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August Current Issues

UNITED STATE Launches Limited Airstrikes on ISIS (Aug.): ISIS intimidates to eliminate all Christians in Mosul who don’t transform to Islam. (Aug. 7): ISIS militants take control of the biggest dam in Iraq, which is found in Mosul. Head of state Obama announces in a press conference that he has actually accredited restricted airstrikes on ISIS as well as airdrops of humanitarian materials.

Egypt Mediates Israel Hamas Cease-Fire (Aug. 5): A 72-hour cease-fire mediated by Egypt starts. Israel withdraws its forces from the Gaza strip. Both Hamas and Israel accept talks, moderated by Egypt, in an initiative toward enduring peace. (Aug. 26): After fighting for 7 weeks and also trying a number of short-term cease-fires, Israel and also Hamas accept an open-ended cease-fire. The contract follows seven weeks of combating as well as is likewise mediated by Egypt. The acting agreement still has Hamas in control of Gaza while Israel and also Egypt still control access to Gaza, leaving no clear victor in this most current problem. Hamas states victory. Israeli Excellent Priest Benjamin Netanyahu is criticized in Israel for just how costly the dispute has actually been. Given that the dispute started last month, 2,143 Palestinians have been gotten rid of, primarily civilians, with greater than 11,000 wounded and 100,000 left homeless. On Israel’s side, 64 soldiers and 6 civilians have actually been killed.

August Current Issues – US vs the World

 

UNITED STATE General Killed in Afghanistan (Aug. 5): Maj. Gen. Harold Greene is assassinated by an Afghan soldier while visiting a military training academy near Kabul, Afghanistan. He is the first basic eliminated in struggle given that the Vietnam Battle. Hours later on, an Afghan cop opens fire on a team of American soldiers in Paktia Province. No American soldiers are gotten rid of in the attack. The shootings highlight the instability in the military and hurdles the Covering government deals with as the U.S. prepares to take out from the nation.

Hundreds of Migrants Flee to Spain (Aug. 11-12): Hundreds of migrants try to get away from Africa to Spain when they are obstructed in the Strait of Gibraltar by Spanish authorities. Spanish officials claim that the huge number of unlawful crossings is due to the failing of Morocco, which manages migration into Spain. Morocco does not take responsibility directly, while Inside Minister Mohamed Hasad does claim that “dysfunctions may have occurred as well as will be remedied quite swiftly,” according to Spanish information media.

ISIS Members Get rid of American Reporter (Aug. 19): Participants of ISIS behead American journalist James Foley, 40, in noticeable retaliation for UNITED STATE airstrikes versus the group. ISIS releases a graphic video of his killing. ISIS states Steven Sotloff, another kidnapped American journalist, will certainly be gotten rid of if the airstrikes continue.

U.S. Launches Limited Airstrikes on ISIS (Aug.): ISIS threatens to get rid of all Christians in Mosul that do not convert to Islam. (Aug. 7): ISIS militants take control of the biggest dam in Iraq, which is located in Mosul. ISIS Members Get rid of American Journalist (Aug. 19): Individuals of ISIS behead American reporter James Foley, 40, in obvious retaliation for U.S. airstrikes versus the department. ISIS launches a visuals video clip of his killing. ISIS states Steven Sotloff, one more kidnapped American reporter, will be gotten rid of if the airstrikes proceed.

Concepts I want in a Strategy Game

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Real time strategy games are very hard to develop in the video game industry. It’s THE GENRE where everything needs to be balanced: from the individual units to the building structures to the skills of every available unit to the map advantages of every camp. However, as an avid fan of the RTS genre, I cannot help but wish for a lot of concepts that would totally look awesome in a strategy game. I actually prefer strategy games with real military technology than sci-fi technology, although they look cool from time to time. I also love strategy games because it keeps your brain working all throughout the game.

What kind of concepts would I want?

1.)           Terrain advantages – Command and Conquer Generals made short work of this concept by allowing vehicle units like motorcycles and buggies to roam past any terrain. Whilst it was good, it would’ve been more awesome if infantry units could flank the enemy units by positioning themselves on the slopes, or tanks going down slopes instead of premade routes.

2.)           Terrain and map interaction – The C&C Generals and Red Alert series made use of this by allowing players to garrison their infantry units inside buildings. In Generals, Pathfinder units were placed in huts to remain undetected as they kill infantry units. What I want is more interaction with the map, like the ground is literally destroyed by bombs or explosions could cause craters, rendering a path useless or blocked. How awesome would that be if you were able to focus fire on a mountainside to create a roadblock? How awesome would it be to prevent your enemies from building again because their destroyed buildings left a huge crater after it exploded?

3.)           Naval warfare – I am not the only one who shares this sentiment. A lot of players are eager to see naval warfare on RTS. It’s a completely different ball game when you’ve got naval artillery to back your ground units up.

4.)           Weather conditions and day/night conditions– I wish to see an RTS with an interactive weather or a 24-hour environment. Warcraft III had a similar function where it would turn from day to night, but it was the only game that had this function. Heroes from this game would gain advantages if it was daytime or night. It would be awesome for units to have limited visibility because of fog and the darkness of the night.

 

Choosing a Gaming Laptop the Right Way

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Whether you’ve been eyeing that new Alienware laptop or that sleek Razer Blade, it’s always a good idea to know how much to spend on a gaming laptop. Based on experience, you can never be too careful with your money and it doesn’t even guarantee that a branded laptop will be worth your money. On my end, I have strict criteria that will help me pick the right gaming laptop for a particular budget. For this article, let’s say that I have a budget of $1000. That’s more than enough to get me a decent gaming laptop, right?

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Now, if I have a budget of a thousand dollars, my first instinct would be to buy a name-brand laptop like MSI or Alienware, but I have to consider the criteria for choosing a laptop.

First is longevity. For gaming laptops to be really worth the money, you need to find one that will allow you to game for long hours. if you were to buy a laptop that won’t even let you game for 2 hours straight, I would consider that a waste of money. Brands like Alienware and MSI are known for making laptops that will last up to 5 hours of non-stop gaming.

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Up next we have the hardware. You are paying good money for power that fits on your lap. One way of gauging hardware that meets your budget is to keep an eye out for processors like Core –i7 processors, RAMS that go up to 8GB, video card memory of up to 2GB. If the specs of the hardware are anything less than that, don’t go for it.

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If you have met the two criteria above, you’re going to make sure that you meet the last one. The last criterion is portability. With all that power in your hardware, you can’t expect the laptop to be ultra-light. When it comes to portability, the best thing that you can do is to go for weight. Normally, gaming laptops weigh an average of 6lbs to 14lbs, so you really have to determine which weight is portable for you. I’m more than satisfied with 8lbs or higher, as I own an MSI laptop and it weighs close to 8lbs. My brother also has an Alienware and it weighed 15lbs, and I found it OK to lug around because it’s gaming laptop and you can’t hide power!

There you have it! These are my criteria for choosing the best laptop within a budget.

Top Portable Gadgets for Gamers on the Go

Top Portable Gadgets

Laptops and personal computers remain to be highly popular mediums for game playing for the most avid gamers. But for those individuals who do not have much time to stay at home for hours at a time, or those who absolutely have to go online to play the moment they get some free time, even if it is just during the few minutes of commute to work or school, then portable gaming consoles are an absolute must have.

There is good news and bad news if you are in the market for a new portable gaming gadget. The good news is that there is wide array of choices out there so there will certainly be one or two that will fit your needs to a tee. The bad news is that with all the great choices available, you can get a splitting headache trying to decide on which one to buy! This is actually why some really enthusiastic (and apparently rich) gamers end up buying more than one console for their entertainment needs.

If you are like the vast majority of the population that can afford to buy only one expensive gadget at a time, following is a list of today’s top portable gaming gadgets that you can choose from.

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Nintendo 3DS

Currently the leading handheld game console based on critics’ and customers’ reviews alike, there are plenty of reasons why you should seriously consider getting a Nintendo 3DS instead of other portable gaming devices. Just like most of its contemporaries, the 3DS is capable of online gaming, has a built-in microphone and webcam, has decent dimensions and weight, and is Wi-Fi compatible. But unlike a few of its competitors, the 3DS also has a camera and a touch-screen feature. It easily takes the cake as the best handheld console for most gamers, especially since its price is surprisingly affordable compared to the rest.

PSP Go

 

PSP Go

Though it does not get a unanimous thumbs-up from critics, the PSP Go from Sony is definitely a very close second to the 3DS. It is no secret that some of the best games are from Sony, and the PSP Go allows you to play these games wherever you go. In addition, it also allows you to store photos, music and videos as well. The only complaint that people have about this superior gaming device is that its small size makes it hard for big clumsy hands to master the controls, which can still be accomplished with a little bit of practice.

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PlayStation Vita

Touted as “the must own gaming console of 2014”, Sony’s PlayStation Vita got off to a rocky start when it was introduced to the market last year. Too expensive and too high-end for the average consumer’s taste, it has recently gotten a makeover when Sony launched PlayStation Now, which is their new game streaming feature. This new service enables PlayStation Vita owners to play PlayStation 4 games without having to buy the significantly more expensive device. Plus, it now comes with a longer battery life, a more lightweight frame, a 5-inch LCD display, and built-in memory.

Best Computer Accessories for Gamers

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We are in the midst of a rapidly changing technological era, where relatively new digital tablets, smart phones and laptops are being traded in for even newer models within just a matter of months or even weeks. There is definitely no shortage of new gadgets for techno-savvy individuals to choose from, each of which is packed with a plethora of unique features and notable specifications. But as a gamer, you can’t just automatically go for the latest pieces that come out into the market. You will have to pick your gadgets wisely so that you will have the best gaming experience possible, whether you are sitting in front of your personal computer at home or battling it out with online friends as you ride the bus to work.

Gaming Monitor

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For the really serious gamer, there is extreme value in the impeccable display and sky-high resolution that you can only get from the top gaming monitors available in the world today. Take the 24-inch 144Hz monitor by AOC, for instance. The rapid response time of this monitor will make a world of difference between winning and losing in whatever game you are playing. Plus, the vibrant colors and lucid display are welcome bonuses that will further improve the quality of your gaming experience.

Gaming Keyboard

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Ordinary keyboards will work for even the most complex games but most of them do leave a lot to be desired. First of all, standard keyboards are not really designed for heavy gameplay. Chances are that the most frequently used keys will soon malfunction or in some cases, fall right off the keyboard. Ordinary keyboards are also not lit, which causes a lot of frustration for gamers that like to play in low light. This problem is solved by using illuminated keyboards like the QuickFire Rapid-i gaming keyboard.

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The G19s gaming keyboard by Logitech is one of the best investments you can make as an avid gamer. It’s not cheap but the features that it has are definitely worth the cost. It has multiple USB ports, 12 programmable keys that can take on 36 different functions and even a status tracker that lets you know what is going on in your games even if you are not playing.

Gaming Mouse

If you ask a gamer to use a regular mouse in playing his games, you would be asking for trouble. Not only would it be extremely frustrating to play a fast-paced game on a mouse that consistently lags, but it may also actually be uncomfortable on the hand and wrist.

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A mouse that is especially built for gaming has an exceptional ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to use for hours at a time. It also has a superior-grade optical sensor and some even have customizable buttons that can further simplify and advance your gaming performance. Depending on which games you like to play, some of the best gaming mice you can buy are the Titanfall R.A.T. 3, the Corsair Vengeance M65, and the G602 from Logitech.

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Some of these accessories can be quite pricey, and investing in them will not necessarily make you a better player but there is no doubt that your gaming experience will be dramatically enhanced with the help of these products.

Top Online Multiplayer Games

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Sometimes, playing an online game in solo mode can be fun – there’s no question about that. But there is also no denying that it is just much more enjoyable and more exciting to play it with and against a whole bunch of other players from all over the world. Luckily for us gamers, the Internet is currently bursting with options when it comes to multiplayer games so you will definitely be spoiled for choice.

We all have our personal preferences when it comes to gaming. Most likely, you have a couple of favorite online games that you absolutely have to play every single day. But if you are looking to expand your gaming horizons, or are simply curious as to what is currently popular out there, here is a list of the top online multiplayer games today.

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World of Warcraft

The premise of this game is simple enough. You are a hero that has to complete missions, kill monsters and explore locations in the Warcraft universe. In addition, you get to interact with hundreds of other players who also take on the form of heroes in this virtual world. You will either fight with these other players or against them as you complete your missions and advance to higher levels. A warning though – WoW can be very addicting. Before you start your very first quest, make sure you have enough time on your hands and enough money in your credit account to keep playing regularly because I assure you, you will be hooked right from the start.

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CounterStrike: Global Offensive

It’s quite a feat that after more than 10 years of being online, CounterStrike still has a massive following and continues to attract new players every day. Global Offensive is the latest version of this top-ranked tactical FPS game, and it features revised maps, improved graphics and a bunch of cool items not seen in previous versions. The mode of playing is the same as with previous version but for sure, a lot of exciting surprises await.

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GTA Online

If you have ever played the single player versions of Grand Theft Auto, you know that this is the game for gamers that have an insatiable need for both speed and action. You will have to complete missions and travel through fictional cities while of course, driving vehicles of your choice. GTA Online just takes the game to a whole new level. The already controversial but nevertheless highly popular game becomes even more notorious as features such as human torture are added in this newest version. Now all additions are violent though – there are also friendly bikers and a vast selection of new missions. It is also about time that the franchise has finally added a feature that we have been clamoring for for a long time now – female characters!

Like I said though, the choices are endless and these are just three of my personal choices. To find out what tickles your fancy, get online and get playing because for sure, there are loads of badass online multiplier games out there just waiting for you to join in on the action.

 

Are Video Games Bad for your Child’s Development?

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There has always been an ongoing debate on how video games can affect a child’s development. I am no psychologist, but I am a gamer. I have read a few articles about how children go on a violent rampage when they are influenced by video games, like how a 10 year old boy massacred his 11 year old friend because they argued in a video game. Let’s not forget about the famous World of Warcraft reaction video where a tween’s account was frozen by his parents and his reaction was like a toddler whose candy got taken away.

But let’s go over some important facts that will shed some light on this argument. Let’s focus on children aged 4 to 7 years old, or what I call the crucial childhood years.

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Children at this age need to play. It’s as simple as that. Lawmakers from California argued 4 years ago that children are not getting enough play time outside that it has increased the chances of them developing ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and diminished social skills and capacities. Based on Piaget’s development theory, children at this age learn how to role play or interact. If it is taken away from them, they would lack the cognitive capabilities to interact with another child. This would lead to delayed development in their cognition.

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Another possible argument that people can use is the fact that children, or toddlers, are impressionable. If you do this, there’s a chance that they will imitate it simply because they don’t know any better. The logic for this argument couldn’t be as sound as Newton formulating the Theory of Relativity, but let’s just illustrate. What if your 5 year old son got his hands on a Super Mario and he tries to imitate jumping up and down? It’s fun to look at, but God forbid he jumps into an open sewer.

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However, some psychologists argue that video games can actually help a child in terms of cognition development. The first argument is that video games are able to help increase hand-eye coordination. Although it’s overkill to expose him to first person shooters, side scrollers like Super Mario can still help your child develop his hand-eye coordination. Problem solving skills are the next focus when it comes to why your child should play video games. Take the game Angry Birds or Cut the Rope. These games involve complex puzzle solving skills that would drive adults crazy yet we see children being able to play on the same level as adults.

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Lastly, the skill of multitasking is developed. Multitasking is found in RTS or real time strategy games like Starcraft 2. This is where micro and macro management come in. though this game is too difficult for toddlers; children aged 10 years and above are known to play this game without any guidance. The ability to manage resources is also a skill that’s honed by video games, most especially RTS.

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So, should parents let their children play video games? Yes, they should. But they should focus more on the importance of playing outdoors and interaction with other kids their age. It all boils down to moderation. If I become a parent, I would let him or her play video games when he or she has appreciated a good old scraped knee and a few bruises.

Top Video Games of All Time

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I have been playing video games for the better half of my life, or probably more than that. There’s no way that I can give you a complete list of the top video games of all time, simply because it’s impossible and it’s biased. Everyone will always nitpick on your list and say otherwise. But as an avid gamer, I can tell you that these video games on my list are there because they have made an impact in my life in one way or another. They may have a.) Traumatised me, b.) Made me cry, or c.) Gave you so much hell that it left an impression.

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First, I want to talk to you about Chrono Trigger. No, not Chrono Cross (that piece of crap game could never hold a candle to Chrono Trigger). I played this when I had the NES console Chrand my dad gave it to me as a birthday present. Right then and there, I knew there was something special about this game. Chrono Trigger is a classic from Squaresoft (now known as Square Enix and the people behind Final Fantasy). Now, you play as Crono – a red-haired, Dragonball Z looking character- that travels in time to save the world from destruction. The story is great and the game itself is great. I would question every gamer’s reputation or acclamation of title if they have not played Chrono Trigger.

Second on my list is Silent Hill from the PSX. That’s right. The first game of the franchise makes it way to my list simply because of the fear factor that it offers. Gamers will also tell you that no game will ever scare like the first Silent Hill game. You play this guy who ends up in a town named Silent Hill (Spoiler alert!) and you make your way through zombie monster dogs and flying creatures to look for your daughter. What made this game so fantastically scary and scarring is the entire ambience. tyuHorror games nowadays tend to focus on music or effects for the scare, but Silent Hill doesn’t do this. You’re left on your own to battle with the monsters to the point that your other senses, like hearing, are put to the test. The story is not disappointing and actually delivered the goods back in the day.

Another game that makes it to this list is Metal Gear Solid, also from the PSX. The second game of the franchise (the first one was for the NES). Solid Snake goes on the hunt for Metal Gear Rex, a huge mechanoid that makes nuclear missiles look like Pop Rocks. This huge robot poses a threat to the entire world and Solid Snake goes on the hunt for the one behind it – Liquid Snake.Met The storyline is solid and the characters are just so awesome. Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven, and Psycho Mantis. Who wouldn’t love those characters with cool names? The difficulty of the game is also one of its best qualities. It’s not your run-of-the-mill shooter/espionage game, so you’re going to get more than what you’ve bargained for.