Steam Controller Hopes to Allow Disabled Father to Play Skyrim

Video games can do a lot of things. You can play them with your friends while sitting on the sofa, or play with people on other side of the world. You can sit down at a party and sing your favourite songs while your friends play the music, or conquer an entire world on your own. One thing that some people find rewarding is playing games with the ones they care about the most, be that their friends or family. Eli Jewett is one of the latter, playing games with his dad who recently wanted to play Skyrim. There was one problem, though, his dad can only use his right hand.

Chris Hepburn has a post that is known for allowing people to request a controller mapping for certain games. Jewett saw this and requested a one-handed profile for Skyrim using the Steam controller. Hepburn was asked by GameSpot why he decided to take up this request and Detailed in the video below, the end result was a combination of motion and physical controls such as mapping movement to the tilt sensor while looking around was done via the right track pad.

“The son wanted his dad to play Skyrim! Enough said. Who wouldn’t want their dad to share Skyrim with them?” asked Hepburn. “We’ve all played Skyrim and this guy’s dad wants to try it. Had to make it at that point.”

While he has yet to test the profile Jewetts father launched Skyrim after being told about the creation hopefully a game he will be able to enjoy soon. Hepburn has stated that he would go back and change the profile over and over until Jewetts dad is comfortable with it, while Hepbrun is going to take on more profile requests, such as one for a woman who has arthritis and cannot use her thumbs. “Valve are the real innovators here. They gave us the tools to help each other” Hepbrun added.

This is the gaming community that I enjoy being a part of, one where you not only enjoy playing with your friends and family but are also willing to help out others so they can share in that enjoyment.

Samsung Rolling Out New All-in-One Curved PC

We know Samsung has its thing with curved displays, one of the examples being the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. However, now the company appears to take its curved display technology to the PC market as well, having planned to launch a new all-in-one PC, the Ativ One 7, featuring the technology on the 8th of March.

The company first showcased its design at CES, featuring a 27″ curved display with a curvature of 4000R. In terms of specs, the Ativ One 7 comes equipped with an Intel i5 CPU, 8GB Ram and 1TB of storage, classifying it as a ‘good family PC’.

The price will be a bit steep though. Even if the specs do not look so amazing, the curved display technology will still add extra to the price. Samsung is said to be selling the PC for $1299 in the US, with pricing for the UK and Europe still unconfirmed.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

Entire Episode of Sitcom ‘Modern Family’ To Take Place on a Mac Desktop

An upcoming episode of ‘Modern Family’, the popular sitcom shown on ABC in the US and Sky in the UK, has been shot entirely on Apple iPhones, iPads and Macs. The episode takes place solely on the desktop of one of the shows characters, showing her attempts to get in touch with her family via various Apple apps, including FaceTime and iMessage.

Director and co-creator of ‘Modern Family’, Steve Levitan, used an iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 to film the episode, streaming all the content to one sole Mac computer. While most of you will have immediately called this a massive piece of blatant product placement, it’s worth pointing out that Apple didn’t pay a penny towards the episode’s production. They did however give the producers a free Mac Pro to help them put it together.

‘Modern Family’ has a history with Apple, after an early episode centred around one character’s obsession towards the then new iPad. That episode was sponsored by the company.

Source: MacRumors

Battle of the Bottom End – Sprint Offers 1GB Data for $20

Mobile data is becoming a necessity in this day and age, most phones require data for simple things such as Facebook messaging, checking emails or even utilizing the GPS function of your device – it only makes sense that providers should go to war over offering the best options to their ‘beloved’ consumers.

However, we were quite surprised to see many carriers these days offering such low data quantity plans – how far will Verizon’s 500MB or AT&T’s 300MB really get you? About five medium length YouTube video’s is the answer.

In comes Sprint, the hero we deserve. They’ve just announced their new low-end family data plan which includes 1GB of data for $20 per month, doubling the offerings of Verizon’s measly 500MB and AT&T’s 300MB plan. I understand we’ve been fairly negative here and maybe 300MB of data is plenty enough for your 50 year old step dad, but no-one likes over use charges and it makes sense in this day and age that a ‘sufficient’ amount of data shouldn’t be too hard to come by. Even Australia’s Amaysim offers 4GB data plans with included calls and text messaging for $40.

This announcement is said to be part of Sprint’s “double-the-data” promotion that targets irregular phone users and families just looking for a cheap and easy connection. In recent times, AT&T and Sprint have been in a war over the high rated plans, with AT&T doubling their data allowance and Sprint doubling theirs again in return – but the battle has now switched to the bottom end.

There has been no word of a fight back by AT&T and Verizon, but we’re interested to see how things progress.

Do you utilize one of these plans for yourself or a family member? For those who use higher quantities of data it’s not always easy to understand why a person would only want 300mb-1gb, but is your grandpa really expected to be scrolling through Instagram pictures all day? But on the other hand, how hard is it really to offer a simple 1- 2 GB plan without sending yourself bankrupt?

Image courtesy of Phandroid

Facebook, Apple Assist Women in Freezing Eggs for Future Use

Family or Career? It’s a chat that many couples have at some stage throughout their life. There’s no denying that creating a family of your own is a special experience, but what if you’re just not quite ready for it yet?

Studies have concluded that the older you get, as a female, the less likely you are to successfully conceive children. This means that if you’re rocking it in the tech business world at 24, maybe the time isn’t quite right for you to start a family of your own – but what if you want to do so when you’re a bit older? As of January 2015, Apple will offer up to $20,000 to help cover the costs for their female staff to freeze their eggs across all part and full-time staff. This is something that Facebook has been offering since January 2014.

The actual cost for freezing your eggs is quite significant. The original procedure of freezing will set you back around $10,000, with a recurring $500 fee every month for storage.

The reception can be described as ‘luke-warm’ by the general audience. Some people are extremely happy that the service is being offered, others feel it’s some kind of breach of privacy for the workers involved, claiming it’s “The boss against the baby”. From a company standpoint, this is all about keeping on reliable staff and also giving their members the option to continue their family at a later date.

Apple’s official statement reads:

“We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cryopreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments… We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”

Their parental leave period has also been extended alongside adoption and surrogacy assistance among fertility services for both male and female staff members.

What are your views on this subject? Do you think that it’s an empowering tool that should be widespread across employers, or is this a major privacy breach by the big names?

Image courtesy of Global Good Group

Flappy Birds is Back! … But Only on Amazon’s Appstore for Android

Flappy Birds’ creator has promised to bring the popular ‘tappy’ mobile game back a few months ago, along with an additional feature. He said that the new version will have a multiplayer option, which would double the fun since it involves competing with your friends.

The time is come and Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Birds, has released the new version through his .Gear studio on Amazon’s Appstore for Android. There is no confirmation up until now of it being available for either Apple’s AppStore or Google’s Play Store just yet. The game is said to be compatible with Amazon’s Fire TV platform as well and includes new obstacles such as ghosts.

“Flappy Birds now are on Amazon Fire TV with incredible new features: Person vs Person mode, more obstacles, more fun and still very hard,” the game’s description reads. “Enjoy playing the game at home (not breaking your TV) with your family and friends.”

The Flappy Birds Family title is said to have support for the Amazon’s Fire TV remote and its dedicated video game controller, prompting players to “push” a button instead of the previous “tap” the screen. Nguyen is said to have pulled the original Flappy Birds off the AppStore and Google Play Store back in February due to its addictive nature, even though it was earning the developer “tens of thousands of dollars” daily through advertising.

It happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem,” Nguyen said. “My life has not been as comfortable as I was before. I couldn’t sleep,” he added.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Polygon

Study Reveals Gamers To Be More Educated, Social and Successful Than Non-Gamers

Gamers have always been thought to be comprised mostly by loners and rejects, the so-called nerds who live in their parent’s basement and play video games all day long. However, a recent study has shed light on this dilemma, revealing that only one perception is true from the previously mentioned, which is that gamers are truly nerds.

A study commissioned by the video game streaming network Twitch and conducted by social researcher Neil Howe revealed an entirely fresh perspective of the gaming community by suggesting that gamers are more successful, social and more educated than the non-gamer society. The company is said to have surveyed more than 1,000 people via the Internet regarding their gaming habits while also extracting some demographic information. For the case study at hand, it has been said that a typical ‘gamer’ was defined as an individual who has played a game on a digital device in the past 60 days, having over 60% of surveyed individuals in total fitting the profile.

According to The Washington Post, who received a copy of the case study, gamers are more likely to be living with others, such as family, friends or significant others, and are more likely to agree with the following statement: “My friends are the most important thing in my life”, having 57% of gamers agree with the statement. The study also reveals that gamers are also divided more evenly by gender, with 52% identified as being male and 48% female, compared to a similar study back in 2004 revealing an estimated 40% of female gamers.

Another aspect extracted from the case study is said to reveal that gamers are slightly more likely to be employed full-time, having 42% of gamers employed full-time, compared to the 39% non-gamer full-time employees. In terms of media habits, it has been identified that gamers spend more time using their gadgets and also tend to spend a lot of time with media through popular video streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Though most modern gamers already are familiar and agree with the provided information, it is nice to see Twitch and Neil Howe providing some actual hard facts and truthful information regarding the definition of a ‘Gamer’ and hopefully diminish the false rumors which have been roaming around the non-gamer community for some time now.

Thank you The Washington Post for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Capital FM, GBeye and Keep Calm-o-Matic

Best Games to Buy for the PS4

As Sony renews its fierce battle with Microsoft for supremacy and consumer interest in the games console industry, the new PlayStation 4 hits the market in time for avid gamers to receive the perfect Christmas gift. Released in late November, the console is a remarkable upgrade on the previous model, with the latest high performance technology built in to provide the ultimate gaming experience. An eight-core processor and Next-Gen graphics card offers a smooth frame rate in high definition, with a 500 gigabyte hard-drive providing ample room for save files and games to be added. The excitement and high expectation which surrounded the latter pre-launch contributed towards the PlayStation 4 becoming the fastest selling console in the United Kingdom.

Get into Battle with First-Person Shooters

Although the PlayStation 4 is in its relative infancy, a selection of games were released on the same day as the console to provide avid gamers with an instant taste of next generation graphics that make virtual simulation and imagery as close to real life as it gets. Arguably the prime genre for the most stimulating gaming experience is first-person shooters which put gamers straight into the battlefield amidst gunfire, explosions and combat. Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 divide opinion between gamers through the subtle gameplay differences and angles they take on combat, but both are unarguably superb titles in their own right. Both games revolve around joining allied forces in the face of terrorism and war to stop an opposition from claiming world domination; this is captured through high definition graphics and superb cinematography that make the gameplay feel so realistic. Killzone: Shadow Fall and Blacklight: Retribution is more futuristic versions of first-person shooters which focus on military intelligence units which use hybrid military weaponry that push the realms of possibility to new lengths.


Make the Difference on the Pitch

Sports games continue to narrow the boundaries between virtual simulation and reality through next generation graphics and gameplay that make gamers feel like they are on the pitch themselves playing in front of a packed stadium. Finding a balance between risk and fortune produces a similar experience on a sports game as it does playing bingo or slots on Produced by EA Sports, the new instalment in the FIFA series comes to life on the PlayStation 4 through Ignite – an AI-based engine that make the players move, behave and think like real-life footballers, and make the crowd more dynamic in their actions and celebrations. FIFA 14 also utilises innovative graphic systems to effectively capture the faces of the worldâ€s best players and integrate them upon a game with intricate detail that is similar to watching a football game on TV. EA Sports have utilised their technological capabilities and next-gen graphics to also release Madden NFL 25 and NBA Live 14 which make American Football and basketball feel more realistic than ever.


Something for the Family

Although leading titles and genres were likely to be the main attraction upon the launch of the PlayStation 4, game developers appreciate that there is a larger audience to appease than merely serving to lovers of sports games or first-person shooters. Games which are targeted towards families and children are effective in bringing parents and children closer together through a fun activity, and can also serve a fundamental purpose for children to learn invaluable life lessons and skills. The Lego series has often struck a positive chord with adults and children who control Lego-shaped characters across a multitude of platform levels, both of which carry a relatable theme through a famous film and its character. The latest instalment, Marvel Super Heroes, brings Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America and others together to defeat Marvel villains across locations that are synonymous with the film. Another game which has been made exclusive to the PlayStation 4 is Knack, an adventure game which utilises unique powers across fun-based, action-packed levels to combat against a threat to mankind. The colourful, friendly characters can be instantly appreciated by children in a vibrant, high resolution world that needs their help.

Image courtesy of Sony