How Literature Can Keep You Out of Trouble #LiteracyDay

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Today, September 8, is International Literacy Day.  It was celebrated for the first time in 1967.  Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.  Celebrations take place in various countries.

From Wikipedia, Retrieved 7 August 2012.

 

If you are intellectually-minded, you will probably find yourself reading a number of works of literature, the best-regarded and the most-often cited.

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Photographer: Jess Watters

I completed two semesters of literature in college, the second part of 1996 and the first of 1997.  The curriculum included a lot of assigned reading material.  It required devoting a good distribution of time outside of lectures and seminars to turning the pages of important writing, historical in the sense it is enduring.

No one disputes that a lot of partying goes on in college.  I’m a mortal, however.  I wasn’t going to the bar environs with my friends much at all, as many peers were doing.  I didn’t see any way around reading in my room, at least some of the time.

I’d been in eleventh grade between 1993 and 1994.  I had elected to take, as one of my high school courses, the subject of ancient history.

When the summer of 1994 arrived, Mr. Simpson, the gentleman who was teaching an ancient history class, signed my 1994 school yearbook with a note that he predicted I’d spend my life doing a lot of reading.  I think he felt I was a smart student.

Ancient history explained what human life was like, as best we could calculate in the day, life in ancient times when other civilizations than the present existed around the planet.  It reminded me a little of the game Dungeons & Dragons.

Mr. Simpson taught us about nations such as the Roman Empire.  I’ve inferred that the historical Roman Empire inspired some of the gameplay of nineteen seventies’ Dungeons & Dragons.

In the school board governing my high school, in the first part of the year 1996, the teachers went on a work-to-rule.  It was my “grade 13,” the year that tried to most closely prepare students if they stayed in schooling.

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“Work-to-rule” meant that high school teachers would only work the hours specifically matched to the student timetable and that teachers wouldn’t support any outside activity or assign homework.  It was worrisome because I needed to get a jump on the skills I’d need for college.  The teachers I had on hand to me simply weren’t working other than carrying out the minimum effort possible.

 

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise”

 

 

Rudyard Kipling

 

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/346219-if-you-can-keep-your-head-when-all-about-you

 

I might not have got into so much bother at that time.  I feel I wasted time partying with friends, as there was no homework to be done and I was characteristically young, an early student.  I wasn’t a self-starter, I would say, as I wasn’t challenging myself to learn all the essential skills to start college.

I didn’t have much help from our teachers–none of the students did–and when it came time to start college, I had a disadvantage.

It was a bad break.  My college grades dipped more than I would have liked, more than they might have had I taken the initiative to develop study skills necessary to deliver the goods in college.

I mentioned the game Dungeons & Dragons.  In various editions of Dungeons & Dragons “initiative” is a rule that game players help decide strategy combat by dice rolls which inform which game character has the first choice to act in the rounds of battle, an advantage in being first.

I should have tried to win the initiative roll.  I plainly didn’t.  I regret it to this day.

I certainly ask for you to “like,” comment, and/or follow.  I wish you well in your own “game.”  Good luck to you, however you decide to play your hand.

Deriving Inspiration from Marvel Avengers: 14 Common Misconceptions You Can Correct

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Marvel Avengers Alliance Redux-PUBLIC alpha release!  https://bit.ly/2L5dmZb

I’ve decided to return to my explanation of the Marvel Comics game Marvel Avengers Alliance, through the “lens” of the renowned treatise on military strategy, The Art of War.

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Photographer:
Suzy Hazelwood

1. The Laying of Plans, Calculations and Estimations

In Marvel Avengers Alliance, you have to “earn” gold, and this is achieved by spending money (such as $5 on ten “gold”). Gold can be exchanged for command points. A combination of silver, which is available for free in the game, and command points together, train your superheroes at the ready–so that they go up a level.

2. Waging War – The Challenge

The game Avengers Alliance consists of a number of challenges between its “bosses,” who are wicked opponents to the Avengers, and yourself and your heroes. Come each time you defeat a “mini-boss” or a “boss” you have won a game mission, and the next mission awaits. That’s the gist of the game, which is good fun.

3. Attack by Stratagem or Planning Offensives

In the game, you have a ready store of gear, supplies and more so that with “research”, carried out inside the game, your superheroes at the ready can advance to more dangerous fights than they have previously taken on. You can also recruit heroes and send them into battle (when they are not “busy” getting you silver) at the outset of each fight, so that you have enough superheroes at the ready.

4. Tactical Dispositions or Positioning

Tactical determinations aren’t a major concern in Marvel Avengers Alliance, but there are opponents against whom you must battle, that protect their own by getting in the way of your attacks.

5. Energy & Direction

There is an energy component to Marvel Avengers Alliance which restricts you by the number of fights you can lose, at which point you need to wait until your energy comes back. Or, if you have energy in reserve to use, which is an extra in the game, you can bring your energy back instantly.

6. Weak Points and Strong / Illusion versus Reality

The game is entirely about illusion, and the superheroes at the ready are the Avengers, who you know from comics, and film. The Avengers have many illusory powers which they wield. Likewise, the villains are monstrous! Avengers is good fun.

7. Maneuvering and Dealing with Direct Conflict

Typically, the fights of the game are three against three, or occasionally fewer. The maneuvering in battle consists of directing your team’s attacks so that the enemies are reduced to zero and fade away.

8. Variation in Tactics aka The Innumerable Changes

Your team has their equipment and superpowers so you can choose your tactics while in the heat of battle. That’s a major part of the game, and if that kind of diversion interests you, Avengers is good fun.

9. The Army on the March / Moving the Force

To collect silver, which goes with training and research, you can send heroes to various parts of the world as it is understood in the game, where your heroes spend time “policing,” which plays into the game to help with your advancement.

10. Terrain or Situational Positioning

The game doesn’t include a terrain component, which is good because the app would be all the more challenging. Each fight resembles good or evil at the centre of the fight.

11. The Nine Situations / Terrains

Author Elish Bul-Godley discusses Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu in: Why Wall Street Loves “The Art of War” – A 13 Point Plan To Mastering Business Strategy, and if you have a thirst for combat, perhaps Sun Tzu’s strategy will appeal to your better judgement.  Bul-Godley quotes Sun Tzu saying: “Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.”  Indeed, often your fights will be against a trio of evildoers, and you have to decide how best to attack your enemies.

12. The Attack by Fire

Fire-dealing weaponry is part of the game, and an arsenal is available both to you (who is the “Agent” in the game), and to the superheroes who have fire attacks at their disposal.

13. The Use of Spies / Intelligence

Fortunately, Intelligence, by which you gain information, factors into the game as much as the story does, keeping the fights coming, as a mission is always ready for your heroes.

14. There is no #14

Sun Tzu must have won the war at 13, for The Art of War stops there.

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Sky opening on the horizon

If you have an interest in a game like Marvel Avengers Alliance, feel free to blog about it and I shall enjoy reading you!