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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles


Emma Reay is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. Her research intends to fill the scholarly gap surrounding 'children's videogames' by bringing together games scholarship and children's literature scholarship. Her research interests include the function of textual children and constructions of childhood in videogames, the ‘childly’ aesthetic, digital toys, wordless storytelling, and de-gamification. Emma is the founder of the KiDDNG project (Kids Depicted in Digital Narrative Games) and runs the online research platform 'Gamebridge'. She has lectured at the University of Southampton and Anglia Ruskin University and is the Research Committee representative for the Faculty of Education. Emma is the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s award, the Pigott award, the Jacqueline Wilson award, the Jean Rudduck Memorial award, and her research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her recent work is published in ‘International Research in Children’s Literature’ (July 2018) and ‘Games and Culture’ (April 2019). 



After completing an undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Oxford, I worked for an education charity for three years implementing literacy programmes in South Africa, Thailand, Colombia, and Chile. I returned to the UK to study for a Master's degree in Children's Literature at the University of Cambridge. I am currently studying for a PhD in Children's Literature at the University of Cambridge. 

Other academic interests

Theorising 'New Media'

Children's Literature Studies (The Textual Child, 'Childliness', Children's Culture, Play, Picturebook Theory and Wordless Storytelling)

Game Studies (Games as Art, Games as Cultural Artefact)
Film and Animation Studies
Multimodal / Transmedial Studies and Convergence Culture
Multisensory Semiotics and Storytelling (Environmental Storytelling, Narrative Architecture, Kinaesthetic Aesthetics, Audiovisual Interplay)
Gender Studies
Post-Humanist Studies

Department: Faculty of Education
Supervisor: Dr. Zoe Jaques
College: Homerton
AHRC Subject Area: Education
You have to be kidding: How are children depicted in digital narrative games?
 Emma Joy Reay