22 September 2023

Playing Games Live Online: How Live Streams Create New Experiences for Gamers


Gaming has become a true cultural phenomenon and a fixed part of our society today. The number of gamers across the globe grows steadily, as more people enjoy immersing themselves in virtual worlds and sharing their passion with fellow enthusiasts online. Modern technologies such as the internet and live streams have allowed users from anywhere in the world to connect with fellow gamers and share their gaming sessions with the community online. Meanwhile, entertainment providers have created innovations to let modern users experience entertainment that used to only take place offline in a new way.

Let’s plays let gamers across the world play together   

Twitch started out over a decade ago as a humble platform for gamers to connect and has since developed into the biggest live-streaming platform in the world. It’s a place where gamers from across the globe come together to share their gaming sessions with the community in real time. Gamers broadcast so-called “let’s plays” live, which show the gamer’s game screen and usually a live video of the streamer themselves. This allows other users to watch and follow along as they play and use the live chat to comment, ask questions, and share thoughts with the streamer and audience. With this trend, live streams have created a way for huge, international video gaming parties to take place as you no longer have to be seated on the same couch to watch your friends play.

Not just gamers who play as a hobby have found an online community on Twitch and other live-streaming platforms. Additionally, professional and competitive gaming has seen tremendous growth thanks to live streaming. With its large reach, gaming live streams proved integral in the emergence and success of esports. Live streams allow gamers to watch professionals take it out on the virtual battlefield from anywhere in real time and participate in this growing trend. Esports tournaments attract millions of viewers who follow the action via live online broadcasts.

Virtual game night with friends

Nowadays, you don’t have to gather your friends around one table to play tabletop games together. Digital versions of classic games, live streams, and video calls now make it possible to play together regardless of where everybody is. Some of the most popular video conference software, such as Zoom, allow users from around the world to connect and come together virtually to play all kinds of games. Zoom has a variety of games, including trivia, dice, and party games, already integrated into its app to allow a smooth and seamless playing experience with friends and teams with the click of a button. Using digital versions of other games, such as the online game of CATAN or the mobile game of Exploding Kittens, friends can start private game rounds to play together digitally. By taking advantage of a video call, all participants are able to see, hear, and talk to each other to imitate the experience of a traditional game night with friends. Thanks to live video calls, it’s even possible to play classic party games such as charades over long distances.

Live streams create new ways to experience traditional entertainment

Many entertainment options that used to just take place in physical attendance have made the transition to the online realm and are taking advantage of live-streaming technology to create immersive virtual experiences. One great example are escape games, which have seen a tremendous trend over the past few years, as more escape room locations open their doors across the globe. Now, you don’t have to come together physically anymore to play and solve mysteries in a team. Taking advantage of live streams and video calls, many escape game providers now let players experience the game fully virtually from the comforts of their homes. You can even visit a casino online with life-like experiences offered virtually with the help of live streams. Many of the best-rated real money casinos in the US offer so-called live casino games within their extensive game libraries that can be played using real money. For an authentic casino experience from the comfort of players’ homes, a real dealer appears on the screens via a live stream. The technology allows game enthusiasts to experience these games, which used to only take place physically, in a virtual realm.

Bringing gamers from across the globe together on the web and allowing providers to create new and immersive entertainment experiences, live-streaming technology has truly changed the game.

Image Credit

17 September 2023

Han – The Little Merman

The medieval town of Elsinore, in Denmark has recently found it has a new addition to its waterfront. As you will see, it was designed to complement Edvard Eriksen's statue of the Little Mermaid which commemorates the character created by Hans Christian Anderson in Copenhagen (left).

London and Berlin based artists Elmgreen and Dragset have installed Han, the Little Merman (my subtitle), a thoroughly modern and controversially male interpretation of the Danish national icon and occasional Disney wannabee.


Anyone who has ever owned a dog will tell you how much they loved the little critter.  This little girl and her dog, Sketchi, are inseparable but her canine companion is old and it is time for him to go to the dog kennel in the sky.

Yet the little girl has other ideas and goes to drastic lengths to try and revive her pet.

This is a sad and funny animated short by Lily Sun. It is sad without being maudlin and funny without being cruel – which is a difficult job to get right. Wonderful work, Lily!

Why Science is NOT ‘Just a Theory’

Oh for a unit of currency for each time I have had to explain the difference between an everyday theory and a scientific theory.  Elvis is still alive? Theory.  Darwin and evolution? Theory!  So what’s the difference, say people, they’re both just theories! However, the time of raised eyebrows and explanations is over – now I will just plonk them in front of this animation where Jim Al-Khalili puts the record straight for the Royal Institution.


The wonderfully barmy English philosopher Jeremy Bentham once wrote: Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet. It is so true. Life on earth is about so much more than the birds and the bees – it’s also about the ‘shrooms. Under our feet the amatory ballet of reproduction goes on and without it our own cycle of birth, love and death would not exist. This vital component of life on earth is here brought to life in a larger than life way by five students of the Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands. It is visually stunning and it’s obvious that a whole lot of work – and love – has gone in to this wonderful project.

The Innuendo team consist of (right to left in this wonderful mugshot from the animation's Facebook page) Tim de Haan. Louise van Putten, Kjeld Slingerland, Niels Bosch and Dieuwer Feldbrugge. I have to say that this is probably my favorite student animation of the year so far (a prize which more often than not goes to Supinfocom and not just because France is where I learned about the birds and the bees. Honestly).

Steadfast Stanley

It always seems that pets get somewhat neglected in times of zombie apocalypse. I can’t think of a single movie or TV series where they get any sort of priority (but please leave a comment and correct me if I’m wrong). So it is with Stanley – the little Welsh Corgi gets left behind when life as we know it comes to a sudden stop in John Cody Kim’s CalArts graduation film. Will he find his human again? Watch and find out!

The Red Menace: Anti-Communist Propaganda of the Cold War

Every age has its bogeyman.  If you grew up in 1950s and 60s America you would have been bombarded with anti-communist propaganda. In hindsight it is perhaps easy to raise a wry eyebrow.  Yet at the time the threat was taken very seriously indeed. Here, hysteria intact, are a few of the stranger messages delivered to the American people.

Is your washroom breeding Bolsheviks?
“Employees lose their respect for a company that fails to provide decent facilities for their comfort” goes the by-line for this advertisement.  Yes, quite possibly, but does that really mean that they are going to turn into rampaging Bolsheviks because the paper towels at work are rough on their hands?  This apparently was a real danger back in the fifties and sixties.  Fortunately the introduction of soft tissues on a massive scale helped to avoid the commie takeover of the western world. 

9 September 2023

Why It’s Important to Self-Reflect After a Hard Day in College

 Self-reflection is often overlooked among students. However, it is an integral part of learning and development. It can change the whole college experience and bring a lot of advantages to an individual.

Why Is It Crucial in Learning

It is nice sometimes to reflect on things and events from your life. But the process itself is not only entertaining but valuable. It is a crucial stage of the learning cycle. For instance, according to David Kolb, an educational theorist, the learning cycle consists of four steps:

  • Concrete experience;

  • Reflective observation;

  • Idea development;

  • Active experimentation.

This means that a person experiences something, reflects on the experience, evaluates why it happened and decides on what to do next. This model applies to learning new course material and to self-development as well.

For instance, a student facing difficulties with academic writing might assess the reasons behind this challenge and strategize on how to improve. A common method to address this issue is to leverage professional assistance. By seeking the response to "write paper for me cheap," a student can benefit from collaborating with experts. Qualified writers can aid with writing, editing, and proofreading various types of college papers. Therefore, if you're struggling with academic writing, obtaining an objective and expert perspective can prove to be immensely beneficial, providing insights into how to enhance your writing skills without breaking the bank.

Academic writing platforms deliver help quickly and according to your requirements. They can polish your work or do the paper from scratch. In any case, experts provide guidance and support, which is a powerful learning experience. This is also very helpful for busy students that need more time on their hands.

In this situation, self-reflection leads to understanding the problem deeply and acting on it. Without it, a person is more prone to make the same mistakes all over again.

Benefits of Self-Reflection

It is a foundation of personal development that comes with many benefits.

Processing Feelings and Thoughts

After a long day in college, you might be tired and buzzing with thoughts of all sorts. Self-reflection helps process them and untangle the ideas that might affect your mood or well-being.

By separating feelings and experiences from each other, a person can fully comprehend them. Maybe you feel frustrated but why? What happened today that led to this frustration? Why was this particular encounter stressful?

This ensures you understand your feelings and boundaries better. And this process relieves a decent amount of stress. A lot of times, students might feel overwhelmed because of all experiences, feelings, and thoughts mixed. But when you address them one by one, the brain doesn’t have to keep them all in focus. This is somewhat similar to journaling when putting worries on paper makes one calmer and less stressed.

Understanding Personal Development

By thinking about your activities throughout the day, week, and year, you can gain a deeper understanding of your development.

This allows learning what processes were easy for you and what took a lot of effort. Maybe you are better at one course in college than others. Why is it so? Understanding the reasons behind a mistake ensures you do not make it again. At the same time, figuring out the reasons behind the success allows replicating it.

This is an essential part of achieving any personal or academic goals.

Articulating Emotions and Skills

Also, self-reflection helps build emotional intelligence. It keeps you connected to your feelings and thoughts. This allows articulating them better to others. As a result, students are more capable of building healthy relations with peers, colleagues, or relatives.

For example, you have a slightly negative feeling about an encounter during this hard day. You need to think about what exactly you feel, why you feel it, and what happened during the encounter that led to this. Maybe your classmate made a joke about something at your expense. At the moment, you didn’t register it and went along with your day.

But with reflection, you can learn what exactly frustrated you and how you can articulate this clearly to your classmate the next time you see them. Maybe after they realize that this joke was triggering, they will not allow this to happen again.

Value and Gratitude

In a busy schedule, it might be complicated to find time to appreciate what you have. It is all about a new goal, deadline, or achievement. Such a hectic life might be incredibly stressful. And it also doesn’t give one an opportunity to see the value of what has been happening.

After a hard day in college, students might realize that those challenging assignments were not a waste of time. That professors are giving them valuable knowledge and teaching advanced skills that will come in handy outside the college environment. Maybe those brain-simulating activities will set you above the competition in the job market.

Self-reflection also helps with feeling gratitude. And it is a huge part of feeling content, satisfied, and happy with your life. By thinking about what you have and what you experience, you can grow more appreciative of all the possibilities in your life.

Forming a Habit

If you do it everyday or every other day, it becomes a habit. This becomes a more analytical and comprehensive approach to everything in your life. Students who regularly self-reflect can apply it to their education, career, relationships, or other goals.

This way, students will be able to be more aware of their experiences. They can also improve any sphere of their lives by understanding what should be improved and how it can be done. And all of that leads to better well-being overall.

It is all about being present and being aware, which is a key factor in a fulfilling life. You will understand your experiences better and learn what makes some best write my essay services better for you than others. And you’ll be able to build better and healthier relationships with people.

In Summary

Without self-reflection, it is easy to lose control of one’s life and feelings. It is a critical part of the learning experience. That’s after a hard day in college; it is very useful to devote some time to it.