How I became a fan of video games and gaming while serving in Iraq


rudy

Gaming has been an integral part of my life since I was a kid. From the first gaming consoles, like Atari, to the latest, such as PlayStation 4, I have played them all. From single player to vast multiplayer online modes, you will see me there. One place you will not find me is in a game with immature gamers or lone soldiers. They often do more harm than good and the experience is less than enjoyable. Gaming, as a whole, has become more competitive and satisfying.

 

My father owned an Atari. I played the game that was similar to table tennis. As simple as it was, it brought me joy. The next time I had interaction with a gaming console, it was in 1986 with the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Despite having only one game, Super Mario Bros., I spent countless hours running through worlds and beating King Koopa. However, I had a friend who owned multiple games. You could find me there on the weekends regularly. It is the same friend throughout the years that would have the latest consoles. I used to ride my bicycle for miles to go hang out with him. He had the Super NES and the Sega Genesis. All the good times I had playing Star Fox and Sonic the Hedgehog.

 

It was not until I was 18, that I was able to purchase a PlayStation of my own. My first game was Destruction Derby. Who doesn’t love driving fast and T-boning your opponents car while driving a Figure-8 track. I lost many hours of my life to that game. However that fails in comparison to what I lost in later games on later consoles.

 

Being older and employed, I was able to afford the latest consoles. The PlayStation 2 would be the most notable console that I have ever owned. That reason being due to the game SOCOM Navy Seals. That is where I took my online gaming name from, xX_Spectre_1_Xx. For those of you who do not know, Spectre was the fireteam leader’s call-sign. Because of SOCOM Navy Seals, a whole new world had opened up to me – first-person shooter gaming. Stealth, precision shooting, and fireteam leadership became a fascination of mine. It was a preclude to what was to come. Call of Duty was became a favorite franchise of mine. When COD:Modern Warfare was released, I was introduced to multiplayer online gaming. COD:Modern Warfare 2 ushered in an era of clan-based gaming. I joined a German formed clan xXx (not to be confused with a British formed clan XXX from Battlefield 3). Despite my rudimentary understanding of the German language, I knew enough to understand the commands of my team leaders. Real-life team interaction and plan execution became a rush for me.

 

Rudys picture
With my colleagues

 

Although I was in the military, I was more of a follower than a leader. I would follow orders and conduct operations according to how they wanted it done. It was effective and the experience was satisfying. However, COD lost it’s lustre after time. With my fate determined, there would be a game that I would play that would change my gaming experience forever.

I was taking college courses and it was exam time. I had already taken one exam in the morning. I had a couple of hours to kill before the I was to take the next one. I went to the military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation center (MWR), during my break. There was a TV and PlayStation 3 available. I went to the counter, reviewed the games on hand, and chose a game from a franchise that I had never played before. That game was Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

 

I started the single player campaign version. My first reaction – blown away. The visual graphics were nothing like I have seen before. I have been deployed to Iraq twice. I have heard enemy small-arms fire, incoming mortar rounds, controlled detonations, and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) explosions first hand. The sound effects compared to real-life experience were uncanny. Instantly, I became a Battlefield soldier. COD seemed more like an arcade game at that point. It was an easy transition to Battlefield. My COD games began to collect dust and their shelf-life was about up. I picked up Battlefiled 3 the day it was released.

 

I was a lone soldier fighting against the enemy on Battlefield 3. A chance encounter with a clan XXX would again change my gaming experience forever. They played as a team. They communicated effectively. They fought with ferocity and violence of action. They played the fucking objective (PTFO). I gravitated towards them. I was so pleased by their actions, that I asked to join the clan. They openly accepted me as a clan mate, brother-in-arms, friend. Battlefield 3 had just gotten better. With our paths intertwined, games became more competitive and real. Sure there were defeats but playing as a team made us feel like winners. There was one player who stuck out among the rest. It is not just because his name but also because of his effectiveness on the battlefield and his dedication to his clan. His PSN name was spectreno1.

 

Spectreno1 and I became good friends. We built a bond on our love for SOCOM and our love for the fight. When we branched off from clan XXX and IFb was born, he chose me as a clan leader. IFb members were already outstanding. What could I bring to the team? My military experience could be used to refine the skills of these virual soldiers. I introduced military tactics. Even though the fast-paced gaming style of first-person shooter games are not a good host for real-life tactics. However, when used, the tactics could be effective at securing and defending objectives and implementing a good defensive posture to thwart enemy advances. Communication is key. Report enemy and friendly locations in order to coordinate an attack. Squad diversity is also key. Players should be comfortable with every aspect of every class. Squad members need to use the appropriate class to supplement and compliment the other members.

 

What is the combat effectiveness of a squad with all soldiers having the same class? It won’t get your team very far? That is why different the different classes were created. Combine different components together for maximum combat effectiveness – assault to revive, support for resupply, and recon for enemy identification. This unit is great for infantry maps. Engineers, with the support of the other classes, will wreak havoc on vehicle drivers.

 

Rudy
Purple Heart

I have been in the military for about 10 years. I graduated from Advanced Individual Training (AIT) with a military occupational speciality (MOS) in supply/logistics. When I joined the military, I told myself I would not join as combat arms. However, I found the world of supply rather boring. I volunteered for a Personnel Security Detail (PSD) prior to my first deployment to Iraq in 2006. Our primary objective was to escort our Battalion commanding officer and/or the Battalion Command Sergeant Major (CSM) on any meetings or errands that these men had. We started with a team of 14 soldiers with different MOSs.

 

8We attended a PSD training course in Kuwait. While in Kuwait, I also attended a Squad Designated Marksmanship (SDM) course. Completion of the course required us to neutralize targets up to 500m with our military issued M14s. We were trained and proficent on many weapon systems – M9s, M4s, M249s, M240Bs, M2 .50 cals, Mk 19s, and AT4s. We took combat lifesaver (CLS) courses to ensure if anyone went down that we knew how to administer first aid. We were proficient in convoy movements and action on contact. We could move down city streets under the cover of darkness in a staggered formation and clear buildings. We were the ‘elite’ in our battalion. Anyone could see that when they looked at us. Our secondary objectives consisted of convoy security and site security. If anything went awry, we would have everything under control. One can see with my diverse knowledge of weapons why I think it is important to employ different classes on the battlefield to be more effective. Constant communication has saved the lives of my teammates as well as myself.

 

We discovered a suspicious bag on the side of the road on the night of May 16/17 2007 at 0000 hrs. I was the closest to the object. I was tasked with observing the object to determine if it was a threat or just simply trash. I turned my gun turret so I would have maximum protection should anything go wrong. With a simple Surefire flashlight, I leaned slightly out to observe the white burlap bag. Something told me that this does not look good. As soon as I was pulling myself back into the turret, there was a brilliant white flash of light and I felt a tug on the skin of my neck. An IED had exploded 5m from the right side rear of my vehicle. Shortly after came a burning sensation on my neck. It intensified over the next few minutes, much like burning your hand on the stove. I realized that I had been hit by shrapnel. There was a medic in my truck, However, he was on the radio calling up the attack. I tried to get his attention so that I could get some medical assistance. With all the radio traffic, he could not here me. I had to use something to stop the bleeding.

 

mickey's-neck
My wound

I felt weak; I didn’t feel like moving too much. I looked around the truck and found a greasy weapons cleaning rag. I used this dirty piece of cloth to apply pressure to my wound. Shortly after, we had clearance to return to base and go to the first aid station. We started with five gun trucks. There was still a mission to accomplish so we could only afford two trucks for the trip back. That’s not very much protection for outsiders in a foreign country that is in the middle of a sectarian upheaval. Nevertheless, we had to get back. There was a lead vehicle and a trail vehicle. I was in the trail gun truck. There were only three occupants in my truck, driver, truck commander and myself, the gunner. I was injured and there was no one on the .50 cal.

 

I found the strength and courage to climb up into the turret and man the .50 cal for the trip back to ensure no enemy tried to assault us on our way back. Upon arrival to the aid station, I climb out of the turret, strip myself of my gear, and stumbled to the awaiting medics. Shock had started to set in. Although the would was not that severe, communication to the receiving medics facilitated immediate medical care when I arrived. Again, I cannot stress the importance of communication.

 

ru
In-game screenshot

 

I have not seen that much teamwork before as I have seen in the IFb clan now. We have a structured clan with spectreno1 at the helm. We are seperated into squads but yet we still are whole. The leader has a vision for his clan. He has conducted research and studies that not only help his clan but also his academic pursuits. John Adewole has asked for insight and opinions and the IFb team has delivered. IFb has grown and flourished due to it’s dedicated leader and loyal followers. The IFb clan is a virtual second home and classroom. It’s members are mature and hospitable. Every member brings something different to the table. We learn from one another and help one another. I take pleasure and give satisfaction in giving feedback for any question or project. With my help and that of others, IFb will continue to grow and be a leading gaming community.

 

Excessive gaming is a mental health disorder? There’s no need to panic…


If you are just joining the conversation, World Health Organisation recently classified excessive gaming as a mental health disorder. In my prior updates, I explain why the classification is good for game studies and impart with my top tips for parents, guardians and the players. By now, many should be familiar with the traditional benefits of gaming, such as: hand-eye coordination; team-working; and modelling; just to mention a few.

If you are not familiar with the traditional benefits of gaming, here are some benefits of playing video games that will surprise you. Finally, I impart with my perceived benefits of gaming for lifelong learning here.

World Health Organisation’s Draft

Gaming, not video games, is a tentacular and reverberating phenomenon, and in my opinion, the draft is timely and a much-needed checkpoint for game studies. The draft does not interfere with current and everyday approach to game studies, rather, the draft intrinsically facilitates due diligence and resourcefulness. 

There hasn’t been much of a significant development in gaming for the past decade. Simply, nostalgic mental models that continue to employ ancient data-sets and data models. Many of which presume that only children indulge in gaming activities. The draft inherently sets a collective path for game scholars, media providers, geographers and game enthusiast.

The draft is quite straight-forward and in line with contemporary approaches to game studies and gamification. The draft reflects the challenges with contemporary gaming. Today’s gaming devices are portals to infinite social and entertainment worlds, identical to common social media platforms.

As with many things in life, excessive gaming may suffice as evidence of an underlying issue in one’s life. These cases are rare, and rightfully, the draft emphasises that only a few are at risk. Below, I condense how to make sense of the draft:

1. Everyday Approach To Research

The classification is based on a review by a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of experts from distinct geographies – this is a reflection of emerging research methods. British educators, for example: Lynda Kaye (Edge-Hill University) and Tara Woodyer (University of Portsmouth) have openly called for collaboration, further understanding, and for public engagement.

2. Connectivity and The Web

The classification is driven by the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristics of gaming disorder. The initial focus of WHO’s study was smartphones, tablets, PC and the cloud and the web. Rightfully, gaming encapsulates the subjects of WHO’s study. 

3. Only A Few Affected

The draft does not in any mannerism imply that everyone involved in gaming are susceptible to the disorder. The draft explicitly states that only a few are threatened and the classification is not a reflection of the whole. The draft alerts and focus the attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to galvanise research methods and public engagement.

4. Awareness and Time Management

Finally, the draft also highlights the importance of space and time management in the discourse. The psychology of space and time-management are simple but critical success factors. We seldom forget that gaming is about both Children and adults, and male and female.

Discussion

Consider the finance, time and space that research cohorts committed to Tetris in the past – was it not wasteful? Whatever your perspective to Tetris, I’m sure you have your reasons. Thankfully, you don’t have to seek afar to identify with a sense of urgency that traditional current methods won’t suffice for the learning that’s going to occur in the future. 

Gaming devices are more than a box where you play video games, they are cloud and web-enabled portals to many social and entertainment worlds. Research shed light on how increasingly difficult it’s becoming to separate gaming discussions from everyday discussions on social media. The risk (opportunities and threat) of escapism is real in gaming paradigm. 

Final Word

We have done a marvellous job in including gamer’s and gaming in digital discussions, our achievements are exemplary. Due to the smart work of scholars, practitioners and enthusiast, we now know more about gaming than we did demi-decades ago. The draft is timely and has arrived at a good time when game studies are plagued with repetitions, persuasive rhetoric, twitter scholar-celebrities and pseudoscience. The draft does not alter research proceedings, rather, it encourages due diligence, public engagement, collaboration and resourcefulness. 


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Excessive Gaming Is Now A Mental Health Disorder


The W.H.O has classified excessive gaming as a mental health disorder in the draft for 2018 diagnostic manual.

According to the health organisation, a gaming disorder is characterised by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline.

Manifested by;

1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);

2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and;

3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

– World Health Organisation

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The Spence’s

I was particularly drawn to World Health Organisation’s  draft due to the initial focus of their study; tablets, smartphones, computers and social media. Like WHO, if you bear any apprehensions for social media networks, smartphones, tablets and the whole online thing – perhaps you should be worried about gaming. 

The video game is merely an object, however, contemporary gaming devices are windows to many social worlds and universes of discourse, and it encompasses all the concerns mentioned above.

The Spence’s

Gaming is not so disparate, and how a video game is used relatively depends on the player, motivation and space, and the possibilities are vast. It is widely known that consumers do not necessarily interact with products in a manner the developer intended. The holistic adopting of social media as a bridge in gaming changes the scope of game studies. This is the primary motivation for including parents/guardians and gamer’s in my longitudinal game study at the University of Portsmouth.

Personally, I welcome the World Health Organisation’s draft and I think that the draft is a much-needed wake-up call for scholars, practitioners and enthusiast, everywhere. My support for the draft is succinctly condensed into the two areas below;

(1) Research Development

(2) Market development and penetration

1. Research Development

Gaming as a field of study is loosely defined and not understood. This is due to many factors, for instance, misplaced funding, diversity and lack of skills and experience in the distinct and connected fields that make efficient game studies. 

By now, most are aware of the early benefits of gaming such as hand-eye coordination, multi-tasking, creative thinking, executive functioning and employ-ability, just to mention a few. That said, modern gaming is so much more than eye-coordination, today, gaming devices are portals to infinite social and entertainment worlds. People/players can now play games, enjoy movies, share music and much more with their friends and relatives around the world via their gaming devices. The essence of my story, there hasn’t been a significant development in gaming studies in the past decade – since Galaxy Zoo in the UK.

2. Market Development and Penetration

The proliferation of computer-mediated-communication in our daily lives has transformed the way we live, the way we love, the way we do business, and the way we play. The change has prompted calls for new and responsive models in most walks of life.  There is an emerging sense of urgency that traditional methods may not suffice for the learning that’s going to occur in the future.

Gaming devices have come a long way from the early handheld and arcade systems to powerful consoles underpinned by cloud and web communication technologies. There is a ton of contagion and distortion going on as brands penetrate what is largely an untapped market with unregulated and persuasive models. For instance, as we experience with eSports, where brands and individuals with historical and sometimes nostalgic mental models of gaming seek profitability through hyper personalised models.

Gaming is not a topic that can be tackled behind the walls of a classroom, with mere questionnaires or by taking players out of the space and geography that defines them. There are many lessons that we can diffuse and adapt for gaming paradigm. As an abstract system, gaming paradigm is an excellent print for emerging digital and connected economies. Understanding gaming paradigm requires new collaborative research methods that include academia, media service providers, lawmakers, parents and guardians, players and the third sector.

I think the draft is a good start and inherently sends out a strong signal that echoes gaming is very much part of online, social media, micro-learning, digital literacy and mental health discussions.


Social Exclusion Vs. Social Inclusion


According to Popay, exclusion “consists of dynamic, multi-dimensional processes driven by unequal power relationships interacting across four main dimensions—economic, political, social and cultural—and at different levels including individual, household, group, community, country and global levels. It results in a continuum of inclusion/exclusion characterised by unequal access to resources, capabilities and rights which leads to health and living inequalities”.

Social exclusion

This is a state in which individuals are unable to participate fully in economic, social, political and cultural life. Participation may be hindered by lack of access to material resources, including income and housing, or information or services such as education and health care. Exclusion impacts the quality of life of individuals and their geography.

It involves the lack or denial of resources, rights, goods and services, and the inability to participate in the normal relationships and activities, available to the majority of people in a society, whether in economic, social, cultural or political arenas. It affects both the quality of life of individuals and the equity and cohesion of society as a whole

 

Social Inclusion

Social inclusion on the other hand ensures that those at risk of poverty and exclusion gain opportunities and resources necessary to participate fully in economic, social, political and cultural life. Social inclusion is the process of improving the terms of participation in society, particularly, for people who are disadvantaged, through enhancing opportunities, access to resource, voice, security and respect for rights.

Process of improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in society. It aims to empower poor and marginalised people to take advantage of rising opportunities in emerging forms of economies.

 

Learn more about Digital inclusion at Online Centres Network.

 

Tips and advice for Portsmouth students


I enjoyed a distinct learning and cultural experience while I was at the University of Portsmouth… years after graduation, I still rely on the teaching and advisory excellence of the educators to troubleshoot social and cultural challenges in the real world. For example;  During my advocacy for better learning services at Brandon library, I spoke to the IT manager (Watkins), he happened to be a graduate of Portsmouth Polytechnic.

Coming from the same institution, and bestowed with sustainability-driven social and cultural values, we clicked in an instant. We discussed the local library, and our experiences with the University of Portsmouth library as if we had been friends for a long time. Mr Watkins took up the matter for me, and he was inspirational and supportive in making the case for and recruiting a part-time Learn My Way staff for the library. For this reason, I want to share my experiences, and some tips and advice, for prospective and continuing students.

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MSc Project Management 2015 Class (Pic – Nonso Nwune)

Sea City: Portsmouth

Rudy

Portsmouth is a port city on England’s south coast, It’s known for its maritime heritage and naval ties, the Historic Dockyard and Portsmouth houses a gold rated University (formerly Portsmouth Polytechnic).

I became aware of Portsmouth distinctive learning spaces and style while I was studying for a degree in London. At the time, my girlfriend attended the University while I was conducting a video games (war games) research at South Bank University… I used to visit her often.

For me, Portsmouth is culturally diverse in every way, it is the complete package. Furthermore, keeping my participants engaged over the period of my longitudinal research was important to me and the city offered many potentials. The city was particularly compatible and useful for my study because I could use photographs in fluid and ludic geographies to engage the participants (particularly the veterans).

Sea City Institution: University of Portsmouth

I was aware of the University’s distinctive learning style before I applied and I was determined to experience it in first-person.  From the moment I joined the University in September 2010, all I received was responsive support with timely and reinforcing feedbacks. Many of the educators are approachable, open, transparent and as a whole, always interested in lifelong learning innovations and new ideas.

University Of Portsmouth: Play, Games and Game Study

Personally, I’m convinced that the future society is going to resemble gaming paradigm. It’s basically going to resemble a broth and it’s going to increasingly get difficult to separate the different components and elements that make up the social-technology mix. I’m certain that there is more to learn and adapt from video games and the University of Portsmouth gave me the confidence, space, opportunity and guidance to explore my idea. I mean …

Mrs Karen Knibbs used Second Life to teach her marketing seminar, Mr Chris Milner set-up some of the early Call of Duty competitions … And, Rich Broakes won’t stop reminding you why quizzes are important. The University is also home to Galaxy Zoo, a citizen science projects that employ game-psychology to troubleshoot cosmic challenges. Dr Joe Cox conducted longitudinal investigations in gaming realms. My supervisor, Dr Tara Woodyer, explores the role of play across the life course. Her work shed light on our common understanding of play and creatively brings the discussion into the current era. Finally, Karen Knibbs, Judith Fletcher-Brown and Karen Middleton explore an Agile 3E’s case for lifelong learning

By the end of the second week, it was clear that I was in the right universe. I was in the right place to develop as an individual and in a great geography to develop my research interests.

Advice For Prospective Undergraduates

  1. Accommodation: It’s of paramount importance to ensure that your space of rest and peace is conducive for the duration of your stay. You don’t want to live in a house where you can’t study, rest or plan. Domestic problems, for instance, feuds with a flat-mate can have profound negative effects on your ability to rest and attend your lectures. It’s always good advice to ensure that you have sorted out your accommodation before registration.
  2. Finance: If you know that you are going to have financial issues, ask for help immediately. For example, If you know that your loan is going to be late, perhaps your budget doesn’t add up, head to Student finance and ask for support.
  3. Time and financial planning: There is a myth that there’s not enough time at University … I disagree, there is always enough time and time is not just a uni thing and it certainly won’t stop after uni. The key to time is how you manage your time. Independence and having fun is a major part of university life, but remember that it’s important to eat regularly and to get enough sleep, and maintain a set of rules to live by.
  4. Talk to your educators: The relationships formed with your teachers will remain well beyond your graduate career. For instance, Dr Welch was my Knowledge Management tutor at Portsmouth, now at Sheffield, I still contact her and rely on her teaching excellence perspective to tackle certain situations in the real world.
  5. Get a part-time job. Volunteer at your faculty. Visit the Nest: Nest is your own university social enterprise and it will help you transform your art and passion before you leave University. Take advantage of the employability opportunities available to you and support with activities within you faculty when you can. For example; I used to volunteer for open days where I share my project management experiences with business owners and prospective students. Do not wait until the end of your degree before you start thinking about employment.
  6. Have fun. Be social. Explore: The University students blog has plenty information about what you can do around the city. For example, 11 things to do in Portsmouth when you are bored. The  Student Union and University library are also great spaces for fun times and other social interactions.

Enjoy yourself! Stay safe at all times, and if you have any doubts or concerns, ask for help immediately.

My top tips for guiding and empowering high-performing teams


High-performing teams are creative, social, innovative and deliberate. They have deep trust in each other, their purpose and in their abilities. They are often connected, and constantly seeking new ways to improve and celebrate and reward the improvements.

Have you come across the saying, “No one size fits all”? This saying is particularly correct when it comes to teams and groups. There is no one way to lead a high-performance team – however, there are though guidelines that can assist you in your new role.

 

1. Pay attention, ask more than tell or change

It’s not always about change unless expressed in your contract and statements of work. At this stage, I recommend asking and connecting, rather than telling and changing. The connectivity gained and the lessons captured will prove invaluable for future projects.

2. Roles, styles and accountability

Separate growth from development by managing performance development and individual development. For instance, by setting goals with employees and following-up with personal development planning and appraisals.

3. Be Agile

Agile is being nimble, responsive and able to work quickly, with ease and flexibility without losing efficiency. An Agile structure surrounds a leader with influential players in the workplace. It’s also a responsive and continuous form of feedback and data collection. 

3. Empower action

Empowerment catalyses continuous improvement, knowledge management, and transformation by removing the barriers to creativity, problem-solving, and innovation. By empowering colleagues, a leader encourages the team to feel free to express their ideas, feelings, take risk and problem-solving.

4. Responsive communications, feedback mechanisms and connectivity

Weak-ties are cultivated through single mediums of communication, while strong-ties rely on the use of multiple mediums of communication. Inspire an open, transparent, continuous and responsive feedback culture with corresponding mediums of communications and support infrastructures.

5. Be social and fun

Diving into a big project, day in and day out, can create a superficial impact on bonding in the workplace – spontaneity and fun is a good icebreaker. We can learn more about a colleague in a short amount of time, over a meal or video game, than we can learn from attitudes towards rules and policies for 6-years.

7. Acknowledge, reward and celebrate success

As a form of gratitude and mental feedback, it allows for reflection and evaluation of the team’s collective achievement. Organisations have different themes and styles, experiment with perks till you find the right social-technology mix for your organisation.

 

In conclusion, successful deployment of the skill-set available to a leader relatively depends on how well they integrate and can complement other areas of the business. The thing is, if a leader is not trusted, they can’t be seen as inspiring or trusted to resolve conflicts and develop talent.

Ensure that you (1) posses the knowledge and expertise (2) are prepared to learn (2) build relationships  (3) are empathetic (4) are open and transparent (5) are consistent (6) and you reward and celebrate success when it’s due, and vice versa (7) are fun and social.

 

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Team UKFAST prepare for an evening of gaming

Interview with Honey Adewole… author of materbeampater


I caught up with Honey Adewole to ask about her new book Materbeampater.

Materbeampater is a humorous collection of short stories, with larger than life characters. 

It is a combination of narrative poetry, fables and nonsense. The book is published by Olympia, it is available on Amazon and available in retail and wholesale. 

The book is a humorous book of poetry based on the lessons of life. There are poems about naughty girls, a boy who eats peanuts and peanut-butter non-stop, and all sorts of strange but normal young people.

Young will laugh out loud when reading the book.

— Diana Perry

Story Monsters Magazine June  2017

Honey Adewole

Tell me  a little bit about yourself

I’m an accountant and live in London with my family.

I love reading children’s books because they keep me young at heart. I enjoy creativity, this is my first book.

So, there will be a sequel. Will it be new concept?

There will be a sequel to Materbeampater and I will write more exciting stories for children and the family in the future.

Where did you learn to use poetry to tell stories?

Poetry was a part of my life growing up in primary and secondary school. Writing it came naturally with as much fun as reading it.

I see myself writing more poetry in the future even for a more mature audience.

Where did you get your insipiration?

Materbeampater came to me as a result of a need to write something different.

I wanted to write a book that could remind me always, of what it was like growing up;

The naughtiness I had fun with, learning to accept and discover myself and overcoming peer pressure.

You say a need. Can you elaborate briefly, please?

I want something that’s not so common in this very politically correct world of ours. Something cool enough to remind me of when I was growing up.

It was the perfect combination of morals and humour.

Tell us about Materbeampater

The book is divided into three parts or sections.

The Naughties captures the “fable(ish)/ humour” tone I intended.

The Gritties captures the every child is different and the importance of accepting who you are tone I intended (with humour)

The Notables – in a way, combines the humour and the other things that the naughties and gritties represent.

The two stories under the Notables (Slacked nose Linda and The Tea Pot people) can be very much enjoyed by the younger kids. They are the simplest to read in terms of age.

What’s the message you want the readers to take away from the book?

Readers of Materbeampater can learn to see the funny side of life in general by adding this piece to their read-for-pleasure library.

While it includes fables and poetry and other fun elements, the book also creates an avenue for parents, teachers and children to discuss a lot of these issues that middle graders experience in school; bullying, being different, self-acceptance and self-discipline.

All achieved while reading this short story book written in bite-sized verses.   Readers of Materbeampater can also improve their sense of humour.

What next from here?

I hope to write a follow-up Materbeampater book, re-telling the stories of individual characters and their various encounters as they navigate middle school.

I aspire to become a screenwriter and a filmmaker someday.  And would love to write more children’s books

Humour is important, so read as many humorous books as you can, so that you can be as happy as a bunny.

Sneak Preview Poppy Brown P.7

Get the Book on Amazon

Community Brandon: The benefits of using your local library


Research consistently shows that when we teach children life skills at a young age, they grow to become smart men and women. The library is a partner in child and adult development, lifelong learning and community cohesion. Personally, I’m convinced that the library has a gluing role in social cohesion and integration.

Below I impart with my top 6 reasons why we should all be using our local library.

 

1. Benefits for Children

The library introduces children to the dictionary at an early age. It expands children’s capacity for vocabulary, research and independence. Libraries instil the love of writing and reading in children which can positively alter their reading, writing and research skills. Using the local library is crucial during child development and the local library exists to ensure that children can continue learning while away from school.

The library is a controlled space for connecting with children while allowing them space and time to make own connections. Children can now enjoy many free activities with their parent/s or guardian at the local library. For example, an animation course with their parent/s or guardian at the local library.

 

The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library.

— Maya Angelou

 

2. For Further Education and New Skills

The library is a treasure trove of free programs that may support learning away from school. The library offers various free courses, activities, and resources for both children and adults. The courses provided at local libraries are part of a national backed scheme.  Visit your local library to learn what’s available.

 

3. Saving Time and Money

Save both time and money on services in your local library;

    • hiring work-spaces and group rooms
    • advice starting-up business
    • finding work online
    • living and doing things online
    • affordable printing

 

4. Make New Friends 

The activities offered at the local library include reading clubs, game clubs, movie clubs and science clubs. These activities have a social and community theme, the library is an efficient space to meet people and grow a network in the local community.

 

5. Political Values

The library champions and reflect values as part of the community life. The library is a community and citizen learning institution for diverse citizen populations. The local library is centrally positioned to bring community issues to social agencies, lawmakers and third sector. Keep up-to-date with community events and initiatives through the local library.

 

When a library is open, no matter its shape or size, democracy is open, too.

— Bill Moyers

 

6. Relaxation & Comfort

I’ve never left a library feeling stressed out or low. It is such a relaxing environment with so much more to offer than books, and it’s just around the corner.

 

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.

— Jorge Luis Borges

 

There are so many benefits and enjoyable things that we can do and achieve through the local library. Many of which policymakers and citizens are yet to explore. These are my top 6 benefits of using your local library.