Lockdown Lowdown, Uncategorized

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, Uncategorized

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, Uncategorized

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.

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Lockdown Lowdown, Uncategorized

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

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(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!

 

Gameslife, Uncategorized

Gameslife #4 Death Stranding and Isolation

In these strange times, I’m going to once again write about a strange game that has become surprisingly relevant lately!

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Back in May, I wrote a little post in anticipation of Hideo Kojima’s upcoming ‘Death Stranding’ game, exploring the theme of facilitating connections between one another. Kojima had boldly claimed that his new game would help people “understand the true importance of forging connections with others”. Now that it’s been on general release for a few months and I’ve completed the game’s main storyline, I wanted to share my thoughts on my mission to “reconnect this fractured world”, especially given the current global situation that is affecting our ability to connect with each other.

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Gameslife

Gameslife #2 – Death Stranding and Connections

On May 29th, a new trailer for Hideo Kojima’s much anticipated ‘Death Stranding’ came out, announcing that the game will be available from November 8th of this year. For those of you unfamiliar with Hideo Kojima and his work, he is kind of a big deal in the world of video games. He is best known for his hugely popular ‘Metal Gear Solid’ series (of which I am a huge fan) and for his unique cinematic and surreal style of narrative and game design. This new trailer has definitely piqued my interest in the game and given me good food for thought in the way we interact with others, both in the gaming world and beyond.

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(Norman Reedus and Léa Seydoux as characters; Sam Porter Bridges and Fragile respectively. Picture from Death Stranding’s PlayStation website)

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Operation: Soaring Eagle

Operation: Soaring Eagle – How To Deal With Day One Jitters

IMG_7664

Hello all! I would like to share with you, if I may, my experience of beginning my adventure in Montenegro and I hope that if you are thinking of having an adventure of your own, wherever in the world that may be, that it proves useful in helping you prepare and finding your feet once you’re out there!

Most travel blogs start with listing the highlights of a trip, or describing an idyllic scene of natural beauty and supreme tranquillity, but I’m going to start by describing a difficult portion of our trip. Me and Megan had a very smooth flight from Manchester to Tivat Airport, where we found the weather to be gloriously sunny without being overpoweringly hot. The host we were staying with picked us up promptly from the airport and took us to our nice, incredibly reasonably priced apartment and then we were able to amble around the Bay of Tivat enjoying the weather, the views and the food. The next day, we were picked up by the driver from Playworking‘s Adventure House and taken there, which we would be using as our base of operations for the rest of our in Montenegro. So far so good, right?

IMG_7703I’m sure you all can remember a time where, even though things are going great, something just knocks you off kilter and you end up heavily doubting yourself. For me, that happened the first time we went into our local town of Radovici to do some shopping and get the lay of the land. I found myself confused at where the local hiking routes were, unfamiliar with the products on offer at the market and feeling unable to get clarification or assistance due to the lack of English-speakers in the area and my extremely limited grasp of Montenegrin.

We just about cobbled together some food that would maybe last us a day or two but I wound up questioning myself: why was I paying for accommodation and food all the way out here when I was doing just fine back home? Why hadn’t I learnt more Montengrin or done more research about the area before arriving here? I was in such a state of doubt, I wasn’t appreciating where I was. However, by the next day, I had completely turned myself around and was getting stuck into adventures left, right and centre (which I’ll write about in a later Highlights of Montenegro piece).

For now, here are four things you can do to get over the jitters that are usually part and parcel of going on a big adventure somewhere new:

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