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What's going on in Esports this week?

What's going on in Esports this week?

VALORANT, RiotGames’ latest release, will be hosted in a three-day event this weekend September 11th-13th. This Ignition series tournament will be hosted by Danish organiser BLAST, on Twitch.tv. RiotGames and BLAST partner up to pit four teams against each other for a prize of €50,000($58,890.) The teams: Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Liquid, G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix will face-off in a best-of-three bracket leading into a traditional best-of-five finale. The series will only be available on Twitch so make sure you log in on Friday, Sept 11th to check it out!

BLAST Director of Product and Experience, Nicolas Estrup, stated that “VALORANT has enjoyed record-breaking success since its launch...” He believes that BLAST will be able to lead the way in tournament production with their “...fan-first approach.” The company has almost exclusively hosted CS:GO events in the past, you could bet on CS:GO if you fancied a flutter, with an expansion into Dota 2 earlier this year, so it only makes sense that they would be behind a similar title like VALORANT. It will be interesting to see how the team at BLASTapproaches the game that has the bones of CS:GO and the polish and innovation of Overwatch.

Cloud9’s CS:GO division gets a new member as Henry “HenryG” Greer announces his retirement as a six-year CS:GO caster and steps into the role of general manager. Alongside him, Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunovic, former coach of 100 Thieves and new coach for C9, plans to re-tool and develop the new roster. During an interview with Dexerto, Greer stated he was ambitious in his vision for the team and said: “The Cloud9 Brand speaks for itself, it is one of the absolute cornerstones of the esports landscape.”

Cloud9 was founded in 2013 and has since grown to become one of the most notable esports organizations on the planet. They offer professional teams in League of Legends, CS:GO, and Hearthstone, amongst many other titles. The company is no stranger to success, boasting a myriad of honours, achievements and tournament wins over the years.

We look forward to the coming months of Cloud9’s CS:GO dynasty as it ebbs and flows to the new caretakers “HenryG” and “Kassad.”

Will players start drinking Bud Light during games? Parent company Budweiser has applied for the trademark “official beer of esports.” While the majority of professional esports players are above 21 years of age, the average viewer is 28.  It’s not surprising then to see a massively successful sponsor like Budweiser advocate for its spot in the industry, though why not sooner is a mystery.

It’s no doubt that esports is on the rise everywhere in the world, especially during the global pandemic. With most traditional sports cancelled (except baseball and basketball), remote schooling and more work-from-home scenarios than ever before, esports are feeding off the increase in gaming traffic and viewership. This gives companies like Budweiser opportunities to branch into new markets and influences the professional world of gaming. They are not the first to arrive and will definitely not be the last to stay.

Bud Light, a subsidiary of Budweiser, is one of the largest advertisers of the esports industry; sponsoring powerhouse titles such as NBA 2K and League of Legends. This September the company has launched its first championship, Battle of the Best on its Twitch channel. They are looking to the future with ambitions to sign talent and increase their view count on Twitch. According to GlobalData, the industry is predicted to reach a worth of $300 billion by 2025, a number that triples the 2019 film industry. I wonder if there will be more films about pro-gaming or if AAA studios will also sponsor esports players and teams…

Now more than ever companies and athletes are investing in the world of esports. Known investors include Mark Cuban, Rick Fox, Tony Robbins and Post Malone. The possibilities are endless. There could be a cross between traditional and esport merchandise and branding. The entire world of sports is upside down right now, spinning and mixing together. I’m sure what will come as a result of this will be an expansion of all sides of the industry.

 

 

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High Score S1E6 Level Up

High Score Level Up

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

Level Up is the season finale that clocks in at thirty-seven minutes long. The main focus on this episode is DOOM and the impact it had with PC and online gaming. John Romero is interviewed and explains how he worked with John Carmack at Gamer’s Edge back in 1989. They soon joined forces and formed id Software in 1991. During that time, Nintendo was dominating the gaming market and the PC couldn’t match the graphical performance.

That is until John Carmack figured out how to master side scrolling and used John’s Romero’s Dangerous Dave character and inserted him into a Super Mario 3 like world and called the game “Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement”. They further revolutionized PC gaming with their 1992 first-person shooter hit, Wolfenstein 3D. This game was revolutionary in terms of graphics and gameplay. Their next goal was to implement online networking which they promised to deliver in their 1993 game, Doom. When this game launched on December 9th, the servers hosting the shareware (remember that?) file were crashing from being overloaded.

The PC gaming market wasn’t the only one getting a 3D overhaul. Dylan Cuthbert is featured in this episode and he figured out how to implement 3D graphics on a Gameboy. Instead of suing him, Nintendo flew him and his partner, Giles Goddard, to Japan to learn more. Together, they worked on the Super FX chips used in SNES cartridges to implement 3D graphics. Innovations like this made Star Fox a successful reality.

Although this episode is fascinating, it has some moral issues worth noting. There is some language (kick *ss) and blaspheming. An extended middle finger is shown along with a pentagram. If you don’t mind those rough spots, there’s a lot of nostalgia and information here.

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High Score S1E5 Fight!

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

Street Fighter was originally released in 1987 and the game was revolutionary in allowing two players to battle each other in real time. Other than that aspect, the game was pretty bare bones with only two playable characters. The sequel, which was released in 1991, upped the ante quite a bit by offering eight characters with one of them being female. It’s nice that they took female gamers into consideration by giving them a formidable fighting character.

Akira Yasuda, the artist behind most of the characters in Street Fighter II is interviewed along with Akira Nishitani, the game’s developer. It’s neat seeing the game’s inspiration being taken from various sights around the world and even from Japanese bathhouses.

Street Fighter did quite well in the arcades and it was only a matter a time before other companies like Midway offered some competition. John Tobias is also featured in this documentary and explains how he was heavily influenced by classic Kung-Fu movies like Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. The fighters and their moves in Mortal Kombat definitely show their roots. This game also shows a lot of blood and gore, especially in the finishing moves. Games like Mortal Kombat Night Trap caused an uproar in the US government and brought about the formation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which is responsible for rating many popular console games today.

I was surprised that this documentary didn’t mention the SNES’s censoring of Mortal Kombat with green blood in Japan and sweat in the Western release. However, it does delve into the 1993 Street Fighter 2 world champion competition and interviews the winner, Takaharu Nakone. All in all, this is a fascinating episode and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys fighting games.

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High Score S1E4: This Is War

High Score S1E4: This Is War

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

In 2015 I read, enjoyed, and reviewed the book Console Wars by Blake J. Harris. This book talks about how Sega recruited Tom Kalinske to become the CEO of Sega of America. At the time, Sega had superior hardware, but Nintendo had the majority of the market share. This episode recaps this book quite nicely and goes over Tom’s five pronged attack in an attempt to de-throne Nintendo.

The first step was to lower the price to $149 to make the Sega Genesis more competitive, and the next step was to defeat Mario. Sega needed a loveable mascot and it’s neat how this episode introduces Sonic’s designer Hirokazu Yasuhara. The Sonic series took off and attracted gamers around the world for a competition in 1994. Chris Tang, the world champion in Sega’s Rock the Rock contest is featured in this episode.

The third part of Tom Kalinske’s plan was to add more sports. Sega and EA worked together to bring John Madden’s football game to the console and it did really well. Because of the system’s limitations all of the players had the same (light) skin color. Gordan Bellamy, who is openly gay, is featured and takes credit for making the default skin color darker in the 1995 edition of Madden Football.

Nintendo was viewed as a system suitable for younger kids. Under Tom’s direction, Sega aimed for a slightly older audience with edgier and more violent video games. If an older sibling was playing cooler games, Sega knew that the younger children would want to play them too. The final part of Tom Kalinske’s plan was to make fun of Nintendo in their ads. Sega has some memorable marketing with the way the word Sega was shouted in their commercials and the Sega sound the console made when the console loaded is etched into the minds of many gamers. Sega’s commercials took some playful jabs at Nintendo’s console with their “Nintendon’t” ads.

Overall, this episode is an interesting look at the epic war between Sega and Nintendo as described in the Console Wars book. It even includes a bit of racial diversity with Madden Football. Unfortunately, it does hit on the LGBTQ themes a little too hard just like the previous episodes did.

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Best video games to play with friends

With so many games available online, it is so good to spend a nice evening in a company of your friends having fun and playing together.

Today not only teenagers but also many adults spend lots of time at their PCs playing video games. It has become a part of our daily routine because games help us to relax and have a good time with our friends and family. It is especially true for college students who always experience a lot of stress coming from numerous assignments and activities they need to handle unless they delegate some tasks to professional academic writers and services. Indeed, it is sometimes easier to order essay paper to buy yourself a few hours for more pleasant activities. Even though some young people prefer to play online games while sitting alone in their room, there are still interesting options you can share with company.

Top game recommendations to play with company 

How many times have you found yourself puzzled with the question Who can help me with my science homework? or Whom can I pay someone to do my homework?. College is always a lot of stress, and playing some video games after classes is just essential to relax and not burn out too soon. While online games connect us with people at a distance, there are many of them you can play in a company of friends sitting in one room and drinking a few beers. Interactive game nights are always fun and distract you from thinking about Who can write an essay for me? I need it for tomorrow,» concentrating on the process instead. If you plan to hang out with your friends soon, consider such options as:

  1. Animal Crossing

If you love Nintendo, this game is for you. Here you can create a home and character, interact with cute animals, and engage in different activities from fishing to planting. It has no beginning or end which makes it perfect for playing in a company;

  1. Sims 4

We all love Sims, but playing with someone becomes even more entertaining. Now due to recent tech advancements and updates, you can play this game online with another person by downloading multiplayer mode. Hang out with your friends in a virtual world;

  1. Alias

This game doesn`t require any device use (maybe your smartphone if you don`t have printed cards). Your goal is to guess as many words as you can to make your team win another team (usually at least four people are involved). We bet you will have a lot of fun as well as develop your memory, improve knowledge of different things and communication skills;

  1. Quiplash

In this game, every one of your friends can be involved (even if there is a big company). You may play it on your PC, Max, or use Linux, and your main goal is to try coming up with the most unusual answer to the set question. Everyone votes for a person who wins, and then the record is stated. The game is convenient to share both with your neighbors and people located far away;

  1. Game Fly

With a gaming console, you can try your hand at Game Fly. It means that you can do test-drives of several games with a company for free and pay for those you will play further. More recent games give you an opportunity to play with someone else while you can still enjoy playing Super Mario using Zoom just like in school;

  1. Psych

You can download this game to your smartphone and use video calls to play with other people (unless you are sitting right next to them on a couch). Provide answers to tricky questions and let other players guess the right one. You can also create unique questions about your close friends which makes it more personal and interesting;

  1. Pubg

One of the recent options that involve a company with unlimited members is Pubg. You can cooperate as a team online and go through all challenges together, covering each other`s back. It is so much fun that you should definitely try it; you just need your smartphone and a certain time set up for a game together.

 

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High Score S1E3 Role Players

High Score S1E3 Role Players

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

Computer gaming began in the 70s with text-based role-playing games. There were no visuals and the user had to type in simple responses to play those games. Roberta Williams is interviewed in this episode and she was hooked on a text-based game called Colossal Cave Adventures that came out in 1976. The first computer game with graphics was her first foray into game design, Mystery House, which released in 1980. Roberta and her husband, Ken, founded Sierra Entertainment which produced many classic game series including Kings Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry. Sierra also published the first Half-Life game in 1998.

Richard Garriott is also featured in this episode and he’s known for creating the popular Ultima games that are heavily inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. Until watching this series, I had no idea that he became an astronaut in 2008. Because of the success of the Ultima games, computer gaming took off and Richard Garriott was able to self-fund his flight to the international space station.

As role-playing games increased in popularity, a company called SquareSoft started their Final Fantasy series in 1987. Yoshitaka Amano is interviewed and it’s fascinating to see how his intricate art was pixelated and simplified for the hardware limitations of that time period. His artwork is unaltered on the game boxes and in the manuals.

This episode ends with an interview of Ryan Best, a gay Aids activist who made a parody RPG called GayBlade in 1992. The final boss of the game is Pat Buchanan who is known for being a conservative commentator and politician. Sadly, during a move his original code and all the copies of his game were lost. With the help of the Internet several years later, someone who owned a copy of the game reached out to him. Though I’m not a fan of the theme, I’m glad Ryan was able to get a copy of his game back. Becky (formerly William) Heineman also appears in this episode as she’s done a lot of game development.

Up until the LGBTQ stuff, I enjoyed this episode. I look forward to the next one which will be talking about Sega and their mascot, Sonic. Hopefully it will be focused more on gaming than LGTBQ agendas.

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High Score S1E2 Comeback Kid

High Score S1E2 Comeback Kid

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

The main focus of the second episode is Nintendo. The company was founded in 1889 and their focus back then was playing cards. 1985’s launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) revitalized the video game market. Before sites like YouTube and GameFAQs, people relied on gameplay counselors to guide them through the thousands of NES games in the market. In this documentary, Shaun Bloom recalls his days as a gameplay counselor and what it took to become one. Getting paid to play videogames? Sounds like a dream job! With the growing video game library, it got harder to assist stuck gamers. Thankfully, the Nintendo Power magazine provided pointers and maps to ease the burden a little bit for the gameplay counselors and subscribers.

The 1984 lawsuit about Universal Studios suing Nintendo for the term “Kong” in Donkey Kong is discussed in detail by their lawyer, John Kirby. According to the credits, he passed away in 2019. After the case was won, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto paid homage to the lawyer by naming a popular character after him. Much of Nintendo’s success can be attributed to Shigeru Miyamoto, who played major roles in designing their most popular characters and games. Hirokazu Tanaka, the composer from Donkey Kong, is featured in this episode, and it’s neat to see how he came up with the various sound effects with the equipment he used back then.

The title of this episode, "Comeback Kid", is referring to the 1990 Nintendo World Champion, Jeff Hansen. When he originally tried to qualify, he got third place. His parents took him to the last contest where he took first place and eventually became the top player in his age group. The three games used in the competition were Super Mario Bros, Tetris, and Rad Racer. I wonder if his parents let him drive the Geo Metro he won for them when he turned 16?

Overall, this was a very interesting episode and I look forward to checking out the rest in this series.

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Three classic games that the whole family can play online

In years gone by, playing games together was a common way for families to bond. Most of us have fond memories of three or even four generations sitting around the table and playing the classic board games. These days, gaming has a different meaning and most associate it with the solitary pursuits of teenagers in a virtual world of combat and survival.

Yet we all know that there is more to gaming than that. The events of 2020 have pushed social gaming right up the agenda, and that doesn’t just mean kids blowing each other to pieces playing Fortnite. In fact, to a certain extent, things are going full circle. Let’s take a look at some of the classics that can now be played as social games and are great for bringing the family together with their multi-generational appeal.

Skribbl

Pictionary has been a family favorite since it first appeared on the shelves in the mid 1980s. It’s a little like charades, but for people who don’t want to get out of their chair. This online version called Skribbl io is a fabulous little creation that will appeal to audiences of all ages. 

Like the board game on which it is based, it’s a way for the generations to come together and showcase their drawing skills, as well as their powers of ingenuity and lateral thinking. Best of all, it costs nothing to play it on your browser, simply head for the Gogy free games site, and look it up. Up to 12 players can play together in a private room, it couldn’t be easier. 

Monopoly

It’s 85 years since the first Monopoly game hit the shelves. In the latter decades of the 20th century, it was a core part of growing up, but its popularity dwindled with the arrival of the internet age. Fortunately, the power of cyberspace has also prompted its revival, and this is another game you can play completely free online via a platform called Pogo. 

Alternatively, if you are willing to pay out a few dollars, Hasbro has released a smartphone app that has some fun extras. These include customizable rules so that you can incorporate any family traditions, and a whole range of local versions of the game.

Clue

Our third and final classic is almost as old as Monopoly, having been devised by Anthony Pratt back in 1943 and manufactured by UK games company Waddingtons after the war. The game follows a typical Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, set in a country house of the 1920s or 30s. While that might make it sound peculiarly dated and English, the gameplay is such that it became a global success and is just as popular today. 


Like Monopoly, there is a mobile app that allows you to play either against family or random strangers. Alternatively, Clue is available to play on Steam. There is cross-platform functionality and a whole host of extras, including special themes. You can even play on the Orient Express to really stick with that Agatha Christie vibe!

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High Score S1E1 Boom & Bust

High Score

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

High Score is a new video game documentary series offered exclusively on Netflix. The first episode titled Boom & Bust opens with Howard Scott Warshaw who created E.T. for Atari in five weeks. That game is known as one of the worst in history and 728,000 copies of it were dumped into a landfill in New Mexico. Before that disaster, this documentary begins with Space Invaders which launched in 1978. A couple of funny tidbits learned from this series is that the developer, Tomohiro Nishikado, cannot get past level 2 in his own game. Another fun fact is that this title was so popular in Japan’s arcades that it caused a shortage of 100 yen coins.

In the West, Space Invaders was quite popular and there were tournaments hosted in the United States. Rebecca Heineman is interviewed recalling her memories of winning the first championship in 1980. When she won the tournament, she was a guy and her dead name is William.

Other games featured include Missile Command and Pac-Man. It’s funny how Pac-Man was aimed at female gamers. According to the developer, Toru Iwantani, his design came from a pizza missing one slice. Ms. Pac-Man was enhanced by a bunch of college drop-outs who Atari sued (and later hired) for altering Missile Command to be more profitable for arcade owners.

The advent of cartridge-based home console systems like the Channel F and Atari 2600 are discussed as well. The rise and fall of Atari is also brought up as the classics it produced were overshadowed by shovelware that turned many gamers off.

So far, this series is well researched and entertaining to watch. There is some language (sh*tless) and sexual references to take note of before letting kids watch it. If you’re interested in learning about how video games grew from arcades to home consoles to eSports 7, tune in to High Score on Netflix!

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Pretending I’m A Superman – The Tony Hawk Video Game Story

Pretending I'm a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story

Thank you Wood Entertainment for sending us a screener to review!

Skateboarding has been around since the 1950s and its popularity has had its ups and downs. Skate parks would come and go and when they disappeared, underground and street skating took off. Pretending I’m A Superman – The Tony Hawk Video Game Story features many professional skaters like Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Chad Muska, and Eric Koston who share their experiences with this sport and various milestones before it became mainstream.

The popular Thrasher magazine started circulating in 1981, and the following year Tony Hawk became a pro skater. In 1986 Atari released 720°, a skateboarding game followed by California Games and Skate or Die in 1987. In 1989 the movie Gleaming the Cube was released. In the mid 90s skateboarding started to become popular and was showcased in the X Games, which was founded in 1994.

In 1997, Sega released a popular arcade game with a moving skateboard called Top Skater. Once Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater dropped in 1999, the sport would never be the same. Each new release would get better and when the fourth one came out, the other three were still in the top ten sales charts. Not only did this game revitalize the sport, but the skaters in the game became household names and the bands like Primus and Bad Religion got a whole new fan base. The inclusivity of minority and female skaters appealed to many people as well.

All in all, this is a fascinating documentary about a beloved game series that’s about to be re-released very soon. I look forward to checking it out with improved visuals! There is some language including a couple of F-bombs so be warned if you plan on watching this documentary with youngins. It’s available on popular streaming platforms including Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon Prime Video.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Citysports Massage Gun

Thank you Citysports for sending us this massage gun to review!

After looking at the Amazon store page for this deep tissue massage gun, I wasn’t sure if I would be qualified to use it. The people in the pictures have chiseled muscles and six-packs that I’ll never achieve in this lifetime. I’m happy to wait for my glorified non-photoshopped body. Though I don’t workout to the point of injuring my muscles, I do consider myself fairly active and spend time outside walking and riding my bike on a regular basis. Thankfully, I haven’t injured myself working out. It’s sleeping in weird positions (to accommodate the 2 cats and 1 dog that sneak into our bed) that makes me sore. As fate would have it, I woke up with my left shoulder reminding me that I’m not getting any younger.

I’m glad I had the Citysports Massage Gun handy! The question is which tip do I use? This massage gun comes with six interchangeable tips that range in hardness and materials. Swapping them out is easy to do and only takes a couple of seconds. Most of them are a rubberized plastic, but a couple of them have a “Nerf-like” texture to them. For my shoulder soreness, I used the shovel-shaped head which is good for the whole body. The mushroom head is intended to be used on the back on either side of the spine. The flat head is designed for the hips, legs, and hands. The U-shaped head is meant to be used in soft parts of the body. The bullet head is intended for local and small muscle groups. To be on the safe side, stick with the softer ball-shaped head which is good for all around use and less likely to hurt as it’s the softest option. Some of the harder tips may hurt bones or cause bruises if you’re not careful.

Once you have the head picked out, your next goal is to determine which speed is right for you. There are twenty to choose from and they all feel good! As you push the massager gun into the sore muscles, the speed and angle may change automatically for you. While I was able to use this massager on my own, enlisting someone to point it on my back head on, felt great. Of course, I had to give them a back massage in return, but fair is fair.

This device is rather big; it's not much smaller than my husband’s power drill. It’s 2lbs and comes with a nice carrying case. The velvety black bag for holding the attachments is a nice touch. The 2000mAH Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery should last around 7 hours according to the Amazon store page.

Citysports Massage Gun

Though the manual has a “Warrenty” section, it does not spell out how long it is. It just mentions what’s not covered. According to the Amazon page, there’s a 1-year warranty. There’s an insert in the packaging that says if you e-mail them your (presumably positive) Amazon review, you’ll get an extra three months added to your warranty.

This massager looks and feels high-quality so I expect to keep it around for a while. There are cheaper variants out there, but this one has been great so far and I highly recommend it.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Muhoop Electronic Bug Zapper

Bug Zapper

Thank you Muhoop for sending us this bug zapper to review!

Though I can’t find any Biblical evidence, I believe that fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other blood sucking creatures are part of mankind’s curse in Genesis 3. I have yet to find someone who appreciates mosquitoes and wishes for them to stay alive. The “Electronical Mosquito Killer HK-1107” claims to be the best and has “achieved patent” according to the box.

This $20 mosquito killer is quite affordable and measures at 10” tall and 4.5” wide. The power cord is only 3 feet long and that’s my biggest complaint. There is no instruction manual, so I’m not sure how to open it up to clean away the bug bodies with a “soft lrush” as the box instructs. The box also recommends using this mosquito killer “in bed-room, hall, hostal, office, chicken farm, animal huslardry, and any other places where needs killing mosquitoes.“ As you can see, there were multiple typographical errors within the packaging, and it would have been a better experience had some of the instructions gone through a bit of proofreading before release.

All of our outdoor power outlets are low to the ground and the first night I left the mosquito killer on the floor of our front porch. The next morning I did not see any dead bugs in the device or fall out when I shook it. To make sure it’s not just a blue light in a cage, I dropped a small cricket into the device, and it did indeed kill it. I then offered the cooked cricket to my bearded dragon, Yoshi, who enjoyed her home-cooked meal.

We like to enjoy meals on our deck, so I grabbed an extension cord and had the mosquito killer five feet high. At that height it definitely sent some mosquitoes to their maker. This device kills bugs quietly as you won’t hear the typical “zzzZZt” noise. I just wish I knew how to open it for cleaning. There are some Philips-head screws on the outer casing that I’ll try unscrewing as the device collects more insect bodies inside of it.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Learning from Failure

Learning from Failure

We’ve been streaming games often but irregularly for a while. We’ve met the requirements for Twitch Affiliation and are blessed with over 1133 followers and 7 subscribers as I’m writing this. We really appreciate those who drop by and chat with us on our streams and support our ministry, Thank you!

For the past few months, I’ve been a member of a steaming site that promotes various streams and encourages their members to watch streams from their community. It’s a give and take system. By using this service our viewership and membership grew but the community wasn’t very active. Not many of the members of this site speak English so they couldn't understand what I was saying or read the game's dialogue.

Upon reaching the streaming hours and viewership numbers, I was given the opportunity to apply for Twitch partnership. While waiting for the approval process I was trying to stream when I could guarantee I could get the viewer count high enough to maintain the requirements.

Twitch did not approve our partnership application, and rightfully so. Our community is lacking and I want to focus on that moving forward instead of viewer count. Additionally, I would like to involve our Twitch followers in choosing what games we play and stream. If we get enough subscribers, I would like to be able to purchase and stream community selected AAA titles that are not sent to us to review.  Here's the link to out Twitch channel.

I would also like to get to know and support other streamers by participating in more raids and hosting of channels. Sticking with a regular streaming schedule will be another priority. I’ll lean towards evenings so I can still enjoy the nice weather and walk my dog several times a day before the bugs come out.

By not having to focus on channel viewers and requirements, a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I look forward to just playing and enjoying games while chatting with those who hop onto our channel. Again, we appreciate your support and company!

We have a couple of Jackbox titles to review and would love to host a family game night. Anyone care to join us and assist in the reviewing process? If this takes off, maybe we can schedule a regular family gaming night.

I hope these are steps in the right direction. Please share any and all feedback, we’re all ears!  

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Mistakes Way Too Many World Of Warcraft Beginners Make

Mistakes Way Too Many World Of Warcraft Beginners Make

Every single WOW player was a beginner when he/she started playing. However, as time passes, experience is higher and fewer mistakes are made.

When you are a beginner and you want to improve how well you play the game, you need to be aware of the mistakes you might make without even realizing it. By the time you reach a World Of Warcraft raid, you need to be ready. This is why you absolutely need to avoid the following very common WOW mistakes made by beginners.

Clicking

Excessive clicking is the number one sign that you are a beginner in WOW. This is because when the mouse is used to click the spells, reaction times are drastically reduced. You need to get used to utilizing keybindings. Map the spells to the keyboard or utilize a good MMO mouse. At first glance, this does not seem like much but you will quickly realize that you heal more and do more DPS.

Ignoring Game Mechanics

There are countless game mechanics in WOW that count. For instance, if you stay in the fire when you damage a boss, it becomes very difficult for the healer to help you. The entire raid can die and you would end up having to restart the entire fight. Educate yourself on important game mechanics so you know what has to be avoided before every single encounter.

Joining Cesspool Guilds

The cesspool guild is a WOW guild with many members, sometimes thousands. The fact that there are many members that do quests and level up leads to a lot of money reaching the guild bank. This is no longer relevant. When you are a part of a cesspool guild, the community is not great and there is most likely no dedicated team to handle any in-game event.

Asking For Help In Trade Chat

Unless you are high level and/or you want to trade something specific, the trade chat should be avoided. When you ask something in this chat, you are almost always met with insults, false information, and jokes. Unfortunately, there are simply way too many trolls around. The best thing you can do is to look on Wowhead to find the information you need or to ask someone you know.

Rerolling To An Overpowered Class

You will always be disappointed when you just play a character because it is popular. We often hear that there is an overpowered class. When this happens, you are tempted to play it. The problem is that you might not like the gaming experience if it is not appropriate, based on your playing style.

It needs to be added that Blizzard will surely end up nerfing the overpowered classes. This means you have a weak character and you most likely need to reroll again. It is always better to just play the class that you like and enjoy the most.

Selling Important Items To The Vendor

This often happens because you do not know what items are needed for a specific profession or for crafting. It is not always a massive problem because the ingredients are often available inside the Auction House. However, you will end up spending a lot on them.

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Learn C# Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning C#, Even If You’re New to Programming

Thank you Code Quickly for sending us this book to review!

Learn C# Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning C#, Even If You’re New to Programming is a guide designed to kickstart the reader on a journey to advance their programming skills. It’s created with the intent to introduce them to the world of C#, which is a programming language developed and maintained by Microsoft. It starts by introducing the beginner’s topics, before moving into the recommended workflow of creating a program. Then, it dedicates a chapter to the more advanced topics before wrapping up with a final project: a simple software using the console as its GUI.

However, it’s not what it’s worked itself up to be. When I began working with the book, it gave absolutely no introduction to getting started with any compiler or programming software. It jumped right into the concepts of the programming language. As a result, I was incredibly confused, and my father had to jump in and help me set up Microsoft Visual Studio because Learn C# Quickly didn’t breathe a word about it.

Whenever a code example comes up, the book does a thorough job explaining the logic behind each portion. I found that to be very useful, considering the language itself can be very confusing when looked at verbatim (especially with untrained eyes like mine). However, some of the phrasing that is used is confusing, and I wasn’t quite able to decipher what the author was trying to say. There are grammatical errors and typos scattered throughout, including missing transition words and sentence fragments. Some of the typos are even present in some of the code examples.

Another thing I noticed is that there are several examples of code that do not work because of errors. Some of it I was able to fix because of Visual Studio’s debugging suggestions that said I needed to use certain packages, but the rest of the errors were ones I had no idea how to fix because of my beginner status. It’s a shame that Learn C# Quickly didn’t mention any tips for how to fix code that isn’t working due to errors or bugs, because a beginner like myself would have found that incredibly useful. When the book got to the more advanced concepts, it made the same mistake as its Python predecessor: it lumped all of the advanced concepts into a single chapter, leaving it at a hefty 48 pages.

This book would have made a great resource if better edited and tested, and it definitely has a lot of room for improvement in the way it approaches teaching a language. Unfortunately, it has a lot of work to do before it can be labeled as such.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Latest Offerings from Penny Arcade!

Thank you Penny Arcade for sending us some nice gaming gear!

Penny Arcade has been around for a while and I am most familiar with their comics. They also have a huge forum, games, shows, podcasts, and a cool shop! We were recently sent some swag that we did an unboxing for.

Their featured item is the Animal Crossing New Horizons pin set. This $30 set of four pins includes Tom Nook, his two pupils Timmy and Tommy, KK Slider, and Isabella. If you’re a fan of this popular series, these 1.5” tall pins are super cute and sure to brighten your day!

The canvas WASD tote bag is pretty spacious at 20” wide, 15” tall, and 5” deep. The fabric handles seem pretty sturdy, but I’ll have to do some grocery store testing when they allow us to use environmentally friendly bags again. There’s a zippered pouch or extra inventory slot on the inside of this tote bag.

We were also sent The Legend of Zelda Retro Lanyard which sells for $10. The rupees, swords, keys, shields, bows, hearts, potions, compasses, and flutes on it are sure to bring back many positive memories. It’s dual sided with red and blue variants. To go along with the Zelda themed lanyard, we were also sent Link and Zelda Triforce pins that measure at 1.75” and sell for $15 apiece.

The final item sent our way is the Grey Video Games Crewneck Sweatshirt. It’s so soft inside and I can’t wait to wear it, but it’s currently 90s this week so I’ll have to hold off until the fall. This $45 sweatshirt is an 8 oz. cotton polyester blend with raglan sleeves and extra-thick print. It sports a Penny Arcade tag on the bottom too.

If you’re in the market for Geeky goodies, be sure to check out Penny-Arcade.com. I noticed they also sell pride and pronoun pins if you’re interested in sharing your sexual orientation and/or preferred pronouns with random strangers.

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Top 5 Valorant Agents to Try Out

Top 5 Valorant Agents to Try Out

Riot Games is certainly on the mind of many FPS players. With Valorant released fairly recently, the company has seen a huge number of players connecting to their servers. Everyone wants to try out the new CS:GO and Overwatch destroyer. But before you jump into the thick of things, it is important to figure out which characters are worth your time.

Depending on your personality and playstyle, different agents can fulfill a completely new role. The design of these agents is extremely flawless, and it allows players to have a different experience depending on the character. In Valorant, there are Sentinels, Controllers, Initiators and Duelists. Valorant’s ranked system works similar to other Riot games, so a good strategy to improve and try out new agents is by buying Valorant accounts from trusted marketplaces like Eldorado.

Each of them are played quite differently, however, agents that fall into the same class can fulfill similar roles. Learning what each agent falls under will guarantee an easier time learning the ropes of Valorant.

Sage

In most video games, support characters are the afterthought during character selection. Nobody really clamors to fulfill that role. With Sage, however, things are completely different, and this character is undeniably fun to play. Sage has various orbs she can equip to control the flow of the game.

Her C ability is the Barrier Orb, and it’s an effective way to zone enemies. By using it, you can limit the amount of players that have access to an area. This is great for starting engagements or defensively resetting your position when enemies are approaching.

With Sage’s Q, you can slow down enemy players, causing a disruption in their movement. To use the Q ability, you’ll have to purchase the Slow Orb. Simply throw the slowing orb towards an area where its effect is potent, and watch your enemies struggle in confusion as your team finishes them off.

Sage’s healing orb allows you to heal your teammates that have sustained damage. The default keybind for this ability is E, and you simply need to aim your crosshairs over the damaged teammate to begin healing them over time. Alternatively, you can just heal yourself with this ability by right-clicking.

Sage’s ultimate ability allows you to resurrect fallen teammates. This is an extremely clutch way to secure a victory. However, the ability requires the fallen teammate to be channeled briefly before fully reviving. This means that you have to ensure that Sage is relatively safe before using this ability. Also, enemies are also aware of this ability, so you’ll need to be careful.

Cypher

Much like Sage, you’ll rarely queue up in a Valorant game without seeing a Cypher. This agent is an undeniably essential part of most team compositions. With a mysterious appearance, he fits into the archetype of a spy/infiltrator. As a Cypher player, you’ll benefit a lot from knowing the ins and outs of Valorant maps. This way, you’ll know where and when to set traps and place Spycams.

Cypher’s C ability allows him to equip a trapwire. With this ability, Cypher can place a covert tripwire at a specific location. This creates a line that spans between the location it was placed and the opposite wall. If any enemy players cross the tripwire, they will be revealed. After a short period, if they aren’t able to destroy the device, they will be tethered, revealed and dazed. If the tripwire isn’t activated by an enemy, it can be picked up and redeployed.

Cypher’s Cyber Cage ability is a great way to completely block the vision and sound of enemies within the zone. With this ability, Cypher can easily toss the Cyber cage towards an area in front of him. The best part of this ability is that it can be activated in order for the ability to take place. So, you can wait for an enemy to make a vital move before using this ability.

With his Spycam, Cypher is a total game changer. Activated with the E keybind, this ability allows Cypher to place a camera at a specific location. When you activate this ability again, you can watch enemies. This makes Cypher extremely potent to veteran Rainbow Six Siege players that have experienced a similar mechanic. Additionally, a tracking dart can be fired at enemies to periodically reveal their location.

Cypher’s ultimate ability is also pretty great. By using a recently deceased enemy’s corpse, Cypher can reveal the locations of enemy players for a brief period.

Brimstone

The next agent on our top 5 list is Brimstone. He’s also one of the easier agents to get into from the Valorant roster. Brimstone’s abilities rain down from the sky, sending the enemy team a message that you’re about to engage.

Brimstone’s C ability is Incendiary. When activated, you’ll equip an incendiary grenade launcher. When you fire the weapon, it launches a grenade that detonates when it comes in contact with the floor, then it creates a fire zone that damages players.

The next Brimstone ability is his Q. He equips a Stim Beacon that can be homed towards a location in front of Brimstone. Once it lands, the beacon is activated and players within its field have a RapidFire effect.

Brimstone’s E ability is the true game changer in his kit. To use it, you simply need to equip a tactical map and select a few locations where your smoke clouds will land. Right clicking will confirm your chosen locations and launch the smoke clouds. When in a specific area, these clouds last for quite a while and block the vision within an area.

Finally, his ultimate ability is an Orbital Strike. Working in a similar way to his E, Brimstone can equip a tactical map to choose a location to launch is his orbital strike laser towards. When this laser hits this location, it deals tons of damage over time within a specific area.

If you want to improve your Valorant experience, there are some great options for Valorant players on the Eldorado.gg gaming marketplace.

Breach

As the resident crowd control champion of Valorant, Breach deserves his spot on this list. His abilities are extremely beneficial to the entire team, and they are really helpful in pushing aggressive playstyles. Playing as Breach will help you ensure that enemies are always spread out, making it easier for your team to pick them out one by one.

Breach’s C ability is Aftershock, and it’s a great way to pump out damage to enemies even before they are encountered. To use this ability, activate it and fire the charge towards a direction through the wall. Once the charge is complete, its burst does damage to anyone within its range.

For Breach, handling enemies as a group is not a problem. Like his Aftershock ability, Breach’s Q Flashpoint blinds players after you fire the charge through the wall. Any players caught looking at the charge will be blinded briefly.

Breach also has a seismic blast ability. To use it, you simply need to hold the fire to increase the range. Once released, it sets off a quake that dazes all the players caught within its zone.

Finally, Breach’s ultimate ability allows him to equip a seismic charge. Aptly named Rolling Thunder, this ability allows Breach to fire a cascading quake through all terrain in a large cone. When fully activated it dazes and knocks up all characters caught in the knock up.

Sova

Sova is a recon Valorant agent. Any team that values information will benefit from his kit. All his abilities help your team discover the positioning and possible moves the enemies might make. However, the information from his kit can’t be useful unless your team acts accordingly. Therefore, you need to make it a point to constantly inform your teammates of your observations while playing as Sova.

Sova’s C ability allows him to equip his owl drone, a portable recon drone that can be controlled by Sova to scout areas. While controlling the drone, you can shoot a marking dart at enemy targets. Once used, the dart reveals the location a player that has been struck by the dart.

As for his Q, Sova can equip his bow with a shock bolt. To get its effect, fire the shock bolt and it will explode then detonate once it collides with a platform, then detonate and damage the players nearby. When you hold it, you can extend the range of the shock bolt projectile. Its alternate fire allows you to add up to two additional bounces to the arrow.

Sova’s recon abilities get more interesting with his E. Playing around this ability allows you to make some insane plays. The recon bolt can be fired and activated upon collision. Then, it reveals the location of all nearby enemies caught within its line of sight. Be warned though, enemies can also destroy the bolt. Its alternate fire works the same as his Q.

Finally, Sova’s ultimate allows him to equip a bow with long-range wall piercing energy blasts. It deals tons of damage and reveals the enemies caught within its line of fire.

Practice essential to mastering these Valorant agents. If you want the most seamless practice experience, you can get a cheap Valorant account to practice ranked games on Eldorado.gg.

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The Most Comfortable Gaming Chairs in 2020

 Gaming Chair

The gaming chair industry is booming, and it’s hard to wonder why. It’s not only about aesthetics. Of course, it’s great to have a cool gaming throne, but it’s only useful if it’s also highly comfortable and adjustable to help you feel at ease and maximize your speed and precision.

And who can know more about sitting comfortably than gamers?

Whether you’re a player, a professional or an amateur, or you simply want to buy the most comfortable chair available on the market, or the best budget gaming chair for the year, you have come to the right place.

How to Choose the Best Gaming Chair

Of course, it’s not possible to provide one universal answer. People differ among each other significantly; they have different features, needs, preferences, and issues to deal with, so one piece of furniture can’t be an answer to all possible problems and demands. Your final decision should be made after considering your lifestyle, liking, gaming style, health issues, and more, including, evidently, your budget.

Even the most comfortable chair needs to be adjustable. If you spend long hours sitting in one place, you will need to change your position freely and comfortably without sacrificing a healthy posture or gaming precision. A good chair will allow you to change the height, the position of the armrests, and the way it reclines. Many chairs also have detachable cushions, which may be a great asset.

The right armrests will help you keep your arms from tiring, which will help you maintain your perfect aim, precision, and reflexes. Sometimes you may be deep into a game when you suddenly feel that your arms are too tired for you to go on. It may also lead to shoulder and neck pains, as well as wrist issues because when your elbows get tired, you start putting more and more pressure on your wrists and hand.

Additionally, you need to bear in mind your gaming style, chosen discipline, or gaming chair. For example, chairs made for computer gamers will be different from those produced for Nintendo players, etc.

Then, don’t be afraid to pay attention to looks as well, especially when there’s a wide range of chairs of similar quality and features that might be different when it comes to aesthetics. If you care about your home decor, you will want something that will match your style. You will be surprised how the looks of our furniture can influence our moods and disposition.

Therefore, you need to choose the most suitable chair for you, and you alone.

The Most Comfortable Gaming Chairs in 2020

Here, we present you with the list of the most comfortable gaming chairs available on the market in 2020. Of course, it’s not a conclusive list, so if your chosen chair is not included here, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth your attention. This list is more about providing you with some inspiration, a set of features to look for when you look for the chair of your dreams.

1. SecretLab Titan

It’s the perfect choice if you can afford to spend a little more on your chair, as it’s considered to be a premium option. It really has it all: both comfortable and beautiful design, as well as a whole set of necessary and useful features.

2. The Nitro Concepts S300

If there were one universal answer to all gamers’ needs, this chair would be the closest to it. It’s a great chair that can be tailored freely to your needs.

3. Noblechairs ICON

It’s one of the best choices for professionals, both in features and in its sophisticated design. It resembles a fancy office chair without losing all the necessary qualities of a gaming chair.

4. Corsair T3 Rush

It’s both affordable and comfortable, but it can’t get much credit for being aesthetically pleasing. But this won’t be an issue for everyone.

5. Corsair T2 Road Warrior

It’s a chair to go for if you opt for genuine, premium gaming comfort. Ergonomic design, 4D armrests, and a super solid steel skeleton are only the beginning of this model’s qualities.

6. SecretLab Omega Softweave

This chair is recommended as one of the best possible choices for looks, comfort, and additional features. The Omega model is all about adjustments.

7. Autonomous ErgoChair 2

It’s a delight to sit in this model, plus, it looks great, but the price may be a deal-breaker for some gamers, even if it’s 100% worth it.

8. Umi Essentials

This is one of the best chairs available on the market for shopping on a budget. It’s not a match for the premium choices, but it’s stable, fairly adjustable, and supports healthy posture.

9. Vertagear Triigger 350 SE

Luxury in comfort is how it’s marketed, and that’s no exaggeration. Basically, the only disadvantage is the relatively high price of this chair, so it may not be suitable for every budget.

10. Vertagear Racing Series SL4000

It’s perfect for long gaming sessions with the comfort it provides and very aesthetically pleasing. No wonder it’s one of the most favorite models of many professional gamers.


Know Your Needs

When it comes to your gaming chair, don’t be afraid to be a little picky. After all, it’s you who will be spending long hours in that chair, and you have to be sure that you will feel comfortable and at ease at all times. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, especially if you’re a professional gamer, as it can affect both your health and gaming skills. A gaming chair should be chosen carefully, just like the rest of your gaming equipment.

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Handy Tips To Deal With A Cheating Spouse

 

Handy Tips To Deal With A Cheating Spouse

Relationships are as fragile as flowers. You need to keep watering and nourishing them to keep them fresh and alive. However, incidents like cheating can completely kill the relationship at once. Technology, like http://smstrackers.com/can-messages-be-intercepted-without-using-any-software/, has made it easier than ever to keep track of the actions of your partner. Though it is easier said than done, here are a few tips to deal with a situation when your spouse is cheating on you.

Don't look out for revenge

Is all you can think about is how to take revenge from your partner? It is a common feeling, however, not a healthy one. Betrayal can cause rage, and decisions born in a furious state can prove to be harmful to you.

Typically, immediate reactions are to badmouth the partner to friends and relatives, put up social media posts to defame the person, or even think of having an affair yourself. These acts may provide you satisfaction for a brief moment, but they will prevent your healing by keeping you in an angry state for a long time. Let go, not for them, but yourself.

Keep the kids away

Kids are the most vulnerable members of the family in a situation like this. Anything seen or heard by them can't be undone. Therefore, you need to be extra mindful of the well being of your kids.

Even if you decide to end the marriage, it is always suggested to keep your children out of it. Never badmouth your fellow parents to the kids. They will find it hard to comprehend and will end up baffled and torn between two sides.

Reflect

The most important thing to do is to reflect on your feelings. Before taking any step further, you need first to understand where your feelings stand about the situation.

Infidelity is a severe breach of trust. It could be a mistake or an effort to get out of the relationship. You need to make up your mind if you have the emotional strength to forgive and re-establish a relationship. Though it might appear to be the apparent answer, it is sometimes not always the easiest one.

Understand the reason for infidelity

Infidelity cannot always be traced back to one single reason. There could be multiple needs apart from sex, leading your partner to another relationship. Therefore, before attempting to deal with it, you need to understand the reason for their infidelity.

Most often, people cheat to attract the attention of their partner. A troubled relationship is also one of the common reasons for cheating. Though these reasons can never validate the act, it will help you better understand your relationship with your partner and work on the loopholes.

Communicate your feelings

Communication is the heart of all healthy relationships. Once you have been able to acknowledge the fact that your partner has been unfaithful, talk to them about your feelings.

Communicating and expressing your feelings will help you move forward from the incident and envision a better and secure future. It is valid to feel angry, disgusted and hurt. Therefore, being honest about it to your partner will prevent any form of emotional outburst from ruining your future relationship.

Reach out for help

You may want to shut the world out or lock yourself up in a room and stay there for the longest time. However, it would help if you understood that this couldn't be a healthy way to deal with the issue.

The most crucial step is to reach out to people for help and support — people who love you and have gone through a similar experience. You could even seek out a counselor for help. Share, talk rather than letting the emotions overwhelm you, and cause pain. Always remember, sharing is not the same as badmouthing about your spouse's infidelity to your relatives out of spite.

Don't blame yourself

Infidelity hurts the most when you have put your sincere investment into a relationship. Most often, one tends to ignore the symptoms and pretend that everything is fine. Always remember, pretending that the problem doesn't exist can never make it go away. Ignorance cannot always be bliss.

Also, avoid taking all the blame for the circumstances on yourself. Every relationship is a two-way street, and one can't always take responsibility for your spouse's mistakes. Acknowledge, communicate, and only then one can find out ways to deal with it better. 

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5 Tips for Safeguarding Kids Online

5 Tips for Safeguarding Kids Online

This year many parents are allowing children more screen time for both educational and social purposes. This means they are spending a lot of time online, whether it be studying or gaming, and they can’t always be supervised. Your children are exposed to a lot online and where you don’t want to stop them from having a social life it’s natural to worry about their safety. Here are simple tips to give you peace of mind while your kid is gaming online. 

Healthy Communication

One of the most important things about safeguarding is safe communication. Aim to be able to talk openly with your children about their online activities. Avoid the knee-jerk reaction to panic and ban them from certain sites or apps. Take an interest in what they are watching or playing. If you listen to them and communicate in a healthy way about you can then develop mutual respect. It will be easier to get them to agree to any limitations you want to set, and you can explain to them what is age-appropriate and what isn’t.

Online Etiquette

Teach them that there is a certain etiquette to be adhered to and that they are still dealing with real people, even though it’s only in messages in multi-player games. Explain what is safe and not safe to share, even with people they know. Show them how to switch off their location for example, make social media accounts private and not share personal details. You can find more advice here about online etiquette for kids.  

Parental Control

When you first set up your kids’ devices and consoles make sure you have put parental controls in place. This means covering the browser and filters. This should prevent unwanted content from appearing even if they search for it. Many sites and games designed for kids will have these controls already in place which is handy, and you can set age limits as well. It’s advisable to encourage apps like these for younger children.

Online Security

Internet security is also paramount. Protect your family or your business’s data with secure cheap vps. Ensure your system, data, and network are protected by state-of-the-art technology. Take your privacy protection more seriously. Plenty of games are built securely with an age limit. There is a range of options both educational and fun, which have security measures already in place. Check out some examples of safe apps for kids, that are easy and secure to use.

Lead by example

If you’re a fan of online gaming yourself, the best way to motivate your kids is to lead by example. Limit your screen time in front of them and be vigilant about what you look at or play online. Be cautious and respectable online and they will be more likely to follow in your footsteps. In the end, you don’t want to instill fear in them or pressure them too much. The best way to inspire them is by setting an example, and with knowledge and respect. 



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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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