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Lockdown Lowdown – 3 ways you can make the most of Learning At Work Week – 21st May 2020

It turns out there’s a lot going on this week! As well as being Mental Health Awareness Week (click here for a little exercise you can do for that), it is also Learning At Work Week. Whilst many of us are currently either off work, or at work but swamped with essential duties to carry out, I believe it is still well worth taking advantage of. These themes actually ties in quite nicely with Mental Health Awareness Week, as lifelong learning is a core part of promoting good mental health.

If you are on furlough or waiting until things settle down before looking for work, now could be a great time to think what skills you’d like to develop by the time this is over to help you in your current job, prepare yourself for another role you’ve had your eye on or just engage in the joy of learning something new that interests you. And if you’re working at this time, asking your employer about learning at work, if appropriate, could be a good way of keeping your spirits up and refining your skills.

Here’s a few things I’d recommend checking out if you’re keen to make the most of this special week – though it’s worth pointing out, they aren’t looking to go away once Learning At Work Week is over so keep a cool head as you consider your options!

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Lockdown Lowdown – 6 great console games to connect with friends over – 13th May 2020

It’s been a little while since my last Lockdown Lowdown. This is partly because of other projects I’ve been working on, but also, not going to lie, it’s because I’ve been indulging in a few choice video games.

Video games have had a reputation of being quite solitary activities. However, as time has gone on, the medium has evolved to become more social and attitudes towards it have changed, making it more of an acceptable pastime. Now, with the lockdown still in full swing, people are turning to games as ways of staying connected with one another.

I have been doing just that lately and I would like to share with you my suggestions for games you can use to connect with your friends, and tips on how to get the best social experience out of them:

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Lockdown Lowdown – Things gamers can do for Citizen Science Month – 18th April 2020

Citizen Science Month

(From SciStarter.)

With so many people stuck in their homes and looking for something meaningful to engage with, it seems that Citizen Science Month has come at just the right time! Citizen Science Month is a collaboration between SciStarter and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University. For those of you who haven’t heard of Citizen Science before, I’ll give you a quick rundown. In scientific research, oftentimes the most energy intensive part is gathering data required to reach reliable solutions. Citizen Science empowers members of the public to gather useful data in so many different ways; from monitoring the natural world, using smartphone sensors to record environmental conditions and even, you guessed it, gaming!

If you are interested in engaging with Citizen Science Month, without gaming, have a look at these articles about 7 Ways you can Take Part in Online Science Projects and Activities from Discover Magazine or Citizen Science-ing where you are from SciStarter.

Here are a few games where you can advance global scientific understanding while you play:

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Lockdown Lowdown – Gaming communities that bring positivity into your home – 11th April 2020

Video gaming is a hobby that is very well suited to our current state of lockdown for many reasons; most notable is the medium’s ability to provide experiences that transport us from our immediate environment into new worlds, and connect with people all around the world. Whilst presenting the BAFTA Games Awards Dara O’Briain said that gamers had a lot to teach us about ways in which we can stay connected with one another during this time. Whilst the world of online gaming can be a very mixed experience, I have a few suggestions of gaming communities and content producers you could benefit from connecting with, whether you’re a gamer or not!

Rezzed 7

(Image from EGX)

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Lockdown Lowdown – Local Adventures Whilst Social Distancing – 2nd April 2020

For those of us who enjoy the great outdoors, the news about having to go into lockdown would no doubt have been met with dread and some level of reluctance. However, the terms of the current lockdown are that you can go outside for one bit of exercise per day, as long as you are following government guidelines for social distancing, and are not undergoing unnecessary travel to get there. These restrictions have directed me towards rediscovering what my local area has to offer and I would like to share with you my suggestions with how you can have some local adventures whilst doing your bit to keep yourself and others safe during the current pandemic.

IMG_0272

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Lockdown Lowdown – Just a Few Things You Can Do Whilst Self Isolating – 26th March 2020

Hello everyone!

In these strange days of Lockdown (has it really just been 3 days so far?!), I wanted to start offering regular updates on things you can look out for to keep you entertained and connected with your fellow quaranteenees:

Rezzed Digital

Rezzed Digital

 

(Image from Rock, Paper, Shotgun)

A month ago, my original plan for this week was to attend a 3 day gaming event, EGX Rezzed, in London. I attended last year for a day and was very excited about getting more time there this year. Obviously, that’s not happening anymore, but the event has been provisionally moved to the 2nd-4th July, and in the meantime, they’ve gotten together a virtual event called Rezzed Digital. The event features the likes of Outside Xbox, Dicebreaker and Rock, Paper, Shotgun doing talks, let’s plays and other shows viewable on YouTube, and available there thereafter if you miss the live show. They are in their first day, with more events coming up Friday and Saturday as well with a full rundown of events on the EGX website!

Borderlands 3: Guns, Love and Tentacles

borderlands3-dlc2-1

(Promo image from Twinfinite article)

Borderlands 3, the open world, shoot-and-loot game from Gearbox, came out last year, and is releasing its second batch of extra downloadable content, after releasing “Moxxi’s Heist of The Handsome Jackpot” in December. It’s rare enough to find good games that you can play cooperatively with people in the same room as you, but Borderlands 3 has been an absolute delight for me and my partner with its slick gameplay, vibrant characters and twisted sense of humour. “Guns, Love and Tentacles” will have us attending the wedding of lovable rogues, Hammerlock and Wainwright, helping the event run smoothly despite the outbreak of Lovecraftian Horrors that descend upon proceedings. Or maybe they’re part of proceedings?… Either way, we’re very much looking forward to it, after the Handsome Heist DLC which proved a very full and rewarding experience.

Hometasking – Taskmaster at home!

TM2

(Promo image from UKTV)

And finally, something a bit less video-gamey! Hometasking is a trend started by Alex Horne, the brains behind Dave’s very popular, Taskmaster. If you go on to Taskmaster’s YouTube channel, you will see posted regularly some bizarre tasks that you can get involved with and submit your attempts online for judgement. Anyone who has ever watched the Taskmaster TV show, will know that these tasks are often bizarre and inspire diverse and entertaining responses. So far, the quality of responses has been excellent and if you were just interested in watching other people’s effort rather than create your own, you can do so by simply searching ‘hometasking’ in YouTube.

 

That’s all from me for now. I will try and post more regular updates on things you can enjoy for as long as this situation continues. I hope you all look after each other and keep your spirits up however you need to!