Changing The Face Of Gaming

Changing The Face Of Gaming

"Pokemon GO" merges video games and reality.

When Nintendo first released its "Pokemon" games for its handheld Game Boy system in February of 1996, they probably had no idea just how popular the franchise would become. After spreading to the UK, North America, Australia, South America, and beyond, Pokemon quickly became an international pop icon. Even back in 2013, before the release of their incredibly popular "X" and "Y" titles or similarly hype-driven remakes "Alpha Sapphire" and "Omega Ruby," the Pokemon Company announced that it had sold over 172 million copies of its games worldwide. With each new title of its main line, Pokemon has endeavored to move its players toward active social interaction. For those who have never had the joy of playing the Pokemon games, a typical summary would be that they are about traveling different geographical regions collecting and befriending a huge assortment of wild creatures. In the Pokemon world, everything seems to revolve around trainers and their relationship with their Pokemon friends. The strongest trainers take lead positions in society, acting as both a sort of government and as community mentors for the cities and towns in which they reside. By creating combat-oriented games that remain free of blood and relatively scarce of death, Pokemon explores themes of power, friendship, and work ethic while still being family friendly.

Unlike in previous generations, the fanbase for games like Pokemon and other forms of animated entertainment never seemed to outgrow the product. Instead of dismissing the games as childlike, the Pokemon fanbase remained loyal, creating a unique opportunity for the company to work with a market of increasingly older fans. While attending the midnight release of "Omega Ruby" and "Alpha Sapphire," I was pleased to see a long line of 20 somethings dominating the area, some even bringing their kids along for the event.

Recently the Pokemon Company made an announcement that created an internet uproar among its fans. For the first time ever, Pokemon was coming to the physical world in "Pokemon GO." How, you ask? By utilized GPS and smart phone technology couple with a sort of “Fit Bit”-style watch, "Pokemon GO" places different Pokemon at actual geographical locations. Players must travel to these locations to battle or catch wild Pokemon. As always, players can also play the game amongst each other as they trade and battle cooperatively or competitively. The game’s trailer teased at major events in which large numbers of players will have to join forces to fight powerful legendary Pokemon at a specific location.

What I find most intriguing about "Pokemon GO," however, has little to do with the Pokemon world. Think back to when a groundbreaking system was announced for the first time. Maybe you can remember as far back as "Pong," or the first standing arcade. Maybe you remember when the Xbox 360 consolidated all of your entertainment needs into a single box. Maybe you played some of the first MMOs. No matter your age or gaming interests, you were probably present when the cultural methods of entertainment were dramatically shifted. This is what fascinates me. Though "Pokemon GO" is not the first “augmented reality” game, it is already one of the most popular. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit exploded with rumors and questions about how the new game will operate. In my opinion, the game’s popularity has already changed the way we think about entertainment. Now that we view an idea like "GO" as an option, we have created an opening for game developers to accommodate that desire. We are the forerunners and aggravators of whatever comes of this. That’s why I will not only be playing "Pokemon GO," but purchasing whatever associated products that are released with it.

Being a gamer does not mean you dislike being outside. A common (though dwindling) stereotype portrayed video game enthusiasts as lazy, unhygienic, and disconnected from reality. The overwhelmingly positive interest in "GO" seems to derail such a narrow view. If you really think about it, gamers are probably more active than their movie-buff or bookworm counterparts. A huge chunk of the gaming industry encourages players to use their minds actively in order to achieve a desired goal. Freeform and open world games such as "Skyrim" and "Minecraft" allow the player to create their own gaming experience rather than being forced to play a specific style. As a video game lover as well as a physically active person who enjoys being outside, I am ecstatic about the possibility of taking my family or a group of friends on an outdoor gaming adventure. By playing this game, writing this article, and talking about it in general, I am joining millions of others in laying the foundation for the new wave of video game hybrid experiences.

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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Age Doesn't Matter, You Should Still Play Minecraft

How my 10-year-old daughter has me playing her favorite game…


Minecraft is an online game by a company called Mojang where players can build and interact with cube-based worlds to create and play however they wish to.

My daughter has become obsessed with Minecraft. So obsessed in fact that she has dragged me into it. I've got an account now and worlds and we play in creative so we can build stuff. It's all rather odd to me, but she loves being able to play together, so we do. Here are my reasons you should be playing Minecraft no matter your age.

1. You Can Create Interesting Worlds

Apparently, there are tons of different types of worlds that can generate in Minecraft. You could play in the snow, a grassy plain, or even a huge forest of trees. The choices are endless.

2. You Can Build Tons Of Cool Stuff

We've made a house, a zoo, and are working on a massive treehouse in the sky. The possibilities here are endless too.

3. There Is A Huge Following/Community

So many people play and know Minecraft that if you get stuck on something like I did, you can always look it up and learn how to get that function to work exactly right when you need it to.

4. It Is A Great Way To Spend Time Together

Families can spend a bit of time working on a Minecraft world together. You'll get a chance to talk to and connect with your kid and they get to play a favorite game. It's a win-win situation.

5. It Is Actually A Whole Lotta Fun

This is pretty self-explanatory, but I have had a blast learning how to play Minecraft from my 10-year-old. She has just recently stopped calling me a noob (new player) every five minutes, but if I do something really silly in the game she still says that it was a noob moment.

Overall, if you've never played Minecraft, you should try it out just once to see all the great things this game can do.

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