Skills You Can Learn from Video Games

Video Games

We’ve all heard it before – that video games are a waste of time, that they’re unproductive, and worse that they’re rotting your brain. Your parents, teachers or friends might despair at how many hours you spend playing games and devoting your life to achieving the next level on PubG (that’s Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds to the non-gamers out there!).

Sometimes it’s true, and us games could all do with laying off the screen-time and investing in some other, more daylight-centred hobbies. But not all games are inherently brainless. In fact, some aim to teach you something.

Playing video games doesn’t have to just be for entertainment. There are tonnes of educational games out there, and games are often used in education to make the learning process easier and more fun. That’s because games are a powerful tool to teach us skills and make us compete with one and other to get better! What would you rather do: sit through a two-hour lecture, work through a workbook full of exercises, or play games? I know what I’d choose!

So, next time your parent, guardian, friend, significant other or teacher critique you for playing video games, draw their attention to the amazing educational quality of several games out there. Here’s some of the best skills you can learn from video games, as ammunition for your next argument!

Learn an Instrument

Guitar Hero, anyone? You can actually learn rhythm in music games like this, as they allow you to take apart individual sections of songs and focus on them. You might learn the bassline of one song and begin to appreciate how all of the instruments in the music fit together.

Meanwhile, Rock Band can teach you how to drum. If you go the whole hog and invest in the drum controller, you have a pretty accurate recreation of the real thing – four drum pads and a foot pedal. You’re only missing the hi-hat! Once you graduate to the expert level in this game, you could probably make it by pretty easily in a real band. Guitar and bass players (or wannabe players) can use Rock Band 3’s pro controller to learn chord structures. Finally, grab your real guitar and hook it up to Rocksmith, a game that teaches you how to play guitar with a bunch of fun mini games thrown in.

Circumnavigation

If you want to learn how to travel around the world in 80 days, there’s a game for you. Picture the scene: you’re in 19thcentury Steampunk London, following in the footsteps of the classic novel by Jules Verne, in a brilliant mobile game that’ll teach you circumnavigation and more.

Figure out what route is best: a balloon across Arabia or hitching a ride on the Trans-Siberian railway. Along the way, learn about the geography and culture of the world, and how to survive on very little money. By the time you finish, you may be considering taking off and travelling the world in real life!

Rocket Science

Check out the Kerbal Space Program if you want to have your own Major Tom moment in outer space!

Outer space is notoriously difficult to survive (think of all the movies you’ve seen where poor astronauts are shot into space and then spend the rest of the film trying to survive and return home!). Even real missions often go wrong. That’s why the Kerbal Space Program aims to give people some experience before they graduate to astronaut-level heights!

“You learn how to send your Kerbals into space, land them on the moon, or orbit their own home planet (via a lot of trial and error),” says Frank Bate, a gaming blogger at Britstudent and NextCoursework. “Learn about trajectories, gravity, weight, propulsion, fuel, rocket shape and more to get the job done and launch the Kerbals into the atmosphere. You’ll also need to build rescue rockets to get those stranded when the mission goes wrong!”

This game is even endorsed by NASA, so it’s a winner if you want to convince folk that games can be educational!

Engineering

If you haven’t heard about Minecraft, you’re clearly not well-versed in the culture of video gaming. Minecraft is a spectacular game for a few reasons (no, it’s not just about punching trees and running around heedlessly). With the in-game mineral, known as Redstone, you are going to learn electrical engineering.

Redstone is used to power mechanical devices – but it’s not as easy as pressing ‘A’ and that’s the end! No, in Minecraft, you actually have to learn about how Redstone’s current moves, splits and transforms. At advanced levels, with the right placement of logic gates, you can create complex machines like calculators! So, if you can figure out how to make Redstone work for you, you will at least be able to wire up a clock in the house. At best, you’ll be able to wire electricity without blowing any circuits!

Programming

“Learning how to code is accepted as a very, very useful skill in the modern age. In fact, it’s even being taught to children in schools!” says Karis Holland, a tech writer at Australia2Write and Write My X.

If you missed the boat and never learned anything about coding, fear not: these games will bring you up to speed.

SpaceChem is a puzzle game that will teach you about the logic behind if/then statements, recursion/loops, and all the other basics of programming. CodeCombat incorporates JavaScript into the gameplay and gets really serious. Light Bot is a game for kids (but also, let’s not lie, useful for adults with zero knowledge of coding) that teachings the logic of computer coding.

Shooting Games

No article about skills you can learn from games would be complete without mentioning the beloved FPS (First person shooter) games like PubG, Call of Duty and Free Fire. These games can typically be found on any medium, from smart phones to laptops to gaming devices like PlayStations. What you may be surprised to learn is that in a 2009 study, the University of Rochester found that shooting games improve your vision! They found that these games boost alertness and sensitivity in the eyes and may be used in the future to correct poor vision. Tell this to your parents next time they say you’ll get square eyes from staring at a screen so long!

 

Author Bio: Michael Dehoyos, a content marketer and editor for PhD Kingdom and Academic Brits, shares his cybersecurity and online hacking developments with his readers. He enjoys finding easier ways for companies to become more secure and successful.

vGamerz Contibutor

Four Video Games That Gave Us a Positive Message

Video Games

Well, for most of use video games are fun and that’s what they are made for but some of the video games really render a powerful message. If you have bought cheap video games just to try them out but if you pay attention close to the narratives, you will get the core message of the game. The following four games have a powerful message to share with you and whoever decides to pick them up.

The Last of Us (2013)

Naughty Dog was zealous to display its greatest riding by giving us a beginning cut scene that made us cry more in 15 minutes than most games can push out of us in a few hours. As a result, a devoted father and family man undergoes a steady yet testing stream of character development hardening him into a rough and gravelly survivalist. The following 20 years after his daughter’s death, we can assume, wasn’t fun. But after a massive contagion becomes a global issue, he met new friends and allies that gave him something to fight for by conquering countries at a time.

This game tells us that it’s important to keep in mind that a person can truly move on from anything with the proper nurturing from a reliable group of friends.

Life is Strange (2015)

Taking us on an episodic journey, Life is Strange beautifully stretched its narrative across five episodes. All of which seemed to unravel the story just a little further and a little weirder than before. After a distant childhood friend makes an untimely return back into the already confusing life of Max Caulfield, the esoteric town of Arcadia Bay starts to slowly reveal its mysteries to the player. The mechanic of rewinding time though seeming to be arbitrary actually was done to reflect the common human tendency to want to rewind time to prevent taking a certain risk or putting a deep regret to rest.

An innocent story of reconciliation develops into something far bigger than anyone playing the game could have ever anticipated. Even despite the seamless pacing and overwhelming streams of supernatural events, the game still makes room for plenty of nostalgic moments that force you to remember your own childhood partner in crime.

inFAMOUS (2009)

Cole MacGrath’s trip to Empire City, as a bike courier, takes a disastrous turn. Things get heated pretty quickly as he is blamed for terroristic acts against the city. Everywhere from Ground Zero to 50 miles out, the great metropolis deteriorates into a massive post-apocalyptic wasteland. People are faced with daily moral dilemmas on how to survive even if that means jeopardizing the survival of others. Your decisions raise your karmic level in two different directions and the player unlocks access to new powers and abilities depending on which courses of action they choose.

As one of the first recent games to teach us the implications of our decisions do indeed have consequences. A lot of players were met with the tension in which they have never experienced resulting in a pretty immersive plotline in which the player gets to control.

Kingdom Hearts (2002)

Kingdom Hearts introduced so many gamers to the notion that games or just these toys you played on a screen by pressing buttons. These games could tell stories and build characters. Kingdom Hearts taught people the power of teamwork and friendship in the face of overpowering adversity and to simply remain hopeful in yourself. Confessing your fears and worries to your friends is what makes them lose their power over you. Because inside of us all there’s a tiny little flare of light that cannot be extinguished.

So, these are the 4 video games that we consider they give a positive message. If you know more video games and want to share with us, please feel free to use the comments box below.

Beauty & Fashion Used In Video Games

Beauty & Fashion

Beauty & Fashion + Video Games

Beauty & fashion in the gaming world can be so confusing, am I right? Often, we think about our favorite characters, and we try to imagine and see where the illustrator found the inspiration for their main wardrobe piece, as well as bold makeup looks. If you want to know more about their creative way of thinking, drawing, as well as a proper way of incorporating some key elements, here is how beauty & fashion are used in video games! For this purpose, we’re going to take Tomb Raider as example.

Top 3: The Development Of Tomb Raider 

  1. Always Referencing

Tomb Raider

Developers & graphic designers always start off with their skeleton and its foundation, but gradually build other pieces on top. When working with female characters, the choices can be endless. Let’s take Lara Croft as an example. The well-known Tomb Raider leading character has been a must-play for both guys & girls worldwide, thanks to its appealing graphics, as well as exciting gameplay.

Lara Croft is a female British character, known as an archeologist which shows her power & fierceness throughout the entire game. The developers wanted to reference her as a strong individual, so they dressed her up in feminine yet appropriate clothing for cave exploring.

  1. Appealing Presence

Lara Croft

If Lara Croft had been an overweight character with short blonde hair & tattoos, do you think that people would find her as appealing? The developers had to make her universally beautiful with some interesting & unique features, such as her braided hair. So, did you know that the game has been sold over 67 million times thus far? Also, it was recognized by the Guinness World Records and has been described as ”the most successful human video game heroine in 2006’‘ and has even won 6 awards in 2010!

This all may be because of Lara’s gorgeous appearance, and maybe because of an amusing gameplay?

Speaking of amusing gameplays, if you want to know what other games are going to be huge in 2019, check these out Video game in 2019.

  1. Always Developing

Trendy looks of Tomb Raider

Games are always developing, and so are its graphics. For instance, did you know that Tomb Raider began its production in 1993? To this day it’s been re-done over 7 times, and it has always followed specific trends in the gaming as well as in the makeup industry. In the video below, you can see all versions and how they’ve changed over the years. At first, Lara’s weapons weren’t as graphic while today there are loads of different options that you can choose from. Also, appearance wise, her clothes got shorter & tighter, while her facial features got a lot more accentuated with some bold contouring moves, as well as with false lashes. And all of this just to stay up to date with bold & trendy looks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-P-smim5gQ 

Would You Play It As Well?

Since now you know a bit more about Tomb Raider and its development please let us know: would you play it?

Also, are you someone who appreciates old-school and not as graphical developments, or do you love the fact how Lara’s appearance has changed over the years and has been up to date with modern trends? Let us know! Oh also, speaking of trends, if you are thinking about following current Spring runway-inspired makeup looks, this article may help you out with that Makeup trends for Spring 2019.

Stay fashion 😉

VR Will Revolutionize Gaming for Players and Spectators

VR Game The Climb: Oculus Rift mit Touch

It wasn’t that long ago that virtual reality was a fantasy that only existed in science fiction movies. But as we’ve learned over the past year, the technology is real and has amazing potential. Companies have developed programs that have lifesaving potential, pain management applications and driver safety training.

Gaming Will Never Be the Same

Gaming Will Never Be the SameOf course, the average person is much more interested in how VR technology will revolutionize video games, both from the perspective of the gamer and the spectators. While the technology is still in its infancy we’ve gotten a taste with the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and others as to the changes that we can anticipate in the coming years.

There are already hundreds of games from different genres, from first person shooter to action/ adventure and logic games. Even casino games have been improved upon; many online roulette games become more popular thanks to VR devices. What makes all these games better than their traditional predecessors is they put the player in the game. Instead of clicking a button to play roulette, now the player virtually walk through the casino floor and take in the ambiance. With first person shooter games, especially as the AI continues to get better, you could feel like you’re out there on the front lines.

VR Can Improve How We View Sporting Events

VR Can Improve How We View Sporting EventsThe improvements don’t stop with the gamers themselves, but even spectators are seeing the benefits that VR can bring. If you watched the 2017 Super Bowl, then you probably caught a glimpse of the insights that can be seen from home. Several times that cameras showed the viewers how the play unfolded from the Quarterbacks perspective and exactly what he’s seeing. Esports are also utilizing 360-degree VR cameras to enhance the viewing experience for their fans.

These changes are only the beginning of what we hope will continue to develop into an even better VR experience in the very near future.

Do you have something to say about the VR? Please share your thinking in the comment section below.

5 Star-Crossed Lovers in Video Games

Zack and Aerith

Star-Crossed

Video Games – some of them have great and immersive stories and more often than not, there are lovers in these video games that we envy or love; and they earn a special place in our hearts. Not to sound cheesy but, one way or the other, they remind us that love is such a powerful force. Unfortunately, not all love stories have happy endings filled with flowers and dancing-in-the-rain sort of romance. As usual, there are spoilers. So if you read the characters of a game and you know you haven’t played it yet, play them first then come back. I believe that these stories will have more effect if you’ve built a strong relationship with the characters. Without further ado, Here are some of the star-crossed Romeo’s and Juliet’s in video games. Enjoy.

Max Caulfield and Chloe Price

That look : Chloe looking at Max
That look : Chloe looking at Max

Probably one of the most memorable games I’ve played in recent years, Life is Strange. It tells the story of Maxine Caulfield, who discovered that she has the ability to turn back time after seeing her childhood friend, Chloe Price, killed by her annoying spoiled classmate, Nathan from the influential Prescott family. After saving Chloe – through Max’s newly discovered ability – Max opened her powers to Chloe and the pair decided to use it for good. Starting there, the player is brought to a series of breaking in various areas, solving puzzles, and of course, time-reversing moments. All to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Chloe’s friend, Rachel Amber. I won’t reveal who the perpetrator is and jump right to the ending.

Because of Max’s playing around with time, she brought a huge tornado closing in to Arcadia Bay, a fictional coastal city in Oregon. And the only way to save the town is to reverse time to when it all started. At the bathroom where Max saved Chloe using her new ability. It is then the player’s choice to save Arcadia Bay by letting Chloe die or to sacrifice the town to allow Chloe to live.

Life is Strange Max and Chloe
Whichever you path you choose, the pain will still be there…

Remember that philosophical question about which train track would you pass a train: a track with the one you love tied on the path or the other track with multiple people tied on the path? That was how I felt making that decision.

Master Chief and Cortana

Master Chief and Cortana
Master Chief and Cortana

Imagine yourself as a super space soldier, so powerful that even alien species know your name; then, imagine yourself accompanied by a caring, intelligent, and gorgeous woman who is slowly dying. What would you feel? Would the feeling be the same if I told you she’s an Artificial Intelligence?

Meet John-117 aka Master Chief, a Spartan-class commando of the United Nations Space Command, and Cortana, an AI tasked with assisting the Chief through his missions. Playing Halo for all these years, we develop a bond between the two and the player. Which made the events of Halo 4 devastating for the players out there. We can feel Cortana’s feelings for the Chief during the intro and ending of the live-action film, Forward Unto Dawn, which also acted as an introduction to Halo 4. What hurt more was when Cortana, despite ‘decaying’, harnessed all her remaining power to appear as a human-sized version of herself just to feel and kiss Master Chief. Also that part where Cortana sacrificed herself to save the Chief; I don’t know about you but, that hurt like hell.

Cortana confesses
I’ve waited so long to do that…

Ellie and Riley

Ellie and Riley
Ellie and Riley

Oh, Last of Us, we are going to talk about you again. But this time, we will talk about the DLC, Left Behind. It tells the story about Ellie’s flashbacks as she was looking after Joel after he fell on a piece of metal that pierced his flesh during the course of the main game.

Ellie’s flashbacks showed us the story of how she and her best friend, Riley, worked together and survived the harsh world filled with hordes of infected. Along the course of the DLC, we become attached to the pair. They laughed together, helped each other when in danger, but it all reached the climax when Ellie suddenly kissed Riley – Out. Of. Nowhere. Even I was shocked despite anticipating such a reveal. Despite, their sweetness and joy together, the universe didn’t agree. During their struggles in the mall, both of them were bitten and we all know what happens when you’re bitten by an infected. You turn. You become infected yourself. That just what happened.

That's the look when you know it's all going to end...
That’s the look when you know it’s all going to end…

Then, they just decided to just wait it out Instead of committing suicide – enjoy the little time they had together. But, things can get worse. Only Riley turned. Yes, Ellie discovered that she was immune and now she is – incoming pun – left behind. Without Riley…what an ending. Thank you Naughty Dog. Neil Druckman, you…you’re awesome.

Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly

The graduation ball. Isn't she cute?
The graduation ball. Isn’t she cute?

You must be like, “Final Fantasy…Why am I not surprised?”. Well, unsurprisingly for us, Final Fantasy have some favorable couples in their series. But, we are only going to talk about one pair in particular. If you want to add Ramza and Delita here, be my guest. I was considering them when I was writing this article. *Hysterical laugh* Oh, Ramza. Seriously now, we are going to talk about Squall Leonhart and Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII.

This is probably one of the entries in the franchise that has quite a complicated story that only Whovians can understand right then and there during their first playthrough. Still, we all remember that sweet dance they had during their graduation ball which reminded us of our own Junior Senior Promenades, right? Plus the soundtrack; who didn’t feel something move in their chest every time they hear Eyes on Me play?

Squall and Rinoa
Squall and Rinoa

Even though the couple didn’t exchange I Love You’s, their love for each other is obvious. They even talked in private on where to meet if they lose their way during their last mission against Ultimecia during the big wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff that is the Time Compression Spell. Rinoa also brought out the “sweet and caring” side of Squall who is very serious, introverted, and cold prior to falling for Rinoa.

Wander and Mono

Wander with Mono on the altar
Wander with Mono on the altar

When I first saw the cover and the gameplay video for the Shadow of the Colossus, I prepared myself for the action and the challenge that was waiting for me. What I didn’t expect was the plot twist that was lurking at the end of the game. I did have mixed feelings when confronting the giant creature guardians dwelling in the world; a mixture of “Do I really need to kill these guys?” and “Meh, let the challenge begin, down you go, big fella!”. Little did I know – honestly, I didn’t really know, no idea at all – that I was releasing a demon with each colossus that I defeat. All I knew when I was playing through the game is that, I was reviving my love that I left on the altar at the beginning of the game.

Then, down goes the last colossus. I just released a demon and I acted as a conduit for the big guy. Yes, I did revive my love but, I fell into the depths of darkness.

Wander struggling
Wander struggling

Consumed by what I have been slowly releasing through the course of the game. Unable to at least touch a strand of my love’s hair, hold just a shadow of her now-alive beauty, or hear her angelic soothing voice once more. What struck me then was that the game broke my anticipated happy ending and caught me off-guard with a dramatic ending. You can feel Wander’s desire to be by the sides of her love at the ending when you’re controlling him as he struggle against the darkness that was pulling him away from Mono. And then you’ll feel it was all for naught and a same time feel good for the guy. Whether he knew what he was doing or not, it doesn’t really matter. What we all know is that Wander was willing to do everything to bring Mono back.

There are other star-crossed lovers in a lot of video games out there and these are just some of them. How about you? What video game broke your heart after falling for the couple in the game? Which video game couple made you feel what it’s like to love and be loved? Share with us in the comment section below and let’s talk about love and pain.

RUMOR ALERT: Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls VI Project on the Horizon?

Bethesda's Elder Scrolls VI Project

Has The Time Come for The Next Chapter in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls Franchise?

It’s 2017 already. Thus, marks the beginning of year 6 since the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been released. Although, sure…you can argue and say the October 2016 release of the remastered version of Skyrim for the next-gen consoles and PC counts. But, it’s not the release we really were excited for. Bethesda for the most part have been hush-hush on opening coming out and saying the Elder Scrolls VI project is in the works. But, just because they haven’t said it doesn’t mean they haven’t been hard at work on it.

It’s clear that Bethesda doesn’t need to follow the popular trends to be successful. They’ve paved their own path to success and it continues to work well in their favor. They’re never in a rush to release sequels to popular games. Unlike, some other companies. I’ll leave names out of it but they know who you are (Hint…Call of Duty).

Bethesda aims to please. They strive to create the best possible game no matter the time is takes to do it. Just look at the gaps in years between sequels of some of their games; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim took 5 years. Dishonored to Dishonored 2 took 4 years. Fallout 3 to Fallout 4 took 7 years. Shall I go on?

Time means very little to the developers at Bethesda. However, is anyone complaining? The results speak for themselves. ($750 million in sales for one day during the release of Fallout 4)

Official Unofficial Hints

Being completely direct, in an IGN interviews with Studio Head Todd Howard after 2016’s E3 conference, Howard said that Bethesda will be making a new Elder Scrolls game. I know—lets the cheers rain down!

However, that’s about all that has been official when talking about the next instalment of the Elder Scrolls franchise. Howard never said Bethesda was currently working on the game current though. Which, for a lot of us sounds like more waiting. Sadly, that’s the truth. But just how far away are we from getting our next fix of the Elder Scrolls?

The Waiting Game

It’s safe to say that none of us shall expect another Elder Scrolls game in the next couple of years. Studio Head of Bethesda, Todd Howard, has said that the Elder Scrolls VI development is “very long off” from any kind of release. As you may already know, the Elder Scrolls huge world design is not a simple feat to accomplish. Especially now that the next-gen consoles have introduced the stunning 4K formatting.

Bethesda has stated after Dishonored 2 dropped in late 2016, that they’re working on 2 huge projects that much like the size of Skyrim and Fallout 4. These 2 games will  be released before the Elder Scrolls VI project will be.

If Skyrim was any indication of how advanced Bethesda is looking to expand and improve-on means, we could be getting next-level pioneering in effects and gameplay as a result! You know…when it does come out.

The Conclusion

As for me, all I can say is it’s going to be a journey to its release. I don’t expect to TES6 to be released until 2019 at the earliest. Maybe at 2017’s or 2018’s E3 Conference we’ll finally be told much more about the future of Elder Scrolls VI. Until then, keep playing gamers.

Gaming Is Good For Me

A ‘hobby’ is defined as ‘An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure’. Common hobbies include an ensemble of varying sport activities, the reading of books, even trainspotting is considered a hobby. However, it has come to my attention that for a noticeable number of those outside of the gaming community that playing video games is highly disregarded as a hobby. That being said, what I aim to do here is try to defend this hobby that I personally partake in and try to bring into light it’s positive aspects as I believe it has many.

gaming is good for me 1

The Lazy Hobby 

One of the primary reasons that indulging in a game is frowned upon is due to the fact that it isn’t a particularly physically demanding hobby. Strictly speaking, most gaming consoles and handhelds require the player to sit and focus on a screen. A successful game developer will aim to keep the player seated and engrossed for an extended duration of time. Does this then ultimately mean that gaming should be classed as any less of a brilliant hobby? I think that is quite unfair actually.

The Comeback

Firstly, let’s begin with the fact that although gaming as a hobby in most cases is not physical or evident in any means of activeness, mentally, games possess the ability to exercise a players mind. Games of today offer the players opportunities to gain knowledge of circumstances and eras that prior to playing would not have comprehended or taken any interest in. They allow players to put themselves into situations and ways of thinking that they would not consider themselves ever to be in. A fine example of a game that captures this ability so well is Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream). Heavy Rain falls under the genre of interactive-drama. Throughout the proceedings of the game the player plays as four vastly differing characters that are all collectively involved in the case of a serial killer known as the Origami Killer. The player is put in the position of a Father, a former police officer, a FBI profiler and a photojournalist. The game requires the player to make quick and vital decisions that have the potential to kill of main characters. Complete with interactive gameplay in the form of fast-paced action sequences and motion related actions with the controller, Heavy Rain is perfect for involving the player as if they were living out the games events for themselves. By bringing the more underrated moments of gaming in to light, we could even consider the fact that perhaps gaming ultimately becomes a more exciting way to learn.

Furthermore, in regards to the physical side to the argument, game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, have answered such issues allowing players to use their physical being to play games. For example, Wii Sports provides players the chance to bring sporting activities to their home. Despite the odd, 40 inch television taking a battering from a Wii remote in tennis or the insatiable level of embarrassment derived from playing Just Dance at a family gathering, Nintendo Wii, Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect have answered the demand for more physical means of gaming.

gaming is good for me 2

Living The Story Of Many Differing Characters

Admittedly, one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing video games is the sheer span of genres, gameplay styles, settings, story lines and characters. The profound versatility video games provide is what allows it to be such a widely appreciated hobby. It offers players of all types a chance to escape from their everyday troubles, whether it be a bad day at work or a little bit of leisure to unwind. Let’s take The Last Of Us as an example. A hard day at the office followed by even a short amount of time with protagonists of The Last Of Us, Joel and Ellie is enough to A. mentally teleport you elsewhere even if only for a short while and B. Proceed to make you then realise that things could be worse, you could be surviving against an increasing population of infected on a day to day basis. The requirement for a general escape from reality is something every good hobby should offer and gaming offers just that. In addition thanks to the indefinite amount of genres it is fair to say gaming can cater for every type of player. There is no reason why is should be regarded unpleasantly.

The Last of Us™ Remastered_20140804220109

Educational

As mentioned briefly before, gaming is actually relatively educational when considering games such as the Assassins Creed franchise for instance. The Assassins Creed game series orientates itself around various historic events and is based within historic settings. It reconciles a number of radically different religious faiths and beliefs and ties them in with the story lines of the games within the series. Games such as Assassins Creed are great for bringing to the attention of the player, things they may not have known before. This enlightenment to players as a whole is just another pro to gaming.

Gaming- Associated badly?

It is possible that the more negative views and opinions aimed at gaming as a hobby may actually be derived from popular game franchises almost posing as the face of the hobby. For instance, first-person shooter franchise, Call Of Duty is at the heart of many gaming addictions. The installments within the series consist of taking part in war, mass shootings and a number of other violent activities. Although, the events within some of the series installments are of historic significance, it is apparent that the overriding feature of the series is the widely played multiplayer which results in a lot of anger and arguing among players the vast majority of the time.  This being said there is a strong possibility that the negativity posed towards gaming as a hobby could originate from associating gaming primarily with such franchises. Whether or not it is the narrow-mindedness of outsiders to the gaming community or poor means of presenting gaming is to blame, both fail to acknowledge the beauty in games such as The Last Of Us, Tomb Raider, Journey and even more recent titles such as Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. These memorable video games not only fulfill the basic needs and requirements of a hobby, but that also allow the player to lose themselves in jaw-dropping stories that give the player the chance to explore an entire spectrum of emotions they were not accustom to prior to playing.

gaming is good for me 4

All In Favor

Gaming is an utterly fantastic hobby that can take a player of any age or sort and give them their rope ladder to escaping the harshness of reality for just a few hours when seemingly needed most. No, generally speaking gaming isn’t as physical as other more kindly regarded hobbies but in terms of exercising the mind and imagination, I believe that gaming should be regarded in much higher spirit than it is by so many. Here, I aimed to open discussion over the issue, not point fingers.

That said, feel free to comment your views below.

 

Gamer’s Book Guide: “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Lately, I have been disappointed by my lack of available time to spend reading. Most of my free time has been spent writing, watching TV, playing video games, and listening to podcasts. For whatever reason, reading is always the thing that I enjoy that gets the short end of the stick. Perhaps it’s because I already read a lot for the classes I’m taking, or maybe it’s just because reading for extended periods of time makes my eyes tired.

Whatever the case, I want to read more and I would like to encourage others to do so as well. Because of this, I’m starting a monthly article series called “Gamer’s Book Guide” where I will read and recommend books that will be relevant to people into gaming or other geeky things. The books I will be highlighting each month won’t necessarily be about gaming either, they will just be books I believe people into geeky things will enjoy. Also, I will be talking about books, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every book will be a novel, such is the case for this month.

This month, I highly recommend “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley. “Seconds” is a graphic novel about a girl in her mid-twenties, Katie, who utilizes mushrooms to travel back in time to fix past mistakes. Like other works by O’Malley, the first part of the story sounds totally normal but then it just dives into total insanity. Similar to his previous series, “Scott Pilgrim”, this book is also riddled with references to movies and video games.

Also like his past work, “Seconds” tells a fairly small and personal story especially considering all the magic and weirdness that occurs in the book. When you get down to it, it’s just a story about Katie’s quarter-life crisis. O’Malley’s writing will also be instantly relatable to the reader, especially if they’re in their late teens or twenties.

As a bonus, if you’re a “Scott Pilgrim” fan like I am, this book can technically be seen as a sequel to that series as Scott and Ramona show up as background characters in a few scenes. It’s nothing substantial, but a fun little Easter egg for fans of the author.

The other nice thing about the book is O’Malley’s art and the coloring done by Nathan Fairbairn. While O’Malley’s art style isn’t exactly one that can be “more detailed” but you can still see an evolution of his style with each book he puts out. In “Seconds” his art style is used very effectively and really helps establish the weird, colorful, and kinda sad tones that are presented throughout the book.

Now that you know my non-spoilery opinion on the book, try it out yourself and form your own opinions. Or if you have read it already, comment below and tell me about what you thought of the book.

The Most Important Part of a Video Game

Outlast is the scariest game in the survival-horror genre that I’ve played in the last few years. And it’s not only because of the abundance of monsters, suddenly jumping out at you from around the corner of the screen, which are usually prerequisite for this types of games.

The point is how Outlast manages to use jump scares with minimal presence of  indicators on the screen, beautiful graphics, great sound and a lack of self-defence methods to create an atmosphere that not only frightens it’s audience with suddenness, but also manages to keep the tension intact and ever present at all times. You never feel secure, your hero is alone in an incredibly brutal world with no salvation in site and which has only one objective – to scare the living pants of you!

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And the key word in all that is atmosphere. After all, if the game can pull it off: create the right environment, characters and music, it can compensate for the many disadvantages that it might have. A good example is “Assassin’s Creed” (2007). The game, which was crammed with so many awkward design decisions and the repetitiveness of similar missions, but nevertheless was successful and liked by many gamers due to the fact that it superbly presented itself. Every little mission, whether it is the surveillance of any character or disclosure of the new territory (at the time still a novelty in the Ubisoft games) was a step on the way to the main point of the game – a lone man in a dressing gown stealthily planning an assault on a designated target of the day.

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Another example is  “L.A. Noire”, which was popular not only among critics at the time of its release, but also found commercial success. And it is remarkable not because it took few missteps in its mission design like aforementioned AC where sometimes they felt like an on rail sequence, but the fact that it was a completely new IP and also that it was of the genre not often visited in video games at the time. But again, due to the fact that all activities are interconnected and the gameplay was centralized – whether it’s the chase, crime scene analysis or even an elementary review of all the evidence in your notebook, L.A. Noire never lost a sense of place and understanding of the role you play. Because, in the end, this is the purpose of the games – we trying to walk in someone else’s shoes: a gangster, a detective, the military man or just a cartoon character, and if the game can create the right atmosphere for it, then it can compensate for many shortcomings or create an inviting ambiance to invite the new players in and forge a world which we do not want to leave behind.

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Often, a person ceases to play a certain game just because of the lack of common sense of the world that it’s trying to establish, whether it’s a lack of interesting characters, good music or unexamined universe, and in almost all such cases, a gamer can’t explain what’s in it that kills the enthusiasm for him or her?! And only when the word “atmosphere” appears in discussion,  the realization dawns on the person of what it lacked. And that is the point of this article. Nowadays the most often topic regarding games is the number of frames per second, or the graphic component that really for me, too, plays a huge role. I love the beautiful graphics: draw distance, volumetric lighting, smooth animation – everything that’s been mentioned is absolutely important. But such beauty must  serve as a wrapper for the true treasures hidden in – the atmosphere and all of its components! Remember what our parents used to tell us – It’s what inside that matters. Same here, no matter what goal the game strives to achieve, whether it’s to enthral us with explosions and shooting, or to keep us interested with various puzzles, or even sometimes to scare us, all video games want to create the world we do not want to leave, even if the world as wonderfully brutal and frightening as in the game Outlast.

Easy Things That Are Much Harder to Do in Games than in Real Life

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There’s clearly a ton of things that you can do in video games way better than you would in real life: surviving alien-infested words, rebuilding civilizations, running for hours without taking a sip of water and much, much more. But have you ever thought about the things that are a lot easier to do in real life?

You’ll certainly have quite a few and I am sure that you’ve all been there and done that. Rage quits and broken mice/controllers are included too. So let’s check out below some of the easiest things you can do in real life but are almost impossible in Video Games:

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What other things would you add to the list?

[Source: Reddit]