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ESMB - Unicorns of Love Cooperate with mobilcom-debitel

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The digital lifestyle provider mobilcom-debitel and the League of Legends team Unicorns of Love have partnered to work with progamers, amateur players and fans to develop an esports tariff that is perfectly tailored to the needs of the esports community. To this end, the community is closely involved: On 18 February from 8 p. m. ...

The post Unicorns of Love Cooperate with mobilcom-debitel appeared first on eSports Marketing Blog.

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    • In Visual Out, you play as a software program navigating the guts of a dying computer. But it’s nothing like the sleek neon lines of certain sci-fi interpretations of cyberspace. Instead, indie developer MadameBerry created her environment from the building blocks of obsolete tech — beige-grays and muted colors, blocks and glitches, and a low-res filter that makes it feel like you’re peering through an old CRT monitor. The platformer will launch on the indie game marketplace Itch.io and on Steam for PC on March 15. Your character in Visual Out only exists inside a computer, and after escaping quarantine, you’re tasked with heading to the center of it all to find the operating system. Log entries reveal the story, including clues about the world which exists in a kind of alternate history timeline. And along the way, the OS occasionally speaks to you, alluding to the fact that you’re executing some kind of program that’s beyond your control or ken. Much of the gameplay is platforming with the aim of exploring the environment. MadameBerry says that combat does exist, but it “takes a bit of a backseat.” Enemies can be used for other ends, perhaps like solving puzzles, rather than as things to destroy. “Most of the time when I play a Metroidvania (or any exploration-centric game), combat tends to be the most tedious part of it for me,” said MadameBerry. “I don’t want to have to deal with shooting these six random bug-looking enemies to death so the door on the left opens, for instance. It’s incredibly arbitrary and I have places to go and new things to find.” Visual Out started as a game jam project for Ludum Dare, a weekend-long event that’s happens every four months. The theme was “an entire game on one screen,” and MadameBerry decided to interpret that as a TV screen or monitor. Since the game jam, she’s expanded the gameplay and added new mechanics. For instance, it originally was more of a point-and-click exploration game, and now players can move around and jump using arrow keys. The character can also pick up six new abilities, such as tethering objects with a stream of data. “Initial inspiration came from Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery, though as I expanded the game it became less similar,” said MadameBerry in an email to GamesBeat. “You can still see it in a few places, in particular the thin, pointy main character. I also drew from the .hack// franchise, which was beloved to me as a teenager.” Quite a few games have experimented with old computers as an aesthetic. Some games mimic old messaging platforms like the AIM-inspired Emily Is Away, while others play with OSes, like Kingsway. Sophia Park’s Forgotten has you revisit a collapsing video game world inside an old computer that you abandoned long ago. MadameBerry suggests that old tech inspires a lot of developers partly because of nostalgia. “Early personal-computer and early-internet eras came with a lot of limitations, and it’s easy to look at that and think of a simpler time,” she said. “There’s also a sort of brokenness in something that’s antiquated and poorly maintained, and thematically a lot can be drawn from that.” View the full article
    • REVIEW: We have entered the age of wireless power, and PC peripheral engineers are among the first to use this technology for consumer products. Logitech’s new Powerplay Wireless Charging System is a mousepad that you plug into your computer that creates a magnetic field of electric energy that enables you to have a wireless mouse that is always charging. It is available now for $100. I’ve spent a lot of time using a Powerplay with the Logitech G903 gaming mouse, and I love how well it works. What you’ll like No more wires I have never plugged the G903 mouse from Logitech into my computer. Powerplay uses electromagnetic resonance to build a large energy field on your desktop. This field is powerful enough to charge your mouse even while you are using and moving it. This means that your mouse is getting power when you leave it on the Powerplay, but it’s also getting continuous energy while you are working and playing. At the same time, the Powerplay base that holds the mouse pad has Logitech’s Lightspeed wireless radio chips in it. This gives you a strong wireless connection right next to your mouse. I’ve had no noticeable latency, lag, or signal degradation in my time with the Powerplay and the G903, and I think that’s why. I hate the feeling of a mouse cable getting caught on something during gameplay. That sensation is like nails on chalkboard to me. I’m just glad that I can drop the cord without having to worry about any other negative side effects. No more thinking about batteries The G903 has a battery in it, but I’ve never thought about it. I really like the Razer Lancehead wireless mouse — that’s a great mouse with an awesome wireless radio, but it sucked having to plug it in every couple of days. I had a USB port on my PC reserved for its special cable, which turned it into a wired mouse. But you never have to think about or deal with any of that with Powerplay. The battery is always full and ready to go, and that’s empowering … if you can forgive the pun. What you won’t like Mouse pad isn’t quite as large as I like I like large mouse pads and small keyboards. The Powerplay mouse pad isn’t quite large enough. It is slightly larger than a standard mouse pad, but I would prefer something bigger to support lower CPI mouse settings. I’m making this work, and I’m no pro, so the size of my mouse surface isn’t going to make or break anything. But still, I hope Logitech provides a way to upgrade the size without having to buy an entirely new Powerplay. Conclusion I hate cables, so wireless charging is very exciting to me. Electromagnetic resonance is not new. It’s a concept that researchers have explored for a century. But it is only in the last couple of years that companies have started figuring out how to implement it into products like a mouse. And it’s here now, and it’s working. If you also hate cables, then this is a great mouse system for you. The Logitech G903 and Powerplay charging system is available now in a bundle for $250. Logitech provided a sample unit for the purpose of this review. View the full article
    • GUEST: Playing a game of football isn’t gambling. However, playing a game of football where the winning team gets hard cash and the losing team pays out is gambling. Equally, playing a standard game of poker is gambling, but playing a game of poker for no money — yes, some people do that — is not gambling. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that over 60 percent of British people said they believed loot boxes should be regulated as gambling. Loot boxes often involve taking a risk and paying money in the hope that you might win some rare in-game treat like a new character or weapon. Sometimes you win big, and sometimes you wind up with something no one really wants, like a new badge for your profile or a new color of hat for your character. What gambling is Where there’s a game, money, and risk, that’s gambling. As the guy who conducted the above survey, I’m amazed that this is still a debate. I’ve worked in the online gambling industry for years. I play poker, blackjack, and roulette in my spare time, and my day job is to review and compare online casinos. I love gambling, and I make no qualms that gambling is what I do and what I promote. Because what I do is classified as gambling, it’s heavily regulated. Online and offline gambling institutions are legally obliged in the UK to encourage responsible gambling by supporting campaigns like “When the Fun Stops. Stop”. It’s also against the law to market our services to children or in public, where children might see these messages. All of that is understandable and reasonable. However, what is not understandable or reasonable is how loot boxes are able to flout these same rules. Begun, the loot box wars have The concerns about loot boxes reached fever pitch last November with the controversy surrounding EA’s video game Star Wars: Battlefront II. Without any real threat of litigation, EA Games exploited the legal loophole created by loot boxes more than any mainstream video game previously had, many believed. Some of the loot box minigames even mimicked the design of slot machines. The behavior of some players — spending up to $90 of real money in one sitting in a game that costs $60 — showed how much like an online casino this game really was. It’s easy to see how this could happen. PlayStation, Xbox and Steam accounts, along with the online subscription services often attached to them, mean many video game manufacturers already have their players’ card details. So, paying for loot box after loot box is just matter of click, click, click. Reaction from politicians was fierce. Dutch and Belgian authorities called for loot boxes to be regulated as gambling, and so too did Hawaiian state Representative Chris Lee, who called it a “Star Wars-themed online casino.” Yet, the U.K. Gambling Commission weighed in with a different take. While it expressed concerns about the rise of loot boxes, its stance is that the prizes in loot boxes have no real-world value. As such, loot boxes don’t constitute as gambling because there is no monetary risk involved. The U.S. government has taken a similar stance. This is complete nonsense. The idea that the prizes in loot boxes have no real-world value imagines that the people who invest hours and hours into their video games would be unable to put a price on their progress or certain aspects of the game. They definitely could. People are willing to pay hard cash for the upgrades contained in expansion packs for Call of Duty, The Sims, or World of Warcraft precisely because people are able to put a price on in-game upgrades. Where expansion packs offer the guarantee of an upgrade, loot boxes offer risk. It’s this risk which makes buying loot boxes gambling and buying expansion packs not. Beyond the loot box An argument against closing down loot boxes is the fear of opening up Pandora’s Box. After all, buying randomized packs of collectible trading cards may also count as gambling. The principle is the same as loot boxes. Children pay money for a pack of randomly assorted cards for their collection. Some of these cards are rare and valuable, but some are not. As with loot boxes, the stance of the U.K. Gambling Commission would be that the rare cards have no real-world value. Yet, if that’s true, why are they being sold on eBay for real money? Both buying loot boxes and buying card packs are gambling because they involve the exchange of money in the hope that you may get something of real-world value in return. Though, there is no need to worry about a Pandora’s Box or a slippery slope, because not everything needs to be regulated in the exact same way. The law can and does recognize nuance. Take regulations on “gambling machines” in the U.K., for example. There are nine categories in total and they cover everything from claw machines, where children can spend pennies in exchange for the hope of winning a prize, to online poker machines, where adults can spend up to £5 at a time in the hope of winning up to £10,000. As such, regulating loot boxes shouldn’t be problematic or controversial. Indeed, it’s already happened in some extreme cases. In Japan, a particularly predatory and aggressive form of loot box known as kompu gacha was made illegal way back in 2012. In the U.K., “skin betting” is being stamped down on. This practice operates in much the same way as loot boxes, but it gives players the option to immediately trade in the prizes they may or may not win for money. The two men behind Futgalaxy.com, a skin betting website which was unofficially attached to another EA title, FIFA 18, were arrested and charged with the promotion of underage gambling. Gambling law is need of an overhaul which effectively categorizes and regulates all of these gambling-lite options. Loot boxes may not fit the legal definition of gambling, but this is precisely the problem. The overwhelmingly negative reaction to loot boxes shows how the definition of gambling many governments have is out of touch. Without classification or any real rules, video game manufacturers will continue to intentionally blur the lines and take as much money from children as they can in the process. Neil Walker is an iGaming expert and the Editor-in-Chief of Live Casino Comparer: a reviews and comparison website for online casinos and online betting games. Neil’s website features all of the latest insider news and comment from within the online gambling industry. View the full article
    • Are you a believer in Bitcoin? If you have a stake in the cryptocurrency, one way to support your investment is to run a fully-validating Bitcoin node. Doing so will help secure the Bitcoin network by verifying transactions and blocks — thus keeping miners honest — and also helping other new nodes sync to the network, making it more robust. One way you can run a Bitcoin full node is to leverage a cloud computing service such as Google Cloud. To be clear, running a Bitcoin full node is not the same as mining Bitcoin. If you are a merchant running a Bitcoin business or just accepting Bitcoin payments, you should absolutely be running your own node to validate your transactions, instead of trusting a third party. Some critics argue that running a full node in the cloud centralizes Bitcoin and limits your privacy, but it’s an easy alternative for those who don’t have an “always on” computer at home, or bandwidth to contribute to the network. This guide walks you through the steps required to get started. Sign up for a free Google Cloud trial If you haven’t already signed up, Google Cloud offers a $300 credit for 365 days: https://console.cloud.google.com/freetrial. You will need to enter your credit card information, but you should still be able to run your Bitcoin node for free for several months. Create a VM Instance Before launching a VM instance, you’ll have to create a new project in the dashboard. Next, enable the Compute Engine API in the Google API Console. Go to the VM Instances tab under Compute Engine and click Create Instance. Configuring the VM For machine type, 1 vCPU and 3.75GB of memory should be sufficient. This configuration will take about six days to sync the blockchain. If you want a faster sync, beef up your VM — just remember to downgrade after the sync. For the boot disk, I chose Ubuntu 16.04 as the OS, and changed the size to 200GB (at the time of publishing, Bitcoin’s blockchain size was about 156GB). Configuring Firewall Rules You will need to add a firewall rule for TCP ports 8332 and 8333. Port 8333 is used to communicate with other nodes via the Bitcoin protocol, and port 8332 is used for JSON-RPC communications. To do this in Google Cloud, click on your instance to see the details, and under Network Interfaces, click on default under Network. Under “Firewall rules,” click “Add firewall rule.” For targets, I applied to all instances in the network; for Source IP ranges –; for Protocols and ports – tcp:8332;tcp:8333. Install Bitcoin Core Go back to your instance and SSH into the VM, then follow installation instructions for Linux from Bitcoin Core. You will have to go with the Bitcoind option. After you run bitcoind -daemon, the daemon will start downloading the blockchain. This can take a while, but you can check progress by seeing how many blocks have been downloaded with bitcoin-cli getblockcount. To see how big the blockchain is, check https://blockchain.info/q/getblockcount. The whole syncing process took about six days for me. Test inbound connections to your Bitcoin node to make sure other nodes on the Bitcoin network can connect to it. Just enter the external IP of your VM instance, and click Check Node. If you see a green bar, you’re accepting inbound connections. Nice! You can also run bitcoin-cli getnetworkinfo in the VM to see how many total connections your node has. You can also configure your node in different ways, perhaps to save bandwidth or set up an API to talk to it. For more on running full nodes and configuring them, read Securing Your Financial Sovereignty by Jameson Lopp. View the full article
    • The founders of Sledgehammer Games — Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield — are resigning from their posts as co-presidents of the Call of Duty studio, and they are moving on to new roles within Activision. Condrey and Schofield started the studio in 2009 in San Mateo, California, and it was acquired by Activision to make Call of Duty games. They helped develop Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 alongside main developer Infinity Ward. Sledgehammer became one of three studios that rotated shifts in to produce the Call of Duty games every year. Kotaku first reported the departures. It’s a big change for Call of Duty, which had more than $15 billion in sales at the decade mark. Sales are well over that number now. In a statement, Activision said, “Following the incredible success of Call of Duty: WWII, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey have decided to transition from their duties at Sledgehammer Games to new executive duties inside Activision. We thank Glen and Michael for their tremendous body of work on Call of Duty and look forward to continuing to collaborate with them in their new roles. These changes have created an opportunity to elevate one of the key leaders at the studio, Aaron Halon, to lead Sledgehammer Games. Aaron is a founding member of Sledgehammer Games and the natural fit to lead the team. He has over 20 years of industry experience and has played an instrumental role throughout the studio’s history. We congratulate Aaron and are thrilled about the future of Sledgehammer Games, which we believe has even bigger days ahead.” Sledgehammer’s first solo game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which debuted in 2014. And then it created Call of Duty: WWII for November 2017. That game has had stellar results, with Activision saying it did $1 billion in sales within weeks of the November 3 launch. Before starting Sledgehammer, Condrey and Schofield both ran EA’s now-closed Visceral Games, where they created the original horror game Dead Space. Above: Multiplayer combat in Call of Duty: WWII. Image Credit: Sledgehammer/Activision In a statement, Schofield said, “Michael and I have been collaborating for over 12 years. In that time, we’ve made great games that fans have loved, won awards on behalf of our projects and have lived our dreams. We thank Activision for the wonderful opportunity to create and lead Sledgehammer Games. Now, it’s time to try other things. Activision has offered me the opportunity to focus my energy on something I’m very passionate about, exploring new game ideas for the company. It’s something I just couldn’t pass up. Working with such a great studio of developers at Sledgehammer Games has been an honor and the highlight of my career. The team is in great hands with Aaron, he has my full support and confidence. Thank you to everyone.” And Condrey said, “We founded Sledgehammer Games to bring together a world class development team with a singular goal of delivering excellence for fans. Over the course of nearly a decade, Glen and I proudly grew the studio and watched a new crop of leaders emerge within the team. On a personal level, I’m deeply grateful to the men and women who have poured their passion into the pursuit of excellence with us. I’m proud of what we accomplished together, it has been the greatest experience of my professional life. I am looking forward to starting a new chapter of my career with Activision. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Sledgehammer Games and look forward to seeing Aaron lead the studio to new heights.” The departures come at a big moment for the franchise, as Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is also leaving the parent company in March, after eight years overseeing Activision and studios such as Sledgehammer. Both Condrey and Schofield shared a passion for taking the franchise back to World War II, where it started, with last fall’s game. View the full article

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