A Few Reasons Video Games Should Not Be Ignored

Video games play a critical role in the development of the brain and in a variety of other important areas of human development. It is very easy to dismiss them as a childish thing and a waste of time, but more and more research continues to show that in fact these games do have merit.

 

The Huffington Post compiled a list of reasons why video games are a great idea for anyone to play, at least from time to time. It all starts with the cognitive development that they bring about in the brain.

 

The modern video game is designed to help the player both have a fun time and think through some critical problems. You have to use your brain pretty heavily to be able to overcome some of the challenges that the game throws at you. Given this, you have to be ready to adapt and your brain must always be on red alert to solve a new problem. That constant usage of your brain power in the games means that it is getting a workout even if it may not seem so to some people.

 

Anxiety can be managed to some extent with certain types of video games as well. This is because some games are very easy to win and therefore help to boast self-esteem and ease anxiety. It is something that actually works for real people. That is a benefit that is often not discussed but is very real nonetheless.

 

Some think that video games are isolating, but that is not true with modern games. The games that people play now often involve a social element that those who do not play games simply do not see. The social element comes in the form of players competing with others all around the planet. This is why some use video games as a means of social interaction, and there is nothing wrong with that. As long as they are gaining something from the game, it is certainly well worth playing.

 

Learning English in the NALCS

In the competitive scene of League of Legends, there are more foreign imports in North America than ever. Many of them come from South Korea and need to learn English in order to communicate with teammates. Sophie Ahn is an English tutor who helps them learn the language. She is contracted by nearly all ten professional teams, and throughout the week, she goes to team houses for English lessons. Teams with two or more imports often conduct lessons in group that allow for conversation between players. Ahn says that players have different degrees of proficiency and willingness to learn. Some players such as P1 Arrow are eager to speak in English with teammates, coaches, and the media. On the other hand, players such as C9 Ray tend to hesitate with speaking freely. Nevertheless, Ahn has been thoroughly impressed by the level of dedication overall. Because communication in game is so crucial for success, the players are willing to invest long hours into the language.

 

It can sometimes be difficult to work with so many teams. Many of them are playing each other in the upcoming week, so there are mixed feelings about helping the enemy out. Ahn does her best to respect the wishes of each team and to avoid playing favorites. As one of the only tutors in the professional scene, she has enormous responsibilities and a large salary as well. She also works with Riot Games as an interpreter for major tournaments and events. In comparison to previous interpreters, her translations have been called accurate, reliable, and fast. Ahn is an important figure in the Esports industry that allows teams to strengthen their communication. Once she learned the common phrases and terminology, her ability to help players has skyrocketed through the roof.

 

The Most Important Video Game Show Is E3

The video game industry continues to get bigger with each passing year. Literally billions of dollars are spent by people around the world every year on the latest games and consoles. The game companies also invest huge amounts of money in developing games that will attract the attention of people and get them interested in buying them. There are a wide variety of video game shows and conventions that are held for the purpose of giving video game companies a chance to show their latest products. The largest of these shows is called E3. It is held in Los Angeles every year. There will be a big change to E3 in 2017. It will be open to the public for the first time ever. Needless to say, gamers are very excited about the chance to play some of the most anticipated games months before they are able for the public to buy.

 

E3 has only been open to people in video game industry until this year. The people who organize E3 thought that including the public this year would be a good idea. The gamers who show up would be able to promote the games they play on social media. Therefore, they would be acting as a free promotional tool for the game makers. It remains to be seen which companies will have booths set up and which games will be available to be played. Some of the companies are being very secretive because they do not want details of their games being released before the show. The organizers have not said if the public will be allowed to attend E3 in future years.

 

Some of the video game companies will have contests at E3 which will give fans the chance to win some of their games. It remains to be seen what the contests will involve. There is certainly much more excitement around the E3 show than there has been in a long time.

Microsoft Game Pass Launching June 1, Trial Available Now for Xbox Live Subscribers

Microsoft on Wednesday announced a release date for Xbox Game Pass, a subscription program that enables players to pay a monthly fee in exchange for access to over 100 games. The service will roll out to all Xbox players on June 1 and cost $9.99 per month.

 

Those who already subscribe to Xbox Live were given an added bonus: early access to the service along with a 14-day free trial.

 

Xbox Game Pass boasts a healthy lineup of popular Xbox One games, including Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, NBA 2K16, and Sunset Overdrive. To get up to and past the 100 game mark, Microsoft has also dug into its library of backward-compatible Xbox 360 games for the service. Popular Xbox 360 releases included in Xbox Game pass include all three titles in the BioShock trilogy, all Xbox 360 Gears of War titles, Fable III, and XCOM: Enemy Within.

 

Microsoft has long been looking for ways to differentiate itself from Sony’s PlayStation 4 offerings, and Xbox Game Pass appears to be another attempt. The service is aimed at expanding the Xbox One’s customer base by lowering the cost of entry for a new console buyer. Instead of having to buy hardware and then plunk down additional cash to purchase games, a player can subscribe to Xbox Game pass and instantly have a catalog of over 100 games for the Xbox One. Add to that the fact that Xbox Live subscribers receive at least four free titles (two Xbox One and two Xbox 360) every month, and Microsoft’s plan to become a budget-friendly console comes into focus.

 

While Xbox Game Pass in its current iteration is comprised mostly of older Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles, the service could one day serve as the launch home for brand new games.

 

“[Subscription services] might spur new story-based games coming to market because there’s a new business model to help support their monetisation,” said Xbox head Phil Spencer in an interview with The Guardian.

 

Spencer’s goal is for Xbox Game Pass to become as ubiquitous as Netflix, and for it to spur the creation of new, experimental content in much the same way the streaming video service has.

 

As Game Pass finds its legs, we’ll see whether or not it can live up to that vision.

 

Microsoft Rebrands Streaming Service Beam as Mixer

Beam, the Microsoft-owned game streaming competitor to Twitch and YouTube Gaming, has rebranded itself as Mixer, according to a post today from Xbox Director of Programming Larry Hryb.

 

Mixer co-founder and engineering lead Matt Salsamendi chimed in on Hryb’s blog post to explain that there’s more to the move than just a name change.

 

“…more than just the name, we’re launching several of the features that you all have been asking for,” said Salsamendi. “Features that will unlock a whole new world of possibilities for social streaming, and help viewers find the content they’re looking for across the service.”

 

An interesting new feature coming to the Mixer platform appears to be what inspired the rebrand. Streamers on the service have long been able to broadcast to their viewers with minimal latency, as well as enable viewers to control actions in certain games. But Mixer is adding the ability for streamers to “mix” themselves with other broadcasters into one channel, merging multiple video feeds and chats so viewers from all streams can interact with one another. This feature, called “co-streaming,” could help Mixer gain ground with streamers and viewers of co-op-heavy games like League of Legends, DotA, and Destiny.

 

“Viewers don’t need to flip back and forth across different streams to view the same group of streamers – they can watch all the action in one place, while enjoying all the innovative interactivity that Mixer offers,” added Salsamendi.

 

In addition to new features on the Mixer platform itself, a new app called Mixer Create is on the way for iOS and Android users. Create will allow streamers to broadcast gameplay and camera footage from their mobile devices, helping broadcasters more easily stream location-based titles like Pokemon Go.

 

Finally, Mixer will gain an increased presence on the Xbox One itself. While Beam has enjoyed several months as the platform’s default streaming option, not much else was done in the way of promoting the service. Mixer will soon be given its own dashboard page on the Xbox One, providing gamers an easy way to browse and watch current streams.

 

It’s possible that more Mixer news could show up at Microsoft’s E3 press conference, which takes place at 5 PM eastern time on June 11. Microsoft plans to stream the conference in 4K resolution over, you guessed it, Mixer.

 

Xbox Game Pass Now Available

The long anticipated Xbox Game Pass is now available for anyone that has an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Everyone else will have to wait until June 1 to try out the new service on their Xbox One. The new subscription service has been called the video game equivalent of Netflix since it was announced at the end of February.

 

Xbox Game Pass will cost gamers $9.99 each month, and it will give them full access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. Subscribers will have the opportunity to download any game on the Xbox Game Pass directly to their Xbox One. Once the game is downloaded, you will have unlimited access as long as you maintain an active Xbox Game Pass subscription. If you decide to end your subscription, then you will no longer be able to play the downloaded games.

 

At the launch of the service, there are currently 110 games available. Only 35 of these games were originally released on the Xbox One console, but all of the Xbox 360 games offered on the Game Pass are playable on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility. Some of the top games available right now include “Halo 5,” “Sunset Overdrive,” “Mad Max,” “Bioshock Infinite” and “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.” A full list of all 110 games currently offered on Xbox Game Pass can be found here.

 

If you do not see any enticing games, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Microsoft has promised to rotate the game selection every month. This will be done by adding and removing a handful of games each month. Microsoft has also promised to provide plenty of warning before removing a game from the subscription service. This warning will give you ample time to finish one of your favorite games before it is removed.

 

While this is not the first subscription video game service, it should be the most successful. Similar services only allowed you to stream games, which often caused inconsistent performance issues. Since Xbox Game Pass lets you downloaded every game directly to your console, no performance problems will exist. Xbox Game Pass is already an excellent value for any video game fan, and it should only improve as the service increases its library.

New Development Traits in Madden

One of the most exciting parts of gaming is being able to build a football team from the ground up. In the newest version of Madden this year, players are going to be able to take development to a new level. With some of the changes that are starting to happen, the players have more control than ever on the style of play that they want to pursue.

 

Development Points

 

One of the biggest advancements in the game this year has to do with development points. This is where players are able to use the development points in ways that they see fit. If you value accuracy over power in your quarterback, you have the ability to spend all of your points in that area. In the past, the development growth for a player was not spread around properly. You ended up having players who were really strong in certain areas, but not necessarily where you needed them to be. With all of the changes that are happening in the game, it is important for players to understand how to build and development a team to stay competitive.

 

Online Play

 

Another important feature this year has to do with online play. There are a lot of people who are excited about all of the options that are coming out for building a franchise and using that team against other players online. People usually like playing online because it provides a different sort of challenge than when playing the computer. With all of the strategy that is involved, now is a great time to start thinking about how you can be more effective in building your team.

 

Over time, Madden has proven to be a great game that a lot of people enjoy. There are many new enhancements this year that will show you how to build the team of your dreams. You can concentrate on the various areas that you want to improve on, and you can use the new features to accomplish that.

 

Niantic Deploys Shadowban to Combat Hacking in Pokémon Go

Niantic, the developer of the mobile Pokémon spin-off, Pokémon Go has repeatedly taken a stance of disapproval regarding the use of third-party applications which interact with their game. The company’s latest countermeasure to cheaters is a “shadowban.” Players affected by this maneuver will have their game modified in such a way that only the most common of monsters will even appear to the player, making it considerably more difficult to catch and evolve monsters.

 

While the shadowban is the company’s most recent approach to cheating players, it is not the first. August saw the company issuing permanent bans to any player who violated the game’s terms of service. Violating the terms of service included the use of emulators, modified software, location spoofing or directly accessing the game’s client through a third-party application. August’s permanent bans were seen as controversial as it penalized the use of sites like PokéVision, which offered a map detailing where Pokémon could be found.

 

Silph Road, a subreddit dedicated to Pokémon Go, remarks that the accounts of shadowbanned players are flagged as illicit and that while many bot accounts had been flagged, many continued to function without issue. Initially, the concern among players was that accounts would be targeted for using deprecated API calls to Niantic’s private server. While this concern turned out to be true, it was not the sole condition for an account to be classified as illicit. Currently, it remains unclear which exact behaviors will result in the declaration of an account as “illicit.”

 

Pokémon Go players that make use of bots or certain third-party applications have reported warnings about the game’s detection of third-party software. The warnings go on to state that continued use of such programs is a violation of the game’s terms of service that can lead to a terminated account. Lastly, it cautions players who play the game without such devices to change the password of their account for fear of someone else spoofing their identity within the game.

 

The Silph Road cautions that not all known bot accounts have been flagged as illicit. While some bots were able to scan common species of pokémon within the game, like “Pidgeys” and “Rattatas,” other accounts have been shut down in order to avoid Niantic’s shadowban.

 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Releases Monthly Update 5/25/2017

Despite being in early access, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is one of the hottest games on Steam right now, having sold over 2 million copies as of May 2017. The game was developed by the modder PlayerUnknown who created the Battle Royale mod for Arma 3, and who also worked on Daybreak’s H1Z1. It is one of the top streamed games on Twitch on a regular basis, and recently made a total of $237,350.00 in a charity fundraiser held on the site.

 

Needless to say, many players of the game are excited for this upcoming monthly update. According to the patch notes, there will be a lot of polishing (especially in terms of badly needed client performance, termed optimization) and bug fixes. In terms of implementing new content, they will be adding a new weapon as well as a new vehicle.

 

One of the biggest fixes they will be making (in terms of gameplay) is to a targeting issue happening on scopes in the game. As shown in a video on their Twitter, bullets were going above the dot on the reticle following the recoil (as demonstrated on 4x scopes in particular). This made it difficult to make long shots, especially taking into consideration the games’ bullet drop mechanics and the need to lead targets.

 

The exciting new gun added is the VSS, a suppressed sniper rifle that uses 9mm ammo that will be found in care packages and as a rare world spawn. One of the greatest things about this new gun, other than being suppressed with no attachments, is that you will not need to find a scope for it- it has a permanently attached 4x scope! The only downside to this might be is if you found an 8x or 15x scope you wanted to attach.

 

As if the new motorbike with sidecar added last update wasn’t cool enough, the developers are adding a single person motorbike to the mix. This motorbike looks similar to the one previously added, but will allow for more maneuverability. They are also adding the ability to control the motorbike in the air, which would allow for the rider to perform stunts!

 

One last important update that is being done is to the games anti-cheat system. They are no longer allowing players to remove shadows by altering the games’ files. This allowed these players to have an unfair advantage over those who still had their shadows; it was easier to see camouflaged or hidden players without shadows.

 

The monthly update goes into effect Thursday, May 25, 5PM KST/1AM PDT/8AM UTC.

How to Build a Great Team on Madden

Madden is one of most popular games in the history of the world. Every year, a new installment of this game comes out that lets people run their own team and players. There are a lot of changes in the model for this year, and many people are wondering how they can build the perfect team. Here are a couple of tips about how you can succeed in the world of running a Madden franchise.

 

 

Drafting

 

When running a franchise, it is vital to be able to draft successfully over time. A lot of people have issues in this area, especially because they do not have an understanding of scouting. Scouting is the way that you can see the attributes of players before you decide to draft them. Instead of spending all of your points on a couple of players, only scout the key attributes of players who you want to scout. This will allow you to get a quality view of the players who are available and make your decisions accordingly.

 

 

Salary Cap

 

In your first year running the franchise, it can be really hard to stay under the salary cap if you do not understand the rules. You need to think of ways that you can make your team better without spending too much money. One of the biggest issues that many people have is spending too much on older players. Past a certain age, the progression of players is quite low. This is why you should never pay too much for someone who is past their prime. If you can learn how to deal with the salary cap, you can essentially build your team any way that you want.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Overall, Madden is a great game that you should enjoy playing. The new features this year make it a much better experience for a lot of players. Not only that, but you can get really deep into running your own franchise. Always remember to think about how much a player is going to cost over time. This will help you stay out of cap trouble for the foreseeable future in your franchise. With the new changes, you have more power as a player than ever before.