Online Games That Release Your Stress

Believe it or not, online gaming is the biggest thing today. Capitalizing on this huge market, app developers are constantly launching new games with the best graphics and highly engaging gameplay. Not just that, they design and create them in various formats to cater to a varied audience.

Now if you’re a diehard fan of online games, here’s a lowdown on the different genres; something you definitely need to know.

1. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) – Gaming actually saw a spurt when it became social with the introduction of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG). The thrill and adventure lies in competing with other players, playing simultaneously in the virtual world. They are called role playing games because you take up roles as you move through the game. Most of these are not free; you have to pay to access certain premium features or to level up.

2. Real time strategy – As the name suggests, real time strategy games call for an immediate response from the players; it is played in real time. They combine strategy and action and can be highly addictive. Real time strategy includes building the inventory by gathering resources, fighting armies, building base, creating units and exploring areas.

3. Action and adventure – They are set against a story in fantasy worlds or adventure lands. They are fast-paced and involve combats with enemies, puzzles, missions and quests. Completing successive missions result in the character leveling up and earning armor, weaponry, potions etc. Unlike MMORPG and real-time strategy formats, these are generally single-player ones.

4. Casino games – Casino games replicate the real world of the casinos on the World Wide Web. Many of these are played with real cash. It offers the excitement of playing in a casino. There are also real bonuses and prizes to be won.

5. Sports games – If you are a sports buff, sports games will grab your interest. The most popular ones on the web are football, basketball and baseball. They are organized into levels. You can choose to play along, against the computer or compete against another player. Many are modeled on actual sporting events.

6. Simulation games – Simulation games are real-life situations played out in game settings. Think about the number of farming games you’ve played, or that marvelous city you’ve built or the virtual people you’ve cared for, or the pet zoos you’ve managed. If you’re looking for action and adventure, simulation games do not fit the bill. They are about time management, strategy development, decision making. Nevertheless, simulation games promise you good time.

7. Shooting games – If you get a kick out of violent games, shooting games are the one for you. It involves shooting at targets be it objects, animals or people. These games require precision and skill.

In addition to the category of games mentioned above, there are arcade and board games, card games, strategy games and puzzles. Game developers are coming forth with various titles offering hours of unlimited fun and entertainment. Choose your favorite one and enjoy yourself.

Understanding The Importance Games For Kids

The “Wikipedia problem” which means children turning to internet for readymade answers is the new age phenomenon baffling teachers and mentors globally. There are almost equal numbers of teachers who consider technology to be a solution as much as a problem. While a common belief is that technology is hindering the students’ capacity to think and analyze, there is also a strong opinion in favor of video games and digital gadgets’ ability to engage students and enhance learning by using more than one sensory stimulators. In spite of the growing concern about the students’ deteriorating attention spans, institutions are incorporating them in the process of classroom learning.

Children are inherently inquisitive creatures. They have a curiosity to discover new things and learn by way of discovering and experimenting even before they are subjected to methods of formal education such as reading or writing. Science is a discipline of experiments and discoveries. The National Science Education Standards emphasize that “science education needs to give students three kinds of scientific skills and understandings. Students need to learn the principles and concepts of science, acquire the reasoning and procedural skills of scientists, and understand the nature of science as a particular form of human endeavor. Students therefore need to be able to devise and carry out investigations that test their ideas, and they need to understand why such investigations are uniquely powerful. Studies show that students are much more likely to understand and retain the concepts that they have learned this way “. Hence, it becomes imperative to engage children in science education at an early stage.

Digital games are more capable to gain students’ interests and attention than other conventional means of imparting education in a classroom. However, some educationists also regard them as culprits of exponential decline in the attention span in children. The next sections in this article discuss the involvement of children in games in the tech age, types of games available in the market and the impact of digital gaming as learning aids in classrooms.

Gaming and the New Age Kids

Digital technology has expanded the horizons of video gaming in the modern world. Kids are subjected to far more complex and challenging technological environment than their counterparts were from over half a century back. Involvement of kids in digital gaming is a result of many significant changes in the lifestyle and culture of the modern society. Easy accessibility of technology, dispensable income due to dual income families and lack of infrastructure for outdoor activities in many cities are some major contributors in making screen games an important part of the children’s’ lives. A study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) found that only 20 percent of the census blocks are within half a mile of a block boundary. Also, the effect of peer pressure cannot be undermined in these times of social networking.

The digital gaming market is one of the fastest growing segments of the global entertainment industry. US is witnessing unprecedented penetration of digital games amongst youngsters. In the US, 97% of the teens play some type of game on a regular basis. In India, the gaming market has grown manifold in the last few years. Hence, it is imperative that educationists are continuously contemplating the use of digital gaming as a learning tool in classrooms. Institutions are also employing innovative ways to leverage the digital advantage for enhancing the learning experience at schools.

What are Digital Games?

There is no concrete definition of games as it may vary with an individual’s preference and profession. Games can be defined as a “system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, which result in a quantifiable outcome”. Technology and digitization add new dimensions to games where simulations, interactivity, augmented reality, alternative reality, collective intelligence and sensory stimulators such as sound and visual effects. Digital games are also characterized by their portability and limitless accessibility.

Role-playing games, simulation games and puzzles are some of the most popular digital games. In role-playing games, the player enacts the role of a particular character in a virtual world moving from one level to the other based on the outcome of the earlier level. RPGs can be single player such as the dungeons and dragons from earlier days of gaming or multi-player games such as Diablo III, Xenoblade, Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Mass Effect 3. MMORPG or the Massive Multiple Online Role-Playing Games are an extension of the RPGs where large number of players interacts in an online virtual world. Simulation games create realistic situations in virtual worlds. The outcome will depend on the player’s decision-making and responsiveness and will be closely similar to what may happen in a real world in the same situation. Widely used in training and analysis, simulation games are also popular due to their unpredictable and personalized outcomes. Flight Simulator X, Live for Speed (LFS) and Need for Speed have been extremely popular simulation games for a long time. Puzzles genre of digital games involves problem solving and analysis with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the nature of the game. Crosswords and treasure hunt games are basic forms of puzzle games in both physical and digital form.

All types of digital games involve a social involvement of players. Some need collaborative efforts to play while others may be discussed or analyzed socially. In spite of some games being accused of outright violent visual effects, a well-designed game can accelerate the thinking process by motivating, engaging, involving creativity and developing a meta-game i.e., social interactions inspired and enhanced inside or outside the game. Incorporating digital gaming in the basic education framework can lead to augmented competitiveness and multi-dimensional growth in children.

Digital Games in Science Education – Why and Why Not?

The 21st century requires the mentors and the students to integrate technology into the curriculum. Though the ultimate goal is to benefit the students in terms of learning and experience, unsupervised, unorganized or irrelevant application can lead to complete failure or have negative effects. Some of the negative impacts of digital games in general and in context with the education are listed below:

    • Digital games have been facing constant rebuke for allegedly enhancing aggression amongst kids and developing a violent streak at an early stage. In a study by Anderson and Bushman (2001), Children involved in violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping. Use of weapons and being rewarded for being violent is a cause of widespread concern.
    • Digital games can be addictive for children and make them physically inactive. Digital games, other than social networking, are considered for reduced physical activity leading to obesity in kids and postural and skeletal disorders.
    • Addiction to games is also known to make kids socially secluded. Impulsive behavior, depression and increased anxiety levels are largely attributed to excessive gaming in children. Some studies also suggest that the children playing games are unable to concentrate for a long span and have reduced attention span.
    • Children are prone to absorbing socially unacceptable behavior through some digital games such as using profanities and ill-treating the fairer sex. Lack of adequate knowledge about screening the material available online is a growing concern amongst the parents.
    • Digital games are considered a hindrance to better performance in academics. Students are often found to skip homework to play games leading to deteriorated performance at school. However, despite their reputation as promoters of violence and mayhem, digital games have in fact been shown to help children learn skills, content, and vital “21st-century” skills. From digital games children can learn: content (from rich vocabulary to science to history), skills (from literacy to math to complex problem-solving), creation of artifacts (from videos to software code) and systems thinking (how changing one element affects relationships as a whole). Strong arguments in favor of using digital games as learning aids in secondary education are summarized below:
    • Digital games involve extreme hand-eye coordination and enhance motor and sensory skills. Sensory stimulation theory proposed by academician Laird (1985) validates that effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. While some studies show that digital gaming reduces attention span, there are strong evidences of improved concentration in short intervals of time. Digital games involve keeping an eye on every detail, follow the rules and respond proactively to the given situation. Complex digital games help is developing problem-solving and decision-making skills. Some games also involve logical analysis of the situation and pattern recognition and improve memorizing thus assisting in the cognitive process. Playing by the rules teaches children to accept and respect a certain level of discipline.
  • Multi-player digital games develop a sense of constructive competitive attitude. Collaborative games also improve team-building attitude. They develop time management skills in a team and train the players to cooperate for mutually desired goal. They teach the players to accept defeat as well as strive for better results. Digital games provide an avenue for hyperactive kids to direct the energy in a constructive system based game. They also provide an outlet to release aggression and frustration, thus helping in diffusing stress. Some games also involve physical activity such as Nintendo Wii boxing helping kids to engage mentally and physically with the kids. Complex digital games involve high level of multitasking thus improving brain’s natural learning process. Brain based learning theory proposes that multi-tasking is an inherent activity of the brain and learning is enhanced by challenges at various levels. Digital games develop efficient situational analysis and strategy making in children. Since games have certain objectives at every level and a final objective of the game, it teaches players to devise short term and long-term strategies such as scoring points, retaining energy and reaching the ultimate goal of the game. Simulation games and the role-playing digital games help players gain expertise or learn by experiencing in replicas of real world situations. Experiential learning and action learning theories are based on the premise that individuals learn faster when they by experiencing and actually participating in action.

“Games require the kind of thinking that we need in the 21st Century because they use actual learning as the basis for assessment. They test not only current knowledge and skills, but also preparation for future learning. They measure 21st century skills like collaboration, innovation, production, and design by tracking many different kinds of information about a student, over time. ”

Benefit Of Online Games

A lot of the youth are inclined to playing online play-offs now. Not only the young but the elders are also equally fascinated by the online games. The sole reason behind this is that the gaming system has undergone massive changes from the earlier days, say, 10 years back. Earlier the games had to be installed in one’s PC and then one could have played. Now, a person can buy gift cards if he or she wants to play a particular game. However, playing online games have advantages as well as disadvantages.

The advantages of online gaming are as follows-

• Online play-offs offer trial versions. This allows the users to buy the games only if they like it in the trial period. This also allows the ease to buy a play-off from the ease of their home without running to the stores.

• In online games, the users get exclusive content for the games they are playing. This is the reason why many people choose them.

• Another exciting aspect of online gaming is that they allow communication. The players can interact with their friends and family while they are playing. This is simply a great thing for thy game lovers. The good side of this is that it enhances skills of team building. This will develop memory and lateral thinking in you while adding strategic elements in the game.

• Through online playing, you will be able to analyze your playing skills in comparison to others. You will know your position in the play-off and will be able to compete with others.

The disadvantages are-

System updates – when the user wants to play online or download a play-off they want to play they might have to face with a system update that might delay the game. The person has to wait for the process to complete and restart the PC, phone or tablet, whatever he or she is using.

Server issues or glitches – Viruses in games are also called Glitches. This causes it to run irregularly or slow down suddenly. These are common in all types of games, but more in online games. Also, the server issues can make it more frustrating for the gamers.

Piracy – Piracy and copywriting the games is another bad point that can make a scandal and even shut down the games.

So, if you are playing the online games or thinking to do so then you should know the pros and cons. This will help you to be wise and play safe.

Things About League of Legends Games

You’ve probably heard some of your friends mention it all the time, and if you’re on the internet it’s most likely that you’ve stumbled upon hundreds of people talking about “LoL”, but what is this League of Legends so many people talk about? If you’re wondering that chances are you’ve been leaving under a rock for the past eight years.

League of Legends, or simply “LoL”, as it’s commonly abbreviated, is one of the biggest multiplayer online battle arena (or MOBA, for friends) in the industry. In this game you control a character, or “champion” as they’re called in the game, and team up with other players against the enemy team. The goal is to destroy the other team’s Nexus, which is pretty much the core of their base.

What exactly are League of Legends Champions? League of Legends Champions are only another word use for a character. Each champion has its different set of abilities and role inside a team, so the team must keep good communication in order to stay organized and defeat the opponent team. The characters usually start at a basic level and they get stronger as players collect items and experience, of course this is restarted every match, meaning that you always start from zero, making it a most fair way of fighting. Another interesting thing about the roast of characters is that it is always expanding, introducing new characters every now and then, bringing new life to the game and giving you a chance to experiment new ways to play it, create new strategies, build a better team and overall have a lot more fun!

You can play it online or against bots (computer controlled characters), however if you’re playing online you can join the ranked matches, what are these? Basically, they check your record and experience and put you in an online match against players of your similar skill level, giving you great and fair matches. Building the hype for you to compete your way to the highest ranks, creating strategies and challenging your friends, teammates and yourself as you fight your way to the top. To play League of Legends is also to join the biggest online gaming community in the world, this ensures that you will meet people from around the world, make friends, exchange stat and as mentioned before, generally have a good time.

Or, if you want to step up you gaming to the next level you can give the eSports a shot. Since LoL’s community is the biggest in the world, it also has a huge feed on the eSports scenario. Get good enough to compete in professional matches, join a team and challenge the best of the best in global tournaments that bring people from all over the world together to enjoy a great match. If you get good enough, you can actually win huge monetary prizes in these competitions! Imagine that, making money out of playing an amazing game? What could be better?

Even though the online competition is most likely the most attractive aspect of LoL, gamers will find that the game has a rich and entertaining plot, where character have ling backstories and interactions between themselves, making it a more immersive experience into a new world.

So, if you want to have a great time, make some cool friends, compete in the biggest gaming community in the world and again, have a great time, join League of Legends, you can even download it and play it for free so, what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits!

Online Games That You Should Play

If you want to enjoy a variety of PC games, having a powerful machine is a good idea. But even if you don’t have a fast computer, you can still have a lot of fun provided you are connected to the Internet. You don’t need to install these games. All you have to do is go to the game site and hit the play button to start your desired game. Given below are some of the titles that you would love to play.

Wonderputt

If you love golf, Wonderputt should be your choice. The game offers mini golf courses, herds of sheep and lily pads. This game feature a puzzle box design. Once you beat a hole, the game evolves and becomes different to show you new sections. So, it rejuvenates you to keep playing.

Frog Fractions

From its appearance, the game looks nondescript and dumb. However, when you delve a bit deeper, the game offers becomes so hilarious and crazy that you will have a lot of fun. Just make sure turn up the volume so you can understand the entire story.

After the launch, this title became so popular among players that the developers launched another sequel for the enthusiastic players. However, the sequel was not offered free of charge. It was named Glittermitten Grove.

Game of Bombs

As far as multiplayer games are concerned, Bomberman was on the list of the most popular games developed for PlayStation. Another title that delivers similar experience is called Game of Bombs.

To have this multiplayer experience, all you have to do is head to the website and hit the Play button. That’s it. You will play with other players from around the planet. This one offers loads of fun.

Die 2 Nite

If you love jokes, this text-based web-based multiplayer title should be on your list. As soon as you start the game, you get a welcome message, which is unique in a funny way.

On the top right corner, you can see the server time. When the timer shows 23:00, you will see the zombies coming out. During the day, you and the other online players should join hands to construct defenses for protection at night. You will find that the game is very engaging.

Samorost

If you have been looking for some of the funniest and quirkiest games, we suggest that you give a go to some of the titles by Amanita Design. The third installment was released on March 24, but you can also play the first version that was released in 2003. You can also give a go to Machinarium, Botanicula and Shy Dwarf.

Polycraft

This game can take a lot of your time. Also, it’s important to note that this one is a tower defense game. You can gather supplies, develop bases and check out dungeons. You can also download and install this game from the Chrome store. Of course, you can play it online as well.

Hopefully, you will have a lot of fun playing this game online with your friends.

Pro Gaming Product You Must Have

Being a pro gamer is not a cheap thing to achieve. There is plenty of equipment to purchase and it is not the cheapest, but also not too expensive. You are getting your moneys worth for what you pay for. In my detailed post I mentioned gaming equipment, I am going to go into more detail on the different equipment a pro gamer should have. First things first is a controller. Now you can use just a standard controller or you can use what most pros use and that is a Scuf controller. You can either buy a Scuf controller and add some customization to it our you can mail in your own controller and customize it and have it mailed back to you. By customization I mean adding a skin design to the controller, adding grip, changing the kind controller stick, and or adding paddles. Now the skin design is just what covers the base of the controller, so instead of having a plain black controller you could have a red and black controller. It just makes the controller look cooler. The grip is just so you have a better grip on your controller, so it does not slip out of your hands.

There a two kinds of controller sticks you can use; concave and domed. Concave is where the center of the stick is caved in and the domed is where the stick is in the shape a dome. They do not necessarily make you play better, it is just your preference for what you would want to use. The paddles are designed for button mapping. By this I mean having the paddle replace a button so you do not have to use that button.

These go on the back of the controller. For example let’s say that the A button is used to jump, when customizing the controller paddles you can assign one the paddles the A button. So instead of always having to press A to jump you can just push the paddle instead. Now the paddles can be assigned to any button you want, just do what fits your style of play. You can have up to four paddles, which means you can have four buttons remapped for the paddles.

The next thing you will want to get is a gaming headset. The top two companies are Turtle Beach and Astro Gaming. These headsets allow you to hear game audio and chat audio in the headset. It is up to you to figure out what levels you want each audio at. Each person has their own preference but majority of the pro players use Astro gaming. Also, each person will say that one is better than the other based on what headset they have. I have had a Turtle Beach headset before but now have an Astro Gaming headset. I personally think Atros are better because they are designed better, and I think they have better quality.

You want to have one of these brands because they will help you in-game. It will help you hear things at a distance and it helps you hear people coming up behind you. Do some research, look at reviews, and talk to your friends about them and buy what you think is best. The last main thing you will need is a monitor. There are a lot of companies who make monitors, just like headsets each person has their own preference of what brand they use. Major League Gaming uses BenQ monitors. They even have a specific monitor that is used by the pros at events. You can find these by just Googling them. These have the best quality and the lowest lag response time. The picture is so clear, colorful, and is nice because there is no lag which means everything that happens, happens in real time with no delay. Another thing that I would recommend is a recording a device to record your gameplays. You can get an El Gato or and Hauppague HDPVR.

These are the only two that I know of, but I am sure there are more. Before purchasing one these make sure your computer or laptop reaches and or exceeds the specifications of the device. These are not necessary to be a pro gamer, but it is nice to record your gameplays and makes videos out of them and post them to YouTube. Basically every pro player makes YouTube videos from their games. You can get fans to watch and subscribe to your YouTube channel. This is not necessity but it is a nice thing to have to show to others. These are the products that players in general and pro players use. I highly recommend looking into all of these. Theses would be an investment, a one time purchase that would last a very long time. I hope that these help you guys out. Happy gaming.

Things About Retrogaming

Whether or not a game or system qualifies as retrogaming is a tough thing to quantify and something that different people will often think very differently about. The ‘retro’ in the word ‘retrogaming’ is in itself a bit of a little bit misleading. Retro, by definition, is a style that intentionally evokes memories of an older style that has since gone out of fashion. So movies from the ’30s aren’t retro, but The Artist, a recent movie made in the style of an old silent movie, is retro. If we apply the same logic to video games then something like Mega Man isn’t retro, but a game like Shovel Knight is because it pays homage to the NES games of old. Gamers have appropriated the word ‘retro’ into the new word ‘retrogaming’, but unlike the traditional definition, ‘retrogaming’ refers to playing old games rather than games that play like old games.

The origins of the word ‘retrogaming’ are, as we’ve established, pretty murky to begin with, but the definition isn’t any clearer. With the speed at which technology develops, games released at the start of a console generation look noticeably worse than those released at the end of the generation. And that’s just the lifetime of a single console. Games visibly age quite quickly, but in terms of the actual number of years since release they might not be so old. It also doesn’t help that the contemporary indie development scene has a fascination with making games that look and play deliberately like games of yesteryear. It’s all so confusing. At what point does a game qualify as old enough to be considered retrogaming?

Well, depending on who you talk to you’ll likely get a different answer. Someone like me who has been playing video games for over twenty years and started my gaming life with a Commodore 64 is going to have an entirely different perspective on whether a game is old or not to a kid whose first console is the PlayStation 4. But that doesn’t necessarily make either of us right, it’s just a matter of perception. I might look at a game like Prince Clumsy for the Commodore 64 as a fairly primitive side-scrolling platformer, but to my father who grew up with Pong the game was like nothing he’d ever seen.

The PS2 isn’t a system that instantly springs to mind when I think of retrogaming; I think sprites, MIDI music, and two dimensions. But that’s the eyes of a thirty two year old gamer looking at this, and not a ten year old. The likes of Devil May Cry, Ico and Twisted Metal: Black are games I remember picking up and being blown away by, but for a child used only to PS4 the games might look positively archaic.

Since we all, depending on our age and experiences, have different ideas about how old something has to be to be old, there has to be some sort of objective rule. For my money, once a system has been discontinued by the manufacturer then we can safely call it old enough for playing it to be considered retrogaming. By that definition, the most recent console to fall under the umbrella of retrogaming would be the PlayStation 2, and while some of you might balk and scoff at that consider this; the PlayStation 2 was released sixteen years ago. Every few years another new console joins the ranks of retrogaming, and while they might not adhere to what our personal ideas of retrogaming are they still fit the criteria.

Age is just the beginning, though. All we’ve determined is what length of time needs to pass for us to safely refer to something as retrogaming. If we accept that retrogaming is playing video games or consoles that have since been discontinued, then how one goes about playing these discontinued games is the next step in understanding exactly what retrogaming is.

The first and easiest way that we can play old games is to pick up a remaster or a port. These are becoming more and more common in recent years, with the PS4 in particular receiving port after port of popular (and not so) PS3 games since there’s no true backwards compatibility available for the system. But the PS4 has also seen some older games see release, too. Final Fantasy VII and X have both been ported to the latest PlayStation console, and going even further back than that, Grim Fandango has been re-released with some graphical and control overhauls.

As technology evolves there are also more options available to players who only have the current generation of consoles. With a service like PlayStation Now, people don’t even need to buy the old games that they want to play, with Sony offering a Netflix-like subscription program to gain access to a glut of older titles. It’s backwards compatibility, near-retrogaming for a monthly fee. If you’ve got the money and a stable Internet connection then this might be a preferable alternative to dusting off your old consoles and fighting to get them to work with your high-end television.

Another way that we can play older games via improving technology is through emulation. This falls into two categories; first, there’s the emulation we see on the likes of the PlayStation Store or Nintendo’s Virtual Console. Here games are emulated by making your modern console act like an old one. Recently the PS4 introduced PS2 games to the PlayStation Store and they’re run through emulation, just like Nintendo do on the Wii U.

Of course, there’s also illegal emulation. Often there’s no way to play an old game at all without illegal emulation. Grim Fandango has recently been re-released on PS4, but before that happened there was actually no way to play the game legally unless you just happened to have a very old PC and a copy of the game. While it’s technically illegal and basically piracy, there should be a better system in place to make sure that legacy games and platforms are preserved for future generations. A game like Grim Fandangoshouldn’t run the risk of being lost to time, and so while illegal emulation isn’t necessarily something I’d condone outright, in certain circumstances it can be understandable or even necessary.

The last way that we can play old games is the old fashioned way. That means picking up the console it was released on and a copy of the game itself and playing the thing as God intended. No downloading, no emulating, no tips or tricks or cheats. Just you and an old console and a dusty old cartridge and a wired controller. And there’s something incredibly satisfying about that.

Playing an old game on a new system feels inherently different to playing it at the time, and playing it howyou played it at the time. I still remember playing Final Fantasy VI when I was a young boy, and working my way through one of the finest JRPGs of all time on my trusty SNES. I’m playing the game again currently on my PlayStation Vita and the game is every bit as good as it ever was. The new technology powering the handheld means the game runs smoothly, it controls well, and it looks as charming as it ever did. But playing it now on a handheld just feels different to playing it as it was released on a control pad tethered to a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

There are many reasons to play an old game. It could be that you want to experience historically important moments in the evolution of the medium, or perhaps a shorter, arcade title fits your schedule better than the latest, huge, blockbuster game. But maybe you just prefer playing old games. Nostalgia can be a powerful agent, and if it’s nostalgia that you’re after then there are few better ways of recapturing a moment in gaming than by playing it on the original hardware.

I’ve been interested in retrogaming for a long time, and it’s not for historical or academic reasons, and it’s not anything to do with how much free time I have. I enjoy retrogaming because playing an old game, like watching an old movie, or listening to an old song, conjures up memories within me of a time long ago. If I watch Back to the Future I remember renting the video tape from a local store and watching it on a Sunday afternoon with my parents. When I hear Time Warp it reminds me not of Rocky Horror, but of old school discos where the song was regularly played.

Similarly, when I hear the opening chords of the Final Fantasy VI theme I don’t think about playing it on my PlayStation Vita, but of being in the spare room at my friend’s house where we’d spend an entire day taking turns on the controller trying to reach the end of the story. Playing the game on a SNES feels entirely different to playing it on the Vita because of the memories that come flooding back while holding the controller. There’s something about holding the old controller, blowing on the cartridge to get rid of the dust, and firing up a system from a time long since passed. It’s not about experiencing history, but about remembering a time when these things weren’t history.

Retrogaming can be considered to be anything up to and including the PS2 generation, and those games can be played through emulation or by picking up a port or a remaster. But to me, retrogaming means playing the old games the way we played them back then. Playing a Commodore 64 game on PC through emulation is all well and good, but actually sitting and waiting while the tape loads is an entirely different beast. Having NES classics on your Wii U Virtual Console is a great way to quickly experience Mega Man orThe Legend of Zelda again, but there’s something altogether more satisfying about popping the cartridge in the slot and sitting cross legged in front of the TV because the controller cable isn’t long enough to reach the couch.

If you’re a gamer, chances are you probably have a different interpretation of what retrogaming is to the next gamer in line. The kid who thinks Crash Bandicoot is ancient. The thirty-something that grew up with games that came on tapes. The grandfather that played Pong in arcades. We all have different ideas about what qualifies as an old game. But what retrogaming is to me, what it essentially is, is recapturing the past and reliving fond memories from years gone by. That’s why there’s still a Super Nintendo Entertainment System in my house and why a few times a year I’ll take it out of the cupboard under the stairs and it’ll spend a weekend under the television. My friends will come round and we’ll play Street Fighter II together like we did over twenty years ago. And there’s something incredibly special about that.

What do you think qualifies as retrogaming? Do you like to pick up classics to play on PC through emulation? How about waiting for them to get a port to the current generation console you already own? Or maybe you’re like me and you think there’s no better way to experience a game than as it was experienced upon release? Whether it’s through piracy, for academic reasons, or to relive memories, retrogaming is something that gamers of all ages can enjoy.

Why Foot With the Saturn Is Great Things From SEGA

f you’re a gamer and you’ve given more than a cursory glance to industry news in the last couple of years then you’ll probably be aware of how Microsoft well and truly bungled the launch of the Xbox One. Whether it was arrogance, hubris, or just sheer bone-headedness, somebody at Microsoft really misjudged the marketing for the latest Xbox console, and the effects of that can still be felt today as the PS4 dominates the charts month after month. Sony might be celebrating now, but they too found themselves in a similar situation last generation when they tried to launch their PS3 amid controversy, a high price point, and bad marketing.

While Microsoft are in the middle of rehabilitating their image following the Xbox One DRM debacle and Sony implemented what they’d learned from the relative failure of the PS3 to improve the PS4, at least those companies are still releasing consoles. Back in 1995, SEGA were one of “the big two” when it came to console gaming (along with Nintendo) but some appalling marketing decisions with the Saturn put the company into a tailspin that it never truly recovered from, resulting in the early abandonment of their next console, the Dreamcast, and ultimately them retreating from the hardware game entirely.

Prior to the launch of the Saturn, SEGA announced that the console would be released one week before the new Sony console, the PlayStation, in September 1995. Whether it was out of fear of the new kid on the block, or just an incredibly misguided marketing ploy, somebody at SEGA HQ decided it would be a good idea to surprise everybody by launching the Saturn in May as a big surprise. To everybody. Including gamers. And retailers. And developers. And publishers. Oh and forget about developing for the 32X, that’s so last month.

Yes, the SEGA Saturn launched in the May of 1995 but as far as most gamers were concerned it wasn’t expected until September and so they didn’t have chance to save up or warn their parents it was coming. That didn’t really matter so much though, since most retailers were also unaware that the console was coming and so their stores weren’t readily equipped to take on the launch of a brand new console five months before they were expecting it. Although, upon reflection, perhaps they were worried about nothing since there were no games ready for the system since SEGA also failed to alert game developers of the change in release date meaning that there were only six games available at launch and all of them were made by SEGA.

In one fell swoop, SEGA managed to upset practically every retailer, every game developer and publisher that wasn’t them, and confuse gamers around the world. It was basically the gaming equivalent of sending all of your Christmas cards out in June and then wondering why nobody bothered sending you one back.

The Saturn wasn’t quite the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the decision to swerve everybody with a phony release date for the console crippled it and allowed the PlayStation to clean up when it was finally released on the day that Sony told people it would be released in September. SEGA didn’t attempt any such chicanery with their next console, the Dreamcast, but the damage to their brand had already been done, and in doing so, given Sony a chance to find footing within the console market. The PlayStation 2 went on to be the best selling console of all time, and the Dreamcast lasted less than two years on the market before SEGA abandoned hardware altogether to concentrate on just developing and publishing games for other consoles.

All About Nintendo Switch

After almost five months on the market, Nintendo has revealed some surprising hardware and software sales pertaining to its newest console handheld hybrid, I would go as far as saying these numbers are impressive. I applaud Nintendo for putting their sales out there and seeing the numbers have made me a proud Switch owner.

I had never really cared about Nintendo, I wouldn’t even go as far as saying I do now. I had owned a Gamecube near the end of its life cycle, sold it after a few months. I owned a Wii like everybody in the world, but hardly played it, it collects dust somewhere at my parents house. Late last year I bought a 3DS and traded it it a month later. Nintendo has never been able to keep my attention and keep me coming back to their console and play their games. Until now that is. The Switch has been the best gaming experience this year for me, hardware and software alike, which says a lot in such a home run year for gaming across the board.

Last week Nintendo announced that their newest console has sold 4.7 million units since its launch back in March. This is an impressive feat considering how much the tide was against them, especially after the colossus failure that was the Wii U which sold around 3 million units in the same time span and only 13.56 million units in its short lifetime. At the Switch’s rate now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold 10 million units by the end of the year and succeed the Wii U’s lifetime sales by the end of Q1 next year.

On top of the hardware success, the games are selling tremendously well. Zelda: Breath of the Wild has sold 3.92 million sales since launch. Next up is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with 3.54 million sales. These two games have a mind boggling attach rate and are extremely impressive. Other notable first party titles were 1-2-Switch with 1.22 million and Arms with 1.18 million. These are impressive numbers for Nintendo and I’m sure Splatoon 2 will become a huge hit, it’s already sold nearly 700,000 copies just in Japan. Note, these software sales don’t count for third party titles, but still are close to eclipsing the Wii U’s 11 million software sales in the same time.

One of my biggest complaints about the Switch was the lack of games at launch and in the foreseeable future. As of right now though, I love my small library of first party games that have all exceeded expectations. There has been a fair amount of smaller non first party titles, but nothing that has caught fire. But I have had a consistent schedule of very solid releases throughout the first three months.

Also, the simple novelty of the handheld to television and the consistent quality of the games no matter how you play them has not worn off. There are so many ways to play and I love it. I’m all in on this system and can’t wait for what’s to come.

If Nintendo can continue releasing first party games at a steady rate and somehow get more quality third party support, the Switch will sell like hot cakes. They need to get these things back on store shelves though, especially for this holiday, which will surely be huge for them as their first holiday on the market and with the new Mario releasing.

Awesome Wii Games You Should Try

Lately in the gaming world many new consoles have been introduced. Choosing one can be difficult but one of the most popular and most chosen is the Nintendo Wii. The Wii is chosen for many different reasons such as its ability to be played online, its motion and wireless allowed play and most of all the awesome games that you can get for the Wii.

Fun for the Wii

If you are interested in Wii games you should take a look at some of the fun games out there. One of the most popular is the Mario series. Super Mario, Super Mario Galaxy as well as Mario Kart. There are many others in this product line that are extremely fun to play. If you prefer more games you can find some of every different genre. If you like fighting games you can find those and if you like army games or even children’s you will have no trouble finding the perfect game for you.

If you love sporting such as baseball, basketball, soccer and archery there are many different kinds that you can get to play on your Wii. One of the most popular is the Wii Resort Sports. Filled with many awesome tasks such as bowling and tennis you are sure to have fun.

Exercise Wii

Everyone likes a great workout that gets them up and moving and the Wii system was built with that in mind. Several Wii games out there include fitness routines that can help you stay in shape and feel great. The Wii Fit has been very popular as well as games based on karate and zumba. Many people are amazed that they can find great quality games with the Wii that can help them to make sure that they exercise and get up off the couch. When playing your Wii make sure that you exert caution and have the Wii controller around your wrist as in difficult exercise routines your Wii remote could slip out of your hands.

Where to Purchase

There are many locations as to where you can purchase Wii games. If you want to purchase used many stores will sell these for a fraction of the price and you can also find them online. Keep in mind though the games are used and if they do not work chances are you will not get your money back. You also run the risk of the game being scratched and not working well. So always check the game out thoroughly before you purchase that game.

Another option is to purchase your Wii games new. Purchasing your games new will allow you to make sure that you are getting a quality game that will work and if something does go wrong with it you will have no trouble returning it. You can purchase your games online at many different gaming stores or in local retail stores in your area. Be sure to shop around so that you can find the perfect price for your particular game.

With the invention of the Wii the gaming industry has been revolutionized. You can now find games to play that you would not ordinarily purchase so if you are interested in gaming, purchase a Wii and get all the Wii games that you are interested in. You will not be disappointed and will spend hours playing your favorite games.