Reviewing 2016

After a couple of months of being away from Utrecht,  I will return to my desk and continue my research on Monday. The past couple of months were crazy and turbulent, so they deserve some reflection.

Besides the regular day-to-day tasks of reading literature, taking notes and answering e-mails that combined take up a chunk of my work week, there are a lot of “extra-curricular” activities that keep me busy. Contrary to what other people may say, being a PhD student or candidate is a full-time job. Just as a regular office, there are work meetings, there is office gossip and a rat-race to climb up the latter. While its hard to even get a doctoral position, its even harder to continue a career in Academia. Thus, in order to advance to the next stage, there is pressure on doctoral candidates to publish research, present at conferences etcetera. Being this busy, time can go by very quickly, raising the need to stop for a moment and recap what went down the last year. So, short summary, here’s a list of some my activities in 2016

  • Survived my first full year as a PhD researcher
  • Conducted my first focus group interview
  • Supervised a playful mapping field course on the island of Gozo, Malta
  • Published the first issue of Junctions Journal
  • Gave several lectures on games, identity and conflict at different Dutch Universities
  • Presented a paper at DiGRA/FDG in Dundee, Scotland
  • Organised several GAP research seminars
  • Attended the comparative conflict studies summer school in Belgrade, Serbia
  • Became a board member of the PhD Council at Utrecht University
  • Presented work-in-progress at the ECREA conference in Prague
  • A three-month research stay at the Department of Musicology and Media Science at Humboldt University, Berlin.
  • Gave a seminar on game design and failure at Humboldt
  • Obtained my second master degree (also at Utrecht University)

Now this short summary might demystify what it actually is what a doctoral candidate *does* during their trajectory. Besides reading of course. And research, although it sometimes feels that there’s little time left to actually conduct your research. All in all its been a very productive but also very intensive year. What am I going to do differently this year?  Take things slower? Probably not. Say no to interesting and relevant projects? Probably not. Work less? Probably not. But I’m loving every minute of it. Glad to be back.

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