Background

I am originally from the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire. My childhood and upbringing were rural, working in orchards and selling produce through the family farmshop. Winters and bad weather, in this isolated place, were a good incentive to stumble into the world of home computers and video games; there’s a game-oriented biography of how this developed.

In 1988 I went to Hatfield Polytechnic (now the University of Hertfordshire), picking up a 2:1 honours degree in Combined Studies (Statistics, Computer Science, Operational Research). This was followed by an MSc in Data Engineering at Keele University.

After this was a decade or so of research and service positions in the wider field of Library and Information Science, across five universities. In order:

1992-95: Researcher, Department of Information Science, University of Sheffield.
1995-97: Information officer of UKOLN and web editor of Ariadne, University of Bath.
1997-98: Researcher, ILRT, University of Bristol
1998-99: Manager, OMNI, University of Nottingham.
1999-01: Research funding manager, CDLR, University of Strathclyde.

In May 2001, and with a substantial colleague and contact network, I left formal academic employment and struck out on my own. From then onwards I became an independent education technology researcher (with a speciality in games in learning), working for organisations and business in the education and IT sectors. Between 2005 and 2009, when I lived in the Outer Hebrides off the northwest coast of mainland Scotland, this was augmented with being a small business website analyst, Outer Hebrides.

Nowadays my research and work focus is centred on the evidence for the effective use of games in education, learning and teaching. I also assess funding proposals for awarding bodies and review abstracts and papers for several annual conferences and academic journals.