Near-Life helps gamify sensory production Sea Girl

Introducing Sea Girl – a major new interactive online adventure that aims to inspire young girls

Graphic illustration of Sea Girl production

Near-Life is excited that our technology has been used to help create an amazing new interactive adventure – Sea Girl – that aims to inspire confidence in young girls around the globe to break stereotypes. In this blog, Pru explains how producer Courtenay Johnson of Carbon Theatre used Near-Life to bring the concept to life as an interactive experience…

About Sea Girl

Sea Girl is an online adventure story about sailing around the world. It was inspired by the extraordinary achievements of Laura Dekker, the youngest person to have solo travelled across the world in a sailing boat. Laura was just 14 when she set off and 16 when she completed her trip.

Courtenay Johnson, producer and founder of Carbon Theatre, was drawn to Laura Dekker as a potential role model for young girls. She says:

“It is an inspirational story and should be told to younger audiences – girls especially.”

“When girls reach 8, their participation in sport plummets. They lose confidence and become more self aware of stereotypes.”

Courtenay created Sea Girl to enable girls to take part in Laura’s epic journey. However, the beautifully illustrated game lets players control the experience on their own terms. Through branching scenarios, they can decide what to view and when, helping build confidence in their decision-making.

Sea Girl rehearsal with fabric ocean

From stage to online adventure

Originally conceived pre-pandemic as a live theatre experience, producer Courtenay decided to turn it into an interactive online video adventure after being introduced to Near-Life and realising it would enable the show to reach a much wider audience.

The team started working on it at the start of 2019 when Covid hit. With the rise of online learning and Zoom calls, Courtenay had the idea to put the show online.

“It was the best way of doing it,” says Courtenay. “We wanted some kind of recorded version but it didn’t quite work. We wanted it to look beautiful and transport the audience to different parts of the world – which was difficult to do on Zoom.”

At this stage, Courtenay was introduced to Near-Life by Jack Leigh of video production company Eight Engines.

Near-Life’s technology opened a world of new possibilities by enabling Sea Girl not only to be online, but to be interactive where audiences get to immerse themselves in the experience, make decisions and become part of the story.

Jack Leigh, who worked on the development and testing of the game for Eight Engines, says:

“It made it a much more rounded experience as opposed to the live show. It’s more engaging.”

“This would not be possible without Near-Life – the whole reason why this was possible is because of the technology [Near-Life] has made.”

Mike, Near-Life CEO is just as pleased to have Sea Girl a part of Near-Life’s journey. He says:

“It’s fantastic to see our interactive video authoring tool used in such an innovative and creative way.”

“We’re really pleased our technology has been able to support the work of the Sea Girl team in this exciting, original project.”

Child interacting with sensory objects in Sea Girl


Experience Sea Girl yourself

You can watch the trailer for Sea Girl below or visit the Carbon Theatre website to experience the full production. It is free of charge but donations are welcome. 

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