Gaming – Boon or Bane?

Sitting in front of my PlayStation after a great game of racing made me think. Why is gaming considered a bad habit by many? Why is it of great disgust to parents? Why doesn’t everyone play games? Why does one say I don’t have time for such child play? And why does one say that you are wasting your time, when you should be doing something more serious? It made me wonder.

Gaming is considered as an addiction by many all over the world. To an extend it is the truth. With all the violence present in some games, it can motivate kids to wrong doings. And being in front of the gaming screen for hours without any outdoor games or exercise, not to mention the damage caused to your eyes from hours of gaming. There is much other known harm which is caused from gaming. Thus many consider gaming a bane.

Ever since I was a child gaming has been fun and had given me much happiness. Living in a busy city with fewer kids of same age and no one around to play with has always made me feel lonely. Being a shy kid I had fewer friends. Considering all these in hand, gaming was fun and has given me much happiness. So, under the right circumstances with the right amount, gaming can be good. It can make you less lonely. Many constructive games can improve your creative thinking. Imagination in your life can be of great use, and many games provide an opportunity for you to imagine.

Games played online with other humans and not with computers can increase your competitive spirit, which can help you with your life. It also can teach you not only the taste of victory but also it can help you understand the bitterness of failure and make them try till you succeeds.

Anyone of any ages can play games. Escaping from the real world into the virtual gaming world at times is advisable. One can get relieved from stressful situations through games; there are also many games which can improve one’s memory power, typing skill, hand-eye coordination, and reflex. It is said that when you are alone your mind starts playing with you in many ways. Positive thoughts comes less while negative ones will be filled in your mind, also habits like drinking and smoking may come into your life. But when you pass your time with something like gaming it can help your mind be occupied with the game which can help you forget all the stress and tension, without any smoke or drinks.

Many go for paid yoga classes, therapies, counseling and all to get relieved from ones stress and tension and the diseases caused by it. But I say get an Xbox or a PlayStation, get a good game, game with your friends, family in weekends, and have a get together. And this will give you the same results. Thus I consider gaming a boon.

Steelseries 5L Gaming Mouse Pad Review

I was skeptical of the Steelseries 5L when I first read about it. When something is advertised as both a “hard and soft” mouse pad – the best of both worlds – it awakens the skeptic inside of me. After having used it for several months, I am glad that I gave it a chance.

The Steelseries 5L is taller (meaning height off of the desk) than the pads I’m used to, but I didn’t mind. The softness makes it comfortable to rest on. The mouse does glide smoothly over the surface. The smooth surface is great for those who enjoy high-sensitivity gaming, but the surface is controlled enough and large enough that it is also excellent for low-sensitivity purposes. Obviously applying a lot of pressure to the mouse will slow it down.

The Steelseries 5L was definitely able to impress me. You might be wondering how the 5L pulls off the claim that it works like a hard mouse pad, but feels like a soft mouse pad. The 5L is so named for its 5 different layers of material. On the top layer is a hard plastic coating that gives the pad its smoothness. Beneath that is a layer of cloth, which gives it the cloth feel we are used to. The third layer, made of a soft foam, gives the 5L some softness and makes it comfortable to rest one’s hand upon the pad. The fourth layer is like a frame, and holds the mouse pad in shape. The final layer is the base, composed of a rubber that is sure to hold the pad in place.

Please keep in mind that this is a very large pad (15 x 11 x .2 in.) and you should check your desk size before buying it. The only users that won’t enjoy the feeling of the Steelseries 5L are those who have small desks or who want something as smooth as a glass surface or an adonized aluminum surface. The 5L is a smooth pad, but truly hard surfaces are smoother. I am becoming quite fond of the soft, smooth surface.

We were initially concerned about the durability of the 5L. Hard surfaces usually last about three times as long as soft surfaces before showing wear. We wondered how the 5L would fare with its hybrid hard/soft surface. According to long-term users, the 5L’s durability is fantastic. We spoke with many hardcore gamers who had been using the pad for three years, and there were no problems to speak of. Steelseries seems to have done a great job constructing the 5L. There are only a couple pads like the 5L, but the 5L offers the best performance and best durability of them all. After many years of serious 40-hour-per-week usage, the 5L only displays some fraying on the edges and a lightly worn (but still usable by hardcore gamers) surface. Fraying will be more significant if you rub your wrist against the edge of the pad, rather than raising your wrist.

Cleaning the 5L is not as easy as cleaning a hard surface, but you really wouldn’t expect it to be. It’s also not as hard as cleaning a cloth surface. The plastic-covered cloth seems to not absorb liquids like a cloth pad would, so you’re left with a surface that isn’t sticky. Just use a wet cloth to clean up spills, and you’re good to go. One user reported that the pad had no stains or spots after multiple soda spills. Seriously, though, I think something is wrong with you if you spill near your computer multiple times in one month.

Let’s check out the marketing claims made by Steelseries. Does it feel soft like cloth? Check. Does it offer a smooth surface like a hard pad? Check. Does it hold up like a hard plastic pad? Check. Does it do all of this without any trade offs? Pretty much, check. The price might be the only trade off, but you get what you pay for here. Click through to get the Steelseries 5L or just look at the current price you can get it for. Head back to the mouse pad reviews main page for more mouse pad info. If you think you might want any other soft surface, I think you’re missing out. This is the best “soft” pad out there.

Logitech MX815 Gaming Mouse Review

The Logitech MX815 Gaming Mouse is a rather well-known device in the computer gaming community. It’s one of the more popular gaming peripherals, and for good reason.

Logitech’s MX815 is a wonderful entry-level gaming mouse. I say it’s entry-level only because of the fact that it comes with the basic needs that your average computer gamer would need, without a ton of extra bells and whistles that might be overwhelming (and often unnecessary) for most.

Features:

– 1800 dpi optical engine

– Ergonomic comfort design

– In-game sensitivity controls

– Programmable buttons

– Software to customize mouse for certain games

Probably the most important factor when buying a new mouse, for gaming or not, is how it feels in your hand. Let me start off by saying that I personally love the feel of this mouse. I do a decent amount of gaming, and this mouse does everything I would ever need it to. Even the clicks feel very strong and responsive. The natural shape with the thumb rest is fantastic and my mouse hand honestly never gets too tired or cramped even after many hours. If there is one complaint, it’s that the mouse is rather light and a weighted mouse is normally preferred for gaming.

The MX815 comes with a multitude of different buttons that have their own functions, however they can also all be customizable to do whatever you want them to. The standard functions include your two primary left and right clicks, two side buttons positioned near the thumb, a + and – button for quick access to different DPI settings, an “alt+tab” button, and the scroll wheel buttons that click right, left, and down. While their standard settings are extremely useful on their own, remember that you can customize them to follow all sorts of macros or other functions. One set of buttons you probably won’t want to change are the DPI buttons – These are quite useful for on the fly setting changes. If you like different sensitivities for different games, you simply have to click the + or – button to change it, and it’s just as easy to change it back.

Overall it’s just a great mouse, for gaming or not. It feels good, it’s very responsive, it has a lot of room for customization, and it’s something that’s going to last you a long time. If you’re looking for a solid gaming mouse that will cover all your needs, as well as having a very reasonable price, I definitely recommend checking out Logitech’s MX815 Gaming Mouse.

Brief History of the Optical Gaming Mouse

If you’re like me, you’ve been a gamer since you can remember. You grew up playing games the likes of Wolfenstein 3D, and in actuality it was only the demo version since I was just a kid and my parents at that time didn’t believe in using a credit card to purchase a game “through the modem”.

You were playing Commander Keen and Avoid the Noid, all using the arrow or WASD keys on your keyboard. Soon we were using the mouse after a time of conversion from the comfortable keyboard controls, inside the bounds of gaming, we were running around in Rise of the Triad shooting enemy gangsters and dogs and taking out enemy monsters in Doom with our mechanical ball rodents.

Soon games became more detailed and required better accuracy and a quick wrist to be successful. Traditional ball mice would gunk up and skip across the screen, they just couldn’t keep up.

Voila! Enter the Optical mouse in the form of the Microsoft Intelli-Mouse Optical. In general, the “new” Optical mouse technology of the time provided higher sensitivity, no skipping cursor across the screen because of gunked up mechanical features, and the mouse could now be used on a wide variety of different surfaces. Read here to learn how Optical Mice work.

The only limits were set on the capabilities of the LED optics of the optical mouse and the speed of which the processing of these images takes place, the measure of this is called Dots per Inch (DPI). It wasn’t until the Gaming Mouse that DPI numbers shot up utilizing the Optical mouse technology. An Optical Gaming Mouse of the past couple years is capable of over 1600 DPI, example: Logitech MX518,yet early ball mice were capable of around 200 DPI. Over 8 times the resolution!

Although traditional LED Optical mice are still the majority rule, the Laser Optical mouse made its huge explosion into the Optical Gaming Mouse market with the introduction of the Logitech MX1000 in 2004. The initial advantage the Laser mouse provided was the exact precision of the laser sensor was more accurate than an LED based optical sensor. The MX1000 only had a max sensitivity of 800 DPI but its precision blew all previous mice out of the water, move your hands even the slightest bit and you will see the relative movement of the mouse immediately, no more “stuck” cursors because of the lack of precision. Laser mice can track on even a wider array of surfaces than typical LED based Optical Gaming mice can.

Since the MX1000, Laser mice have made leaps and bounds to where even 5600 DPI is possible as demonstrated in the Razer Mamba There are plenty of other specifications and features that matter on a gaming mouse nowadays, customization of mouse buttons, USB polling rate, max acceleration, even on-board memory storage to store profiles of the above mentioned options.

The computer peripheral we know as the Mouse has gone from plain and clunky to sleek and agile in a mere 10 years time. The Optical Gaming Mouse has played the majority part in the push for this technology and the race between the different companies in the market. The demand has grown as Gamers realize the limitations of the old age hardware and the near limitless possibilities of digital enabling them to step up their level of competitiveness. Technology is a beautiful thing, the Mouse is a platform where this has been shown over and over again.

Computer Gaming Addiction Debunked

A Balanced View of Games Addiction Problem or Not? We take a responsible look at Computer Game Addiction. There is Plenty of Room for Optimism

“Computer Gaming” is a generic term applicable to any gaming played on computers. It should be pointed out that there is a distinction between “Online gaming” and “Video Gaming”. “Online Gaming” – also known as MMORPGs – Massively multiplayer online role-playing games – invariably involves logging into a cyber arena and competing with several others, who are quite possibly total strangers. There may even be hundreds participating at any given moment.

We see “Video Gaming” as gaming more likely played in the home on your own or with family and friends on a localized basis such as in your living room, playing video games bought from your local video games retailer or on eBay or perhaps downloaded or swapped with your friends.

Video Games have been around since the late 1960s and people of all generations will have played one at some time but perhaps not so MMORPGs. Research tends to show that it is the MMORPGs with their wider social contact that lead to more damaging instances of addiction; but not always! According to BBC News, Keith Bakker, founder and chief of Europe’s first clinic to treat gaming addicts, is of the opinion that ninety percent of young people looking for treatment are not in fact addicts at all,. Since 2006 when it opened, The Smith & Jones Centre in Amsterdam has treated hundreds of young gamers from all over the world; but has changed its treatment methods since realizing that compulsive computer gaming is not a psychological illness but a social one.

Research was carried out in 2007 by The American Psychological Association to find out if computer video game addiction should be recognized as a disorder for inclusion in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders due for publication in 2012. They concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show that video game addiction is a disorder.

Good and Bad in Gaming

Gaming is one of the biggest hobbies and even careers in the world. People play games for fun or learning while others record videos about the games. In this article, I will focus more on gaming itself and not so much the side of how to make gaming videos. Gamers come in all different ages, genders, religions, locations and shapes. The backgrounds of people who are gamers make gaming that much more fun.

Backgrounds of gamers can play a part in the type of games that people play. There are all kinds of combinations for different categories relating to the type of games and type of gamers. You really need to look at the game’s website to get all the pertinent information prior to buying.

There are many online platforms where you can buy games from such as Steam or Humble Bundle. Those sites will give you the description, videos by the company, pictures, user and non-user tags, reviews, website, company and their social account(s). Be aware the game’s website might not show you everything you need to know. As a minimum, a gaming company will show a short sales pitch description, small amount of pictures (5 at best), one or two videos by them and their social accounts. The most they will provide is an informative description, their social accounts, user reviews and videos by them.

Let’s dive right into what is perceived as negative about gaming. The majority of the negative things about games come from the real-life people on those games, the type of games and the types of games for the wrong person. A game can be poorly made but it’s not always the case where the game itself is bad. It could be where it was the wrong type of game for the wrong person. This is where the categories come in. Maybe a game has a bit of violence. That doesn’t make it bad; it just makes it the wrong type of game for a seven year old. Or maybe you bought a puzzle game for a person who loves action type games. So the action loving person won’t enjoy it, but that doesn’t make the puzzle game bad!

The types of games are endless from nudity, drugs and alcohol, horror, gambling with money and more. These different types are wrong for youth gamers as well as wrong for people who don’t like seeing such things.

Gaming has good and bad sides just like everything else. The key is how good and bad are those sides. For example, some games have a bad side with players that like to fight a lot. This is common in games. Understand for a lot of gamers this is not a big deal; however, for youth who are new to the game or even gaming in general this can be frustrating. There are times when you want to avoid the bad sides all together. There are times when the good outweighs the bad. If this happens and there are no problems with the game itself; then the bad side is just that one little fly in your room which is no big deal. Caution: If the bad outweighs the good, I would strongly recommend avoiding that game.

Another aspect that people will nag a game developer or creator about is representation. Should I say, a lack of representation which is not limited to race, body type and message in the game. If you are able to customize your character, then of course you will not have a problem with representation. There is a problem in some games where they don’t represent strong and smart females, minority females and males, big, small, tall, and short females and males. Notice how I didn’t put “males” after female for strong? That’s because males in games are ALWAYS represented as strong and smart.

In games that show a male strong and smart, he will mostly likely be white, tall, thin, movie star looking and buff. You will rarely see him be a minority, short, chubby, not buff, nerdy looking, while still being strong and smart. You see this even LESS for females. Some females in games are also white, tall, thin and strong while showing skin like no tomorrow. You only see THESE females in MMORPG games (Massively Multiplayer online Role Playing Game) though. RPG games are meant for fantasy worlds where you mostly fight people and monsters. Of course the females’ stats will be strong but they won’t look strong.

In most games, when they add a character for you to play they always add a white male first, then a white female, then a black male, and then a black female. They don’t even really add people who are mixes of races or in between. When it comes to the black characters they only add one shade of “black” or “African American” and not every black person on earth is that shade.

In games, the majority of the characters are always thin and tall. You don’t really see characters that are short and thin, tall and chubby, short and chubby, etc. There are a lot of people who aren’t thin and who aren’t tall.

Then lastly, there is the mental message that goes with the gender, race, and body type. What do I mean by the mental message? Some games send an indirect message about that character being strong and smart or something else. While for other games it can be a mental message either on purpose or not. For example, in the game you play and you see a minority female who is short, chubby, nerdy looking and her traits are to be a goof ball, naive, and dumb. It could send a mental message to you that people that look like her are just like her. They’re not smart, they aren’t thin, and are not tall. They did poorly in school, etc. etc. So you start thinking those things based on not only seeing this in that game over and over again, but when it happens in other games too.

The worst part is NONE of these things are true. Yes, some people aren’t thin, tall, and maybe not that bright; but not EVERYONE is like this! You do have short chubby minorities who are smart as all get out! You have all kinds of combinations of people who ARE smart! Of course, all these things about gender, race, body type, and messages aren’t just in gaming; they’re in movies, TV shows, ads, etc. What’s interesting is that some of the creators who make the games, movies, TV shows, ads, etc., are minorities themselves and they make up the population of the earth. (Search “world population by race 2016” and click the first three links if you don’t believe me.)

Quick disclaimer: I AM NOT BASHING ANYONE! Yes, I was shouting that. This section of the article is telling you what I know, read, hear and experience in gaming.

If you don’t believe me go look at today’s TV shows, movies, ads, and games. A show to look at for good representation is Milo Murphy’s Law. Two games to look at as a reference for good representation are OverWatch and Atlas Reactor. Now in these fields it has gotten better for representation specifically gender, race and just now starting body type (specifically in this order). Some games even add robots and creatures as playable characters to avoid having problems with representation. This removes the problem of users wanting a character to represent their actual or preferred gender, race, or body type because now there is a character most users can agree on. After all, you can’t please everyone.

Alright, now that I ranted and got the bad stuff out of the way; let’s get into the good parts of gaming! You have gamers as young as three years old and as old as 90+! No matter your age, race, gender, religion, culture, or location gaming can be good for anyone. Gaming can not only be fun, but beneficial and educational.

A benefit with gaming is it can help youth have more confidence in themselves and be more social. If they play an online multiplayer game and talk to other players around the world, this can help then get used to talking to other people besides family and they gain confidence in what they’re saying. They can go from an introvert to a social fanatic! It can happen fast or slowly. Even if it’s not a game but a place for gamers, artists, fashion designers, car enthusiast, etc. to chat; it will still help them be more social. Keep in mind though, typing to someone and then voice chatting to someone are two different experiences. Youth can be very social when typing but very shy when voice chatting.

This is how I am. Before I was shy when talking to people I didn’t know whether it was online or offline, now I’ve become more comfortable with it because I know how to handle myself and have confidence in myself. But when it comes to voice chatting online, I’m the quiet person on the chat. Counterproductive right! You might even forget I was in a call with you! Before when the people at the bank said “Hi” I wouldn’t say anything, now I actually respond and say “Hi. How are you?” After that I don’t really expect to talk with them so I’ll be quiet again lol. See what I mean? After socializing, in general, over time you get better at it and become less nervous and more confident in yourself.

Another benefit with gaming is team work. Sometimes in games the only way to win or accomplish a goal is to work with one or more players. In certain games, players are allowed a task can be accomplished with only one player, but it might be harder unless you have more players than yourself. Other times certain tasks can’t be accomplished with one player and need two or more. There are times you make a group with your friends or family to finish the goal. Other times you can make a group with people you didn’t know.

This is where it can get tricky. If it’s a game where you can make a group that’s invite only, you’d just invite your friends or family. You can strategize with them, you’d be more comfortable talking with them, and you’ll all agree to work together. If it’s a game where there is no group system but you can still work with others, aka free for fall, and you can talk with them there may still be a goal that can only be completed with multiple players. Do you have to play with other players you’ve never talked to before if your family and friends can’t join you and you really want to complete this goal?

This isn’t a bad thing though! This is where you not only become more social but you learn how to work with other players you’ve never met before. If you always play with your family and friends you both already know how to work together, how the other thinks, etc. But if it’s someone you’ve never met it can be a little difficult. Me and my brother grew up doing everything together without really having any friends, maybe colleagues and associates but not really friends. So we were very used to knowing what the other wanted or how they played etc. But when we actually got two friends, it was very difficult to agree on many things. So if you play and work with other people now it will be easier later. Me and my brother have improved our skills to work with others.

Another benefit is patience which ties in with team building and socializing. After all, in order to get better at something you not only have to keep doing it but you have to have patience while doing it. There are many times in games where you have to wait. Just like reading is in everything, you have to have patience for everything. In games you always have to wait for something. You need to have patience for finding something, something to finish cooking, something to finish dying, your friends to come back from going afk (Away From Keyboard), the next wave of monsters to come, the next level to open up, etc. etc. I had to have patience when writing this article! So gaming can help you have more patience in gaming and everyday life.

Another benefit is hand and eye coordination. When you’re gaming you have to pay attention to what’s happening on your screen while also pressing your controller or keyboard button to do more things on your screen. If you want to move your character in that game, you have to use your keyboard and mouse or a controller while still looking at your screen. It’s like learning how to type. Most of the time you’re supposed to learn how to type words and sentences while looking at your screen without looking at your keyboard. This same thing applies to gaming. You have to be able to press the needed keys in order to accomplish that thing you’re trying to do while looking at your screen. After all, if you’re pressing your keys but not looking at your screen, how are you going to know if you’re doing it right?

Now, this one is a benefit and educational benefit – memory. Games can help improve your memory. How? Let me tell you. Take what I said above about typing. The people who can look at their screens and type without looking at their keyboard have something called “muscle memory”. When they want to make a certain letter appear on screen they just have to press that key and they don’t have to look at the keyboard because they have press that key so many times they themselves and their muscles remember where that certain key is. You have muscle memory already. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your keyboard right now. You see where all the letters, numbers, and symbols are right? The letters are not in alphabetical order. So whenever you tried to type your name or something on a digital keyboard where the letter were alphabetical; Did you take you longer than usually to type that word and was it weird and confusing? It was. I’ve done it. You know why?

When you type or text to someone you know the word you want to make appear on screen and you remember where the keys are. Maybe you can’t tell them in order if someone asked you but if they asked you to type a word you’d be able to type it because you know where the keys are. For me I know how to spell certain words when I’m typing but maybe not how to spell it verbally. This is because I’m seeing the word being spelled in front of me. Technically when we type to each other we’re spelling out words and then reading them in our mind. But when you speak out loud you don’t see the words you just hear them. Sure, when you read text on screen you hear them in your mind, even right not you hear these words I’m typing, but you don’t verbally hear them and you’re seeing each letter make up that word. When someone spells something wrong you immediately notice it because it’s not spelled right and you read it. When someone speaks something you don’t read any letters, you only hear the word.

So games can help you build up muscle memory and mind memory. If you can store items in game you have to remember where you put it, or if you need a recipe to make something you might remember the recipe, or maybe you remember a detail about something important, or maybe you remember the way through a maze or the way home. Some games are even built just to help improve your memory or the only way to keep progressing is remembering certain facts. My mom can type without looking at the keyboard but struggles with trying to walk in games.

So now let’s get into the educational benefits. One educational benefit is math. Now, the game doesn’t have to have a goal to teach you math in order for it to have math. The point of going to school is to get an education! Not socialize, but you still might make friends. So this applies to all games. The game doesn’t always have to have a goal of J but it might include J. Its goal might be X but it might still have J. In some games you can build houses and use recipes to make items. How big do you want your how to be? 30 blocks X 10 blocks X 60 blocks? Did you understand what I just said? Let me say it differently. 30 blocks on the X axis (left and right on the ground), 10 blocks on the Y axis (up and down on the ground), and 60 blocks on the Z axis (up and down in the air). This is how you’d build a house, using math, in a game called Minecraft. With these coordinates it means your house will be a rectangle with a very tall roof. Let’s use Minecraft again for this next example.

If you want to make 4 swords for example, what do you need? You need wood and iron. How much wood? How much iron? We’ll start with the handle. You need two sticks to make the handle for one sword. One wood log can be turned into four wooden planks, take two and you can then make four wooden sticks. You want to make 4 sword handles. So how many wooden logs do you need? One. For the sword itself it takes two pieces of iron. You want to make 4 swords, so how much iron do you need? Eight. See? Depending on what you’re making and how many of that thing the recipe can call for lots of resources or just a few.

Another educational benefit is problem solving. There are lots of games with puzzles or none but it can still include problem solving. A good game for example is Scribblenauts Unlimited. In this game you go to make different places solving people’s problems to make them happy which gives you an item to cure someone. In order to solve their problems, you have to use adjectives and nouns to solve the problem itself or make something to solve the problem. The best part is you can solve that problem many different ways and no way is the wrong way. Some games even change based on your choices and we call these “paths”. Some paths can change, stay on the same route, or end. So you need to solve each problem the best way otherwise you may choose the wrong path or a path that ends.

Another educational benefit is reaction timing. If you don’t want to die in a certain game your reaction to something could be the deciding fact of your survival or grave. The more you test your reaction timing the faster you will get and soon you’ll be able to react to things quickly. This can come from games with combat like MMORPGs, shooters, and PvP (Player V Player).

You do a lot of these things in games without even knowing it! When you play that game you just have to do A, G, M, and S to do whatever it is you’re trying to do, without knowing in the real world those skills are technically called B, H, N, and T and used in 3, 6, and 9. See? So you just have to get used to applying those skills in the real world.

Some games are better for certain ages or interests. Some games are meant for little kids, some are for teen and young adults, and others are for adults. Then there are games just for people interested in robots, cars, fashion, princesses, ice skating, etc. So the games could have the same benefits, but those benefits might be better for certain people than others.

Some games are being used in schools or college, as tests for robots and even to teach certain topics. I recently got a game that will teach me how to read and write the Japanese characters while surviving in a game world. Some people who don’t speak English now know it enough to talk to English speakers just by playing or watching games in English! If you find someone who knows how to speak, read, or write a little Japanese; ask them if they have watched Anime. Most English speakers know some Japanese because they play or watch Anime things.

So when you see your youth or grandparents playing some games, don’t think it’s bad. It could be helping their memory, problem solving skills, math skills, or they may be learning another language or learning more about a topic.

As you read, there are good and bad sides to gaming. I recommend you just have fun and be safe while gaming. There are plenty of games out there for every type of person and more games are still coming. Games can help you improve and teach you skills you not only use in game, but you will use in school and in the real world. Games can help you get sharp and stay sharp. Have fun gaming and y’all stay safe!

Gaming – The Good and Bad

It has always been a debate whether playing games are good for you. Since the conception of consoles, parents have been worrying about the negative effect playing computer games have on their children. How to win the argument with your parents, at least getting them to allow you to have your fun with games is easier than you think. There are many research done by the psychologist to find out the impact of playing games in people, particularly those still in school. Let us face it, once we start working, gaming time will be severely limited.

There are many genres of games, and unfortunately these arguments are not valid for some games that promote violence and aggressive behaviour like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. Studies have shown that violent games do increase the tendency of aggressive behaviour in children and adult, and so those who like playing these games should limit playing time. For the average person who likes to play games, there are three good arguments.

Otherwise, there are positive studies done to show that gaming does indeed help people think. Role playing games forces people to plan and think about strategies while trying to complete quests. Without proper planning: levelling up skills, upgrading weapons, and setting battle formations, it is almost impossible to win in certain quests and levels. Those who played Shadow of Colossus would remember the infuriating game, and the feeling of triumph every time a monster goes down.

The games have become more intelligent as time goes by, artificial intelligence (AI) had improved so much that zombies now can run and plan a mass attack. In Resident Evil 5, the zombies are faster and now can wield weapons, instead of mindlessly shuffle towards you, showing their bloodied teeth. I still remember the terror I felt when the Executioner Manjini jumped towards me with the big axe, nails and hooks protruding on his back. Not only you have to plan the moves of your character, you have to anticipate that the enemy will be doing, which is becoming harder each year.

This is true for me, at least. Gamers who play mind stimulating games: RPGs, puzzle, fitness and a lot more tend to have good reflex. It is not easy to stare at the screen looking for hidden treasures, looking at the map for potential enemies bursting through some angle, stocking up quickly before a boss fight and not develop a level of dexterity in your mind. Working people can testify to some extend, multitasking is easier for a person who plays games. I still play Dr Kawashima’s Brain and Body Exercises on my Xbox Kinect to help keep the brain in sync with the rest of me.

We love to play, gaming is fun and technology has enabled us to play with people around the world without leaving our room. The benefits of gaming are unfortunately not linked to the long hours that we put it. Keeping the gaming time to a reasonable level ensures that we have a real life outside of virtual reality, which is important to function as a member of a community.

Alienware vs Rockdirect vs Dell : Finding the Best Gaming Laptop

So you want to buy a gaming laptop.

But not just any old gaming laptop, you want to buy the best

gaming machine on the planet, the best gaming machine money can

buy — the fastest, the most powerful, the ultimate kick-ass,

take no prisoners, meanest motherboard of all gaming laptops.

Well, there’s some good news for you, things have really changed

in the laptop world. No doubt you are probably aware there have been

some major developments in laptop construction and technology

in the last year or so. Technology that puts the gaming laptop

on par or near par with its main rival, the desktop PC.

Recent changes in technology have really brought gaming laptops

into the spotlight with a whole list of new Technologies:

PCI Express, Sonoma Chipset, SLI, Hyper-Threading, Dual Graphics,

Better RAM, and now Dual Core gaming laptops. Gaming notebooks are

just now entering the specs and performance arena which was exclusively

reserved for the bulky yet much more powerful desktop PC.

Just in case you have had your head buried in term papers and study

sheets lately — hey, it happens! Here’s a brief rundown of these

new technologies that will give you the fastest gaming laptop:

Graphics Cards: these are the real heart of any gaming machine. They

are getting faster and more powerful. We also see the use of dual

graphics cards and better transfer of data with new pipelines

and buses.

PCI Express: is a new standard for expansion cards that comes in

different versions. Presently, we have the x16 and x1 lanes, they

offer increased bandwidth. For example, x1 lane offers 500MB/sec

instead of just 133MB/sec for PCI.

NVIDIA SLI: SLI stands for Scalable Link Interface, technology

that lets you use a couple of GeForce 6800 graphics cards together

with PCI Express X16. Basically, SLI will speed up graphics on a single

monitor by deploying two graphics cards. It also lets you combine

4 GPUs in one system for the fastest graphics yet.

An alternative system would be ATI’s CrossFire which

is a SLI-like configuration using ‘Master’ and ‘Slave’

cards to combine two Radeon GPUs for improved and faster

graphics.

Hyper-Threading: Gives processors better performance

especially when combined with dual-core processors,

capable of handling four software threads which will put

a smile on any gamer’s face.

Better RAM: DDR3 SDRAM (Double Data Rate Three Synchronous

Dynamic Random Access Memory) this new DDR memory standard

will use 40% less power and run at speeds up to 800 MHz.

Don’t confuse this with GDDR3 (in Graphics Cards) which is

a totally different technology.

Dual Core: just as the name says, you put two CPUs into

a laptop for more power and faster computing. Rockdirect’s

Xtreme 64 was one of the world’s first dual core notebooks to

hit the market.

Also be on the lookout for Intel’s Dual Core Notebook

Chip dubbed Yonah, it will be somewhat different in that

this notebook chip will not only have two cores but these

cores will share a 2MB cache which will greatly boost performance.

In most cases, keeping ahead of all these developments and

improvements can be a pleasurable chore for most gamers but

it can sure eat into your gaming time. And as the notebook

technology evolves, the gaming laptop will get even more smaller

and more powerful, offering a real alternative to the gaming

desktop PC even for the most die-hard Power Junkies.

Serious gamers will also know laptop or notebook gaming technology

is constantly evolving and mutating. Therefore, most gamers will

only purchase a fully upgradeable open architecture notebook, they

look for a laptop design which can be easily upgraded with the newest

and latest technology, if at all possible.

Despite this option, as laptop gaming technology steadily improves,

gamers are still left with the choice of which gaming system to buy.

Just in case you have be hibernating for last five years — hey, it

happens. Here’s a quick rundown of the different systems on the market

…Voodoo, Alienware, Mayhem, Vigor, Sager, ASUS, Rockdirect,

M-Tech, Dell…

Despite the fancy lapels, serious gamers know that most laptops are

made by the same two or three companies in Taiwan! The same components

and mainframes are assembled under different brand names and marketed

to the public.

Not to get too cynical, but sometimes it’s the laptop with

the better paint job or the better advertising that will

win your purchasing dollar. Not that savvy gamers are easily

fooled, perish the thought, but packaging may rule the day,

performance may be the same or negligible in gaming

machines with basically all the same components and specs.

Regardless of this sober reality, gamers are still left with the

choice of which gaming manufacturer has tweaked these components

into the best gaming laptop on the market. There are numerous gaming

specialists that make high quality machines well worth your

consideration but because of limited space here we will only examine

three major gaming manufacturers, sometimes for entirely different reasons.

These three are Alienware, Rockdirect and Dell. All produce serious

contenders for the ultimate gaming laptop. Here’s a brief rundown on

all three makers and their gaming laptops which may be of some help

to anyone looking to purchase a high-end gaming monster.

Alienware Laptops

First, we will start with the most distinctive looking gaming

laptops on the market. Those coming from Alienware, a company

founded by two avid gamers, Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila, in

1996. It has become one of the leading producers of revolutionary

gaming PCs and Notebooks. It has also won raves and rewards from such

top industry publications as CNET, PC Gamer, Computer Games and

many more.

Their flagship model is the Area-51m 7700. This scary monster

can be outfitted with an Intel Pentium 4 Processor with

Hyper-Threading Technology – (2.8GHz – 3.8GHz, 800MHz FSB,

1MB Cache, Socket 775) Intel 915P + ICH6 chipset with NVIDIA

GeForce GO 6800 ULTRA with 256MB DDR3. It has a 17 inch WideUXGA

1920×1200 LCD Display and 4 dedicated SO-DIMM slots for

Dual-Channel DDR2 Memory. Warranties can be purchased for up

to 4 years.

The Alienware Area-51m 7700’s base price starts at around

$2000 but if you want to max out this system, be prepared

to double that amount. High price for high performance.

Runs quiet and cool. This one is dressed to kill.

Rockdirect Laptops

Next, we go across the pond, for a company that produces some

high priced yet powerful gaming machines. Rockdirect gaming notebooks

are another group of machines that many gamers should consider.

Rockdirect, formerly known as Rock, is a British company that’s

on the cutting edge of notebook technology. They have had a long

history of making high quality laptops for business and gaming.

Rockdirect laptops are expensive, there’s no way to get around

that fact.

Rockdirect’s Xtreme 64 is one of the world’s first dual core

notebooks using AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ processors and twin

100GB 7,200RPM hard drives. With NVIDIAGeForce Go 7800 GTX

graphics and a 17 inch WSXGA+ (1680×1050) display with X-Glass

for better viewing. Around 2,300 pounds or $4,000 USD.

Three Year Collect and Return Warranty.

Dell Laptops

Hey dude, this can’t be a DEll?

Dell with the introduction of its XPS second generation gaming

laptops has to be considered by the serious gamer. Don’t laugh!

With the introduction of the XPS Gen2 laptops, Dell entered the

gaming market for real. A lot of people stood up and took notice.

Even more people stood up when Dell introduced the XPS Renegade 600

desktop gaming system with 4 NVIDIA 7800GTX GPUs at the

CES this year. Now that’s putting SLI to some good use!

Dell’s top Notebook Model is the XPS M170 powered by

Intel Pentium M Processor 780 (2.26 GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz FSB)

and 2GB1 Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz 2 Dimm Memory on

a 100GB 7200rpm Hard Drive. It uses 256MB NVIDIA GeForce

Go 7800 GTX and has a 17 inch UltraSharp Wide Screen UXGA

Display. Priced at around $3,896 with a two year warranty

and longer warranties may be purchased.

Show me the Facts!

Anyone can pick a top gaming notebook and say its the fastest

in the world. However, you have to prove it or back it up.

That’s where benchmark testing enters the picture, these are

standard tests that rate the performance level of your

gaming laptop. Hey, tests are good for something!

One good site that has performed a whole slue of tests on

the gaming laptops mentioned above is http://www.hexus.net.

You can see the different Benchmark tests here:

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=4188

Testing for memory bandwidth and latency, picfast,

cryptography, raytracing, realistic render, encoding and

so on. The dual core Rock XTreme 64 showed impressive

numbers, even beating out an Athlon 4000+ Desktop in

many areas.

WildCard Entry: M-TECH!

There’s another laptop maker many novice gamers don’t consider

when buying their ultimate gaming machine. It may not be as

well known as the ones above but the real wildcard entry is

M-TECH. This is basically the American equivalent of Rockdirect,

although the companies are in no way connected. They just have a

similar philosophy of working with and using cutting-edge technology

and firms to produce some superior gaming machines.

M-TECH, a Michigan company, started in 1995 and has close

strategic partnerships with Tech firms in Silicon Valley. It

is favorably reviewed by many industry magazines such as

Laptops, Mobile Computing, CNET, PC TODAY and others.

M-TECH produces some powerful low priced (relatively speaking)

gaming laptops such as the D900K and the D900T:

You can configure your D900T with two 100GB (7200RPM) SATA HDD

Hard Drives with Pentium 4 3.8GHz 2MB L2Cache with a RAID setup.

With Nvidia GeForce Go 7800 GTX w/256MB DDR3 and a 17 inch TFT WSXGA+

Glassview LCD display for around $3500 USD. One year warranty,

longer warranties may be purchased.

When buying your laptop, keep in mind, just because a gaming

laptop has a lot of style doesn’t mean it has sacrificed performance.

It is not a matter of style over substance, it just means

you have to pay highly for all that style/advertising/packaging.

If you can afford it, go for a higher priced gaming laptop.

People buy Ferraries don’t they? There’s no accounting for how

people spend their money, if you want one of these dual core

laptops from Rockdirect and you can take a little bit of heat

and noise with your games, go for a Rockdirect Xtreme 64 or

the older Xtreme Ti.

If you want a dressed to kill Alienware laptop, go for the

Area-51m 7700. If you’re on a budget, look closely at the Dell

XPS M170 or the other XPS systems and watch for special Dell

coupons and discounts. Dell is known for giving some great

discounts so keep your eyes peeled. And if you really want to

go against the mainstream, why not check out M-TECH. Especially

the M-TECH D900K or the D900T, ultimate performance at a good price.

No matter which gaming system you go with, try to pick one

that has a fully upgradeable open architecture structure so

you can easily upgrade when the time comes. Keep in mind,

laptop technology is changing so fast by the time your

dream machine is configured, it is probably already out of date.

Sobering thought but more true than any of us would like to

believe.

Finding the fastest gaming laptop may be an on-going process

of outfitting your dream machine with the latest technologies

and hardware as they come on stream. Hey, nobody said life would

be simple.

Just wondering how you can fit Quad SLI with 4 GPUs

into a laptop. Hey, it can happen and probably will!

PSP 3000 PlayStation Portable – A Handheld Entertainment and Gaming Gold Mine

The PSP 3000 for Gamers on the Go

I am a gamer. If I’m not a gamer, I’m THE gamer! However, like most people today, I’m a gamer on the go! Which means as much as I want to just sit at home and play my video games, there are times when I have to leave the flashing lights and the big sounds behind to do things like, I dunno – work!

If I didn’t have to, and I could sit in my surround sound chair all day, I would, trust me! So I decided to check out the latest portable gaming device from Sony and what I found knocked my socks off!

PSP 3000 Initial Impressions

Being a Sony follower, I’ve always been partial to the Sony PlayStation, the controllers were smaller, it came (to me) in a prettier package-so it wasn’t a hard jump when I decided to pick up the new PSP 3000. The package was clean and looked like it had everything I had already come to know and love inside it!

When my purchase arrived, I found I had come to the right place! Not only did it have the sleek black look of my PS3, but it also had all the features I loved!

A Brighter Screen on the PSP 3000

A quick charge and my PSP 3000 PlayStation Portable was ready to be putty in my hands! The small device is compact and rechargeable so I never have to worry about trying to steal the batteries out of the extra TV remote.

For starters, the PSP 3000 has a large full color display (4.3 inches to be exact) capable of displaying nearly 17,000 colors!! (My Crayola box only ever had 24, psht!) Watch full length high definition movies from the comfort of your pocket!

The brightly lit anti-reflective screen makes it ideal in well lit areas and works better outdoors offering better visibility and increased contrast! That long flight won’t seem so long now with my games, movies and music right under my fingertips.

Talk to Me! The PSP 3000 has a built in Microphone

Interact with games like never before with the PSP 3000s built in microphone! With the mic, you’re able to chat with other gamers in teamwork and in head to head competitions. The possibilities are endless! Whether I want to send a greeting or talk strategy over the opposing team, my PlayStation Portable has made it simple!

Use Your PSP 3000 to Access Files Online

The built in Wi-Fi on the PSP 3000 lets you access the internet from any internet hotspot, so now I am able to stay connected where ever I go! With 64MB of memory built right in, I’m able to download music, movies, videos (and so on) to my heart’s content.

For storage expansion, the PSP 3000 has a Memory Stick Duo slot that I can extra memory to as I need it.

The rechargeable battery is a standard 1200 mAh and with a full charge will last close to 5 hours whether you’re playing games, playing MP3s or watching movies. The battery is a definite improvement over the older PSP models.

You Can Do Lots with the PSP 3000 But Get it for the Games

As with everything Sony puts out, the PSP 3000 simply does everything I need! If I want to take a break from gaming for a bit (hey, it happens) I can check out a movie or listen to some tunes.

The travel ready device is small enough to comfortably carry in my pocket (or better yet bag) yet large enough to take my media with me. What do I like the best? It’s a great machine! Everything about it is smooth and flawless. (Right down to its seamless feeling ‘joystick’)

Playing games with it feels as natural as playing with my PS3 controller! With the large built in memory of the PSP 3000 I’m able to carry music, movies, and more galore! (Really, it’s like having the world in my pocket!) The PSP has become a tech toy no gamer should be without! With all the stuff this Bad Boy does, it’s hard to say ANYONE should be without!