Dr. Sara M. Grimes is Director of the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) and Semaphore Labs, as well as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Her research and teaching are centred in the areas of children’s digital media culture(s) and critical theories of technology, with a focus on digital games. Her published work explores the commercialization of children’s play culture and creative expression, discussions of intellectual property and fair dealing in child-specific digital environments, as well as the legal and ethical dimensions of marketing to children online. Her new book, Digital Playgrounds: The Hidden Politics of Children’s Online Play Spaces, Virtual Worlds, and Connected Games, was published by the University of Toronto Press in August 2021.
Community outreach forms a core part of Dr. Grimes’s professional practice, and she regularly speaks at media/cultural industry conferences, participates in policy consultations, and engages in action research projects and cross-sector partnerships. Recently, Professor Grimes was awarded a three-year SSHRC Insight Grant to lead a new trans-national, cross-sector research collaboration entitled Children and Age-Appropriate Game Design: Children’s and Developers’ Experiences of How Digital Games are Classified, Rated and Designed for Children. This project will revisit how children’s games are regulated in both Canada and the UK, particularly around questions of children’s privacy and other rights, and the ethics of in-game advertising and monetization.