Fantasy Futures: Imagining Immersive Innovation

Black and white illustration of a large, Cthulhu mythical creature with wings


In a world where interactive digital technologies are fast becoming integral to social engagement and cultural expression, what new and previously unimagined opportunities will these technologies open up over the years to come?


Fantasy Futures: Imagining Immersive Innovation explores answers to that question, bringing Oxford University’s Humanities researchers together with experts from the gaming and arts sectors for an experiment in co-creative collaboration. Our ambition is to explore new ways to release the vast potential of immersive experiences to engage young and diverse audiences in cultural, ethical, and social exploration.

In collaboration with our project partners, we are developing a state-of-the-art immersive digital world, showcasing the latest augmented reality and motion capture technologies, to be unveiled in Oxford city centre in 2024. The project will assess the different, interlocking ways that such experiences can enhance a city’s visitor economy and cultural life. Employing independent evaluation experts, we aim to establish whether these social, cultural, and economic benefits could be replicated on an international scale.

Currently in development, the technology will harness the energies and enthusiasm that are generated by worlds peopled by monsters – animating Ancient cultures and inhabiting the spaces between the sacred and profane, the folkloric and the familiar. Fantasy Futures aspires to spark interest in the complex historical narratives that give rise to representations of the monstrous around the world and in different cultures.

Bringing our many monsters to life through interactive screen-based experiences, we hope to enhance understandings of difference and Otherness, and so explore new ways to navigate the sometimes disorientating digital and real-world public spaces in which we now live and move.


Fantasy Futures Co-Creative Collaborators:


meet the oxford team

Professor Wes Williams | Principal Investigator

Dr Vicky McGuinness | Head of Public Engagement

Phil Dines | Project Manager

Tasha Patel | Creative Industries Officer

Brian Mitchell | Executive Producer

Ian Wallman | Creative Director



To get in touch or find out more, please contact the Fantasy Futures project manager Phil Dines