Tailored Virtual Reality Experiences for People with Dementia

James Hodge, Madeline Balaam, Sandra Hastings, and Kellie Morrissey. 2018. Exploring the Design of Tailored Virtual Reality Experiences for People with Dementia. In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper 514, 13 pages.

Mail Box

Let's make something great!

Interested in ... VR experiences?

Reach out here