Mixtape: let’s get political – change begins with you

Tibet protest, Chinese embassy, London, Mar 07, 2015, by Chris Beckett (1350x759)If you live in the UK, you can’t fail to have noticed that we’re approaching another riveting general election. The three major parties – Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – are all hoping their rhetoric will win you, and I, over. We’ve even got the Eurosceptic, borderline-racist party, UKIP, filling our screens this time.

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you have at least some view on politics, and the decision makers who, like it or not, hold much of the power in our society. Continue reading

BAFTA Games Awards 2015: a ceremony restoring faith in the game industry

Ashley Johnson, BAFTA Games 2015, Mar 12, 2015 (1366x697)In the last couple months, the annual string of overblown award shows has bestowed us with news stories about conflict, heroism and confirmation that it’s hilarious to see celebrities falling over. By contrast, the BAFTA Video Games Awards are rarely the stuff of TMZ-fuelled tabloid controversy. For starters, it still isn’t broadcast on national television (this year it was streamed via Twitch.tv), and most of the non-gaming presenters are probably minor celebrities even for the show’s UK-based watchers.

But that doesn’t stop the Games Awards being a repeatedly positive example of celebrating these digital creators, storytellers and engineers; many of whom demonstrate, as they accept their awards, a humility and altruism that the recipients at more established, celebrity-orientated award shows frequently lack. Continue reading

Journey: online gaming the way it should be

Journey, screenshot 01, SCEE/Thatgamecompany (1280x720)It’s tough to have fun playing games online. If you’re not biting your lip as your chosen video game system attempts to reconnect to a flagging game server the umpteenth time, then your frantically jabbing at the mute button to silence the shouts and squeals of the online rabble. Should you dare to play a game that requires teamwork – cooperation beyond attacking whatever crosses your path, you must brace yourself for a tsunami of miscommunication, impatience and frustration. Continue reading

Journalism that makes me aspire to be a better journalist

Absent from the Academy still 01, by Nathan Richards

When I decided I wanted to be a journalist the biggest attraction to me was having the chance to meet new people and tell stories about them. Heroic people, frightening people or maybe just ordinary people.

But somewhere along the way, I realised what has kept me at this for the relatively short period I’ve been doing this is because I want to change things. Continue reading

Newsroom playlist

What was it like to work in a 1950s newsroom? Fingers chattering out news stories on aging typewriters, cigarette smoke hanging in the air, leaving the room’s occupants – dressed in sharp suits, fading ties and trilbies – in a permanent state of intoxication.

I may never get to find out. But, thanks to my MP3 player and selection of hot tunes, I get feel like I’m a newsroom hack, sniffing out stories, on my daily trip to college. Continue reading