Home » Crossing Boundaries – Adventures in Interactive Literature

Crossing Boundaries:

Adventures in Interactive Literature

An authentic, collaborative, creative digital arts project

for children and young people aged 8 -24.

March – July 2022

Schools and colleges

Youth groups, clubs and organisations

Individuals, home educated

Work together with other groups to make an authentic, full-length, video game

and publish it online on the major game stores.

Intended audience:

Reluctant readers“: young people who have, as yet, found themselves unable to enjoy reading.

Style of game:

Mostly text-based, with the reader’s choices controlling the course of the narrative.

Enhanced with:

  • Voice over narration
  • Voice acting of individual characters
  • Sound effects
  • Music


  • Illustrations
  • Animations

and, to reward readers and keep them engaged, the text will be interspersed with 2D game sections:

  • Platforming
    • Parkour
    • Exploring
    • Combat
  • Puzzles

Creators / Participants:

The genre, style and story by groups of “reluctant readers“, to make sure it is something they would enjoy playing/reading.

It will be written by talented you writers, and will have a rich story with complex charactrers.

And the other elements will be created by talented young artists, performers and musicians.

The game itself will be built and programmed by young people gifted in maths and/or computers science using industry standard software.

The reluctant readers will also take part in creative digital arts activities depending to their own interests and aptitudes. It is entirely likely that some artistically gifted participants will also be reluctant readers.


creative writing

visual art


voice acting



So why Crossing Boundaries?

  • Reluctant readers will get to spend time with young people who love reading for pleasure.
  • Young people gifted in maths, logic and computer science will mix with artists and learn how creativity is a vital skill for STEM practitioners.
  • Young writers, artists and musicians will work with young game designers and programmers and learn how critical thinking is invaluable for success in the arts.
  • Primary school pupils will work with secondary school students and so benefit from some easing of the transition process.
  • Home educated children and young people and students in mainstream education will work together and so each will benefit from learning about the other. This could also be of benefit to home educated children transitioning or contemplating transitioning back into mainstream education.

What will it cost us?

We will be applying to public funders such as the Arts Council for the bulk of the funding.

We also have to find 10% – 50% match funding.

Much of this can be in-kind. For example, we ask schools, colleges, clubs and youth groups to provide:

  • A named member of staff to be our liaison
  • The venue
  • Support staff (if you deem it necessary)
  • Dissemination of information to parents
  • Collection of essential forms from participants

Additionally, it really helps to demonstrate our partners’ commitment to the Arts Council if you also make a small cash contribution. But this is not essential. Click below for more details.

If a partner organisation thinks they can support the application by offering a small cash contribution, those details go into the budget and bid document.

If we get the grant, the partner organisation pays their contribution to Digital Writes according to the agreed schedule and the money is ring-fenced for this project.

Previous examples:

A college had a budget for this kind of activity and paid monthly in arrears on submission of an invoice.

A school usually charges pupils weekly to attend after-school activities. They kept a portion of that to cover TA time and paid us the remainder, again in arrears on submission of an invoice.

If, after the project has started, a school can’t afford their committed contribution, the project will still go ahead, but we will make small adjustments to the schedule across the whole scope of the project to make sure we don’t go over budget.

How does it fit in?

Workshops can be scheduled at your convenience:

  • In afterschool clubs
  • During enrichment periods
  • In regular lessons
  • On regular club nights
  • In dedicated sessions
  • At weekends
  • During school holidays
  • As INSET:
    • Imagine your students passing on their skills to your staff!
  • On day trips, such as:
    • Galleries
    • Professional studios
    • Inspirational locations
  • On residential visits to work intensively on the project with:
    • other students
    • students from other schools, colleges or youth clubs


  • Designated Safeguarding Lead: Keith Phillips (fully qualified teacher, Level 3 Safeguarding Training).
  • All staff:
    • Level 2 Safeguarding Training
    • Enhanced Child Workforce DBS Certificates.
    • Written references taken up and independently verified.
The two versions of the grown up Paradox: unscrupulous versus moral, by Lauren

Expression of Interest

Paper Dreams

This isn’t our first rodeo! Paper Dreams was an fantastic project in which young people made an amazing platformer video game. Click the button if you’d like to know more.