Popular Ludology: Clarifying the Peer Review System

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I seem to have not expressed the peer review process we’ll be using well enough as some people seem to not understand. This must be my fault so I’ll clarify with reference to the previous post, and I’ll tighten up the language more later on for reference.

When you submit a paper it will be examined by the editorial staff and those who have previously submitted and had their papers accepted. It will be accepted or rejected on the basis of a simple majority (with 50% being a pass). Either way you should be informed.

This is not part of the review process. You could call this a simple ‘smell test’. Does this paper look/sound/smell like bullshit? Do the person’s credentials check out? The vote should only be necessary if there’s any strong objections to a particular process. This is not really any different to a single paragraph dissertation, written in crayon on toilet paper being rejected. Just more formalised.

If your paper is accepted you will be invited to the Popular Ludology email group. You do not have to accept and participation is not mandatory, but it will allow you to participate further as the journal and effort – hopefully – expand.

This group will form a democratic/meritocratic basis for organisational/journal level change in the future. That is its primary aim, to provide a pool of qualified people to vote on procedure etc.

A month will be given for papers to be accepted.

And please do submit. While the ‘theme’ for issue zero is defining and classifying games, any submissions on any game related topic are welcome. I’ve seen and read some interesting things from less conventional scholars and developers over the last ten months and would love to see some of their work more formally published.

At the end of that period the accepted papers will be collated and published in an ‘alpha draft’.

This is the point at which the actual review process starts.

This alpha draft will be made available publicly to anyone and everyone for open review, criticism and objection.

This is the peer review part.

We’re going with an open peer review for several reasons.

  1. It encourages participation.
  2. It encourages non-academic participation.
  3. It reflects a commitment to openness.
  4. There are many existing criticisms of the blind review process (not least that in the digital age it’s hard to keep).
  5. It’s potentially much, much more rigorous.
  6. It allows the authors to directly participate in the process and with their critics.

You should monitor this feedback and, as you feel may be necessary, make changes, clarifications and extensions to your paper over the following month.

Hopefully writers of papers will examine the feedback that they get and make amendments and improvements accordingly.

The final version of the journal (with any amendments, additions, retractions etc from review) will then be published. Papers may only be forcibly withdrawn against your will if 75% or more of the editorial and previously published authors agree in a vote.

This is where, I think, the confusion arises. This is intended more to be a meta-review process. Examining the criticism and seeing whether it is valid and then acting as a qualified group to remove papers that do not hold up, if the author cannot or will not do so themselves.

Voting procedures will be made public in the journal itself.

It should also be noted that we are aiming for a more rigorous scrutiny than currently exists within organisations like DiGRA, and which appears to have let through many papers and presentations that do not seem to hold up to basic standards. It’s also well established, but denied, that there is a great deal of hostility towards the concept of peer review in some of these groups and that what passes for peer review in the humanities is not at all what most people consider that term or procedure to mean.

I’m sure there’ll be lumps and bumps along the way and that idealism will have to give way to pragmatism at various points, but there’s no harm in aiming high from the start.

A great number of objections received so far seem to be based around the idea that this will be rejected by the existing academic structure or that it needs to be changed to be more in line with existing journals and organisations. Given that a central premise behind the setting up of this journal and in seeing a need for it is that there are severe problems with game studies and game studies groups and structures it would seem to be counter-productive to replicate those same issues for unneeded approval, while trying to fix their problems.

The aim here is not to replicate the efforts of DiGRA etc, but to do something different and useful and while I’m sure material good enough for academia will be produced, their approval is not especially wanted. As a pragmatic and practical resource, developer and designer approval and interest is much, much more important.

#Gamergate Steffan’s Challenge – Does DiGRA have an ID Politics Problem?

TL;DR – Even being as generous as I could, Steffan’s ‘25%’ challenge was blown through in an examination of DiGRAs 2015 conference schedule, even being mindful of personal prejudices and erring on the side of caution in judgements. This is only an informal survey, and a bit of fun (in examining how much ‘bollocks’ there was as well) but I believe it is genuinely indicative of a problem and a motivation behind the attempt to create alternatives via L4G and PopLud. Scientifically speaking statistical significance is usually set around 5%, a ‘p-level of 0.05. The results here show a p-level of ~0.32. Perhaps more concerning even than the ID politics, at least for me, was that over half of what was presented was ‘useless bollocks’, and that the presentation and language was nigh impenetrable. It was also disturbing to see how much bias was embraced and openly expressed and how many papers and presentations were concerned with efforts to alter people in some way, re-educate rather than educate, if you will. I do not buy into the DiGRA/DARPA conspiracy theory (funding is just funding) but I do wish people will strive for some objectivity and consider what they’re doing.

Information drawn from…

http://projects.digital-cultures.net/digra2015/files/2014/09/DiGRA2015_program.pdf

Some presentations were not detailed enough to make a judgement and so were excluded, as were some workshops and all ‘break activities’.

Presentation Title
ID Politics?
(Running total)
Bollocks?
(Running Total)
Total

From Game Studies to Studies of Play in Society

1

1

1

Game Elements-Attributes Model: a First Step towards a Structured Comparison of Educational Games

2

2

Costume Agency in German LARP

3

3

The Ludic, the Cinematic and the Paratextual: Towards a Typology of Video Game Trailers

4

4

Minigames as Metaleptic Self-Referentiality

5

5

Subversive Narrative Emergence in Gamer Poop: Queering Video Game Stories and Selves

2

6

6

Moral Panics in and Around 1980s Videogames

3

7

Roleplaying and Rituals For Heritage Orientated Games

4

8

EVE is Real

5

7

9

The Transtextual Screen: Exploring Crossmedia Intertextuality in Competitive Games and eSports

8

10

Start Up, Cash In, Sell Out, Bro Down: The Historical, Social, and Technological Context of a Toxic New Gaming Public

6

9

11

You Always BM in Hearthstone: Players’ Negotiation of Limited Communication Affordances

12

Better Off Alone? On the Significance of Asocial Gaming

7

10

13

Ludic Selfies: Playing with Mobile Phones in Grand Theft Auto V

11

14

Selective Realism: Suffering, Violence, and War in First- and Third-Person Shooters

8

12

15

Animal Crossing: New Leaf and The Diversity of Horror in Video Games

9

13

16

The Limits of the Evolution of Female Characters in the Bioshock Franchise

10

14

17

Authors from 3 continents presenting the book by Mark Wolf (ed.) Video Games Around the World

18

Real World, Real Monsters: Adapting Gothic Horror for Location-Based Augmented-Reality Games

19

Who Needs Enemies? Architecture as Sole or Dominant Agent in Game Design

20

GameChanger: Designing Co-Located Games that Utilize Player Proximity

21

The Gamification of the Gothic

15

22

A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Video Games: A Ludonarrative Model

16

23

Analyzing Game Discourse Using Moral Foundations Theory

11

17

24

Exploring Multimodal Annotation of Videogames

18

25

A Double-Edged Sword: Work Practices in a Norwegian Game Company

26

App advertising: The rise of the player commodity

27

On Trash and Games – Tracing the Problems Targeted by Gamification

19

28

Central European Game Studies panel: History and the state of the art of game studies in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic

29

Independent gamework and identity: Social problems and subjective nuances

12

20

30

Hybrid Play and the Aesthetics of Recruitment

31

Game Studies in the Cinquecento

21

32

Games as a Genre of Historical Discourse. The Past on Fast Forward

33

It‘s the game you don‘t play: Sonic X-Treme and its self-appointed keepers

22

34

Towards a ludonarrative toolbox

23

35

Utopia, Ludonarrative Archaeologies and Cultural Knowledge

24

36

The Implied Player: between the Structural and the Fragmentary

13

25

37

Gotta Go Fast: A Study in Speedrunning

38

Bullet Hell: The Globalized Growth of danmaku games and the Digital Culture of High Scores and World Records

39

Chicago‘s Pinball Paradox: Understanding the Role of Pinball Regulation in Early Videogame Censorship

14

40

Piece of Art” or “Nice to Have”: What Professional Video Game Critics Say About Music in Games

26

41

Procedural Deformation and the Close Playing /Reading of Code: An Analysis of Jason Rohrer’s Code in Passage

27

42

Designing the Future of Democracy – Postmortem of the Near Future Expansion for Democracy 3*

27

42

How to Outplay a Power Outage

43

Player Superstition as a Design Resource

28

44

Workshop: Nonlinear Histories of Independent games

45

Analysing Cultural Heritage and its Representation in Video Games

15

46

Early Computer Game Genre Preferences (1980-1984)

48

Time to Reminisce and Die: Representing Old Age in Art Games

16

29

48

Workshop: Games and Transgressive Aesthetics

17

30

49

Ethical Recognition of Marginalized Groups in Digital Games Culture

18

31

50

The Concept and Research of Gendered Game Culture

19

32

51

Hackers and Cyborgs: Binary Domain and Two Formative Videogame Technicities

20

33

52

Get Milk – A Game of Lenses

21

34

53

Deep Springs and Dry Wells: A Study of the Casual Civic Game Get Water!

54

Keep on Moving: Designing a Physiotherapeutic Exergame for Different Devices and Exercises

55

The persuasive properties of games for change. A case based analysis

22

35

56

How do ‚gamers‘ empathise? Suspension of disbelief and narrative empathy in games

23

36

57

Libidinal Player Types Framework for Gamification

37

58

The Well-Played MOBA: How DotA 2 and League of Legends use Dramatic Dynamics

59

Editors of Play: The Scripts and Practices of Co-creativity in Minecraft and LittleBigPlanet

38

60

Videogames and Slavery

24

61

Playful Laboratories. The significance of games for knowledge production in the digital age

62

Protest games in the 1980s Czechoslovakia: Beyond procedural rhetoric

63

Between the political and the post-political: exposing and concealing social conflicts in Polish history-themed board games

64

Inviting Grief into Games: The Game Design Process as Personal Dialogue

25

39

65

Digitising Boardgames: Issues and Tensions

66

Co-creative Game Design in MMORPGs

67

International Cultures of Creativity and Imitation

26

68

God and Gods in Digital Games

69

The Palimpsest and Gesamtkunstwerk of Dead Space: a Close Readin

40

70

The Stanley Parable: Dystopia and the Implied Player

27

41

71

Applying the Two-Factor Theory to the PLAY Heuristics

42

72

Defining the Global Ludo Polychotomy

73

The Tragedy of Betrayal: How the design of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus elicits emotion

75

Creating Stealth Game Interventions for Attitude and Behavior Change: An “Embedded Design” Model

75

The Pressures of Games on History

43

76

#GamerGate Birds of a Feather Session

28

44

77

Towards a historical analysis of the video game experience. The evolution of marketing discourse in the specialized press (1981-1995)

45

78

How gaming became sexist: a study of UK gaming magazines 1981-1995

29

46

79

Electronic Arts versus Blizzard: Real Games and the Large Studios that Make Them

80

Is Hacking the Brain the Future of Gaming?

81

Game and Videogame Ontologies

47

82

Teaching Game Studies: Course Post-Mortems and Syllabus Design

83

The Use of Theory in Designing a Serious Game for the Reduction of Cognitive Biases

30

48

84

How enterprises play: Towards a taxonomy for enterprise gamification

85

Understanding Player Experience Through the Use of Similarity Matrix

86

The Authority of Discourse Communities. Disseminating Technological and Industrial Celebration from Marketers to Academics.

49

87

Roguelike Universe: Drawing 36 Years of Roguelike Influence

88

Playing between rules: negotiating the ludic innovations of the MOBA genre

89

Interactive storytelling for open game worlds.

90

Taking a Look at the Player’s Gaze: The Effects of Gaze Visualizations on the Perceived Presence in Games

91

Cues and insinuations: Indicating affordances of non-player character using visual indicators

92

Failed Games: Lessons Learned from Promising but Problematic Game Prototypes in Designing for Diversity

31

50

93

From Theory-Based Design to Validation and Back

51

94

The Game of Georg Klaus

95

GameOff – a critical analysis of a digital game exhibition

96

Videogames as ‘Minor Literature’: Reading Videogame Stories through Paratexts

52

97

Whose mind is the signal? Focalization in video game narratives

32

53

98

Ideological Narratives of Play In Tropico 4 and Crusader Kings II

33

54

99

How gaming achieves popularity. The case of The Smash Brothers

100

Research on Prosocial Behaviors in Video Games: Content Analysis and Empirical Study

34

55

101

I wanna be a…”; the role(s) of gaming in teenage boys‘ decisions to study ICT

35

102

Problem gaming in an everyday perspective

103

What’s so funny about glitches: The practice of making glitch based gameplay videos

56

104

Video Games and the Culture of Laughter

57

105

The Joy of Discovery, Experimentation or Just Exploitation? The Roles of Glitches in Video Game Culture

58

106

Systematic Analysis of In-game Purchases and Social Features of Mobile Social Games in Japan

107

Exploring Playful Experiences in Social Network Games

108

Reflecting on the History of the Game Engine in Japan

109

Design and Role of Play Features in LEGO Brand Toys

110

Exploring ‘Iteration’ in Game Development: Elaborative, Opportunistic and Omissive

111

The jumpscare and the gamergasm: Embodied displays of affect in gaming videos

112

Intersecting Vulnerabilities in Game Culture: The Effects of Inequities and Stereotype Threat on Player Confidence, Identification and Persistence Across Gender and Race

36

59

113

Towards a non-binary configuration of coalition: Feminism, queer theory, and GamerGate

37

60

114

Affective and Bodily Involvement in Children’s Tablet Play

115

Gaming Experience as a Prerequisite for the Adoption of Digital Games in the Classroom?

116

A Practical Model for Exploring the Usefulness of Games for Classrooms

117

Integrating the Threads of Game Studies? Toward a Unified Account of Game, Gameplay, Player, Value and Aesthetics

61

118

We are Never Alone: Sharing Culture through “World Games”

38

119

Dealing with Uncertainty. Ludic Epistemology in an Age of new Essentialisms

62

120

Typology of realisms. An ontology-based model of types of realism in video games.

63

121

Shooting the game: filming and editing in video games

122

What We Leave Out: Diversity, Games, and Paying-to-Win

39

123

The player/ game dualism and its dialectical resolution: philosophical praxis, mimesis and techne

64

124

Workshop: Meta-Games and Meta-Gaming. An Anthology

125

Authenticity Quest: On the conditions of possibility for ‘being yourself’ in a computer game

40

126

Forced to Be Free, Partially: Participation Norms in Video Gaming Encounter

65

127

The Gaiety: Meditations on Arcade Player Practices

66

128

Digital gaming as a gendered technology: Nerdcore porn, intimacy and control

41

67

129

Poetic Thought: Making and thinking for transdisciplinary innovation

68

130

Playing with Love: Representations and Exclusions in Narrative and Mechanics

42

69

131

Hegemony As Process? The Communication of Ideology in Video Games and Its Effects

43

70

132

Performing in MOBAs: The Myth of Neutral Bodies and Game Design

44

71

133

Technological innovation and game design

134

On Board Games Played On Tablets, Smartphones, and other Computing Devices

135

Commodifying Gameplay

136

Total

44

72

136

Percentage

32.1

52.6

Notes:

NB the Designing the Future paper was originally included, but on review has been removed from the presented categories. This will have thrown the results off, but not significantly.

This informal survey/study is a response to Steffan B’s challenge to examine DiGRA’s work and to show an inherent bias of 25% or more towards feminist/identity politics presentations and work.

25% is quite a high margin. Speaking for myself I would consider 5% (a standard definition of ‘significance’ in scientific circles) to be indicative of a problem, especially in a field so wide and diverse as gaming.

The conference’s theme was diversity, so one would expect a higher percentage of presented material to reflect this theme, so keep that in mind. As such this analysis is only a snapshop of DiGRA in 2015 reflected through their conference – which also occurred during #Gamergate – something that may also skew results.

I am one person, with a bias, who believes going into this that DiGRA has a major problem and that it, and the established Game Studies/Ludology structure needs challenge and reform. That said I also had biases that worked in their favour, my fondness for history for example. In an attempt to counter any bias I also erred on the side of caution (in DiGRA’s favour) wherever I felt there was sufficient questions about whether a topic or presentation was ID politics or not.

Definitionally, I considered ID politics to be at play with relation to the following broad topics. Diversity, representation, feminism, race and other *isms, PoMo philosophical denial of objectivity and, in a couple of places, a staggering lack of self-examination when reporting on past moral panics, without recognising that DiGRA is producing and perpetuating a current moral panic about representation and diversity.

As a little side bit of fun for myself I also examined the articles for whether they were ‘bollocks’ or not. ‘Bollocks’ being a slang term not dissimilar to ‘bullshit’ or ‘pure applesauce’ as Scalia might put it. Did these articles pass the smell test? Were they nothing but opinion dressed up in shiny language? Were they functionally useless? Were they offering any useful insight at all?

There were problems accessing some papers and presentations. The conference was not well documented and the papers from which the presentations were drawn were often hard to find or inaccessible.

It’s important to note a couple more things here.

  1. It is possible for ID politics motivated studies to produce useful and rigorous information. It’s just vanishingly rare. The mere invocation of ID politics does not, itself, render a study useless.

  2. Much of the material that got a pass may still be ID politics or bollocks.

  3. There was very little that I would have considered good enough to publish in Popular Ludology. Even things that escaped the ID or Bollocks labels were often useless and offered no insight into game design or betterment.

I have a few suggestions for DiGRA and contributors for the future.

  1. I am not an unintelligent guy and do not lack for vocabulary, even specialist vocabulary, yet many of these papers were virtually impenetrable in their language and presentation even for me. You need to work on your communication skills and this has reinforced for me the necessity of PopLud aiming for a more readable presentation.

  2. Video your panels and presentations.

  3. Provide links and/or downloads to the papers and materials presented at your conferences. Remote and post-hoc participation improves conferences.

As it happens, Steffan’s challenge was met, with a 32% level of ID politics. Perhaps more concerning was that well over half (52%) was bollocks. Bollocks material, while not directly harmful, is a huge waste of time and effort that could otherwise be spent genuinely improving games. Very few presentations or paper here, even from the non-bollocks ones, would be considered for use in PopLud. Only 21 (15.3%) were material I would consider suitable for publishing – and this is purely on the basis of whether they contribute in any useful fashion to understanding or improving games.

This is a problem.

#Gamergate Building a DiGRA Alternative, Part 2

2613913-doktor_sleepless_m__001_000aHad some useful and interesting feedback from people, so let’s lay down some slightly more concrete proposals and begin to prepare to make this ‘a thing’.

It has been made pretty clear to me from a bunch of people that they’re unwilling to cede the ground of coming up with a new term other than ludology/game studies and that they would rather see the term being somewhat reclaimed away from crit/lit theory.

So, OK, what the hell, why not 🙂

First a reiteration…

Goals

  1. Preserving and communicating practical game-maker experience and examining it.
  2. Providing objective, scientific, academic, statistical and experiential insight into aspects of game design and experience.
  3. Providing an alternative to the current ludology/game studies paradigm of literary/critical theory fixed intently on practical and useful analysis, study, information and investigation.
  4. To foster a practical and pragmatic space for the exchange of useful and confirmed information for game design.

Speaking for myself, I just want to get this started and then step back. It’s my hope that groups like League for Gamers, and various websites, may take on, store, present and replicate what’s produced and that it can eventually become a respectable source of useful information for developers, academics and interested consumers.

I recognise that I don’t have the academic chops to make this into a respected enterprise, but hopefully do have enough ‘oomph’ to get it going. My intention will be to hand off to someone else in the future.

This will also have to break free of Gamergate, but GG has provided the impetus and illustrated the need.

Base Principles

The journal needs to be established on some principles to ensure that it doesn’t easily fall into the same problems as other outlets have. We don’t want it to be an ivory tower, an echo chamber or a positive feedback loop. We also want to make the contents as accessible as possible and as supportive as possible.

As such I think principles of openness would need to be core.

  • Open source.
  • Open to commentary and engagement.
  • Open processes.

All, at least, so much as is practically possible anyway.

The most important principle is that it should be fixed upon providing practical, useful information and insight, applicable to creating games. Better games. Videogames, tabletop games, LARP games, card games and more.

The Process

So here’s how I envision things working.

  1. Day 1: The editor puts out a call for submissions on a selected topic.
  2. Submissions are accepted relating to that topic (or rebutting on previous articles), either from developers/designers speaking from experience (confirmed commercial release) or academics with appropriate qualifications (this being more to do with the process and discipline than specifics).
  3. Submissions are subjected to basic scrutiny (Is it well written? Do citations lead anywhere? Does it pass the smell test? Does the author qualify?)
  4. Day 30: The selected articles are consolidated in a relatively easily transferable format (RTF?) by the editor and put out publicly wherever it can be – the personal outlets of contributors to start with.
  5. The material is then open for review, correction and challenge – openly, by anyone and this feedback is discussed and any necessary corrections have the opportunity to be made over the following month.
  6. Day 60: With corrections and changes made the journal proper is ‘published’, in much the same way as at day 30, but in a finalised and corrected form to be archived and kept.

Feedback has been incredibly useful so far, so let me know what you think. I realise much of this is unconventional, but I think that’s part of the point. The way things are being done isn’t working.

Also, what about Popular Ludology or Practical Ludology as a title?

#Gamergate Building a DiGRA Alternative

158736-174429-doktor-sleeplessAs we all know, groups like DiGRA are a problem.

These are pseudo-academic platforms presenting opinion as fact with no rigour, no attempt at objectivity and seemingly much more about pushing particular agendas rather than determining what is true/correct, or what is useful to people who make games or want to make games.

We desperately need an alternative.

Building an alternative will not be an easy matter and so I think it is best to start relatively small and idealistic, and then to let things change over time as needed, allowing such an attempt to adapt and fulfil its role – provided that it doesn’t lose sight of its core principles.

As I say, this is a daunting task but one I think that can be accomplished. It just needs a little push and I intend to give it the good ol’ college try.

In essence we’re creating a new field here, as ‘ludology’ is dominated by extremely soft humanities and the aforementioned activist pseudo-academia. This would be something more akin to hard science or engineering, dedicated to providing practical information and experience and sharing it amongst game creators with the stated aim of improving games and game creation as a whole.

‘Ludics’ maybe? I don’t know… ludogineering? It’s something that needs to be distinct from ‘ludology’ or ‘game studies’ which are grounded in literary criticism and critical theory and, so, don’t provide anything of actual use.

So the goals of the group/discipline would be.

  1. Preserving and enumerating game-maker experience.
  2. Providing genuine, objective, scientific, academic and experiential insight into aspects of game design and experience.
  3. Providing a genuine academic alternative to DiGRA and their ilk, rooted in harder science and practical purpose.

Contributors must have:

  1. Relevant practical experience in the field of fames (a game maker with a commercial release, a board/card or RPG designer).
  2. A high level of educational attainment in a relevant field (a degree in hard science, statistics, anthropology, sociology, psychology)
  3. Their entries must at least strive for objectivity – creator anecdote being something of an exception, if clearly stated.

I would also suggest that all material produced as this enterprise gets under way be considered open source, perhaps under a creative commons license allowing people to reformat, freely distribute or even to sell independently or as part of larger treatise etc in order to help support projects and help to make the work worthwhile for people who contribute.

I would hope to get groups like League For Gamers on board and to get the support of independent gaming news sites to reproduce the entries in some form (another reason for going open source).

As a way of starting this off from humble beginnings I would suggest that it begin with an open call for ~1,000-1,500 word essays/notes on a topic, every couple of weeks or every month, just to see if there’s the interest or that the interest can be built up. This would, then, form a short ‘journal’ of sorts, on a particular topic or aspect of game design that would-be game designers or existing game designers could tap into or look at.

Now, obviously this is starting from #Gamergate, since the impetus to provide an alternative to DiGRA that is more genuinely game and design based comes from there, but it would not remain (or even really start out as) a #Gamergate thing. Much like Based Gamer, Deepfreeze and the various indie games sites that have sprung up, it would carve its own path to become something more long lived.

It should also seek to move into testing and confirming (or debunking) its own hypotheses, conducting surveys and eventually providing harder data.

  1. Would you be interested in reading such a ‘journal’?
  2. Would you be interested in contributing to such a ‘journal’?
  3. Would you like to see a more practical, pragmatic and useful field of game study?
  4. Do you have a better idea for a name than ‘Ludics’? (It mixes Greek and Latin, so is ‘bad’, perhaps ‘paichnidics’ instead? – from the Greek ‘paichnídi’, meaning toy, game or trick, and already used as part of the Greek for ‘video game console’)*.
  5. Would you be interested in contributing to a first attempt, perhaps on the topic ‘What is a game and what is the appeal of games?’

Let me know.

I can be contacted via the comments here, on Twitter (@grimachu) or via email – grim AT postmort DOT demon DOT co DOT uk.

*I can’t for the life of me work out how to spell this phonetically in English, or pronounce it from these letters. Peuch-a-nidyics is the closest I can get).