Push Start

In this article, the Origin* explores the possibilities of video games as life lessons. Who said video games were all bad?

Written by: Athena Lim (19-A4)

Designed by: Athena Lim (19-A4)


People consider video games another avenue to escape from reality, and for good reason. Of course, you’ve heard the usual pitch: video games cause violence, are addictive and a waste of time. All these people have likely heard it too.  If the claims hold true, why do people, despite this, play video games?


Percentage uncertainty: 0%

A game, in essence, is programmed to do specified, predetermined tasks; a character will always respond to certain stimuli in a certain way, enemies will have pre-set abilities, et cetera. Walkthroughs can often be found online, allowing players to find out more about the weaknesses of that upcoming boss, and even spoil a surprise encounter that might happen. In contrast, reality brings with it the daunting uncertainty of human interaction, with a single unplanned factor snowballing into a huge problem without warning. In a way, video games allow us to take a step back and do some risk assessment: while we may not always be able to change other factors, we can predict them and prepare accordingly. Does spotting questions count? In any case, you didn’t hear it from me!


The world is your oyster

The freedom to rewind time by saving and reloading the game is an obvious safety net, with no cost for doing so most of the time. Of course, this is a good chance to learn from mistakes, for most games involve a specific strategy which can be applied in real life, such as studying methods. With the mid-years approaching, it’s wise to know whether mindmaps or audiobooks, for instance, work better for you. I personally like rewriting notes more than re-reading them. One has the luxury of time in the player-centric world of a game – the plot simply will not progress until the player does. Alas, the real world isn’t half as patient, and deadlines are a thing we cannot avoid; perhaps a reminder to study for our lecture tests, and Mid-year Examinations?


You’ve gained 100 experience points! Level up!

Most games have an experience system, where doing the most menial tasks will eventually net you enough experience to ‘level up’, and many challenges can be overcome through ‘grinding’, the potent mixture of brute force and endless time.  In reality though, you’d likely make little headway if you work without a plan. Everyone has had that moment when our brains felt like a leaky bucket, our hours and brain cells seeping away when studying. Work smart, not work hard, as the adage goes, and remember that your time is limited.


Double or nothing.

Hard work pays off, remember? The sense of accomplishment from finishing a hard level, for example, is certainly a factor in their popularity. The risk-reward system is a huge pull, sure, but how much is the risk? For some games, it is simply a matter of in-game currency, which may take time to earn, but is renewable nonetheless. Though taking any risks is up to our own discretion, we can certainly agree that the rewards are much better, considering that losses can be recouped easily, whereas a missed opportunity in real life is often just that, with little to no chance of a similar one. Some games play on that, extending their reach a little further into the real world, offering (marginally) better chances for better in-game equipment in exchange for a taste of our wallets.


On the other hand…

Video games aren’t all doom and gloom, for they do offer an immersive way of experiencing a story. As such, while video games may be a pretty bad representation for the twists and turns of life, it is those differences that draw people to playing them. The rich backgrounds of some role-playing games, for instance, with blossoming communities of like-minded individuals creating and expanding upon that world, such as through fiction or art, is a powerful pull for some, and an invaluable chance to live an impossible dream vicariously for others. Strategy too plays an important role, precariously treading the line between being easy enough to grasp readily, yet intricate enough to engage long-time fans and the competitive scene (Though it largely depends on the genre and intended audience of the game – for instance, Pokémon, which appeals to both older and younger fans, has a much gentler learning curve than other games).

No matter what games you play, I’m sure they’ve had some impact on our lives, and it is up to us to sift through and learn from them.

CCA in the Spotlight – Computing and Robotics

Photo credit: Computing and Robotics Club

Interviewee: Ng Wei Han

1. What is an average CCA session like?

Wei Han: Filled with lots of fun and exploration! Last term we embarked on our own projects relating to what we have learnt in the past year. I really look forward to every CCA session because I get to work on something that really interests me, data analytics, and to learn more than I can ever imagine.

2. What do you enjoy most about your CCA?

Wei Han: I really enjoy our CCA Camps! I think we were extremely privileged to be one of the few CCAs to have had 2 CCA camps. These camps have enabled me to get to know my CCA mates better and have made me a much more open person 🙂

3. As seniors, what is your CCA looking out for in prospective members?

Wei Han: Passionate and zealous students who are willing to learn and uphold excellence in character.

4. What do you think was the highlight for your CCA last year?
Wei Han: CCA Camp and Rube Goldberg project

5. CCA information (Timing, achievements, etc)
Wed 3.40-6.45, Fri 3.10-6.15


Interviewee: Brenda

1. What is an average CCA session like?

Brenda: Training and competition preparation. We also work on projects and have fun exploring the internet.

2. What do you enjoy most about your CCA?

Brenda: There are lots of learning opportunities, as well as opportunities to conduct workshops to share what we learn to the school. There are also BBQ parties that I look forward to,as well as cool and helpful people I have met during CCA

3. As seniors, what is your CCA looking out for in prospective members?

Brenda: Someone who is enthusiastic about technology, coding and robotics. We are also looking out for people with the willingness to contribute to the school

4. What do you think was the highlight for your CCA last year?

Brenda: There were many highlights but I felt that Technology Day, Deep Dive Day and Unconference Day modules were very successful.

5. CCA information (Timing, achievements, etc)Wed 3:45-6:45
Fri 3:15-6:15
– won awards in competitions such as Tableau and NJRC
– prototyped an electric car as part of MakerSpace 

Are you passionate in STEM related things? Drop by the Computing and Robotics club to find out more about them!

SJWs of the Internet Age

The acronym SJW would probably elicit a reaction of poorly masked confusion followed by a pretentious response of ‘Hmm, I’ve heard it before.’ and then procedure to go on Urban Dictionary to find the meaning of this elusive slang. Or perhaps you are true to yourself and admit that you have never heard of such a thing and then ask what it’s supposed to mean!

Some may contend that the definition of the label is a matter of age and perspective, but to avid users of Tumblr, Twitter and Reddit, SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) is a derogatory term for bigoted and ostentatious activists on social media. As the name suggests, such internet users argue in the name of upholding social justice in a ‘politically correct’ manner.

SJWs are generally young, ignorant internet users who are freshly exposed to the vast ocean of opinions revolving around complex world issues, and in a haze of severe confusion and self-righteousness, proceed to assert their opinions based on what they deem as the ‘general’ consensus. Of course, such ideas tend to end up convoluted and ridiculous, as they fail to fully grasp and process the concept. However, SJWs continue to push their beliefs on everyone else, and proceed to put down all who disagree. Such a phenomenon is only present in the 21st century, corresponding to the rise of the internet as a platform where the ‘minority’ is entitled to express their ‘unpopular’ opinions and find large numbers of people who think the same way (woefully). *DISCLAIMER* Now now, I am not dissing the internet (the double edged sword and all that mumbo jumbo), but this is an article that will be focusing on the idiocy that reveals itself as shamelessly and inevitably as a pimple on a pubescent teenager as a result of the pore (of logic, I believe) clogging effect the internet has on such users.


The most rampant kind are those that hide behind the safety blanket of feminism. Another disclaimer (because as aforementioned, people get offended by most things), feminism itself as an ideology is not dangerous, it is actually meant to be empowering, but you know humans, creating drama and chaos whenever and wherever… Oftentimes, such SJWs literally act like warriors defending the attacks on their oh-so-noble cause by avidly monitoring internet platforms with a hawk eye for anyone who even dares let out a peep of anything vaguely anti-feminist. The worst thing is, the people they select to attack are hardly condemning women’s rights!

For example, Fred would comment sincerely on a girl’s Instagram post that he thought she looked nicer in a skirt than in pants, and Julie, a wild SJW feminist patrolling the social media, hones in on that comment (how she found it remains a mystery) and proceeds to gather her whole colony of fellow SJW feminists to attack poor, innocent, harmless Fred with a barrage of sexist (ooh, ironic) comments, and a history lesson on how females in the 1900s had to fight for their rights to wear trousers as it was regarded by the patriarchal society as inappropriate and promiscuous. Kudos to feminism, but such open and pointless hostility implies that they are perhaps missing the point completely. Feminism is meant to be the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes, with first, second and third waves- it is rather complex, not to mention rapidly evolving as the divide between first world and third world widens. The boundaries of feminism have been pushed to heavy subjectivity, hence some may not ascribe to the same ideals of feminism others do, and that is perfectly fine. However, SJWs do not understand the concept of agreeing to disagree, rather they try to shove their personal beliefs up your nasal cavity and down your throat, if you, a. Do not subscribe to the idea of feminism in the first place for whatever reason; b. Disapprove of that particular person’s interpretation of the ideology.

There are countless other examples of social justice warrior bigotry; those who call culture appropriation without awareness of the line between appreciation and appropriation, those who deem everything racist when the actual problem has nothing to do with race (rather it is set in a context of race), the list goes on.

The hypocrisy in SJWs lies in the core issue that they advocate against, because in believing that minorities are perpetually oppressed and marginalised – by not even acknowledging the progress their movement has made – they are spreading the plague of hatred amongst more open minded and logical beings, not to mention that such a belief is incredibly degrading and utterly useless in promoting their originally empowering ideologies! They attach hateful labels to those do not think in the same way as they do and their actions communicate the exact opposite of what they claim to stand for. Do these people really care about putting an end to discrimination? I think not!

“Liberals promote their peace, love and equality with violence, vandalism, intolerance and rage. And you wonder why it is so hard to take them seriously?”~ a succinct internet user

A third disclaimer, this article is merely a product of the experiences and opinions of yours truly. It does not imply that whatever written is fact and respectful disagreements are always welcome. It also does not imply that attacking people and dismissing them as SJWs automatically puts you on a pedestal above them. That is simply hypocritical and we are not about hypocrisy here. Now, this article is not meant to put down whatever you believe in, rather, it is an opportunity for introspection. Are you being overzealous and hence irrational in your noble mission to promote what you believe is right? Are you hurling accusations at your peers and being hypersensitive to what people do and say? Are you promoting hostility while claiming to do otherwise? If you are, please reflect on what you are espousing, why you are doing so, and if your actions are analogous and beneficial to your cause. If not, carry on with your lives and spread the vibes you want to spread! Goodbye! 😉