An Interview with Tina Chan

On Applied Health Sciences, P.A.S.S., and the 3MT competition

Tina header img

Tina Chan is currently a Masters of Science candidate at the University of Waterloo’s (UW) School of Public Health and Health Systems. Her areas of interest include computer based mental health solutions as well as peer to peer support and use of gamification techniques. During her undergraduate career also at the UW’s Applied Health Sciences faculty, she founded Panic, Anxiety, & Stress Support inc. which provides mental health resources to schools and workplaces based off the coping skills she had to learn to be successful in academics. As a graduate student, Tina was the runner-up in the university-wide 3 minute thesis (3MT) competition.

Introductions

Justin Carpenter:  Hi I’m Justin Carpenter with First Person Scholar Interviews and I’m here with Tina Chan.

Hi. So we just met thirty minutes ago (laughs). I know that you were involved in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT), which is a really interesting idea. Could we start with who you are? What you study?

Tina Chan: My name is Tina Chan and I’m a second year Master’s student in the Applied Health Sciences (AHS) faculty. And within that faculty I’m studying Public Health and Health Systems. I’m also part of the UWaterloo HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) group here at the Games Institute.

JC: What was your Undergraduate degree?

TC: I actually did my Undergraduate degree here in Health Studies, also in AHS.

On Applied Health Sciences (AHS)

JC: What is AHS specifically?

TC: AHS stands for Applied Health Sciences and in the Public Health program we look at how we can use innovation and research to improve the well-being of populations. Not only Canadian populations, but international populations in developing countries or even European or Asian countries.

JC: So it’s a lot to study.

TC: Yeah, it’s very interdisciplinary. In grad school there are people from different walks of life all looking at how we can improve health.

JC: Do you have a personal motivation for studying this?

TC: Why I went into this program?

JC: Yeah, is there something driving you to study this?

TC: When I was in High School I really wanted to be a doctor, it was the profession I really wanted to go into. And the co-op program offered by the undergraduate Health Studies program here was really the deciding factor in why I went to Waterloo. But at the same time, through these co-operative education placements I figured out that maybe I didn’t want to be a doctor. Maybe because of the stress levels, the 25 hours a day on call and the dealing with body fluids. To be honest, it just wasn’t that attractive to me.

JC: It’s pretty rough.

TC: But at the same time, what was awesome about Waterloo was that it had a really thriving and innovative entrepreneurial community so I started gearing towards that aspect of the university. I actually took 8 months between my Graduate studies and my Undergraduate studies to work on a start-up for mental health. And then through that experience I got interested in User Experience (UX) design and User-Centered design in general for health care. That lead me to my current supervisor, Professor James Wallace, who has a background in Systems Design as well as Computer Science but he works within the AHS faculty. I thought that was a really good fit for me because I had developed an interest in technology and innovation but I also really cared about health care, specifically mental health.

JC: This is the right place for all of those interests, it seems. Everybody talks about innovation and it’s extremely tech-heavy here. I’ve done work for firms that I’ve never heard of until I moved here and apparently they’re huge.

TC: At the same time, it’s really cool that innovation doesn’t limit itself to tech. I was fortunate to touch the non-tech aspects of innovation as well.

JC: Because it’s still academic, are there theories that are predominantly guiding this field?

TC: Which field?

JC: AHS. Is there a guiding theory or research questions that are fairly common for everybody? Or is it just “what can we do to improve public health?”

TC: I want to say that the AHS faculty on its own is still pretty new. I think we just celebrated our 50th anniversary if you consider that new.

JC: That’s fairly new. I study English. English is old, literature is old.

TC: I remember one of the questions friends and family back home would ask me is “what’s the difference between Health Sciences, Life Sciences, and Biological Sciences?” And I honestly don’t have a good answer for that because it varies from school to school. But I can say that the AHS faculty here…I know that we have a very strong team of researchers looking at obesity, ageing, gerontology, smoking cessation, nutrition, and lots of research that could drive policy change. For example, figuring out what’s the best way to label our sugar-based beverages and whether or not that’s actually effective for improving various diseases people experience, including obesity, diabetes, and so on.

But where I’m working, it’s more in the Health Informatics area. For example, “what is the best type of electronic health record?” or “how can we improve the usage of electronic health records?” But for my research specifically I look at consumer-facing products like mobile health apps and whether or not they’re actually useful for helping people improve their personal health: are they actually conveying information that we want to convey and are they doing it in an effective manner? And for my thesis specifically, I ask whether or not we can use gamification techniques to better convey the information we want to give to our consumers and have them act in a way that’s good for their own health.

JC: Are you constantly just stressing about your own health? (Laughs) Sorry, I’m mostly joking but I imagine if I ever became a doctor I would just be completely freaking out all the time every time something went wrong. But I’ve heard this isn’t the case.

TC: It really depends on who you ask. Me, personally, I would like to say after years of working in the mental health space I kind of just absorbed all the information for coping skills and certain attitudes for controlling my mental health and, I guess, by extension my physical health—because they are both linked.

JC: Right.

TC: Personally speaking, I’m not too stressed out about my own health, but I do know that for clinicians people have a certain expectation for them to take care of their own health and that expectation alone can stress people out, especially dieticians and nutritionists and those types of professions.

JC: I mean, no science is ever perfect so you have to be very careful with the findings and applying them not only to yourself but generally. So I guess there’s also the normal stresses of working in a field that is scientifically oriented. I mean, I’m assuming.

That was a nice transition that you made towards your thesis. So you have to work on a thesis this year?

TC: Yes.

JC: Is the Master’s two years or one?

TC: It’s designed to be completed in six terms but I’ve seen people complete them in five, some in eight.

JC: And you’re on track to finish on time? Everything’s going well? (Laughs).

TC: So far, so good! But ask me again in a month. (laughs).

JC: And you’re done courses?

TC: I’m finishing this term in courses.

JC: Okay, so I guess it’s not quite over yet. How are you doing?

TC: Oh, it’s good. It’s good. The interesting thing is that the required courses for our faculty are very interdisciplinary. So even if my thesis won’t touch on it, it is preparing me for a good career in health care.

JC: One more thing about how you relate, personally, to this field. You just mentioned that there’s a career after this. What kind of careers are you thinking of looking at?

TC: Personally?

JC: Because it’s such a diverse field it sounds like it’s hard to say generally. But what are some of the things you could do? Is it mostly research? Or is it policy consulting?

TC: Some people go on to professional schools after, like dentistry, medicine or physical therapy. So that is one career choice. The second one you touched on, which is research, can be either industry research or academic research if people want to take that route. These people would design research projects and have their findings motivate policy change or contribute to new products to go to market around health care.

JC: There are lots of options. Is it pretty competitive?

TC: It’s hard to say. I could never get a sense of how competitive the job environment is, because I know quite a few people going into the more entrepreneurial space. And it really depends on what that particular person wants. If you’re competing to go to Medical school then of course it’s going to be competitive but if you decide to go for a more tech-oriented route, they’re always looking for tech talent or even sales talent in tech for health care. So those professions, if you’re good at them, might not be that competitive.

JC: That’s very interesting. I’ll just focus in a little bit more now on your work. You just presented at this Three Minute competition. Let’s start with the experience of that and then we’ll move into what your actual project is.

TC: It [the 3MT] was a very positive experience for me. I have done pitches before, because when I was running my start-up it was always pitching for funding or whatever prizes they had for the pitch competition I was in.

P.A.S.S.

JC: Sorry to stop you, but what was your start-up?

TC: My start-up is called P.A.S.S. Incorporated. Panic, Anxiety and Stress Support. What we did was develop the idea of a First Aid Kit for Mental Health. And we’re largely a promotional company so we supply mental health related promotional products targeted towards relieving stress and educating people on how to cope with stress and providing a tool during the onset of panic attacks so they have something to refer to. And we mostly sell to schools, to people who conduct training seminars for mental health, and, on occasion, workplaces and insurance companies.

JC: And how long have you been running this?

TC: Since 2015 but it was officially incorporated in 2016. So I would say two years.

JC: Nice work, seriously. Are you tying these ideas into your thesis?

TC: Definitely some inspiration came from the lessons I learned while I was running my start-up. One thing was that there’s not enough work and tools created in the mental health space. For example, there’s been a lot of awareness campaigns and information distributed to the people who need it but they’re not always well-received, they’re not always used. And everyone points to a problem of culture, especially in competitive universities like the University of Waterloo. So from there I noticed a lot of value could be added if people had a more supportive community on the person-to-person level, on the peer-to-peer support level. So that was definitely where my interests were. “How can we improve person-to-person interactions to improve the mental health of a community?” So that was definitely where my interest was when I jumped into the thesis and I started looking at tools that way.

JC: Well, you’re seeing a lot of places that are considered tech hubs having very serious problems with mental health. Highly competitive, individualistic, and entrepreneurial places where designers need to refresh in what is basically a tech-free sanitarium, back in the days where people who were wealthy would go to a relaxation space and they would just relax to prevent themselves from breaking down or being sick. People in Silicon Valley are doing this and they’re not taking their phones, or they’re locking everything away. It’s like a detox. I find that here mental health is talked about so much and I wonder if it’s the relationship between tech and peer-to-peer relationships. Because we’re talking to each other more—the amount of data generated is immense—but peer-to-peer support is often in person, is it not?

TC: Not necessarily. There’s definitely a lot of value in online peer-to-peer support networks. For example, if I’m the type of person who is very uncomfortable with face-to-face contact it gives me an avenue to actually talk to people without the face-to-face interaction. And sometimes the anonymity behind a screen name or even behind a keyboard can really break down barriers to discussing things that are often stigmatized.

JC: Of course. I guess mostly what I mean is that even people who have those sorts of barriers, would you say eventually the goal is to have them more comfortable speaking with other people, more comfortable with the face-to-face experience? Or are you just looking to get them away from the stress that they’re feeling right now? Is it shorter term, or does this short-term effect lead to long-term benefits in the data you’ve looked at?

TC: That’s a really good question and I can say that’s not my area of expertise. I look into how to get people supporting each other in an effective, meaningful way concerning mental health issues such as stress-related problems.

JC: I’m sorry for grilling you, these are just the kind of questions that I think of when I wonder “where is this going to lead?” Because it’s a new field, it’s still young so there’s probably a lack of data talking about what gets people excited, what gets them moving towards healthier, more beneficial mental health.

I’m sure you can tell that I don’t really know how to talk about it and I think that’s another thing that happens, people are nervous to talk about it or don’t know how. I’m not saying that raising awareness online is an inferior idea, but there is perhaps a stigma against that that people feel.

TC: Definitely.

JC: Is it better to deal with that stigma by disproving it? Or is it better to move people towards healthier  interpersonal, in-person relationships in the long run? And I’m just asking for curiosity’s sake.

TC: I don’t know if it would be better to be moving people towards face-to-face support with each other because there are lots of factors. Like culture. Is it culturally acceptable in these communities to talk on the bus, even? I know in our community it’s kind of weird talking to strangers about things but in other communities it’s the polite thing to do to start conversations with people in public. So I don’t really know the value of face-to-face interactions in terms of mental health and peer-to-peer support but I do know that there’s a problem getting people to use peer-to-peer supports in general. Lots of in-lab studies have shown benefits in peer-to-peer support, even informal peer-to-peer support. But at the same time it’s regarded as inferior.

JC: Interesting. So it’s not that any benefit is good, it’s that there’s supposed to be a consensus on what’s better for everybody?

TC: And that consensus is that face-to-face support with a professional is better and it often is the case for more severe disorders. But a lot of non-severe mood disorders such as anxiety and early symptoms of depression can benefit from peer-to-peer support. But when someone goes into , let’s say, counseling services, we all know that wait times at Counseling Services are getting some complaints.

JC: I’ve heard.

TC: And when the social worker who does triage asks if you’re interested in peer-to-peer support, maybe even online, a lot of people will see it as a barrier to face-to-face support. It’s like: “if I decline this and don’t consider it, maybe I will get fast-tracked to face-to-face support.” And I don’t know if that’s the case, but in doing so they are neglecting an option that would be very beneficial to them.

JC: I keep thinking that it’s not just that there’s a stigma but there’s also this conception that humans are supposed to ‘normally’ be able to talk face-to-face—and I’m not saying that I agree with that—but we’re moving toward something where that’s actually not necessary. Is that a transition for people? That they’re learning that they can receive this kind of support?

TC: I wouldn’t consider it a transition from Option A to Option B. Just saying that Option B, peer-to-peer support, is also available if you don’t like talking to friends or family face-to-face or even talking to a volunteer who specializes in that kind of stuff face-to-face. This is due to whatever barriers: it could be time, it could be a dislike of talking to people face-to-face, it could be preference for online support.

JC: This might just be my personality but I would impulsively assume that I’m being pushed to the side if I’m asked to go online to deal with this. I think that’s what I’m trying to get at; it seems really difficult to cross.

And this leads to your Three Minute Thesis topic, which is gamification. The idea of gamification is fascinating for a lot of people. Where would you start when you talk about gamification if someone’s never heard of this term?

TC: The first time I came across the concept of gamification was on a co-op term with the School of Pharmacy. And what they wanted to do was get pharmacists familiarized with the updating scope of practice in Alberta and Ontario. But I guess pharmaceutical professionals don’t have a lot of time, so what they wanted to do was deliver the content of this new information in an exciting format that people would want to use. How gamification played into that was that they added rewards and narrative and exciting, pizzazz features like sounds and colourful images to an e- Learning platform they were rolling out at the time. I thought that the most interesting aspect of this was that everything could be done in five minutes, just one round of a Candy Crush game.

JC: Sure, Rocket League is five minute games and it keeps me comin’ back. Because I think “oh, it’s only five minutes.” And it’s bright colours and things move fast. And there’s a reward system, it’s very clear. So copying that structure makes perfect sense to me.

3MT

JC: So. The Three Minute Thesis [presentation] and your thesis deal with gamification as a way to improve peer-to-peer support for mental health purposes?

TC: Right.

JC: What was your experience with the 3MT overall? Have you spoken in front of that many people before? How many people were there? Do you know?

TC: Let me think. I would say around 100-200 people?

JC: That’s pretty good. How much practice went into remembering the whole three minutes?

TC: A lot.

JC: I had a presentation talking about AI and just debating an ethical position.

TC: I was there for that.

JC: Oh, so that’s where you know me from? So, I spoke on this topic and the whole thing was memorized and I just wrote cues. But you don’t even get cues in the 3MT? Studying Literature we read things like Homer where he remembered 14-20, 000 lines of poetry (and much more). He remembered all of it, had a memory system. But now we don’t seem to be able to remember three minutes! So what were your strategies for remembering?

TC: One mentor who mentored me a long time ago gave me the advice: “know your content, not what you’re going to say”. I want to say that when I gave the three minutes not everything was word for word from my script. And I think that after the 3MT faculty heats I just got rid of the script altogether.

JC: Good, that’s the right way to go I think.

TC: Because when you know what you are talking about, just be excited to share what you know, share your content with your audience. Everything just kind of flows and even if you mess up, just mess up and keep on going. Just work with it. I had an actor tell me “the show will always go wrong.” (laughs).

JC: It always does.

TC: The show will go wrong, as they say.

JC: I think part of it is: know what you’re talking about. Practice a lot. And the other thing I’ve noticed is that presentations tend to go wrong when you’re not enunciating and your posture is slouched. So when you have all these things together usually, if you’re at the Master’s or the PhD level, you’ll know what your general idea is. But paring it down to three minutes is really tough because you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time on this piece of writing. Did you have to leave out a lot of stuff?

TC: For sure. In our conversation before there was lots of talk about the healthcare system and how people are biased against peer-to-peer support but I just had to cut it all out and make it concise. I said “people are not interested in mental health dialogue” which is really just a skeleton of all the reasons why people would not be interested in peer-to-peer support. And, frankly, to get an idea across you don’t really have to focus on the details. Just focus on the things that people are interested in during those three minutes.

JC: “How’s it going to help me?” “How does it help other people?” “What are the benefits?” That’s usually the best way to go.

So as you move towards your thesis, you were the runner up in the finals?

TC: Yes.

JC: Were you competing mostly against PhD students?

TC: I’m not sure. I don’t really remember but I think the people who sat next to me were Master’s students.

JC: Interesting. I wonder how many people are in the MA program as compared to the PhD, because I assume it was mostly PhD students but I’ve never competed or anything like that.

TC: You should!

JC: I…(existential dread sinks in)…my thesis is incomprehensible. You can’t break it down into three minutes without losing the entire thing. It needs work.

TC: I probably disagree, I think it can be done!

JC: (Laughs) I’m sure it can be done. We’ll see, maybe next year (shakes head). Now the pressure’s on. That’s how I work, I like the pressure.

TC: Gamifying it, challenges, rewards…. (Laughs)

JC: I’m playing Dark Souls right now and it’s all challenge, all the time.

TC: I played that once and I just rage-quit within the first minute.

JC: It’s hard. I just finished a part with, apparently, one of the hardest boss fights in the game. And there were moments where I was just yelling, just yelling in anguish about how unfair it was. Of course it was totally fair and when I beat it I beat it fairly, but it’s one of those things.

Thesis

JC: Just to go back to the thesis, what is your thesis specifically? Are you looking at theories of gamification or is it more on the applied side of things?

TC: It’s very much on the applied side. There’s two types of people that I’m targeting. One are service users, people who have used mental health services before. And then there’s the non-service users, people who have not used mental health services before. And right now a lot of the peer-to-peer support services, online or offline, can be really beneficial to the service users seeking mental health support. Not necessarily for a mental illness but for dealing with stress. But there is a bubble. People who are interested in helping out with mental health problems are probably people who really identify with mental health problems, so it’s a bubble of culture discussing “what is mental health?” “What isn’t mental health?” “What are correct coping skills?” “What are incorrect coping skills?”. There’s a gap where the non-service users’ opinions are not always communicated. So I’m trying to see how to motivate people who have not had contact with mental health services in the past to participate in that mental health dialogue. Because mental health isn’t really a divide between: “I have a mental illness/I don’t have a mental illness.” It’s a community thing.

JC: Of course, and if everybody talks about it, then the stigma goes away.

TC: It’s like physical health. You don’t need to have a broken leg to care about physical health.

JC: Of course, that makes perfect sense. Have you found that it’s mostly just motivating people with nice designs, colours, and sounds? Is it mostly aesthetic? Or is there something in particular? I’m a literature person, so to me it’s obvious there would be some benefit from narrative. Narrative is extremely motivating. But I’ve also seen examples of games, like in the field of serious games—I always mention this in podcasts and interviews, and I don’t even know the name of this game—a lab at MIT made this game where you were basically tracing the neural pathways in the brain. But it was treated like a spatial puzzle and people mapped an entire brain, I think, in a few weeks. And they used this as an open-source way of mapping that out because they couldn’t do it themselves.

There was no narrative there, it was just cool puzzles and, visually, it was really stimulating. But that might not have legs long term. And the essence of the dialogue is that it keeps going. Dialogue is life. There’s Bakhtin, who says “dialogism is like life whereas monologism, on its own, is divorced from it.” So how do you continue the life of this dialogue? With narrative, or with aesthetics? Or is it just good design altogether? Anything in particular?

TC: That’s a really good question, I’m still in the middle of understanding narrative. You’re educating me and it’s great right now. (Laughs). So I want to say that when my thesis project started off, I first got the idea last January when I was taking a gamification class with Dr. Mark Hancock. In that class we talked about how gamification is more about the experience, and not really just the points, rewards, or badges. I think narrative is definitely a part of the experience. So I would really like to test narrative, but I don’t know how I would like to continue that.

Yeah, these are really great questions I need to consider as well.

JC: I mostly want to hear your personal opinion. Narrative is really effective, I imagine visual aspects are really effective. But even ads situate you in a narrative, they’re trying to make you empathize with some person in a narrative. “Look at this guy, he has great cars! Would you like to have this great car? Look what happens in your life!” There’s a story that you can imagine. I assume there would be benefit, especially for creating a dialogue. Maybe not story. Story and narrative are different, I think.

TC: I think it’s down to how relatable it is to that guy with the car in the ad. We did look at a theory in that gamification class called Self-Determination Theory, SDT.

JC: I’ve never come across this theory so you’ll have to tell me about it.

TC: I worked with the acronym SDT so much that I’ve almost forgotten what it stands for! (laughs) But we looked at what causes intrinsic motivation for someone to reduce a behaviour. So the things that they touched on were autonomy, so how much control a person has; competence, how much perceived mastery they have over the task; and also social relatability. It doesn’t have to be a multiplayer game, but if you relate to the NPCs and you relate to the task at hand that also satisfies a psychological need to motivate you to do whatever a game is asking.

JC: Exactly right, I think. That seems like a really useful theory, I would continue investigating that.

TC: It’s used a lot in health.

JC: It makes perfect sense, because I’m a bit concerned about the idea of serious games and gamification where people who don’t necessarily see the value of narrative or art design. People will do anything for art. It’s a proven fact! But in a lot of the serious games, smoking cessation games are the best example I can think of, the narrative doesn’t capture any imagination, there’s nothing that interesting about it.

But there’s this one game, it’s called Papa & Yo. And it’s about the designer’s experience with an alcoholic father. And it’s totally a fantasy game, there’s this big rhinoceros/hippo monster and you’re this young boy and sometimes the monster eats frogs and he goes mad. It’s obviously supposed to mirror the alcoholism experienced through his father. And it’s an extremely affective game. It works really well because there’s a narrative you can relate to or you can at least empathize with. And I’m not going to empathize with a businessman who wants to quit smoking: “you’re going to cave in if you don’t do these things!” Just turning it into a series of rules without justifying it properly (in a narrative, with good mechanics) is a very serious risk if you’re working in the field of mental health because no one will care if your game isn’t interesting. Even if it helps.

TC: That’s why I’m struggling to understand narratives. The thing with mental health is that everyone has a particular narrative that works for them. For example, my narrative would probably be different than yours regarding mental health. So it’s really presenting a narrative that’s related to me while preserving dignity and not overstepping anyone’s boundaries. At the same time, adding to immersion and whatever aspect. But it’s really difficult.

JC: Well, not to advise you in your work, but I’m quite interested in this. I think serious games and gamification are extremely useful tools that, if used in a way that can actually stimulate people, the benefits would be obvious.

One of the other things I keep thinking about is this: everybody knows about Shakespeare. Shakespeare is universal, everyone can understand his themes—this is the argument everyone makes—and there’s a trend in the United Kingdom right now where doctors are forced to study for a short period of time things like art and literature. It’s called Medical Humanities, and I think it’s a brilliant idea because what people are doing is they’re going and learning how to read literature and how to empathize. They’re understanding things from another perspective. So I’d be very interested in seeing an applied health field look more at the structure and foundations of narrative because for a long time I think narrative was the only means of dealing with these things because it was bringing people together in a small space. So, reading into Indigenous storytelling is one area that might be interesting for you, where there’s a relationship between speaker and listener. They’re both forming the world through the story and it’s a performance. After this I can give you some places to look if you’re interested.

TC: Some people say the first psychologists are church leaders or religious leaders.

JC: I mean, the Bible is the narrative of people recognizing the problems of being human and trying to deal with them. A self-help manual for future generations is one way to look at it. Thinkers like Northrop Frye, he wrote about literature a lot but he also wrote about the Bible a lot. He was taking structures from the Bible and looking at these narratives and saying “it all boils down to this stuff”. These things are way, way older than I think we actually can conceptualize properly. Even older myths, like the Epic of Gilgamesh. And people don’t always want to talk about archetypes and those different things but I would recommend taking a peek at stuff like that to get a technical sense of what narrative is. “Why is something like Harry Potter so effective?” “Why does it capture the imagination of so many people?” “How can we use this?”

Are you planning on moving forward with academia?

TC: It’s a really good question. I think after my Master’s I’m definitely going to seek some industry experience, especially in the technology realm where it’s moving so quickly. I think it would be good for me to get some experience from industry and then maybe bring it back to academia in the future. If that’s what I choose to do.

JC: I think that’s a good approach. There’s so much for future Justin to decide (laughs).

One thing I was wondering was: where do games fall for you? Are you interested in games personally, or are you more interested in the structure of games for mental health purposes?

TC: I have a strange relationship with games. In highschool I was really into games, specifically Ragnarok Online. It was my thing to do after school. I really loved high fantasy. After I graduated from high school, the entirety of my undergraduate was abstaining from games. I wanted to focus on school and so on. And then right after that I went back into it and just last year I finished the Dragon Age games and they were amazing. They taught me a lot about immersion.

JC: Nice.

TC: So I guess I’ve kept good ties with the nerd community? I go to Fan Expo every year, it’s such a good place and I met all my friends there. But industry-wise, finding a career in games, I think I don’t have enough expertise to go into industry. However, I know that there’s always a place for a better user experience so maybe I’d go there. But I’m not specifically looking at it.

JC: It’s like when someone goes to work on a film—film’s another medium that requires a large amount of people with different talents to build something together—maybe you don’t need to have that direct experience with game design. You could have a good understanding of human-computer interaction and someone will say: “okay, perfect. We just need you to work on this” or “what are your ideas about game design outside of the game design bubble?” I have lots of friends who are not trained and they just make their own stuff and it’s a total deconstruction of the idea of a video game. It’s a total critique and it’s very interesting. And they have no experience, they just have experience in graphic design or something like that. So there’s a lot of opportunity to work in industry, maybe, but I imagine it’s really gruelling to even get there.

Well, that went fast. Unfortunately, we’re out of time. Thank you for coming, it was very easy to talk with you and I enjoyed it very much.

TC: Thank you everyone!