Author Archive: David Endicott

Be Safe, Score Big: A Safety Mini-Guide for Serious Video Gaming

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Let’s face it: gaming sessions can sometimes be all-day affairs that leave you little time for much else, let alone time spent worrying about ways to prevent aches and pains. But, really, you should worry about these things, especially if you game for long stretches.

Back, neck and wrist pains are common among heavy computer and console users and they can seriously affect your game. Not only can they take away focus, if they become bad enough, you may not even be able to game at all for long stretches. So here’s a quick guide on ways to stay safe while gaming.

Prevent Aches and Pains

The most common complaint from gamers is that they experience back and neck pains frequently. This is usually due to poor playing posture.

Good posture may take some time to achieve, especially if you have particularly bad posture now. The best thing to do is to have your feet about shoulder-width apart and your soles flat on the floor. Straighten your back as much as is comfortable and pull your shoulders back about level with your hips. It may make you sore at first, but as you practice it, you will find the pain lessening into nothing.

Having the proper PC gaming chair can also go a long way in preventing aches and pains. They are specifically designed for long sessions of sitting and will help your posture, too.

Take Breaks

Don’t spend hours and hours staring at the screen in the same position. This will undoubtedly cause you headaches, eye strain and back aches that will hinder your enjoyment and performance.

Make it a point to take a five minute break for every hour of gaming. Walk away and do a few stretches to help your muscles stay loose. It’s better to take even longer breaks as well every so often, upwards of 30 minutes that you can use to stay hydrated and maybe get a few more exercises in.

While sitting doesn’t seem like it takes a lot of effort, it does and you need to counteract that effort with breaks and exercise to stay safe.

Don’t Take it Too Seriously

Gaming — even serious gaming for a living — should be fun and enjoyable, Sure, you’ll have those days where it’s not as fun as you’d like it to be, but it should never become a burden to you.

If you find yourself canceling plans and avoid relationships, you may be addicted to gaming and should find help. A gaming addiction is as serious and can be as destructive as any other addiction and you will eventually come to hate gaming because of it.

So don’t take it too seriously. Skip a day or two if you can. Take frequent breaks and don’t neglect the other things in life that you live and give you pleasure. Your gaming sessions will be better for it.

Try to remember these simple things next time you start an epic gaming session.

Aaron Turner is a GP with a fairly typical home life; two teenage sons that need nagging about homework, keeping their rooms tidy and screen time. He writes about the health problems young people face due to today’s ever-connected world, and what can be done to prevent it.

Gamers, Grab Your Cups! | Coffee and Gaming

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Coffee and Gaming

It’s 3:00 a.m. and you are gaming with two friends who are both gaining more points than you are. You have to be at work by 9:00 a.m., but you don’t want to be the loser. What do you need? A cappuccino or a lattee would be nice, but a quick cup of Joe will do. The best way to quench your desire for a hot caffeinated beverage is right at home, and I personally only use a french press coffee maker. It’s worth the extra few minutes and extra steps to have a truly fine java that I make myself.

The difference between brewing with a drip style and a press are well defined. What the gamer will be interested in knowing is that with the latter, the coffee brewer (you) controls the strength of each cup. The press uses a coarser grind, and you can allow the coffee to brew for a longer time. The water for the press is brought to a boil before being added, making that all-important first cup piping hot, which is desirable for coffee drinkers.

A cup of black pressed coffee can taste almost like an espresso. You might even see a crema on the surface, the fine layer of bean oil. If you foam up some milk and spoon it on top, it is as close to a cappuccino as anything else.

World’s Most Consumed Drink

Coffee became popular in America after the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Because of the desire for the Colonists to make the break with England, choosing a cup of coffee rather than a cup of tea was viewed as being very patriotic.

In the 1960’s, I can only remember the brand of Folgers coffee being sold in the grocery stores. I remember the loud bubbling of my parent’s percolator on the kitchen counter every morning. The aroma during the brewing processing would waft into my bedroom and that was the very first smell of the day.

Today, there isn’t a small or large city without a well-known coffee house serving dozens of coffee beverages. Stores take up half an aisle for hundreds of coffees, whole bean and ground from all over the world. We have instant, drip grinds from fine to coarse, single cup coffees, and decaf choices.

Coffee’s Many Benefits

Two great things are in our favorite drink, caffeine and antioxidents! That means wake up and stay up on the first, and battle the free radicals with the second. Magnesium and Calcium are two nutrients found in coffee. Some studies suggest coffee as being preventative medicine for Parkinson’s Disease, strokes, Basil Cell Carcinomas, and may lower the risk of Type II Diabetes.

It’s even been studied as a possible antidepressant, which makes sense to me…rarely do I see sad people chugging coffee, they are usually talking rapidly and smiling…a lot! So gamers, keep pressing the coarse grinds and enjoy your favorite drink…you might even play with more of an edge!

Putting On Your Game Face For Your Wedding

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There comes a time for all gamers to creep blinking into the light and fresh air of the real world. Responsibilities catch up with all of us in the end, no matter how immersed you are in an alternate reality.

They always told you “You’ll never get a girlfriend if you spend all your time playing games!” or “No boy’s going to be interested in a girl who likes computers!” but guess what? Look who was right all along. And now you’re getting married.

Now, being someone who understands how to gamify any situation to make it fun and interesting, you’ll want to apply those standards to planning your wedding. Using apps that are often free, or at least cheap, it’s quite possible to arrange your entire wedding through your phone All those things that you don’t even want to think about, like gift registries, hotel booking, caterers… The list goes on, but being able to take care of it all remotely, in real time, at least gives you the chance to do things in a way that you’re comfortable with.

So, what are the best apps for creating a great wedding that are practical and entertaining to use? We asked some of the staff at Orla James, Britain’s leading online bespoke wedding ring retailer to give us a few of their favourite wedding planning apps currently available to download.

WeddingHappy

This app schedules everything. Put in your wedding date and it creates a to-do list for you including scheduling payments, booking venues, vendors, caterers and entertainers. You also get a countdown ticker, budget summary so you can see how much money you have left to spend (or, in reality, how over budget you’re going!) The app is shareable and can update social media too, letting everyone know how much you’re winning at wedding planning.

WedPics

If you leave it until your wedding day to use this app, you’re missing out on a lot of its functionality, functionality that can really save you a lot of time and effort. As well as being a photo and video hosting facility, it rounds up a lot of other pre-wedding issues. Invite your friends and family and not only will they be able to upload all their photos and movies to your own wedding site, order high quality prints and downloads, you can also publish your wedding registry so people know what to buy you. It also has a handy widget which gives event and accommodation info, including addresses, schedules and directions.

Wedding Lookbook by The Knott

This app is like a wedding shopping channel that you can tweak to your own specs. TheKnot.com is one of the leading wedding sites and this app helps you find your perfect wedding dress, wedding rings, shoes, and just about everything else. It lists the retailers that carry the designers you prefer, allows you to look for dresses based on size, price, style and shape too. It customises recommendations based on your own preferences and even lets you message retailers directly if you need to book an appointment to visit their premises.

TripIt

This is essentially a really handy holiday booking app that takes all the hassle out of planning a trip abroad. It lets you organise everything in one place. You can keep your online travel documents, bookings, itineraries here. If you need to change anything it updates your calendar, making it simple to edit and update your travel plans. It’s selectively shareable and available anywhere so anyone you want to be informed of any changes can check updates and revisions.

WeddingDJ

I bet you can’t guess what an app called ‘wedding DJ’ does. OK, so you could just use Spotify, but this app is so much more than that. The app helps you plan the music for each stage of the wedding day, suggesting themes for each stage of the day and incorporating gaps for things like, the ceremony say. However, while it’s designed for pre-programming, it’s also adaptable. It allows you to skip multiple tracks at once, cross fades when you skip tracks, fades in and out when you pause or stop tracks and also prevents skipping and freezing.

AppyCouple

This app allows you to design your own wedding website where you can upload your pictures, but it’s much more than that. It has a social media aspect where your guests can meet and interact, they can like and get involved in parts of the wedding that they’ve been invited to, and upload their own photos too. It also helps with planning travel and destinations, your gift registry and dress codes for each event, such as stag and hen do’s, the ceremony and breakfast.

Postable

This app is surprisingly useful, and simple too. You undoubtedly have everyone’s phone number and are friends on Facebook, but do you have an up-to-date address for them? This app lets you email or text everyone you want to invite asking them for their home address. Once they have submitted their data, you can them send cards or invitations from the same site. What could be easier?

TopTablePlanner

Another really simple yet handy app, it lets you input the size and shape of each table that’s going to be used at your wedding breakfast. Putting the right people next to one another (or as far as possible away) can make or break a reception so an app that gives you colour coded, named planning that you can get feedback and comments on makes a tough job incredibly easy.

Zola Wedding Registry

Another online wedding gift registry app, but this one is different, and very handy. Swipe left on gift recommendations you aren’t interested, swipe right on the ones that you love. Yes, it’s wedding present Tinder! More than that, once you’ve made your gift choices and shared it with your friends and family, it allows you to add further presents, lets you know when gifts have been bought, and who bought them for you. You can control not only the delivery schedule but the addresses that gifts are sent to and deal with exchanges if necessary as well.

Hopefully, now you’re armed with all these apps, you should be able to make the entire process simple, automated, shareable and elegant.

The four most exciting games coming out in 2017

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Many exciting games are waiting to be released next year. Here we look at four of the most anticipated games in 2017.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

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It can be played on PS4, Xbox One and PC. The game is expected to be released in January. Like the previous version, there is no Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield. The perspective is now changed to first-person. There are lots of creepiness in the game. It has been compared to Silent Hill and PT, in fact, some sources say that it’s more than the two combined. It might be the scariest game ever.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

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This game is for the PS4 players. It will be released at the beginning of each year. It is an action-packed game offering something fresh. It has excellent gunplay and evil enemies. The game is said to be inspired from Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed. The main character is Aloy. There are ancient cities to explore in the game.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands

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The game is compatible with PS4, Xbox One and PC. You should save a country, and there is a chance that your friends will mess it up. There is four-way gunplay, group strategising, great shootouts and sniper hits. The game is set in Bolivia. It is expected to be released in March next year.

Injustice 2

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It is a game for PS4 and Xbox One users. The game customizes Superman and Batman. After each fight, you can change your appearance. You can switch things like body armor, helmets, replacement limbs, and capes, etc. You can select new characters like Super Girl and Atrocitus.
There are many good games expected to come out next year. If you love games, you will have a great year playing these exciting games.

XBOX vs. PLAYSTATION: which one should you choose?

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Both PS4 and XBOX have created a huge market. PS4 has excellent raw processing horsepower, while Xbox One has great entertainment features. Here is the detailed comparison between the two machines.

Cross-platform play

PS4 players will be now able to play online with their Xbox One players. It has been announced that the Xbox One players will also have the chance to play with players on other online multiplayer networks.

Price

In October 2015, the price of 500GB PS4 dropped to £ 299.99. It comes with a power cable, micro USB charging cable and mono microphone headset. A second controller will cost £40 to £50. The Xbox was expensive initially, but now its price starts from £320. You can get extra controllers for £32 to £40. You can get a Kinect bundle for £370 to £390 which gives you better voice controls, lets you launch apps and games and search contents. Both the consoles have an annual fee of £40 for online play.

Hardware specifications

The PS4 looks smaller and sleeker than Xbox One. It has an angular design which is somewhat gloss and partly matt black plastic. It has two USB ports, touch-sensitive power and disc eject buttons, HDMI and Ethernet ports, optical digital audio output, etc. The Xbox One is large. There are two USB ports, optical output, Ethernet, HDMI sockets, TV output, etc. There is a port for Kinect.

Interface and features

The interface of PS4 is better than that of Xbox One. The interface of Xbox One is similar to that of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. It ‘s hard to do simple operations like looking at your achievements or checking out what your friends are doing, etc. It works best with Kinect and voice commands. PS4 has a great remote play and game sharing feature. With Xbox, you get two split-screen views that can run two apps or one game and one app at a time.

Cameras

The Xbox One’s second-generation Kinect camera is good having more accurate motion tracking. The PS4’s camera is less high-tech and is cheaper.

Backwards compatibility

Xbox one has enabled backward compatibility for more than 100 Xbox 360 games. PS4 also has backward compatibility with PS2 games.

The hardware of PS4 is more powerful than Xbox One. Sony focused on software and interface on games. But Xbox concentrated on movies and TVs with less focus on games. Both the consoles have some great games that players can enjoy. Both the machines have good potentials.

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Is FIFA 2016 the best soccer game that has ever been released?

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For the past years, FIFA has been a good game that people enjoyed playing. The latest version of the game FIFA 2016 comes with improved features. Many of the lackings of the previous game have been corrected. Here are the major characters of this new game.

  • The graphics and presentation have improved. But many people won’t like the changes. It is not a polished version of the last FIFA.
  • The game has tightened up the defensive play and added more chance of developing attacks in the midfield.
  • The AI is rebuilt to work better as a unit. It closes down on attacking players, restricts their angles of attacks, and provides more support to go in.
  • The game is fast and controllable. But there is more tendency to get attacked in the midfield and goal is split by last-minute interceptions.
  • There is a fast passing option, but it doesn’t guarantee that the player will be able to control the ball.
  • It has a women’s national team, and many people loved this feature. You can learn about various strategies and develop chemistry.
  • The commentary is awesome. Players are picked up and discussed well; mistakes are spotted quickly. It’s as if commentators Alan Smith and Martin Tyler are there watching you play.

FIFA 16 is not as aggressive as FIFA 15. So, those who liked the fast and furious play of FIFA 15 won’t like this tighter and more defensive game. The game doesn’t show much improvement or changes compared to its previous version. The atmosphere of the game is great which makes it a good game to play this year. It is available on PS4, PC and Xbox One.