I started 2015 in the living room of a complete stranger’s house, whose name I can no longer recall, surrounded by other complete strangers having been dragged there by the guy I accidentally ended up in a three month relationship with after hooking up at the Christmas party a few weeks earlier. Thankfully, that was not a sign of how the rest of the year would go.
The first few months of the year went by without anything of note happening, nothing good, nothing bad. Things just were. Game of Thrones season 5 came and went. The beginning of May saw the UK’s general election come to a devastating result, on the same day that a bunch of my co-workers and I were told that we most probably no longer had jobs at a game studio in Oxford where I then worked. Spoilers: we no longer had jobs there.
I suppose that’s where 2015 really started happening for me. Of course, the initial reactions that day were along the lines of ‘…fuck.’ After a few hours of swearing, crying, drinking, I declared ‘fuck it. I’m moving back to Manchester’. And so I did.
The latter half of this year has been an utter rollercoaster, moving back to Manchester, working in the best job I’ve had thus far in my life, frequently visiting Oxford again. When I moved back to Manchester, I decided that it was time to finally have my own place. After six years of flat-sharing, house-sharing, and everything else-sharing (not to forget the sharing of a property with a rat!), I have my own flat. Living alone is something I never envisioned for myself, most certainly not before the age of 30. But here I am, at 25, sitting in my own living room, enjoying the silence… And the rain pattering against the window because, of course, this is Manchester.
2015 has also been the year that I’ve forayed into online dating. The less said about that, the better. But I do now have a plethora of bad date stories that perhaps one day could be the base material for many jokes.
The last twelve months have seen me speak at five major events; Indie Games Collective back in March, VideoBrains in June, Nine Worlds in August, European Women In Games Conference and Eurogamer Expo back in September.
With the beginning of each year, I say “Oh, this year I’m going to keep a list of all the films, games and books I consume over the year.” Each year that plan falls through by about the second week. 2015 was no exception. However, 2015 has been an excellent year for entertainment. Mad Max, Inside Out, Star Wars are just a handful of films that come to mind. As for games, it will shock no-one that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is my game of the year. But this time around, there is a very very close runner up; Life is Strange.
I have read many books this year, but only one published in 2015; Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson. In moving to Manchester, I became acutely aware that the vast majority of books I currently own are ones that I have not read. So, my only promise for 2016 is that I shall buy no new books until I have read all the ones I currently own. “But Hannah, isn’t there a sequel to Shadows of Self out in January?” you may ask. This is true. Bands of Mourning is indeed released during the second week of January. I’ve allowed myself one little loophole in my promise – anything I preorder by Dec 31st is allowed.
I do not know what 2016 will have in store for me, except a trip to San Diego in March to speak at the 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. But I am excited to find out.
Happy New Year! 🙂
PS – I’m available to talk about accessibility, tutorials design, QA and women in games issues at any event throughout 2016. Get in touch!