Alexandra Orlando is the outgoing editor-in-chief of First Person Scholar studying Esports, live-streaming and knowledge mobilization. She is a Twitch streamer, Warframe fashionista and lover of anime tiddies.
It’s that time of year at First Person Scholar where we give ourselves a little break for the month of August and come back (hopefully) refreshed and renewed for another year of that hot video game content.
I’d also like to take this time to officially announce that I am stepping down as editor-in-chief to make way for a new team. I’d like to take the opportunity in this short post to reflect on my time with the publication and thank a ton of people who have been a part of this journey.
I first heard about FPS when I was looking at PhD programs that included games studies. When I saw what FPS was publishing I sent in a very messy paper on BioShock Infinite to essay’s editor Jason Hawreliak. Contributing to FPS made me feel for the first time that my academic work was valued and worth reading. And, as the sole games studies student in my MA program at the time, I also felt that I was part of a community of researchers that understood games as an academic subject for the first time. My early contact with the publication was a major factor in choosing University of Waterloo for my studies and I know I’m not alone in that. It’s student-led initiatives like FPS that do not appear on University recruiting pamphlets and never receive enough credit or recognition in forming research communities among students.
I started working at FPS in 2014 as a copy editor and moved up through the ranks over the years from commentaries editor to EIC. Every part of the way I felt like I was part of a community, a family and I will cherish my time with FPS forever as one of the best experiences of my student career. Former editor-in-chief’s Steve Wilcox and Emma Vossen have been instrumental in shaping my research to what it is today but have also been my most cherished mentors and friends.
I’d also like to officially announce Betsy Brey as the incoming editor-in-chief alongside Pierson Browne as essays section head, Justin Carpenter as book reviews section head and Chris Lawrence continuing on as head of commentaries. Betsy and her team for the fall are extremely knowledgeable and talented and I know moving forward they will continue to make First Person Scholar a keystone in games writing. Alongside myself, other invaluable members of the FPS family are stepping down including book reviews section editor Phil Miletic, our podcast producer Alex Fleck and social media assistant Shawn Dorey. I cannot express enough gratitude for all their invisible work and dedication to the publication.
In addition to the core FPS team, I’d like to thank the members of IMMERSe who have proudly backed and promoted the publication and believe in the work we do every day. I’d also like to thank the administration at The Games Institute, Emily West, Agata Antkiewicz and Neil Randall. Emily has been vigilant in making sure all our paperwork has gone to the right places and has made sure everyone is paid on time. She has been a crucial part in the transition to paid submissions and to top it off, copy edits as well! Much in the same way Agata has made administrative headaches go away and gets problems solved with a single phone call. She is also a spreadsheet wizard! Finally and most importantly, Neil Randall has not only been the one to give us the space and a platform to grow as a publication but also pushes all of us to reach our full potential every day.
Last but not least a special thank you to all our contributors and readers. Without you, we would not be able to publish at least once weekly for so many years. Your collaboration and feedback over the years has been invaluable; knowing that so many of you read and enjoy the site fills my heart with so much joy and has made working on FPS a complete pleasure.
The future of FPS is filled with new projects, weird research and sexy podcast topics. I encourage the new team to continue expanding the conversations we have with people and games redefining the limits of what the site can do and most importantly, to never stop asserting ourselves in the face of the systems we challenge. I hope everyone has a relaxing August and we will see you all back in September!