Interlude: Why Did I Want To Do This

Mon Nov 12, 2018

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.

Discomfort and Player Experience Part 2: Uncomfortable Interactions

Fri Nov 02, 2018

Part 2 covers the second half of my literature review; looking at uncomfortable interactions, empathy and moral values.

Discomfort and Player Experience Part 1: What is Enjoyment?

Sat Oct 27, 2018

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?

My adventures with antidepressants

Fri Oct 12, 2018

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.

Gender for researchers and academics

Mon Oct 01, 2018

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.

Non-binary inclusion in tech

Fri Mar 23, 2018

In the past I’ve written and spoken about non-binary inclusion in tech, specifically around existing women in tech groups. I know lots of nb folks have ideas and feelings around this, and having read a lot of them, I have realised that I have misspoken. I have advocated for women’s group to include nb folks but I don’t think I’ve been clear on what this means or how I think it should work. I’ve done the thing of coming up with a solution without understanding the problem, even from my own perspective. So here we go, let’s define the problem and then see where we get.

Depersonalisation and Metaphor

Wed May 31, 2017

Warning: Contains discussion of depersonalisation and anxiety

As my anxiety is mostly presenting as periods of depersonalisation right now, I wanted to think about the metaphors I use to describe my experience and the limitations of that.

I'm not like the other girls: Being feminine while identifying as masculine

Tue May 02, 2017

Content warning: Descriptions of verbal harrassment, gender dysphoria

I would never really describe myself as feminine. The last time I wore a dress was when I was forced to for our end of A-levels social. I haven’t worn makeup that isn’t nail polish since I was 16 (again forced). There was a way to be a girl, and I definitely wasn’t that.

I bought a dress yesterday. I almost bought two. I bought myself an entire wardrobe of things that aren’t “gaming tshirt and hoodie”. In a really odd way, it feels like coming out all over again. Let’s unpick this!

Mental Health: The talk draft that got ditched

Thu Mar 23, 2017

Warning: Contains mentions of depression, anxiety and panic

I’m giving a talk at Alterconf London soon about mental health in the tech workplace. After giving it a test drive at work I’ve decided to rewrite it, but thought it would be worth putting the draft up on here. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t work so well when speeding through a talk. So it doesn’t really have an ending, and it’s a bit rough.

2016: Let's not do this again

Thu Dec 29, 2016

Warning: Contains mentions of self-harm, plus details about depression, anxiety and panic

For the last couple of years, I’ve written little reviews of the year. I never expect many people to read them. I like them because they help me reflect, help me to remember all the good things that happened. I’m a December baby so I’m always a little reflective this time of year. It has not been a good year. I had to go through my calendar and my Twitter archive to actually remember what happened this year. Part of that is probably aging, but most of it is because I’m not well.

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