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The Uprising has fallen

It was fun while it lasted!

As the 1st of May passes, Blizzard sticks to their promise and removes the Uprising event from Overwatch.


For those of you who happened to be on holiday from 11th of April till today a few words of introduction. Uprising was a seasonal event, in which players could for the very first time dive into the lore of Overwatch.

The world of Overwatch is beyond the shadow of a doubt one of the best-written universes in gaming. Sadly, many people don’t know anything related to it as the game does not ram it in your face by any means. For them, Overwatch is all about fun & shooting, with some lore-related flavor texts here and there. But by no means is that wrong! They bought a game, a quick, fast-paced shooter to kill the boredom during these pesky winter evenings! If they wanted to experience a deep and touching storytelling, they would have chosen Planescape: Torment (can you think of a more classical example of a top-notch narrative in a game?) right away and wouldn’t bother with Overwatch at all.

Until the Uprising, the lore was accessible only through comics, stories, and animations (the quality of which, by the way, matches Pixar movies). There was no actual way of replaying the events that have shaped the Overwatch’s world.

The Uprising scenario allowed players to replay Tracer’s first mission. In this story, Torbjörn, Reinhardt, and Mercy had to defend King’s Row from swarms of attacking omnics. In a Left 4 Dead-style PvE Brawl, the players could finally take part in canon events and become heroes of the Overwatch lore.

To keep it fun, Blizzard enabled an all-hero mode allowing to use all characters. The event rewarded participants with seasonal loot boxes containing unique content, unobtainable elsewhere.

In total 114 new items were made available. Needless to say, newer players will look jealously upon veterans equipped with them. Special mention goes to Blackwatch McCree and Combat Medic Ziegler Mercy – these two skins look so well that it will be hard for Blizzard to release something better (these outfits come with Legendary quality; there are 6 other Legendary skins and 2 Epic outfits).

Blizzard stated that more lore-related events are to come, however, as of yet there are no plans to introduce a story mode into the game.

I find this quite sad.

There is so much story that needs to be told.

E-Sports Team

Taking A Look At An E-Sports Team

Imagine for a moment if your life consisted of living in the same house with a group of friends playing video games and making money. With very little exaggeration that is exactly what some E-sports teams do. They live in the same house, practice the video games that they play, and promote brands that have chosen to sponsor them.

Optic Gaming is a popular E-Sports team with a lot of influence in their field. They are doing well enough that they have purchased a seven-bedroom house in the suburbs of Chicago. This home looks like something that would be owned by a high powered official but is instead occupied by video game playing twenty-somethings.

The image of video game players as slobs and unable to make money is something that certainly does not apply to those who are part of this team. They have found a way to make what they love to do work for them. The types of games that they play are “Call of Duty“, “Halo”, “Gears Of War”, and others. The one thing that you will find in common with all of these games is that they are team efforts.

Gaming House

The member of Optic Gaming has all of the latest technology to make team play possible and to make it possible for them to do very well with the games they play. They always have to be able to communicate with one another about strategy and what they are doing in the game at any given moment.

The CEO of Optic Gaming is a 37-year-old named Hector Rodriguez. He has worked to promote the team and has made them very popular. However, popularity is not the only point of doing this. He is hoping to draw in corporate sponsors who will put in the big bucks to make it worthwhile to keep playing. He has not had much trouble on that front. He has even managed to draw the eyes of companies as large as PepsiCo.

In total the team actually owns two houses and has a total of 22 players on it. Some are there solely to make content and put out videos of the team onto their various social media accounts. Other people are there to actually play the games. Either way, the group is a powerful one with a lot of reasons to keep an eye on them. They are becoming a force all by themselves. One member said that he went from being just a fan of the team to now being a member himself with nearly 3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel that follow his every move.

The group has become so popular that almost any video they put up is sure to get millions of people to view it. They do not have to be actively playing against another team in order for people to be interested, they just need to put something out there and people will start watching.

This is the hidden industry that many people do not even realize exists, but it continues to grow by the day.

Ultimate Gaming Experience

Creating the Ultimate Gaming Experience

With all of the newest advancements in technology, gaming has the ability to be more captivating than ever. Greater quality consoles with enhanced graphics and gameplay continue to emerge in the market. Furthermore, gaming companies continue to brainstorm ways in which the gaming experience can be improved. From online interaction to hands-free gameplay, gaming companies continue to push the boundaries on what is possible. With the recent rise in gaming popularity, many people are interested in making a customized gaming space for themselves. Here are a few tips to help you create the ultimate gaming experience.

1. Choose Your Console Wisely

Perhaps the most important component to a gaming atmosphere is the game console itself. While there are countless brands and models of gaming consoles, there are only a few that have remained consistently popular throughout the years. The Xbox by Microsoft, the Play Station by Sony and the PC are all forms of consoles that have stood the test of time. There is an ongoing debate surrounding which gaming console is the best. You will find passionate gamers on all sides of the discussion. Generally, the Xbox and Play Station offer an unbeatable gaming experience. Both consoles pack amazing graphics, a large selection of games, comfortable controllers and online gameplay. Additionally, they are quite affordable when compared to the cost of a gaming PC. However, many gamers are beginning to turn towards gaming PC’s because of the freedom and customizability they offer. Unlike standard consoles, PC’s can be created and customized to the personal preference of the gamer. However, this is also the reason that gaming PC’s cost more than consoles.

Both consoles pack amazing graphics, a large selection of games, comfortable controllers and online gameplay. Additionally, they are quite affordable when compared to the cost of a gaming PC. However, many gamers are beginning to turn towards gaming PC’s because of the freedom and customizability they offer. Unlike standard consoles, PC’s can be created and customized to the personal preference of the gamer. However, this is also the reason that gaming PC’s cost more than consoles.

2. Purchase a Gaming Chair

Those who are new to the gaming culture may be surprised to realize that there are chairs designed especially for this activity. Generally, these gaming chairs look similar to a large massage chair. They are designed to remain comfortable during long periods of gameplay. Some people may question the necessity of purchasing a chair just for gaming. However, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long durations of gaming. In order to create the ultimate gaming experience, comfortable chairs are a necessity. These gaming chairs can be purchased online and even at some local electronic stores.

Some people may question the necessity of purchasing a chair just for gaming. However, there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long durations of gaming. In order to create the ultimate gaming experience, comfortable chairs are a necessity. These gaming chairs can be purchased online and even at some local electronic stores.

3. Invest in a Quality TV

Another critical component to creating the ultimate gaming experience is investing in a quality TV. Playing games on the appropriate screen can mean the difference between feeling immersed in the game or having trouble seeing the game. No matter how powerful a console may be, its full potential cannot be realized without a top-of-the-line television. While there are hundreds of models and brands to choose from, a standard high-definition flat screen will do the trick. They are lightweight, compact and can be surprisingly affordable. Another important factor to consider is the compatibility between the console and the TV. Gamers must be certain that all necessary chords leading from the console can be plugged into the TV. This ensures that all visual and audio components can be successfully transferred from the console and displayed on the screen.

They are lightweight, compact and can be surprisingly affordable. Another important factor to consider is the compatibility between the console and the TV. Gamers must be certain that all necessary chords leading from the console can be plugged into the TV. This ensures that all visual and audio components can be successfully transferred from the console and displayed on the screen.

GenCon

GenCon – A Must Attend For Gamers

If the sound of dice rolling across a tabletop is sets you to excitement, or if waiting for the frown or smile of a gamemaster keeps you in gut-wrenching suspense, GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana is a pilgrimage that you definitely need to take. Started by Gary Gygax, the father of gaming, almost fifty years ago, you will have the time of your life at GenCon. You will be a real gaming monitor.

Every one of the big game houses is there. Mayfair games, creators of fan favorites like Agricola and The Colonists, has a huge presence. Rio Grande games, one of the biggest innovators in card games, is also one of their top sponsors. Gale Force 9, makers of the hugely popular Firefly: the Game and Star Trek: Ascension, have a large display with all the expansions available for their games. Settlers of Catan has one of the largest set ups, with all the different versions of their game, one of the most popular board games out.

If see a game you find interesting, but just aren’t certain, there are test areas, where trained staff teach you how to play the game and guide you on strategy and tactics. Sit with your friends, or make new ones while you play and learn. There, a gaming monitor will help you learn even the most complex of games.

Are you someone who knows without counting whether throwing three d4s or two d6s is the better gambit, GenCon is without a doubt the place for you. Dozens of purveyors have everything you need for your next adventure, from flashy, custom made dice, to every campaign you can imagine, to the costumes you are looking for for your cosplay. Nothing makes your quest more real than that sword or wizard’s staff your character needs to survive the wilderness.

Aside from the dealer floor, there are dozens of other exciting events. Magic: the Gathering tournaments, as well as tournaments and challenges in almost every other game genre imaginable. Exciting LARPing opportunities abound like “True Dungeon” and several others. A gaming monitor will help you through the dungeons and puzzles. Often these events sell out very quickly, so you’ll want to make signing up a priority when you arrive.

And do not miss the costumes. Heck, participate yourself. Some of the most imaginative and fun costumes appear at GenCon. Things from Steampunk Ghostbusters to a full Klingon band. Many of the attendees dress for the event, some with a different outfit every day. Commander Shepherd, Browncoats from Firefly, Deadpool, little girl Darth Vader, and Dr. Who’s Daleks are some of the most common, but one of the most fun parts of the convention is figuring out who the characters are, especially those who do really creative mashups.

Can you wait? If you are a true gaming monitor, then probably not. But if you make plans now, you can attend this annual event, usually in August. It is a place every serious gamer needs to check out whenever they have an opportunity.

Las Vegas Adds eSports Arena to Woo Gamers

eSports is on the rise, and that isn’t news to anyone around here as the NY Times reported more people watched the eSports championships than the NBA Finals last year, but we see more money get pumped into the industry every week and now Sin City is jumping into the arena (pun intended).

The most recent industry to jump into the foray is tourism as Las Vegas just unveiled a 15,000 seat esports arena.

The arena has all the features that a professional sports venue needs: stands, warm-up areas for teams, massive screens for spectators and a broadcast platform for commentators. But what distinguishes this new Las Vegas arena is its dozens of video game consoles.

The 15,000-square-foot e-sports venue slated to open Friday will host competitive video game tournaments. It’s part of a trend that the casino industry hopes will attract the millennial crowd, the 15- to 34-year-olds who are becoming majority spenders in today’s economy but aren’t necessarily interested in traditional gambling.

The stadium opened with a $50,000 Halo World Championship qualifier that was won by team OpTic Gaming (full recap here) and is hosting the Madden World Championships in the coming months. That’s good news for aspiring pro-gamers. No longer do you have to run a 4.4 40-yard dash or be 6-6 with a “wicked jump shot” as the late Notorious BIG once said, now we all have an opportunity to professional “athletes.”

All of this is all good news for aspiring pro-gamers. No longer do you have to run a 4.4 40-yard dash or be 6-6 with a “wicked jump shot” as the late Notorious BIG once said, now we all have an opportunity to professional “athletes.”

Reddit Up to Its Antics Again – Tricks Google with Potato

It is no secret the folks at Reddit like to pull some pranks and often it involves abusing the “Domain Authority” as Search Engine optimization guys call it, of Reddit.com. If a thread in a popular sub-Reddit gets enough upvotes Google’s algorithms have a tendency to rank the content high on the search results page. In this case, the PC Master Race folks will get a kick out of this one. Searching for ‘gaming console’ returns  an image of a potato. I LOL’d

Snapchat Games?

Snapchat is scrambling to find ways to make money in-lieu of its upcoming IPO. It’s latest attempt is filter games that you play with your face on an elf. Snapchat charges a premium for these filters and its hoping people are bored enough to buy these en-masse. Not me.

via GIPHY

Snap is also introducing games in their ads in hopes to make them more interactive.

It will be interesting to see how Snap & games evolve in advertising but how they influence the future stock price of the latest tech-darling to IPO.

Super Mario Themed Pop-Up Bar

There is nothing like a little nostalgia to go along with your delicious libations and this pop up bar in Washington DC has nailed it again. They understand the power of nostalgia in marketing and have spent six weeks decorating their bar for the Cherry Blossom Festival and half of it with a Super Mario theme.

Now they’ve missed an opportunity to have toadstools for the bar seats but the rest is pretty spot-on. A reddit-user also was able to find the drink menu and it looks like you’ll pay a premium for your Yoshi-inspired booze.

musk zuckerberg photo

Elon Musk & Mark Zuckerberg Both Play Video Games And Call It Beneficial

Okay maybe we were overreaching with the title of this article but neither of the two premises are false. Yes, entrepreneurs, successful businessmen, artists and sportspersons all play video games, some even go as far as calling themselves gamers. And, yes video games are beneficial in their own way and under particular limitations. However, the question is whether the two statements can be related. Does the love for video games have anything to do with the success of these athletes and businessmen? Or is it sheer coincidence. Let’s find out…

In a recent survey conducted by ESRB, video games are growing in their popularity with nearly 67% of all US households engaging in gaming for at least eight hours each week!

There have been studies or rather observations conducted that suggest, gaming can actually help you become smarter, grow in your career and land that dream position or job. All this can be a lot of temptation to hunker down and blast through hours of Call of Duty, simply in the name of professional development but first, let’s investigate a little further.

Yes, there is a long list of famous individuals who are also high-profile gamers and their lifestyle or their life choices can make it seem as if gaming is a major part of their success but let’s be honest about this. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg game but if that’s all they did we would not know their name! Basically, they love gaming but they understand they have a business and life to run and that’s what makes them successful. By the way, did you know that Mark got hooked to programming in general when he wrote a video game as a child?

What is undisputable is that because of such athletes, entrepreneurs and entertainers, the gaming industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. However, now there is some science behind this growth and the positives of the industry too.

Granny Doesn’t Appreciate Gaming

How many times have you read some puff piece online bashing gaming and gamers in general because they are screwing up their lives? I for one have found several instances of such ridiculous posts, probably from grannies who never really got the chance to enjoy gaming as kids! Dear granny, let me tell you, science now backs the idea that gaming helps grow grey matter in the brain.

In a study from Germany conducted in 2013, it was shown how playing Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes, two months, every single day led to an increase in grey matter. Need more evidence granny? Well then how about the British Study that suggests strategy games like Starcraft can actually help improve the flexibility of the brain or that people who suffer from stroke, mental illness and autism can see improvements if they have regular gaming sessions?

This doesn’t mean that we should all start pushing our elderlies towards gaming or introduce Call of Duty to a three-year-old! No, just because something might work doesn’t mean it works across the entire spectrum. Not without concrete evidence at least and that is where gaming and science have to begin merging. There is unfortunately no proper backing of these findings and until more independent research is conducted with control environments and other necessary scientific precautions, appropriate conclusions cannot be reached.

The Naysayers And Haters Unite

There is always another side to a story and while I don’t personally support the views or conclusions drawn by the other side, it is worth exploring before saying no.

Video games deter productivity and development. Some entrepreneurs, artists and scientists believe that video games damage gamers by exposing them to violence. At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, video games today do include a lot of violence and the most successful titles usually have to do with bloodshed and gore. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t titles released each year or even every month for children and teenagers. According to the American Psychological Association, the link between rise in aggressive behaviour and violent video games cannot be refuted. Early exposure to violent video games can lead to decrease in moral engagement, empathy and even pro-social behaviour. The correlations are sound but are video games the only factors promoting such behaviour in teenagers or is there more to it? That’s my qualm with the findings.

The American Academy of Paediatrics looked through 400 different studies and confirmed a strong link between aggressive behaviour and violent media. The conclusion they gave is that the time spent gaming can be used to create businesses, pursue dreams and even build relations.

My Take On The Debate

Thus far, I have presented the two warring factions without any bias. Let me put forward my viewpoint. First, yes games that have gore should never be played by young children. This will desensitize them as they grow up and can hamper their emotional and moral development. However, it is wrong to correlate this data and finding with the rest of the age groups. After a particular age, the emotional compass and moral compass have both grown to a certain extent that cannot be significantly altered by any means other than something catastrophic.

Having said that, I believe that gaming does improve productivity and increase brain matter. Why? Well, when you game you let go of any stress or other nagging worry in your mind. Your brain is given breathing space to relax and enjoy the work it does. Because gaming requires all your senses and your reaction, it helps improve hand-eye coordination, recollection power and even decision making. Whether you game professionally or for leisure, gaming produces those funny brain chemicals that help soothe the mind and body. The only thing it doesn’t do is give you a full body workout and that’s something that you have to work on personally.

Don’t take my words, listen to what Jeremy Wilmer, a psychology assistant professor at Wellesley College says. All the research points towards several positive factors of gaming and the potential for growth. Yes, there are studies that prove the negatives but there are equal studies to suggest improvement in cognitive abilities or the ability of the brain to store, retrieve and process information.

missed games exclamation mark

Games You Might Have Missed In 2016 That Are Worth Your Time

In the horde of salivating after the big, expansive mainstream titles, we often forget those small, independent titles that despite their lack of breath-taking graphics and scenes are nonetheless gems worth your playing time.

Granted many of them won’t cater to our fine-tuned palette, but if you are up for some offbeat entertainment, then these 2016 titles should help your cause immensely.

Event[0]

It’s a very misleading game in that its dressed as a sci-fi adventure but performs more like a text adventure. Most of our time was spent communicating with Kaizen, the AI system of our run-down spaceship.

Weird as hell, Event[0] attempts to  interpret your worded commands and responds with an appropriate reply. And we must say, it was successful most of the time. Its experimental but worth a shot if you are bored to bits.

Shenzhen I/O

A game that is about programming, like real programming. Much like TIS-100, Zachtronics’ 2015 game with similar concept, Shenzhen I/O eggs you on to build your own circuits that will aid in assembly of cheap electronics.

It can be intimidating at first, especially for those who aren’t used to programming basics, but once you get used to mastering a logic and find optimized solutions, you get the ultimate satisfaction akin to what Archimedes must have felt after his ‘Eureka’ moment.

Rusty Lake Hotel

We believe there is a lot to enjoy about this point and click game if you can get over the fact that you have to shrink and negotiate inside a man’s chest cavity to remove his heart! And if that’s not enough, you’ll have to find a way out of his body (hint: through his mouth). Oh, and did we mention that you have to poison him first?

Thankfully, the game has a very cartoonish feel which is necessary to dilute the gore aspects of what’s asked of you, and in tandem with Roots – the latest from the Rusty Lake series form an awesome twosome. The imagery might be unnerving for some, but if you can look past it, then what you get some serious puzzle solving and point-and-click gameplay.

Reigns

As heir to the throne, you have finally inherited your father’s kingdom. But the life of a king isn’t so easy, there’s so many decisions that need to be made, some more existential than others. And in Reigns, you take those decisions by swapping left or right to choose one of two answers to a challenge.

For instance, your people are starving, but you have to decide whether to route the supplies to their aid or pass it off to your army fighting a battle. But, its amazing how a simple game concept can produce such engaging yet deep story arcs.

We spent an entire day playing Reigns and even then weren’t able to go through the complete gamut of scenarios. While this game is more suited to playing on a smartphone or tablet, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the Steam version over your laptop.

Unbox

Lets call it Crash Bandicoot in Cardboard box land, shall we? A 90s-era, mascot-based, collect-the-doo-dads kind of a game, you begin your journey as the newest member of a global group of self-delivering boxes.

But for some strange reason, you don’t do any delivery, just climb buildings, bobsled your way down icy paths, move between four dimensions (worlds) and oh yes, collect as many goodies as you can. We loved the whole boxy vanity, and those out-of-the-blue references to Metal Gear Solid, that are simply hilarious.

Grim Dawn

Off the bat, we have to say that Grim Dawn is neither unique nor the best-written game, but it is worthy enough to be placed alongside other action RPGs like ‘Path of Exile’ and ‘Diablo III’s Reaper of Souls’.

Grim Dawn’s main strength lies in its open-ended class system. As a result, each class has a skill tree, which when combined with other elements such as multi-classing and constellations list basically let you have different combinations of powers. Thus, in turn lets you play the game in different ways.

So, if you like character customizations, and that good old feeling of click and loot this, take that, then this is one game you simply shouldn’t miss.

Owlboy

For a game that took nine years to release, Owlboy incorporates some of the most breath-taking pixel art, that would give any of the other similar yet costlier titles a run for their money. In fact, we would rate it at par with the likes of Shovel Knight and perhaps a shade lower than Cave Story+, but that’s only because we love the latter.

As for the gameplay, you are a boy with wings of an owl who sets out on an adventure through cities in the sky and ruins on the ground. Great controls and an excellent soundtrack to boast of, Owlboy could easily be one of the best indie games of 2016.

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Another title on the lines of Shenzhen I/O, Quadrilateral Cowboy is the alternative for those who like a good hacking-centric game with lots of wacky gadgets and puzzles to solve. In fact, playing it for a few hours, and getting the pseudo codes right and we started feeling like hackers ourselves.

The retro-modern look blends nicely with challenges thrown at you that graduate upwards in difficulty, until you find a new gadget that can makes it all easy. Honestly, we were surprised that the game got over so soon, but then it also means that it was that immersive.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

We have saved the best for the last. Those who have played it have complained about its camera angle and isometric playing profile. But, make no mistake, this has to be by far the best game that we are happy to have played in 2016.

Creative, tremendously open-ended and total demand for stealth, Shadow Tactics reminds us so much of Commandos series of games, except it is based in Japan and features swords, shoguns and samurais.