Tim made this for me. Don't ask. It's a long story.

Today marks my last day as a Game Informer intern. Where have the last three months gone?

Let's start with what I've done over the summer. I've written twenty-three Gamer Culture pieces, seventeen features (if you count every update of the "Kickstarter Compendium"), twenty-three news pieces, four collectibles stories, eleven game previews, four Reader Discussions, and five Weekend Warriors. I've been a part of three podcasts and one video, and I've transcribed sixteen interviews, including the one I conducted for my own story. My fellow interns have been equally as busy, writing fantastic pieces about game accessibility, eSports, and a plethora of other things. GI interns are, if nothing else, busy little beavers.

But I've done more than just write things for the Game Informer website. By spending an entire summer immersed in the game industry, I've learned invaluable things about it – some things I like, some things I could do without – that will be foundational for the rest of my life as a gamer, an academic, a writer, and a woman. I've learned that it actually takes ages (in internet time) to vet incoming news and get a corresponding story up online, that a piece about Pokemon plushies (furries?) will probably net more views than a well-researched feature about game studies, and that there are still prominent people in the industry who think there is nothing wrong with off-handedly calling an in-game handicap mechanic, "girlfriend mode" (I'm looking at you, Gearbox).

Hey, GB, I love your game, but "girlfriend mode" is not an unloaded term. Language carries consequences.

Also, I love playing as Lilith.

I have been truly blessed by my time here. The Game Informer staff is full of extremely talented, generous, hard-working people who made it a point to show their appreciation for my work and the work of my fellow interns. The GIO readers (you!) have all been inspirational – your insistence on writing thoughtful, respectful comments and blogs makes this community one in a million. One of my favorite things about you is your eagerness to call out fellow members when they are threatening the respectful environment of the site. As a woman in an industry that still, by-and-large, sees me as a sex object rather than a fellow gamer, I appreciate that more than you know.

The user lost planet awesome condition sincerely apologized for his comment, showing again what kinds of great things this community is capable of.

I've learned a lot about the game industry, and about my place in it, and those new understandings have rekindled the fire in my belly for researching and teaching about video games. My regular full-time job for one more year is as a master's student studying communication – specifically critical media, focusing on, among other things, game studies. I'm currently working on updating some old research I did on depictions of femininity in The Legend of Zelda series, and am looking forward to another, newly-energized year of participating in scholarly discussions of video game culture.

I had an incredible summer working for Game Informer. I'm so glad I got to meet and chat with you all, and I look forward to continuing our conversations on gaming, gender, and My Little Pony.

Yay/the best pony.

If you'd like to stay connected with me (I sincerely hope you do), follow me on Twitter (where I do most of my blabbing), You're a Nerd (tumblr #1), Sexy Ragey Grad Student (Tumblr #2), and/or No, I Am a Dog (my personal blog). I will also occasionally blog here on GIO.

Thank you all for this opportunity, and for your support.