I’m from a small farming village in the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire, England. Childhood life was rural; when not in school or college I sometimes worked on our smallholding, orchard and farmshop, selling plums, apples, pickled onions, and homemade jams and scrumpy cider.

The home computer boom of the 1980s coincided with my teenage years. After owning the Sinclair ZX81 and Spectrum, Acorn Electron and Amstrad 6128 (mostly for games but also to learn how to program) I left farming life for academia. At Hatfield Polytechnic I enjoyed taking a degree in Statistics, Operational Research and Computer Science, followed by a masters degree at Keele University in Data Engineering.

This was followed by text retrieval research at the University of Sheffield, which coincided with the early years of the World Wide Web. After being sidetracked in co-designing and running a course for masters library students, I became the Information Officer at UKOLN (the UK Office for Library and Information Networking), editing the web version of An article from issue 1 of Ariadne, in January 1996 and carrying out online dissemination for various Jisc-funded programmes and projects. After this, I worked for or managed other digital library projects and services in the Universities of Bristol, Nottingham and Strathclyde.

In May 2001 I chose to become self-employed, undertaking research in the uses of games and virtual environments in education, learning and teaching. This included analysing evidence-based research and literature, evaluating contemporary evidence of how and why games work (and don’t work, and what ‘work’ in this context really meant), and compiling relevant examples of good practice.

The flexibility offered by being self-employed (and escaping from the ‘meetings about meetings’ culture of academia) meant I could spend more good weather time outdoors. Half a decade living on an island in the Outer Hebrides was followed by various adventures in the west country, rural USA, Norway and Sweden.

The outdoor life led to a greater interest in the wider aspects of climate change. That, and several life events such as climing a glacier in Norway one birthday, and riding out three hurricane-strength storms (one while living on that island) to see the damage they created. I became more aware of environmental and climate attributes of digital games while either playing, analysing or researching them, which led to my current research interests.

In recent years I’ve equipped myself with knowledge of various aspects of climate, environmental, energy and related subject domains, through a lot of courses, the research literature base, and speaking and listening to scientists and researchers (far) more knowledgeable and experienced than I am. Personal research – background, contextual and specific – is a constant activity; it’s an astonishingly complex and inter-related field, and impossible to fully keep up with all but the most specific science.

When not working or researching I’m usually off on a long walk or hike. Ironically, I don’t play games as much in previous decades, instead aiming for an indoor/outdoor balance to life and screentime. When games are played, these tend to be either old-style text adventures (I am slowly designing and coding one), retro Sega Dreamcast games, or the Nintendo franchise Animal Crossing.

Formal qualifications
2023: Course, Energy Transition. University of Bergen, Norway.
2003: Course, Game Analysis Methodology. IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
1992: MSc, Data Engineeering. Keele University, England.
1991: BSc Jt. Hon., Statistics, Operational Research and Computer Science. Hatfield Polytechnic, England.

I’ve also taken various informal courses (classroom and online), including climate change dynamics, Greenland ice sheet monitoring, chemical assessment, and video game design.

Information about (and sometimes the full text of) articles and papers are on these profiles:
* Google Scholar.
* ResearchGate.

My older presentation slidedecks are available on Slideshare.

A partial view of two glaciers on the landmass of Greenland