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Games and Gaming – A New Twist to a Hobby

For people used to Flash widgets and the many types of gaming consoles available today, a life without a chance to play games (individually or against other players) would seem very dull indeed. Games are so integral to human society that people cannot imagine a time when there were no board games or amusing puzzles to solve. And people’s intuitive opinion is probably right. The oldest board games originated long before when people had just learned to read and write – which probably accounts for the fact that kids today would rather play an RPG than do their homework. Senet was a board game popular with Egyptian Pharaohs almost 5000 years back. Ancient Persians, Chinese, Mayans, Ethiopians, and Indians were fond of games – anything to break the tedium.

The love for games has not diminished over the last millennia. Indeed, as life becomes busier and stress becomes an almost constant factor, the need for games and the almost ritualistic fervor of playing these games only increases. Today, the simple wooden boards have given way to sophisticated software based games. You may not play Chess on a wooden board anymore, but there are plenty of opportunities for you to play it online, against someone sitting on the other side of the world. You can solve jigsaw puzzles without ever misplacing or losing any of the pieces, thanks to computer games and gaming.

Computer games caught on fairly recently in the history of games and gaming, but now the sales of gaming CDs outnumber conventional games equipment such as boards, pieces, and decks. Tic tac toe was first adapted for computers as far back as 1952, but then only the dozen odd people working at the EDSAC lab in University of Cambridge had access to the game. Pacman seems ancient when compared to the MMORPGs out there, but you need to remind yourself that very few people had access to computers or gaming arcades as recently as 30 years back.

Online games offer many advantages over the conventional games and puzzles. They can be accessed free of cost in many cases. A single website dedicated to games and gaming presents visitors a chance to try their hand at dozens, and even hundreds of games. These games are innovative and well designed, so you can play games featuring your favorite car, Disney character, or sports personality. Your choices are not limited to a rehash of old board games and puzzles – you can virtually drive a car, take part in target shooting, solve mysteries, search for treasure, command ships, create battle strategies, or try to survive on an island after a shipwreck. Not all games are this grand in scale – if you like something simpler, try the delightful games where you get to help Santa light a Christmas tree or choose the perfect dress for a bank manager, salesgirl, or even a movie star.

Play them when feeling stressed over deadlines, assignments, homework, or dentist appointments. As far as stress busting goes, nothing works better than games and gaming.

Video Gaming and Computer Tips For Your HDTV

The new HDTV set can be used not only for viewing traditional TV content from cable, satellite, terrestrial broadcast and optical disc players but also content from other multimedia devices. These can be your gaming console such as the PlayStation 3, the Wii, the Xbox 360, or your personal computer. This is the reason why newer HDTV sets now have multiple inputs and functions to cater to multimedia requirement.

Gaming Consoles

HDMI output is standard for almost all new gaming consoles, except for the Wii, which came up with its own Component Video Cable. TV manufacturers complemented this by equipping their sets with picture presets like “Game” or “Sports” configured specially for video games. Most games are produced on widescreen 480p or 720p, with some even done on 1080i. Older versions of these game consoles come with analog outputs only. If you want to connect them to your new HDTV set, use the S-video or component video connections for better picture quality.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 or PS3 has HDMI outputs that support high definition 16:9 video and its Blu-ray drive can also be used to play back movie titles. Micrososoft’s Xbox 360 allows users to download games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, and movies. This console supports all games in high-definition 16:9. It can also play back DVDs at 480p without any additional hardware and also has an option for HD DVD playback ( discontinued due to defeat in format war with Blu-ray). Nintendo came up with the Wii but opted to concentrate on the gaming experience rather than the add-on features that Microsoft and Sony included in their game consoles. Wii does not have an HDMI output but it came up with a Component Video Cable that allows you to hook your console system to an HDTV to view 16:9 or widescreen 480p progressive output. It is also has no stand-alone DVD or Blu-ray player like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Personal Computers

New personal computer models, Macintosh or Windows-based, now have DVI interface, the digital version of VGA. This is a type of connection that inputs uncompressed video signals from the computer to the display device. Since there is no compression used, there is no loss of picture quality when the source signal is displayed on the monitor. If your HDTV set has no DVI input, you need a DVI-to-HDMI adaptor cable that is normally available in electronics stores.

We are now witnessing a new trend in the household wherein members of the family converge in the living room with a large HDTV set to view movies or TV programs, surf the web or play their favorite video games. Television has certainly evolved from the traditional boob tube into a multimedia necessity. So before buying a new HDTV set, see to it that it has the right connections and the necessary features for your new multimedia devices.

Video and Computer Gaming Problems

Unlike other forms of addiction, the number of cases of video game addiction and computer game addiction continues to grow. While virtual games are prevalent to a significant portion of the world’s population, no one is too young or too old to be a gaming addict. It is really hard to maintain control when you are having too much fun. This control is even harder when involving kids. In modern societies, you may not even find a kid who is not familiar with any video or computer games since these games are free to access. Worse, they may even get the habit from their parents, who are often misled that playing virtual games would enrich their children’s minds or imagination. These disturbing facts emphasize the need to promote awareness on this new trend and face of addiction.

Many people are continuously drawn to the hype of computer and video games. It is originally intended to provide an exciting way of spending free time, providing a chance of escaping into a complex virtual world where the stresses and pressures bring by real life situations can be left behind. In this case, playing virtual games is rather therapeutic. What makes them destructive is when a player grows dependence on these games to feel good about their lives; hence, giving the same effect that narcotic substances give addicts.

Taking the proactive role of limiting the involvement and the time spent on playing video and computer games can prevent the prevalence of computer game addiction or video game addiction. For parents, they can start by implementing strict time schedules on staying in front of game consoles. For adults, they may start by enlisting on therapy sessions where they can gain better perspective of their own lives. Since this new face of addiction does not concentrate on a specific age group, everybody is vulnerable to giving in to the good feeling that these games bring. Thanks to its attainable reward-system and worldwide-based social networks, these games are much harder to resist. While there are a significant number of cases of gaming addiction to adult population, we can expect more on children especially those in school ages.

Thankfully, many institutions have devised a way to managing and treating video game addiction and computer game addiction. Combinations of psychopharmacology and psychological treatment methods are used to design rehabilitation or recovery programs. These programs usually appeal to improving the individual’s perception of their lives more than the withdrawal, since we can never escape the use of computers in work and school work applications. Many issues are still to be settled on the diagnosis of this new face of addiction, often causing confusions. However, if you feel that you or your child is already affected by compulsive gaming disorder, don’t allow it to develop into an addiction. Immediately seek medical help.