Friday, July 25, 2008

Moms, Sons, and Video Games

Generally speaking, although there are exceptions, it is easier to stay "in touch" with our teenage daughters than it is with our teenage sons. On the surface, it may not appear so, but how often do you get to really talk with your growing son? How much one on one time do you get? And I don't mean from the stands of a sporting event that he is participating in.
There are several ways to accomplish this major goal as a parent. You could go hiking together, camping, fishing, but these are usually "Dad" times to bond. Some Moms do this as well, but I found something that is fun, a bit challenging, and just about anyone can do it. Now, this is for the Mom whose boys enjoy video games and are completely brilliant at them, getting bored easily because they beat the game so quickly. Ask them to teach you how to play, be very interested, and genuinely wish to learn!

The easiest game I found, and the one my son taught me first, is Dungeons and Dragons Heroes for the XBox. It is a two player game, comes with a tutorial that you stay in until you have it all figured out and learn the controls, the graphics are pretty good, and will retain your sons interest for enough time to get you started. The choices in the two player game catagory are very limited, but after you master Dungeons and Dragons Heroes, try another XBox game called Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance 2. This is a more challenging game that will hold both you and your son's attention a bit longer as there is an awesome side quest to find soul shards. As you get more comfortable with the game systems, you start incorporating other topics into your conversations besides just the games and "which button do I push?" Before long, he will start to tell you important things about his day or even his thoughts. Understand, that if he is really good at the games, for him, it is a relaxing, no brainer activity, and those are the most opportune times to get to know who your son really is.

Yes, it might be a lot of work to learn something new, or you just don't have time, or it is too hard. OK, this is not for everyone and certainly there are other ways, but this way works And you obtain a skill to boot! Trust me, video games Are a skill! Some help with History, like Age Of Empires will give you is a big plus. Age Of Empires is a PC game that comes in different eras. A brilliant learning tool on the Roman Empire and tacticle manoeuvers, while you learn better to interact with your son.

Or, you could choose a racing game, like Mario Cart! It is a benefit to their later driving abilities and found with the Nintendo systems. Haunted Mansion is an XBox figure it out puzzle type game that boosts your thinking and reasoning skills. Even Fable, which is absolutely brilliant by the way, shows them morality as they and you journey through life. Fable and Haunted Mansion are one player games, but you can help him figure out the puzzles in the Haunted Mansion, and with Fable, the beautiful graphics are like watching a movie play out by your sons hand.

The best part of this adventure through gaming, other than the main purpose of getting closer with your son, is when you can play the cool old stuff we used to play, like Pacman and Gallaga. Nintendo has these for their system. Your son might say that the graphics are a bit on the lame side, but you will enjoy the play time together, no matter how short.

Don't wait for them to want to do something with you, it may not happen right away. And, offering to do something with your son out in public is not always received with great eagerness. This is at home, no one has to be informed that your son is "hanging out" with his Mom, that is, until you get good and then become a bragging right for your son! Well worth the effort at that point!

You can spend time online at Amazon, or drive down to EB Games or Gamestop for inexpensive, used games. There really are only a few select "greats" that never get old. Enjoy your new skill and the new relationship with your son!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Useful Tips To Build The Best Gaming Computer

Every gamer will want their computer to be the best gaming computer among their peers. Sometimes, with a little knowledge and tips and tricks, it is possible to build the best gaming computer and show it off to your peers. This article will show you how:
1) You can't get the best gaming computer from computer retailers
If you want to get the best gaming computer, you have to build your own. Different gamers have different requirement for their gaming machine. Unless you are willing to pay a high price, you will not be able to buy a commercial computer that fulfills all your gaming needs. The only option you have is to build your own gaming computer.
2) You don't have to be rich to build the best gaming computer
It is not necessary to burn a hole in your pocket to build the best gaming computer. With some due diligence, do some market research and compare prices around the marketplace. Merchant such as TigerDirect and NewEgg give regular discount to their products and you could save a lot of money if you catch them during their promotional period.
3) Most expensive parts do not have to be the best part
Sometime, the latest model or the most expensive model does not have to be the best part for your computer. It requires various components to work together to form the best computer system. When choosing a computer part, what matters is how well it can integrate with the rest of the components. Compatibility is more important than individual performance. What use is there if you spend lot of money on the latest quad-core processor and find that your motherboard doesn’t support it?
4) You don't need to change the whole PC to own the best gaming computer
It is a misconception that you have to change the whole gaming machine to build the best gaming computer. If you already have a good barebone system, what you need to do is to upgrade the necessary parts and your gaming computer can roar back to life instantly.
5) Brand is important
Unless you want to see your computer system malfunction every few days, it is important that you purchase the parts from branded manufacturers with strict quality control. Motherboard brand such as Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS are some quality brands that you can consider
If you follow diligently to the tips stated above. You will be on your way to build the best gaming computer. While price can be an issue, it is better not to scrimp on important computer parts such as motherboard, CPU, RAM and graphics card as it will cost you more to upgrade in the future.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Runescape: History and Development of the Game

Runescape is an extremely popular Multi Massive Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), that was created by Andrew Gower, and is currently owned and operated by Jagex, Ltd. The game offers to methods of play: free and paid. Runescape currently has over 9 millions active Free players, and more then 800,000 subscribed paying members. The game is written in JavaScript and can be played through an ordinary web browser such as Internet Explorer, or Firefox.

Runescape takes players to the medieval fantasy realm of Gielinor. This world is further split into several kingdoms: Misthalin, Asgarnia, Kandarin, the volcanic tropics of Karamja, dry desert of Kharidian Desert, and of course the Wilderness. The wilderness is the only area of the world that players may currently battle or “player-kill” each other. Currently the only mode of transportation is to walk or run. Users at higher levels can make us of Magic Teleportation to a few select towns or realms. All of the above mentioned regions each offer different enemies and monsters for the players to battle.

During a players adventures in Runescape they will encounter many quests, and are able to set their own goals and achievements. There is no “one” right way to play the game. Players are also encouraged to communicate with other players by means, of chatting, trading with each other, or simply cooperating with each other to help finish the quests.

As a Cambridge University undergraduate, Andrew Gower worked on writing the game with the help of his brother, Paul Gower. Through several trials and tribulations, Runescape was eventually released to the public in a beta version, on Jan. 4, 2001. The game was originally operated from there house in Nottingham. Eventually the brother duo tagged the company name Jagex.

About a year after the beta was released the brothers decided to open up the membership services for Runescape. This would allow players to pay a small monthly fee to access new in game skills, items, and a variety of other features not available to free members.

With the continued growth of Runescape game the challenges to also update the game's technological aspects as well. Being written in JavaScript the game was easily suspectable to “hacks.” This forced Jagex developers to completely rewrite the gaming engine. This rewrite also added a more three dimensional look and feel to the game as well. This version of the game became known as Runescape 2, but has since then completely taken over the original Runescape Classic version. Runescape 2 was initially released to all paying members around earlier December of 2003, and was release to free members on March 29, 2004. As of Jan. 12, 2006 Runescape Classic is only available for play if you are a subscribed member.

There are currently Runescape servers located in 7 different countries! With over 130 servers total, and new servers are constantly being added due the overwhelming popularity of the game. Currently each Runescape server can hold 2,000 players, this enables the servers to hold around 260,000 simultaneous players at any given time. The servers are split into Free worlds and Member worlds.