To be honest, I hate the idea of these New Years posts but despite that I always end up writing them.2011 ended up being a much bigger and more important year than I thought it would be. It also ended up passing a hell of a lot quicker than I expected.
Most of 2011 was taken up by me getting my Preliminary High School Certificate and most of 2012 will be taken up by my final year of High School. I think I did pretty well with school this year even if I did hate myself for picking Art (I was so, so very awful at that class). Part of the reason that school just became so much better than home for a lot of the year was that, this year, everything clicked for almost everyone in my year. Most of the stupid people and the stupid grudges that went on between the different ‘factions’ in our year-group just disappeared completely. The Macbook I got for Xmas last year also proved to be a major part of this year - particularly this last term of school as I’ve done all my work on it.
One of the my favourite things about 2011 was the resurgence of great television. The year started off with me resuming watching Dexter and beginning to watch Game of Thrones after hearing all sorts of good things about it through Twitter. On top of that, later in the year I discovered other great shows like Chuck, The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. After the period of not watching TV following the end of LOST, it was great to return to something that I love.
Movies have also been pretty good this year. While modern cinema continued to be good with my favourite films of the year being Thor, Captain America, X-Men: First Class (You might notice a pattern in my movie choices there) and Fright Night. That said, I was almost more enthused by the older movies which I also saw over the course of this year. The best two of which being - “The Crow” and “Starship Troopers”.
One of the reasons 2011 was a great year for me was that two big things happened in relation to my interest in Games Development. The first was that over the course of the year I completed my Certificate II in Games Programming at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, which has really set me up in terms of knowing exactly what I’m in for when I go to AIE after my HSC. The other big career related thing that happened was that I got a position writing for a video games/movies/tv website called Player Affinity. That worked out really nicely and gave me a lot of experience which I’m hoping ends up paying off in the future.
I also read a fair few books this year - Not as many as I would like mind you, but a fair few. One of the best of which would have to be American Gods by Neil Gaiman and the other would have to be Watchmen (Which I’ve read before but reread and was reminded of just how damn good that book is). Another important book related thing that happened this year was that the final Inheritence Cycle book came out. While reading “Inheritence” was awesome, it was almost more fun waiting for the book to come out as I participated in the Shurtual Book Club where listeners of their podcast read through the previous books and discussed them in the leadup to the release of “Inheritence”.
Despite my own doubts, I also managed to do NaNoWriMo this year. I was particularly happy with my efforts as I not only finished NaNoWriMo but did it in something like 15 days. I’m unsure If I will end up doing NaNoWriMo next year as it comes very close to the time of my final exams but I’m damn happy I did it this year.
It almost goes without saying, but weirdly enough, making friends has been one of the most awesome parts of 2011. I met an absolute ton of awesome people over the course of the year. The awesome friends I’ve met over the course of the year are countless but special thanks go out to Sam, Sarah, Julia, Jesse, Brandon and Will For being awesome.
Lastly, Tumblr. While I pretty much disappeared from Tumblr for a good part of the year. Returning to it has proved to be quite awesome. So yeah. Go Tumblr.
Oh yes. My New Years Resolutions. Basically, there are three parts to this. While I hope I remember these resolutions (I’ll probably end up forgetting and then remembering I made them this time next year)
I’m going to try and not worry too much about not being perfect. I tend to over-think things when it comes to my school results and I dwell on them way more than I should(Especially since they don’t actually affect my ability to do the course I want). So, stop dwelling and start acting.
I want to read more. I just got this wonderful Kindle and now no longer have the excuse of not being able to carry the massive books I read. So I want to spend more time reading.
I want to give the HSC my all. Simple enough.
I want to focus on improving the quality of my writing and try to get some freelance work once I turn 18.
I want to spend more time with friends.
Once again, I apologize for this fearsome wall of text.
Ready Player One is the debut novel from writer Ernest Cline and it’s truly unlike anything you’ve ever read before. The book is set in the bleak future of 2045 where human civilization is practically falling apart at the seams and the lives of millions are consumed by a giant online video game simulation known as OASIS. Part of the hook of the story is that before his death, James Halliday, the creator of OASIS organized a giant competition which challenged everyone on earth to find the three hidden keys and open the three hidden gates in OASIS and that the first person to do so would gain control of his billions of dollars. Due to the Halliday’s love of the 80s, this competition leads to the people of the future being obsessed with 80s pop culture, which basically sets the book up to reference anything from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to Blade Runner to RUSH. There’s been huge attention to detail here and it makes those references all the more sweeter when you recognize them.
The plot follows Wade Watts, an orphaned teenager living in a trailer park who finds himself at the forefront of the competition when, five years after James Halliday’s death - he becomes the first person to find the first key to winning the competition.
I found the book a joy to read. Cline’s writing style feels very modern and he writes things from Wade’s perspective very well. While the book is filled with numerous moments of fun (Such as a face-off between Mechagodzilla and Ultraman towards the book’s climax) it does a pretty good job of balancing these with moments of seriousness set in the ‘real’ world. While I personally felt that the book got a little preachy once or twice, I did appreciate the moral issues it brings up.
Ready Player One is an absolute blast of a book. I highly recommend reading it if you have any interest in video games, sci-fi or anything of that sort.