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Computer Games – a Waste of Time or Not?

Computer Games

Computer games have been a subject of many debates in the past few years. Are playing video games too violent or too addictive, or take too much time to complete. The main question people and parents ask, are computer games dangerous for those who play them as their main hobby?

Video Game Violence

Many words have been said about violence in games but way less is spoken about all the violence that we see on television or in books. Why would games be different? When you watch a movie you can feel down, or feel scared or even laugh, but you somehow know that it isn’t real. It just doesn’t give such strong sensations.

Gaming, on the other hand, can sometimes be so real that it becomes easy to forget that you are outside the screen. Some people give into this feeling with such devotion that they stop paying attention to their real lives and the real people around them.

Ambition

Such obsession can be as dangerous as any other addiction. We dream to be successful, strong, and smart, to win all the time. Sadly in reality these goals are achieved only after a lot of effort and hard work and sometimes it is difficult to feel accomplished and in harmony with yourself if you are not moving fast enough to reach your ideals.

Many people tend to feel lost and insecure when thinking about what they have not achieved yet. In contrast, when you create your profile in any given game you can become everything you ever wanted to be.

Why leave the place where you are confident and powerful only to return to the normal world?

Skills Gaming Can Build

There are a few physical aspects of gaming that are a boon in real-life:

  • Playing games helps to sharpen your senses such as reaction times
  • Gaming helps with coordination
  • It creates a different view of the world that can translate outside the computer

If you have a good balance of your life and you don’t spend too much time playing computer games, the skills that you develop while playing can help you make better decisions and even be a better leader of other people.

Studies show that computer games can contribute to a better learning process. It seems that students tend to feel more motivated about a given school subject if it is presented in the form of a game. This provides a huge area for thinking of different ways teaching can be approached.

Sometimes It’s Nice To Walk Away

As reality can sometimes be hard, there is nothing wrong with pushing the escape button for a while. It clears the mind, refreshes the brain and makes us happier with our own selves. As long as we remember that nothing can replace the priceless moments of our real lives, games can only do good.

By Max Lang-Orsini

Evolve – Guaranteeing Excitement at Every Turn

Evolve

Evolve is a savage world of man versus nature and throughout the game you are never sure if you are the hunter or the hunted!

Evolve was created from Turtle Rock Studios, the same people who created Left 4 Dead. Evolve is the next generation of multiplayer shooters. The game is never short of action.

What is Evolve?

It begins with a team of four players who use their wits and weapons to fight against a human-controlled beast. A definite plus is that it can also be played as a single player game.

Evolve has 16 different maps, 12 hunters and 3 monsters. In this four versus one game you must take down the beast named Goliath. A fifth player is controlling the monster and helps it feed off other animals and plants to help it evolve and become bigger and stronger. This is what your team of four, when working together, is trying to stop.

Fighting the Goliath in Evolve

The Depth Of Evolve

Evolve was created by combining the games Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike. That is what makes this game unique and action-packed. It brings cooperative team play to a whole new level.

The competitive component is evident throughout the game of Evolve, unlike in the other games. Teamwork and communication are essential between the four hunters throughout the entire game in order to bring down the monster, Goliath.

The four hunters have the ability to give Goliath a real beating with their powerful guns, mines and their ability to shield themselves. But, this will only be successful if they work together as a team. Each hunter takes on an individual role. They can either be a fighter, a medic where team members aid the injured or they can be a trapper whose role is to contain the beast.

Fighting the Goliath in Evolve

There is support throughout the game for the hunters. They can use orbital strikes and cloak themselves when necessary. The medic also has a tranquilizer gun that makes the monster green and slows him down, giving the hunters more time to re-evaluate their strategy and collaborate their ideas until the tranquilizer wears off.

Each hunter takes on a unique role in the game and if they work together, always remembering their individual roles, they can and will successfully take down the monster.

This is the only way to have success in the game of Evolve. There is no room for egos in the game of Evolve. There is no one hunter that takes on the leadership role. You must work together as a team to have a successful outcome.

It is important to note that every match that you play will be unique due to the fact that the monster is humanly-controlled. This is a feature that makes Evolve so desirable and fun. You never know what the monster is thinking and he never knows what the hunters have planned throughout the entire game.

Evolve Artwork

It must be said that Goliath is not a pushover. He has the ability to throw rocks and breathe fire which intensifies as the game progresses. The fire that Goliath breathes can become so intense that it literally roasts the hunter.

The Key To Win

Staying focused throughout the game is essential according to Ivy Leaf Kennels. There are a diverse range of strategies in playing Evolve. The more you play, the more you will master these strategies. Each match is guaranteed to be different no matter how many times you play.

No matter what role you decide to play on your team in Evolve you must always remember to work together, discussing every strategy before it is executed and lending a helping hand to every teammate whenever needed. This is the only way to win over Goliath and the game of Evolve. According to Ivy Leaf Kennels, cooperation and teamwork is the key to Evolve.

The Best PC Games Of All Time | Max Lang-Orsini

The Best 5 Video Games Ever

In this article, I’m going to link the top and most popular list of the best pc games you can play! Some games may require a beefy computer, so make sure you check the system requirements before playing the game!

Grand Theft Auto Series (18+)

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The first in the Grand Theft Auto series by DMA Design was first released in 1997. Grand Theft Auto is the fourth highest selling video game ever. The game allows the player to take on the role of a villain who tries to climb the criminal career ladder. The game is full of violence, contains swearing, nudity, alcoholism and drug use. Reviews constantly state that players love the fantasy world and enjoy doing everything they can’t do in reality. Another popular bonus with this game is that it has an excellent soundtrack alongside each game having its own single player campaign.

Buy the most recent GTA here

FIFA (3+)

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The FIFA series by EA Sports has been brought out every year since the 1990s. The latest in the series, FIFA 18 sold nearly 6 million copies in its first week of release. Gamers love this virtual world of football. FIFA enables you to play in career mode, manage your favourite team and to also build an ultimate team. Gamers can also experience off the pitch moments including the tunnel, locker room and even the team plane!

Play the most recent FIFA here

Minecraft (7+)

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Minecraft was released in 2009, it has sold over 54 million copies. It is described as the modern day version of Lego. It is based on a virtual landscape where the player has to obtain blocks to build structures and survive the night on the main mode. As the players landscape becomes filled there are characters that begin to appear/interact e.g., ghosts and monsters come out at night and the player may need to create a weapon to protect themselves. This game is about imagination and is not about winning or losing, a sandbox.

Play Minecraft here

Tetris (All Ages)

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Tetris is known as the Soviet Mind Game as it was created by Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian who worked for the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Tetris is an addictive puzzle game. It is also the best selling video game ever, with over 170 million copies sold. The game involves the player moving Tetriminos that fall at increasing speeds. The aim is to clear as many lines of ‘Tetriminos’ as possible before the’ Tetriminos’ get you. It requires skill and patience. Tetris features in the Guinness Book of records for being the most ported game – it is available on 65 different platforms.

Play the most recent and remastered version of Tetris here

Super Mario (All Ages)

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The Super Mario game by Nintendo was first released in 1985. It features in the World Video Game Hall of Fame listings. Mario is one of the most well known characters throughout the world. This action adventure game is about the player character, Mario, basically running around and jumping up and down to get to the next level. Sometimes his nearly as famous brother, Luigi, appears in this very addictive game. Mario has proved to be so popular that he has, so far, appeared in over 200 video games.

Play most recent mario game here

Crash Bandicoot – A Retrospective | Max Lang-Orsini

Crash’s Journey Through Time

After the recent announcement of the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (the remake of the original Crash trilogy)’s release date, 30th June, it’s becoming more and more clear that Crash well and truly is back. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about what exactly it was that led fans to be so remarkably hungry (?) for the new installment in the crash bandicoot series.

The History Of Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot, as a character, first came about after original developers Naughty Dog set forth to create an original 3D platformers action game, and a mascot for Sony Computer Entertainment’s new yet to be proven home console, the Playstation.

The first Crash Bandicoot would be released as a hit, which resulted in two more original (main series) Crash Bandicoot titles being developed by Naughty Dog, each releasing to more critical acclaim than the last.

Naughty Dog were riding high with their Playstation mascot, but they clearly wanted to move on to new and different series, especially with the ever approaching release of the Playstation 2. 

So, in 1999, Naughty Dog would finish their fourth and final Crash Bandicoot game, Crash Team racing (a game which had been in development since before the third Crash game). They were now done with the Crash Bandicoot IP, seemingly forever, going on to produce several other hit properties including Jak and Daxter, Uncharted and the Last of us. The fate of Crash Bandicoot, however, was up in the air. Would the property be allowed to fade off into history? Would Naughty Dog return to their original creation? Or would a new developer pick it up?

The Comeback Of Crash Bandicoot

As it turns out, the latter was the case. Universal released one final Crash game, Crash Bash, exclusively to the Playstation in order to fulfil their publishing exclusivity deal, before they handed the series off to Mark Cerny and Vicarious Visions to develop 2 new Crash games. This marked the end of Crash’s original Playstation exclusive run, now moving onto multiple platforms for a series of hit and miss titles, such as Wrath of Cortex and Twinsanity.

2005 marked another complete change up in the Crash Bandicoot development (ironically) with another racing game, Crash Team Racing. Crash was now redesigned for his next title, Crash of the Titans; many fans found this radical change from the series roots jarring, but the game was ultimately a critical and commercial success, leading to the announcement of its direct sequel Mind over Mutant.

Crash Bandicoot Today

This new series would not last long however, as in 2009 (true to form) a final kart racer was released Nitro Kart 2, before the series went on a hiatus. Seemingly, Crash Bandicoot was gone for good.

As you may know however, especially if you actually read the introduction of this article, rumours were abounding on the way to E3 2016, then, some time into Sony’s press conference fans heard the familiar music they’d been longing to hear again for 7 long years.

Crash Bandicoot was coming back, appearing as a new playable character in Skylanders before once again appearing in his own game. A full, from the ground up, remake of the original Naughty Dog Crash trilogy; with new additions including full analog capability and a new save system. Fans of the series (myself included) are hotly anticipating this new installment, so let’s all hope it lives up to the series’ long and varied history.

FarmVille 2 Country Escape – a Gamers’ Review | Max Lang-Orsini

This is the mobile (very tablet friendly) version of FarmVille, available as a free download and a fun to play game for all. Before you read this article, give the trailer a watch and take your own perception and then read this article for a better understanding of the game!

Although you get access to more in-game rewards if you log in with your Facebook account, you don’t actually need to be on Facebook to play. From your mobile or tablet device just go to your app store and enter ‘FarmVille 2 Country Escape’ to download the game free and for a low storage space!

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It’s a Zynga Games development, so watch out for the opportunities to spend your money (buying keys lets you unlock land for expansion & high value animals etc) but you can play the game without spending your hard earned cash. It makes sense since the game is free.

This a worthwhile farming simulation game – grow, harvest and develop your land; trade with neighbours, participate in regular events – there’s genuinely something here for all farming simulation fans.

Probably one of the best aspects of the game is the constant opportunities to earn rewards by participation in events – there’s something happening every few weeks that’ll give you the opportunity to earn a new farmhand (either a 30 day stay or a permanent placement) and that’s a massive bonus while you’re building your farm.

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Plus if you’re a ‘builder’ who likes to grow, maintain and develop as part of your games this is the perfect choice for you – you can farm, harvest and grow to your hearts’ content. And if you’ve a competitive edge (and who in the Gaming community hasn’t?!) then the event participation and the chance to win bigger rewards for ranking higher is definitely going to keep your attention (and probably also keep you up all night too!).

For me, this is a better version of the game than the main FarmVille 2 game on Facebook: on the mobile Country Escape version you can constantly refill your water supply from the stream and lake, meaning you never run out of water to tend your crops with so there’s no ‘time lag’ like you can experience in the main Facebook version.

Overall, this is an addictive and really well thought out farming simulation game: I’ve played a few but this is the one I got hooked on (for all of the above reasons!) and still today I’m planning my farming activity tonight so I can win the current event reward…. A very good overall gaming experience, providing you can spare the time to get hooked on yet another great Zynga game of course!!

Check it out now on the Google Play Store and Apple Store!

Games That Can Make You Smarter

Even though we are used to the idea that games are meant to make you forget about studying or having problems, if we could look a little further they have the potential to develop our brain and help us see the world from a different point of view.

Chess

Chess is one of the most intelligent brain games ever created. It requires a lot of perception and predicting what the opponent might do.

2 players vs each other (typically on a board, though can be played on technology) and each side has 24 pieces spread across a 64 mini squared board. The pieces that you will start with are; 16 pawns, 2 knights, 2 bishops, 2 rooks, 1 queen and 1 king.

During the game each player takes a ‘turn’ by moving a piece forward whilst sticking to their ‘designated square colour’. It is a common trend that the ‘white’ pieces start first, causing them to typically win slightly more and are shown through tournament games.

Chess has a long history as it spans back to the 6th century and began in Northern India.

Chess creates a better analytical thinking in those who play regularly. Studies show that playing chess can even increase your IQ and it does an amazing job with your concentration abilities.

Scrabble

Scrabble is a word game that expands your vocabulary and language skills. There is a whole scrabble association that searches for new words, suitable for the game.

Scrabble is very similar to crossword puzzles, except works slightly differently. Instead of filling in the blanks, you are making as many words up as you can by expanding the letters to create more words. It is a very fun game and has brain training elements to it that you won’t even realise.

Played between 2 and 4 players, a board divided into 15×15 squares has the purpose of creating words from the pieces they have left, whilst expanding on the one on the board.

In 1983, the American Architect ‘Alfred Mosher Butts’ invented the first Scrabble board.

It not only makes you learn new words, but increases your imagination to a point where you not only know the word, but you can also recall it in your memory when the time is right, in a way, improving your memory.

Monopoly

This is a great game for those who dream to become leaders someday. It creates a sense for business and it teaches people about money management techniques. By playing monopoly regularly you can learn how to manage other people’s lives together with your own.

There are even simpler games that can seriously impact on your brain abilities.

If you are right handed, that means that most of your actions and thoughts are performed by the work of your left brain half. This is because the nerve pathways of the right and left brain cross before they reach the body. That means that your left half is more developed than the right one. One effective way to significantly raise your IQ is to try developing the right half as well. A very simple way to do this is by trying to write with your left hand. You will be amazed how such an easy action can take so much effort. Adjusting to this could take years!

Another action that can develop your imagination and improve your visual cortex together with abstraction thinking is to try reading and talking backwards. Talking will take you a little more time, because the brain is designed in a way that it can grasp things easier when you can see them written on a paper.

There are many fun ways that can stimulate your brain to be able to perform difficult tasks. Thus you are not only able to do those tasks, but also you improve the development of different centres in your brain to be able to memorise and complete even harder tasks. And they say that you can’t have fun while learning!