Thank you!


A huge thank you to those who contributed stories to this study! Contributions are now closed and I will be sharing results and analysis when they are complete.

Welcome to the Stories Tell Objects Project!


Hello! My name is Catherine Caudwell and I’m a PhD researcher in the School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

My research project — Stories Tell Objects: Electronic companions, collaborative fiction, and future design — explores electronic objects that act as companions, such as Bandai Electronics’ Tamagotchi and Hasbro’s Electronic Furby.

I’m interested in what happens to electronic companions when they enter the everyday lives and homes of their owners or caregivers. As part of this research, I hope to spark discussion on the role that stories can play in our relationships with companion technologies.

I’m inviting anyone with an interest in Furby and other companion electronics to participate anonymously in this research.

To take part in this voluntary study, all you need to do is tell a story about what you think is happening in the sets of images, videos, and modified Furby care guides posted here.

In addition, or if you prefer, you can also answer a short (10 min.) questionnaire about Furby specifically and/or about electronic companions in general.

The official bits:

Victoria University requires that ethics approval be obtained for research involving human participants, and this means I need to let you know a few things about your participation:

  • your scenario responses will immediately be published on this website, but are strictly anonymous (you will not be asked to submit your name);
  • your scenario and questionnaire responses can NOT be retrieved or deleted once submitted;
  • your confidential questionnaire responses go into a secure password-protected account that can only be accessed by me and my research supervisor;
  • all data relevant to the research will be securely stored in either hard copy or electronic format for two years following the completion of the project, until 2016.

I also need to explain what I will do with your responses to the scenarios and questionnaires:

  • the anonymous results and future analysis will be published in my PhD dissertation;
  • my dissertation will be submitted for marking to the School of Design and deposited in the University Library;
  • articles will be submitted for publication in scholarly journals and conference presentations;
  • any reports arising from the project will be made available to project participants on this website, so be sure to check back!

And just one more thing…

If you have any questions, or would like to know more about the project, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Contact details:
Catherine Caudwell

Research supervisor:
Dr Anne Galloway

Postal address:
Victoria University of Wellington
School of Design
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140
New Zealand