Can talking heal a world gone mad?

Talking heals2.002

Can talking heal a world gone mad?

All around me teenagers are wondering what is going on in our world. They see bombings in peaceful places, shootings, great tragedies caused by people who just seem to want to cause pain and torment to innocent people. Right now, in our world, there are wars being fought that affect everything from the value of the dollar to the price of our oil. In this global economy we are truly experiencing a butterfly effect of sorts on an everyday basis. When conflict happens on one side of the world there are repercussions everywhere. This is not necessarily natural disasters, or cosmic disturbances but real people hurting real people. It’s ludicrous.

I see a great deal of fear and anxiety amongst my students. They see the threats from North Korea and they know their lives are being affected by forces outside of their own control. This new world many of them are born into seems to be balanced precariously on the edge of a knife.

On a personal level my students are also seeing a great deal of pain and tragedy in their own lives and the lives of their friends. They hear of story after story of bullying, cutting, suicides and pain. The students I work with are asking all kinds of questions. Why are people like this? Why doesn’t someone do something? How can anyone stop this nonsense?

Many of my students have watched the breakup of their parents marriages, have seen hearts broken. They have known victims of bullies who could no longer take the pressure and finally just end it all.

How does one change the course of a broken and tragic world?

Michael Jackson challenged us all to start with the man in the mirror. I would like us to take one step further… start talking to the people next to you. No matter who they are. Human beings need communication, we need to speak to one another, to have a conversation. We need to move beyond status updates, blog posts and twitter feeds. Ultimately, we need to move from carrying on a textual relationship and move into the realm of actually seeing people face to face, eyeball to eyeball.

It’s a scary world, but all it needs is a little conversation. We need to be able to listen to one another, and learn from each other. Less hate and more awkward questions. Less pain and more laughter. Less eyes on our phones and more eyes looking into the eyes of those who are hurting.

Can talking heal a world gone mad? I think so.

Slay, an extremely addictive ios game

I am an app developer and an avid user of my ios devices. Today I decided to review another developer’s app. I am not affiliated with the developer or his app, nor have I been asked to review this app. I am simply reviewing it because this app is so addictive and so well built and I want to applaud the developer for taking the time to build it.

My journey with slay started in a comment feed for a completely different app on the app store. Some user had basically written, “This game sucks… if you want a better strategy game that is highly addictive get Slay by Sean O’Connor.” So I decided to check it out.

At first I didn’t really understand Slay. I assumed it was too complicated but as I played I came to realize that it was more than likely too simple. Don’t worry, the complexity and strategy increases dramatically as you move through the levels from Very Easy to Very Hard.

The AI is perfect for every stage of the game and the amount of levels are astounding. I usually find that I play this game for a long time and then I force myself to stop… then something will make me try it again and I am just as hooked as before.

In the game you are basically trying to take over your whole island using players who have different strengths. In a typical game like this a peasant type player can be defeated by anyone but as your players move up in strengths they also consume more resources which are generated by the land you own. The whole game you must be continually balancing the strength and number of men you are using with the size of your land. You are always trying to beat the other players by taking over more of their land, while constantly keeping track of your own. Games can take anywhere from 5 minutes to hours depending on your skillset and desire to win.

If you are looking for an addictive turn based strategy game and you are willing to wander off the beaten path I highly recommend Slay. Slay is available as an iPhone app or an iPad app. Get it on the App store today.