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Video Game Rentals - The Future of Video Game Renting

Video game rentals have always been a great way for gamers to enjoy a variety of games without forking out major cash to do so. For many years, video game fanatics have enjoyed the ability to test out their reputable games before they make that commitment to purchase. With new developments emerging within the online video game rental arena, such online services like GameFly and Gottaplay have been providing even more trouble-free way of testing out a variety of video games. We will take a closer look at these services below.

GameFly - The First Video Game Rental Company Emerges

GameFly is the very first online video game renting provider to step out on the scene as of early 2003. This company established its presence due to the lack of classic and newer release video game titles that were absent from many of the brick-and-mortar type companies (Blockbuster & Hollywood Video) found within your local area. The founders of GameFly Sean Spector and Jung Suh were very frustrated with the lack of choice, quality, and selection displayed from these video establishments. This led them to search online where they could not find anyone serving the online video game market. Shortly thereafter, both founders decided to leave their full time jobs to pursue their dreams with their very own web based video game rental service. This innovation has changed video game rentals as we know it today.

Renting Video Games Made Easy

GameFly has always followed the beliefs of the majority of video gamers around the world. This belief system was formed during the inception of GameFly and still stands strong today as the backbone structure for all other online video game renting services. This structure is contains the following:

· Gamers need easy access to both classic and newer titles within one company.

· Gamers want to have the choice of keeping a game for as long as they want for a reasonable rate.

· Gamers do not want to spend their money on bad games and should have the choice to send these games back without spending more money.

· Gamers like the ability to receive their favorite video games to their home address without making another trip to the local rental store.

· Gamers should have the option to view other gamer reviews, ratings, and comments as to avoid wasting their time on bad games.

· Gamers should be able to purchase high-quality used games with significant discounts off the retain pricing.

Setting the Standard for Online Video Game Rental Companies

Ever since the GameFly established its presence within the online game rental marketplace, many have followed in their footsteps. Countless game rental companies have come and gone with the trends of the industry, but there are a few that plan to stay. Gottaplay Interactive Inc. is one of these companies. Gottaplay seems to be the only company in 2006 that has gained a lot of credibility and market share within this industry in such a short amount of time. This company is currently giving GameFly a run for its money, with over 2,500 visitors subscribing to the service monthly. They have spent over 18 months developing their premiere game distribution software and currently launching 1 distribution center a month at the beginning of 2006. Even though Gottaplay Interactive has not launched their commercial advertising yet, they plan to focus primarily on their word-of-mouth referrals and online presense for the next year.

Other video game rental businesses are following close behind with Intelliflix trailing a close third. This company has established their own genre within the rental realm by dabbling within the movie rental, game rental, and mature movie rental arena. Even though Intelliflix does not plan to take over the game rental industry, they do plan to offer families the ability to rent for all their household member entertainment needs within one established group. Customers will enjoy a wide variety of entertaining media from this company for years to come.

Video game rentals will always exist as long as there is a market for the industry, which we all know won't be going away for at least the next century. Crack your fingers, grab a soda, and get situated in your favorite chair because there are a lot of video games to be played out there and with so many choices to choose from, the only hard part is, where to go.

 


Classy Chess Boards

Chess has a long history, extending back more than 1600 years and yet it is the most popular game in the world. Chess is a very old game that engages two simulated "armies." Each game is a fierce combat fought by foot soldiers, knights, kings, and queens. Although Chess does not deal with numbers and equations, it is like math in many ways. Playing chess has always involved problem-solving skills, which are imperative when working out math equations that have many steps. However, unlike math, the ultimate aim in a Chess game is to checkmate the opponent by capturing the opposing King. Sounds easy enough, right? Not necessarily true. The strategies and advance planning are the keys to winning games.

The most primeval and perhaps most enduring feature of Chess are certainly the Chess boards, the "battleground" upon which it is played, the field of Chess struggle. They consist of sixty-four parts, each part a small square, in their totality comprising a large square. In eight rows and perpendicularly thereto, in 8 lines the sixty-four squares are arranged. Accordingly, one can draw Chess Boards by halving the side of a large square three times in succession. The industrial process of manufacturing Chess Boards is therefore very simple, and the logical conception, neither is apprehension of the boards intricate. It is interesting to note that the chess boards can be simple or elaborate in contruction. High school kids still learn to make chess boards in their wood shop classes. The boards are made from many different materials. From cardboard to wood and even marble, there is a wide variety of boardsw to choose from.

The acuity of the sixty-four squares by the eye is not so easy, but it has been eased by the use of color. The Chess Boards are made up of sixty-four squares arrayed in an 8x8 grid of alternately colored black and white squares. It is of importance that the learner of Chess should know the board very accurately. The apprentice should be able to visualize each square in its individual position, as well as in its relation to its neighboring squares. Consequently, Chess Boards have been divided into three regions - the middle and the two wings. Each player starts of with sixteen pieces, set up in two rows. There are six different types of pieces and each moves in a different way. One player has white pieces and other has black ones. The player with the white pieces makes the first move.

 


Action Figure Collecting Can Make Cash

I have been collecting action figures for a very long time and must warn you about the addiction that is possible from this form of collecting. I will not sit here and tell you that collecting action figures will result in an early retirement for you when you cash you collection in, but it is possible to make a little bit of money from this type of investment.

There are many things that an action figure collector should do to maintain his or her collection. The most important thing that should be done is to protect your collection. Many manufacturers create action figure protectors; which come in plastic or a slew of other materials. These are perfect for storing your figures but a few other tips should be adhered to.
Just because you have placed your action figures in a protective case does not make them immune to damage or degradation due to a variety of factors including the most damaging factor, and that is time.

You should try to store your action figures in a room temperature environment that is relatively dry. Condensation, which can be invisible to the eye, is one of the most damaging effects that can depreciate the value of an action figure over time. To be blunt, try to store your figures in a cool and dry place.

Another important issue for long term storage of action figures is keeping them from banging and bumping into anything and that includes the inside of any hard case or box that you may store them in. Believe it or not, one of the best materials for storing action figures is toilet paper. It protects the figure from banging around and it is very porous preventing much condensation and humidity from being trapped against the figure and deforming the paint.

Another thing that I like to do is to order two or three of the action figures that I want to collect. The reason for this is two-fold. First, I want to store two figures for the long term due to the chance that one of them may become damaged over time while sitting in storage. Often times, I purchase a third action figure and this is to make my second part of the reason that I am explaining. I want to have one to display, photograph and simply play with.

Catalog your action figures. I always write down information, and nowadays store it on my computer, about my collection and where I have stored it. I even number the larger container that I have placed my figures in so that I can find them quickly should I need to get to them. I also photograph all of my figures as I go and scan them into my computer as well. This allows me to browse through my collection without having to repeatedly open and handle them. Also, I can package my computer file up nicely and send it to different people that may be interested in purchasing part or even all of my collection. This is very handy and I encourage you to do it.

Collecting action figures can be a lot of fun and going back through them in the future even better if you care for them properly.

 


Roleplay the Dwarf Effectively - Moan, Groan and Complain!

A fantasy role playing game would not be complete without the loud and cranky dwarf in the party of adventurers. His voice fills the silence with complaints, groans, moans and a continuing reminder of his dislike for the pointy eared and often prissy elf.

To successfully role play the dwarf, one must learn to frown more often. Get into this character by peering into the mirror and simply frowning. Come up with a special frown or grimace for your dwarven character.

To make things more streamlined and easier for you to enact, make a list of five items that your dwarf detests. These things could be anything from stale bread to impotent ale. These things should be kept in front of you, listed on your character sheet at all times.

With your list of items in front of you, await one of them to pop out during play. When this occurs, go into a rant that would drive the party crazy about how upset you are over things. This complaining could lead to other complaints.

"This ale is a bit on the weak side. I paid more than I should for this pond water to begin with. I believe that our barkeep here has mistaken my short stature for that of a foolish child. Allow me to explain to you my good bar tender that I take offense to such insolence and ignorance. I detest being looked upon as juvenile simply because I stand many stones shorter than you. I would be more than happy to demonstrate my adult abilities by making your head into a canoe with my war axe. You melon would not be the first that I have split.

"Oh, I see. You see the error of your ways and have taken it upon yourself to exchange this disgusting mug of ale for something with more vinegar. It is good that someone of my patience had come upon this ale before someone of less tolerance."

As you can see, our dwarf is quite the drama lover. Now, a stranger to this dwarf might be repulsed by his loud and obnoxious complaints. But, those that know our dwarf will learn to have quite the affection for him. As a matter of fact, this character would be quite missed if he were to depart the party.

When role playing your dwarf, remember, that too much of a good thing can become quite annoying and bothersome. Do not overdo it. Have a limit. Explode into the complaints and annoyances, but ensure that there lies and end in site. This type of role playing is quite entertaining, but do not continue to place your stature challenged warrior in the limelight at every opportunity. The dwarf can become an overwhelming character in any game and other players could come to resent him.

Dwarves are known for their loyalty to others and to ideas. When a dwarf finds a friend, his loyalty is unstoppable and can become a very entertaining role playable trait. Imagine a devotion to another character, possibly another warrior character that is quite able of taking care of himself.

Our dwarf seems to always come to the aid of this warrior hero even when the dwarf's assistance is not needed at all. If you play this correctly, it can be very funny and add quite the loveable trait to this loud and obnoxious little being.

Again, limit this as well. It can also become quite overbearing and annoying if your dwarf steps between this warrior every single time an adversary comes into view. The idea is to step in when not needed.

Let me give an example of the overprotective dwarf in action.

Out party of heroes is investigating rumors of undead seen about the edge of town. As they venture out, they come upon an underground entrance. Following this takes them into the depths of the earth into unexplored areas.

The hero, Ravenwing, is a human character and known for his great warrior abilities. He leads this party as his experience is beyond comparison. The party also includes a few other heroes and of course, our ruddy little dwarf, Corin, wielding his great battle axe that stands taller then his own stature.

The caverns grow quiet as the party ventures deeper. The loudness of silence becomes more and more unbearable as the party ventures further. Ravenwing begins to pay more attention and seems to be a bit more cautious as he leads the group. Corin, keeps his sharp eyes squinted a bit attempting to observe everything going on around Ravenwing. As a matter of fact, he does this so intensely that he continues to bump into Morluck, the aged and cranky magic user to his front.

"Screeeeeeeeech!"

A rat the size of a small dog comes screeching down the corridor startling the party. The only identifiable surprise demonstrated in Ravenwing is the tightening of his grip on his broad sword.

Corin the dwarf, notices the grip strengthening of Ravenwing and he raises his hatchet with a bass-like roar that echoes through the corridor like thunder. His undying loyalty to Ravenwing, his leader, propels him passed the party knocking the old and bony Morluck to the ground. Corin's battle axe slices through the air and splits the nasty rat perfectly down the center.

The party freezes a moment, all eyes on Corin. A snicker is heard from the group, but the culprit cannot be identified. Morluck stands dusting off his robes, eyes locked on Corin as if he were summoning up some sort of nasty little spell.

Corin looks up quickly, his eyes a bit watery as the call of battle struck a bit of emotion in him. The snicker from the group causes the hair to stand up along his arms, his neck grows red and anger fills his head.

"I thought this rat to be of the changeling family. It is quite possible that this rat was a monstrous troll or dragon in disguise. I do not waste my strikes!" He booms a little louder than planned.

A few more snickers emit from the party. Ravenwing smiles easing his grip, "I am forever safe with good Corin at my side to defend me against the mighty and treacherous rats that dwell these depths. I am forever indebted my good friend."

The party laughs loudly and the voices echo through the caverns.

Our dwarf grows in character more and more as we hone in on his personality. Remember, these traits and quirks should be enacted sparingly. Overkill makes the attempt and fleshing out the dwarf very obvious.

Good luck and enjoy your role playing and gaming experience.

 


Wood Console Tables - An Easy Way To Promote Family Game Time

Once upon a time, the trend of hanging around with the family for at least one evening a week, playing games, was commonplace. But as we moved into a high-tech, fast-paced world, a lot of family members lost touch, always dashing around, in search of the next 'in' thing. As a matter of fact, when you mention playing games to a lot of kids today, the only thing they can imagine is setting up a video game and sitting down in front of the TV. Finally, it seems like the universe is righting itself, taking the family back to a more traditional time, gathering around the wood console table that doubled as a gaming table.

The way you can tell the tradition is coming back around is to notice the number of wood console tables that are coming onto the market as a gaming solution. Some of the wood console tables have drawers that are specifically designed to hold the pieces for various games, and have slots that will hold your average board game. Other gaming wood console tables have table tops that are already a game board, offering checkers, chess, backgammon or a number of other games. The best game wood console tables for a family that likes variety are the ones that allow you to switch out one gaming top for another, so you can play a number of games on the same surface.

If you are worried about the effect on your décor of some plain wood gaming table, think again. Many of the wood console tables that are hitting the market with gaming options are for those with more discerning taste. Some of them have game board insets made of leather, with beautifully carved marble playing pieces. Others make sure that all the game pieces can be hidden away in carved drawers with ornate handles, so when you're not playing a game, no one will know the table is really a play surface.

If you have a family that doesn't always meet in the same room, you may not want to have to carry the wood console table from room to room to keep up with the mobile family unit. This is where a rolling table may come in handy. Some of the gaming tables on the market have casters, so they can be scooted around to a location that is the best for those getting ready for the game. You may also want to look for models with locking casters, so an inadvertent tap of a foot doesn't send the whole game for a ride.

It doesn't take much to get your family prepared for a setting that takes them back in time, and puts them in each others company. The concept may be foreign at first, and even cause for some stress as the kids try to fathom how you can play a game without a joystick and a television, but the results will be a family that is closer over time.

 


An Introductory Guide to The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword for Wii

Nintendo Wii's critically acclaimed video game franchise, Legend of Zelda returns, with it's newest title The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. This game will be an adventure title which includes puzzle-solving ingredients, and was created exclusively for the Wii console. The game utilizes the Wii MotionPlus that provides the player better motion control over Link (the game's leading character) when sword-fighting as well as carrying out various other activities.

This game is a prequel to the events in Ocarina of Time, and Skyward Sword puts you in the shoes of a teenage Link that was raised within the kngdom of Skyloft, a group of islands floating above the clouds. At some point Link locates the famous Skyward Sword, which allows him to travel back and forth between Skyloft and the kingdom on the ground, that is being ruled by evil forces. Throughout The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword there are numerous settings to explore, right from soaring through the clouds, down to exploration on the ground as well as dungeon exploration. Also you will be able to journey throughout the gaming environment by flying on top of your massive bird.

Skyward Sword delivers many brand-new game innovations, that gives Skyward Sword a refreshingly distinct look and feel than earlier games in the Zelda series.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

Superior Motion Detection - Making use of the Nintento Wii RemotePlus provides improved motion detection to ensure that every thrust, slice and parry the player can make while using the Wii controller will be precisely translated into sword movements in the game. This provides by far the most realistic sword-fighting experiences associated with a game ever, and you will discover that different opponents requires totally different sword fighting techniques.

Motion Control a Variety of Items - Aside from sword-fighting, you will be able to use motion control to execute actions with a variety of equipment, through firing various bows, using a whip, making use of a slingshot, tossing bombs and maneuvering an artificial flying beetle that can be utilized to collect equipment from a distance.

Intense Puzzle-Solving - As gamers travel through harsh wastelands, forests and volcanic areas they are required to solve a variety of puzzles, get over obstacles and steer clear of deadly pitfalls. Dungeon sections will give you even more puzzles to solve and are defended by evil adversaries.

Item Enhancements and Incentives to Earn - Throughout Link's adventure he can acquire a large selection of items that may be employed to upgrade weaponry as well as equipment.

Distinctive Visual Style - Skyward Sword features a new graphical style, and this kind of vibrant artistic style perfectly matches the fantastical atmosphere of the game.

The actual release date for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is scheduled for 18th Nov, 2011, and will be available exclusively for Wii. This title will be published by Nintendo, and the video game was developed by Nintendo EAD. Multi-player is not included in the game. This video game has a PEGI 12 rating, that means it will be suitable for ages 12 and higher.

 


Are Plush Teddy Bears Perfect Presents?

Though they are supposed to be joyous times, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and graduations are stressful times for those trying to find gifts for the occasion. We find difficulty when we stress over internet searches and trips to the mall looking for the right gift. We know that there are gift guides and gift suggestions available to us in magazines and papers, but often these operate under the premise that one size fits all actually works. When we want something a little more personal, where do we turn? Read on for some tips on how to find the right present.

You can still get a really nice gift even if you are one of the millions of people who are struggling to get by on a tight budget. Say you only have $30 to spend- making a little more effort can mean a lot more bang for your buck. For example, flowers and candy. Instead of going to the florist for the convenient one stop shopping, go to a supermarket or discount store that carries fresh flowers. Pick up a few different bouquets and a vase. You can even get something to decorate the vase, say orange ribbon if that's your recipient's favorite color. Arrange the flowers and pick up some candy that your recipient likes. This is a personal gift that will cost you little money, just a little more time.

If your gift recipient is male, a better classic gift could be a wallet, which can still be nice and inexpensive enough for you to not break the bank. You can also usually find one for under $30. Brand name, high quality wallets are available at many stores, and they won't set you back too much in price. You can often also get your gift professionally wrapped at the store, which can really add an air of sophistication to your present.

Maybe you need to get a present for a co-worker or a distant cousin of your spouse. It can be especially hard when you have to find a gift for someone you don't know well, or at all. In these cases it is best to stick to gifts that are neutral and all-purpose, and it pays to be practical. Get them something that they are likely to use. Good, general gifts include things like vases, plate sets, or wooden remote control stands. These are things it's difficult to have too many of, and they are likely to be useful.

Naturally you need to take into account the age of the gift recipient when you go to purchase a gift. A good example of things that can be bought for a person of any age is stuffed plush animals. Obviously this is good for children, but adults appreciate stuffed plush animals too as they can remind them of younger times and memories or even lighten up their decor. Next time you need to buy a gift on a budget, why not pick up a stuffed dog or an orange teddy bear?

These suggestions should give you a solid starting point for your gift giving decisions. Hopefully this will also take out some of the anxiety and stress inherit in finding the perfect present for a difficult recipient. Make the gift giving process more enjoyable for both you and the person receiving the present by following these guidelines.

 


Your Back To School Supplies List Doesn't Have To Destroy You

Did you have a back to school supplies list when you were in elementary school? It seems like it used to be just a box of crayons, and maybe a pencil or two. That's it. However, with as many supplies as kids need today, it looks more like a military request for instead of school supplies for a six-year old.

Thankfully, there's good news. The kid's school supplies don't have to destroy you. Let's grab that list and get busy. With a bit of smart shopping and stylistic panache, you can whip out some back-to-school supplies that are smart, easy, and good-looking to boot. Here's how to conquer that back to school supplies list.

Say bye-bye to boredom.

School doesn't have to be boring. A great way to add some sizzle to your child's scholastic pursuits is to pretty up the supplies. You can get pencils with color, pocket folders with panther prints, and packs of paper with…uh, blue lines on them. If you're feeling a big generous, you can let the kids take a look at all the great online sites so they'll be able to pick out exactly what pencil case or notebook they really want. School supplies don't have to be boring. The more excited your child is about school, the better.

Online shopping is your friend.

Back to school season is mayhem at the store. I don't care if you frequent Dollar General or Dillard's. The places are packed with shoppers, strewn with clutter, and seething with frazzled moms and frantic kids. Two words can take all the hassle and headaches out of this whole mess - shop online! Bid the crowds adieu and take that school supplies list to the computer. Everything you need is online.

Personalize the product.

Many school supply providers provide personalization options for your kids. Let's be honest. That generic two-dollar pencil case that you picked up at Wal-Mart? Yeah, that looks just like the generic two-dollar pencil cases that her 28 other classmates also picked up at Wal-Mart. Personalizing products from pencils to princess backpacks is easy. You'll be able to choose from a lot of cool and handy styles that makes personalization a lot more personal as well. With your child's name emblazoned on that pencil, you'll suffer fewer pencil losses.

As long as you plan ahead, you're not even going to break a sweat during the back to school season. In fact, you can take five minutes right now and get a major head start on your back to school supplies list.

 


Using Apples to Teach Memorable Lessons to Young Children

There are many great lessons for young children that involve using apples. They are inexpensive but a wonderful visual tool.

Here are 4 great lessons you can present to your students.

#1 - Who can forget the wonderful story of Johnny Appleseed? This talks about John Chapman and his pioneer explorations.

Not only did he help people but he taught them to plant seeds for apples around many locations. You can bring some apple seeds to the class too for them to see.

#2 - Dr. Seuss has a book called Ten Apples Up on Top. This can be a great story to read to them. However, as you go through the story with the various animals there are opportunities for counting.

You can let your kids class count out loud as they enjoy the story. The apples should add up to ten as each new segment of the story unfolds. This will be a story that your youngsters will ask you to read to them again and again.

#3 - Exploring birds is a great classroom activity. They can create an apple bird feeder from an apple for the students to hang up outside the classroom. To start with, each student will need an apple core.

It is fun to let the kids save the core from an apple that they had for a snack. Next show the kids how to spread peanut butter over the apple core. A fun step comes next as the students roll the peanut covered apple core in bird seed that will stick to it. Then they can use yarn to hang the apple cores on trees outside for the birds to enjoy.

#4 - Apples are great to cut up into wedges and used in the classroom. The children can use them to learn counting. You can also introduce to the students the idea of fractions. These kinds of lessons for young children give them a visual illustration of ideas and that makes the learning something they can enjoy catch onto quickly.

 


Radio Controlled Boats - What is best: Electric vs. Gas vs. Nitro?

If you are interested in radio controlled boat racing, you'll soon realize that you need to choose between three source of power. The most basic models out there are radio controlled boats that run on electricity, and while they are the cheapest on the market with no fuel concerns that you need to worry about, they are far from the only one out there. Gas powered radio controlled boats run on a mix of standard automobile gasoline and oil are also fairly reasonable and though they are considered something of an investment, they are still quite smooth to run and make a reliable moderately priced choice.

When you are ready to spend more money on the hobby, take some time and check out the nitro powered radio controlled boats, which are propelled by a nitro methane mixture. They run faster than the electric powered radio controlled boats and they tend to be much more expensive than the gas powered radio controlled boats. Keep in mind, though, that their fuel is more expensive and has a short shelf life. All three of these types of radio controlled boats have advantages and disadvantages so take a look and see which one is right or you.

If you are just getting started with radio controlled boats, there are many people that say that you should start with electric controlled models. Their fuel is cheap, they don't have extensive maintenance costs and they are fairly inexpensive. Also keep in mind the fact that they can be customized fairly easily and that you can buy models that suit your need to create or to construct. You can get them in the form of kits or radio controlled boats that are ready to go. You can expect to pay between thirty and two hundred dollars for an electric radio controlled boat, depending on the features and the quality that you are after.

When you want to make sure that you have a radio controlled boat that is easy to work with and that is very reliable, electric radio controlled boats are great. You can run them off of the same batteries that RC cars are run off of, which are 6 to 21 cell rechargeable NiCad battery packs. These radio controlled boats will also run much quieter than either nitro powered or gas powered radio controlled boats, which are great when you are running them in the city or near other people's houses.

You can usually expect a standard electric powered radio controlled boat to hit speeds of between 15 and 25 miles an hour. The main drawback to keep in mind with them is that they do tend to get slower as the batteries drain and they lose power. Of course, with a big bag of replacement batteries on hand on race day, this should be no problem.

When you want an option that is a bit more middle of the road, look at gas powered radio controlled boats. Depending on your radio controlled boat, you may end up using different mixes of gasoline to oil. Gas radio controlled boats tend to be larger and they have ?weed whacker? engines, meaning that while they do tend towards the longer run times, they can b a bit on the loud side. They can also achieve speeds that are upwards of 40 to 65 miles, though and they can run for more than half an hour on a single tank. When you are looking at racing, these are the radio controlled boats that you will tend to see. If you stay in the radio controlled boat hobby, you will probably try a gas powered radio controlled boat at some point or another.

When you are ready to spend some serious cash, you may want to take a look at nitro radio controlled boats. These radio controlled boats run on a nitro-methane fuel, and though their running time is just around 15 minutes or so, they can achieve speeds of 30 to more than 100 miles an hour. These are the radio controlled boats that have set the world records in this sport. On the whole, nitro radio controlled boats tend to be smaller and more compact, setting a great standard for maneuverability. You do need to keep in mind, though, that the fuel for this type of radio controlled boat can run up to 15 dollars per gallon. These radio controlled boats are also a larger expenditure of cash up front, but if you want a radio controlled boat that is highly responsive and fast, this is the way to go.

So which model is going to be best for you? The truth is that the answer depends n what you want to do. If you are just using your radio controlled boat casually on the weekends, check out the electric or gasoline fueled radio controlled cars. This way, you won't need to worry about storing volatile fuels or in investing a fair amount of cash. You can simply take your radio controlled boat out of the box and take it for a spin.

If you want to get involve with racing radio controlled boats, you'll discover that the gas powered radio controlled boat is a good choice. They are great for high speeds and long runs, and they are also easy to customize with speed and performance in mind. They are also perfect if you have some cash to spend but don't like the routine purchase of pricey fuel.

When you want a nitro radio controlled boat, you are going to be getting some impressive modeling and ultrahigh performance. These engines are expensive, but if you are someone who has an intense need for speed, this is the way to go.

If you are looking to get involved in radio controlled boating, the best thing you can do is get online or go to a hobby shop and do some research of your own. Before you buy, talk to people who have the type of radio controlled boats you are interested in, and maybe even see if they will let you give one of their radio controlled boats a spin.

There are many radio controlled boating organizations and clubs all around the country who are always happy to welcome interested people and answer their questions, and through these groups, you can even find races and competitions where you can meet up with others who find radio controlled boating just as thrilling as you do.

 


FIFA 14 - Why We Can Never Get Tired Of It

FIFA is back with a bang! For years EA's franchise has dominated the football gaming world. And FIFA 14 lives up to its expectations with its realism, detail and amazing gameplay.

FIFA 14 Features

FIFA 14 has no difference to that of FIFA 13 in terms of features. There isn't any introduction of new game modes; as a result you'll see that the Ultimate Team is back, so is the Standard Quick Play and Multiplayer, along with the Career mode.

Ultimate Team is almost the same, whether you love it or hate it. The aim of Ultimate Team is to choose your team based on chemistry, to create a playing unit based on something more than just raw ability and stats. It is hard to emotionally connect with your randomly assembled team, and since the mode had been a hit, EA decided to keep it.

The Career Mode is much talked about, which benefits from several improvements that make management easy. The earlier versions of FIFA made scouting for players a chore. However, the updated interface makes it much easier to send out your scouts, which gives more time for playing.

You can also play co-op seasons with other pairs over multiplayer in FIFA 14, but nearly all the changes are in the gameplay itself. Buy PlayStation 3 to experience the realism FIFA 14 offers, which is the main focal point of the game. Added physics and AI in just about every department has given FIFA 14 an additional boost.

FIFA 14: Teams

In FIFA 14 the line-up of teams is as comprehensive as ever. Its intensity of detail remains the game's greatest strengths till date.

In its Legends feature, more emphasis is given on classic teams. But this is on hold until you buy FIFA 14 PS4 which is awaiting its launch. So till that time, it's the standard line-up for players. Player likenesses are still to some extent a mixed bag. Chelsea's Oscar looks extremely realistic which makes the game even more fun to play.

FIFA 14: Menus

There has been a dramatic change in the menu system which somewhat resembles the Xbox home screen. It's a little overwhelming initially, but it makes navigating menus quick and easy. The best use of the new menus can be seen in Career Mode, where it is simple to access a host of options right from transfers to tactics.

FIFA 14: Gameplay

Any FIFA player knows that slight changes have huge effect on a game and any FIFA fan will look for to the game with equal excitement.

EA has added a small dose of realism to the game to make it come to life. This time it's all about physics - the player's movement and his balance is even more sensitive and it has dramatic effects on their ability to control the ball. In FIFA 14, the players will be seen adjusting their step - the feature dubbed as Precision Movement in action.

Weight of the players is also taken into account and now the smaller players can no longer have the same physical mass as the huge players in the game. There is also a change in the ball physics where shooting is completely dependent on the players' position and balance.

The rhythm of the game is an extremely enjoyable product of the new features which makes for some more tense encounters. The authentic crowd songs generate spine-tingling atmosphere. Buy FIFA 14 to watch the stadium echo with 'Wind in the Player's Sails' and 'You'll never walk alone' which makes playing football a memorable experience.

Overall, FIFA 14 is an evolutionary update within the existing structure of FIFA 13. With FIFA 14, everyone's favorite football franchise remains at the top of the league. With realistic environment and fantastic features, playing football on a gaming console will never be the same as FIFA 14 promises to keep you entertained.

 


4 Basic Tips On How To Play Guitar Hero

Guitar hero is a game for PlayStation 2, Play station 3, X box 360 and Nintendo Wii where you can play a 'guitar' which will be in tune with famous tracks. This requires a good sense of music beats, some patience, and love for a few present songs and most important of all - fast - moving fingers something which you can acquire with practice. Though this may seem to be simple, playing on it can be very challenging, mainly at higher levels.

Four steps on how to play a guitar hero:

1. Know your guitar:

A) There is a strum bar which is in the midpoint of guitar. It can be pushed or pulled up/ down to play any note.

B) The whammy bar can be moved to variate the notes produced.

C) The Start button and the Select buttons are fake volume knobs and they shouldn't be used to turn down the volume.

D) Right handed people use their left hand for holding the guitar neck and place three/four fingers over the fret buttons, keeping their right hand on the strum bar.

E) If you are willing to sit down and play, then you can put the guitar on the lap and if you want to stand up and play, you need to use a strap. It takes sometime to get used to the guitar and you may even personalise the guitar by using stickers.

2. Starting the game:

First connect your guitar to the console and then switch on the TV, the console, the sound system and then insert your game disk.

A) Career - Here lies the maximum fun of the game; there are nearly thirty five songs across 4 levels which allow you to gather money and fame; as once you complete each set, it will increase your position, letting you proceed with a new bunch of songs. You may buy guitars, songs & characters with your earnings.

B) Quick Play - You can play any unlocked song at any level. It also has a table to show your high-scores.

C) Multiplayer - You need two plugged in controllers for this facility.

D) Tutorial - It's an introduction that gives you an experience by allowing you to play the simple notes without the demands of a complete song.

E) Options - It is important if the player has a wide-screen. A crucial option is the left-flip which turns if you are a left handed person.

3. Play:

You can play the simplest of all songs and if you already have a basic feel of rhythm, you should try the Medium difficulty first. Go to the menu and select 'Quick Play' or 'Career', and then you can choose the song. After a message and advice, related or unrelated; you can see an escalating view of the location, the band and your own avatar with a guitar.

4. Advanced techniques:

Star Power - These notes are visible as spinning stars instead of circles and appear in more grand works of music. A long star note gives you extra power if a whammy bar is used on this. If you score plenty of these you can nail it and go into this mode by tilting up the guitar or pushing Select button. On a temporary basis, it doubles your points which you get from the note and largely raises the popularity rate. So try and use it in consecutive notes.

After entering the Star Mode, you cannot exit until the power meter will drain out, so you have to wait until there are notes appearing, else the Star Power will be wasted. You can also use Star Power to help you get through tough parts of songs that you can't get through otherwise.

Follow the guidelines given here on how to play a guitar hero and soon you can become an expert in it!

 


Street Fighter IV is an outstanding gaming Concept

Your world of gaming is surely an incomplete one unless of course you lay your hands on the world's most action-packed Street Fighter IV 2D effects game. One of the most stunning 2D game play is here as we know that the legendary Street Fighter is a behemoth success in the arcades; living rooms and dormitories across the globe!

Special 2D and 3D effects are driving gamers crazier than ever before with customization options being on the top of their wish-list. You get an amazingly well opportunity to relish and play not only your favourite classic characters, such as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Guile, but also the new faces and characters including Crimson Viper, Abel, El Fuertes, and Rufus.

The formatted 3D characters look damn impressive; with environments too poised pretty nicely with additional 3D camera flourishes. Six-button controls for the game return; a slew of new and innovative special moves; features integrated into the gameplay system. Street Fighter IV Fightpad is absolutely excellent a gaming title really.

Street Fighter IV elements provide immense challenges for both new kids on the block as well as the most seasoned and expert gamers Street Fighter pro with the beloved fighting moves and techniques of the original Street Fighter II. Fightpad as it is called is surely going to make tremendous buzz as it has got a plethora of awe-inspiring special moves including Focus attacks, Super Combos, and the revenged-fuelled Ultra Combo system.

New brawlers with female super-spy Crimson Viper, lucha libre wrestler El Fuerte, mixed martial artist Abel and many more indeed to follow result in a breathtaking; thrilling and dazzling action gaming experience! The gaming world keeps on transforming for good and gamers continue to relish the fact that they will get something new, every time they lay their hands on their gaming consoles.

Street Fighter IV is truly an outstanding gaming concept, as you get everything, exceptional and never-imagined 2D and 3D effects; blistering sound effects; action-package that is surely going to take you by a whole lot of new surprises.

 


Xbox 360 1 Red Light and Codes

The Xbox 360 is a very powerful console and has a strong following amongst gamers worldwide. People play it online and can go on for hours if and only if their systems continue to function. In fact the technical issues of the Xbox 360 may be the biggest competitor in the industry.

The Xbox 360's power button is surrounded by a ring that lights in red if ever a problem occurs. The ring is divided into 4 quadrants so that some or all of the lights can flash to indicate various problems. If all four ring flashes, the problem is related to the AV cable.

Two lights flashing is more than likely a minor problem with your system. This can be resolved by simply letting the system cool down.

If 3 lights flash, you are dealing with the dreaded "Red Ring of Death" problem caused by heat issues and mostly manufacturing defects requiring you to take it to a shop for repairs or perform the Xbox 360 repair yourself.

If you only see the bottom right light flashing, a lot of different things can be going on which can be explained in-depth.

The problem isn't however as lethal as the Xbox 360 3 red lights so don't panic. Once you notice the bottom right light flashing, look at your screen and you should see an error code that begins with the letter "E". Below is an explanation of some of these codes.

Hard Disk Errors (E69 & E79)

Error codes E69 and E79 are common for players that prefer playing their games stored on the hard disk. The problem can be a loose connection between the hard disk and the Xbox 360 internal component or the hard disk could be damaged.

To make sure, take out the hard disk and see if the system works. If it doesn't work, test it on a computer and see if you can recover it using some hard disk utilities.

DVD Drive Errors (E64 - E66)

Any of these three error codes can indicate that the firmware of the DVD drive doesn't match the dashboard or the firmware chip is missing. If the firmware is okay, the problem can be physical and may need replacement.

Solving firmware issues require you to upgrade the lower version to make it equal with the higher version. So you might need to upgrade either the firmware or the dashboard and your DVD drive should work fine.

As long as you have the original drive that came with the purchase of the system you will not likely have this problem.

NAND Flash Errors (E72 and E80)

Although the E72 and E80 are both related to the NAND flash, the errors are quite different. The E72 represents a general problem and should be checked by support while the E80 indicates the wrong LDV version of the NAND flash.

Other Error Codes

There are other error codes that are not very common such as the E76 code, which is related to Ethernet problems, and the more popular E74 code, which is related to the GPU or AV cable.

If you are unsure on what action to take, check out Microsoft's support site for official code information and search for the error code to see a list of solutions that can get your Xbox back to its working state.

 


Radio Flyer, Awards And Achievements

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a young Italian boy named Antonio Pasin dreamed of a better life for himself in America. His family supported his dreams, selling their meager belongings to finance the trip. Antonio Pasin left his parents and friends behind at the young age of sixteen and traveled to Chicago. Pasin came from a line of skilled carpenters and hoped to find work as a cabinet-maker. Instead, the teenager worked many different odd jobs until he finally saved the money for his own workshop and wood-working equipment.

In this little one room shop, Antonio Pasin began building his American dream, working day and night handcrafting wagons out of wood. Pasin first called his business the Liberty Coaster Company. Over the next few years, Pasin began using the same technology as car manufactures, producing mass quantities of high quality steel wagons. He called his manufacturing company Radio Steel, but coined his little red wagon the Radio Flyer, which would eventually become the company name.

The company has been producing the world's favorite wheeled toys for over eighty-five years. They have achieved great customer loyalty and became a household name. Radio Flyer and their products have been noted for their high standards, quality products, and their dedication with numerous awards.

The 1933 Worlds Fair, held in the companys hometown of Chicago, was Pasin's first boost of public recognition. The Radio Flyer exhibit featured the forty-five foot Coaster Boy and was one of the most popular attractions. The company saw great success with the sale of their collectible miniature wagons at the fair, leading to a rise in sales across the rest of their product line.

During World War II, the comapny ceased production of their toys to manufacture materials needed by the military. An Army-Navy award was presented to the company on July 14, 1945 to recognize their efforts in assisting with the war. After the war, Radio Flyer resumed production of their toy lines, experiencing even more customer loyalty and satisfaction. Through the years, many of the company's products have been named with special awards for their quality and popularity.

Radio Flyer wagons and tricycles have been named the worlds best selling toys time and time again. Their products have won numerous awards from prestigious agencies including Parents Choice, The Great American Toy Test, Dr. Toy, and Parents Guide to Childrens Media. Many of the company's toys have also been given the National Parenting Centers Seal of Approval.

To celebrate the eightieth anniversary of Radio Flyer, the company produced its record breaking Worlds Largest Wagon. The one of a kind big red wagon weighs 15,000 pounds and measures a huge 27 feet long and 13 feet across.

Antonio Pasin and Radio Flyer toys have influenced the minds and changed the lives of children everywhere for almost a century. In 2003 Pasin was commended for his innovative ideas with the ultimate award. The Toy Industry Hall of Fame inducted Pasin as it's 44th toy inventor, honoring the imaginative spirit that has driven Radio Flyer to where they are today.

 


Wooden Jungle Gym

Jungle gyms have been around for since the 20th century but the very first models were made of metal. This material is fine on a durability perspective but experimenting with other materials is also important to tap into other advantages for kids to enjoy in outdoor jungle gyms. If you are looking to buy a jungle gym yourself or want to search for the playground with the best jungle gym, consider getting or looking for a wooden jungle gym because of these significant advantages.

Good Aesthetics

A wooden jungle gym can look brand new for a longer period of time. Metal gyms really look good for the first few months because the metals are subjected to rusting. Fewer kids might be interested to play around in jungle gyms like that. Not every jungle gym can look brand new after several years, but the worn out style can be viewed as an antique design to keep the appeal.

Simple to Assemble and Customize

If you want to save big and know how to build a jungle gym from raw materials, wood will be the best choice. Constructing outdoor jungle gyms with wood as your primary material means that you won't have to worry about prefabrication processes just to get a specific length and height. You will need more tools to forge metal materials together and the process will take longer. With wood, you can use basic tools like drills and saws to cut the wood in any size or shape you like.
Once you are finished with the overall framework of the jungle gym you can move on to the customization where you can apply paints to make the wooden jungle gym stand out from the rest of the jungle gyms within the community.

Fewer Disadvantages

Metal and plastic outdoor jungle gyms continue to exist today but kids will likely realize the disadvantages if they are too used to a standard wooden jungle gym. On a very sunny day, kids will most likely stay away from metal jungle gyms no matter how attractive these gyms look. Metal can absorb heat and simply switching to plastic won't solve the problem. Too much direct sunlight and other harsh elements on plastic can cause warping. It is also possible for the colors to fade on the plastic variations. A wooden jungle gym does not have these problems and you may end up paying less depending on the wood being used.

Easy Maintenance

Of course, a wooden jungle gym isn't without its disadvantages. Wood is susceptible to cracking and that can lead to splintering which can be a minor inconvenience for kids that like to roughly play around. Fortunately, easy maintenance practices can prevent these issues from occurring. All you need to do is perform some occasional recoating and repainting procedures. You can repaint the wood anytime you notice that the colors are fading. If you notice some damage, you have a better chance in replacing the wood with a newer piece with the same dimensions.

 


How To Replace Your Video Game System

Technology is constantly changing and improving. In fact, just over two years ago, what you considered fast is now considered to be very slow today. This is true for personal computers and laptops. Innovation and the fast advancement of technology improve everything in a matter of months or even weeks.

One day you see the latest innovation in technology and it becomes obsolete in just a few weeks. This is true when it comes to video game systems.

In just a short span of time, video game systems have improved dramatically. Today, the latest video game systems doesn't just let you play exciting games, but it will virtually take you inside the video game with the improved interactive feature of the game. The future of video gaming is already here with the latest video gaming system innovation that is already available in the market today.

And, the great thing about the video games today is that everyone can play. From kids to adults to senior citizens, you can be sure that everyone will have fun. Today, even your grandparents can now play video games.

If you take a look at the video gaming system industry, you will find three big companies that are considered to be top sellers of video gaming systems. The first is Nintendo, the second is Sony, and the third is Microsoft.

Whatever video gaming system you choose, you will find that each offers a very unique feature which can really be confusing for someone who wants to buy a video game system. With the unique features that each of the video gaming system has, you will have a hard time making a decision on which one you should buy.

In the past, Nintendo really took the world by storm with the NES. It even had a gun for the game called Duck Hunt. Also, to play games, you need to buy those big, gray, plastic cartridges which were so cool to look at back then. Today, DVDs are now used for the video games. The graphics also improved dramatically. In fact, the graphics are so realistic that you will really think that the characters here were real people.

For Microsoft, the Xbox 360 is their latest video game system at the moment. Known to have the largest library of games of the three gaming systems, you will want this gaming system if you love to try out and buy different video games.

For Sony, the PlayStation 3 is what they call their latest video gaming system. It features Blu-ray disc playing capabilities, which means that it has the potential to play games that have better graphics and longer storyline. If you are the type of person who loves action and adventure games, then this video game console is for you. PlayStation 3 also has a wide library of games available, which means that you will virtually never run out of choice when it comes to choosing and buying your favorite video games.

Lastly, Nintendo also released its latest video game system. Called the Nintendo Wii, this is probably the most interactive video gaming console of the three. Instead of your traditional joystick, Nintendo Wii has the Wii-mote, which basically looks like a remote control. This is a great video game system for the entire family. This is also great for people who love to exercise as the highly interactive feature of this gaming system requires the body to move in order to play.

These are the latest innovations in video game systems. If you are planning to replace your old video game console, one of these three video game systems should be in the top of your list. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that you will have hours upon hours of fun and enjoyment playing with your favorite video games.

 


Becoming a Succesful Video Game Tester

If you're willing to put in some trial to contact some video game companies, being a video game tester is likely in your future. However, some people simply rely on their skills and don't realize you'll need to do a little research to become a video game tester. A video game tester job requires that you at least have video game playing skills. Believe it or not some people just cannot play video games, while others are amazing at them. Some people lack the motivation and many lack the proper hand eye coordination to play well.

People choosing a career in the video game field most likely start out as video game testers. The video game testers are giving new games that are almost completed and need testing to identify flaws in the different versions of the games that will be available for sale. Not only do video game testers play the games they also have to record what they find. For example, a video game tester may find a bug on a certain level of the game, to describe the bug may take more than just a few words. A video game tester must examine in full all the issue any certain game may have. Since so many gaming companies and consoles exist there are numerous game tester jobs open. Video game testers may be required to play the same game over and over, including certain sequences in the game just to get to a certain spot. This can help fix flaws in a video game. All of this testing is important in being able to position yourself to learn all you can to move forward in the video game industry.

The higher you climb the ladder as a tester the better chances of getting deeper into the gaming industry there are. Starting out as a video game tester will allow you to position yourself with experience and position yourself to learn from the best in the industry. As a video game tester there are many possibilities for you those that have had at least 3 years experience earn over $25,000 per year for those with over 6 years experience they can earn over $43,000 per year. When you include your video game testing experience with the right college degree, you can position yourself in testing management which has unlimited potential.

Of course depending on your goals you can position yourself for other major professions in the video game industry including programming, developing, designing, art, and producing. Learning to become a video game tester will greatly help you career in the future. Starting on your way to success may be just as easy as having your skills in playing video games and a little patience when you position yourself as a video game tester in the video game industry. Without patience you may become frustrated and feel that your career will never open up. However, simply waiting and continuing to play and practice may help open the door for you.

 


Promo Code for Xbox One Microsoft Store Chance to Save

Before the introduction of Microsoft Xbox One, the promise was given by Microsoft that this console is going to turn as the centralized entertainment system in any home. To make this statement true, new updates are regularly introduced by Microsoft and now it is capable of streaming live television to computers, tablets and phone around your home. This is an added advantage to the benefit that you can get in the form of Xbox One promo code Microsoft Store when making your purchase of this entertainment unit.

For people, who have already purchased this console, an update was recently introduced by Microsoft, thereby turning the unit into a wholesome entertainment system. This is because after getting the update to their system, users will be in a position to stream live television content to mobile devices and computers. Even though, earlier owners will have to get this update, people who are yet to purchase this console will get the updated version. They can use Xbox One Promo Code Microsoft to make this purchase at a friendly cost.

It was added by Microsoft that the television streaming feature will debut in regions that can use the recently announced digital TV tuner by Microsoft for Xbox One. The television signal from the tuner will then be viewed over a Wi-Fi network on different devices with the help of Companion App from Microsoft.

People using Microsoft Xbox One coupon code to purchase this console can use the cost saved for procuring the Xbox SmartGlass App. They can play, pause and rewind videos on their console without any interruption to the games. This will work for SmartGlass Apps on Android, iOS and Windows phones.

Now, the availability of coupon code for Xbox One is an added advantage to the people, who were long been waiting for some discounts and offers from Microsoft to place their order. Live content streaming is offered by some service providers through smart phones and tablets. The SmartGlass App along with other wonderful features of the Xbox One Console can provide an unforgettable advantage to the users.

Nowadays, many owners of Xbox consoles have rightly understood the importance of live membership. So, those who already own the Xbox One console can now use Xbox One Live promo code to make their purchase of live membership at a friendly cost. There are certain applications that can make the Xbox better like SkyDrive, Speech Tutorial, Machinima, Upload Studio and Skype. When these applications are loaded in Xbox One, the gaming enthusiasts to get a wide range of benefits.

In general, Microsoft always gives special advantages to students and this is why, Xbox One student discount is offered to help students to gain relaxation in between their studies. Not only students, but also other users, who wish to get the best experience and features from their console can use Xbox One Gold Membership promo code for becoming live gold members.

Gaming is something that can relax people in the current busy and tough work life. Some of them are also experiencing pressure in their personal life too. But, all these worries can be forgotten by people with such an entertainment unit in their home. Furthermore, Xbox One coupon code can be an added benefit to them.

 


Halo Reach Credits and Ranking System

Halo Reach is a popular video game made by Bungie. It will be the last Halo game made by Bungie, and it is really going out with a bang to the tune of two hundred million dollars worth of first day sales.

One of the major changes made in Halo Reach, which differs from previous Halo games, is the ranking system. In previous Halo games players earned and lost experience points when winning or losing a match, and those points determined their numeric level. In Reach, that system has been completely revamped and replaced. Experience points and the true skill level system now move to the invisible background, and instead we see our players earning credits that are based on individual performance throughout the match.

These credits pull double duty. Firstly, you can use them to purchase armor upgrades for your character in the Halo Reach armory. Secondly, as you earn credits your character ranks up. After earning a set amount of credits your rank will increase, which will give you a nice new icon that is displayed next to your name to show off to the rest of the Halo community, as well as a new title such as Sergeant, Major, or Colonel. These credits are cumulative, meaning that even if you spend them on armor it does not negatively impact your ability to rank up.

Unlike the ranking system in previous Halo games, these credits and ranks only go up, not down. No matter how badly you play, your rank will never drop. This leaves the player with a sense of consistent progress that wasn't necessarily there in previous Halo games, and is just another example of the major improvements made in Halo Reach.

If you would like further details on exactly how many ranks exist and exactly how many credits you need to attain each of them, check out our list of Halo Reach Ranks. We've also got the details on over Halo Reach Weapons for you as well.

Want to know how to get that new helmet? How about how to get promoted in Halo Reach? Well listen up because that is what we are covering today. Here is what you do.

First you have to beat the campaign mode up to the sword base level.

Second you want to put the difficulty up to Heroic on Legendary this is too hard.

Third select sword base from mission start.

Now start up the game when the game starts run straight back and then to the right. You want to go into the garage looking area.

Inside there you will find the Target Locater weapon. Wait until the game tells you checkpoint reached and point the weapon at the large group of enemies that are gathering to kill you outside the garage area and let your airships kill them all for you. Next hit start and select restart from last checkpoint or revert to last save if you do not see that option. It will start you with the target locator in hand. All the enemies you killed will be back alive and you can just kill them again. Wash,rinse,repeat happy credit boosting.

 


The History Of The Ragdoll

Dolls have been a cherished part of cultures worldwide for centuries and possibly throughout all of human civilization. As toys or as collectibles, dolls are beautiful and charming companions for all ages. The earliest known dolls were made of raw, natural materials like clay, sticks, and even leaves and corn husks. The first commercially produced dolls were made of delicate china and was more of a collectible than a childhood toy. In those days, dolls for children's play were usually made from cloth scraps.

Cloth dolls, usually made from scrap pieces of the fabric used for the family's clothing, were an important part of children's lives in early times. These simple rag dolls were sewn out of fabric and features were either painted on or hand embroidered. Most early dolls were made to resemble little girls. Clothing was handmade for the doll, usually in the style of the era, and could usually be taken on and off. Shoes and socks were generally painted on and hair was typically fashioned from colored yarn.

Today, Lilydolls recreate the original cloth doll in a durable, modern rag doll sure to delight children of all ages. Lilydolls are soft bodied fabric dolls about 16 inches tall with tangle-free cloth hair that can be styled. Each doll is named with her own personality and a removable outfit to fit her hobbies. Other clothing and many accessories are available for Lilydolls to enhance play and develop young imaginations.

Children today still love their cloth dolls just as those children many years ago. The dolls are usually carried around, slept with, and even taken outside. While keeping your child's fabric playmate clean is important, it must be done with care. Rag dolls are well-made, but they are still quite delicate, especially those stuffed with something other than polyester fiber or nylon filling.

Lilydolls are made to be cleaned. The doll and all her garments can be machine washed on a gentle cycle, but to ensure a long lasting toy, you may want to follow a few general care tips for cloth dolls. First, check each area of the doll for steadfastness. Rag dolls with yarn hair should be closely tested and extra attention should be paid to embroidered details as well. If any of the dyes used in the doll bleed, you should wash the doll without getting these areas wet.

Use a mild, gentle cleanser to clean the fabric doll. Shampoo or dish detergent are the best choices. Fill a small bowl with the soap and warm water and gently submerge the washable parts of the doll. Wet the dolls body and then softly squeeze out the excess water but avoid using a wringing action. Once all cleanable areas of the doll have been washed, lay her on a thick towel to air dry. Cloth dolls can be dried in the clothes dryer, but it is best to put the doll inside a pillowcase and use the low or air heat setting.

 


Download Free Games from The Best Gaming Sites

What is freeware? Freeware is software that you can download for free from a website. This type of software is provided as an executable file that you download, then open and run for its installation on your computer. When it comes to gaming, freeware can be played as often as you like and transferred to other computers you may own.

If you are new to the internet gaming realm, you need to be careful when looking for and getting free game downloads. You can create security issues for your computer if you happen to get the free games from certain sites. Just because you find a site that id dedicated to freeware doesn't mean its safe- many sites have hidden malware included with the free game downloads. When you open and run the executable file, you activate the malware and infect your PC. Playing free online games is safer, as it doesn't require the installation of anything onto your PC.

To be sure, you should only download free games from reputable websites, such as the following:

- TheGameHippo.com - While this site currently doesn't have a huge variety of free game downloads, its list of free games is ever expanding. The predecessor of this site closed down in 2008, and this site is working on being as large. It will just take a little time since it is newer.

- Acid-Play.com - This site is one of the most reliable sources for freeware, as reviewed by the online gaming community. Not only does this site offer a huge library with approximately one thousand games, it also offers game reviews and ratings as well as descriptions of each game. It offers superior user-friendliness and a home page which highlights its newest additions- extremely helpful for the avid free game downloads guru.

- HomeOfTheUnderdogs.net and Hotud.org - Both of these sites operate under the "Home Of The Underdogs" name. There is an old site and a new one; because the new site will have a different look and feel, the old site has been left alone for people to continue using as the new one is developed. These sites offer a humongous selection of free game downloads, as their library includes over 5000 titles. Dedicated to fun games that were underrated, old-school games can be found on this site as well as new titles, so lovers of classic games will be happy with these sites. In addition, these sites include abandonware- old games that are free games for the moment but can be removed at any time by request of the owner.

- PlanetFreeplay.com - This site is also one trusted by the online gaming community, as it has proven itself reputable for safe free game downloads. While its library is not as large as others, with about 1500 titles, it has a mix of freeware and free online games. Like other sites, the main page of this site features the names, preview and description of the newest additions. It also shows the full list of titles on the left side of the screen.

The above are a few of the best websites for getting free game downloads. Again, if you are relatively new to gaming, it is wise for you to take a look at the game reviews and information about a game before you download it to your computer. Many members of the online community take the time to leave comments on whether or not a game is safe, so protect yourself with this little bit of caution.

 


On Being a Video Game Programmer - The Perks and Pitfalls

What is it like to work as a video game programmer? It is considered by many game-playing children to be a dream job. Is it actually as good as it sounds? It certainly is an interesting life. However, as with anything else on this planet, there are both positive and negative sides to working as a video game programmer.

For the last 7 years I have worked as a video game programmer at three development studios: Activision/Treyarch, Visual Concepts and DiscoPixel. I have published titles for the Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo consoles. This article is a summary of some of the perks and pitfalls that I have experienced through my work at these companies.

Perk #1 - Make Games!

This one is pretty obvious, but the biggest perk of working at a video game studio is that you will be MAKING games. You will be helping build the next great game that potentially millions of people will play and enjoy. There's an amazing satisfaction that stems from knowing that you helped make something big.

Perk #2 - Play Games!

In addition to testing and improving your current game every day, you'll also be playing games made by other companies. There are few jobs out there where sitting down and playing a newly released console title is considered research. Companies definitely want you to stay on top of the technology and features of new games, and the only way to do this is by playing lots of games. At the companies I've worked at, I've never seen anyone get reprimanded for playing video games during the day.

Perk #3 - Independence

A great aspect of working as a video game programmer is the independence you are given. It is rare that you'll have a manager breathing down your neck or double checking everything you do. To get hired into a development studio you need to already have excellent programming skills, so you are given a lot of freedom to make many decisions yourself. You may be assigned a general task to complete, but how that actually should be done, as well as how long it should take, are often up to you.

Provided that you can get your work done, the companies I have worked for generally seemed to be very willing to let me work on my terms. When I was tired or bored or lazy I could go play a game or relax somewhere without anyone complaining. Happy employees with improved morale make better games.

Perk #4 - Fun Office Environment

Everybody that works at a video game studio has one thing in common: they love games. If they didn't love playing games they would never have been hired to make them. Because of this, the office setting often has fun or quirky things anywhere you look. Many people bring strange new objects to show off or play with during the day.

Most video game studios have lots of games and toys lying around to keep its employees entertained. A few things that I have come across at various studios: Arcades with free coin-op games, foosball tables, ping pong tables, razor scooters, board games, action figures, puzzles, daytime basketball games and giant stuffed animals.

Coming to the office still means you're going to work, but there's no reason why it can't also be fun.

Perk #5 - Free Soda + Snacks

This perk is maybe not important to everyone, but it's nice to know that you won't go hungry working at a video game studio. I've never met a video game company that hasn't offered free soda and snacks as part of the benefits of working there. I suppose being loaded up on caffeine and sugar helps boost productivity. During long days at the office, companies will typically provide free dinner as a thank-you for staying late. One company I worked for served fully catered meals from assorted restaurants every night for many weeks.

Pitfall #1 - Long Work Hours

Making video games is a lot of work. The amount of time needed to make the latest game seems to be growing exponentially. Development teams continue to get bigger and bigger every year, yet somehow the amount of work per person doesn't seem to get any smaller. Games are very complicated. Also, the nature of games is that they must be fun, which is not always so easy to accurately pencil into a schedule. A lot of experimentation is needed, especially with new game concepts.

Before a milestone and especially a few months before a game is released, the work day will be very intense. The work has a way of very quickly piling up. New features and old bugs suck away all of your time. Working long nights or weekends is not uncommon. Fortunately, employees generally care about the games that they are making, and their passion helps energize them through these occasional long shifts.

The stress can get overwhelming, too. At one company I had a giant stack of bug reports waiting for me on my chair when I came into the office. I would work all day, scrambling to fix the bugs as quickly as possible, working on full blast all day and night. I'd go home for a couple hours of sleep, but when I'd return to work there would be a new, even larger stack of bug reports waiting for me.

Typically after a project has shipped there will be a period of downtime where the employees can get a chance to relax and recover. The work load will suddenly significantly reduce. One company gave bonus vacation time after a project shipped, and another put employees "on call" for about a month, in which they only had to come to the office if there was some kind of problem. It's nice to know that your long work hours do not go unnoticed.

Pitfall #2 -Choosing What to Work On

Working on your own video games in your free time is a lot of fun. You get to choose exactly what game and tasks you want to work on, focusing only on the fun stuff. Anything boring can be safely ignored since the only audience is you. Unfortunately, this is not the case for large video game studios. There are many tasks to be completed, some of which are not too glamorous. Fixing console manufacturer standards violations or building data tools is not very exciting, but it still needs to be done by someone in order to ship the final product.

These tasks typically are given to people who are just starting out in the video game industry, perhaps as a rite of passage, but probably just because nobody else wants to do them.

In addition to the possibility of working on less glamorous tasks, you could be assigned a project that you are not fully interested in. Typically the company will let you work projects that interest you, but this is not always possible. A particular project could be falling behind schedule and it needs a few more employees to fix some bugs or add some new features. Or, the project you are interested in already has enough workers.

I think that the passion of the employees working at a video game studio is crucial to the success of that game. If you are not excited about what you're working on, it will show up in the game you're creating. To avoid any misunderstandings or letdowns, before deciding to work at a particular company, it's important to find out what game you will be working on in addition to what tasks you will be assigned.

Pitfall #3 -Pay Not as Good (Maybe?)

I've heard from a few people that the pay working as a video game programmer is not as good as the pay working at more conventional companies. Business database programmers, for example, could be earning more money. This could be true. However, choosing your profession is not just about the pay. You spend a large percentage of your life at your job. Money is not everything. Choosing something that you enjoy is important, too.

I thought the pay at the companies I have worked at was very reasonable. There is also a large potential upside from royalty checks coming from a game that sells well, which has sometimes turned out to be significant. You will definitely not be living as a pauper if you get a programmer job at a video game company.

Conclusion

I hope that this article has been helpful towards learning a little bit about working as a video game programmer. As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to this profession. If what you have read sounds good to you, I hope you find that dream job making the next great bestselling game.

 


The Importance of Play in Child Development

It is widely stated by experts in the field of child development that play is a fundamental part of developing cognitive, social, language and motor skills. Children explore their environment, try out social roles as well as learn to express themselves through the games that they play. It is therefore extremely important for parents and caregivers to provide their children with an array of children's toys and play material that are educational, stimulating and creative.

Toddlers and pre-school age children are at a developmental stage where they enjoy play activities that allow them to use their motor skills, cognitive skills as well as pretend play. Having children's toys that supplement the development of these skills is essential.

Children's toys such as puzzles, building blocks, paint sets and simple craft kits are all excellent for helping toddlers develop their fine motor skills since these games require them the manipulate objects using their fingers. These types of children's toys also develop cognition as well as foster creativity in a child.

Toddlers are very interested in the social world that they see around them and at this age, they try to imitate adults. Pre- school is a great time to invest in toys that allow a child to play imaginatively and creatively. Parents should make sure that some of the children's toys that they purchase are ones that help a child explore social roles , play imaginatively as well as imitate real scenarios. Toys such as kitchen and food sets, dress up kits, doctor toy sets and other such children's toys like these are all excellent for role-playing and imaginative play. These toys help develop a child's social skills as well as language skills. These types of children's toys are also a great way to help your child develop a creative outlook.

As children get older and go into school play can be used to help them learn academic and educational skills. When educational skills are taught using children's toys it makes for a more fun and multi-sensory way of learning that appeals to children. Children's toys and craft materials can be used to help children develop cognitive, language, memory and quantitative skills. Certain children's toys can be very educational and provide children with a way of learning that is visually and kinaesthetically appealing. Children's toys such as educational board games, puzzles, and art and craft products are all great for the development of cognition and knowledge.

Children's toys can be a great way for parents to help stimulate development in their children. By providing children with the materials, they need to help foster development parents are ensuring that their children are equipped with the skills that they need for the future.

 




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