Good and Bad in Gaming

Gaming is one of the biggest hobbies and even careers in the world. People play games for fun or learning while others record videos about the games. In this article, I will focus more on gaming itself and not so much the side of how to make gaming videos. Gamers come in all different ages, genders, religions, locations and shapes. The backgrounds of people who are gamers make gaming that much more fun.

Backgrounds of gamers can play a part in the type of games that people play. There are all kinds of combinations for different categories relating to the type of games and type of gamers. You really need to look at the game’s website to get all the pertinent information prior to buying.

There are many online platforms where you can buy games from such as Steam or Humble Bundle. Those sites will give you the description, videos by the company, pictures, user and non-user tags, reviews, website, company and their social account(s). Be aware the game’s website might not show you everything you need to know. As a minimum, a gaming company will show a short sales pitch description, small amount of pictures (5 at best), one or two videos by them and their social accounts. The most they will provide is an informative description, their social accounts, user reviews and videos by them.

Let’s dive right into what is perceived as negative about gaming. The majority of the negative things about games come from the real-life people on those games, the type of games and the types of games for the wrong person. A game can be poorly made but it’s not always the case where the game itself is bad. It could be where it was the wrong type of game for the wrong person. This is where the categories come in. Maybe a game has a bit of violence. That doesn’t make it bad; it just makes it the wrong type of game for a seven year old. Or maybe you bought a puzzle game for a person who loves action type games. So the action loving person won’t enjoy it, but that doesn’t make the puzzle game bad!

The types of games are endless from nudity, drugs and alcohol, horror, gambling with money and more. These different types are wrong for youth gamers as well as wrong for people who don’t like seeing such things.

Gaming has good and bad sides just like everything else. The key is how good and bad are those sides. For example, some games have a bad side with players that like to fight a lot. This is common in games. Understand for a lot of gamers this is not a big deal; however, for youth who are new to the game or even gaming in general this can be frustrating. There are times when you want to avoid the bad sides all together. There are times when the good outweighs the bad. If this happens and there are no problems with the game itself; then the bad side is just that one little fly in your room which is no big deal. Caution: If the bad outweighs the good, I would strongly recommend avoiding that game.

Another aspect that people will nag a game developer or creator about is representation. Should I say, a lack of representation which is not limited to race, body type and message in the game. If you are able to customize your character, then of course you will not have a problem with representation. There is a problem in some games where they don’t represent strong and smart females, minority females and males, big, small, tall, and short females and males. Notice how I didn’t put “males” after female for strong? That’s because males in games are ALWAYS represented as strong and smart.

In games that show a male strong and smart, he will mostly likely be white, tall, thin, movie star looking and buff. You will rarely see him be a minority, short, chubby, not buff, nerdy looking, while still being strong and smart. You see this even LESS for females. Some females in games are also white, tall, thin and strong while showing skin like no tomorrow. You only see THESE females in MMORPG games (Massively Multiplayer online Role Playing Game) though. RPG games are meant for fantasy worlds where you mostly fight people and monsters. Of course the females’ stats will be strong but they won’t look strong.

In most games, when they add a character for you to play they always add a white male first, then a white female, then a black male, and then a black female. They don’t even really add people who are mixes of races or in between. When it comes to the black characters they only add one shade of “black” or “African American” and not every black person on earth is that shade.

In games, the majority of the characters are always thin and tall. You don’t really see characters that are short and thin, tall and chubby, short and chubby, etc. There are a lot of people who aren’t thin and who aren’t tall.

Then lastly, there is the mental message that goes with the gender, race, and body type. What do I mean by the mental message? Some games send an indirect message about that character being strong and smart or something else. While for other games it can be a mental message either on purpose or not. For example, in the game you play and you see a minority female who is short, chubby, nerdy looking and her traits are to be a goof ball, naive, and dumb. It could send a mental message to you that people that look like her are just like her. They’re not smart, they aren’t thin, and are not tall. They did poorly in school, etc. etc. So you start thinking those things based on not only seeing this in that game over and over again, but when it happens in other games too.

The worst part is NONE of these things are true. Yes, some people aren’t thin, tall, and maybe not that bright; but not EVERYONE is like this! You do have short chubby minorities who are smart as all get out! You have all kinds of combinations of people who ARE smart! Of course, all these things about gender, race, body type, and messages aren’t just in gaming; they’re in movies, TV shows, ads, etc. What’s interesting is that some of the creators who make the games, movies, TV shows, ads, etc., are minorities themselves and they make up the population of the earth. (Search “world population by race 2016” and click the first three links if you don’t believe me.)

Quick disclaimer: I AM NOT BASHING ANYONE! Yes, I was shouting that. This section of the article is telling you what I know, read, hear and experience in gaming.

If you don’t believe me go look at today’s TV shows, movies, ads, and games. A show to look at for good representation is Milo Murphy’s Law. Two games to look at as a reference for good representation are OverWatch and Atlas Reactor. Now in these fields it has gotten better for representation specifically gender, race and just now starting body type (specifically in this order). Some games even add robots and creatures as playable characters to avoid having problems with representation. This removes the problem of users wanting a character to represent their actual or preferred gender, race, or body type because now there is a character most users can agree on. After all, you can’t please everyone.

Alright, now that I ranted and got the bad stuff out of the way; let’s get into the good parts of gaming! You have gamers as young as three years old and as old as 90+! No matter your age, race, gender, religion, culture, or location gaming can be good for anyone. Gaming can not only be fun, but beneficial and educational.

A benefit with gaming is it can help youth have more confidence in themselves and be more social. If they play an online multiplayer game and talk to other players around the world, this can help then get used to talking to other people besides family and they gain confidence in what they’re saying. They can go from an introvert to a social fanatic! It can happen fast or slowly. Even if it’s not a game but a place for gamers, artists, fashion designers, car enthusiast, etc. to chat; it will still help them be more social. Keep in mind though, typing to someone and then voice chatting to someone are two different experiences. Youth can be very social when typing but very shy when voice chatting.

This is how I am. Before I was shy when talking to people I didn’t know whether it was online or offline, now I’ve become more comfortable with it because I know how to handle myself and have confidence in myself. But when it comes to voice chatting online, I’m the quiet person on the chat. Counterproductive right! You might even forget I was in a call with you! Before when the people at the bank said “Hi” I wouldn’t say anything, now I actually respond and say “Hi. How are you?” After that I don’t really expect to talk with them so I’ll be quiet again lol. See what I mean? After socializing, in general, over time you get better at it and become less nervous and more confident in yourself.

Another benefit with gaming is team work. Sometimes in games the only way to win or accomplish a goal is to work with one or more players. In certain games, players are allowed a task can be accomplished with only one player, but it might be harder unless you have more players than yourself. Other times certain tasks can’t be accomplished with one player and need two or more. There are times you make a group with your friends or family to finish the goal. Other times you can make a group with people you didn’t know.

This is where it can get tricky. If it’s a game where you can make a group that’s invite only, you’d just invite your friends or family. You can strategize with them, you’d be more comfortable talking with them, and you’ll all agree to work together. If it’s a game where there is no group system but you can still work with others, aka free for fall, and you can talk with them there may still be a goal that can only be completed with multiple players. Do you have to play with other players you’ve never talked to before if your family and friends can’t join you and you really want to complete this goal?

This isn’t a bad thing though! This is where you not only become more social but you learn how to work with other players you’ve never met before. If you always play with your family and friends you both already know how to work together, how the other thinks, etc. But if it’s someone you’ve never met it can be a little difficult. Me and my brother grew up doing everything together without really having any friends, maybe colleagues and associates but not really friends. So we were very used to knowing what the other wanted or how they played etc. But when we actually got two friends, it was very difficult to agree on many things. So if you play and work with other people now it will be easier later. Me and my brother have improved our skills to work with others.

Another benefit is patience which ties in with team building and socializing. After all, in order to get better at something you not only have to keep doing it but you have to have patience while doing it. There are many times in games where you have to wait. Just like reading is in everything, you have to have patience for everything. In games you always have to wait for something. You need to have patience for finding something, something to finish cooking, something to finish dying, your friends to come back from going afk (Away From Keyboard), the next wave of monsters to come, the next level to open up, etc. etc. I had to have patience when writing this article! So gaming can help you have more patience in gaming and everyday life.

Another benefit is hand and eye coordination. When you’re gaming you have to pay attention to what’s happening on your screen while also pressing your controller or keyboard button to do more things on your screen. If you want to move your character in that game, you have to use your keyboard and mouse or a controller while still looking at your screen. It’s like learning how to type. Most of the time you’re supposed to learn how to type words and sentences while looking at your screen without looking at your keyboard. This same thing applies to gaming. You have to be able to press the needed keys in order to accomplish that thing you’re trying to do while looking at your screen. After all, if you’re pressing your keys but not looking at your screen, how are you going to know if you’re doing it right?

Now, this one is a benefit and educational benefit – memory. Games can help improve your memory. How? Let me tell you. Take what I said above about typing. The people who can look at their screens and type without looking at their keyboard have something called “muscle memory”. When they want to make a certain letter appear on screen they just have to press that key and they don’t have to look at the keyboard because they have press that key so many times they themselves and their muscles remember where that certain key is. You have muscle memory already. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your keyboard right now. You see where all the letters, numbers, and symbols are right? The letters are not in alphabetical order. So whenever you tried to type your name or something on a digital keyboard where the letter were alphabetical; Did you take you longer than usually to type that word and was it weird and confusing? It was. I’ve done it. You know why?

When you type or text to someone you know the word you want to make appear on screen and you remember where the keys are. Maybe you can’t tell them in order if someone asked you but if they asked you to type a word you’d be able to type it because you know where the keys are. For me I know how to spell certain words when I’m typing but maybe not how to spell it verbally. This is because I’m seeing the word being spelled in front of me. Technically when we type to each other we’re spelling out words and then reading them in our mind. But when you speak out loud you don’t see the words you just hear them. Sure, when you read text on screen you hear them in your mind, even right not you hear these words I’m typing, but you don’t verbally hear them and you’re seeing each letter make up that word. When someone spells something wrong you immediately notice it because it’s not spelled right and you read it. When someone speaks something you don’t read any letters, you only hear the word.

So games can help you build up muscle memory and mind memory. If you can store items in game you have to remember where you put it, or if you need a recipe to make something you might remember the recipe, or maybe you remember a detail about something important, or maybe you remember the way through a maze or the way home. Some games are even built just to help improve your memory or the only way to keep progressing is remembering certain facts. My mom can type without looking at the keyboard but struggles with trying to walk in games.

So now let’s get into the educational benefits. One educational benefit is math. Now, the game doesn’t have to have a goal to teach you math in order for it to have math. The point of going to school is to get an education! Not socialize, but you still might make friends. So this applies to all games. The game doesn’t always have to have a goal of J but it might include J. Its goal might be X but it might still have J. In some games you can build houses and use recipes to make items. How big do you want your how to be? 30 blocks X 10 blocks X 60 blocks? Did you understand what I just said? Let me say it differently. 30 blocks on the X axis (left and right on the ground), 10 blocks on the Y axis (up and down on the ground), and 60 blocks on the Z axis (up and down in the air). This is how you’d build a house, using math, in a game called Minecraft. With these coordinates it means your house will be a rectangle with a very tall roof. Let’s use Minecraft again for this next example.

If you want to make 4 swords for example, what do you need? You need wood and iron. How much wood? How much iron? We’ll start with the handle. You need two sticks to make the handle for one sword. One wood log can be turned into four wooden planks, take two and you can then make four wooden sticks. You want to make 4 sword handles. So how many wooden logs do you need? One. For the sword itself it takes two pieces of iron. You want to make 4 swords, so how much iron do you need? Eight. See? Depending on what you’re making and how many of that thing the recipe can call for lots of resources or just a few.

Another educational benefit is problem solving. There are lots of games with puzzles or none but it can still include problem solving. A good game for example is Scribblenauts Unlimited. In this game you go to make different places solving people’s problems to make them happy which gives you an item to cure someone. In order to solve their problems, you have to use adjectives and nouns to solve the problem itself or make something to solve the problem. The best part is you can solve that problem many different ways and no way is the wrong way. Some games even change based on your choices and we call these “paths”. Some paths can change, stay on the same route, or end. So you need to solve each problem the best way otherwise you may choose the wrong path or a path that ends.

Another educational benefit is reaction timing. If you don’t want to die in a certain game your reaction to something could be the deciding fact of your survival or grave. The more you test your reaction timing the faster you will get and soon you’ll be able to react to things quickly. This can come from games with combat like MMORPGs, shooters, and PvP (Player V Player).

You do a lot of these things in games without even knowing it! When you play that game you just have to do A, G, M, and S to do whatever it is you’re trying to do, without knowing in the real world those skills are technically called B, H, N, and T and used in 3, 6, and 9. See? So you just have to get used to applying those skills in the real world.

Some games are better for certain ages or interests. Some games are meant for little kids, some are for teen and young adults, and others are for adults. Then there are games just for people interested in robots, cars, fashion, princesses, ice skating, etc. So the games could have the same benefits, but those benefits might be better for certain people than others.

Some games are being used in schools or college, as tests for robots and even to teach certain topics. I recently got a game that will teach me how to read and write the Japanese characters while surviving in a game world. Some people who don’t speak English now know it enough to talk to English speakers just by playing or watching games in English! If you find someone who knows how to speak, read, or write a little Japanese; ask them if they have watched Anime. Most English speakers know some Japanese because they play or watch Anime things.

So when you see your youth or grandparents playing some games, don’t think it’s bad. It could be helping their memory, problem solving skills, math skills, or they may be learning another language or learning more about a topic.

As you read, there are good and bad sides to gaming. I recommend you just have fun and be safe while gaming. There are plenty of games out there for every type of person and more games are still coming. Games can help you improve and teach you skills you not only use in game, but you will use in school and in the real world. Games can help you get sharp and stay sharp. Have fun gaming and y’all stay safe!

Pest On The Run by Gerry Burke – Book Review

Big trouble and light hearted investigations…

A beautiful stage show star, come whore house madam, is suddenly foully murdered, despite her apparent gangster protection. A disgruntled Japanese business tycoon hires a hit man to assassinate Australia’s Prime Minister. An unbeatable game show contestant takes a recreational bungee-jump, only to have her rope break in what her friend thinks is dubious circumstances. Enter the low-life world of Paddy Pest, sometimes Private Investigator and sometimes secret agent for Australia’s spy bureau ASIO. Pest is based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, though is very frequently an international traveler. He is a master of dubious disguises, and often manages to solve the case despite his shortcomings. Here is a world where virtually everybody has a rancorous underbelly, and where murder is a common life event, but where good will eventually win out (even if by fluke). These humorous short stories with beguile you, entertain you and make you chuckle. Gerry Burke’s Pest On The Run: More Humorous Short Stories From The Paddy Pest Chronicles (iUniverse, c2012) is ideal for the lover of crime and murder mystery tales, but will also suit busy people looking for a witty amusement to fill a free hour or two.

Paddy is a frequent visitor of both upper class and lower class hotel bars, and these tales have the ethos of a pub yarn: unlikely events, boisterous pride, and male machoism lubricated to dubious heights. The style is very chatty, with Pest narrating his stories as if he is talking to an interested acquaintance. There are asides to the reader. When pertinent, Paddy occasional reminisces about his past, including his childhood. With a flair for drama he sometimes skips over the more mundane details to get to the action and juicy bits. These stories certainly deal with the darker side of life, and a few times death is narrated, but the great majority of these plots take place after the brutality is over. This book is about solving crime, not depicting crime and is overwhelmingly light hearted. Paddy is certainly a ladies man and the ticklish subject of sex is often alluded to, though not specifically depicted. In tune with the ‘pub ethos’, Paddy’s descriptions of women can be quite humorously crude, without actually being offensive, except perhaps to the conservative.

There is occasional offensive language, though not overly so. There are several laugh out loud moments and every story will leave the reader smiling. Most stories have moments of high drama, though here the unlikeliness of the action is taken tongue in cheek. Occasionally Burke includes good phrasing that lifts the text. We read for example the atmospheric and slightly philosophic sentence: “Other, when you visit a country with a different culture, it is difficult to break through the veneer of reserve that camouflages a human spirit that is primed to explode” (Burke, p. 25). More of this care in writing would make the book even better. There is occasional foul language, but this is completely in tune with the macho low-life spirit of the book and will not offend most, except perhaps the conservative. This is a book by an Australian author and there is quite a sprinkling of colloquialisms and cultural references which may be unfamiliar to international readers. Some are explained in the text, which erases any difficulty, but some are not. These are, however, in no way essential to the text and will at the most cause a moment of wondering before the reader passes on.

In his collective stories Burke presents us with an interesting portrait of “Patrick Pesticide aka Paddy Pest” (Burke, p. v). Paddy is of Irish heritage, though primarily Australian in outlook. Burke thus combines both Irish luck and silliness, with the Australian macho male. He is a gambler and bets on race horses, and has quite an eye for the women. Paddy is of dubious background. He says of himself “I would not say I was straight or bent – somewhere in the middle” (Burke, p. 4). On the down side Paddy can be quite sexist, seeing women in many ways as bodies first. Full of pride Pest sees himself as a “master of disguise” (Burke, p. 37), though others are not nearly as convinced. While Paddy is in training in New Guinea one character comments on his being “dressed in a ridiculous head-hunter’s outfit” (Burke, p. 188). By creating this mix of good and bad Burke has created an endearing, eccentric character that we can like because he gives us a slightly spicy escape from our ‘ordinary’ lives. Paddy reminds us of the rouge, tough boy at high school who everybody admired, but who never really did anything seriously wrong. He is a ‘lad’ and the reader is charmed. Paddy of course comes in a great tradition of incompetent Private Investigators / Spies. We think of Austin Powers, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, Agent Maxwell Smart and even Inspector Gadget. Burke, however, has given us his own particular spin on the pattern, and we do not feel that we are reading a complete copy.

A few other characters pop up more than once. There is Stormy Weathers, the totally competent ASIO agent, who has a cover job as barmaid at Sam’s Fly by Night Club. There is Justin O’Keefe, the slacker police Inspector with an attitude. Mostly these secondary characters are at a minimum. Burke does, though, give them personality traits that flesh them out a bit. Stormy, for example, is a jealous lover. Occasionally Burke gives us a potted history of a character, giving us a summary of their eccentricities and adventures. Murder victim Frankie Hogan, for example, is a memorable woman with true spirit. Burke describes her in three pages giving the story depth and poignancy. Burke is quite skilled at this kind of detail and his writing would benefit by including more of it.

As we have noted Pest himself can be quite sexist. At one point for example he outrageously poses the equation that large breasts equals many friends (Burke, p. 200). Much of the humor, however, arises from the fact that many women are in actuality much more competent than him. As Pest himself says: “There had been two attempts on my life and, once more, I had been saved by a woman” (Burke, p. 77). These stories are indeed filled with dynamic, no-nonsense women you would think twice about crossing. There is a dangerous female assassin, successful business women, and several able female secret agents. Frankie Hogan takes no sexual nonsense from men, has “personality” (Burke, p. 3), and is a success in all her career ventures. Not to err too much on one side Burke has included one nasty, negatively-portrayed, female villain (Burke, p. 118). On the whole this book will pass Feminist standards, though some may not take the humor.

Shifting to male roles and Gender Studies it should be noted that these stories are in some ways very much in the ethos of the 1950’s though they are set in contemporary times. This is the world of the tough guy, the gangster, the merry bachelor. Men should not really have soft feelings. Hyman Finkelstein, a low-life criminal, doesn’t even like people looking at him (Burke, p. 151) let alone be able to have a mature relationship. Fear is a sign that a guy must be a “nancy boy” (Burke, p. 230). Paddy, on the other hand, is able to hug an old, male friend (Burke, p. 17). Women are very much a sexual adjunct to the male ego. Paddy does have a kind of steady relationship with Stormy, but even that is very much a breakable, uncommitted relationship. This whole ‘retro’ male image is, however, held up to debunking humor. This male world is on shaky ground. The great male image repeatedly is out shone by women and needs females to save it.

As with the issue of women and Feminism, Paddy Pest, and those he meets, can be quite homophobic. Paddy, for example, refers to gays by a disparaging name (Burke, p. 244), as does Hyman Finkelstein (Burke, p, 151). Finkelstein is particularly negative about gays. The actual representations of LGBTIQ people, however, on the whole are not at negative about that aspect of their lives. LGBTIQ people are primarily represented by two stories. First there is The Candidate which spotlights Lindsay Dove and his life-partner Jay Sniggle. Lindsay is a U.S. presidential candidate and Jay is an IT consultant. Then there is Who Was That Masked Man? highlighting the ‘butch-fem’ caterer Cate Edwards. Cate is a villain, but the story is not negative about here being a lesbian. This second story indeed has Ellen DeGeneres making fun of Paddy’s cloddish ignorance of the LGBTIQ community. Ellen is mentioned (as an LGBTIQ person) in another story (Burke, p. 84), as is k.d. Lang. Gay Mardi Grass are mentioned twice. A number of times women are suspected to be lesbian (not in a negative way) and a ‘drag-queen’ secret agent is depicted canoodling with an unwitting male political (Burke, p. 138-139). On another occasion Paddy comes upon a not so pretty ‘drag-queen’ (Burke, p. 21), but this is the only negative description, and of course not all transvestites are necessarily beautiful. Once again the issue should not offend interested parties as long as the humor is taken into account.

The often ignored Indigenous and Racial Minorities also feature. Lindsay Dove is “black” (Burke, p. 79) as well as being gay. In A Long Time Gone Australia’s Jewish minority is highlighted in the character of Hyman Finkelstein. Hymie is a gangster villain, but Burke goes out of his way to point out that he is not being anti-Jewish (Burke, p. 158-159). Louey is a successful “Polynesian” bar owner on Norfolk Island (Burke, p. 121). In The Goodbye Wave, though, the head of Fiji is referred to as a “baboon” (Burke, p. 129). This is a rather racist description, even for humorous purposes. Overall this is a very multicultural book, with Chinese, Japanese, Pilipino, Hong Kong, Russian, Balkan and Greeks mentioned with stories being set in many different countries. We get a true sense of the world, rather than a monosyllabic, white Anglo-Saxon perspective.

The aged feature in a very minor way in these tales. There is one uncomplimentary portrayal (Burke, p. 176) and one positive description of an older (though not necessarily aged) woman (Burke, p. 195). Burke could lift his game a little here, as the world is not full of only those under 55 years, even though some agencies such as advertising would have us believe this.

From the Capitalism verses Socialism perspective wealth in these stories is certainly suspect. These tales show only a very slim difference between corrupt businessmen and rich gangsters. Politicians and even judges don’t exactly receive compliments. The lower classes are not lauded, but they are not seriously criticized. The Little people’ more often than not help Paddy. The middle class is to a degree absent, but this is not so surprising as they are not likely to have the funds to hire a Private Investigator and are too ‘clean’ to have information on gangsters.

From the broader outlook of society in general, the Catholic Church is foot-noted as being anti-gay (Burke, p. 82 & 154) and rather a kill-joy for the more spirited members of the world (Burke, 149). The Police are depicted as being often incompetent and corrupt. These two institutions of society, perhaps in tune with Socialism, could be improved.

Before departing from these various social issues it should be stressed that these stories rely very much on outrageous statements and circumstances for humor. The book is full of politically incorrect text, but we are meant to take everything tongue in cheek. If we read these tales too critically we will be deeply offended, but Burke wants us, on the one hand to ‘lighten up’, and on the other hand to look a bit deeper. If this is kept in mind the book can very much be enjoyed.

From a Postmodern perspective it can be noted that there are no hard edge binary oppositions in Pest On The Run. There are definite ‘bad’ guys, but good and bad blur. As has been noted, Paddy himself is shady. We like him precisely because he is a ‘wag’. In Murder Before Lunch Pest even works for a crime boss. This blurring of categories makes for a more realistic and interesting read. It adds ‘spice’ and avoids boring oversimplification.

Many stories have a mythological quality, and indeed these elements can be what attract us most to an author’s work. For Paddy Pest we need only to turn to the Joker Card in the modern playing card pack. As court jester, the Joker is dressed in a funny costume, and Pest similarly assumes dubious disguises. The Joker‘s cap has pretentious baubles and he holds a wand topped with a manikin of himself. Pest is none to retiring in describing his own talents as a spy and lover. Yet the Joker possesses almost magical powers that no other card has, and in its presence many a losing hand can be transformed into a winning hand. Pest does solve the case, even if by sheer luck. Of course, most of all, the Joker tells silly stories and jokes, and that is the overwhelming ethos of Burke’s book.

Gerry Burke has written a very entertaining book for the not so serious at heart. He manages to take a look at a wide variety of social issues, such as Feminism, while at the same time making us laugh. The dark world of crime is depicted, occasionally with the brutality described, but good always wins out and we are mostly entertained by a light hand. Most stories are around 20 pages long, and are ideal reading if you are short of time. Pest On The Run was a pleasure to read and I am happy to rate it as 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Downloading Genuine Games From Genuine Sites

Gaming has been for a long time a very addictive and interesting way in which you can have fun and relax. It is an important part of all cultures and most countries enjoy their own set of games. Gaming enhances the physical and mental capabilities since they challenge us in many ways. You need to use your brain and imagination when you are making moves.

Games also help us to a great extent when it comes to social bonding. Games have evolved a lot as time passes by. Gaming started with the very basic dice games and today, there are the very popular video games that almost everyone, including children, is now accustomed to. There are all sorts of games including arcade games, song games, and action games among other categories. You can get such games in app stores or in CDs. They can also be downloaded effectively from authorized sites.

Choosing a good site

There are many factors that need to be considered when you are looking for a site where you can download the most popular games or even upgrade the ones that you already have. There are many sites that you can choose from. Some of the things you can do to ensure that you end up using the best include:

Reviews

You look at online reviews from people who have already used the site successfully. Fellow game enthusiasts will definitely know about the best sites that have the best games selection. Look for forums and dependable reviews. Usually, the best sites have great platforms that are easy to use and they are genuine.

Variety

A good site should have a wide selection of games. Regardless of the mode, you love the most, there should be other options available. There should be multiplayer and single-player modes. There should also be different kinds of game plays such as arcade and so on. This is the only way you will be able to access something different when you really want to. When you have the option of participating in multiplayer games, you can break the monotony and engage with the online community.

Video streaming

A site that allows you to stream your games in the form of videos, episodes, tutorials, and demos gives you an advantage. The different categories that you can use include Sci-fi, action, horror, drama, comedy, and anime.

Social networking

When you are able to connect with other players socially, you get the chance to meet so many new people from all over the world. You can then form your own clans and start chatting as you continue with the game. This is always a great addition.

Availability

A good site should be in a position to offer the game modes that can suit different operating systems such as Mac, Linux, and Windows. This allows the players the chance to play their game regardless of the time or place.

Creation and sharing

A good site should allow you to create your games. It should also allow you to do some game modeling as well as animation, photo editing, sound production, game development and other fun activities. It should also allow you to offer gives and trade some items with others as well.

Doraemon Games

Doraemon is a manga series that was created by Hiroshi Fujimoto. This later became an anime series in Japan. The series is based on a robotic cat named Doraemon who travels back in time from the 22nd century. He goes back to help Nobita Nobi, a school boy. The series has now evolved in to online gaming where you can play Doraemon Games on your computer.

The series initially appeared back in December 1969, however Doraemon Magna was brought to the English language in the 1990s. It was never really introduced due to the content nature, that was until its private screening in 2008. These episodes are mostly based on comedies with moral lessons including values, integrity, courage family and respect.

The robotic cat was sent back in time to improve the life of Nobita, who has experienced misery and misfortune throughout his life. In order to change history, Nobi’s family sent back a robot called Doraemon. The stories in this series are focused on everyday struggles with Doraemon trying to provide assistance to the young school boy and help him get by his young struggles.

The main characters are Nobita, Shizuka Minamoto who is Nobita’s girlfriend, Nobita’s friends Gian, a known bully, and Suneo, a spoiled wealthy kid, Nobita’s parents, his school teacher and of course the robot Doraemon.

This manga anime series has grown so much in popularity these days, not only in Japan but in North America. In Japan the character can be seen to be just as popular as Mickey Mouse is in North America and he is widely recognized by anyone in Japan. The stories that are carried out are an excellent look at a child’s eye view of Japanese home life that took place back in the 70s. The positive message and adventure in the story line alone is a great reason to have children watch it.

Cooking Master Boy

I remember back then watching this Japanese anime that was shown in a cable channel. It was about this simple boy who has the talent of cooking because of his “golden hand.” This golden hand channels energy and power that it brings out the best flavors of a certain viand or a certain food. He then proceeded to a quest all over his country so that he could improve his cooking skills and even joined cooking competitions which pitted him against the best cooking masters of his country. It was fun to watch because these cooking tournaments are designed like a martial arts tournament. The conversation would run something like what you hear in an old Asian kung fu movie. You know those films that bred Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan back in the 70s and 80s? You do not know how they sound like? Well, let me give you a sample: “You do not mess with me boy. I know the secret Buddha stirring spoon technique!” or “You want to test my cooking skills? You will regret ever knowing the Carrot clan!” or “I am the feared pork dimsum master of the dreaded hog region!” Try this one: “Feel the wrath of my dragon scaled skillet!”

The lines are horrible and cheesy, right? But nobody expects to get some intellectual discourses with watching cartoons. You cannot find issues concerning global warming and global hunger and worldwide recession while watching it. Cooking Master Boy is an anime that is all fun with a lot of heart. The good thing about this, is that you will get some basic lessons about loyalty, friendship, and courage. From the title, we can gleam that the boy was made a cooking master. It is heart warming to see that hard work and determination is rewarded after all and that good always triumphs over evil.

Now that I have babbled on and on about Cooking Master Boy, I began to wonder why my train of thought jumped to my childhood anime anyway. Let me just back track a little. I feel like I reallyss getting old. I remember cooking master boy because I was thinking about cooking. I was thinking about cooking because this morning I was playing cooking games! Ah, yes, cooking games. Now I am a total incompetent in the kitchen. My family knows I am there because the place would look like Chernobyl. Ironically, I love to cook but cooking doesn’t agree with me, so I have to find a way of doing that without burning the house down and that is where cooking games come in. Cooking games simulate some basic cooking method in one website. I learned to bake blueberry muffins and some cakes using these games. A virtual kitchen heaven is this site. I am glad to have discovered cooking games for I have saved a lot of furniture back home from future untold catastrophes that my cooking experiments will lead me.

Cyborg Soldier Skill Stop Slot Machine Review

Cyborg Soldier, or Cyborg 009, is a classic comic book and animated series from Japan. In fact, there were actually three animated versions of this series – one in the late 1960s, one in the late 1970s, and one from the early 2000s. Three full length movies were also made for this great Japanese classic. Some of us will remember watching imported copies of the early animated series, or the more recent one, and now you can feel like you’re right in the action with the Cyborg Soldier Skill Stop Slot Machine.

These specially refurbished machines, imported from Japan, are a lot of fun, and require no conversion. It’s all been done for you. These Best Slot Machines are ready to use American power outlets and voltage, and require no installation. Despite the fact that they’ve been refurbished, there’s no need to worry about the fun being interrupted, since each machine comes with a top to bottom warranty on everything but the light bulbs.

A key is included to give you complete access to this Antique Slot Machines, and you can change the odds using the key or a reset switch. Also included with the Cyborg Soldier skill stop slot machine is a basic operating manual to help you solve problems using it. If that’s not enough, unlimited toll free telephone support is also available, and you can email if you have questions.

Custom labels are installed, allowing you to locate the volume, power, and reset controls without reference to the manual. That’s because these were originally labeled in Japanese, and would be harder to find unless you read the language. You can play anywhere from one to three coins at a time, but be aware that this machine accepts primarily Slot Machine Tokens, not real money. It can’t be readily refurbished to accept spendable coins.

You’ll have full, casino grade light and sound to let you feel like you’re really in the action, and animated LCD display screens to entertain you for hours. These machines have come to America straight from Japanese casinos, and have been reconditioned to be just like new. All defects have been sanded away and filled, and any flaws in the paint have been seamlessly repaired. Then, an electrical overhaul is performed, using a checkpoint system that ensures perfection and keeps the user safe and the machine fully functional.

Once it’s certain that all electronics are in perfect working order, the cleaning process starts on this classic Japanese machine. All interior components are carefully cleaned and lubricated to make certain they’re working properly. The goal is a machine in original factory condition. High quality, effective cleaning solutions that work without damaging the finish are used on the exterior, and detailing wax restores the original factory shine.

Why is this Cyborg Soldier Slot Machine called a Skill Stop Machine? That because you stop the spinning reels using buttons on the machine. There are no pull down arms on this type of Casino Slot Machine. This allows you to add a little more to the typical slot machine experience. You can also play unlimited Free Slot Machines Games since you aren’t playing with real money.

The Cyborg Soldier skill stop slot machine is a type referred to as a Pachislo Slot Machine. These are authentic Japanese gaming machines used in international casinos. Japanese casinos can use these machines for no more than two years before replacing them, and they may wait much less time. That’s how it’s possible to get your hands one one of these excellent, classic anime-themed slot machines. If you’d like to experience the feel of a real casino at home, consider the Cyborg Soldier skill stop slot machine.

Step Into The Magic World Of Anime Fighting Games

Anime fighting games have become very popular through the years, and what once was a small genre with only few fans turned into one of the most popular genres in the gaming field.

Anime fighting games, as you have probably realized, are fighting games with anime graphics that are mostly based on Japanese animations and characters. They are being played by millions of people around the world and are divided by subgenres: arcade games, casual games, role-playing games (also known as RPG) and strategy games.

Here are some of the best anime fighting games that will take you into a magical fantastic world:

Anime Arena – This game is the ultimate role playing game that combines action and fighting in it. It has great graphics and a colorful setting and there are hundreds of anime characters that you can play as and fight against. The battles in the game are fierce and engaging – you will have lots of awesome skills to use when fighting and the fighting is fast and full of action. Anime Arena is definitely a fun and addictive game, and you will soon find yourself playing it for hours.

The King of Fighters – In this game you will have six different game modes that will provide you with long hours of fun and entertainment. You can play alone in a single-battle mode for one on one fights, you can play on team-battle mode for a classic three on three game-play, you can play on endless mode to defeat as many rivals as possible with one character and more. With the different modes of the game you can be sure to have a long-lasting experience and enjoyment, so if you're looking for anime fighting games the King of Fighters is the game for you.

Ninja Legend: Dragon Titans – In Ninja Legend you will follow the way of the ninja and fight monsters in harsh battles. The game combines role-playing, strategy and card collecting and it will require your strategic skills and tactics. You will collect, upgrade and evolve your cards as you fight for victory. You will mix and match symbols on the coin-op machine to form combo attacks, deal massive damage to your rivals and use special skills to win the battles. This game is the ultimate game for those who are looking for anime fighting games, and it will not disappoint you.

Anime fighting games are a great way to pass time and to discover new magical worlds, so just download them and give them a try!

Gods of Gambling

People like to gamble, they place bets to have fun or to earn extra cash. When they feel lucky or when someone is watching over them, they simply want to take a chance, to prove that fortune smiles on them, and betting / gambling is no exception.

Praying to God for a team to win a specific game in order for you to win a bet is more or less selfish when there are still so many bad things in the world. But what about those ancient gods of the past, people believed in them and prayed to them for fortune. The different mythologies of the world reveal powerful deities that rule over the world of gambling. Here are some of the gods that can influence the outcome of a football match in our favor:

Hermes is the Greek god of gambling, profit, hazard, and gaming. Hermes was the winged messenger of the gods. He was the god of flocks, road, trading, commerce, thieves. He is also known as Mercury in Roman Mythology. His father is Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods.

Thoth is the Egyptian god of gambling. He had the same attributes like the Greek god, Hermes. He is the creator of magic, the inventor of writing, the messenger of the gods and the divine record-keeper and mediator. According to myth, he earned 5 extra days by gambling with the moon (then known as Iabet) in a game of dice to help the sky goddess Nut to have her children.

Macuilxochitl, (five flowers, also called Xochipilli) is the Aztec god of gambling, music, dancing. He was the god of games, from board games (Patolli) to the Aztec version of football (Ullamaliztli). Generally represented as a god of fun and dancing, Xochipilli could also send venereal disease to anyone who violates abstentions by engaging in sexual intercourse.

Li-Nezha is the Chinese god of gambling. He is probably the only one of the Chinese Gods that can reveal the winning numbers in lottery. Li-Nezha is perhaps more well-known as Nataku or Nata from Japanese anime a half-mortal war god. In ancient times mortals worship him as a God of Lotteries and Gambling.

Lakshmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune. Lakshmi is the consort of the god Vishnu. Hindus believe that anybody who worships Lakshmi sincerely, and not in greed, will be blessed with fortune and success. After worshipping Lakshmi on Diwali, many Hindus gamble and spend profusely, believing that Lakshmi has bestowed good fortune upon them.

Nohoilpi – The gambling god of the Navajo. Also called “He Who Wins Men”. He is a renegade son of the sun god Tsohanoai. He came down to Earth and taught his gambling games to the various tribes but soon abused his power by overcoming them at all his games of chance and collecting his winnings by enslaving people to build a city to mark his glory. He was defeated at gambling by a Navajo man send by the other gods and was thrown into the sky.

Casino Online Betting – Why to Select Playing Online

If you look ten years back from now, you would probably recognize how difficult it was to manage some time from your busy schedule to get into a casino in order to enjoy your games. Time has changed and now you can essentially enjoy the same excitement and thrill of casinos right from your home computer. Casino online betting has come as a great boom eliminating the hassles and making it easier for people to reach out their preferred casino playoffs from anywhere and everywhere.Leaving behind the requirement of traveling all the way to a faraway casino, you can now enjoy online betting at your computer with internet connection. Casino betting stands legal for all those who have attained the age of 21. So if you’re 21 and looking to try your hands in gambling, you can join in the same excitement available right in your own room. A variety of casino gambling sites are lined in the internet aiming to bring you the best always.In fact, if you happen to play in any online casino site from before, you will probably know what are the main advantages associated with online casino betting. The features that an online casino offers its players are usually more than what are available in any land based casinos. Today, the online casinos have emerged as the most choice able medium emerging as the largest revenue maker of the gambling industry each year.The reasons that makes online casino gambling the most popular medium of playing selected casino games include:1.Offering more choices of online betting sites: It is the online casinos that make casino gaming much simpler as possible in terms of selection of particular sites to play. Currently, the internet includes a large number of casino sites than the total number of brick and mortar casinos based worldwide. Thus, you need not have to worry about the distance of finding a good casino.Finding a good site is just a few clicks away. Additionally, you can always change your site at your own ease. However, one vital thing to consider is to avoid any kind of rogue casino sites. Make your casino online betting an enjoyable one ensuring the sites that are recognized and do not cheat the player’s money.2.Convenient and easy withdrawal and deposit alternatives: The online sites offer a range of different banking options to help players in making their withdrawals and deposit. Most online betting sites accept major credit cards like Master and Visa for both withdrawal and deposit purpose. The use of wire transfer of money from the casino account to your banking account is safe and convenient ensuring a secure play each time. Additionally, you can also select to use other e-wallet options like that of Neteller, Entropay, Click2 pay, Money bookers, My Citadel to transfer the money to or from your own casino account.3.Promotions and Bonuses to be won online: The bonuses and promotions also form to be an attractive option for casino online betting. You will never find these options in any brick and mortar casino. It is the online casino that offers you a range of welcome or sign up bonuses, cash back bonuses, no deposit or deposit matching bonuses and more. With these freebies, you will be able to increase your bankroll at ease. In addition, you can also make use of this kind of free money to increase your cash using them in your further bets.4.Distance does not matter in the present date: With the inclusion of the internet casinos, there is no need to travel to a faraway casino. The online sites can be conveniently reached by clicking your mouse. Thus the online casino eliminates this distance factor. It enables people who reside in a far away place to sit and enjoy their favorite games online while playing from the comforts of their home or office.5.Play anytime from anywhere: Continuing with the fourth point, the casino online betting includes one basic advantage that is it makes gambling more easier including the opportunity of playing from anywhere and at anytime. Wherever you may be, you can just connect your pc online and get started with your favorite games.

Tips on How to Win in Video Slot Machines – Play Casino Slot Machines and Win

If you want to learn winning video slot machine tips, then read this. You will learn tips on how to play casino slot machines and win huge amount of money.There are no definite ways on how to ensure winning in video slots. Many individuals would want to play slot games because of the fun and excitement it brings to them. Video slots are also good when you want to earn profits while playing and win loads of cash. We all want to win. That is the main goal of playing aside from getting real form of entertainment.Although there are no exact strategies that will surely nail you the win in playing slots, here are some tips and strategies that will guide you in increasing your chances of winning. When you use this tips every time you play, you will be able to gain more profits in the long run.Before you play, it is important that you know the game. You can read some information about slot games and know how things work. Many people say that gambling is based on pure luck. This might be true. However, we do not want to rely too much on luck. Sometimes, our knowledge about the game is what will bring us luck and would lead us to win more money and increase your profits and your bankroll. That is why it is good to have ample knowledge and information about the game.When you play games on video slot machines in casinos, most of the employees there would offer you some drinks. It would be nice to have a glass of good drinks while playing. It can surely add up to the fun that you want to experience. But, you should know that the main purpose why most casinos would offer you drinks is to distract you most of the time during the game. This is how casinos make their profits. So that you can have full concentration while playing, never take a drink. It is nice to play with a clear mindset so that you can focus on making profits.You should know when to stop playing especially when you have already won a lot games. It is even best to stop playing when you have already won a tremendous amount of money in only one game. When this have happened already, stop playing for the day and go back some other time. Always remember that your aim is to retain your profits. Playing continuously might lead to a great loss in the long run.There are many video slots available inside the casinos. They differ mostly in jackpot prizes, coin denominations, payouts, and number of pay lines. If you have a good budget for the game, it is highly recommended that you play in machines which have at least 9 pay lines or more. It is pointless to play in machines having less that 9 pay lines because this will not let your earn more profits. Casino gambling is really fun and one way to really enjoy your experience is to play video slot machines and win.

Online Gambling Casinos – Wear Your Thinking Cap and Prosper

I receive many emails each week from people who deposited money at an online casino, only to walk away empty handed merely minutes later. Most of them are quite upset and
understandably so. When you have lost money you want to blame someone. It’s part of the human psyche and
a natural reaction.When I ask people if they were playing according to a strategy the answer is normally something like “Huh? What’s that?”. Enough said. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting we all go out and obtain science degrees and start crunching numbers in every playing session. I am however suggesting that you arm yourself with a few important tools before you deposit your hard earned money at an online casino.
These basic tools are not rocket science, but they require you to do some work
before you spin the reels or lay a chip.Money ManagementThis is by far one of the most important aspects of gambling at online casino but astonishingly one of the least discussed subjects.
A sound money management strategy consists of three important elements: budget
management, bankroll management and betting limits.Budget management is simple enough. Set your monthly budget and stick to it. Only
gamble with more if you are playing
with winnings. In fact, I have a rule for myself where I don’t even do this. I cash my winnings in immediately. There’s an old belief in gambling that money you have won will go back faster to the casino than your own and I
buy that.A bankroll management strategy simply relates to how you are
going to spread your budget across several playing sessions and across a variety
of games. This will maximize your playing experience. It is no use dumping your
entire session bankroll into an expensive slot machine if you are looking to get
entertained for a couple of hours. Finally, manage your betting limits. Decide
how high you are prepared to go and stick to it. Too many people get an
adrenaline rush and cross their limits. Although you may win every now and then
you’ll spend far more time in front of the TV over time.Game StrategyNo
matter which online casino game you prefer, following a basic strategy is a
hundred times better than having no strategy at all. Online casino gambling
strategies range from very simple to highly sophisticated. Take blackjack for
example. Basic strategy involves a simple strategy card that will guide your
decision to hit, fold, or stand on a given hand. More sophisticated strategies involve things like card counting. As far as slots go, a simple spin and hope
strategy won’t get you far. There are simple strategies like machine selection
to more expansive progressive loss betting systems. The net is littered with
gaming strategies so you won’t have to search for too long.Some basic but careful planning could make your experience a lot more worthwhile!