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Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Category: Games Page 1 of 5

Books About Stuff and Other Things: New Non-fiction for Teens

Librarians spend a good deal of time scouring publication lists and trawling through horrifying numbers (like, you have no idea) of online reviews to settle on which books we should buy for our collection. Among the comics, fantasy epics, dystopian hellscapes, romantic comedies, and other fictional titles that routinely land on our desks, are analysed, and then purchased in their hundreds every month, we also seek out books about ~shock of all shocks~ reality. Stuff, things, and other such delights. Our non-fiction collections comprise books on just about every topic under the sun (and even some topics beyond the sun, but that’s a conversation for another day.)

Today, for your delectation, we are serving up some brand new books about nerdy stuff, hip-hop, jobs and careers, sex and sexuality, neurodivergence, and the environment — head down to your local library (or smash that handy and convenient “Reserve Now” button) and dig in!

Can’t stop won’t stop : a hip-hop history / Chang, Jeff
“From award-winning author Jeff Chang, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop is the story of hip-hop, a generation-defining movement and the music that transformed American politics and culture forever. Hip hop is one of the most dominant and influential cultures in America, giving new voice to the younger generation. It defines a generation’s worldview. Exploring hip hop’s beginnings up to the present day, Jeff Chang and Dave “Davey D” Cook provide a provocative look into the new world that the hip hop generation has created. Based on original interviews with DJs, b-boys, rappers, activists, and gang members, with unforgettable portraits of many of hip hop’s forebears, founders, mavericks, and present day icons, this book chronicles the epic events, ideas and the music that marked the hip hop generation’s rise.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Depression : insights and tips for teenagers / Cognevich, Christie
“This book offers relatable situations and strategies to guide teens struggling with mental health–including identifying signs of struggle, recognizing stress factors, and offering strategies to escape harmful mental habits which can leave individuals feeling vulnerable, helpless, or in despair.” (Catalogue)

Queerly autistic : the ultimate guide for LGBTQIA+ teens on the spectrum / Ekins, Erin
“From coming out to friends and family through to relationships, self-care and coping with bullying, being out and about in the LGBTQIA+ community and undergoing gender transition, this book is filled with essential information, advice, support and resources to help you on your journey, and also works as a primer on all things LGBTQIA+ for non-autistic teens just figuring it all out.” (Catalogue)

Coming out : insights and tips for teenagers / Endsley, Kezia
“This book addresses the hows and whys of coming out, as well as potential concerns teenagers may have–including how to know when you’re ready to come out, who to tell first, and how to deal with unsupportive people. First-hand accounts from teenagers provide personal insight throughout.” (Catalogue)

Marvel monsters : creatures of the Marvel universe explored / Knox, Kelly
“All Super Heroes need a monster to fight, or a monstrous sidekick to help them. Some are even monsters themselves. This comprehensive field guide to Marvel flora, fauna, and beasts great and small shows off claws, teeth, tails, and wings in sumptuous, never-seen-before detail. From tyrannosaurus rexes from alternative worlds and genetically modified deinonychuses from the future, to purple cat-sized dragons and swamp monsters, the Marvel multiverse is brimming with creatures both heroic and villainous. Explore swamps and the Savage Lands and more. Discover aerial beasts, artificially created creatures, and even monster team ups. This anthology is a beautifully curated guide to the best and the worst and ensures you will never get Fin Fang Foom and Tim Boom Ba mixed up again! © 2021 MARVEL” (Catalogue)

Hothouse Earth : the climate crisis and the importance of carbon neutrality / McPherson, Stephanie Sammartino
“As hurricanes, droughts, floods, and wildfires are increasing in regularity and intensity, climate change can no longer be ignored. Melting permafrost, forest dieback, ocean acidification, and other processes are creating positive feedback loops which could, if not aggressively and quickly addressed, spiral out of control and take global warming past the point of no return. Hothouse Earth examines how science, politics, and social justice must all be part of the equation to counteract climate change.” (Catalogue)

The world of Critical Role : the history behind the epic fantasy / Marsham, Liz
“A guide to the massively popular fantasy RPG livestream offers previously unreleased photos and artwork, sharing cast insights into its origins and storylines as well as the diverse array of art and cosplay that Critical Role inspires.” (Catalogue)

Let’s talk about it : the teen’s guide to sex, relationships, and being a human / Moen, Erika
“Growing up is complicated. How do you find the answers to all the questions you have about yourself, about your identity, and about your body? Let’s Talk About It provides a comprehensive, thoughtful, well-researched graphic novel guide to everything you need to know. Covering relationships, friendships, gender, sexuality, anatomy, body image, safe sex, sexting, jealousy, rejection, sex education, and more, Let’s Talk About It is the go-to handbook for every teen, and the first in graphic novel form.” (Catalogue)

Love your career from the start : making decisions for your future – a guide for young adults / Sandford, Caroline
“This practical book for 15-25-year-olds introduces the four key stages involved in making good decisions for your future. It contains easy exercises that will help you: understand who you are and who you want to become, explore the options that are right for you, create an action plan that ensures you have what you need to realise your goals, identify the strategies your need to create the future that YOU want.” (Catalogue)

The Mad Mage of Merton: A D&D One-Shot for the Holidays

During the upcoming school holidays, on Sunday the 2nd of May, we are incredibly lucky to have the talented, creative and yes, magical, Dungeon Master and podcaster extraordinaire Julz Burgisser join us to run a D&D one-shot for you folks out there who are new to the game. Julz will be running a campaign of her own making, The Mad Mage of Merton, set in the homebrewed World of Isen created by Brad Zimmerman. Find out more about this mage, Julz herself, and our event, below.

Maybe you can play D&D, Will Byers! And if you do it at Johnsonville Library, you won't even be sucked into the Upside Down!

The Mad Mage of Merton

The Mad Mage of Merton’s Terrifying Tower is a well known landmark on the outskirts of the city of Merton, separated from the town by a small forest. Rising into the sky upon the cliff face, it seems impossibly tall and now it seems like the Mad Mage has pierced the heavens themselves. Thunderstorms surround the tower and Merton has been hit with a wave of static electricity that holds the town at a standstill of frizzy hair and an inability to touch anything metal without getting zapped and flying across the room. They’ve called for help to the best and most famous mystery solving adventurers they know, the Wistal Whistles! (*ps. That’s you!) Can you stop the Mad Mage’s latest experiment before he blows up the whole town? You’ll have to play to find out!

Set in the homebrewed World of Isen, created by Brad Zimmerman. Session DM’d by Julz Burgisser who plays Marley Kraff in the D&D 5e actual play podcast ‘Fate of Isen’ available for download on iTunes, Spotify and all good podcasting apps. See www.fateofisen.com for more details on Isen.

The Mad Mage of Merton is a homebrewed one shot basic monster encounter adventure created by Julz, based in The World of Isen created by Brad Zimmerman. The one shot is played over 3 hours, with pre-generated level 4 characters.

What you need to know:

  • This one-shot is for teens aged 14-18 who have not played D&D before. We hope you get hooked!
  • The game is set at Level 4, as the game has been designed to teach about all the different types of problems you may come across in a typical D&D dungeon.
  • You do not need to bring anything along to play. Character sheets, pens and dice will be supplied for the length of the game. However you are welcome to bring your own dice, rollers or trays if you have them.
  • We’ll be playing for a while! So make sure you think about maybe bringing a drink or a snack for your comfort.
  • We keep our players’ safety in mind at all times and run a respectful table with safety tools to keep it that way.
  • Spots at this event are strictly limited. Please email johnsonville.library@wcc.govt.nz to register.

This Dungeons and Dragons One-Shot with Julz Burgisser is part of General Nerdery, our April school holiday programme for kids and teens. Click here to check out the full schedule of events!

Join us for the mayhem and magic of the Mad Mage of Merton!

Waitohi Youth Nights Return!

Now that we’re all done with that business of emerging, blinking, into the sunlight following the national lockdown, a lot of our regular events and programmes are getting back underway. Happily, this includes our regular Youth Nights at Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Community Hub!

‘What is Youth Night?’ I hear you plaintively ask. ‘Why would I spend my Saturday night in a library of all places?’ Well, friends. Perhaps a more apt question is ‘what isn’t Youth Night?’ We play games, we make music, we watch movies, we debate the ins and outs of LGBTQ+ representation in contemporary media (this one is optional), we try to beat each other’s high scores in Beat Saber, we laugh, we cry, we rank the characters of the classic 1990s cartoon Gargoyles in order of hotness (Goliath and Demona come in at joint first place, obviously, with everyone else trailing a distant second), and most importantly, we eat pizza.

Our Youth Nights are totally free (pizza included!), but you do need to be 13+ in order to come, so please bring your student ID. Once you’re in, our spaces are all yours. Youth Nights are on the first Saturday of every month, from 5.00-8.00pm. The first one since lockdown is this Saturday, the 1st of August. See you there!

Lasers, Feelings, and RPGs

Tabletop roleplaying, such as Dungeons and Dragons, has experienced a revival in recent years, with liveplays and podcasts such as Critical Role and The Adventure Zone gaining large followings of their own. But one of the biggest sides of this is the internet allowing for not only the creation of games and systems, but the permitted sharing and remixing of them as well.

Whether you’re a tabletop veteran or someone just wanting to dip their toes into roleplaying, “micro” or “one-page” RPGs are both an excellent introduction to the hobby and a fun way to spend an afternoon with a group. The games featured here are quick to set up, don’t require massive or complex character sheets, only require six-sided dice, and can be played in the space of a single session.

Hours of nerdy fun are but a roll of the dice away!

While there are dozens of games out there based on this system, here are six to get you started.

Lasers and Feelings
The game on which all these others are based sees the party take on the roles of the crew of the interstellar ship Raptor. Their mission to explore the vast reaches of space is interrupted when their captain is overcome by a strange entity known as Something Else, leaving only the crew to handle what happens next.

Oh, Dang! Bigfoot Stole My Car With My Friend’s Birthday Present Inside
Its premise obvious, Oh, Dang! leads you on a wacky roadtrip in pursuit of a grand theft auto-committing cryptid. Its sequel Ah, Dang! Mothman Won’t Move Out (He Said It Was Just For The Weekend), sees you dealing with even more cryptid problems.

Wits and Chivalry
You are the Knights of the Round Table, sent by the great wizard Merlin to recover the Holy Grail to save an ailing King Arthur. (This is the only game I know of where Monty Python references are not only permitted, but practically mandatory!)

Magic and Mischief
Ever wanted to go to magic school like Mildred Hubble or Harry Potter? Here is your chance. After a Dark Curse befalls the headmistress of the Young Wizards’ School for Arcane Excellence, a distracted staff and student body makes for the perfect time to solve mysteries or cause mischief.

A Dream In The Woods
Inspired by Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, players take on the servants of Titania and Oberon to cause mischief and magic while attempting to please their fickle royals.

Sturdy & Wilde Detective Agency
When the players’ employers go missing it’s up to them to follow the trail and solve the mystery in this steampunk mystery game.

If you enjoyed those and/or want to try something different, there are plenty of other options out there from science fiction to fantasy to horror to mystery. There is even a blank template (appropriately enough named Blanks and Spaces) for you to create your own game. Let us know how it all goes!

Dungeons and Dragons!

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsStranger Things really brought Dungeons and Dragons into the mainstream and in a post-MCU world, can we really say that all things geek aren’t cool? Created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974, the game’s grown in popularity since then – now we’ve got an amazing collection of D&D books – not just the rules sets- that will help you create amazing fantasy worlds of your own.

There are plenty of versions of the Dungeons and Dragons rulesets – all our books are the 5th edition version, which are the latest edition. If it’s your first time running a game, you might want to use a prewritten adventure. Luckily, we have those too.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsRules and reference:

Dungeon Master’s guide: everything you need to help you run a game.
Player’s Handbook : everything you need to play.
Monster manual: all the monsters you need to know.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsSupplements:

Xanathar’s guide to everything: more monsters, more character classes, more lore.
Dungeons & dragons player’s handbook 2: an expansion on the original setting.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsCampaign settings and pre-written adventures:

Waterdeep dragon heist : urban medieval fantasy.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh: adventures on the seas.
Curse of Strahd:square off against an evil vampire.
The Rise of Tiamat : Fight evil dragons.

We also have a graphic novelon Gary Gygax himself.

Have fun and good luck with your dice rolls!

Free Coding Workshops

Want to be the creator of the next Flappy Bird?

Book your place at our free coding and game making workshops in February. Places are limited, so register quickly! The awesome folk over at Gamefroot will be running the workshops, and will cover topics like programming and coding, game strategy, creating characters and artificial intelligence, and game design and principles.

We know, we know; it sounds great -right?

 

Details:

Friday 26th February

9.30am – 3.30pm

Wellington Central Library, Mezzanine Meeting Room

Free!

Register at PublicLibraries.org.nz

First lines: All will be revealed shortly…

…but in the meantime, here’s a clue.

Try and match these opening lines with the books they belong to!

A. “There is one mirror in my house.”
B. “Dear Ed, in a sec you’ll hear a thunk.”
C. “Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.”
D. “I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.”

And the books they’re from:

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBook cover courtesy of Syndetics
Why We Broke Up, Daniel Handler
If I Stay, Gayle Forman
Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson (this one’s a mystery, I know)
Divergent, Veronica Roth

Scoll down for answers!
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A. Divergent
B. Why We Broke Up
C. If I Stay
D. Steelheart

How many did you guess? At least one, from the obvious line, I hope.

First lines: Wacky yet intriguing

New blog series! First lines! And can you guess which book each line belongs to?

A. “The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.”

B. “Goebbels materialized on the back patio, right before we moved to Baltimore, and started chewing through the wicker love seat.”

C. “It isn’t true what they say about my brother – that he ate those children.”

D. “Before I died, I hid my secrets in the Master Oak.”

And here are your covers to match them with:

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
Book cover courtesy of Syndetics Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
Dark of the Moon, Tracy Barrett
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, A. S. King
How To Say Goodbye in Robot, Natalie Standiford

Scroll down for the answers!

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A. The Knife of Never Letting Go
B. How To Say Goodbye In Robot
C. Dark of the Moon
D. Please Ignore Vera Dietz

How many did you guess? Or were there any you already had memorised?

Winging Your Way Through The Weekend, 27-28/4

Kia ora!

Welcome to the weekend. What to do, what to do?

If you find yourself wandering about Newtown this weekend why not check out Wellington Festival Of Circus? If having clowning & cabaret up in your face isn’t doing it for you maybe Darren Shan could keep you in theme but through the safety of bound text?

If you’re more of a performer then a watcher have you considered entering this years Smokefree Rockquest? It’s the 25th year this right-of-passage is running and man has it fostered all sorts of household name kiwi musicians. Need some inspiration? Here’s a surface scratching list of previous contestants including Kimbra and last years winners New Vinyl. Take yourself on a journey through our CD collection.

The curtain falls on Game Masters at Te Papa this weekend. The amazing exhibition that caters to almost every level of gamer was borrowed from the incredible ACMI in Melbourne’s Federation Square and includes Pacman, Space Invaders and Sonic!

New music on the playlist shelf this week includes ex-Wellingtonian Willy Moon and half New Zealand alt-indie darlings The Veils with their fourth album.

Ever wondered what happens when you wring a soggy towel out in space? Here’s the answer:

– Physics, fascinating!

That’s what’s a going down.

Fowler out.

Pottermore, finally

Last year – in June, in fact! – it was announced that Pottermore was, well, something, but we weren’t sure what. Then special people got to play while they were beta testing. Now everyone can! You can sign up to enjoy Pottermore: a unique online Harry Potter experience from J K Rowling. Here’s a sneak peek:

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