Dr Phoebe Hesketh
University of York
Phoebe's PhD explored how people learn to play games through gameplay, online media, and community interaction.
At the University of York, Phoebe worked on her skills as a researcher by exploring multiple methodologies and disciplines. She built upon her quantitative research skills from Bristol with qualitative research during their PhD including grounded theory and thematic analysis. She took courses in user-centred design and evaluation and designing for accessible player experiences (through AbleGamers). She participated in game jams and game development courses for experience and technical design. She also gave a talk at DEVELOP 2021 communicating and sharing her research and expertise in how players learn to play games to help designers with their onboarding for their games.
She originally studied Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol which focused on systems and mathematical modelling and simulation, the mathematics and implementation of AI and Machine Learning systems, programming in object-oriented programming languages such as C++ and Java, and developed ray tracers in computer graphics courses. She also worked on projects in linguistics, logistics, computer vision, and physics.
Once completing her PhD, Phoebe moved into the games industry as an AI programmer for several years before looking to return to games and player research. She has set up her own company, Take A Mo, that focuses on helping developers analyse their systems and internal systems to maximise access for players in usability, onboarding, accessibility, and representation. She is a currently carving her niche in the industry.