I recently came up with a personal mission of writing more game reviews from the father/counselor/gamer perspective. So look out!
Here's my start:Counselor / Father / Gamer - Oliphant's Review of Eggs and EmpiresCounselor / Father / Gamer - Oliphant's Review of Firefly: The GameCounselor / Father / Gamer - Oliphant's Review of Quarto! Counselor / Father / Gamer - Oliphant's Review of Fleet Counselor / Father / Gamer - Oliphant's Review of Pocket UnGame: KidsCounselor / Father / Gamer - Oliphant's Review of Snack Factory
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bit 'o bio:
I'm a school counselor, father of my own children, traveler, husband, musician and long time avid gamer. Above all I'm a Christian, trying to live an example, to love all people as Jesus loved all people.Gaming History
I started video games with a C-64 and an A
tari console when I was a kid in the states. I traveled a lot and used to buy a lot of different solo RP
G (choose your own adventure type) books when swinging through London bookshops as a kid. Back in the states for Christmas I remember picking up a copy of the D&D redbox around the same time. When I was in High school computer games had gone to the network and I was then playing Solar Realms Elite and Trade Wars 2000 over a 1200 BPS modem. I also remember getting my first non-abstract board game: HeroQuest
which I painted.
Nowadays I don't maintain any machines capable of playing games more graphicly intensive than a flash tower defense game and I lost my taste for D&D years ago but I still play with a group using that uses a homebrewed steampunk RPG that my buddy authored which we are in a sense playtesting.
My board gaming picked up again few years back when some friends and I got into Heroscape
.. and then taught me Catan
(my first Euro) and the hobby was reignited. Only now that I have kids, I can blame it all on them.
Recently I started attending Rochester/Oakland Board Game Association game nights as well as Oakland University Gaming Guild nights. Lot's of fun.Games at work
At my work as a school counselor I use games all the time help kids warm up to one another but also to learn skills crucial to social development such as good sportsmanship, communication skills, empathy and negotiation.. educationally beneficial conflict in a controlled environment basically. Some games I've used to help build reasoning and planning skills as well, things crucial to academic development. I'm currently also doing research through O
akland University on the link between gaming and academic development. I'm also a big fan of UC Berkley's Sylvia Bunge who examines links between neurology and gaming.
If you want a peek at what I do professionally, I made the news a few times recently, check it out: Fleet Game Designer Visits Middle School Board Game Design Club Grand Blanc View
My board game design club in 2012 recieved a visit from Matt Riddle, co-designer of Fleet. They were able to bounce questions off of him and the news was there to give him a little exposure as well! Anti-bullying conference - WNEM TV5 NBC
I presented briefly at this conference and was quoted in the news for my stance on using technology rather than being afraid of it.Students learn by playing board games - Flint Journal
This was the first year I did board game club! Since then I've added a lot more games, mainly multiplayer strategy games / euros, to out collection.Flint family displaced by fire - Flint Journal
I've been the homeless liaison for about 4 years now. This was the first family of four this year to lose everything to fire. My homeless population per capita is abnormally high compared to the average... but I'm glad they're mine because we can help.Professionally Done - Grand Blanc View
I was able to get Dan from the PWN Shop (local game cafe)
to talk to my kids about turning video games into a career.
Also had archaeologists, lawyer, etc..Career Fair - Grand Blanc View
This year I had Lou from Comic Relief
(comic book and game shop) come present. They loved it.Family and stuff
More than all this though, games are simply a wonderful way for me to connect with people on multiple levels.
This was my family around 2005. There are more of us now.
The family in Tobomory at the tip of the Bruce
Me and my boys in L
ake Huron around 2009. Ah.. the fresh water sea.
Recently we bought a house on foreclosure and renovated it. We are so close to being finished.
Here's a pic of my oldest son and my father-in-law in our newly created game room.
And now the obligatory tracking chart: