Video Games: Digital Download vs. Hardcopy

December 9, 2014  |  Gaming, Guest Writers, Techie

[Disclaimer: Article written by a Guest Writer provided by Social Monsters]

4291_shutterstock_187770899That 1978 song “Video Killed the Radio Star” sure had a point and makes us think about the recent physical vs. digital debate in the interactive entertainment industry. Sometimes media change is hard to deal with due to both cultural and technical factors. It has happened in most entertainment industries in the past two decades. As digital formats take over as the main content delivery system, some purists defend the physical format and claim that digital delivery will ruin the industry.

There is a hint of nostalgia for the old formats fueling their claims. As human beings, we are collectors by nature, and having a bookshelf full of CDs, DVDs, comic books, video games and books allow us to brag and to feel a sense of accomplishment (even if we have watched/listened/read only half of them). Remember how music CD aficionados cringed at the idea of digital-only collections? Or how DVD collectors suspiciously frowned upon Netflix? Having 16,000 songs on your iPod just doesn’t feel the same as having a gargantuan CD and LP collection, right?

However, anyone with a Netflix account, or similar, knows that watching the movie or TV show that you want, when you want it, is quite convenient. And what about digital and subscription music services like iTunes or Spotify? Digital delivery allows for more flexibility and freedom for the technically savvy and well-connected. After all, one of the promises of digital media is to render physical formats obsolete.

Well, video games are no exception. Some gamers feel proud about their collections and claim that having an enormous list of games on Steam just doesn’t feel quite the same. Several gaming companies are leaning heavily toward downloaded content, in fact the percentage of digital games to physical games (now up to 92 percent) rises every year. Though you can still stop by the store to pick up a physical disc, titles like the new Dragon Age: Inquisition are easily downloaded straight to your computer. For some hardcore gamers who fall into the older age bracket, this represents quite a paradigm shift. But the fact that games such as DAI is available for download at a standarized price, bypassing the middle-man (your local video game store) is quite significant in terms of industry and media change. There is now a direct link between publishers and consumers, which represents both a new revenue model and a paradigm shift in how we consume video games. In fact, gamers are already creating digital collections: it was recently revealed that 37 percent of the games downloaded on Valve’s Steam engine have never been played.

However, the concerns of those in #TeamPhysical are valid on a technical level. In order for the gaming industry to go fully digital worldwide, there are a few things that need to happen:

  • Broadband: the Internet needs to be widely spread across the globe. There is a misconception among U.S., Australian and European gamers that everyone has good Internet access. However, in order for the video game industry to go fully digital, strong broadband connections need to be the standard across the world.
  • Internet plans need to be uniformly speed-based, not data-allowance-based. Some countries like Australia determine monthly Internet fees based on the amount of data that you download and upload, not on the speed. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) need to standarize their model so all gamers can download games without concerns about surpassing the data allowance.
  • What about trading games? One of the most prominent cultural practices among gamers is exchanging games. Of course, digital formats make this a bit hard. The industry has to adopt models such as Amazon’s mechanism for lending and borrowing Kindle books.

As newer generations of gamers become the group with the most purchasing power, the physical and digital sides will continue to divide. Spoiler alert: digital will win.

Happy Insane Birthday To Me!

December 4, 2014  |  Birthday

Everyday is my birthday, now hit the floor… Everyday is my birthday, now hit the floor… Everyday is my birthday, now hit the floor… Hit the floor, I say: hit the floor.. Let’s work…

– Swizz Beatz “Everyday Birthday” lyrics

Another year younger, another year insaner (if that is even a word.. not sure I need to double check it!) Can’t believe another birthday has arrived and yet I still feel just as I did when I was 18 years old, except now I just have broken bones!

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Let’s hope the day turns out to be great filled with some new gadgets and loving! I can’t wait for the fun to start!!

It’s Not a Wish List, More Like a Guide List

December 1, 2014  |  Birthday, Wishlist

Don’t you always hear the same thing from friends and family when an occasion nears the corner and they keep asking “So what do you want?” And you have like a ton of a things you want but are embarrassed to say and therefore you go “Awww, it’s okay anything you get me is awesome” when in fact sometimes the choices are a bit bleh :P (I’m kidding everything I get from friends and family is awesome /sarcasm) But seriously, I try to be more open and easy to shop for, actually I’m really hard to shop for.  If I find something I like I get impatient and end up buying it for myself except for items that I can’t afford and can wait on.

This year it was no different than any other year, I got asked the question until I decided maybe a “Wish List” would do the job.  Previously I would write it on my blog but this year I decided to take a graphic approach to it and create a little flyer hehe and boy am I proud with the results.

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I know some items are just way too expensive but then again I’m worth it hehe :P I do have options for less expensive items hehe this year on my list are:

  1. iPad mini 3 (128GB Gold) I accept either WiFi or 4G models
  2. Apple LED Thunderbolt Display since my last display monitor was purchased in 2011 and is fraying in the wires hehe
  3. MacBook Pro Retina 15″ with great specs, since my first generation MacBook Pro Retina is tugging along slowly, its got a screen burn issue and heats up too quickly
  4. Canon PowerShot G16 just because
  5. Sony QX30 because it’s awesome!
  6. Sony RX100 M III because I heard great things.
  7. Microsoft Surface Pro 3, why not?
  8. Lumia 830, I’ve been interested in trying it out!
  9. MONEY MONEY MONEY!

And other ideas were funky clothes (shirts, sweaters, etc), hand bags, anything geeky or gadgety like, and most importantly AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATES so I can feed my Kindle Books obsession!

Do you know of any person who is as crazy as I am out there? I think there is a whole category for people like me :P I belong in GA (Gadgetholics Anonymous) right?

Hello December

December 1, 2014  |  My Life, Random

It’s official, my favorite month out of the entire year is here and it’s not just because I was born in December (*ehem*December 4*ehem*) but it’s just a magical time and I feel all warm and fuzzy.  The air smells fresher, the gust of the cold wind makes me feel alive and awesome.  Everything just is amazing when its December.  Here is hoping nothing sours that up.

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Things took a bad turn last week when I fell sick and visited the doctor to get a check up unfortunately the pests that I had surgery to remove from my body have decided to come back and rent a penthouse suite, fortunately though surgery is not insanely required right now therefore I could manage but I need to have monthly checkups to monitor their growth and make sure they don’t swell into large grapefruits like last time (then I would actually need surgery again).  But one thing lifted up my spirits today, something I’ve been hoping to get and do might finally be in the works and things might be moving forward.  Hopefully *fingers crossed* by this January I come back from my vacation and to an insanely better place!

Oh did I forget to tell you all?  Well I’m planning on a Winter vacation! I am actually fulfilling a long-wished dream of mine where I get to spend Christmas and New Years in New York City! I JUST CAN’T FREAKING WAIT! This time I’m taking the little monster, my younger sister (read: baby sister) Lujain with me! And I’ll just go crazy!

I’m filled with a bit of love, scratch that I’m filled with lots of love for friends and family not to mention some of you faceless (not that you don’t have any faces) strangers who actually take the time and read my ramblings.  So, HUGS AND KISSES TO YOU ALL! (platonically of course!)  In the meantime, I will share some of my paranoia with you guys and give you a sneak peak into one of my Wish Lists for my Birthday.  Wait no I think it deserves a whole post for itself right?  Yes right! I will put it up tomorrow as soon as I have my breakfast at work (yeah government jobs make you fat :P).

I bid thee all a good night!

[TV] Renewals & Cancellations Late November 2014

November 30, 2014  |  Fall TV 2014, TV

So a bunch of shows have received their good news or bad news depending on whether they got a pink slip or just a regular one, and some of my favorites are getting the boot which makes me sad.  Let’s get cracking as to what happened to those shows:

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RENEWALS

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New Technology: Know the Risks First

November 29, 2014  |  Guest Writers, Techie

[Disclaimer: Article written by a Guest Writer provided by Social Monsters]

In this age of global economy, online marketplaces and all things virtual, securing your personal data is more important than ever. And while many new technologies seem fun, exciting and designed to make your life easier and quicker, they can also put you at serious risk of having your identity stolen.

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High-Risk Technology

As technology continues to advance and we get closer to a completely wireless and paperless age, new gadgets and gizmos are continuously developed to automate nearly everything. But the speed at which those technologies are implemented and distributed oftentimes doesn’t provide enough testing in the safety and security that needs to go along with it in order to keep you and your family safe.

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I’m a Genie in a Bottle, Let ME OUT!

November 18, 2014  |  Deep Thoughts, Random

I miss talking, I miss letting out all my worries and just blabbering it to my closest friends.  Lately I feel as if I am bottling up all my emotions and its getting harder to just talk about anything that is wrong.  I seem to have also developed a filter in me that doesn’t allow me to show any weakness or talk about anything really, do you guys experience it?

It’s like if there is something really bad happening I would rather bottle up so I don’t hear some unwarranted advice or something that hurts because I alone have the entire facts of the story.  For example, I am not at all happy where I am at in my work life, going into the government sector was an insanely bad decision but helpful to learn from, I don’t regret that part.  But I don’t feel comfortable with some comments that say: Use the time to start a small business, study, or stick it out.  I feel as if I am dying creatively and the only way I can think of amending that would be by getting on my blog or instagram and just letting it out.  Some might suggest I should turn my blog into a business, that would be smart but I am doing this out of love for the thing it’s a hobby I feel if I were to turn it into a work discipline thing then I will immediately start to hate it and feel confined.

Sometimes I feel that my brain is sabotaging me, I freak out and get anxious on the littlest things.  Especially things that I know quite well myself I just feel as if I am underqualified when most times I might have more to offer than others.  It’s a psychological thing for me and always has been.  It’s exactly like how when I work out and diet for a few months lose some weight and someone comes up to me and says “Oh wow you lost weight, looking good!” I take that as a cue to start eating junky again and I gain what I lost and more.  I have no idea why I do it, I just do.

Maybe I’m sick in the head! Anyways I just wanted to let this out!