Prize Winner

Critical and Contextual approaches

Immersive System Design – Games and Virtual Reality Innovation & Technology

Ainoha Sichlidou-Hennessy


“Boxed In” is a game I’ve created with the aim to open a window into a sensitive and often overlooked situation — a child’s experience growing up in a home affected by hoarding. As the sole developer, I’ve woven a story that not only follows a child’s simple quest for a treasured toy but also delves into the deeper, more complex themes of trauma and its ripple effects on family dynamics. The game explores the challenging emotions of helplessness that family members feel when they can’t assist a loved one, emphasizing that such responsibilities are immense for a child.

Throughout the game-play, an intriguing dialogue unfolds between the protagonist, called Eve, and the narrator. This relationship is pivotal to the story, revealing that the narrator is the future self of the child, offering insights and reflections on past experiences. This narrative choice was intended to highlight the resilience and perspective gained over time, despite the early loss and struggles. “Boxed In” is my humble attempt to contribute to the conversation on childhood trauma, hope, and the complexity of family ties through the medium of games.

Boxed In

Boxed In

Boxed In - In-game screenshot

Boxed In - In-game screenshot

Boxed In (Full Playthrough)

Title: Boxed In

Description: Boxed In is a unique blend of 3D and 2D elements, offering a slow-paced, thought-provoking, and story-driven experience. The game is visualized in a charming, childlike Play-Doh art style, creating a nostalgic and immersive atmosphere. The narrative follows a young girl’s journey through her home as she navigates her inner world of trauma and healing, ultimately seeking to find a lost toy that symbolizes her path to recovery.

Art Style: The game features a distinctive Play-Doh art style, evoking a sense of childhood innocence and creativity. This aesthetic choice not only enhances the visual appeal but also deeply connects with the game’s themes of trauma and healing from a child’s perspective.


Genre: Story-driven, Puzzle, Exploration
Pace: Slow, Reflective
Perspective: Combination of 3D environments with 2D interactive elements


Platform: PC (Single Player)
Rotation: A (rotate left), D (rotate right)
Movement: Click to move and stack objects, assisting the protagonist in navigating through various areas within her home.
Development Platform: Unity