About Me

Who are we?

 Hello my name is James Davison and I am the   owner and founder of Progressive Play.   Progressive Play is an independently driven   creative media studio with a focus on creating   family friendly products such as illustrated   picture books, social impact games and short   form   animation the purpose of which is to use   fictionalised storytelling to address real world
 social issues such as mental health,
 representation and acceptance.

As Progressive Play I want to empower children, their guardians and teachers to be able to talk about difficult topics through the power of storytelling.

Why we do it?

I am a big fan of storytelling in all its many forms.
As a child some of my most formative experiences were playing games with my friends and/or siblings, going to my local cinema with my loved ones, writing songs with my friends in the many bands I have been in, being gripped to the television as I watched my favourite shows, drawing in and flicking through books. Because of this, as well as learning that I was going to become a father, I was inspired to go to University to study Computer Games Design and later Digital and Visual Communications.

Whilst at University I was introduced to the book “Values at Play in Digital Games” by Mary Flanagan – a book which talks about the values that games promote to the players, how these values can affect a player’s behaviour, and stressed the importance of conscientious design as well as spoke about how we learn from play even from a very early age.

This caused me to reflect on my own experiences playing games and recontextualized how I viewed not just games but all forms of storytelling. As a father I wanted to create content that I could share with my children and that they could learn from the experience. And so I set out on a path to start my own business, and even though it has been a long hard fought struggle as not only have I had to balance my work life with my parental responsibilities, but also my own struggles with mental health.

Thankfully, I am fortunate to have gotten support from the University of Wolverhampton SPEED project, the School for Social Entrepreneurs and most recently the Prince’s Trust, as well as my friends and family to the point where I have produced my first children’s book “Mindy’s Journey” – an allegorical tale about a girl struggling through a period of depression.

Why does any of this matter? In a talk given to
the attendees at the World Economic Forum
Mary Flanagan stated “the more the fantastic and fictional the story, the more effective the message.” Through my experiences as a parent I know how hard it can be to talk about certain subjects with children, fortunately I can use our shared love of storytelling as well as draw on my experiences to be able to have these conversations, and can tailor my responses in a way that is palatable to them. I know first-hand the power of storytelling and so as a creator I feel it is my responsibility to use my stories, fictional and/or personal, to leave a lasting, positive impact on this world.

What are our values?

Creativity, family and inclusiveness.

Who are we supported by?