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Field of Hopes and Strings

Field of Hopes and Strings

Thank you Materia Collective for sending this digital album to review!

Deltarune Chapter 1 is a free spiritual successor to Undertale. Toby Fox has worked his magic again by producing a fun game with good humor and an excellent soundtrack. In turn, String Player Gamer did an awesome job sprucing up the soundtrack in a fourteen-song collection called Field of Hopes and Strings which is a play on Deltarune’s theme song, Field of Hopes and Dreams. Both Fields of Hopes and Strings and the original soundtrack are available on BandCamp.com for $7 each.

Fields of Hopes and Strings is about forty minutes in length and has a nice sampling of songs from the OST which contains forty tracks. Many of the omitted songs are less than thirty seconds long. The symphonic metal styling of the chosen songs is superb and fans of Toby Fox and Deltarune should give this album a listen.

Here’s a breakdown of the track list:

1. Fanfare 0:13
2. The Legend 1:55
3. Field of Hopes and Dreams 3:22
4. Chaos King 3:36
5. Scarlet Forest 4:46
6. Empty Town 2:12
7. Friendship 3:23
8. Lancer 3:39
9. The World Revolving 3:26
10. VS Susie 2:38
11. Rude Buster 3:32
12. Darkness Falls 3:29
13. Before the Story 4:31
14. Don’t Forget 1:31

Many of the tracks are longer than the originals and the violin and guitar playing is top notch as usual. Lancer’s theme song went from 48 seconds to more than three and a half minutes long in this album. The credits song, Don’t Forget has the vocals performed by TeraCMusic.

I can’t wait for the next installment of the Deltrarune series. Until then, I’ve got some lovely music to listen to. Keep up the great work Toby Fox and String Player Gamer!


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Think Like a Dog

Think Like a Dog

Thank you Lionsgate for sending us a screener to review!

Oliver is a twelve-year-old genius whose parents are considering separating. To comfort him in these difficult times is his dog, Henry. Oliver also has a friend Xiao, in China, who plays online VR games with him. Xiao is also quite smart and is an accomplished hacker.

At this year’s science fair, Oliver shows off his mind-reading device. A fictional technology tycoon named Mr. Mills is in the audience and Oliver wants to make a good impression on him. Although the experiment didn’t go as planned, Mr. Mills (Kunal Nayyar) is impressed with Oliver's work and sees potential in it. At home, Oliver fine-tunes his project and with the help of a friend, hijacks a satellite to give the mind-reading device enough power. This move doesn’t go unnoticed by government officials. The project is a success and Oliver can hear his dog’s thoughts while wearing a special collar.

As it turns out, Henry is quite smart, talkative, and funny. Henry’s simple views on life are quite insightful and may help in repairing Oliver’s parents' marriage. There’s a school dance coming up and Oliver needs to work up the courage to ask his crush to the dance. The rest of Henry’s plans to rekindle Oliver’s parents’ romance revolves around them being at the school dance to hear their wedding song.

Oliver's date doesn’t go as planned, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a happy ending. You’ll have to see this 91-minute film for yourself. It’s pretty family-friendly and contained an OMG. I don’t recall any other language other than Oliver being told several times throughout the film that he needed to “grow a pair.” If you like movies where animals talk, you’ll probably enjoy this film. It’s just as corny as the rest of them.


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Monitor online activities of your kids using the Best Android Parental Control Apps.

Parents are often worried about their kids when they are using some adult content on the website. You can use parental control apps if you want to protect your kids from harmful sites that can spoil their minds. These applications are easy to install and monitor online activities easily. Many Android parental control apps are available for both iPhone as well as android phones. Some of them are available free of cost, while some require a paid subscription for full access.

Reasons for using parental control apps

  • Protect your child from cyber bullies: - Kids often make friends on the internet without knowing their identity. They can be a culprit of cybercrime or can potentially harm them by a cyber bully. Parental control apps can effectively control the activities of your kids online by restricting certain websites that have adult-rated content.
  • Prevent access to vulnerable apps or websites: - Many websites have pornographic contents on the internet. Some of them also have apps that give access to vulnerable or nude images of girls. If you want to block this application on your kid’s phone, you can do it in stealth mode using a parental control app.
  • Helps in increasing performance and productivity in School: - Kids mostly play games on their phones and do not involve themselves in any physical activities that can be productive for them. If you want your kid to be active in curricular activities in school, you must reduce their online activities on their mobile phones. In this way, parental control apps can effectively increase productivity and hence the performance of your child in school.
  • Complete peace of mind: - We worry about our kid's safety whenever they are away from us during school. Hence you can be at the office with complete peace of mind if you install parental control app on your kids’ phone.
  • Track online activities on a real-time basis: - Parental control apps can effectively record the video of online activities. They can also restrict the access of some pornographic or adult websites that can spoil the minds of your kids.

Top 3 Parental control apps:-

  • Kaspersky Safe kids Parental control software: - An advanced parental control app that can record screen time and restrict adult content with real-time alerts. Kaspersky Safe kids Parental control software is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
  • Family time Parental control:-It is the leading parental control app for android or apple users. You can use this software for monitoring mobile phones, tablets, and other handheld devices like pads, and kindle fires.
  • Kid’s Shell – Kid Launcher: - It is an online parental control app that can be downloaded easily from the play or apple store. You can monitor your kids' online activities by installing Kid’s shell application on your child’s phone without letting them know about the installation.

With the above information, we hope to decrease the worry for the safety of your kids. The software mentioned above or applications should only be downloaded from trusted sources; otherwise, there could be a risk of virus, malware, adware, or spyware attack.

 

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Canmixs Smart Watch

Canmixs Smart Watch

Thank you Canmixs for sending us this product to review!

I’ve been using a Garmin Vivofit 2 for the past few years. I like the step counting and prodding to get moving when I’ve been sitting still for too long. The Vivofit 2 also monitors my sleep, calorie burning, and menstrual cycle through the accompanying Android app. The Canmixs Smart Watch can do all of that and more for under $50.

The app is downloaded through a QR code in the instruction manual. For what it’s worth, my phone still scanned as virus free after installing this unsigned app. In order to unlock menstrual/ovulation cycle tracking, you’ll have to specify your gender as female in the app.

The build quality is nice and the soft rubber wrist straps are comfortable with plenty of size settings. I did find the metal clasp a little uncomfortable as it pressed into my wrist when typing. The 60g weight is noticeable, but not uncomfortable. The proprietary USB magnetic charging cable works nicely, I’m not sure how easy it will be to replace so I hope it doesn’t get damaged or lost.

There are a few watch faces to choose from, so that’s nice. I like the 240x240px watch face; it’s bright and easy to read. The ability to get SMS, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail notifications is nice. I’m not sure why, but the Bluetooth connection would often break and I had to reconnect it through the app multiple times a day. The ability to remotely snap a picture is nice.

An option to disable the vibrating or enabling a "Do Not Disturb" mode would be nice for uninterrupted sleep. Sure, you can charge it at night, but then it wouldn't monitor your quality of sleep.

The IP67 waterproof rating is a bit contradictory on the Amazon product page. The IP67 rating states that the device can be dropped into a meter of water for up to thirty minutes. There’s a picture of a man in a pool wearing the watch with a disclaimer saying “Note: Never let it contact with water.” I have showered while wearing the watch and it still works.

I noticed some discrepancies with the step counting, heart rate tracking, and blood pressure monitoring. When I went for a walk with the Canmixs on my left wrist and the Vivofit 2 on my right wrist the step count of the Canmixs was 695 steps higher than the Vivofit 2. After doing a Ring Fit Adventure workout, my Switch Joy-Con said my heart rate was 91 while the watch said it was only 76. Given that the measurement was taken right after a workout, I would believe the Joy-Con measurement. For measuring my blood pressure I’m going to have to trust the reading of our Omron device which read at 110/56 compared to the watch’s reading of 138/92. My blood pressure has always been on the lower side.

In the end, it’s a nice watch for the price, but I’d take the measurements with a grain of salt.


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Can Business Schools Help Amend the Public View on Capitalism?

Faith in corporations and our modern economic system at an all-time low. Only a third of Americans indicated that they believe and trust in big enterprises. At the same time, over half of the polled people said that the corporations have too much power and influence over public life – is what indicates a relevant study.

Of course, the demographic of people who consistently and reliably showed strong negative feelings about the enterprises are you people. In fact, around only 40% percent of people younger than 30 years old expressed any positive feelings towards our current modern economic system and the state of it.

A very significant part of the younger generation is very dissatisfied with what capitalism has really given their whole generation: government corruption, world spread pollution, and social systems unjustly skewed in favor of extremely rich. Yes, there is no doubt that things need to improve, and the new generations are already bringing new ideas and perspectives to the table.

One of the main problems that people are currently trying to tackle is the lack of humanity, and social consciousness within the system, and a lot of companies are responding positively to the spirit of our times and make good on their promises to follow ethical principles and care for their stakeholders.

Education establishments have responded to this call too and started to provide more programs on business and economy topics that have to do with the morality and social factor in the industry. It is definitely not enough and only a first step of many to help influence our economic system for the better.

Business colleges have been integral to the American economy for a very long time by educating the professionals in the private sector and molding their approach to managing business and evaluating ventures. Now, business education institutions need to adopt a completely new mindset and economic outlook to teach younger minds if they want to stay relevant in modern times.

Can Business Schools Help Amend the Public View on Capitalism?

The Reason Behind the Dissatisfaction

Before we can delve into why and how business colleges should and can respectively amend the current tries in revamping our economic system, we need to examine the reasons behind the people’s immense dissatisfaction with the current state of business and economic affairs:

  • The government doesn’t enact any major policies to protect the citizens from the wrongdoings of big enterprises. Many view the modern iterations of our government very inefficient and untrustworthy, as it doesn’t create sufficient policies to tackle some of the biggest societal issues of today: climate change, inequality, and the increase of people in poverty.
  • Big enterprises are punished only with a small slap on the wrist whenever they do something wrong. People are getting tired of the soft and forgiving attitude big corporations get from the government due to how much tax money they contribute to the government.
  • The 2008 bank crisis pointed out the elephant in the room. That year was essential to people recognizing that the big companies don’t have the interests of regular people in their mind at all and that the government produces very flawed, skewed (and seemingly corrupt) regulations, which aren’t effective in regulating companies at all.

Why Education Establishments Should Even Get Involved

The obvious trend as of now is the move beyond the private sector. The educational institutions are already recognizing the students’ weak faith in capitalism, and it’s not enough to create just a couple of courses to make each student a proficient essay writer about the new trends in the business sector. No, they need to act quickly and entirely rethink their whole business and economic majors.

The private sector should lose some of its importance in higher education courses, and the role of government should be discussed more. The community-minded approach should be expanded upon. In the case the colleges will not be willing to adapt, they will be in great danger of becoming outdated, not valued, and not respected, which will eventually show through the application statistics.

Here’s What Can Be Done

In its current state, the business colleges are actually a part of the problem, as they reinforce the old approach to business management and development that centers solely around the private sector and the maximum profit. Nonetheless, they can implement new initiatives to become a contributing factor to the solution of the major issue, such as:

  • Emphasize the importance of considering the long-lasting results and outcomes of your business’ practices.
  • Highlight the need to have devices in place to stop the incorrect and amoral use of power.
  • Present the ideas of the tight collaboration of businesses with the government powers and support the democratic processes.
  • Showcase the need to engage with various social and economic groups.

In Conclusion

It’s time to explore and implement the socially-responsible and community-minded paradigms of business management. Now, the staple ‘bigger is better’ isn’t relevant anymore. The business colleges need to be continuously thinking of ways to help our society improve the economic system in use.

 

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The Road to Edmond

Thank you Tripp Fuller for sending us a screener link to review!

The Road to Edmond was released in 2018, but now it’s available to watch on Amazon Prime for free. The movie begins with a young youth pastor named Cleo who is forced to take a 2-week sabbatical for telling one of his students that God loves her just as she is when she came out as gay. Cleo’s stance of acceptance goes against his church’s doctrine and that’s why he’s being reprimanded.

Not sure of what he did wrong, Cleo decides to clear his head by packing some camping gear and heading out on his vintage Schwinn bike without a particular destination in mind. On a rest stop, Cleo declines the advances of a lady, and later witnesses his bike getting ran over. The guy who ran over the bike is named Larry and he’s on a road trip with his father’s ashes. Without any better transportation options, Cleo decides to join along for the ride.

Please note that the rest of this post contains spoilers.

Larry is very talkative and tries to cheer up Cleo with crude humor and insightful questions. Having a religious background, Larry asks Cleo for his “Jesus Pitch” and it’s not very convincing. In fact, Cleo’s faith is shaky and on the road trip Larry gets him to swear, drink, and try marijuana. They even go to a gay wedding.

Though the movie praises Cleo for being accepting and open-minded, I found it sad that it depicts a youth pastor becoming corrupted with worldly ideas instead of Biblical truths. God loves you the person no matter what, but your sins against Him are repulsive. Sure, God loves someone with homosexual temptations who resists to do His will instead, but when you fall prey to them, you spit in His face.

Because of the sexual humor and foul language, I don’t recommend this movie for younger audiences. Evangelical Christians won’t like the message. People who celebrate pride month will probably enjoy this film though.


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

Thank you CodeQuickly for sending us this book to review!

Learn Python Quickly: A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Learning Python, Even If You’re New to Programming is designed to be a fast read and teaching tool, clocking in at about 150 pages. The book has twelve chapters and an index of references used in it. It covers a wide range of programming concepts, from variables to classes and everything in between. Each chapter has a varying amount of subsections, which discuss different elements of the topic. The very last chapter contains two projects to complete as a test for everything the reader learned in the book.

Learn Python Quickly is generally well-written and well-edited, and speaks in layman’s terms. As I am a beginner in the world of programming, I found this incredibly useful. However, it does lapse into technical terminology every once in a while, and I would get lost in the fancy programming vocabulary that I didn’t know very much about.

There are also a few typos that I noticed throughout the course of the book, but they were things like font changes at the wrong spot and other minor issues. One sentence I remember in particular didn’t make much grammatical sense to me, causing me to reread it a few times, and I was only left with a vague impression of its meaning. Another sentence had an apparent switch of what words were supposed to be in what places. Both versions made grammatical sense, but it was in the context of the content in which the words were in the wrong.

I also had my misgivings about the structure of the chapters. The first ten chapters were short, and were straight to the point. However, when I got to chapter eleven, I was slightly daunted and annoyed that the author decided to shove all of the non-beginner concepts into a singular chapter. The entirety of said chapter amassed a whopping forty pages. After a while, I was mentally spent on that chapter, and read through it rather than trying some of the examples because of how tedious it was. The twelfth chapter was the project chapter. It was approximately twenty pages, and in my opinion could have been split into two chapters.

The book does highly value self-experimentation and creative thinking, by encouraging the reader to try to solve the problem themselves before showing them the answer (or “a possible solution,” as it is often put). However, some of the goals set seem a little far off, considering the user had just learned the concepts. Learn Python Quickly also has assignments at the end of many of the chapters, to encourage the application of the various ideas so that they can get a better idea of how they are used.

Unfortunately, there are some examples of code that are erroneous, as the syntax is implied to be different from what it actually is in Python. One example was where a break in the text was forced because the page ran out of space, but a function that was supposed to be on the same line of code as the string it was affecting was on the next line, implying that the function was supposed to be on the next line. There are also a few instances where functions called don’t actually work with the variable they’re manipulating, which I found kind of annoying, considering that at one point the bad code was trying to demonstrate a concept. The code for the final project was compiled into one archive of the program at the end of the chapter, and it was incomplete and couldn’t work as a result. There were calling mistakes in the code, as it was trying to call a variable that only existed within a user-created function.

Overall, Learn Python Quickly is okay as a learning resource, and I would advise it as more of a dictionary of concepts than anything else. It’s a quick and easy read, but not all of the code works, which defeats much of the purpose of attempting to teach how a programming language works. If anyone were to pick up this book and try to learn from it, I would suggest it for an intermediate programmer because some of the nuances of Python are blocked by the spacing of the actual code, and are not something that a beginner would immediately know. An intermediate would also have an easier time with some of the challenges, because many of them stumped me, a beginner.

There is a lot this author did right when creating this book for the general audience, but there is also a lot that needs to be improved. It’s a great start, but a fully reevaluated set of code in a new edition of some sort is definitely in order.

- Kittycathead


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7 Key Steps of Game Localization

 

7 Key Steps of Game Localization 

If you are reading this article, you may have already thought about the localization of your videogame. This is a critical step that opens broad opportunities and brings your game a new audience. Localization is not a mere translation of some of the game’s parts. It is a complex process that has multiple steps like the translation of code, cut scenes, dialogues, in-game text boxes, and many more. Many of us seek professional help to solve the tough localization questions. However, you need to know the basics of the process to cover all the essential translation points. Let us look at the crucial steps of game localization.

1. Decide on the budget.

If you are on a tight budget overall, or you are an indie developer, you may use the help of such free services like Google Translate or fan translation. In either case, you will need to edit and proofread your final result. Alternatively, if you are a major developer, you may find that professional translation companies have different prices. The price usually depends on the amount of work you need. They include plain translation, editing, proofreading, and quality checks via software. Each of them may add to the cost of localization.

2. Decide on the language.

Although the main popular gaming areas are widely known, you may do marketing research concerning the areas which will have a high localization ROI. If you had a product successfully launched in Europe or Latin America, be sure that you cover those areas, too. In most cases, the popular languages encompass Asian, especially Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. There are also European languages such as German, French, and Spanish. For Latin America, you will need Brazilian Portuguese and Mexican Spanish. And don’t forget about Russian.

3. Research what “localization” means.

In most cases, you cannot simply translate a game and call it a localization. You will need to localize your code and documentation and perform advertising translation and legalization. In addition, the localization process will often encompass changing your game completely, especially if you appeal to Asian audiences.

4. Prepare for localization.

To launch the localization successfully, you need to perform content analysis. Your team will look for the parts which need translation and which elements of the game will be adapted. After this step, you need to develop a lockit, or localization kit, which will be a guide for your translators. This guide is the key to your game and the content that goes with it.

5. Localize the code of the game

Many translation companies will offer you to localize your code to ensure smooth integration with translation management systems that will make your localization process much easier. After this, you may integrate your whole repository to a system to bring all the strings into a translation platform.

6. Decide on your company

If you are an indie developer, you may make use of a Steam crowdsourcing or enter game localization contests. There will also be enthusiasts who will be eager to translate your game for a small price to get their first portfolio item. However, if you want to have an impeccable result, go to Translationreport or the most famous localization company in your area. They usually provide you with a 360-degree service, which includes proofreading, editing, QA, voiceover, subtitles, synchronization, and many more.

7. Launch a test-drive

Before presenting your game to a broad public, be sure to find native speakers to test-drive your game. They have the best chances to find a bad translation or confusing parts of the dialogues and script. Do not hesitate to use their help.

 7 Key Steps of Game Localization

To sum up, the localization of your game has seven key steps. Don’t forget to determine an estimated budget that you can spend. Also, decide which languages and languages group do you target. After this, do a thorough preparation and code translation, and be ready to hand in your game to professionals. Test-drive and quality assurance are the final step to perfection. After these, your game will be ready for release in target markets. Remember that people like when you localize to their language. However, they like it even more if you localize properly. If you mind the culture, customs, and legislation, you will win many loyal customers.

Bio

Henry Mcdowell is an expert copywriter and researcher who works freelance and writes for blogs and educational sites. Having vast linguistic knowledge, he provides basic advice on writing, essays, and research. In his free time, Henry enjoys gaming and visiting new places.

 

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Top languages that are the highest in demand for video game translations

 

Top languages that are the highest in demand for video game translations

 

If you develop games for Steam, browser games, console, or mobile games, there is one question that surely came to your mind. This question is about localization and languages. If you want to make more sales by reaching more gamers, you naturally need localization to more cultures. Before the start, every developer thinks about the ROI of the localization in the target language. The more languages you have, the more is the profit. This article will help you to set priority to localization languages, define goals, and move towards the better game quality and massive downloads number. Let’s go!

Languages to Localize Into 

  • Asian languages

If you are a mobile game developer, Chinese is your top language of concern. Why? According to statistics, the Chinese mobile game market has more than 283 million users, who bring the total market value of more than $7 billion. Thus, game localization into this language will be a success, especially if you deal with the broad market of mobile games. As for the other types of games, Chinese also has significant market share and presents an emerging market that you should consider. The other two giants are Japanese and South Korean, which both have their domestic game markets. On the one hand, it is easy winning an audience that is ready to buy new games. On the other hand, they may refuse to play if the game is poorly localized, or has not been localized at all.

  • Russian

No doubt, Steam is a large game platform that hosts billions of games. If you have a game on Steam, Russian is a language that you absolutely have to localize. With an impressive 10.88 percent of users, this language is the second top after the US English. Remember that when you translate to Russian, you also reach the audience of such countries as Kazakhstan and Belarus. This nation is also known for getting offended if the game they want has no translation. They are not keen on playing in English. So, if you considered localizing to Russian, don’t think twice!

  • European languages

Also known as FIGS, the top four European languages are French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Naturally, they aim at the wealthiest countries in the world, where people may spend their money on games without draining their budget. If you localize your game into FIGS, you cover almost all of Europe’s countries, as many of them are multilingual. As it is hard to find a freelance to do all of them, you may use the help of the IsAccurate to make the localization process more accurate. Another advice: it is better to cover all FIGS at a time to enjoy a high translation ROI and sales boost.

  • Indian

This country is the second populated after China. Although nowadays, the country is underdeveloped, its economics are gaining strength. If you are kind of the person that keeps up with the newest trends, consider translating your game to this language. The annual spending of the country is over $90 million, which presents considerable potential. The main obstacle may be that India has 22 dialects, all of which are official. So, this area requires a lot of market research.

  • Latin American group

Surely, Brazilian Portuguese and Mexican Spanish are the languages that allow you to enter the Latin American market. The economies of Latin American countries are booming, but they haven’t reached their full potential yet. So, these languages, like Indian, are more of an investment in the future.

Top languages that are the highest in demand for video game translations

Overall, there are certain language groups that you may choose to localize. They are Latin American, Asian, and European. Although it is better to translate the game to several languages at a time, consider adding at least one from each group to be on the safe side. Perhaps, some of them will be more beneficial than the others. Do not forget about emerging markets such as India and language-sensitive areas with Russian speakers. I would recommend following the largest profitable language markets and localizing your game to fit their needs. Most of the time, these large areas have their specific culture and believes, which you also have to know to localize the game successfully.

Bio

Henry Mcdowell is a translation and copywriter expert that is keen on blogging about his topics of interest. He lives an active lifestyle and relaxes by doing sports or watching films in other languages. He says that his goal is to learn something new every day.

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What languages to learn if you want to be a game localizator

 

A dream of many people is to enter the videogame localization industry. This sphere is famous for its creativity, talent-seeking contests, and competitive, stimulating environment. Although it may seem easy to translate a game, this does not mean to localize it. Localization implies such skills as diving into culture, searching for information, and of course, knowing your languages on the level of native speakers. Still, the beginner game localizers often wonder which languages are the most profitable to learn. It’s not a secret that they possess a different ROI, and there is various demand in them. So, which ones should you consider? Here are some suggestions.

Learn EFIGS

 

What languages to learn if you want to be a game localizator

 

Do not fear this strange abbreviation. It merely stands for the five largest language markets that are English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. Although the Italian market is not thriving today due to the economic downturn, there are others. Why learn them? Let’s take a look.

  • English (United States). This language may be an obvious choice, as you are reading this article in English. However, it is not that easy. If you know English as a second language, be sure to acknowledge this version of the language. The Internet population of people who speak US English is 247 million, which brings $36,869 revenue. If you are a translator from the UK, be sure to include the American English version on your list.

  • This language is used in more than five wealthy countries in the world, such as Luxembourg, Belgium, Canada, Monaco, and, of course, France. The buying ability of people there is enormous. This fact means that the game developers are ready to hire you if you know French well.

  • Pay attention to this language, too, as it is broadly used in Austria, Germany Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. Although German is considerably challenging to learn, it is the highest-ranked localization language among EFIGS. Be sure to learn it if you want to gain many loyal clients.

  • If we leave alone the dialects and versions, Spanish is one of the most popular languages in the world. Around 450 million people speak it every day. It is somewhere near Chinese and English when it comes down to worldwide spread. However, be sure to learn Latin Spanish, as it is more popular.

 

Asian Big Three

What languages to learn if you want to be a game localizator

1. Chinese

The whole of South Asia and the Pacific region is the fastest-growing area for the gaming industry. Although many languages in the area are worth noting, Chinese is an obvious choice, as it allows you to reach the audience of one of the biggest countries of the world with some of the largest populations. If you look at the Pickwriters, you may see that most of them deal with Chinese, including the game translations. Thus, do not hesitate to start learning. Better start now, as learning Chinese even at its simplified variant takes no less than four years.

2. Japanese

It is no secret that this country was a cradle for the videogame industry as a whole. Alongside the USA, this country is home to many game developing companies such as Sony, Sega, Nintendo, and many others. Many dedicated gaming fans live in Japan. Thus, think about learning Japanese. The demand will always be high. However, approach this industry with caution, as certain game localization types just don’t work for this country. Be sure to learn the cultural context really well. 

3. Korean

Although this country has a small population of less than 50 million, it has a vast gaming culture. If you know a bit about the gaming industry, you will surely name some successful Korean games like Ragnarok or MapleStory, alongside many videogame tournaments. It is hard to break into the saturated Korean market if the game localization fails. Thus, companies often hire Korean-speaking localizers to ensure the success of their product.

Around twenty percent of the world population speak English. This massive percent counts for 1.5 billion people. Still, only 360 millions of them are natives. Combine it with the fact that most people prefer playing games on their mother tongue, and you will get a full picture. Talented game localizers are always in demand. In this article, we looked at some of the popular localization languages to learn. Think about both Asian and European languages and decide what attracts you most. Learning any from the list above will give you a significant competitive advantage and will make companies choose you over the others.

BIO

Henry Mcdowell is a traveler and translator who is keen on research and sports. He spends his free time reading books in foreign languages and also enjoys gaming. Henry says he is happy when he can experience different cultures every day.

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Popular Languages for Game Localization

The game industry is truly global. Nowadays, it encompasses a variety of countries across the globe. Apart from the obvious English, there exist many options that you should consider to make your game successful. Game developers around the world often feel it difficult to decide what localization languages do they need to maximize their profits and make their product appeal to the broader audience. The Internet is full of advice, but choosing a localization may be a tricky one. The leading countries may vary depending on the industry segment. Let’s look at the top languages for game localization.

Top-3 languages

Popular Languages for Game Localization

 

  • French. This language opens doors to many profitable directions. The company that translates the product into French opens the doors to such countries as Belgium, Monaco, Switzerland, Canada, and many African countries. So, if you consider adding French to your translation list, do not hesitate. Many countries today widely use French, which allows you to include some of the most wealthy regions into your distribution list.

  • Chinese. This language is tricky. Although it is incredibly popular in the Asian part of the globe, it demands attention and a special approach. For example, if you are a mobile game developer, you cannot distribute it on Google Play Store. You have to use Tencent or Amazon. However, this is not the only difficulty. You have to find TheWordPoint that can provide both Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. The first is recommended to overall China purchases, while the second applies to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Despite the difficulties, this language is worth it. Chinese is the second-ranked language on Steam after Russian, which means its high popularity and buying prospects.

  • Russian. When you translate into this language, you take hold of the audience of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. It sounds like a great deal. In many post-Soviet countries, this language is still a lingua franca. So, you have all the chances of winning a broad and loyal audience. A fun fact is that Russian gamers are often offended if the game is not localized to their native language. They even leave negative comments. Probably, this nation is extremely sensitive to the lack of translation. Excluding these people from your localization may seriously hurt profits.

Popular localization languages

Popular Languages for Game Localization

 

  • Japanese. Japan is another gaming giant that may help you win a larger market share. Alconost dubbed it as one of the most frequently selected localization languages. This audience is also highly responsive to mobile gaming. So, if your product falls into this criteria, include Japanese in your shortlist. The Japanese are known for their unwillingness to learn English. However, they love Western-produced high-quality goods and services. The gaming industry is among them.

  • Spanish. Although the Spanish market is worth only 25 million, the Spanish-speaking audience is a massive 340 million, which makes it the third-largest language target group. The Hispanic population in the US is the impressive 18%, leave alone Spanish-speaking Latin America. With this in mind, consider translation to Spanish. It connects a variety of countries and speakers around the globe.

  • German.  The annual game localization rank showed that German holds the first place the second time in a row. This fact sounds impressive. When you translate your game into German, you encompass Austrian and Swiss gamers, and also Lichtenstein and Luxembourg. This promising language allows you to access some of the most gaming nations. They are willing to spend money to buy your product that is tailored specially for them.

  • Brazilian Portuguese. This language allows you to reach the audience in Brazil and half of Latin America. These countries have emerging economies and a growing population, which guarantees sales success. Remember that you should not use European Portuguese for these countries, as they have different cultural messages, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

  • Korean.  South Korea is another extensive market. It is not a secret that the country hosts many gaming contests. Although the country is small, people there consider video games as a leading social activity. The locally developed RPG, MMORPG, mobile, and FPS games are widely popular. Naturally, the audience is ready to play Western games, too.

Most of the people on our planet do not speak English. This fact is worth noting when you consider translating your game. If you don’t localize, you risk losing a significant market share and sales. People feel valued if they find their languages among the download options. Some of the language group giants include Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, French, and German. These languages have one thing in common. When you translate, you reach several countries, which minimizes your spendings and maximizes profits. Thus, localizing in Asian and “traditional” European languages will ensure high levels of downloads and sales.

Bio

Henry Mcdowell is a leading specialist in the field of translation, copywriting, and research. He is keen on reading, traveling, and sports. Henry enjoys spending time outside and visiting foreign countries where he can get a grasp of exotic languages.

 

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The Best Hacking Strategies: Aimbots and ESP

The Best Hacking Strategies: Aimbots and ESP

Game hacking is a very old practice of editing and modifying the game in order to win, change the characters and rulers of the game or just simply to make the game more challenging to play. Game hacking is done by either simply changing the codes of the game or by adopting a software which will search and download available modification from the internet. Click here to learn more about game hacking.

Types of hacks available

Mobility hack is for professional players who are not afraid of getting a ban as they risk it from the very beginning. Mobility hack increases walking speed, so the player can teleport anywhere on the map in no time. These games are taken care of by game console and there is a minority of players that actually use it. On the other hand, there is a private hack. This hack can be custom made by a handy programmer. Since it is quite expensive to get this hack made, it is not very widespread. Contrary to the mobility hack, a private hack is difficult to detect.

Most hackers use the third type of hacks: pre-made programs which are easily easy to get for players for no cost. Tutorials and videos are widely available to teach the player how to download and install them.

What hacks can do

Game hacking programs, known also as pc game hacks or simply called cheats fall into several categories according to their performance. There are programs for detecting enemy positions in a way that is not part of the base client. Other programs are capable of marking destroyed objects on the map, adjusting the display of grenade fight trails, calculating and marking enemy artillery positions or leaving exposed enemies’ vehicles even when not aiming at them. The hackers also use software for blocking enemy grenades by pinpointing a precise point of view, such as a laser beam or for detecting the enemies by adjusting the transparency on the map.

Aimbots and ESP

Aimbots and ESP are the most common as well as the best game hacks. Aimbot is a software which performs auto-aiming, or so-called aim-boots. Aimbot, however, is more than locking the focus in the base client, it can also aim at enemy weaknesses and takes over the shooting while the player focuses on other action (for example, on maneuvering his tank).

Some aimbots help focus the aim precisely on the head of the enemy, while others are capable of shooting automatically as well. The goal is to treat the opponent a perfect headshot which is something only professional and trained players can do.

There is a similar program, called triggerbot. This one allows automatic fire whenever the enemy is in sight. While not capable of shooting with precision as aimbot does, triggerbot allows for multiple shooting at the opponent. Less skilled players enjoy it just as much as they enjoy the advantages of aimbots.   

ESP is an abbreviation for “extra-sensory powers”. What that means is that an ESP program collects and shares all the information about opponents with the player. Among these are, for example, the information on the health of the opponent, the amount of the ammunition they have left, whether they go or sprint. Also, ESP can share how many steps are the safe distance between the player and his opponent.  Such details can greatly aid the player in the game.

Beware of VAC

VAC stands for Valve Anti Cheat, a system that detects the game hacks and bans the players who actively use them during the play. While some programs like X-Fire or Overwolf are excluded from the VAC ban, aimbot and ESP programs are not. Since the VAC is capable to detect the so-called cheat signatures of the pc game hacks, it is always a good idea to play on other than VAC-secured servers. All about VAC system: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valve_Anti-Cheat

There is another danger connected with game hacks. Some hackers may develop cheats which they disguise as a simple game modification, for example as custom skins. By downloading them, the player in fact downloads the hacks without knowing it and he risks being banned by VAC. Therefore, the mindful players should always download any allowed modifications from a trusted source.

 

 

 

 

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5 Online Games You Can Play At Home

5 Online Games You Can Play At Home

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s advised that everyone stays home or at the very least stays away from others. While this isn’t to judge you based on your decision to listen or not, there are options as to what you can do if you do choose to stay home. Either way, this will still apply regardless if there’s a scary virus on the loose or not.

There are many activities that you can participate in while staying at home, maybe you finally feel like cleaning that cluttered closet, or maybe you don’t. Maybe, you think to yourself, just maybe there’s something better to do than that. Games, that’s the answer. And not just any old game.

These old games are popular and still played frequently today by both old and young in age. So while you hide in your house from whatever may be lurking outside, you can be playing the following games: solitaire, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, mahjong, and last but not least, crossword puzzles.

Solitaire

The first game you must try is solitaire. Solitaire is a game that can also be called Patience or card solitaire. In general, solitaire is a term used for single-player games of concentration and skill involving a set layout of a certain item, which could be tiles, cards, stones, etc. Which is why it makes sense that it can be called card solitaire.

A game of solitaire is a puzzle, each card is laid out in a specific fashion for a specific solution, which could be in your favor, or not. As said, each card is laid out specifically in a layout, to solve the puzzle you have to sort the cards and conform to the specific rules of the game, whichever it may be. It’s a fun puzzle game that is certainly satisfying to beat.

Another fun Solitaire game worth checking out is Spider Solitaire Challenge.

Jigsaw Puzzles

            There’s a very high chance that if you know any game on this list, it’s actual jigsaw puzzles. Chances are if you’re reading this and do play any of these games, it’s going to be online, but in any case, you should do jigsaw puzzles online just to save money for yourself so you don’t need to buy a new puzzle set each time you complete one.

            If you do do it online then it will also give you more variations on how to play and what you’re piecing together. If achieving a certain goal and also being able to see it right before your eyes is something you desire, then jigsaw is your best bet. An added bonus is that doing jigsaw puzzles work out both sides of your brain, how fascinating.

           5 Online Games You Can Play At Home

Sudoku

            The game that used to be known as Number Place is as the original name would entail. You are given a grid of 3x3 squares and within those squares, there are 3x3 boxes. In each square, there is a given amount of numbers within those boxes and the empty boxes are the ones you insert numbers to complete the square.

            You complete the puzzle by having every box within the puzzles filled in with a number. This seems easy at first since you might just be thinking you can repeat numbers, but that’s where the rules come in. In each square there can only be a singular number of 1-9, this also applies to rows and columns, no number can repeat vertically, horizontally, or… boxically.

            For a game that contains many numbers, you don’t actually need to know any math so don’t let that frighten you. Sudoku is a game loved by many for many years ever since it was popularized in the late 1980s. And probably like the previous game, you also feel smarter just by looking at the completed puzzle knowing you solved it yourself.

 

Mahjong

            A game that was developed in China during the Qing dynasty, Mahjong, is a popular game to this day worldwide. Mahjong is a game of tiles that involves skill, strategy, and just a bit of luck. Commonly the game is played with four people but there are variants for three. The game is set with 144 tiles with Chinese characters and symbols being written on them.

            Each player is given 12 tiles, with each turn the players can draw or discard tiles until they have completed a legal hand using the 14th drawn tile to form melds also known as sets as well as a pair, which is known as an eye. The game can also be won with special sets. If you don’t have the game lying around, or the people, then keep in mind you can use the internet.

Mahjong Challenge offers a simpler and easier way to navigate your time while retaining the challenging nature everyone loves.

Crosswords

            A need to play by any sense of the word, crosswords are word puzzles and word search games that take place within a square. The goal of the game is to form words or phrases using the white boxes based on sentences, references, or clues given which pertain to a certain square number. The clues and such are also labeled as being either vertical or horizontal.

            The square also contains black or shaded areas that are meant to separate boxes which essentially separate words to make it easier to distinguish the correct answer. The way to complete the puzzle if by filling in each set of boxes with the correct word or phrases.

            If you knew all of this well then there’s really no need to express that you should play this game based on how enjoyable it is and how satisfying it feels to finally figure out a row. You’re like a detective, a word detective.

 5 Online Games You Can Play At Home

Stay at Home and Game

            Suppose you’re locked in your home by you know what and you just don’t know what to do. Thankfully, you read this article, and by doing so you just opened so many wonderful opportunities for yourself. No more will you be bored for you have access to the great gaming classics.

Where would humanity be without solitaire, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, mahjong, and crossword puzzles? Well, no one has the answer to that; but at the very least, it can be said that since they are existing, there is fun to be had. And luckily for you, that fun can be had within the safety of your own home.

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Financial Uncertainty From COVID-19 and How You Can Help!

Financial Uncertainty From COVID-19 And How You Can Help!

Many jobs and companies are being impacted by this pandemic. Lord knows how many businesses will be able to re-open after COVID-19! Though we have seen some drops in Patreon and donations, we’re still doing okay financially. Since many large audience venues are canceled, we don’t anticipate doing any more conventions this year. Considering that the church that supports us financially is under severe financial strain, we should brace for the possibility that we’ll be losing funding from them. We need to conserve our funds to cover website hosting, upcoming console releases, and paid reviews.

On a positive note, we have had more time to play games and have been chipping away at our enormous backlog! We have been doing lots of streams and have been adding videos to YouTube on a regular basis. Though we have been putting more work into the site, we don’t see much for it financially since we don’t have thousands/millions of subscribers. If you don’t follow us on YouTube yet, please consider doing so! As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, we’re transparent about our finances - http://www.christcenteredgamer.org/2020-finances/.

We’re now Twitch affiliates which allows people to subscribe to and support our streams for $4.99/month. Did you know that there’s a way to subscribe to us on Twitch for free? If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get many Twitch benefits for free including new games every month. Check out https://twitch.amazon.com/tp If you don’t have a Twitch account, you should get one!

If you’re an Amazon Prime and Twitch member, would you consider using your free Twitch Prime subscription to support our ministry? Just go to https://www.twitch.tv/christcenteredgamer and click on the purple Subscribe button that has a crown on it.

Another free way to support us would be to use our Amazon smile link - https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-3233632
If you’re in the market for digital PC games, we have a Humble Bundle link that gives a % back to us without any additional cost to you! https://www.humblebundle.com/store?charity=76005

Thank you for your support in these troubling times. Stay safe and remember that God is still in control!

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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Top 5 Free Coding Programs for Kids

Coding Programs have become a trend in the field of education. Today, children ages 8 to 16 are now involved in the art of technology through an integrated user experience in software applications. The current technology offers coding programs as a portal to children’s innovation in transforming ideas into simple websites and games like Minecraft Mods with creativity, problem-solving skills, and utmost self-confidence.

A child’s curiosity should not be a dead-end in a series of questions. Rather, a child should get engaged with the real-time experiences to build insights in basic coding program through these Top 5 Coding Programs for Kids.

 

Coding Program and Its Benefits

 

In simple words, coding is an act of writing to program a computer for a particular task. If the coding is right, then the computer responds well. As a general rule, coding should not be confused with programming.

Coding for kids takes another level of learning. It develops a child’s creativity, problem-solving skills, and confidence. In a closer look, a child’s creative expressions manifest through graphics and storytelling enhanced through sound logic which holistically boosts his confidence with integrated coding experience.  Nevertheless, the skill of coding a program will be an edge for a child’s future professional reference.

 

Top 5 Free Coding Programs for Kids

 

Khan Academy

 

Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization providing free video tutorials and interactive exercises. It is dedicated to personalized learning to students who practice at their own pace in learning a particular topic. 

Learning coding at Khan Academy is convenient as it guides with interactive video tutorials and step-by-step challenges to practice newly learned concepts. Further, Khan Academy features “Hour of Code” — an activity designed on learning how to program drawings using JavaScript. 

Khan Academy can be downloaded on App Store and Google Play.

 

Code.org

 

Code.org is a website designed for K-12 users so students of all ages can benefit from their program.

Similar to Khan Academy, Code.org displays an interactive user interface through Hour of Code. Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. It provides activities in which kids can interact with other users through coding. Some activities in the Hour of Code are Minecraft Hour Code, Make a Flappy Game, and Create your own Google Logo.

Today, Code.org accounts for 40% of US student users and 1 million teachers with over 77 million projects created. Code.org can be accessed directly through their website.

 

Scratch

 

Scratch is a free and convenient block-based programming language dedicated to helping users across all ages to learn the basics of coding, although designed for kids aged 8 to 16 years old. Mitch Resnick, who leads the Scratch Team at the MIT Media Lab, explained in a blog post, “Our ultimate goal is to help all kids develop their thinking, develop their voices, and develop their identities.”

Scratch features Scratch Jr. —  a software application that covers interactive stories and games for young children ages 5 to 7. In the process, kids will learn to recognize basic programming problems, build projects, and express their ideas through creative designs.

Scratch can be accessed through their website only on laptop or desktop computers. Scratch Jr. is available at Amazon, Google Play, and App Store.

 

Code Monster

 

Crunchzilla created Code Monster, a googly-eyed blue monster who explains, commands, and questions a kid on his coding experience. He gives quizzes and asks kids to write his code. 

He is also responsible to give feedback when a kid inputs a code.

If a kid has mistakenly come up with the wrong code, Code Monster continues by example. Although a little time for kids to figure out where they went wrong, it is the best exercise for their analysis.

Code Monster can be accessed through their website.

 

Blockly Games

 

Blockly Games is a series of educational games developed by Blockly. All of its code is free and open-source in the Blockly library. Kids can learn the basics of coding without any at par experience in the coding program.

Blockly Games features seven components that allow a kid to enable his problem-solving and logic skills. “Movie” is one of the programming activities using mathematical equations. Here, kids use math to animate a movie. After a successful coding can be published for the world to watch. 

Blockly Games can be downloaded for offline use. It is free and customizable to meet your needs.

 

Key Takeaways 

 

Coding for kids develops a child’s creativity, problem-solving, and confidence. And as a learner, the skill of coding a program will be an edge for their future professional reference. Being said, a child should get engaged with real-time experience to build insights with the following free coding programs that can be freely accessed:

  1. Khan Academy
  2. Code.org
  3. Scratch
  4. Code Monster
  5. Blockly Games

Don’t let a kid end his curiosity with questions. Feed them with experience.

 

 

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I Still Believe

I Still Believe

Thank you Lionsgate for sending us a digital screener to review!

I Still Believe is based on the true story of Jeremy Camp’s college days before he became a popular Christian artist who sold five million CDs. This film was supposed to be released in theaters on March 13, 2020, but those plans were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Christians and fans of Jeremy Camp’s music can support this film by renting a premium video on demand on sites like Amazon for $19.99. The digital rentals are good for 48 hours.

This film has a star-studded cast including Gary Sinese and Shania Twain as Jeremy’s parents. Jeremy Camp is played by KJ Apa who does not lip-sync, but puts his own spin on the popular Christian hits sung throughout the movie. I must confess that I’m not familiar with Mr. Camp’s music (despite owning a CD!) so none of the songs performed in it sounded familiar to me. It’s really fascinating knowing the inspiration of two of his hit songs “I Still Believe”, and "Walk by Faith”.

The events in the movie are based loosely on Jeremy Camp’s written biography, I Still Believe. Some artistic liberties have been taken. In the film, the love triangle is between Michelle Henning, Jeremy Camp, and his musical mentor, Jean-Luc La Joie. In reality, the love triangle was with a friend from Jeremy’s Bible study instead.

Without giving away too much of the story, this movie depicts the genuineness of Jeremy’s faith in God and love for his on-and-off again girlfriend who eventually became his wife despite her health issues. It’s amazing how God uses people and how miracles still happen. This film is pretty family-friendly though some blood is shown.

I recommend checking out this film that will certainly pull at your heartstrings. It’s a shame that it didn’t debut in the theaters, but you can still enjoy it if you have high-speed internet.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Metal Trainer

Metal Trainer

Thank you Materia Collective for sending us this digital album to review!

The Pokémon franchise has been around since 1996 and has been producing best-selling games almost yearly since then. I started with the first generation of Red, Blue, and Yellow games. Ro Panuganti, who specializes in video game covers, takes tunes from the Red and Blue games and puts a heavy metal spin on them. The end result is a nine-track digital album that provides over twenty-five minutes of heart pumping music to catch Pokémon to!

It’s been years since I’ve played Pokémon Red/Blue, but I still recognized the first tune, Pokémon Master, right off the bat. It’s the theme song, electrified! The second track named Viridian is the Viridian City music overhauled. The guitar playing is fantastic! The third track, Wild Encounter, has some nice sound effects and really spruces up the wild Pokémon battle music. Pokémon Hospital begins with a lot of background noises including chatter and ER machinery before revealing a soothing remake of the Pokémon Center music. The Mt. Moon track is true to the source material and keeps the sense of danger and the thrill of exploration. The sixth track, Cerulean, takes the upbeat city music and jazzes it up a bit. I wonder how many people would recognize it if it was set as hold music?

The seventh track, Lavender, is the longest track at nearly five and a half minutes long. I must say I like this version much better than the original game’s town music. The mysterious mansion music is the eighth track dubbed Mansion. Again, this rendition improves upon the original in my opinion. The final track, Gym Battle, is a souped up version of the iconic Gym Battle music.

This album is available digitally for $7 on multiple platforms and audio formats. It’s worth picking up for fans of old school Pokémon games and heavy metal.

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Sonic The Hedgehog

Thank you Paramount for sending us a digital screener to review!

There have been many movies adapted after popular video game franchises. Sadly, most of them are not very good. This film had a rocky start after fans heavily criticized Paramount’s original design of the blue blur. Sonic’s final appearance looks much closer to Sega’s design with the exception of his arms being blue instead of cream colored.

Sonic is voiced by Ben Schwartz and he does a great job with bringing out the attitude that gamers have grown to love. While Sonic is often cocky, there’s a lot of loneliness shown as he must remain hidden from humans while living on Earth. In the fictional town of Green Hills, Montana, Sonic watches many residents of this small community without being detected (for the most part).

When Sonic lets his emotions get the better of him, he causes a mass loss of power and the government calls upon Dr. Robotnik to discover the source. Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Eggman is quite funny and he provides a lot of humor in this film as expected.

With the help of a cop that Sonic dubbed the “Donut Lord,” they head to San Fransico to retrieve Sonic’s Rings. On this journey, a beautiful friendship is born, and some valuable life lessons are taught to both Sonic and the police officer (James Marsden), whose real name is Tom.

This film is family-friendly for the most part. There is some violence with most of it taking place in a bar fight that Sonic started. Language is pretty mild as I recall the start of a curse word being cut off before it’s said in its entirety.

Overall, my family enjoyed this movie and wouldn’t mind owning it in the near future. The Blu-ray is available for a little over $20 on Amazon. I’ll probably wait for a sale though. Fans of the Sonic franchise will enjoy this film and the hinting of a potential sequel.

Buy it on Amazon for $22.99

(Affiliate Link)

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The increasing risk of addictive gambling mechanics in video games

Those who enjoy playing video games know how easy it is to get fully absorbed into a game. A quick 10-minute play session can quickly turn into hours of gameplay.

It wasn’t all that long ago that enjoying a video game meant going to purchase it from the store and having full access to the game. However, in modern gaming, features such as paying to have to recharge or paying for special items are common.

To some people, having to pay to continue playing a game might seem like a minor inconvenience. However, for other players, the need to pay to continue playing a game becomes a compulsive impulse. This impulse is actually a form of addictive behavior. Many game developers are aware of this addictive behavior and are using it to increase their revenue.

Play-to-Win and Loot Boxes

Most games have the same basic mechanics, no matter the genre: to complete a series of tasks and unlock harder objectives. However, now that many games can connect to the internet, developers have realized that players will pay real money to complete an objective more quickly.

Most of the time, this payment happens in one of two ways. One is known as the “Play-to-Win” method, where players will pay to skip the objective or pay to unlock a new area. The other method is known as “Loot Boxes”, where players pay to receive a mystery “box” of virtual items that will enhance their gameplay.

Spending money to engage in games

Play-to-Win features and Loot Boxes require in-app purchases or microtransactions. Spending this money can become an impulse. People enjoy being able to advance in a game and feel satisfied when they’re able to unlock new content. Eventually, the brain becomes addicted to feeling this satisfaction.

This is a form of behavioral addiction, which is different than a chemical addiction. However, the need to spend, unlock new content, advance in the game, and feel that satisfaction is still a need for some people. To feel that satisfaction, many people willingly spend money on Play-to-Win features and Loot Boxes without realizing they’re addicted. It is a dangerous cycle.

Similarities between video games and casinos

Some people might find the gambling mechanics in video games hard to believe, but it is important to remember that casinos have used this technique for decades. When people purchase a Loot Box, there is no guarantee that they will get the items they need. This forces them to purchase more Loot Boxes.

People play the slots in casinos because they want a large money prize. Sometimes, they receive nothing. Other times, they only receive a little. But because the possibility of winning large is still there, they continue to play. Just like how people become addicted to casino gambling, they can become addicted to video game gambling.

Addicting games with microtransactions

Any game that offers microtransactions to continue to play can become addictive. One example of a popular game that is currently using these gambling mechanisms is Fortnight. While it is possible to play Fortnight without spending money, those who want to advance more quickly will need to purchase packs that grant them access to new items.

Other video games that have used microtransactions include FIFA and Overwatch. Even Nintendo is using microtransactions in Mario Kart Tour. It is usually easy to tell what games have microtransactions before you purchase or download them. For example, in the iTunes app store, apps will clearly state if they offer in-app purchases.

Beating the addition

So how exactly can you beat the addiction? Well, one way is to read reviews before purchasing a game to see if other players have concerns about in-app purchases. If they do, you know you’ll have to be more cautious when playing that game to not get absorbed into the gambling mechanisms.

Another way is to set clear limits for yourself. If you know a game offers microtransactions, give yourself a limit of how many Play-to-Win features or Loot Boxes you can buy in a month. If you like a game and want to support it, there is nothing wrong with buying a Loot Box on occasion, as long as you’re in control over your spending.

Final thoughts

Having an awareness of the addictive gambling mechanics in video games can help keep you from becoming too addicted to these mechanics. If you suspect you are already addicted to these mechanics, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional — behavioral addiction can be just as devastating as a chemical addiction.

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Fortnite's Legacy Look Controls Are Being Removed

With many considering the aim assist for gamepad users being a disadvantage, Epic Games is removing the legacy controls on March 13th.  In it's current state, gamepad users are able to track users through obstructions like smoke and walls.  Players with legacy controls currently enabled will have their controls set back to default settings.  Until the change happens, players who wish to preserve their settings may use the "Copy from Legacy" option and then manually disable the "Legacy Look Controls".

Check out Fortnite Items Available From PlayerAuctions.com

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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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