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“electronic theatre of the imagination”

Ceremony of Innocence is an interactive adaptation of the GRIFFIN & SABINE trilogy of books (Nick Bantock) and was produced at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.

Players reveal the mystical story through highly emotivepoetic gameplay and a journey of discovery through fifty-eight postcards and letters.

The Origins:

Peter Gabriel had seen and enjoyed my own interactive postcards that I had created as a masters student, and also being a fan of the original  Griffin and Sabine books, he put two and two together and suggested a collaboration on a digital adaptation. At the time the market was dominated by adrenaline fuelled games limited to the teenage boy market, so this was a bold proposal. So Peter Invited me onto the project as chief designer and creative director and the adventure began…


Isabella Rossellini

Paul McGann

Ben Kingsley


Ceremony of Innocence swept up 16 international awards including:

2 Bafta’s (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)

INVISION gold medal

Best of Show at the EURO PRIX

New York Festival gold medal

EMMA (European Multimedia Award)

Australia’s Gold ATOM

AIMIA Awards

Canada’s Atlantic Digital Media Award


Ceremony of Innocence received almost universal praise by the press. The exception was a terrible one star rating from the lad’s mag ‘Loaded’ which regarded it as far too cerebral and slow.  We wore this one star as a badge of honour. However it was the following review summed up the tone of the majority of reviews:

Ceremony of Innocence is a seductive interactive collage. This is a work of trained artists. It’s not just technically impressive. It is genuinely sophisticated. And in many ways, Ceremony surpasses its printed source. Griffin and Sabine couldn’t have done it better themselves.”

The New York Times


The following postcards are good examples of my signature style of interactive design: specifically the highly tactile journey of discovery, where the player is made to feel emotionally responsible for their actions.
In this postcard, it is only when the player moves their computer mouse that they realize they are controlling a match from within the matchbox. They need to work out how to trigger the sequence of events that will lead to the card turning over and the narrative being revealed.
Again the player is not aware of their control until they move the mouse and release themselves from the plant. My favourite section apart from the tactile nature of stripping the layers away, comes at about 20 seconds in, when the player, after playing with some of the creatures, unsuspectedly knocks the creature off the orb. It reflects the real life experience of hurting people accidentally without intention, and the emotional responsibility we feel.
The interactions here reflects the playful yet magical shifting of realities that happen throughout the story.
The player finds themselves controlling the Dark Angel. They need to wake him up, figure out how to extend his wings and take flight in order to reveal the other side of the card. This is another example of the images and interaction directly reflecting the narrative that is revealed on the back on the card. (40)

Peter says:

Hear Peter Gabriel  talk about the project and team: