Monday, April 2, 2018

Video Games, RAF and WWI

I’ll be the first to admit I’m lousy at playing video games.  I have neither the manual dexterity nor quick reflexes to play most modern video games.

My idea of a challenge is a rousing game of Monopoly.

My son, on the other hand, is a pro.  Growing up he zipped through video games at a frantic rate-which didn’t help my wallet.

Some of my fondest memories were of him and me playing Mario, Earthworm Jim and Goldeneye.

In fact I still have our Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo game consoles and a box full of games for both.

I have the Super Nintendo connected to my flat screen TV and every once in a while I play Mario.  It’s still a lot of fun.

I’m no video game expert by the furthest stretch of the imagination.

When I taught high school video games were always a part of the conversation and many of my students were huge video game fans.

I’m sure they would get a big kick out of Carlton Books new book: A History Of Video Games, by Iain Simons and James Newman,

From consoles, handheld, classic games, joysticks, accessories and everything in between the book offers a deluge of information about video games complete with color photos and engrossing text that really gets into the meat and bones of the video game phenomenon.

If you’re ‘digitally’ inclined then this is the book for you to take a ‘byte’ out of.

England’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has been around almost from the dawn off aviation.

In 1918-2018 RAF 100 The Official Story, author James Holland celebrates the Centennial of the Royal Air Force with a wonderful and fascinating new book.

The beautifully bound, hardback book traces the genesis of the RAF starting with WWI up until modern times.

Packed with archival photos the book allows readers to follow the RAF through several wars and peace time.

Key battles, breakout innovations, state-of-the-art technology and aircraft design and much more are all chronicled.

Important historical military and civilian personnel are given their just credit along with the unsung heroes of the RAF.

It’s an inspiring and thought-provoking examination of one of the most famous and successful Air Forces in the world.

It was the war to end all wars.  WWI was one of the bloodiest and costliest wars of all time and unfortunately it was not the last.

WWI tossed conventional warfare tactics out the window as everything changed.  Advances in weaponry, the introduction of heavy tanks and mobilized weapons and aircraft drastically changed the face of war.

In The First World War, in association with the Imperial War Museums, author Gary Sheffield’s book examines how the war started its long and bloody years (1914 to 1918) and its turbulent end.

Packed full of historical document recreations, archival photos and battle maps the book goes into extensive detail about the key players, command figures and strategies used throughout the war.

It’s a remarkable book that never candy-coats the ugly reality of war.  I found it to be an absolutely absorbing read that made me feel as if it I was in the midst of battle.

I felt the pain, heartache and fear of the troops while comprehending the sheer audacity and determination by leaders to claim victory despite the cost.

WWI shaped the world we live in perhaps more than any other war.