An Interview with Tina Chan

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

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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… Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 25: Game(s) of the Year(s)

Another Year, Not Another Award Show.

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In our January 2018 podcast, Betsy, Chris, Will and Justin discuss their picks for games of the year, with a twist: categories ranged from the social (“Fine, stop yelling I’ll play it award”) to the academic (“game that made me rethink my research”). FPS has previously experimented with alternative formats for game of the year awards before, asking podcast participants last year to focus on the games that resonated with them most and to reflect critically on the awards themselves in the year before. Stick around for the end of this year’s podcast, when the FPS crew each discuss their one true game of the year. Continue Reading

Interview with Katja Rogers

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Katja Rogers is a Computer Science PhD student from the Institute of Media Informatics at Ulm University, Germany. As a visiting researcher at the University of Waterloo, her project focused on the effects of audio on player experience in a VR horror game. Her previous projects involved topics such as NPC design, evolutionary algorithms, persuasive and pervasive games, as well as augmented reality. Continue Reading

An Interview with Shannon Sun-Higginson

"GTFO" is a new film that looks at harassment of women in the gaming industry. Directed by Shannon Sun-Higginson, the film features interviews with prominent female game developers, as well as new animated sequences from Naoko Saito. Credit: Shannon Sun-Hugginson / "GTFO"

Shannon Sun-Higginson is a Philadelphia-based producer, director, and editor. Her first feature documentary GTFO, about women in the video game industry, was funded on Kickstarter, premiered at SXSW 2015, and has been featured in The New York Times among other… Continue Reading

“Hold on to the center”

Hyper Light Drifter, the Tao Te Ching, and the Process of Mastery

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According to Lao Tzu, the Master never forces desire but abandons it, flowing constantly like water in between the passive and active, the soft and hard, the dark and bright. This passage, if it is to be good, requires a letting go; holding onto outcomes one desires inevitably makes them impossible to achieve. Rather, goodness is found in the processes of becoming master over one’s body and mind, not the final results. There’s something compelling in this notion, which implies the beautiful balance between yin and yang, the relaxing feeling when you flow down the river and let go of intention and desire. But there’s also something fiercely pleasing about mastering your body too, of defeating opponents, of accruing skills and being the best. I’d like to think it’s not as simple as choosing between immediate, short-term pleasure and the more gratifying, harder-to-find peace that comes with a lifetime of virtue, but I can’t say for certain. It’s a difficult, gnawing kind of question—one that takes ages to answer. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 14

One True Game: Keep Remastering

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At First Person Scholar, we do Game of the Year differently. The rampant chaos of end of term and the general lack of time and funds that graduate students have means that getting through many of the latest releases is nearly impossible. Instead, we focus on the games we spent the most time with and the ones that the had the biggest impact on us in 2016. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 11

Procedurally Generated Feels: No Man's Sky

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In this first episode of the term, we discuss the highly controversial game No Man’s Sky. We go in depth with the early and more recent marketing of the game and how Hello Game’s relationship with Sony helped and hindered the development process of the game. We also talk about our personal experiences with the game, how the procedurality is executed in comparison to similar games. We close out the episode with a discussion about how games scholars and media archeologists might want to approach a game like this. Continue Reading