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Overwatch - A Game I'd Recommend to Any Gamer

Friday 4th August 2017

Guest Blog from a Young Person in Cornwall:

overwatch logo

Overwatch is a fast-paced first person shooter with a range of twenty five different heroes from a hammer-swinging, raging German in a suit of Armour to stealthy Japanese ninjas who wield a bow and a samurai sword respectively. The game has over 30 million players and was awarded game of the year for multiplayer, Esports and general play in 2016.

Each hero from the roster has their own unique abilities and personality, with a developed lore outside of the game, through comics and videos posted onto their Youtube channel. There is also customisation for these heroes with different skins, voice lines and emotes, alongside the highly praised golden weapons – a reward for playing a certain amount on competitive play.

overwatch characters

Furthermore, Blizzard (the developers) is always adding new content and every month they release a new map, hero or event. So far, we have had five events, four heroes and 3 maps. The events come with a new gamemode and cosmetic items, which can be bought with an in-game currency.

Personally, I love the game and have inputted over 150 hours into it after only having it for roughly seven months. This is due to its constant updates, preventing the game form becoming stale; having brilliant developers that listen and take in the community’s ideas; brilliant replay-ability from the endless possibilities in custom games; and the ability to play with friends, in varying game modes.

However, there a still a few negatives, for example, in the events, I would love to unlock all the cosmetic items as they disappear from the shop after, however with them being so close together, I am unable to build up enough coins to purchase the items. This can pressure me into buying coins and seeing as I have already paid good money for the game, some people believe this shouldn’t happen.

Despite this, I would still rate the game a 5/5 for its stunning graphics and art style, the dedication of the developers to bring new content to the game and the endless possibilities with the custom game feature. It’s certainly a game I would recommend to any gamer, whether they’re casual or hard-core and it’s a great experience on all platforms.

Categories: What's happening

Social Media and the Impacts on Young People

Wednesday 26th July 2017

Guest blog created by our work experience student:

Although social media provides young adults with a sense of self-worth and unity, a recent study has shown the negative impacts of apps such as Instagram. Nowadays, most people have an account for at least one of the main social media platforms and there are over 2.3 million active users.

Around 5% of the world has Instagram and a study has shown that Instagram is the largest platform for cyber bullying. 35% of 12 – 20 year olds say they feel bad if they’re pictures aren’t liked and their confidence correlates directly to their social media accounts. Furthermore, 7% of young users said that they had been bullied on the app, compared to 2% on YouTube and Twitter.

Instagram have recently invested in more developed technology to stop these posts from reaching young users, but is it enough? Technology is slowly learning and users can tag key words and phrases, however 70% of children suggest that bullying is widespread and have committed the action themselves with 17% saying it has happened to them.

Often however, parents are equally addicted, which could have an impact on family life and influence the decisions of their children. 

Check out the following article on BBC Newsbeat about two girls who have ditched social media after negative experiences - just click here!

Categories: Relationships

Energy Drinks + Alcohol = Risky Combination

Tuesday 21st March 2017

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could be a very risky combination research suggests.

This study found a strong link between the intake of alcohol that had been mixed with energy drinks and an increased risk of falls, fights and accidents.

Energy drinks contain LARGE amounts of sugar…

sugar gif

…as well as containing high levels of caffeine - in one can of Monster there is 160mg of caffeine - that's nearly double a cup of coffee.

The caffeine contained in energy drinks can make people feel wide awake..

...and this means when drinking they will stay out longer and be encouraged to drink more.

Usually when you're drinking alcohol, you eventually get tired and you go home (after getting chicken, pizza or chips on the way home…...or potentially all three), however, energy drinks mask this feeling, meaning you stay out later, underestimate how intoxicated you are, consume more alcohol than usual and engage in far more risky behaviours and ‘hazardous drinking practices’.

Charity Drinkaware does not recommend mixing alcohol and energy drinks for these reasons.

PLUS…Nobody wants to have a fun night ruined by a late night fight, being sick or being taken to hospital – nope – I’d rather be sat at home reminiscing about a great night with my friends and chowing down on a delicious box of late night chicken!  

The thing is…nights out were fun before energy drinks became a big thing, so it’s clear they aren’t necessary for a good time!

Categories: My body

'Social' Media Could Be Causing Loneliness!

Monday 6th March 2017

social media gif

According to American psychologists, social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are actually causing more people to feel lonely.

Sounds odd doesn’t it? That something named ‘Social’ Media could have the opposite effect of feeling social?

However, we’ve all felt that secret pain when we see our friends doing something we didn’t go to or weren’t invited to right? Well this is part of the problem – events such as these create a serious feeling of exclusion.

I hate being left out

But also…what we see on social media is an idealised representation of other people’s lives; people can pick and choose the information about their lives to promote, the best pictures of themselves to upload and leave all the negative stuff out of the equation.

Seeing these ‘perfect’ lives that other people live through social media can cause serious envy within us – “their hair is always so perfect even when they’ve just woken up…mines hideous”, “They always have nice new stuff”, “They have the perfect relationship and I’m single!”, “Look how happy they are out with their friends on a Friday night while I’m stuck in alone!”……….Ever had thoughts like this whilst flicking through your feeds?....Thought so!

The problem is, thoughts like those can affect your confidence and drive you away from real world interactions. It’s important to remember social media isn’t real life; these posts are only a brief peek into someone else’s life and are usually without the negatives! So…take them with a pinch of salt.

And remember: Don’t let the online world takeover your life, get out there and make the most of the real world! Make plans with friends and family, go for adventures (no matter how small), make new friends, try new things and just……live your life!

Homer Simpson Running

For more information on the recent report check out the BBC Newsbeat article here

Categories: My mind

Young People 'Make Their Mark' in Cornwall

Tuesday 24th November 2015

Make your mark logo

Owen Winter - Member of Youth Parliament for North and East Cornwall, speaks about the recent 'Make your Mark' campaign for young people:

"It's not often that young people get a say in politics. Under 18's can't vote, they can't stand for
election, and in many cases they are sidelined when it comes to political debate. Last month,
however, many young people got their first taste of political action. The largest consultation of
young people in UK history, Make Your Mark, ran between 12th August and 10th October 2015 and
involved almost 1 million people across the UK.

How did we get here?

In July, Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs) voted on motions to amend the Youth
Parliament's manifesto, they then prioritised which 10 motions they would like to see in the Make
Your Mark vote. These 10 issues would be voted on nationwide by 11-18 year olds to decide which
5 topics would be debated by MYPs in the House of Commons and could become Youth
Parliament campaigns for the next year.

MYPs across the country encouraged schools, colleges and youth groups to get involved and tried
to get as many young people as possible to vote. In Cornwall alone, 8,000 young people voted for
the one issue which they felt was most important to them. Across the country, 967,000 young
people voted.

The vast majority of young people that took part in Make Your Mark have never participated in the
political system before and have never had an opportunity to have their voice heard. The
Government now has a massive consultation on which to base government policy and the Youth
Parliament has a mandate to campaign on issues that young people think are important.

The Results in Cornwall:

Votes at 16: Give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in all public elections and
referendums including the upcoming EU Referendum. Percent of votes: 6.1%

Transport: Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all. Percent of votes: 8.3%

The end of austerity and child poverty: Young people want to see investment in
their lives and the lives of others in order to end poverty. Percent of votes: 8.6%

Mental health: Services should be improved with young people’s help and mental
health education should be compulsory and challenge stereotypes. Percent of votes: 9.6%

Extended Special Educational Needs support: There should be more, not less,
help for young people with special educational needs, including those with learning
difficulties and dyslexia. Percent of votes: 6%

Climate Change: Government should keep its promise to work globally to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and to limit the increase in global temperature to 2 °C,
and raise awareness locally. Percent of votes: 8.3%

A Curriculum to prepare us for life: Schools should cover topics including finance,
sex and relationships and politics in the curriculum. Percent of votes: 15.4%

Living Wage: Everyone should be able to live comfortably. Everyone aged 16 or over
should be paid at least the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour (£9.15 in London). Percent of votes: 22.5%

Fund our youth services, don’t cut them: Youth services provide us with vital
support, development opportunities and positive activities. Percent of votes: 7.4%

Tackling racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are
Muslim or Jewish: All young people should work together to combat racism and
other forms of discrimination, and ensure we know the dangers of such hatred. Percent of votes: 7.8%

These 10 issues, the results of Make Your Mark, the debate in the House of Commons and the Youth Parliament's next campaign will all influence MPs when they decide government policy on young people. Whether the government choose to listen or not, we will make sure they know exactly what young people want!

Categories: Growing up | What's happening

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