Frustration!

I felt I had to verbalise my annoyance. 

Only in school are you often forced to persevere through something, simply because everybody does it. Take for example, mathematics. I can understand why you might like it. Good for you if you do. But I don’t, it is one dimensional (if you’ll excuse the pun) and honestly I find it mind-numbing. Yet I have been doing maths papers for as long as I can remember. Why? ‘Because you will need it in later life’. 

No. That is a stagnant, regurgitated lie that you would be a fool to adhere to.

Before you think I am suffering from a severe case of tunnel vision- hear me out. I understand that the principles of maths are essential, addition and multiplication etcetera. But scale factors, rationalisation of surd fractions and cosine graphs? No. Just no.

That’s it really. What did you expect, me outlining my plan to take my argument to 10 downing street? Unfortunately there is nothing that any one individual can do to reverse the trend. But still it is always refreshing to write a polemic just to get some hate off of your chest. I don’t know whether to apologise for this, or say your welcome for the gift of my thoughts. Probably the former.

 

Cain Jones

Examinations and Motivations

I am currently seven twenty-thirds of the way into my GCSE examinations, with another sixteen examinations to go, between 45 and 90 minutes long. The thought of that baffles me, worries me and does nothing to me all at the same time. Because, although the task is a daunting one that is absorbing my every waking hour of this month and the next, there is literally nothing to be done about it. I am content with the fact that the challenge I have started happens for most young people across the country, and that I am just a number. Simply another number.

In fact, it is that which motivates me. My examinations mean nothing to the government at all, as an individual my results will have no resonating impact on a large scale whatsoever. Yet, the exams I am undertaking mean literally everything to me. The only way I could possibly stress the importance of these exams to you is to state that I write this post simply to get the weight off of my chest. To acknowledge the fact that I may downplay the necessity to succeed in these standardised tests in the long run, but in reality it is imperative that I achieve my full potential in every single examination I take. Because otherwise, would I not just be another number to everyone? If I didn’t put my entirety into this month, then surely I wouldn’t care either? And if nobody cared then what would be the point.

So yes I am stressing over my exams. And no there is nothing I can do about it. But if I didn’t stress, then they would mean nothing anyway. I have chosen to channel this anxiety into work ethic, after all… This post is English Language practice.

 

Cain Jones

UWG Top 10: #6 – Why is Halo 3 so Good?

VIRTUAL BASTION

Screenshot by Flickr User: Charley {HH} Ghost Screenshot by Flickr User: Charley {HH} Ghost

That phrasing really isn’t appropriate. A more suiting question might be, why isn’t halo 3 so good? Halo 3 offers a stunning campaign with refreshing storytelling and a competitive yet ludicrously fun multiplayer element. That is what I  salivate over when it comes to first-person shooters, and I think I speak for a large portion of the gaming community too.

My experience with Halo 3 is an uncommon one. I played the game when it was first popular like many, but not enough to allow myself to understand why it is so loved. However last year the game became available on Xbox Live’s “Games With Gold” and was free to download. Of course I jumped at the chance to replay the classic shooter. And within a week I had finished the campaign on the hardest difficulty. I dived into the Halo universe head first…

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Weird Isn’t it?

I hadn’t really acknowledged the fact before now, but I has occurred to me recently: The hours just melt when you get into a gaming mood. Just today I went onto my Xbox One (“ooh get you” I can hear it already!) intending to mess around on a shooter for an hour, one and a half tops. 3 and a half hours later I am staring at my reflection in the television wondering where the ground is. It is rarely my aim to just slide into a gaming marathon, but it always happens. It really is annoying. 

There’s no scientific explanation, at least not here. It just truly troubles me how we have a tendency as people to ‘lose track of time’ when we fall into something we love. Albeit a meaningless activity in the long run, the fact that time can just stand still when doing something you enjoy truly baffles me.

Those are my thoughts on the subject of time disappearing on us if we let it, what are yours?

Cain Jones

 

 

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Am I an alien?

It is an alien concept, for a teenager to enjoy school. The simple idea makes giant flying pigs seem as ordinary as traffic on a Friday evening. But it’s true. I look forward to going to school (almost) every day. Sure, there are those moments when you would much rather stay at home and sink into a sea of daytime television, but 99% of the time I get up on a Monday with a smile on my face. 

What’s the secret? Well unfortunately it’s not bottled optimism, It’s a little bit simpler. I look at my schedule for each day, and make sure there is at least one thing there that I can look forward to. Albeit something as routine as a preferred subject or something more rare like our annual intra-school football tournament. 
That way you’re not going to school/work just to come home again, you are both going to be productive and to do that one thing that you actually enjoy that day. Admittedly there are days that everything goes wrong regardless, but there is no remedy to that. Those days give perspective to how good the good days really are. 

So as a piece of advice for the coming days, find that one thing you look forward to everyday. And look forward to it, enjoy it while it lasts and repeat. That’s my standard method for getting through the long weeks I face during exam season. 

Thanks for your time, now go get back to doing that thing you enjoy!

Cain Jones

 

Age and Change- Or the Lack of It

5884 days. 16 years. 

That is how long I have been on this planet so far. But how do you quantify that amount of time? How could I possibly give you some insight into what my limited time on this planet has taught and offered me? Well being the seasoned mathematician you are, you will know there are 4 fours in 16. So this post, is an attempt at a synopsis of my life so far, in four short and (bitter) sweet periods of four years.

Act 1: A New Hope

For the first four years of my life, I knew basically nothing other than the people around me. I learned to walk, talk and most importantly how to terrorize my parents in each and every way a child can. In a way, the first four years of my life were not for me, I was just a seed starting to sprout, they were for my family. Being the first born I was the steepest of learning curves for my parents and a noise maker they couldn’t turn off. But being a baby is no one’s interesting story. So.. Let’s move on shall we?

Act 2: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Between the ages of four and eight, I began to grow an early persona. In the first year of primary school (elementary for any Americans reading) I was forced to choose a hand to write with, as before this I was unintentionally ambidextrous and wavered between left and right. Interestingly, I chose my left hand, and I now happen to be in part of an awesome minority. As a side note, go lefties. But keeping on topic act two of my life was a stream of plimsolls, show and tell, play time and assembly. Those years were character building and I set the foundations for the work in progress that is Cain Jones, and for that reason I look back on them fondly.

Act 3: The Arrival

To think that only four years ago I was on the cusp of teenage life, is mind-blowing. At the age of 11 I had achieved possibly one of my greatest successes to date in passing the ‘Kent Test’ and earning my place in a grammar school of my choosing. Then at 12 I had the revelation that comes with jumping out of the puddle that is my tiny Primary School into the swimming pool of Secondary Education. Going from the eldest to the youngest once again was both horrifying and intriguing at the same time. But it was a great new beginning which signified the start of my forming years.

Act 4: Clueless

From then up to now, I have been expanding. Although I have put on weight and grown I mean in this instance I have expanded outside of my own world. I have started to understand how problems like race, sex, war and poverty affect the world and how that in turn affects me. I am learning every day and it is astounding to think that once I did not consider anything outside the bubble of the South East of England. I am also emotionally maturing, as I learn to come to terms with my thoughts and their impacts, and acknowledging my problems in a step to solve them.

And so that has quickly brought us back to the modern day, as I sit and type this post at this very moment. A snapshot of my life as it stands now. This post has been a great method of evaluating my life so far, and I recommend doing something similair to other writers as a writing task and a process of self evaluation. Act 5? Back to the Future.

Thanks for reading,

Cain Jones

Pingback: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/weekly-writing-challenge-golden-years/

Community Post: A Big Red Shadow

My first post as part of UWG!

VIRTUAL BASTION

Combined images from Flickr User: JD Hancock Combined images from Flickr User: JD Hancock

We all know and love Mario, he is arguably the most popular video game character of all time and appeals to adults and children alike. But while Mario enjoys our adulation, his lanky green brother takes a side role. Why is it that Luigi has always been ‘Mario’s brother’ or ‘player 2’? Why is he confined to his brother’s shadow?

Well first of all we can point to the fact that Luigi is (put simply) just another Mario model. When the lead designer Miyamoto was designing ‘Jumpman’ who later became Mario, the colour palette swap from red to green birthed the early version of Luigi. Thus Luigi is a similair but not quite the full article copy of Mario, a second rate edition of Mario.

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Why I plan to sell Call of Duty: Ghosts

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By: Cain Jones

When I received my Xbox One, Call of Duty: Ghosts came as part of the package. Great, I thought. A current FPS to play with friends and mindlessly kill people. And for the first month of play that was exactly what I did, but very soon I became sick of the game. And now, two months down the line, I’m moving on.

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The Princess

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Having just started exploring Blogger, I stumbled upon a chilling fictional short story with retro gaming at its heart. These spooky tales actually have their own genre, ‘Creepypasta’. Thanks to Urban Dictionary I now know that Creepypasta is the term for any scary story that now circulates the internet terrorizing its users. Herein I will describe to you my first experience with The Princess, a brilliant example of a Creepypasta.

Referred by the gorgeous Cosplayer Meg Turney through her Twitter, I investigated the intriguing link she left within her tweet. I was curious and it was late, the best time to scare yourself. 

https://twitter.com/megturney/status/436389322162327553

I will refrain from giving away the details of the tale to you, it ruins the immersion that the story brings to the table. But put simply, the tale is a first person account of a women who is one of many who have encountered ‘the Princess’. An entity that makes its home within retro consoles and changes the lives of their users. I ought not to reveal anymore, go and experience the story for yourself. I promise you that if you enjoyed playing the playstation or NES consoles, this story will hit home and chill you to the bone. 

http://ifyouseeherturnoffthegame.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/part-0-opening.html  – go ahead and enjoy a chilling read.

Cain Jones

 

Witcher 3: Skyrim Slayer?

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Witcher 3: Skyrim Slayer?

Having played Skyrim religiously upon its 2011 release, I am one of the many people who are suspicious of the claims that the upcoming ‘Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ will be the superior RPG to grace the next-gen consoles and one of the best RPG’s of the year. However being an avid gamer I am more than willing to be proved wrong. So, what’s the buzz over Witcher 3 all about?

Firstly, it must be considered that the game has not actually arrived on consoles yet therefore claims about its quality are mostly speculative. Regardless, here are some of the opinions held by other accredited parties that are talking about Witcher 3:

PC Gamer- “The Witcher 2 offered up huge improvements over the original game, boasting a stunning new engine, larger environments and more hands-on combat – and this third game looks set to repeat the same trick.”

Game Trailers- “Expect plenty of battles, drama, and Geralt sporting a manly beard.”

The Witcher series creators CD Projekt RED promise a combination of non-linear storytelling and a vast open world, with reportedly 20% more playable area than Skyrim boasts. And this is what captures my interest above all. True to the Witcher legacy, the player always has a clear and definite effect on the world of the protagonist through their actions. When combined with the influence next generation consoles have on playable area and further character development, we could be anticipating one of the best RPG’s of the past decade. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. We haven’t seen any review material of the game yet, as it still unfinished. I will be sure to update this blog with any information regarding the development and analysis of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. But for now, I’m sat here just like you, salivating at the thought of a massive open world that the player can mold to their whim.

Thanks for reading, and check back regularly for updates on Witcher 3 as release date closes in.

Cain Jones