I did start out writing a retrospective of 2019, but it was depressing and making me feel depressed every time I sat down to work on it, so I’ve ditched that and decided to look ahead for once. So here are my goals for the next year, and we’ll see how long it takes for the world to destroy them.
Content warning: Mentions of panic, anxiety, depression and self-harm
I have anxiety. I’ve had it for since my teens. I have depression too, although it can often be hard to distinguish one from the other. It’s mostly controlled by medication, and a boatload of therapy. There are times though when it “flares up”.
I went to a conference this week, I had a “flare up”. It wasn’t pretty. I want to talk about my anxiety, how it presents, and what events should do to help people who have similar issues and triggers to me.
Spoiler Warning: This post will have spoilers for Nier Ending A and B as well as major spoilers for Nier Automata. I haven’t finished Ending C or D of Nier at time of writing so please don’t spoil me either
I remember playing Nier a year or so after it came out and not getting along with it. Partially because the first sidequest I picked up was the one where you can break the thing you’re delivering and partially because I’d only played turn based JRPGs up to this point and my skills were lacking. Years later with all the Souls games under my belt and a strong desire to replay Nier Automata I thought I’d revisit it.
This game has possessed me.
A common pattern for exploratory studies is to do one study which is broad and shallow, and follow up those findings with a deep but narrow study. My original plan was to do a questionnaire with follow-up interviews; however the subject matter meant that I wasn’t likely to get ethical approval and I wasn’t in a good place myself. So instead I started off looking at reviews on Steam.
Author’s note: From this point on, I’ll be writing these sections in my own words. It will give me more space to explain why I did what I did, and allow me to make wider conclusions.
This post is about research questions. What are they? Why are they so hard to come up with?
These “Interlude” posts are an opportunity to talk about things around the project that didn’t go into the final paper. It’s also good to help me reflect on the whole project. This post is looking at why I wanted to study games in the first place and why this project in particular appealed to me.
Part 2 covers the second half of my literature review; looking at uncomfortable interactions, empathy and moral values.
Now that my Masters dissertation has been marked (and I didn’t fail!) I’d like to share it with everyone. Rather than just put the document up (which I might do later), I decided to serialise it into chunks on my blog.
It’s still fairly academic with references but as I go on I’ll edit things to make them a bit more readable. All the references for each post are at the bottom and a lot of them are really good reading. So here is part 1: What is enjoyment?
Warning: Contains discussion of depression, mentions of self-harm and suicidal thoughts but no details
I’m a couple of days late for World Mental Health Day, but as depression isn’t a single day activity I don’t think it matters. I’ve already written before a little of my history with mental illness; and I’ve spoken about my experiences with therapy. This time I want to talk about antidepressants as this is the first year I’ve been on them for a long time and I wanted to share my story.
I’ve been giving my talk about gender for developers for a few years now, and it’s constantly being refined. Last year I gave the same version of the talk at Edinburgh and York universities. I noticed that researchers have different reasons for asking about gender and for them, it is not as avoidable as it is for commercial companies. I have spent way too long on r/samplesize and I’ve seen a lot of questionnaires with badly written gender questions and a general misunderstanding of gender, even in surveys that are explicitly about gender or gender-adjacent topics. This blog post is specifically for researchers and academics; it will cover why we ask about the gender (and other characteristics) of our participants; why this might cause issues for them and some best practice around asking about, and reporting on, gender.
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