Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekly Link Round Up

Dudes, it has not been my week. I've barely had time to game. Work has taken over all of my time. NieR has fallen off the radar along with Horizon. I've spent a grand total of 1 hour and 34 minutes with Mass Effect: Andromeda, and most of that was character creator. The other part was tweaking my graphic settings to my preferences.

That's it!

I have no life. I have given it to the corporate machine.

Zombie mode. Need brains.

This seems like a day for a Weekly Link Round Up. All of the best, worst, and weirdest gaming news on the internet:

- Want to earn free Razer gear? I know that sounds like a scam opening, but this is legitimate. The company has released a program called zVault, where you can put your gaming hours into real gear from Razer. It's a pretty straight forward process. You have to download their program, create an account, and log in to launch and play one of the 5 games currently on the list: Overwatch, DOTA2, League of Legends, CS:Go, and Paladins. The hours your play translate into points that can be used to gain mice, headsets, backpacks, and discount coupons for the Razer store. While Razer says they won't sell your info or your stats to third parties, it doesn't sit well with me that another company would know my gaming habits. I get enough crap from Origin and Steam. I don't need another business on my back to prompt me to spend money.

- GameStop shares fell again after another quarter of lower then expected earnings. As the company continues to push to more retail markets, it's difficult to determine what they are doing these days to keep customers interested. And I'm not saying that as a former employee. I'm saying that as a consumer. Their digital games platform has fallen flat (and to be honest it's always been flat). Their new store layouts haven't enticed people - it still follows the flow of business where they expect people to walk in, get what they want, and leave. There isn't much encouragement from the company or the stores to let people browse, try out games, and create connections with other gamers and the employees. The CEO has announced that it will no longer release quarterly reports (which is never a good sign from a large company), instead opting for yearly. They are going to be closing 150 stores to reduce their "global footprint" (read that as: make cutbacks). As more people move online for their gaming content, GameStop needs to rethink their strategies or they will continue to see declining sales.

- WhatCulture is always an enjoyable break from the mundane. Today they have gifted us with a list of the 10 Most Annoying People You'll Meet Playing Online Games. So...everyone? *Bazing!* My biggest annoyance are the people who take the game so seriously that they stop having fun with it. If this were a tournament for a million dollars, okay. I understand wanting to be focused on the game. But a random Overwatch Quick match? Who gives a flip. We're all chilling out and having fun. So don't be that dick that randomly quits mid-game because the team isn't winning this very moment. And don't cuss out others who are first time players. They will learn and get better. Just gotta chill and have fun!

- There are some pretty cool things going on in the tech behind video games to allow those with disabilities to join in. Meet Steve Saylor. He's legally blind, but with newer games and consoles like the Nintendo Switch, he's able to play games with friends and family. Larger text and outlined fonts in neutral colors, touch pads, oversized icons all help enhance the experience for Saylor without detracting from the game play. Read through the article when you have a moment. It's kind of cool to see the unique ways developers have been improving their games so that more people can play.

- BMW made a car using the same tech in Gears of War 4. Because reasons. It's a weird pod with a Vive VR headset that allows you to test drive their vehicles without being in one. Because, reasons? I guess they just wanted to show that they could do it.

- The world's oldest video game Easter Egg may have been found! I don't know if this is an Easter Egg and more of a cool trick. Starship 1, an arcade game released by Atari in 1977, allows a player to gain 10 free lives if they perform a series of button taps while inserting a coin into the machine. The game would give a message and you'll have gained the extra lives. Cool, but seems more like a cheat code. Not really an Easter Egg as we know it. But still cool to know. Expect this to appear on a triva show in the future.

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