During the first eight years of his school experience, Sh1penfire was home-schooled back in Singapore. The reason for this was his struggle with autism, ADHD, dyslexia and his difficulties with socialisation. Now a featured writer and editor for Yelling At Children, and a student at Templestowe College, Sh1penfire’s anxiety has eased slightly, and he is more comfortable and quite successful within a public school environment.
Despite the struggle that often comes with being neurodivergent, Sh1penfire thrives in his role as a writer and editor at Yelling At Children. He stated home-schooling contributed largely to his academic ability, creating a comfortable learning environment, and allowing Sh1penfire to work at his own pace to overcome many of the obstacles that being neurodivergent shoves in your way. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of ten and has since picked up gaming as a way to deal with the pressure of motivation and focus on schoolwork.
Sh1penfire’s gaming experience began with Angry Birds Star Wars and has since developed and adapted to cater to his taste in tower defence and base building games. His current favourite game being Dead Cells, Sh1penfire also enjoys roguelikes. “Roguelikes allow me to have a sense of progression intrinsically. Extrinsic motivation tends to fall over time, so what I like about it is that you have a random build, and you need to know how to use it.” Sh1penfire stated that the excitement of a game like Dead Cells, a roguelike, doesn’t come from progression within the game, but rather the player’s knowledge of the game and how it works; “I think I find it more satisfying”.
Just as he began gaming, Sh1penfire was also introduced to coding. When it was brought to his attention by his mother, he began learning block-based coding via the coding platform Tinker. Since then, Sh1penfire has extended his reach to other means of coding, and now uses Rust, coding multiple times a week. Despite this, Sh1penfire still practises block-based coding, in the event he may need to teach it to his brother.
With the development of his coding skills, Sh1penfire told me about a favourite creation of his, his Ministry mod. From what I’ve been told, Ministry is a base building tower defence game, but is quickly becoming more of a real-time strategy game. A description by Sh1penfire himself; the mod was targeted towards the minority of the player base, for those who were looking for more skill-based content compared to the base game. While this mod was open for public use, Sh1penfire has since taken it down, as its maintenance required a lot of time that he simply didn’t have.
Yelling At Children is looking forward to having Sh1prenfire as part of the team again next year, and personally, I’m excited to see what he brings to the table.