My Resurgence into World Of Warcraft

Nine years ago, my cousin introduced me to online gaming through the game World of Warcraft. It was during my 4th grade spring break that I installed WoW (Burning Crusade at the time) on my Windows Vista Laptop I had just received from my father.

This was the first time I had played a game in a persistent, massive, and multiplayer world. It was like I had just been born into this virtual one, as a brand new person that knew absolutely nothing about it. The first few months I played on multiple trial accounts, just learning about the world, its players, and its mechanics. I was such a noob that I didn’t even look online for any information or help on the game; at the same time I was willing to learn completely by experiencing everything first time and asking around.

The first time I saw Horde I was with my cousin in Elwynn Forest, and I’ll never forget the fear I felt when I discovered that there was a whole other faction that could kill me. He directed me to my world map, and explained, “They walk all the way from the top of the continent to kill us.” I found it hard to sleep that night.

The virtual world was completely separate from real life, but every time I logged in I felt like I was really getting stronger while killing Cayotes and Harvest Watchers in Westfall. Once I finally bought the game, I experienced the first free month and was so satisfied that my sister and I split the fee to buy ourselves 6 more months of epic adventures in Azeroth. Our adventures were only beginning.

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What High School Computer Science Doesn’t Teach You

During my last year of high school I took AP Computer Science. It sounded interesting, but prior to the summer homework assignment, I wasn’t sure what it would be about. At the time I had ideas that it could have been a general, basic class about how all the hardware worked together, or maybe it would be an introduction to software assembly, about all the bits and bytes in computing.

I was fortunately wrong. The class is simply an introduction to Java. It taught me the basics of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) using a language I have grown to call my favorite language. Through Cay Horstmann’s 4th edition of Java Concepts, the class taught:

  • Basic Computer Hardware (CPU, RAM, etc)
  • Objects and Classes
  • Data Types
  • Flow Control (if/else, loops)
  • Arrays and ArrayLists
  • Interfaces, Inheritance, and Polymorphism
  • Recursion
  • Searching and Sorting Algorithms

The above mentioned topics provide a great foundation for Java Concepts. Since a lot of the material in the class taught the underlying concepts of the programming constructs in computer science terms, it is easy to learn new languages after that (something I would assume that students starting with Python would have a harder time doing – I’ll elaborate on this in another post).

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