Lab Photo
MLE Logo
NOTE: Media Lab Europe closed in January 2005. The pages on this web site are for historical reference only.

   news and announcements
   media coverage
   press area


Copyright © Media Lab Europe Limited.
All rights reserved.

29 January 2004

Media Lab Europe and Trinity College Dublin project wins 2004 O2 Digital Media Innovation Award

Andy Nesbit, Mark Mathews, David Coyle and John Sharry being presented with the Digital Media Innovation (Consumer) Award by Philip Flynn, CEO of The Digital Hub, Dublin

A joint collaboration between Media Lab Europe and Trinity College Dublin, funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), was the winner of the 2004 O2 Digital Media Innovation Award in the Consumer category. The project, Personal Investigator, was one of two Media Lab Europe projects (along with TouchTV) which were shortlisted for awards in two categories.


  • Dr. John Sharry, Consultant Researcher, Media Lab Europe
  • Dr. Andy Nisbet, Lecturer, Trinity College Dublin
  • David Coyle & Mark Matthews, PhD candidates, Trinity College Dublin

    Associate Collaborators:

  • Dr. Louise Atkin, Lucena Clinic, Bray
  • Dr. Marie Murray, St. Joseph's Adolescent Unit, St Vincent's Hospital

    Personal Investigator (PI) is a joint collaboration between Media Lab Europe and Trinity College Dublin, whose participation is funded under the HEA scheme. The project is an online 3D environment that aims to engage and help adolescents suffering from depression through the use of a novel detective game. On entering the site, an adolescent/user is invited to become a detective or personal investigator. The key therapeutic aspect of PI is the application of the solution-focused model of psychotherapy within a computer gaming context. Users interact with a virtual detective in order to clarify and record their goals, supports and hidden strengths whilst also identifying exceptions and resources that may assist them in solving or addressing their problem.

    The virtual detective asks key questions regarding problems/potential solutions and additionally directs users on how to progress to the next stage. It is predicted that the combination of solution focused therapy within a goal orientated game will engage the interest of adolescents and will make learning about mental health fun. PI is the first game to integrate an established psychotherapeutic approach into a novel and engaging 3D game. The current prototype incorporates traditional video, audio and computer generated media content into an online world. Users interact with the 3D environment in a similar fashion to playing a traditional computer game. Future PI features under development/investigation include content creation tools which would allow users to generate and leave their own stories behind for others, the use of biofeedback from sensors detecting heart rate, EEG, and skin conductivity in order to estimate the emotional and mental health state of a user.

    Personal Investigator is 11 months into a joint 3 year project between between Trinity College Dublin and Media Lab Europe, funded by the Higher Education Authority.