As I was saying. My experiences last summer led me to attend New York Comic Con. My original intent was to actually use this as a venue for data collection. I unfortunately wasn't able to get the dissertation to a level where my committee was willing to approve Institutional Review Board (IRB) submission, and so my attending was more for the experience. I did however gain a better understanding of how shows of this size work. While at NYCC I sent out an email to the folks at Reed Pop to attempt to get a space at PAX East. I worked for months to get my study to a point where my professors were pleased enough, and even then also worked to nail down this trip to Boston and PAX. All said and done I accomplished this.
While at PAXEast I met some great people. The attendance at my booth was completely overwhelming. I honestly could have never prepared for just how many participants showed up over the course of the two days I data collected. I thankfully got to spend the last day experiencing the show and meeting many other professionals on the show floor. The contacts that I made there have helped me to springboard this work to an ever widening audience. Months later, though, I still find myself scoring data packets. The catch of course is that I wear a number of hats. I'm earning both my PhD and my teaching certificate. Over the course of the past year I was able to co-write the proposal for a Counselor Education program at my undergraduate alma mater. This program was recently accepted, and we'll be accepting students this Fall Semester. With that in mind I have and continue to teach part time. I work full time as a Program Director for a growing family therapy program (I currently oversee the work of 9 excellent clinicians). So, though I feel like this gamer therapy piece is important, finding the time has been a struggle.
The real kicker with trying to develop an idea like Gamer Wellness is that it has gained the interest of a number of people. The interest comes from my colleagues, as well as some of the great folks I've gotten to meet at the Cons I've attended this past year. Recently I've been speaking with Patrick Scott Patterson. He's a gentleman who has a great deal of history in the game industry, but also really feels that gaming is a cultural phenomenon as I do. I've enjoyed talking with him, and he has been kind enough to introduce me to further awesome people like Kristen "Pink" Beane, and Rachel Lara. Again, really awesome people. I've enjoyed talking to all of them, and wish my current work load allowed for continued flexibility in being able to share more ideas. Hopefully, I'll have some more time in the future as their experience in the video game industry and at attending Cons is very different from my own. I love the new perspectives.
Given these experiences I've decided that I need to try and pursue my work in shifting the existing bias in the mental health industry surrounding video games. I want to be able to provide education and service that is geared toward this unique cultural experience. And I have an idea with that. I'll be proposing it all in the next entry.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .