Week Fifteen: Dissertation Complete!

For a few days at least, I actually had fun writing my dissertation. Unfortunately, these days came in the final week, after I decided to completely rewrite everything I had thus far composed, one painful paragraph at a time, over the previous months. This was the right decision; having to switch my attention between project and dissertation resulted in a highly disconnected piece of work that wouldn’t flow properly no matter how many hours I poured into trying to hammer it into something vaguely coherent.

With it now safely in the hands of DJCAD, I have a moment to reflect.

Stuff I learned:

  • I enjoy writing –
  • But only when I have time to concentrate exclusively on whatever it is I’m trying to write. This is because –
  • Writing is some kind of arcane magic within which my thought processes are inextricably entangled. The process of committing words to screen is partly a journey upon which my subconscious is leading my fingers to reveal things I feel but do not consciously know; and partly a desperate attempt to articulate the conscious thoughts that have accumulated before they take over my head entirely like a virus overwriting all the sectors of a hard drive.
  • Trying to look at the results of specific choices in video games is hard, even with the aid of video walkthroughs and published player guides.
  • The final battle with Saren in the original Mass Effect is spectacularly hard if you’ve done a speed play-through and neglected to upgrade anyone’s weapons because, well, speed run.
  • Harvard needs to update its referencing system to include video games. There should probably be two forms; one for a general reference to the game, and one for a very specific reference which includes the mission or level name in which the discussed content is found.
  • Seeing your own work in hardback is amazing. I wrote a book! Sort of.


Now I’m going to celebrate Christmas.


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