Wasted youth

Wasted youth

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Writer_smallerMaths and alchemy

I love Alchemists. It’s clever, packed with theme and beautiful artwork, it plays really well and provides a real challenge. But I really struggle with that kind of maths. And by ‘that kind’ I mean any kind. Not what my brain was built for, and no amount of schoolin’ was ever going to fix that.

It wasn’t until many years after I left school that I came to realise just how unsuited the Irish formal education system was to me. Learning that the difficulties I had were more a matter of suitability than relative intelligence was a liberating revelation, but not one that should have come afterwards. Repetition and learning by rote really doesn’t work for me as a method of education, and that’s all that was on offer. All that remains on offer, actually, to people growing up.

Talking about how poor formal education is at primary and secondary level actually angers me a great deal, so I’m just going to suggest having a look at the brilliant Ken Robinson talk on the subject. The subject in this case being ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ which, I think, says it all. It’s an inspirational video though, so do watch it. In the meantime, I’ll talk about something else. Like some other comics I’m working on!

A short webcomic I did was recently posted here. It’s a 5 page story designed to emulate old skool adventure/sci-fi comics that were packed with action, war heroes, and otherworldly adventures. Rogue Trooper was always a favourite of mine, and this is my love letter to that era of comics. It’s the first chapter of an intended longer saga. I have a whole arc plotted out, and if the first part is received well enough, we’ll continue the story.

I’m also a part of Turncoat Press, a local small press publisher, and you can find (and download) our two anthologies to date here. I edited, lettered and wrote a lot of the stories in these volumes, and it’s quite different to Tiny Wooden Pieces.

Oh, and if you’re of a certain age (i.e. younger than I am) you might need a point of reference for what I was daydreaming about in class. Apologies in advance if you’ve never seen that.

7 Comments on Wasted youth
  • Ben Thorp

    There’s something wonderfully meta about going to youtube, watching an advert for an on-demand internet video service, to see animated gifs of hamsters with looped music 🙂 (And yes, I remember the original)

    • I think hampster dance has a pretty good claim to being the ‘original’ internet meme. Before the cats took over.

  • Daniel Newman

    I don’t think of Alchemists requiring math so much as logic…

    • It’s all the one impenetrable labyrinthine mire as far as my brain is concerned. Usually have to tear up the sheet and start over at least once over the course of the game. Lucky for me, Aileen is quite forgiving. Or maybe she just knows she will win for sure either way…

  • ciderbandit

    I do enjoy Alchemists but it always has the feel that a part of me is doing homeworkrather than having all of me gaming . . .

    • I see where you’re coming from. I love Alchemists enough that it stays on the right side of that line for me, though. Still, haven’t played it in a while. Maybe Aileen has been avoiding it…

  • The Angel of Dice

    Even though I love Alchemists and I employ logic and finding patterns/breaking things on purpose (Quality Assurance Dude). I swear this game makes me feel dumber after playing it, maybe it’s because I hate losing.