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Console Gaming vs. Computer Gaming

It’s an age-old question that will only get more and more intense in the coming year as the Xbox 360 is in full swing and the PS3 and Revolution release. Which is better? What system is right for me? Well, I would suggest both, but if you have to choose one or the other then you have to consider a few things.

Price is definitely a big issue. I mean, when’s the last time you didn’t even bat an eye when are buying something 500 bucks or more? The bottom line: Computer gaming is more expensive. Why? Because computers aren’t made just for games. They are calculators, word processors, Internet navigators, music players, movie watchers, and photo editors. They are much more than a gaming machine. Consoles, on the other hand, generally aren’t. It’s only recently that consoles have gone online starting with the Dreamcast and I haven’t seen anyone printing off spreadsheets or book reports from one yet. Consoles are purely for gaming and run between 100-500 bucks. PCs on the other hand are much more than a gaming machine and run between 1,500-3,000 dollars and need to be upgraded every now and again to play the newest and greatest games.

Genre is an issue. If you are a Real Time Strategy fan and only have a console, I mourn for you. And if you are a platformer fan, then computer gaming will be a sad mistake. Genre makes a big deal because of the controller vs. keyboard/mouse issue. Different games play much better on the different configurations. Computer gaming is best for Real Time Strategy (RTS) games, First Person Shooters (FPS), Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORG), Flight Simulation games, and Point and Click Adventure games. The consoles on the other hand are better for Fighting games, Action/Adventure games, Platformers, Role Playing Games (RPG), and Sports games.

Tech savvy can possibly be an issue. Computers are a little more unstable than consoles. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a PlayStation lock up or get a blue screen of death? Never, right? The same thing comes in here. Some computer games might be a little stubborn to set up the way your computer likes it or your computer might not meet the system requirements. Consoles, on the other hand, don’t have that problem. The people designing the games have to fit the requirements of the console so that you don’t have a problem. If you have a basic knowledge of computers, you’ll be fine. If you don’t, then a console might be better for you.

So as I’ve explained, if you want more than a gaming system for school and work or you just like gaming genres like RTS and MMORG games, I would go with a PC. If you love platformers, Action/Adventure, or Sports games or your wallet is a tad on the empty side, I’d go with a console. It won’t be able to surf the Internet or help you with anything else, but it’ll play some great games.

If you want a console by the end of this article, then you have 3 options at the moment. You could buy a Gamecube if you like innovation, buy a Xbox if you like the best graphics and FPS games, or buy a PS2 if you want a huge library of games or love fighting games, Action/Adventure games, platformers, and RPG games. You also have another option. You could wait until the Xbox 360 comes out this month and get that or wait until the Nintendo Revolution and PS3 come out next year.

If you want advise on gaming computers and computer gaming, then is a great resource for all your questions and even has a tutorial on building your own computer.

Harmful Effects Of TV and Computer Games On Your Kids

Over the years, many have debated about the effects of letting your kids watch TV or play computer games for prolonged hours. Some will argue that many TV programs or computer games today are quite educational and are indeed, very helpful for the young minds. Surfing through television channels, you can immediately find programs that are intended to impart learning such as Science or History Channels. There are also educational computer games such as Scrabble, Chess, word related games, analytical games, puzzles, and many more. However, experts will tell you that watching TV and allowing your child to play computer games have detrimental effects on the brains of young children.

You might say that watching TV or playing video games is alright as long as a guardian is around to check on the kind of games that kids play or the TV shows that they watch. Needless to say, exposing young kids to video games and TV shows that depict sex and violence can have a big effect on their development. Children may adapt what they watch on TV or see in video games and may even normalize harmful behavior if that is what they regularly see on their games and TV shows. For instance, the popular Tom and Jerry cartoons can be quite funny, however, experts and parents alike have been alarmed at the violence shown by the two characters. Tom hits Jerry, Jerry strikes back and people that watch this show can surely laugh about their attempts to murder each other. Many video games show harmful behavior too such as sword fighting, armed combat, and shooting. Children that watch TV shows or play video games like these, may think that hitting others is normal and is, in fact, okay because people find it funny or entertaining to watch. So then, just don’t let your kids watch violent programs or play violent games right?

Child psychologists can tell you that it is not just actually the kind of shows or video games that you expose your kids to that affect their brains negatively. It is the fact that they watch TV or play video games at all. Letting young children as young as 2 years old to middle school ages watch TV or video games can hinder their brain development. By the young age of 1 to 2 years old, brain training happens and young minds need to take in a lot of things around them. This time of a child’s life is crucial as this is the point when skills, preferences, personality, reasoning, and creativity take shape. This is the time when their young minds progress and playing video games or watching TV can negatively affect how their brains will grow. When a child is at this age, he or she should be engaged in various activities such as exploring, reading, running around, interacting with people, fantasy play, creating and building, and so on.

Consider the following studies made on the effects of TV and video games to children:

• At this young age, reading will open the imagination and will allow the brain to visualize situations and objects. Permitting the child to watch TV for more than 2 hours a day or more can alter and even hinder the brain’s advancement because there is no longer left for imagination when all is made available visually in the TV.
• Kids should engage in all sorts of physical activities such as running, skipping, swimming, riding a bike, etc. Studies have shown that children that watch more than 2 hours of TV a day or those that play PC games all the time have higher chances of becoming obese. Children that enjoy outdoor activities become physically fit and are generally healthier.
• Children that spend most of their time outside to play develop better social skills that they can use as they grow up. Kids that are used to playing PC games or watching TV starting from a young age tend to keep to themselves and become less sociable.
• PC games are fun and very entertaining. However, children can become addicted to playing PC games. This addiction will prohibit them from enjoying other activities and this will result to a limit in their experiences as children
• When you allow young kids to play PC games at a very young age, your child may start to develop wrist injuries such the carpal tunnel syndrome. Your child can suffer from this painful injury until he or she grows older.
• Vision problems are common for kids that learn to play PC games early or watch TV for hours daily.
• Children that did not grow up on watching TV or playing PC games had more concentration, were less hyperactive, and were more independent. They can sit still and read in a corner without the need for constant attention from their parents.

In conclusion, The American Academy of pediatrics recommend that children under two should have no TV hours, and those over that age should have limited TV viewing time, preferably 1 to 2 hours a day only, totaling to a maximum of only 10 hours in a week.

The Backgammon Board Game And Its Long Journey Through Time

If we could travel back in history through our time machine, to view the earliest origins of the backgammon board game some five thousand years ago, we might well find ourselves on the edge of a mud-brick village by the might river Euphrates. Under the shade of a palm tree, two men sit around a roughly carved primitive backgammon board. They discuss in animated terms the first ever backgammon instructions and perhaps express some difference of opinion about how the backgammon setup. If we stay a little longer to observe their play, we would probably recognize some of their backgammon strategy, and perhaps even acquire some valuable tips for improving our own play. Although the stone counters and the bone dice would be strikingly different from the counters and dice we commonly use, and their backgammon board’s divisions would certainly not show the same precision with which our contemporary boards are divided into their twenty four points, it would be amazing how much of the game would be recognizable.

Now what if we could reverse the direction of travel of our time machine, and take these ancient players away from their riverside game and bring them into the twenty first century. While they would certainly be astonished by modern technology, they might be even more astounded to see how their favorite pastime survived all the travails of some five millenniums. The backgammon boards on sale in the games retailers, would no doubt remind them of the game they once played, and even today’s common backgammon set up would have a familiar look to it.

The big question of course, is how would they react to the concept of free backgammon games, with a backgammon download available from a range of Internet backgammon sites? It seems reasonable to speculate that after the initial shock with the amazing technology that makes Internet backgammon possible, they would start to be impressed by how these downloads bring to the screen backgammon sets displayed in 3-D and a variety of colors, presenting an excellent reproduction of the manufactured backgammon sets. With a little further acquaintance with online backgammon, they would doubtless start to appreciate the pleasures of playing backgammon against a sophisticated computer, not to mention the enjoyment to be had from being able to play against opponents from all around the world. If, as seems likely, the first backgammon players were also backgammon gaming enthusiasts, they would be astounded by the amounts skilled players can win on the Internet.

True, it is possible that our imaginary time travelers could find themselves missing the simplicity of the backgammon games that they enjoyed back in their village, when contrasted with the speed and sound of Internet backgammon. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine they would not derive satisfaction from the way their favorite village pastime has become a game enjoyed by millions of people, both online and offline. It would be hard to find a comparable ancient game to match backgammon’s long life and popularity.