Hello! I’m Cara, a PhD researcher of Media and Communications at the University of Sunderland. I’m currently exploring the video game experience and virtual realities.

Welcome to The Raving Gecko

Unsure of what to study at the end of my school years, I stumbled into Film as I decided to study something I enjoyed. For the duration of my undergraduate and masters degress, I’ve dabbled in screenwriting, filmmaking and cultural studies – something which I now enjoy pursuing in my spare time.

As my eternal quest to research EVERYTHING continues, I’m in the fortunate position to be able to study video games – something which, honestly, I’ve always wanted to do.

I’ve always been a gamer – I love becoming the hero, adventurer or Herald, amongst other things, in a world where real life is pretty linear. In games, the possibilities are endless; technology holds the power to bring those dreams into our reality and, to be honest, I could talk about them for days.

The purpose of The Raving Gecko is to discuss video games, technology and virtual reality; this will (hopefully) feed seamlessly into my research and I hope it will generate some interesting discussion.

As for the name, well, we’ve all had that fantasy of opening a bar or cafe at some point; the romantic notion of building a company from the ground up. Mine just happened to be The Raving Gecko – and geckos are awesome.

Research Interests

Video Games

Quotidian Cultures

Virtual Realities

Digital Anthropology

Academic Journey

Doctor of Philosophy (2019 – Present)
I’m currently studying a PhD (Media and Comms.) at the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland.

My research interests lie in digital media, game studies, and quotidian cultures. Since exploring the national cinemas of Denmark and New Zealand during my undergraduate and postgraduate studies, my media-based research often leads to questions of sociology and anthropology.

MA Film and Cultural Studies (2016 – 2017)
One year theory-based Masters degree exploring Film & Cultural Studies. The programme examined the construction of meanings, experiences, identities and relationships in various institutional and day to day contexts of social life.

BA (Hons) Film and Media (2013 – 2016)
A 3 year Film and Media degree (BA), exploring the diverse range of film traditions, theories and contemporary issues with an understanding of popular culture and the rising influence of media and new technologies.

“Reality is broken. Game designers can fix it.”

Jane McGonigal
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