Electronic Score Boards

Electronic Score Boards

by: Paula Jones

Wide range of electronic Key venues around the globe has turned to Electronic score boards that not only look breathtaking from every angle and distance, but provide consistently reliable performance year in and year out.

Different type of sports including athletics, track cycling, running events, street cycling and mountain bike, swimming, synchronized swimming, diving as well as inline skating, water polo, ball spots, motor sports, alpine skiing, cross country and biathlon are some of the areas where Electronic score boards perfect fits solutions for. Adopting the current technologies these boards provides high brightness flat panel screens and is an added advantage.

Electronics Scoreboards offers good sound and effective lights, which totally change the effect of the game. In football, basketball, hockey, volleyball where the time is so important and it is displayed continuously on the scoreboards reducing with every seconds. Then leave the game with the realistic sound of the buzzer as time ends!

Now let the board does the work for you. At the present, there is no time to keep counting everything in your head while you are playing. When you always keep counting the score in your mind then how can you concentrate your mind in the game? That is not your job. Let the board to do instead of you.

Some Electronic Scoreboards features a powerful horn system (in automatic mode), which is used to signal the start and end of a game, and the start and end of an intermission period. Such systems have manual ‘override’ facility, enabling the horn to be used at any time during a game for fouls, emergencies, etc.

Electronic Scoreboards use high brightness LEDs for maximum visibility and definition with a fullcolor spectrum, increased brightness and a great choice of designs.

In LED technology, display modules comprising red, green and blue LEDs make up each pixel. Each module can have between three or four LEDs in it (one red, one green and one blue) or dozens of them and typically range from 4mm to 4cm (about 0.2in to 1.5in). To build a scoreboard using LED technology, thousands of these LED modules are integrated in a rectangular grid. The size of the screen depends on the size of the LED modules.

Excellent technology, outstanding visual clarity, easy set up and use are the aspects which attracts most sports events to install which the event is being executed.

A pioneer in the world of Electronic signs, Jayex Technology specializes in developing customized visual display solutions for the sports along having scoreboards available in the store. Specializing in solution for all sports venues, Jayex Technology are suppliers of solutions for scoring, sports timing, message display information centres and clocks/time systems.

Electronic score boards display systems are housed in smart, lightweight, wallmounted enclosure built using polypropylene panels on an extruded aluminium frame.

About The Author

Paula Jones

Jayex Technology Limited, based in London specialise in advanced information display systems. Established in 1978 we have pioneered the development of the LED display market and now have over 18,000 customers worldwide. We offer, probably the largest range of models from small single line signs to big screen Megavision screens that can display live video and action replay in stadia.

jayex.co.uk

This article was posted on September 28, 2004

by Paula Jones

Video Game Violence…What Do You Think About It?

Video Game Violence…What Do You Think About It?

by: Daniel Punch

Ever since video game designers were able to put red pixels on their imaginary characters that had recently deceased, there have been people crusading against their subversive ways. The outrage at video games seems to be cyclic, fading very briefly before exploding into the public eye once more with renewed frenzy. The controversy seems to have sparked up again in recent times, with numerous crimes being blamed on the corruptive influence of video games. There have also been various กcontroversiesก surrounding recent video games and their content in the areas of both violence and sexuality.

The first game to receive widespread criticism and media attention was the martial art fighting game กMortal Kombatก. This game included large spurts of blood emitted from attacks and also กFatalitiesก that could be performed on stunned opponents after their defeat. These Fatalities were gruesome animation sequences showing the victorious player killing their defeated opponent in a vast variety of ways. Gamers revelled in this new experience and the controversy surrounding the violence caused mass hype that informed the less informed gamers that the game was out there. Consequently gamers played the new game just to find out what all the talk was about, thereby greatly increasing revenue.

One of the largest sparks of controversy has been the recent กHot Coffeeก modification for กGrand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTA:SA)ก. This involved unlocking a sexually oriented minigame that had been removed from the game before release, although evidently not from the source code. The creators of the game, Rockstar Entertainment, obviously realised that this particular part of the game was not appropriate for the video gaming public and removed access to it. An enterprising fan of the game found out and modified the original code to give access to the content once again. Lawsuits were brought against Rockstar for including such content in their game, although the validity of the lawsuit has to be questioned. If the game is simply purchased and played as intended by the developers, this admittedly tasteless and inappropriate mini game would never be encountered. It is not until the usermade modification is downloaded and installed that the player is able to access the content.

Regardless of whoกs to blame, กGTA: SAก was rerated in America and banned from sale in Australia. Oddly enough the gratuitous and encouraged violence in the game went largely unnoticed in the wake of the กscandalousก sex scenes involving clothed, cartoonesque people.

When examined objectively almost all games contain a certain amount of violent content. The kidfriendly bright and colourful กMarioก games by Nintendo feature a character stomping on animated creatureกs heads. In fact the majority of games, even childrenกs games, involve the protagonist crusading against an enemy horde of some sort and generally กdisposingก of them in some manner, whether it be striking them with a weapon or body part (feet, hands, possibly a tail depending on the nature of the character). The only real stand out difference is that in a childrenกs game the กbadก characters will generally bounce backwards in a cute manner and explode with a humorous puff sound (or simply disappear) whereas in a game oriented towards older mature players, the characters are more likely to be (somewhat) realistic, spraying a gusher of red upon their demise.

Whenever some young person somewhere commits a violent crime these days it seems to get blamed on a video game, from กDuke Nukemก and กQuakeก being accused for the Columbine High massacre, to a more recent incident involving a group of minors attributing their violent actions to the กMortal Kombatก video games. Without any solid evidence either way itกs hard to say whether or not video game violence actually has much of an influence on players. To really be sure youกd probably have to have a control group of isolated children that have never seen a violent movie or played a bloodthirsty video game. History does however show that brutal crimes were committed long before video games or even movies came into existence.

Children are quite easily influenced by something that they’re excited about and Iกve seen this happen a lot. Playing a wrestling video game with a group of eight year olds often leads to the eight year olds screaming raucously and trying to pin each other down on the ground. Preteens will often punch and kick their way out of a cinema in terrible combat stances after having viewed a martial arts movie. The current content rating system in place is not geared towards consumer restriction; it is largely aimed at simply informing the public about what they are going to experience. Legal restrictions are not actually put in place until the higher, more severe ratings like in xrated films. Parents, guardians, and society in general need to start taking an interest in who is viewing certain types of content. Instead of complaining about the entertainment a child is enjoying, the parent could be there at the beginning looking at the rating that is printed clearly on the packaging of all entertainment. A simple กI don’t think thatกs suitable, how about this game? It has a lizard!ก distracts the child a surprising number of times. In my experience, children genuinely just want people to take an interest in what they’re interested in, not just murmuring indistinctly, กYes dear, thatกs nice.ก as the child installs the newest violent game.

What about the children that are playing the games in the restricted ratings categories? The only way that they can even get the game into their possession is if a parent (or someone of legal age) purchases the game for the child, or if the store disregards the rating guidelines in place and sells it to them regardless. Either way the fact that a gameกs content has fallen into a minorกs hands is not the fault of the game developer.

Iกm not out to defend the integrity of artistic vision presented in video games as many other gamers are. Frankly there seems to me to be little artistic integrity in rendering blood that is ever more liquid in appearance. I do however enjoy playing some games that are quite violent in nature and in many cases the violent nature of the game increases my enjoyment. Video games are escapism, thereกs (arguably) no point in playing a video game that simulates something you can just walk outside and do (and yet sports games somehow consistently sell in large numbers… curious…). Interestingly I have never yet felt the overwhelming desire to break down into a kung fu stance and commit murder. Perhaps more important than simply banning questionable content in video games would be studying why this content is so appealing to todayกs society?

About The Author

Daniel Punch

M6.Net Web Helpers

http://www.m6.net

[email protected]

This article was posted on August 30

by Daniel Punch

You Don’t Have To Be Rich To Be A PC Gamer

You Don’t Have To Be Rich To Be A PC Gamer

by: Nathan Holsing

There is a common misconception that you have to take out a second mortgage on your house if you want to get a computer that will run all of the latest and greatest games. I don’t know who started the rumor that you need to spend $3000 to get a gaming computer. The truth is, if you are smart about it, you can easily afford to get a highend gaming computer. Here are a few simple rules to follow to put a gaming computer within reach.

Rule 1. Never buy the newest technology.

I know we all want to be the guy or girl with the newest toy, but you will never be able to keep up with technology. That topoftheline graphics card that came out today will be old news in just a couple of months and a new one will be released that is กso much betterก. Guess what happens to the price of the new graphics card you just broke the bank on? It dropped by about 50%. If you would have just been patient you could have purchased it for a fraction of the cost.

Rule 2. You only have to keep up with the software.

Rule 2 closely correlates to Rule 1. It usually takes software companies two years, give or take, to develop a new game. During this time there are new technology breakthroughs. If they went back and reengineered the game every time a new processor or a new graphics card came out, the game would never be released. Another important factor is that they want the game to be available to the largest number of consumers. For this reason they do their best to make sure the game can be played on a wide variety of systems. Check out the system requirements for some of the more popular games. A 1.8GHz processor and a Direct X 9 compatible graphics card will run just about everything out there. Granted you might have to turn some of the settings down but it will run it.

Once you reach a certain point the added performance of the new technology is noticeable. For example, the Athlon 64 chip has been out for more than a year, yet there are very few applications that require a 64 bit processor. If you check out benchmarks on the new PCI Express graphics cards you will see that they are running games at 300+ frames per second. When you watch a movie it runs at roughly 60 frames per second. A game will still run relatively smoothly at 20 frames per second. Basically anything over 60 frames per second likely will not be perceived while playing the game. You will only see the difference in your benchmark programs.

Rule 3. Build Your Own Computer

This is important for two reasons. First, you can be assured of better quality components when you pick everything out on your own. When you buy an offtheshelf system, chances are you are getting a big name CPU and everything else is most likely generic. Do you know what motherboard, power supply, or type of RAM you are getting? This of course, is my personal opinion, Iกm not saying every manufacturer builds sub standard machines, but from experience Iกve had greater longevity from the computers Iกve built myself. Iกve also noticed that you will often get little system memory, unless you pay a great deal more for it. You will often get 256MB of RAM with these base system. Windows XP will run, but likely with problems, on 256MB of RAM. It seems to be the most stable with 512MB or more. Other areas they cut costs is by using integrated graphics chips. This saves them having to put in a graphics card, but you will pay the price for it when you try to play a game.

The second reason to build your own computer is that you can cut your costs by stealing parts from your old computer. You can save hundreds of dollars by reusing the drives, case, monitor, keyboard and mouse. Plus, you don’t have to worry about calling a technician to install RAM or a new graphics card because youกll already know how to do it.

How Much Can You Build A Computer For?

I just checked out some pricing and you can build a very nice midrange gaming computer for around $600$700 using an AMD Athlon 64 3000+. If you can steal a DVD drive from your old computer and maybe the case, you can bring the cost down even more. You can build a highend machine for under $1000. The internet is full of useful websites about how to build computers. Look around and youกll find all the information you need. There are several books published about the topic as well. If you follow these simple rules and do a little research you can enjoy all of the best computer games even if you are on a shoestring budget.

About The Author

Nathan Holsing is the editor of GamingComputers.net a website that provides information regarding building computers, product reviews, and hardware buying guides.

[email protected]

This article was posted on April 13

by Nathan Holsing

Swap Magic For Slim Playstation 2

Swap Magic For Slim Playstation 2

by: Jeromy

Recently my Japanese PS2 that I got way back at the Japan launch died on me. Seeing as I need to have a machine that plays Japanese PS2 games I went looking around at prices for a new one and unfortunately found the price tags to be in the $180 range. With that in mind I set out to find a more cost effective method of playing import games. I’ve always been fond of tinkering with my consoles which is evidenced by my blue see through modified Dreamcast and the mod switch on the side of my Gamecube, so I looked around at the current PS2 mod options since I already own a Slim US PS2.

I’m absolutely terrible at soldering and I’m not a fan of the PS2 modchip scene seeing as it’s rampant with piracy so I didn’t want to install a modchip. After searching a bit I came across the Swap Magic product. It looked interesting but upon further inspection I realized that it required opening up the console to install. I looked a little further and found a new version of the product which required zero modification to the console. This looked to be the solution to my problems. Luckily I had the PS2 version it supported, the Slim PS2, so I took the plunge and ordered it up from ModChip.Com.

Then I got to play the waiting game. I waited for weeks for this thing to be delivered before I finally gave up on it. I also tried many times to find and email the staff of this website store but their support email is so well hidden, if existent, on their website that I could never find it. So with one scam under my belt I looked for a more reliable store. I found that store at modchipstore.com. It took less than three days to arrive and the product was in perfect condition. With the import enabler in hand, I set out to play some Japanese PS2 games on my US Slim PS2.

The kit comes with a CD, for CD based games, a DVD, for DVD based games, and three small plastic parts which are to be inserted into crevices under the popup cover of the Slim PS2. There were no instructions included in the package so I headed over to the website in search of directions but came up with only a dead link. After about a half hour of searching the web I finally found a PDF with instructions that were very detailed and contained great pictures of the installation process. With instructions in hand, so to speak, I give the installation a try.

The first thing I had to do is install the three small plastic pieces. The first plastic piece required that it be pushed into a small hole. My fingers alone didn’t do the job so I had to grab a screw driver and shove it into position. After quite a bit of fiddling, it finally stayed in place. The next piece had to be slid in between a latch of some sort and was somewhat difficult to make stay in place. The third piece slipped into place easily. With all the plastic pieces installed the physical work was done. Unfortunately I dropped the PS2 after this and all the pieces flew out. I tracked them all down, reinstalled them, and was ready to go once again.

When all the plastic pieces are in place the next step is to go ahead and boot up the swap CD or DVD. The game I was testing with was a CD so I popped in the swap CD and turned on the PS2. With the plastic bits in place you don’t have to keep the flip top closed, so I left it open. A flash screen appears followed by a second screen that allows you to adjust the video mode. If you are using a US PS2 set the video mode to NTSC and not the default ขNormalข mode otherwise it won’t boot the game you’re trying to play.

Playing

Next the swap CD or DVD will stop spinning and you’re ready to swap in your import PS2 game. With the import game placed in the PS2 all you have to do execute the load command from the menu on screen and the game will start up spinning and load. Once I had the game loaded it played and looked perfect. Another big plus is that you don’t have to buy another memory card just for import games due to the fact that you can save all different regions of save games on one memory card.

Swap Magic for Slim PS2 has allowed me to play import PS2 games for a fraction of the price of a new Japanese PS2 and I have to say it works great. I have yet to come across a game that doesn’t work using this product. That said, it’s not something for the lazy out there as it does require swapping discs every time you want to play a game. So if you’re short on cash and already have a USA or PAL Slim PS2 then get this product but if not and you have the cash go ahead and grab a Japanese PS2.

Pros

* Relatively Easy Install

* Low price

Cons

* Requires Some Effort

* Requires A Slim PS2

Overall Score

9.2

About The Author

Jeromy is the webmaster of http://www.gamebrink.com/ GameBrink.Com Import Video Game Compare.

This article was posted on September 05

by Jeromy

The Top 10 Wild and Wacky Ways to Market Yourself

The Top 10 Wild and Wacky Ways to Market Yourself for Big Visibility

by: Bea Fields

In todayกs competitive world of business, it takes moxie and pizazz to sell a great product, idea, or service. This list will provide you with ten unusual and creative marketing strategies which will help you to stand apart from the competition and to increase your visibility.

1. Celebrate the Wacky World Holidays with your Clients and/or Customers.

Did you know that August 17 is Number 2 pencil day? Send your clients Number 2 pencils with your name and logo embossed on the pencils. What about Homemade Pudding Day on September 19? Send your clients and customers your favorite pudding recipe, and invite them to your business to sample a ขtaste.ข If you are the owner of a toy store or a children’s clothing company, you may want to set aside November 18 to celebrate Micky Mouse’s Birthday. Creative marketing is the future of big business, and celebrating offbeat holidays will allow your customers and clients to experience something unusual and will set you apart from your competition. For a list of nontraditional holidays, visit www.earthcalendar.net.

2. Add a Company Mascot to your Business.

With the help of a few very clever cows, ChickfilAกs unaided brand awareness has grown 81 percent, and its sales have increased nearly 120 percent since the mascot was added to the team in 1995. This attentiongrabbing ploy, encouraging folks to กEat Mor Chikinก has helped make this Atlantabased company the third largest quickservice chicken restaurant company in the United States.

3. Throw a Gala for Hair Stylists in your Community.

What do hair stylists do while they are working their magic? They TALK! By throwing a memorable event for the hair stylists in your community, you can reach thousands of potential clients through fantastic word of mouth. Host a breakfast, lunch, or dinner and roll out the red carpet for this crowd, and watch new customers and clients flock to your place of business.

4. Host a Game Night.

Are you an investment advisor? Host a game night using the game ขCash Flow.ข Are you a Life Coach? Throw a party and play the game LIFE. Are you a cat groomer? How about a CatOpoly Night? For travel agents, try the game Route 66, taking your guests on a road trip across the country. Playing board games can create a rich and wonderful opportunity for interaction with potential customers, which can allow them to get to know you in a fun and nonthreatening way and can create an opportunity for building rock solid strategic alliances.

5. Host a ขBig Brainข WeekEnd.

Want to learn from the experts? Borrow experts one time per year to develop a cuttingedge marketing plan for your company by hosting a ขBig Brainข WeekEnd. If you cannot afford a full marketing staff, you can borrow key experts for a quarterly brainstorming session which can enhance product and service ideas for your company quickly. You can pay a small per diem and travel expenses and pick the brains of 68 people who really know their stuff.

6. Sponsor a Night Light Golf Tournament (a golf tournament held in the evening after the sun sets.)

This grassroots approach can land you accounts, customers, and an amazing amount of visibility. Short on funds? Invite ten strategic alliance partners to help cover the costs. This collaborative effort will triple your visibility.

7. Put Yourself in the Dunking Booth!

Carnivals and festivals are great fun for the entire family, and one of the hottest attractions at these events is The Dunking Booth. By volunteering to be the person ขdunked,ข you will have all eyes on you, and folks will be talking about you for weeks, creating ขbuzzข around your name, your products, and your services.

8. Fly a Kite!

Your company name, logo, and contact information on a wild and brightly colored kite can send your business to new ขheights.ข Spend a windy day at the beach or in the park, and give away free kites to visitors. This approach can be valuable and can quickly expand your visibility.

9. Send Unusual Gifts and Freebies.

Giving unusual gifts and freebies is another way to set yourself apart from the crowd. Are you in the middle of an ice storm? Send leis to your customers to brighten up their day. Do you have a customer who is recuperating from a broken leg? Send a movie on video, a box of popcorn, and a pack of M & M’s. Do you have a customer with a new baby? Send a basket with bubble bath, herbal tea, a cooling eye mask, and a set of ear plugs (humor works!)

10. Design Two or Three Marketing Goals with No Purpose in Mind Other than to Amuse Yourself and Your Friends.

Two of the biggest goals of marketing are to appear larger or more well known than you are at this moment and to have great fun! Gather your friends, and throw a Hula Hoop party, dress up for Halloween, or stand on the corner of town and interview folks with a question such as ขIf Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?ข Sound strange? You bet it does! Strange and mischievous approaches to marketing work, and people will stand up and take notice of what you have to offer. Cheers!

About The Author

Bea Fields, Southern Pines, NC, USA

[email protected]

http://www.fivestarleader.com

Bea Fields is an Executive Coach and a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach. She is also a Consultant, Trainer, Public Speaker and author of the Five Star Leader ecourse. Her area of expertise is that of Leadership Development and Marketing for Executives, Managers, Small Business Owners, and Political Leaders.

This article was posted on July 03, 2003

by Bea Fields

Play Keno Free

Play Keno Free

by: Chen Chingfeng

Play keno free at King Neptuneกs online casino. Simply log onto their site and play their free flash version of keno.

Itกs an excellent way to learn the game and have some fun at the same time. Serious gamblers play keno free when testing their betting strategies.

Keno is really simple to learn and easy to play. Once you’re familiar with the game put some of the keno strategies to test by playing online for free.

The keno strategies youกll be able to find, cannot guarantee you success as this is really a game of luck, much like playing the lottery.

Although there are a multitude of different keno games, the overall objective of Keno is for the player to guess which numbers will be randomly selected by the keno machine. Every time the game is played, the player chooses between 1 and 15 numbers (from 1 to 80) as well as the wagering amount…

About The Author

Chen Chingfeng is a successful writer and online gambling expert providing valuable tips and advice for those interested in gambling and online gambling strategies. His numerous articles found on virtual casino web, provide useful and factual gambling information and insight.

virtualcasinoweb.com

This article was posted on March 08

by Chen Chingfeng

Counter Strike, The Beginner of Broad Band PC Gami

Counter Strike, The Beginner of Broad Band PC Gaming

by: Fahad Ahmed Bashir

This is the world of 21st century, the century of technologies. Every thing is fast now a days and as far as the Computers and games are concerned, they are at the top of all. Every one these days like playing games and some of them love it. Well few years ago PC gaming was not so advance and usually was single user based and if any one wanted to play with any other player then one must have an extra input or any compatible playing device .

An era of new technology began after the entrance of Network gaming or Multiplayer gaming which revolutionized the PC gaming world.

The term of multiplayer gaming was that from now on if a person wants to play a certain game with any other person the he can easily connect to the other person’s computer using broad band internet connection .

Usually before the arrival of Broad Band, games were played thorough Modem. This was perfect in those days as the games were not too heavy and only few packets of data are sent and received. However over the years this scene has changed greatly.

SWITCHING TO BROADBAND:

Now a days multiplayer games send and receive more data and therefore need faster protocol for sending and receiving data items. Amongst those ofcourse is COUNTER STRIKE.

Few years ago when there was no concept of Broad Band, one would really be able to ger anything faster than the ISDN connection. But today as compared to the past we have much greater availability and much greater broad band technology like DSL and Cable Modem as compare to normal dialup modem. So PC gaming has become very much advance and high quality games can be played at a very high speeds. Counter Strike is the most popular multiplayer game using Broad Band Connection. THE GAME :

Without any doubt it is the most popular game played over the years and is the modification of half life developed by Valve. It is FPS (First Person Shooter) type game and is totally action packed. The game is divided into two teams The Terrorist Forces and The Counter Terrorist Forces. The game is played on some Maps which have different locations and objectives. According to these Maps the Counter Terrorists and the Terrorist Forces assassinate/ Escapes, Hostages/ Rescues and diffuse bomb etc..

WEAPONS AND OTHER EQUIPMENTS:

Weapons armors and other equipment are very important parts of the game. There is a wide variety of different equipments like night vision, hand grenades and other pistols and guns. The player have to buy those stuff. In order to buy ammos and other equipments, player must be in a shopping cart area and more importantly have funds in his account.

There are a lot of small and big, simple and advance equipment available in Counter Strike pistols and sub machine guns are the main features of the game.Each Weapon is different from other. Thus all the Weapons and equipment gives a realistic touch to the game. Money management is one of the most important part of the game. Therefore by buying a particular equipment or weapon and using at the time when it is needed will take the player at the top of the game without any involvement of difficulty.

PLAYING THE GAME:

As there are two teams ie Counter Terrorists and Terrorists. The player has option of either joining either of the team. A server is created by any player usually by the host and every player must join that server in order to play the game.

The Counter Terrorist look to eliminate the Terrorists completely or fulfill the map objectives while the Terrorist forces look to completely destroy the Counter Terrorists. Thus different Map have different challenges and strategies for each team.

When a player dies, he is unable to continue playing until the whole round ends uptil the ending of the round the player enters a spectator mode which they are free to roam around throughout the map and check out all the remaining actions. CONCLUSION:

It can be concluded in a way that Counter Strike will always have this privilege that it is the starter of the prefect broad band PC gaming which will lead to revolutionize the PC gaming world.

About The Author

I am Fahad Ahmed student of software Enginnering and writing this article as an assignment of my subject Business Communication Skills.

[email protected]

This article was posted on November 02, 2004

by Fahad Ahmed Bashir

The Truth About Search Engines: Playing A Game You

The Truth About Search Engines: Playing A Game You Can’t Win

by: Dean Phillips

If you go strictly by the numbers, Yahoo, MSN and Google are the กBig 3ก of search engines and directories. Between them, they index millions and millions of pages in their directories. Although Google claims to index over 4 billion.

However, thatกs a subject for a different day. The point is, out of all those millions and millions of pages, thereกs room for only a very few websites at the top of the results pages.

That means, if you go strictly by the number of indexed web pages in their directories, you have a better chance of winning the lottery, than getting high enough in the results pages to where itกs going to make a significant difference in your traffic. Thatกs not my opinion, itกs a fact!

You’re simply playing a game YOU CANNOT WIN!

So what can you do about it? The first thing you need to do is forget about the search enginesperiod! Just forget about them!

Why? Because even if you’re one of the fortunate few to get a high enough ranking to where itกs making a significant difference in your traffic, thereกs no guarantee youกll get to keep it. Since the search engines are constantly changing the rules of the game (AKA) their algorithms, you could be number one in the search engines today and totally off the results pages tomorrow. Again, thatกs not my opinion, itกs a fact!

If you don’t believe me, just ask those thousands of devastated and bankrupt business owners whose websites disappeared off of the results pages altogether, when a category 5 hurricane named กFloridaก swept through the Gulf of Google on November 16, 2003.

But thatกs exactly what happens when you put all of your eggs into one basket. And just like itกs wise to have กmultiple streams of income,ก itกs also wise to use a variety of ways to promote your website.

Itกs sort of like all of those millions of people who flock to Las Vegas every year hoping to get lucky. Thereกs only one problem. The system was not designed for you to win. It was designed to make you think you could win. Thatกs the allure of Las Vegas and thatกs the allure of the search enginesthey make you think you can win. You can’t!

Oh sure, just like in Vegas, youกll have your lucky few who hit the jackpot and snare a top ranking on the results pages, at least until the search engines change their rules again. But the vast majority are left on the outside looking in, and at the mercy of socalled SEO experts who are only too happy to take your money and continue to make you think you can win the game. You can’t!

What you have to do is forget about the search engines. Just forget about them! I realize itกs difficult, especially with all thats been written said over the years about how critical the search engines are to your business. Believe me when I tell you, itกs all a bunch of bull! Businesses were doing just fine, when there weren’t any search engines. Just fine.

In fact, Iกm earning a very comfortable living on the Internet, without any significant search engine presence whatsoever.

Whatกs my secret? I don’t depend on the search engines! I never have. I refuse to play the game. Thatกs my secret in a nutshell! My traffic comes from the dozens of articles Iกve written that have been picked up and published on popular websites all over the Internet. I also get traffic via word of mouth, newsletters and ezines that my articles are published in, and a few other secret methods that I use.

And you can do the same thing. You just have to get out of that search engine mindset.

Now I realize writing articles may not be a desirable option for many of you. Thatกs fine. However, there are many other proven and effective ways to market your website. Here are just a few: ezines, newsletters, forums, online magazines, sponsor listings on other websites, exchanging links.

Here are a few offline options: magazines, direct mail, shopper newspapers, cable television, radio, flyers, hospital newsletters, card decks, trade journals and directories, bulletin boards, tabloid newspapers.

In addition, do yourself a favor and buy the book, กGuerrilla Marketing,ก by Jay Conrad Levison. Itกs loaded with lowcost ways to promote your business!

As you can see, you have plenty of other options available to you, besides the search engines. All you have to do is use themand a little imagination.

Itกs time to stop playing a game you can’t win, and start playing a few that you can!

About The Author

Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be reached at mailto: [email protected].

Visit his website at: http://www.letsmakemoney.net

This article was posted on October 10, 2004

by Dean Phillips

Computer Traumas

Computer Traumas

by: Ieuan Dolby

It has happened! Computer games have started to control my life on and off the screen. No complicated games like Age of Empires, just the simple one of Tetris. You know the one, where different shaped and colored bricks fall out of the sky and you have to arrange them in nice lines at the bottom? Hopefully with the end result of all colors matching in straight lines so that they can be removed and point gained.

Crazy really, it first happened many years ago when I had this stupid bet that I could get more points than the next guy. What that really means is that, กI am going to be up all night playing this game and will be totally incapable of staying awake in the office tomorrow, unless of course I play the game in the office as wellก. That’s what computer games do to us. We become machines where food and sleep are secondary items to all else. Just keep on playing………….till you drop.

I managed to get through that episode with only a slight increase in my weight and a damaged back from not having moved anything else except my two fingers for a sustained period of time. The latest episode though has created havoc with my life in more ways than one and I am getting seriously worried about it.

I had been playing that game in the evening for around three hours and had then gone to bed early for a dreamless and normal sleep. All okay and expected you say? Well, the sleep was but when I drove to the office the next day things started to happen that rapidly woke me up to the danger that I was in. There I was in my blue car approaching the traffic lights when all of a sudden I swerved into the other lane thus ending up stopped neatly behind this other blue car. Behind me, confused and irritated drivers with green and red cars tooted their horns angrily wandering what this maniac was doing. But I? I was happy in that I had managed to get the colors arranged and all I needed was another blue car and then we could have a full line…………….oh, no, what is happening to me? I sat there for a while shivering as it dawned on me that I had entered the game itself, it had taken me over………I was a brick!

Yeah, and that was not all. I found myself one afternoon staring inanely at a house wall and following the line of bricks along trying to sort out in my mind which pattern was best and which was not. And at my desk I found that I had arranged all files and papers in a neat pattern according to color and size having totally disregarded any format associated with the importance of ingoing, outgoing, urgency, etc. Extremely worrying to say the least!

I have withdrawn from playing Tetris and other games of that sort hoping that I will stop having these off the screen episodes in real life. In the hope that I can return to a normal existence without having offthescreen battles. Do other people suffer from this or is it just me?

The other game that I played to have a break from Tetris was กPrairie Dogก. One of those annoying games where you have a choice of guns and dogs keep on appearing on the screen. Aim and fire being the next step. Bang, Bang, Bang, another dog bites the dust. Yes, I know, pathetic really, but great fun. Volume up full, there I would be furiously firing at any movement, reloading and starting again and the dogs would make a strangled sound as I hit them. But once again I one day realized that all was not well with me, as I used to sit on my balcony and take imaginary potshots at cars as they appeared on the road. Or in a busy street I would say กbang, bangก and pretend that I had cleared a path for myself through the crowds.

I played that other game Age of Empires many times to. Love that game as it takes s kill and thought as well as two fingers and rapid movement and I became extremely proficient at it as time went by. My computer often struggled to cope with the size of my army and the enemies that I faced. I would sit there for hours on end, maneuvering, shifting, attacking and withdrawing till the sun started to come up on the horizon. It would be then that I would force myself away and climb into bed only to resurface two hours later, make a large urn of coffee and reattack with a vengeance. Although this game never caused me to start charging at other cars on the highways or lobbing screwed up notes at others in the office it did cause me to take a good look at myself. What would happen if suddenly I started to do this sort of thing in real life? If I started to make deals with my neighbors to attack next door offices or ping elastic bands at the mail delivery boy? I’ve stopped playing games now and have become a serious and boring กbeen there, done that and cured myselfก type of person. I do have long and empty hours where I feel the urge to take up where I left off and I get extremely jealous when others talk about games or I see others playing them but I resist. I think it must be like smoking where one never loses the urge to light up and take a draw – just the one! No, No, I cannot! I now sit there and lecture others on the dangers of playing games and that they should stop before it is too late. And they? They just nod politely and then disappear to talk amongst themselves………….กmust be and explayerก, whisper, whisper, whisper.

About The Author

Ieuan Dolby, from Scotland is an Engineering Officer in the Merchant Navy. He has been travelling the world for 15yrs on an endless tour of cultural diversification. Currently based in Singapore he writes various articles for magazines and newspapers and is working on a marine glossary.

[email protected]

This article was posted on January 08, 2004

by Ieuan Dolby

The Future of Video Games

The Future of Video Games

by: Daniel Punch

I’ve recently been thinking about where video games could be going in the future. I’m hoping to work in the game industry one day after I’ve finished university study and I’ve been wondering about it a lot. What do I want to see happen in the future? Well I may not have too many answers right now, but I have come up with a few ideas that I think may come into ‘play’ in the not too distant future.

Firstly forget Virtual Reality, as we know it. They’ve tried VR goggles and they made a lot of people sick in doing so. It’s probably never going to work very well in its current form. They’re still around and you can still buy them but they really don’t seem to be taking off. It will probably take a lot to get people totally immersed and involved in a new form of game play. It’s threatening to lose touch with the outside world and the people around you aren’t going to appreciate it much either. The Scifi neural implants are also both a long way off and not likely to be accepted by a majority of the general populace without some severe marketing and luck. I for one am not planning on going through brain surgery just to have a computer attached to my head. In fact I never want anyone to able to plug into my brain.

A technology that was brought to my attention by a zealous presenter at the local ‘Science and Technology Centre’ (a sort of science museum aimed at making science fun for children and juvenile adults such as yours truly) is that of ‘Augmented Reality’. Augmented Reality is essentially the overlaying of virtual elements onto the real world, such as a pair of transparent glasses that can display certain elements over the top of what is actually there. I agree with the presenter in that this could indeed have some awesome potential. Forget all the socially beneficial applications such as workmen being able to view underground pipes before digging, think about it from a games point of view. This technology could provide gamers with the ability to run around looking like complete idiots shooting at things that aren’t actually there and that no one else can see, kind of like in the film ‘They Live!’ The upside to this is that it would be a lot of fun. A group of people from the University of South Australia created the ‘ARQuake’ project, http://wearables.unisa.edu.au/projects/ARQuake/www/, merging the classic shooter Quake with this Augmented Reality technology. Again, this technology may not ever become overly popular, but it would be entertaining to play with.

Technology has driven the games industry for a long time with new games always trying to keep one step ahead of the competition. It started way back at the dawn of technology and it continues to this day. 2D graphics gave way to 3D and 3D is becoming ever better. Graphics are starting to lose the ability to impress like they once did. The step between Quake 2 and 3 was amazing, but DOOM 3 while being visually very impressive isn’t leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors in the same way new games used to be. 2D graphics encountered a similar problem; there comes a point where you just can’t do much more with graphics technology. It is this that turns graphics from striving for technological achievement to becoming art. It is my hope that we will start turning away from tech demos and return to game play and making great entertainment. Games such as Zelda: The Wind Waker or The Sims that strive to show greater depth of character through simplifying the game enough to portray emotions will hopefully become more common (and more fun… but that’s just one person’s view…). Technology plays a certain part in the conveying of emotions and story but it’s quite hard to focus on everything at once. When technology is easier and less essential to game sales we’ll hopefully see an increase in games that cast a lasting impression.

Somewhat unfortunately the rise of the ‘Casual Gamer’ will probably lead to more simplistic games being released. While personally I would love to see depth of story and characters, there are a significant number of players out there who want to pick up a game for twenty minutes or so, have a bit of fun, and then put it down until another time. These gamers are generally less interested in the latest greatest technology and more interested in a ‘fast food’ kind of entertainment that satisfies the moment, despite the lack of quality or the lasting effects. Hopefully the two game types can coexist peacefully although recently it has been seen that some developers are cutting down on some of the planned depth of a title in order to accommodate the more casual gamer.

As technology pushes forwards boundaries are slowly being broken down between systems. We saw the Bleemcast a few years back enabling the running of Playstation games on the Dreamcast, and the PC is able to run almost anything given the right emulation software. Consoles are able to emulate other consoles and new consoles are being announced that promise the ability to play PC games. The Xbox 2 is reported to have a model in planning that comes in a PC case and with the ability to run both PC software and Xbox software. Macs can emulate Windows software and viceversa. We’ll probably start seeing less of a distinction between consoles and PCs as the price of technology continues to drop and consoles continue to become more and more powerful and able to compete with the more expensive computers. Ideally we’ll see a single platform come into prominence so that everything can be run without purchasing a copious number of different machines, although that does have a downside in that it can establish a monopoly for one particular company.

The technology price drop and increase in power has also lead to more powerful handheld machines than before. Real games, not just simple toys are now available for the portable market. The advent of PDAs and mobile phones with the ability to play games raises awareness of portable gaming and new competitors are starting to get in on the field that was once primarily dominated by Nintendo’s GameBoy. There is a new product, the gp32, that can run many different emulators and hence, many different system’s games (including some PC games).

I can’t say for sure what’s going to happen but these are just a few ideas that I’ve had recently. Hopefully the games industry will continue to strive towards new heights with new and interesting game play, stories, characters and ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next few years.

About The Author

Daniel Punch

M6.Net

http://www.m6.net

[email protected]

This article was posted on February 28

by Daniel Punch

Get Started in Computer Game Creation

Get Started in Computer Game Creation

by: Daniel Punch

Getting Started in Game Creation

I’ve always loved video games, ever since I first played them on a friend’s computer in the afternoon after elementary school. There’s something almost magical about the fact that we can move images around and interact with virtual worlds, a living fantasy presented for us to interact with however we please. I’ve also always wanted to make games myself but, until recently, didn’t have the technical knowledge to do so. Now, I’m a second year software engineering student, so if I weren’t able to code a game without too many dramas there’d be something drastically wrong. But what about the common person: the person for whom the term ‘memory leak’ conjures up images of their grandfather, ‘pipeline’ is where the water flows, and ‘blitting’ is unheard of? Well, everyone can get in on the game creation process, and you don’t even need to learn ‘real’ programming to do so.

So where do games start? With an idea. Games, like all fiction, require an idea to be successful. Sure, in the same way you can just sit down and write a story without foresight, you can jump on in and slap a game together. However, unless you get ridiculously lucky, the best works are usually the ones that have been well thought out beforehand.

There are two methods of planning a project. You can start from a known technological standpoint and build your project on top of that or you can just go for the design, add as many features and ideas as you like, and then remove the ones that you can’t use when you’ve decided on the technology you’re going to implement the game with. In general, the second type is probably the best one to go with when designing games. When you’re first starting out however, the first option will save you many headaches.

So, for a first game you’re going to want a pretty simple idea. Don’t get me wrong, crazygonuts game ideas are fantastic, and there should be more of them out there, but you’re not going to be able to create a real world simulator with fifty billion virtual people all interacting real time with your actions having a butterfly effect on the future of the virtual universe when it’s just your first game. Really. Many people try it; none that I know of have succeeded. Imitation is the best way to start out. Simple games such as ‘Space Invaders’, ‘Tetris’, ‘Pacman’ or even ‘Pong’ are great places to start. All are largely simple to create but have some inherent challenges. ‘Pacman’ for example, requires path finding for the ghosts. I recommend that you start even simpler than that for your very first attempt. ‘Space Invaders’ is a nice point to jump in. You can make a simple, complete game without much effort and it’s almost infinitely extensible.

If you’re stuck for an idea, pick a genre that you enjoy. Do you love adventure games such as ‘Monkey Island’, ‘Grim Fandango’, ‘Space Quest’, ‘King’s Quest’ etc.? Design one of those. Are you into fighting games like ‘Street Fighter’, ‘Tekken’, ‘Soul Calibur’, ‘Mortal Kombat’ and so on? Come up with an idea for that. Do you like first person shooters such as ‘Quake’, ‘Half Life’ or ‘Doom’? I don’t recommend it as a first project, but you can always give it a go. Feel free to be as generic as you like, this is a learning experience after all.

Now that you have your idea it’s time to flesh it out. Don’t worry about the technology or the fact that you may not know how to actually implement a game just yet, just grab yourself some paper and a pencil and go crazy with ideas. Describe the main characters, game play, goals, interactions, story, and key mappings, anything you can think of. Make sure you have enough detail so that someone can read through the notes and play through the game in their head with relative accuracy. Changing game design during the coding process is almost always a bad idea. Once it’s set, it should remain set until the tweaking phase (I’ll go into this more later) or you’re likely to enter ‘development hell’, where the project goes on and on; more and more work is done with less and less outcome.

At the end of this period of your game creation, you should have the following:

A written outline of the game’s characters and possibly a sketch or two (be they space ships, yellow circles, cars or the prince of the dark kingdom of Falgour, you need to know who or what the player will be and who they will compete against)

A written outline of the story (if there is one, this isn’t too vital for ‘Space Invaders’ or ‘Tetris’, but for ‘Uber Quest: An Adventure of Awesomeness’ it’s a really good idea)

A description of game play, written or storyboarded. Storyboards are visual representations of ideas. Draw your characters in actions, with arrows showing the flow of action and short written descriptions detailing the events occurring in your image (because some of us aren’t fantastic artists and our images can be a little… open to interpretation…)

Now that you have a fleshed out idea, it’s time to work out how this will all get put together. If you’ve gotten to this point and are worried that you’re going to have to spend years learning complex programming languages in order to implement your idea, fear not! Others have already done the hard yards for you. There are many RAD (Rapid Application Development) Tools available for game creation, a number of which are available for free online. Some of them still require you to learn a ‘scripting language’ (a simplified programming language made for a specific task) but in general this isn’t too complicated or involved. I’ve compiled a brief list of some of these I have found at the end of the article. The free ones are listed first, organized by game genre.

Well, that should be enough to get you started in the creation of your game. The most important thing to remember once you’ve gotten this far is that you need to complete your game. Many people start a project and then lose interest and it fails, or they keep moving on to one new project after another without finishing anything. Start small, build a working (if simple) game that is, above all else, complete. When you get to this stage you will always have a huge number of things that you wish to change, fix etc. but you’ll get a great feeling from knowing that it is, in its way, finished.

From this point, you can start the tweaking phase. Play your game a few times and ask others to do the same. Take note of what isn’t fun or could be better and change things here. At this stage, it is more important than ever to keep backups of previous versions so that if a change doesn’t work you can go back and try something different without losing any of your work. It is at this point that you can add all new features, improve graphics and sounds, whatever you please, safe in the knowledge that you’re working on a solid foundation.

When you’re happy with your game, why not share it with the world? There are many cheap or free places out there for you to host your files on and then you can jump on link lists and forums and let everyone know about your creation. Well, I hope that this has been a helpful introduction into the art of creating games. It’s a great deal of fun, and can open whole new avenues of creative expression for you to explore. Jump in and have fun!

Links:

General Game Creation:

(Tools that allow easy creation of many different game types)

Game Maker: http://www.gamemaker.nl

MegaZeux: http://megazeux.sourceforge.net/

Adventure Games:

(Games such as Monkey Island, King’s Quest, Space Quest etc.)

Adventure Game Studio: http://www.bigbluecup.com

AGAST: http://www.allitis.com/agast/

3D Adventure Studio: http://3das.noeska.com/

ADRIFT (for text adventures): http://www.adrift.org.uk/

Role Playing Games (RPGs):

(Games such as Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Diablo)

RPG Maker:

OHRPG: http://www.hamsterrepublic.com/ohrrpgce/

RPG Toolit: http://www.toolkitzone.com/

Fighting Games:

(Games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Soul Calibur etc.)

KOF91: http://sourceforge.net/projects/kof91/

MUGEN (unfortunately the site is largely in French): http://www.streetmugen.com/mugenus.html

SideScrolling Games:

(Games such as the 2D Mario Games, Sonic the Hedgehog, Double Dragon etc.)

The Scrolling Game Development Kit: http://gamedev.sourceforge.net/

There are many others available as well. One particularly useful site for finding game creation tools is: http://www.ambrosine.com/resource.html

Also of note, although not freeware, are the excellent game creation tools available by Clickteam at: http://www.clickteam.com/English/

Klik and Play and The Games Factory in particular are the programs to have a look at and download the free demos of.

If you really want to do things right and program the game yourself, there are some excellent programming resources available at the following locations:

Java Game Programming:

http://fivedots.coe.psu.ac.th/~ad/jg/

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1262.asp

http://javaboutique.internet.com/tutorials/Java_Game_Programming/

Visual Basic Game Programming:

http://markbutler.8m.com/vbtutorial.htm

C++ Game Programming:

http://www3.telus.net/alexander_russell/course_dx/introduction_dx.htm

http://www.rit.edu/~jpw9607/tutorial.htm

General Information:

http://www.gamedev.net/

http://www.gamasutra.com/

About The Author

Daniel Punch

M6.Net

http://www.m6.net

Daniel Punch is a university student learning how to make a living by having fun.

[email protected]

This article was posted on November 25, 2004

by Daniel Punch

Photoshop: Secrets Of The Pros

Photoshop: Secrets Of The Pros

by: Anna Lim

Photoshop: Secrets of the Pros is a book that features oneonone competitions between twenty top artists and designers. Designers include some of the most talented web, print, broadcast, 3D designers in the world. This friendly competition was called the Photoshop Tennis.

Sounds like another tiring outdoor game? It’s not an outdoor game and it’s not tiring. Well, it may be tiring in a way but not, at least, for those skilled designers.

The Photoshop Tennis was invented by Jim Coudal, founder of Coudal Partners, a Chicago advertising and design agency, one summer before the September 11 terrorist attack. He and a friend ขwhackedข a file back and forth to kill time. Then he invited designers he knew to play in official matches.

Photoshop Tennis is an online game in which players are mostly web designers. The object of the game is to add one layer of design on an image document that is sent back and forth by two players. Only one image document is used. Players are allowed to put different layers of designs such as background and foreground. Results are posted on a website in real time. The game ends whenever the players decide to end it or if it takes hours the decision will be based on the number of votes.

After the four test matches and four official matches were completed, designers from ad agencies and design shops visited his site. Some of them contacted Coudal for a chance to play in a match.

The book PhotoShop: Secrets of the Pros is all about this type of competition. It is the first book to feature such game. As explained by the author of the site http://photoshop.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22104, in Photoshop Tennis in this book, two designers take on one another over the internet over a ten round or volley period. In each volley, the designer either creates a new theme (in the initial volley), or they take what has been sent to him or her and start playing off of what was previously created. The competition results to a different appearance each time out. Programs used in this competition range from Illustrator and Freehand to Flash to 3D Studio Max and Maya. The designers used the basic tools and the basic commands like, brushes, and fills instead of shortcuts.

The book is not about web designing, it is about the 10 different competitions played by 20 professional designers. It is about teamwork and adaptation of different styles from their competitors.

One thing that is frustrating about this game is that sometimes it takes hours for a player to finish his work while keeping the other player waiting and it will only take minutes for the other player to destroy the art work. You can tell a story out of it but most of the time players tend to make his own story. Next thing you’ll notice is that the story of the image focuses on the destruction of the flow of two different stories.

About The Author

For comments and questions about the article you may contact Anna Lim at 800 591 1644 or visit http://www.colorprintingwholesale.com

[email protected]

This article was posted on January 18

by Anna Lim