My name is Michael James Heron, and I'm a lecturer at Robert Gordon University. This page serves as a container for all the various things with which I'm involved. My research interests are accessibility, games, and especially accessibility in games. You can see my published work here.
As an academic with a strong interest in the Scottish Independence Referendum, I was also part of the team who developed RGU's twitter analysis tool. It may have been a 'no' in the end, but the fight goes on.
I have taught for a decade in both further and higher education, and some of my teaching materials can be found at my wiki. I am also the owner, admin and lead developer of Epitaph: a text-based MMO set in the grim darkness of the zombie apocalypse.
I am also the editor for Meeple Like Us, a board game blog with a strong focus on the accessibility of tabletop games. If you have any questions on that topic, feel free to ask them at my ask.fm page.. I occasionally blog too over on Gamasutra.
My primary research interests are in accessibility, computer games, and accessibility in computer games. I believe inclusivity in technology to be one of the most important elements for ensuring that all members of society can participate equally within the emerging digital economy, and that lack of access to technology can be stigmatizing, especially when considering younger individuals and entertainment technology (Heron, 2012; Vickers, Istance and Heron, 2013). I am also an academic critic of video games, with some of my thoughts outlined in Heron (2015a); Heron and Belford (2015a); Heron and Belford (2014b) and Heron and Belford (2014c).
Linked to this is an ongoing interest in computer ethics, social responsibility, and professional issues. My work on that topic can be found, in part, in Heron and Belford (2014a), Heron and Belford (2015b), Heron and Belford (2015c) and Heron and Belford (2015d). Much of my work in other areas includes a strong dose of ethic and moral investigation even when it is not the primary focus.
My current research focuses on expanding the technical framework described in Heron (2011) and Heron, Hanson and Ricketts (2013a, 2013b, 2013c) to include more streams of input and more configuration choices over more operating systems and contexts. I am also investigating the potential of text-based systems such as interactive fiction and multi-user dungeons to offer genuinely accessible environments for gameplay (Heron, 2015b; Spiel, Bertel & Heron, 2014; Heron, 2013; Heron and Townsend, 2013).
I have developed, designed and led (or team-led) modules in the various topics pitched at all parts of the higher and further education curriculum. I have been involved in all aspects from the level of Scottish Higher to taught Masters.
I also have considerable experience in delivering modules on architectural issues of software engineering such as UML, systems analysis and design, component based programming, distributed architectures and UML. Along with this I have developed modules on project management and agile methodologies.
In addition to this, I have much experience in developing content in the ‘softer’ topics such as professional issues, ethical issues and legal issues relating to computing. I have similarly developed and taught modules on issues of human computer interaction, accessibility and user interface design.
Several dozen of my lectures are available for viewing over at Slideshare.
Over the years I have worked as a teaching assistant, teaching fellow, lecturer or senior lecturer at the University of Abertay Dundee; what was then called Edinburgh's Telford College; the University of Dundee; Canterbury Christ Church University; and Robert Gordon University.
I am currently responsible for the following modules at Robert Gordon University:
Previously I have taught the following modules at RGU:
Supervision (Honours and Masters level) specialities tend to include games development and design, as well as issues of general web development.
I have provided consultancy services for external partners in areas related to my teaching on several occasions, mainly focusing on the development of mobile apps for healthcare, gamification and wellbeing purposes. I also act as a consultant for various education organisations, acting as an external examiner and occasional materials developer.
Those looking to obtain my services in these areas should contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org..
|25/01/2016||Added authorizer links for my last three ACM papers.|
|17/12/2015||Added newly published response piece on killer robots, as well as my review of The Video Game Debate and a short paper on social media and the UK general election|
|24/09/2015||Fixed ACM Authorizer for papers (don't know why they broke) and added a link to my EICS2015 paper.|
|09/09/2015||Added a link to the Ethicomp 2015 talk that Pauline Belford and I delivered.|
|09/09/2015||Added a link to my new Oxford Brooks eJournal article.|
|05/08/2015||Added a link to my new Imaginary Realities article.|
|04/08/2015||Added a link to my new Computers and Society Paper.|
|30/06/2015||Added a font-awesome icon for my steam profile.|
|25/06/2015||Added academicon links to Google Scholar, Orcid and Academia.edu.|
|25/06/2015||Put up links to my previous conference talks.|
|25/06/2015||My paper for EICS 2015 is now available, A case study into the accessibility of text-parser based interaction.|
|25/06/2015||My paper for the newly relaunched Springer version of the Computer Games Journal went online, with the title Everybody's Talking About Pop Music: The Evolution of the Cinematic Video Game.|
|22/06/2015||Joined the review panel for the Journal of Games Criticism.|
|25/01/2015||Provided ACM Authorizer access to last two papers published in the digital library, and updated the authorizer links to the other two.|
|21/01/2015||My paper on Dear Esther, the Stanley Parable, Gone Home and the Walking Dead was published in the Journal of Games Criticism.|
|13/01/2015||Converted larger blog posts over into articles, and made them available as linkedin posts as linked below.|
|11/01/2015||New web page live. Aw jeah.|
|08/01/2015||Provided some viva advice for The Guardian.|
|30/11/2014||My paper on Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and the misogyny of Gamergate was published in ACM's Computers and Society 44 (4).|