5 Must-Have Console Companion Apps for MMO Junkies

January 11, 2015  |  Gaming, Guest Writers

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

Console, leisure & entertainmentMMO gaming requires certain levels of commitment and dedication. You have to spend countless hours building your character, looting, ganking, tracking, developing strategies and acquiring weaponry. So, it’s a bummer when real life comes along, telling you that you have to go to class, to the post office, to the grocery store and to work, and you lose your momentum. But, just because you can’t be in front of your console doesn’t mean you can’t continue the game. Here are five console companion apps that allow you to take your character and clans along with you wherever life demands you go.

Call of Duty

A necessity for head of clan players, the CoD app for the iPhone offers tools for organizing your clan’s sessions. There is a loadout editor so you can create custom classes and gear loadouts while you’re away from your console. When you’re finished with your creations, they can be pushed directly to your CoD account so they are ready for use the next time you sign in.

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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.

The Props of Comic Con Portend the Future

September 5, 2014  |  Gaming, Guest Writers

[Disclaimer: Article was provided by Social Monsters]

For those of us who live for fandom, the San Diego Comic Con is heaven with good WiFi. Seeing props from the past ignite our passion, but seeing ones from the future awaken our imaginations. This is where we get our teasers, create our theories, and sometimes decide whether or not the upcoming spectacular will live up to our standards. This year’s Comic Con delivered with sneak peeks into the upcoming Marvel universe, The Games franchise, and video games turned movie.

san-diego-comic-con

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The Future of Tablet Gaming

July 7, 2014  |  Gaming, Guest Writers, Techie

Article provided by [Guest Writers from Social Monsters]

Gaming has taken the world of mobile devices by storm, and tablets are no exception. Tablets have swiftly proliferated to a point where they seem to be everywhere; The TabTimes reports there are an estimated 70 million name-brand tablet devices in the hands of American consumers and 300 million name-brand tablet devices worldwide. With tablets in the hands of so many gamers, tablet manufacturers and designers have realized the potential for tablet gaming.

GamingTabletsHere’s what we have to look forward to:

Superpowered Tablets

It doesn’t matter what operating system you currently use, there is a tablet designed for playing games. If you are a Windows tablet user, the Rolls Royce of gaming tablets is the Razer Edge Pro, a powerful tablet outfitted with Windows 8, a 10.1 inch display and 8GB of DDR3 memory. Designed for gamers by gamers, the Razer Edge Pro is streamlined for gaming and has many optional accessories for different titles including clip-on steering wheels and keyboard docks.

Fans of the iOS architecture can turn to the Apple iPad Air with its beautiful 9.7 inch Retina display and access to more than 475,000 apps through the iTunes store. In stark contrast to the Razer Edge Pro, the Apple iPad is nearly a third of the cost and, while not specifically designed for gaming, is still a powerful tablet device capable of many functions. Apple has always been friendly towards gaming on its mobile devices, and game developers have flocked to get their games on the iTunes store.

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What is the big fuss about Flappy Bird?

March 2, 2014  |  Gaming, Guest Writers

In the short span of a just a few weeks, an unlikely game became the talk of the Internet. “Flappy Bird” is a simple but endlessly challenging game in which you pilot an awkward bird through endless obstacles. According to Think Gaming, “Flappy Bird” reached an estimated download rate of more than 147,000 per day. Despite its success, the game’s developer has chosen to pull it from the iTunes store and the global phenomenon surrounding the title is winding down. But what is the real story behind “Flappy Bird?”

The Ugly Duckling

Uploaded to the iTunes store in May of 2013, “Flappy Bird” is not a particularly complicated game. Players steer a pixelated bird by tapping the screen repeatedly to gain altitude. The goal is to navigate the little bird through an endless series of green pipes that look suspiciously like the pipes of “Super Mario World.” Each time a player successfully navigates through a set of pipes a single point is awarded. Touching a pipe leads to death and a glaring “Game Over” screen. The addictive quality of the game lies in the fact that getting even one point is a monumental challenge.

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[Events] Fantasy World Hosted The Ultimate Combat Creatures Battle

December 9, 2013  |  Events, Gaming

During the last week of November I was invited by Fantasy World along with my little sister Lujain to check out their latest exciting and challenging competition of its latest remote control robotics, the Combat Creatures.  The event took place in the Avenues, Mezzanine floor right in front of the bookstore “That Al Salasil” where a beautiful set up was available for the two days of the competition November 28 – 29th.

Fantasy1

The battle was raging over a period of two days and was open to kids of the age 6 and onwards, the participants were able to put their strategy, skills, and hand-eye coordination to the test in order to win one of the many prizes. If you are wondering what the Combat Creatures were? Well wonder no more. I’m here to crack down on everything and anything!

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[Shout Outs] National Gaming Union Tournament

July 28, 2012  |  Gaming, Shout Outs

I’m actually quite swamped with shout outs that I’d love to give out and so I apologize if it’s becoming too much on you guys but hey this might be interesting to you.  Recently I was contacted by the National Gaming Union, who are a group of highly advanced and highly competitve video gamers with their newly organized Ramadan Gaming tournament.

This tournament is quite big to the extent that it is being sponsored by companies such as Wataniya Telecom, Al Rai TV, Fatburger, and so many more.  The event will be held on 3 consecutive Fridays, in the Live Theatre – Discovery Mall, with each day holding a different gaming genre.

The tickets are available at 5KD per game and viewers enter for free.  Tickets are being sold at Discovery Mall in front of Live Theatre and in Al Rehab Complex (Game Center).  Once you start playing you might win a prize which could include mobile phones, gaming consoles, cash and wifi routers.  First prize winners get KD 100 in cash, 1 XBox, Samsung Nexus Mobile and Wataniya Internet Device.  Why not check it out?

For more information be sure to follow them:

[Twitter] [Instagram: @N_GamingUnion]