[14/12/2019] History of RisingThumb (PART II)

This part will cover my time in 6th form, my developing interest in Computer Science(as well as being a bit naughty with it as well at points), and my time in a gaming clan. Before this point, it's worth stating my personality and mannerisms at this time: I was generally a very shy person who avoided a lot of stuff, especially about the internet and about life in general. It's during this time, I actually properly matured as a person. You can find Part I here.

We will tackle the 3 sections individually, my time in the UTC(a gaming clan) and my time in 6th form, and my time in computer science.

Sixth Form

If you visit the about me page, you will see I have a CV listed on there that lists my GCSE and A level grades. There is also another grade that I left exempt from it(Extended Project Qualification which I was graded a C for at AS level). It's worth noting what Sixth form is. Sixth form covers the period of time in between ages 16 and ages 18, in America I believe this is referred to as College. UK also has colleges, however their teaching tends to be subpar in comparison to Sixth Forms from what I've observed, and the discipline definitely is subpar as the students basically do what they want.

I initially took Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics(all a very scientific set of subjects), and this was selected as Computer Science wasn't an option for me in Sixth Form unfortunately. I shortly dropped out of Chemistry simply because my interest wasn't there for it, and because I could forsee my work load becoming unmanageable with my personal projects and gaming on the side. I did not take a job at any point in these years to focus primarily on my studies. In 2nd year of A level, I could take an EPQ which... honestly didn't really count for much and I just did it so I could have some fun and make a cool game project. You can see it and download it yourself on this site under the My Games section. It's called Memento Mori, and had a very black and white aesthetic and was constructed in Gamemaker Studio 2. It's pretty bad, especially the AI for the enemies, however all the systems worked... well enough, and it taught me a great deal about finishing a development project.

I continued to study Further Maths and Maths and Physics throughout these 2 years, and I could feel the lack of interest in Physics building up. Physics was just not as interesting as mathematics, and was often bogged down in theory and semantics which I cared little for. My results were A* for Mathematics, B for Mathematics, and B for Physics which averages out to an AAB overall for my A levels which meets the requirements for most Russel Group universities. My choices for universities, were Manchester University(which I ultimately declined after receiving offers for the other 2 universities because it would have been very very inconvenient and pointless), Newcastle University for which I was offered an unconditional offer, and Northumbria University for which I was offered an unconditional offer alongside a scholarship(I believe it was a 1500 scholarship I was offered). I ultimately went for Newcastle University, as it reflected much more my interests, local region and was generally presented in a much more professional and easy to digest manner. Plus, it was a 30 minute bus trip away and I could easily establish a lot of conveniences from being in the city of Newcastle frequently, and the bus fare was free because of my profound deafness from birth.

Gaming, UTC and MineZ

In 2016, I was introduced to a clan in MineZ called UTC(UNKNOWN [?] Trading Company), which held very solid principles and beliefs. I joined it, as I was also cheating at the time, I also joined it with a friend. Cheating was a bannable offense and a kickable offense... and it just felt wrong in general so I stopped cheating, though my friend did not, and he would later be banned multiple times on multiple accounts and kicked from the clan. To call him a friend anymore wouldn't exactly be right. He was pathological liar, and generally encouraged me to cheat and break the rules, which I did on multiple occasions. In 2017, I left UTC, and a couple of months later rejoined(however I used my non-UTC aligned status to effect and spied on enemy clans which granted me knowledge on manipulation, but I would flat out stop using those techniques because I disagreed with them).

In 2017's Halloween weekly special pumpkin(an event in which multiple groups fought to claim a pumpkin, a vanity item and secure it for themselves), I was a field officer. What this meant, was I commanded a full squad of men under my command, and I later found I wasn't so fit for commanding squads with my inexperience. Luckily, other officers were more experienced and skilled than me and often I would take the option of simply being a skilled fighter. You can find a lot of these conflicts on my youtube channel here. Some names of the videos were questionable, but they more represent the comical nature and exaggerated nature of the game and the events we fought in.

I am, to this day, still a Company Member of the UTC. I also run a clan along the side called the Voltigeurs which is basically inactive, but it let me appreciate much more the difficulties of even small scale organisation.

Computer Science interest

A lot of my computing interest emerged in 2014 with my first computer science lessons in Python. I would go on to study Python in my spare time. My first memorable computer science interest that was significant after gamemaker and GCSE Computer Science was actually a web scraper. This web scraper would go through all the pages of the MineZ wiki and compile it into easily parsable information, this way I could get information on the best places to loot and keep up to date with any slight loot balance changes that were made. I then went on to construct MZBot which had a slightly darker history as I also logged chat logs and did actually read them to gather information and do analysis of the game, though it wasn't that dark, though this was before GDPR really became a thing and people were massively aware of "muh datas". I also then went on to write a short phishing site of a HTML Game, and did actually managed to get account access for a few players to win a few games on it, but ultimately it felt incredibly dirty, insincere and just felt plain wrong. I have since, never done any of this kind of cheating, and vow to avoid doing any of this kind of cheating for as long as I can, primarily as it violates my core beliefs and principles. Nowadays, I'd like to think I am generally more respectable and consistent in what I do, but you'd have to ask people who know me well about whether or not I am. If anything, these events set the stage for my interest in a lot of areas of Computer Science. I gained Linux skills through using raspberry pi, I gained google API skills through using the google API to log data, I gained web scraping skills through writing a web scraper, and gained an interest in security(even if it was basic) through writing code to abuse APIs(EZSpyCord). Plus a lot of it was of my own choice, so I guess I was just interested in it.

Conclusion and part 3

Over the years of Sixth form, I generally learnt to become a lot more vicious, as well as lot more skilled, as well as a lot more controlling of my own behaviour. I'd say it was one of the most important periods of my life so far, as I truly gauged who I was, my morals, and gained a lot of practical experience. It's led to me generally becoming more of a guy who dislikes cheating, but not completely against it and it's led me to understand the nature of lying in a more intuitive sense I suppose. Part 3 will come out when I finish University, and will be a reflection on what's happened since then(so basically end of next year probably...)

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