Harpy PMS: Hey Goose! Thanks for letting us in on your recent achievement. Could you give us some details about what the Twitch.tv scholarship entails?
PMS Goosechecka: Twitch, in collaboration with Alienware and SteelSeries, offered five $10,000 scholarships to individuals who demonstrated academic excellence as well as outstanding gaming achievement.
Harpy PMS: I know the application involved some writing, what did you end up writing about?
PMS Goosechecka: The application required two written essays. The first essay asked about gaming experience. I detailed the work that I've done with the Halo series, the events I've traveled to, the panels I've moderated or spoken on, and other achievements that I have obtained in the gaming community. The second essay asked about academics. I spoke about my doctoral dissertation research on video games, personality, and mental health. I highlighted the fact that my research was made possible because of amazing gaming communities such as the PMS Clan.
Harpy PMS: I also heard you had to make a Youtube video for the application. What was that like? Were you nervous about that part?
PMS Goosechecka: I've done video applications before -- for example, the Frag Doll Cadettes -- so I wasn't too nervous. My husband is a wonderful video editor and his creative touch really brought the video together and made it polished and professional.
Harpy PMS: I know you mentioned that you are getting your Psy.D. in Psychology. Would you be able to give us some details on your dissertation?
PMS Goosechecka: Basically, I'm looking at the interplay between mental health, gaming and personality. There's a lot of research out there promoting the idea that video games are bad for you and can increase mental health problems such as depression. There's always some kind of media story about couples getting divorced over Warcraft or some kid dying after playing 50 hours straight of Starcraft. These are extreme events and ignore the literally millions of other people who play daily and do not have these issues. My research examines how games impact mental health, and I hypothesized that those who play a large amount, 40 hours or more a week, probably have some other issues going on. In short, it's the person's personality that determines vulnerability to negative influences, not the game itself causing problems.
Harpy PMS: It is so amazing to have one of our very own win the Twitch scholarship! What was it like when they announced you were one of five to win?
PMS Goosechecka: I was actually in the Atlanta airport on a layover to PAX Prime. When I got the email my heart stopped and I almost couldn't breathe. I was really overcome with several emotions, ranging from excitement to pride to somewhat overwhelmed.
Harpy PMS: Can you give us any other details about the scholarship?
PMS Goosechecka: This was the first time this kind of scholarship has ever been offered and there were literally hundreds of applicants. The scholarship itself is for $10,000 and for broad use in my academic and gaming pursuits.
Harpy PMS: What do you plan to do with the scholarship money?
PMS Goosechecka: As a Psy.D. student, I have to apply to residency - much like a medical doctor. The application process is expensive and even more so if you get called for interviews. Some of the sites that I am most interested in are across the country -- one is even in Hawaii -- and this scholarship enables me to apply to whatever site I want, regardless of how far away it is. Pursuing my goals is no longer limited by financial resources.
Harpy PMS: Would you like to add anything else?
PMS Goosechecka: Just that I am so thankful of Twitch, Alienware and SteelSeries for this opportunity. Academics and gaming typically are not associated with one another and I think this scholarship is a fantastic way to promote a more positive image of gamers and the gaming community as a whole.
Written by Chelsea "Harpy PMS" Law. Chelsea is the PMS|H2O Assistant Editorial Director.