Three Years of Data Management, Video Games, and Tartan-Flavored Data Highlights!

Image of computer monitor with orange gaming screen.

Folks, it’s bittersweet to announce that I am leaving CMU Libraries this month to pursue a new career opportunity in the video games industry! Writing Tartan Datascapes has been one of the brightest moments of my three years here, and I wanted to devote this final issue of the blog to recap highlights from the series and give readers information on the wonderful data services that you will still be able to receive from CMU Libraries!

When I first started the blog in September 2019, I wanted to create a space to celebrate the unique ways that members of the CMU community engage with data in their work. I began researching folks at CMU who work with data in interesting ways and reaching out for interviews, and I was absolutely thrilled when they said yes! I particularly focused on people who use data and data management techniques for qualitative research, as I feel this is an underserved area in conversations around data management. For example, I had a blast interviewing Dr. Ebenezer Concepción, a former postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Modern Languages here at CMU, about his work on the data that we can find from novels and the data management practices he uses to keep all this research organized.

Soon, I started to include more blog posts about the data management lessons we can find in popular culture, with a heavy focus on video games (such as “Data Management Lessons from Spooky Video Games”). If I’ve left any sort of legacy or impact here, I hope that it is this: video games can mean so many different things to different people, whether they serve as a form of entertainment, escapism from stress, or a source of inspiration and creativity. As a lifelong gamer, video games certainly serve all of these purposes for me but they also serve another purpose: education. I have found incredible success at CMU Libraries using video games to teach about data management through this blog series, Pixel Datascapes (a web series devoted to data management lessons we can learn from video games), and my popular culture workshops such as “Learn Data Management through Pokemon!”, which all allowed me to bring my love of video games to the data education world. I hope that readers of this blog, and anyone who has engaged with me during my time here at CMU Libraries, carry on the lesson that video games can be incredibly impactful facets of our popular culture.

Finally, although I am leaving CMU Libraries, I am only one of a large team of data librarians who are eager to help you in your endeavors in data management and visualization, and navigating all things data! Feel free to peruse our Data Services information page to learn more about seeking data help at CMU Libraries, and you can always fill out our webform to get in touch with the Data Services team and start a conversation!

by Hannah Gunderman, Data, Gaming, and Popular Culture Librarian

Featured image by White on Unsplash.