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Video Gaming Versus Online Casino Gaming

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What links video gaming to online casino gaming? Read on to find out why these two forms of gaming go hand in hand and why both are a gamble.

Casino Gaming

The Gamble of Gaming

Do you remember when game night used to mean beer, potato chips and a game of cards or a board game? The old-schoolers among you are probably spluttering in indignation about how game night hasn’t changed a bit, and we applaud your loyalty to tradition.

But for those that have taken the leap with new technology into the world of online gaming, game night can never be the same. Once video games became multi-player video games, gaming took on a whole new dimension. Video gamers came out of their solitary caves and joined forces with other cave dwellers to become warriors and heroes. Like-minded nerds (and we mean that with all due respect) banded together to create a new way of socializing—albeit with eyes still firmly glued to screens.

Technology Has Changed The Game

The incredible improvements that continue to be made to the graphics and mechanics of online video games are the reason that this genre continues to grow in popularity. These improvements can also be seen and felt in online casino games. The rise in popularity of online casinos has been phenomenal. A quick glance at a site like https://new-casino.ca/games will show you just how huge the online casino industry has become and how many new casino games are available.

The two forms of gaming are linked together by the technology that drives them. Themes, storylines, and brands can often cross over from one form of gaming to another. And the people playing online video games are often the same people playing online casino games. We imagine this is because once you’ve discovered the thrill of having video games available on your desktop or mobile you’re more likely to search for other forms of online entertainment. And the thrill gets a little more thrilling when money is involved.

The prestige and honor attached to winning a multi-player game or achieving the highest level in a first-person shooter or racing game are very appealing. Players are willing to devote hours and hours of their lives to achieving this kind of fame. But the possibility of striking it rich by winning a huge jackpot is worthy of just as many hours of devotion.

With Risk Comes Reward

Both forms of gaming are a gamble and they both appeal to a certain type of character – the risk taker. With video gaming, you’re gambling with your own high score or your team’s chances of success. The expectation to do well can lead to intense pressure. Those players who are at the top of their game can find themselves part of a professional team that plays in tournaments. The prize money that’s up for grabs in these tournaments runs into thousands of dollars! That’s a lot to play for.

The gamble associated with online casino gaming is more obvious but no less intense. A high stakes poker player has to be able to remain calm under intense pressure, made even greater by the fact that their own money is at stake. A gambler trying to hit a jackpot on a slot machine has to have the stomach to wait out the losses in order to get the win. Only a true risk taker can handle the intensity of the gamble. Other, less ballsy players may enjoy the ride, but the players at the top of the game are usually the ones who are not afraid to go all the way; come what may.

When you stand video gaming and online gambling next to each other, you can easily see the links that connect them. But it seems like we’ve come to the conclusion that the true link between them is the characteristic of the players who conquer the games. We think only the men/women of steel come out on top to win the gamble; do you agree?

DVS Reviews Movies: Avengers: Endgame

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Avengers Endgame poster
Image courtesy of Marvel.

*Spoilers ahead (duh)*

The Epic Conclusion Over 20 Movies in the Making

After Avengers: Infinity War, there was a lot to take in. Our heroes lost the battle, plunging the entire universe into a tragedy unlike any they’d ever seen. Half of the living population gone with just a snap.

How could they possibly recover from that? Was getting back their lost friends and families even possible? How do you fight a guy with the power of the Big Bang in his arsenal?

“We’re in the Endgame now.” – Dr. Strange.

First Impressions – the Story

The most jarring part of Avengers: Endgame was how wrecked the surviving team was. Black Widow buried herself in work to avoid the guilt. Hawkeye went on a murdering vigilante spree after losing his entire family. And most profound (and hilarious) of all, Thor let himself go and drowned himself in booze and beer belly. They all seem to be suffering from devastating cases of PTSD. Maybe “the vanished” had it better off.

When given the chance to find Thanos, the crew flies off without a plan to a distant planet, only to find the great Titan injured. They kill him easily. This is all within the first 20 minutes or so of the movie. Badguy defeated, now what?

Hulk battles Thanos. Image courtesy of Marvel.

As much as I enjoy a good time travel movie, I have to say I’m very disappointed with the way it was handled in Endgame. They contradict themselves on what they can and cannot do and go against common notions of the laws of time travel. But that’s an argument for another article.

Despite the flawed time travel science, the story of Endgame was bold, exciting, and left me feeling satisfied. The characters continued to grow and learn and develop. Comic relief was sprinkled nicely throughout the story while still retaining the tension of battle. The stakes were high and the heroes triumphed. We lost some favorites along the way, but when looking at the death rate of some stories, we came out pretty lucky.

The Graphics and Sound

It really goes without saying that the movie was beautiful. We’ve come a long way from Iron Man in regards to graphics. With photo-realistic graphics in the upcoming Lion King remake, CGI is the best it’s ever been.

Costume design on point. Image courtesy of Marvel.

The action sequences were well choreographed and rendered. Every character had ample screen time. The scene at the climax where everyone that was lost returns thanks to Dr. Strange’s portals was a masterpiece. I enjoyed the beautiful end credits showcasing the original six Avengers and their signatures. The music was epic and blended nicely with each scene. One of the best heavily CGI films to date!

Where Does the MCU Go From Here?

There were significant changes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Endgame. Captain America is (literally) retired and passed the shield onto his buddy, Falcon. Multiple other heroes are all dead and can’t be brought back. This all cuts out a lot of our heroes from the picture. Are the remaining heroes enough to keep the world safe?

Not to mention all the chaos that our heroes inflicted while they were in the past. The movie tries to play all that off a “not my problem” but it’s sure going to be a problem for the poor victims of alternate timelines. Who knows if we’ll ever see how that all plays out.

Honor the Fallen

Let’s take a moment to appreciate and mourn the characters who did not survive the battle for the Infinity Stones. These characters could not be revived, whether it was due to sacrificing themselves for the stones or dying directly at the hands of them.

Tony Stark, the human who used the Infinity Stones.
Vision, the robot with a heart.
Natalia Romanova, the unexpected heroine.
Gamora, the woman who was loved.

And of course, a special honor to Loki, Heimdall, and all the other valiant soldiers who died to Thanos’s war.

DVS Score: 9/10

Stay tuned for how Avengers: Endgame ruined time travel!

What did you think of Avengers: Endgame? Did you get to see it before someone spoiled it? (I wasn’t so lucky).

Riot Employees Stage Walkout, First In Game Dev History

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Riot Games logo. Courtesy of Riot Games.
Riot Games logo. Courtesy of Riot Games.

Riot, the developer behind League of Legends, is planning a walkout today.

Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, is staging an employee walkout today. The company has undergone various scandals in the past year. Some instances include violating the California Equal Pay Act and fostering a toxic work environment. There have also been allegations of sexual harassment and sexism. Several former and current employees have filed lawsuits against the company. In response, the company has blocked two female employees from taking the company to court. Other outlets have reported that the walkout is because the company failed to act on employee complaints in a timely manner, despite Riot publicly promising they would.

This is notable in that it could be the first walkout in game development history. For those who work in the industry or close to it, it is not surprising considering the growing movement to unionize game workers. There may be repercussions not only at Riot but across the entire industry as well.

League of Legends Gameplay

The situation at Riot could force changes at other game development companies.

Riot had done damage control last year. They contracted Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei to clean up the company’s culture. Frei had the same task at ridesharing giant Uber. However, the move comes too little, too late. For instance, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Scott Gelb, who was accused of inappropriate behavior with employees, still remains in his position. Gelb received a two-month unpaid suspension and training for “ball-tapping”, humping, and even farting on employees.

Riot said in a May 3 blog post, “Over the last week we discussed this topic with Rioters across the organization, including tonight at our bi-weekly all-company town hall. We’ve made a call that we will pivot our approach. As soon as current litigation is resolved, we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer around expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters.

The bolded text specifically addresses the current litigation against the company, which includes the blocking of the two female employees from going to court. Riot has also said that they respect those who choose to walk out and protest the decision of the company.

What do you think of this situation? Will the effect spill over into other game development companies to change their workplace cultures? Let us know in the comments below!

Overwatch League Stage 2 Recap

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Stage 2 Recap

Overwatch League Stage 2 is coming to an end and with it comes the beginning of the second Stage Playoffs. A lot happened during this Stage, but here are a few of the most memorable moments.

Dallas Fuel Homestand

For the first ever away game, the League teams flew to Allen, Texas to face off for Week 4. Dallas Fuel hosted this event, and it all went down in the Allen Event Center on April 27th and 28th. Not every team played during this week, in fact, only eight teams fought over this weekend. Most importantly, the Dallas Fuel won 4 – 0 against the Los Angeles Valiant. It would have been embarrassing to lose on their home turf.

Dallas Fuel in the Allen Event Center Courtesy of Hotspawn

There was also a blackout that occurred during the first game between Paris Eternal and London Spitfire. After 45 minutes, the power was back, and the games continued.

Erster’s Tracer

Ultimate economy in the League is perhaps one of the most crucial factors in a game. When used correctly, they can make or break a map. Unfortunately, League fans rarely see any high kill ults because they are typically used to get a pick and make a push. Unlike in lower ranked games, a single kill in the League essentially dictates who is going to win the oncoming team fight. On occasion though, the crowd witnesses an ult that takes out half, if not more of a team.

Take Erster’s Tracer ult from Week 2 against the Washington Justice, for example.

His ult not only killed four members of the opposing team, but Erster went on to take down the reaming two and ace a team kill. We don’t get to see plays like this that often.

San Francisco Shock Win Streak

San Francisco Shock made history during their game against Shanghai Dragons on May 5th. The Shock won the match 4 – 0 which solidified not only the first position of the Stage 2 rankings but also made them the first team to win every map in a stage. The Shock went 7 – 0 in Stage 2 and managed to win a total 28 maps while tieing and losing 0. Pretty impressive improvement from their Stage 1 matches.

While this Stage was intense and exhilarating for all fans, it’s not over yet. The Stage 2 Playoffs of the Overwatch League run from May 9th to the 12th.

Respawn Bans a Total of 770K Apex Legends Accounts

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History of Apex Legends Bans

Apex Legends has arguably found its place in the short list of top tier battle royales. With this status comes a host of problems, including the ability to cheat within the game. Almost half a million players already received bans when Respawn added the ability to report in the Season One update. Since then, an extra 270,000 players have been banned for a total of 770,000 bans.

To keep cheaters from returning to the game with new accounts, Respawn also bans players through hardware IDs. This method bans the hardware the computer uses, meaning making a new account or changing an IP address won’t negate the ban.

Types of Cheaters

There are many different methods to cheat in video games. The most popular ones used in Apex are aimbots and speed hacks. Aimbots essentially make it so that the cheater doesn’t have to aim; the hack does it for them. A great way to spot an aimbot is if a player is hitting multiple headshots in a row or if they are tracking through smoke or walls.

Speed hacks are precisely that, they increase movement speed and sometimes fire rate. This advantage makes it almost impossible to hit the cheater using it. The following video shows some great examples of what hacking in Apex Legends looks like.

Respawn shared the following statistics on cheaters in the game.

  • We have blocked over 300K account creations.
  • We have banned over 4,000 cheat seller accounts (spammers) in the last 20 days.
  • Total affected matches on PC impacted by cheaters or spammers have been reduced by over half in the last month due to recent efforts.

The Future for Apex Cheaters

It looks as if Respawn isn’t going to stop their attack on hackers anytime soon. Jay Frechette, Respawn community manager, writes, “We take cheating in Apex incredibly serious and have a large number of resources tackling it from a variety of angles. It is a constant war with the cheat makers that we will continue to fight.” This news is excellent for all the players who play fair and want to continue the grind to get better. Hackers are a lot less likely to be in our games in the future.

Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew Dead At 74

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Chewbacca with Peter Mayhew

Peter Mayhew played Chewbacca from 1974 to 2015.

Peter Mayhew, an English actor who is most famous for playing Chewbacca from the first Star Wars movie to The Force Awakens in 2015, passed away on April 30 at the age of 74. His death was announced today. Mayhew was born in the United Kingdom and later emigrated to the United States, settling in Texas. Mayhew’s 7-foot 2-inch frame made him ideal to play giant characters such as Chewbacca. Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo replaced Mayhew for The Last Jedi and will reprise the role in The Rise of Skywalker.

Many figures in the Star Wars universe paid him homage. “He was the gentlest of giants—a big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly—I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him,” Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, said.

Chewbacca and Han Solo

Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo, also gave a moving tribute to his friend.

Harrison Ford, who played Chewbacca’s best friend Han Solo, gave a tribute to Mayhew. “Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.”

Ford also said that Mayhew was a critical part of the Star Wars franchise. “Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.”

Mayhew’s children and wife survive him. We will miss the actor and his presence in the Star Wars universe.

New Modes in the Overwatch Workshop

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What is the Workshop?

The Overwatch Workshop is an in-game scripting system. The system allows players to customize the game’s rules, and people have been taking advantage of this newest update. Not only can you create new game modes, but you can also change the core mechanics behind hero abilities. There have been some insanely creative ideas, and the following is only a small pool of what the Overwatch player base has come up with.

Navi from the Zelda Games

Perhaps one of my favorite creations is the introduction of Navi. In this custom mode, Tracer can walk around the map while Navi informs her of the dangers ahead. It’s also, much like the Zelda games, played in the third person.

If you want to try this game mode, the code is 6WXRW. Press ‘F’ to interact with Navi. Be warned, this mode has only been tested with one player. Glitches are likely to occur with more than one person present.

Overwatch Racing

Of course, no one’s surprised that Overwatch Racing is one of the first workshop modes. Certain Overwatch heroes are known for their mobility, and creating race tracks for them was the next logical conclusion. Characters like Lucio and Hammond can now duke it out on five different maps, racing to see who is the superior main.

Not only are the maps converted to race tracks, but they also include boost rings, freeze traps, and podium finishers. The workshop code for this mode is Q8KT7.

Gun Game

In this game mode, the player works their way through the Overwatch hero roster by killing other players. You progress if you get a kill. You regress if you are killed by the same hero as you or by an ultimate. It’s a similar mode to Counter-Strike’s gun game. There are a few different versions of this game, but if you want to play this specific one, use code 7DC42.

Deployable Bastion Turret

Turrets are every Overwatch players best friend. Bastion and Torbjorn can make any game a living hell. Well now, it’s even worse. In this mode, instead of Torbjorn throwing his standard turret, he places a Bastion. The Bastion locks on to other players and has infinite ammo, much like Torbjorn’s default turret.

The workshop code for this mode is BEDTA. I don’t know what the practicality of a mode like this is, but I’m betting it would be fun for a few games.

Portal

Lastly, there’s now a mode that allows the player to place portals like the ones in Portal and Portal 2. The mechanic seems similar to the ones used in the games, except the colors are different, and the portals can be placed anywhere instead of just on walls. The code for this workshop is 672SH.

Players have come up with some unique additions to the workshop. Of course, there are many more modes than the few I listed, but these are some of the best and most creative designs thus far.

Sonic the Hedgehog Live-Action Film Trailer Revealed

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Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog has great expectations.

On April 30, Paramount Pictures released the Sonic the Hedgehog live-action film trailer. As a long-time Sonic fan (I even dressed as him for Halloween 1994), I have watched the franchise explode in popularity during the early-to-mid 90s, but fell from grace during the 2000s. Sonic was a stark contrast to Mario—everyone saw Sonic as hip and cool, while Mario was seen as an element of the old guard. Still, Mario is a classic character that others could get behind.

1993 Super Mario Bros.

The live-action Super Mario Bros. movie was critically panned during its 1993 release. Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, famously said in a 2007 interview that Super Mario Bros. was the worst thing he ever did, that it was his biggest disappointment and something he would change about his past.

Can the Sonic movie avoid the same pitfalls?

Now, we have Sonic the Hedgehog taking its turn in the live-action movie seat. The film will debut on November 8, 2019. Ben Schwartz will play the voice of Sonic. Schwartz has previously appeared in Parks and Recreation and had a small role in other comedies such as The Other Guys and played a fictional Eminem’s assistant in The Interview.

One of the more interesting casting choices is Jim Carrey as Dr. Ivo Robotnik (or Dr. Eggman depending on what set of Sonic fans you’re talking to). Carrey has an extensive track record of quality comedy performances in the 90s (Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar, and the horrendously underrated The Cable Guy). James Marsden, who played Cyclops in the original X-Men movie series (2001-2006), and reprised his role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, plays Tom Wachowski. Wachowski is the sheriff of Green Hills who helps Sonic in his quest to stop Dr. Robotnik.

Viewers are skeptical about the film already.

Given Hollywood’s shift to 90s nostalgia, this ought to be a hit, right? Many people panned the trailer, most noticeably focusing on Sonic’s design. In addition, the trailer’s usage of the 1995 Coolio hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” also raised eyebrows. The film seems to be taking on a comedic tone with the inclusion of Carrey and Schwartz. Although there is not much to go on from the trailer, I think it is reminiscent of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993-1996) where Jaleel White (Steve Urkel from Family Matters) played the titular character.

What do you think about the trailer? Do you think the movie will be a hit or a bomb? Let us know in the comments below!

Storm Rising Recap and Possible New Overwatch Hero

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Latest Archives Event: Storm Rising

Overwatch’s Storm Rising event dropped a few weeks ago, and it left fans in a state of reluctant shock. In this newest addition, Genji, Tracer, Winston, and Mercy are pursuing Talon financier Maximillien. The premise seems interesting, and the cutscenes left fans guessing at new hero releases. Unfortunately, the event itself is short and offers no new enemies.

Players are also able to revisit old archive events and get new skins. The ability to replay Retribution and Uprising is arguably better than the introduction to Storm Rising. While the new event was fun to play through the first time, it hardly has any replayability.

Potential New Heroes

What can we expect from Overwatch moving forward? Of course, this newest event with Sojourn and the mysterious omnic hint at possible character releases sometime in the future. While it’s been confirmed that McCree’s android friend Echo and Sojourn are potential new heroes, neither of them is set to be hero 31. That leaves us with the unknown omnic at the end of the Storm Rising cutscene.

Unknown Omnic from Storm Rising Courtesy of AltChar

Current theories about who this omnic is all seem to revolve around his role as a leader of the Null Sector. Null Sector was a group operating out of London who used violent methods to achieve omnic rights. If this is the case, and our mystery omnic is a vital figurehead of Null Sector, why is he conspiring with Doomfist?

Talon wants to see humanity strengthen through conflict. Perhaps Null Sector and Talon fighting together would benefit both sides by helping humanity and granting omnics their rights. There has also been no confirmation as to who this omnic is, so it’s just as likely that he has no ties to the Null Sector in the first place.

Havana

Lastly, it appears that Overwatch will be getting Havana, a new capture point/payload hybrid map. This map ties back to the Storm Rising event as well as to the home of the latest hero, Baptiste. The map is out on PTR, and I expect it to be out on live servers after the end of the Storm Rising event.