Game of the Year 2000-Present


  • 2018 – God of War
  • 2017 – Persona 5
  • 2016 – Titanfall 2
  • 2015 – Metal Gear Solid 5
  • 2014 – GTA V (PS4)
  • 2013 – Last of Us
  • 2012 – Persona 4 Golden
  • 2011 – Mass Effect 2
  • 2010 – Red Dead Redemption
  • 2009 – Uncharted 2
  • 2008 – Fallout 3
  • 2007 – God of War 2
  • 2006 – Guitar Hero 2
  • 2005 – Resident Evil 4
  • 2004 – GTA: San Andreas
  • 2003 – LOTR: The Two Towers
  • 2002 – GTA Vice City
  • 2001 – Championship Manager 01/02
  • 2000 – Smackdown: Know Your Role

Gaming in 2017

I don’t play many ‘new’ games as time and money are things. These, however are a couple of lists of my favourite games I played in 2017 – some new, some not so new – although they were new to me in 2017

2017 Favourite Games

  • Persona 5 – My favourite PS4 game and one of my favourite games ever.  Picked it up a bit later – in June and was seemingly only playing this until Christmas. The world just envelopes you and you can think of little else. Am happily going to sink another 100 hours into my next playthrough.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn – This game is near perfect. I loved everything about it!
  • What Remains of Edith Finch? – I have only gotten into ‘Walking Sims’ last couple of years as they have come over to consoles (PC’s are for emails and Championship Manager 01/02) but this was one of the best single sitting games I have ever played. It seemed to break up the walking better than simialr games with little mini-games that differed from each other. Brilliant.
  • Undertale – not new for 2017, but new for Vita for 2017. This game is brilliant. Don’t want to give anything away so I would just play it. Play it!
  • Prey – Actually not Prey. With its Skyrim-esq loading screens that you spend most of last hour watching as you just run between points (why no fast travel) and game killing bugs and stupid ending and pointless threads throughout game due to stupid ending.

Non 2017 Favourite Games (played in 2017)

  • Freedom Wars – A game I briefly played when it first came on playstation plus. Perfect for my regular commute. I didn’t finish, I hit a level of difficulty I couldn’t surpass so stopped. Which I am OK with.
  • Dear Esther – A lovely, if very sad walking sim. A few years old now. All I would say  is that if it had been a long cut scene it wouldn’t have felt much different.
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – Another walking sim that I really enjoyed.
  • Killzone: Mercanaries – Another Vita game I had barely touched until 2017 as i found it much better with a trigger grip for my fat hands. I am bad at first person shooters and it showed with this but I still enjoyed it.
  • Darkest Dungeon – This was one of my favourite games I had ever played until I got over-confident and lost my main crew on a dungeon crawl and the perma-death system left me basically back at level 1. So i rage quit and even uninstalled it on the vita (without cloud save enabled). Big regret.
  • Rise of the Tombraider – This game was great, but I made a mistake as I played it between replaying Arkham Aslyum and playing Horizon: Zero Dawn so in my mind it pales in comparison when in fact it was a wonderful game to play (if a little long)

2017 Games I hope to get to:

  • Danganropa 3
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Mafia 3
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Nier: Automata
  • Nioh
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Stardew Valley (if it comes to vita)
  • Steamworld Dig 2
  • Uncharted: Lost Legacy



Favourite albums of the year – the long list

Every year at work, the music lovers in our little team share our ten favourite albums of the year. I thought I would share my long list which I am working my way through in the next couple of weeks. I probably know 6 that are deffo in the 10 but they seem to be from the start of the year so I need to make sure its not just because I have listened to them more!

  • Anderson.Paak – Malibu
  • Angel Olsen – My Woman
  • ANHONI – Hopelessness
  • Anna Meredith – Varmints
  • Beach Slang – A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
  • Blood Orange – Freetown sound
  • Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  • Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
  • Christian Kjellvander – A Village: Natural Light
  • David Bowie – Blackstar
  • Escapsim II – Sam
  • Hamilton Leithuaser & Rostram – I had a Dream that you were mine
  • Ian William Craig – Centres
  • Illum Sphere – Glass
  • Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
  • Johann Johannsson – Orphee
  • KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
  • Kedr Livanskiy – January Sun
  • Let’s Eat Grandma – I, Gemini
  • Max Cooper – Emergence
  • Mitski – Puberty 2
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
  • PJ Harvey – The Hope Six Demolition Project
  • Radiohead – Moon Shaped Pool
  • Solange – A Seat at the Table
  • Sturgil Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
  • Tribe Called Quest – We  Got it from Here
  • Tristian Perch – Noise Patterns
  • Various – Late Night Tales: Olafur Arnalds
  • Various – The Quietened Bunker
  • Yak – Alas Salvation

Belbin Team Role Feedback: Is it Me You’re Looking For?

Next week, we (PHIT) as a mini-team are undertaking some training. Part of our pre-training homework was to undertake & share a Belbin Questionnaire This is an extract from my report – the Team Role Feedback. I have been sceptical of things like this, but on the whole it does seem to nail me pretty good.  The whole report is a lot more positive than I would expect, and there our a couple of things I would disagree with but I think the most negative view someone has of you is often the one in your head (sociopaths aside) and the people closest to you often have the most honest perception of you as an individually – either personally or professionally. A funny thing to note was that the 2 people I asked to do this whom I managed (Mike & Amy) had almost completely opposite perceptions of me. maybe I managed them differently?

Team Role Feedback (Based upon Self Perception and 6 Feedback from Others)

You seem to gain intrinsic satisfaction from the nature of the work in which you are engaged.

For you, work is like a hobby, offering you a chance to exercise your creative disposition and to utilise your expertise simultaneously. As far as the outside world is concerned, you will be known and respected for your knowledge and special skills and for the fact that you are at the forefront of most new developments.

You are likely to feel least comfortable when work falls outside your area of professional competence and expertise, so build up your personal reputation in your own special area and carve out your own job within it.

Whatever your chosen career path, you will achieve most success if you can secure the respect of those who work in different subject areas. Others will need to know how you are progressing and what you have to offer. If you are to make your mark, ensure that you do not overwhelm people with science or flood them with technical details that carry no real interest for them. Cultivate the skill of knowing how much information to offer. As a manager, you are likely to work best with those who can translate your ideas and expertise into definite plans.

Your operating style is that of a pioneering professional. Colleagues will respect you for what you know and what you have achieved. Beyond that circle, you may find difficulty in reaching out to others, unless you are able to cultivate a means of communicating in a way that people outside your area of expertise can understand. Make a point of presenting a concise overview when clarity is required.

You also seem to have a propensity for taking an interest in, and caring for, others. Focus on cultivating a good atmosphere in the team by developing good relationships with others and offer to take on work which seems to have fallen through the gaps. Your efforts should earn you not only popularity but also a reputation as a considerate, diplomatic individual who can be relied upon to keep things running smoothly.

On a final note, you need to take account of the role for which you are least suited. You do not appear to have the characteristics of someone who obtains results by driving others forward. If you can work in harmony with someone who has these complementary qualities, your performance is likely to improve.

I would be interested to hear from:

  • People who have worked with me – does it represent me?
  • People in similar positions (library folk or PHI folk) who see themselves in this


#nowreading The Chimp Paradox – The Mind Management Programme to Help You … by Dr Steve Peters #chimpparadox

I have just finished reading ‘The Chimp Paradox’ by Dr Steve Peters and I thought I would share some brief thoughts. I borrowed this from Bury Public Library. You can borrow it from your local library! Though I have now bought my own copy. That may give you a clue into how this blog post will be framed…

Unlike ‘Quiet‘, The Chimp Paradox, as you can imagine, is very upfront about its goals (dreams?). It is a self-help book. It has no ulterior motive. I am not going to go into the contents of the books and its ideas, because A) I wouldn’t do it justice; B) I may put you off reading it yourself!

I have read self-help books in the past – mainly CBT ones to try and help with my social anxiety and shyness, and The Chimp Paradox is unlike any I have read before – it actually made sense. Not because others were written or structured in to abstract or complicated way (more on that shortly), but rather – the concepts laid out made sense and made me believe that they could work for me. I believe myself to be a well rounded individual, who is on the whole happy. I know I could be doing better in certain aspects of my life both physically and emotionally (I am very shy and need to lose some serious weight) but I am not struggling in any meaningful way. I felt that The Chimp Paradox was written for me. By that I mean it seems to be pitched (in my view) at those of us who need the extra motivation and belief to improve by 5 or 10 or 20% rather than someone who perhaps is in need of low level intervention. I took from it, those there areas where I can fine tune or slightly alter my approach and other areas of my life I need to work a bit harder at. The first 2/3 of the book seem to be about getting you to think about asking yourself the right questions rather than giving you the answers. The final 1/3, whilst not outwardly saying – ‘do this, do that, the leader is good, the leader is great’ does start to solidify the help and advice. But by then, you are ready for it.

One issue with the book which takes some getting used to or may even put people off is the style of writing, narrative and concepts used to convey the ideas. It seemed very basic, and in a polite way, quite condescending (Think the Stephen Fry-Alan Davies relationship on QI). But after a couple of chapters, when the ideas began to fall into place and you see the entire ‘universe’ of the book laid out, you forget about it. It simply works. Having read it through once, I am spending a couple of days reflecting on what it means to me, before beginning to run through the exercises as laid out throughout the text. I truly believe that they will help me be me, better as “the person you want to be is the person you really are”.

So in summary – read the book. I loved it. It is a serious game changer.

Wordle: Blog Post

#nowreading Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain

I have recently finished reading Quiet… by Susan Cain, and I thought I would share a few thoughts on it.

The first thing to say is that I really enjoyed the book, which I borrowed from Bury Public Library. I consider myself quite introverted and shy person (different things as explained in the book) that has to put on an ‘extrovert mask’ sometimes. I thought it was brilliantly written and thoroughly researched. From reading it you get the sense that not only is the topic a passion of the author, but that they are an exceedingly clever person (both of these come out vividly both in the theories and personal anecdotes presented throughout the book). The research/evidence presented throughout the book is often complex and from different fields (psychology, biology, philosophy etc.) but is laid out in such a way that it is easy to understand without ever speaking down to the reader – just because something is complex it doesn’t need to complicated. I felt drawn into themes, seeing myself in similar situations and using personal experience to consider points such as introverts often ending conversations with small-talk after the main issue rather than starting a conversation with it.

One of the strongest points of the book was, by explaining and dissecting situations that many ‘introverts’ fear, dread or worry about, it made me realise actually what I feel before presenting, after a sharp words with someone, after ‘group-thinks’ is actually quite a normal way to feel and I am not alone in thinking that way. Quiet, quite frankly is a self-help book in disguise. This is not a bad thing, it is a wonderful thing. Anyone who knows me and has been around me before (or immediately after) I have to give a presentation knows I am agitated, nervous and often quite sweary. I hate it. I recently presented to a potential new workstream at their annual ‘CPD conference’ and I was shitting myself for days beforehand. I know all the techniques: I know my topic; I breathe properly beforehand; I visualise; plenty of water; not too much caffeine. Quiet doesn’t say ‘try technique X or Y’ it says ‘Yep. Sucks doesn’t it. Know exactly what you mean’.

The final chapters I would describe as ‘how to cope not conquer’ showing insight into how to ‘play extrovert’ and how to still stay true to yourself. You may find this grinds with the main body of the book, which looks at the validity of being introverted (I especially like the dismissal of ‘group-think’ and the promotion of working alone). As someone who works with evidence on a daily basis I also began to notice how the evidence used seemed to have been cherry-picked, which is a hallmark of a self-help book. I haven’t critically appraised any of the research weaved into the book but it all suited (as you would expect, but I am used to systematic reviews etc.) some of the anecdotes used (which I classified into 2 categories: ‘I have heard of them’ and ‘That could be me’) began to slightly chide. Steve Wozniak was one such example. He may, like me be introverted, but it wasn’t his alone-working that guided his successes. It is that he is an extremely gifted and clever person with a serious level of drive. Many of the ‘That could be me’ examples were still outstanding in their field, such as students from Harvard Business School or the author herself, Princeton and Harvard educated successful lawyer, consultant etc. The argument could be made, that these people didn’t get to where they were because they were introverted or not, but because cream rises to the top and they were very smart and individuals. But these are minor quibbles, and the book as a whole is an engaging read, that covers are multitude of topics that surround ‘introverted’.

Overall I would recommend reading this book. I could not possibly do it justice. Read it yourself. Although I describe it as a ‘self-help book in disguise’ it is not going to change your life dramatically and unlike the Dale Carnegie’s of the world, it won’t ever claim to. It won’t solve your problems or even present a road map on how to. However, It may help you understand why you are how you are, and how other people are just like you too. And why that isn’t a bad thing at all.