Gaming PC

Is Gaming PC Worth The Money?

If you’re a gamer then you might have definitely come across a debate on PC vs console gaming. So, which is better and why?

This is definitely not an easy question to answer as both PCs and gaming consoles have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Both ends up being perfect depending upon the requirements and likes of gamers.

But if we have to answer, is PC gaming worth it? Then, yes. PC gaming has come a long way and it has got a slight edge over the console gaming.


GeekyGamingStuff.com Blog Updates

Reflecting On 2020 & New Content

I was reflecting on 2020 and I figured I could also reflect how this year influenced this blog. I know I don’t do any personal posts or talk about the future of the blog but I think the end of this year warrants something new.


How Long Does It Take To Develop a Video Game?

Asking how long it takes to develop a game is pretty much the same as asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’. We know that it is a cliche, but there is no definitive answer to this question. Game development depends on the type of game being produced and the development teams included.


Macbook

What’s The Difference Between Game Designer & Game Developer?

Alright, so you have completed a game. The credits start to roll. Unless you decide to hit that ‘skip’ button (and if the game allows you to – looking at you Assassin’s Creed 3), chances are that you will see both game designers and game developers listed here.

Now, contrary to popular belief, these are not actually the same job. Both have majorly different jobs when it comes to the development of a game.

Let’s look at the differences between game developers and game designers. To do this, we are going to need to take a look at each role individually.

What is a Game Designer?

Let’s start with game designers.

Game designers are going to be among the first people brought on during the production of a new game. Before any other staff are hired, often a year or two before, game designers will be chipping away at the actual design of the game.

The goal of a game designer is to determine several things. This includes:

  • Aim of the game 
  • Basic story (this task can be handed off to story developers)
  • Look and feel of the game
  • Gameplay e.g. any specific mechanics
  • Design of characters
  • Puzzle, quest development etc.

Basically, the game designer is going to be responsible for what makes the game unique (or not so unique, in some cases). Everything that you love or hate about a way a game plays will be put together by the game designers. As we said, this is all going to happen before they let any developer touch the games. 

Because game designers have to generate a lot of ideas, they have to have knowledge about certain things in game development. A lot of this is to make sure that their ideas can be brought to realization.

For example; a game designer will have to have a general knowledge of coding and art, even if they never plan on doing anything related to that with the game. This way they are not coming up with crazy, amazing ideas that are just not practical to make come to life.

What is a Game Developer?

Once the game designers have come up with a plan of action for the game, game developers can be brought in.

The game developer will probably not have any impact on the creativity behind the game. This means that they will have no say in the way the game looks or feels. They could probably tell the game designers if something isn’t working, but often the game designers are going to be so set in their ways after years of design that they probably won’t listen unless it is a major problem.

All the game developer needs to do is to knuckle down and code the game. They are basically bringing together everything the game designers planned out. Think of it as the game designers giving the game developers a recipe, and the game developers are actually making this recipe. 

What are the Differences Between a Game Designer and a Game Developer?

You have probably picked this up already, but let’s just really drum the point home.

The purpose of a game designer is to design the game. The purpose of a game developer is to make the game.

Games cannot be made without game designers or game developers. Even if a game goes through development after it has been released, it still needs developers. Those are the guys that help plan balancing, or introducing new concepts to the game. Developers can’t do that on their own. They do not have the required skills and training.

So, what does this mean? Well, it means that the next time you have a suggestion for a game you are playing, you probably shouldn’t go to the developers. You should contact the designers. They are the only ones that can get that change made…that is if they will listen to you in the first place!

Can the Two Roles Overlap?

Absolutely!

While in AAA game development (I wrote about AAA games here), it’s likely that the two positions will be distinct from one another, those rules are thrown out when it comes to indie game developer.

We have seen some games developed by minimal staff. This means that certain staff members will have to wear many different game production hats. Although, even if the two roles do not have any overlap during game development, it is still important that a game designer and game developer understand each other’s role. It makes for a far, far better game. You don’t want there to be any disconnect there.

Remember, it doesn’t matter whether somebody is a game designer or a game developer. Despite the differences between the roles, they both have the same end goal.

That is to give you the greatest game that you have ever played.


Is Gaming Console Scalping Illegal?

Microsoft’s Xbox Series S/X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched in a much different world from their predecessors. In the past, if you wanted to pick up a console at launch, you could probably head to your local store and buy it that way.

Due to the recent pandemic, both Microsoft and Sony decided to launch the bulk of their stock online. This means that if you wanted to pick it up, you needed to have access to the internet.

This gave scalpers the opportunity to mass-buy next-gen consoles and then sell them for an inflated price.

Unfortunately, console scalping is NOT illegal in the United States.


Video Game Christmas Ornaments

Christmas is knocking on the door already and I find myself asking where has the time gone in 2020? No matter what your Christmas plans are like this year, I think it’s still a great idea to decorate our houses and apartments if only to de-stress a little bit from real life.

I was looking to update our decoration collection, so I decided to look around for some cool video game ornaments. Regular ornaments are overrated anyway. 🙂


Preventing And Breaking Video Game Addiction In Children

The video game industry is a worldwide sensation. These games are more and more elaborate and entertaining every day, causing millions of young people to be deeply engaged in them. And that has become a worry for plenty of parents.

However, it’s difficult to tell when video games are a fun hobby or a dangerous addiction for children.


Sims DLC list

DLCs: What Are They?

If you’re familiar with video games, you must have heard the initials DLC, right? If you haven’t, then the question ringing in your mind right now is – what is a DLC? This is a pretty valuable question, especially to people who have a massive interest in video games.

Simply put, DLC is the short form version of downloadable content. It refers to the extra content that you add on the top of the base of a video game. Today, video games have become so popular that you’ll find them in many households. No wonder video game developers are making a lot of money today through the sale of games and downloadable content.

(If you’re not sure about gamer terminology, I’ve written a handy post about gamer language here)


Can Video Games Damage Your Eyes?

In this modern and technology-centric generation, computer screens and consoles force our eyes to overcome different challenges that bring new hazards to our eyesight. Prolonged video gaming sessions and too much use of digital devices like computers and tablets can lead to eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, and fatigue in your neck and shoulders.

I’m sure we’ve all heard from our parents not to sit too close to the TV when we were younger. And we’ve all heard that screens make our vision worse. Looking at a screen or playing video games won’t permanently damage your eyes but it can worsen already present eye conditions and cause eyestrain.

Unlike watching a movie or scrolling through social media, video games require you to be glued on the screen because of your direct contact with the outcome of the game. When absorbed in a video game, we tend to blink much less frequently and this can affect the flow of tears, which can result in dryness and irritation for the eyes, blurred vision and even headaches.

How to Minimize the Risk?

Proper Lighting

Whether you’re playing the greatest sci-fi shooter or an adventure game, lighting is very important when it comes to video games since you can’t see what’s on the screen properly if it’s too dark or bright.

The same thing applies to room lighting because the contrast between the screen light and the room around you will force your eyes to adjust to the new lighting whenever you look away. The glare from windows or other light sources can strain your eyes to focus harder than necessary on the screen in front of you.

To help prevent video game eye strain, make sure you have proper room and device lighting to reduce glare and take frequent breaks to rest your eyes. Proper room lighting can also prevent from epileptic seizures during gaming. I wrote an article about epilepsy and video games in this article.

Practice the 20-20-20 Rule

Basically, this rule implies that for every 20 minutes spent in front of a gaming console or computer screen, you should shift your focus at something that is 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. You can follow this rule to improve your viewing habits and reduce vision damage from video games and other electronic devices.

You can also simply close your eyes for 20 seconds every 20 minutes to relax your eye muscles, instead of shifting your focus on an object that is 20 feet away from you.

Maintain Appropriate Distance

The advisable distance in the case of console games, such as Gamecube, Wii, PlayStation, or Xbox is at least 6 feet. If you’re playing games on a computer or laptop, make sure that the top of the monitor (not screen) is at your eye level or a couple of inches below.

This means that you should never have to lean forward or tilt your head just to keep up with the game. Besides eye strain, this can cause neck and back pain.

Also, just like any other part of your body, too much strenuous activity can cause fatigue to your eyesight so moderation is the key to keeping your eyes healthy, especially if you’re into video games.

Where should I put my monitor?

You shouldn’t put your monitor right in front of a window. The best way to set up your monitor is at a 90 degree angle to any window. If you can’t, use window blinds/shades to minimize any glare.

The monitor should be approximately an arms-length away from you. If it’s any further, you might unconsciously lean forward, if it’s too close, you might be straining your eyes more. You should be able to see the entire screen without moving your head or straining your eyes.

What about dual/triple/quadruple monitor setup?

If you have dual monitor setup, bear in mind which monitor you use the most. If you use both of them the same amount, you need to treat them as one big monitor and make adjustments.

If you use one more than the other, focus more on the correct positioning of that one. Your secondary monitor should follow the same rules, just at an angle

Proper Blinking

Blinking is something we often take for granted, but consciously blinking more regularly actually helps with dry eyes. Dry eyes can feel itchy or even painful.

Frequent blinking can help improve eye comfort and ease the strain on your vision when you are “in the zone” of the concentration process.

The eyelids and tears help protect the eye while at the same time allow clear access to light rays entering the eye. The oil and mucus mixed with the watery portion of the tears also create a protective tear film to prevent small particles to enter our eyes.

Eye Exercises

We all know how important it is to keep our bodies fit by staying active and improve muscle strength. Just like physical activities, eye exercises can also be helpful for people who experience digital eye strain because of the prolonged use of computer and game consoles.

Many people have promoted eye exercises as a natural way to cure vision problems. Bear in mind these exercises won’t improve your vision but will definitely help with eye comfort. Exercises like focus change to improve your focus, and figure eight to strengthen eye muscles and stimulate the vision center of your brain.

Focus change

When seated, put your index finger in front of your face. Focus on it and slowly move it away from you. Look into the distance for a brief moment then shift your focus back to your finger. Slowly move it back to your face, then look away. Repeat this exercise three times.

Figure Eight

Look at a spot about 10 feet away from you. Move your eyes as if you’re tracking the number eight. Repeat three times and then change directions.

Blue-Light Blocking Glasses

Not only does blue-light damage our eyesight, but it also affects our sleep rhythms. There are anti-reflective and blue-light blocking glasses that you can buy to help prevent the light glare from screens from damaging your eyes. The blue-light filter technology in these glasses will enable you to play video games before bed and still get a good night’s sleep.

But please be aware that it’s still best to visit your opthalmologist for a proper prescription and a thorough assessment of your eye health.

Conclusion

Video games do not permanently damage your eyes. However, they can cause eye strain which can lead to blurry vision, headache, dry or watery eyes.

Please go see your eye doctor if you observe any unusual changes in your vision. Regular eye check ups should be done every one or two years, depending on your age and already present eye problem.


References:


What Will Video Games Be Like In The Future?

Video games have broken down barriers between platforms and as well as people. Friends from any corner of the world can connect in real-time and enjoy the gaming experience together.

Throughout their long journey over the decades, they have widened human imagination with the inclusion of new themes, characters, hardware, and technology.


Vertical monitor gaming setup

Can You Game On A Vertical Monitor? How and Why

Vertical monitors are great for those who want to multitask, but they have also been getting more popular for gaming purposes.

Yes, you can game on a vertical monitor but you still have to consider all the factors related to gaming. You need to make sure that the monitor is capable of handling your gaming needs before you buy it.

A portrait monitor should be your choice instead of a landscape monitor if a game has been specifically designed for portrait display If the game has been designed for landscape display.

How To Game On a Vertical Monitor

While gaming on a vertical monitor is possible, it does change the experience and won’t give you the same experience landscape monitors give.

This type of set up is not usually recommended unless you’re gaming casually. Most professional gamers don’t use portrait display for the same reasons. It would help if you considered all the benefits and the disadvantages before changing your display to portrait.

If you decide to try gaming on a vertical monitor, your first step is choosing the correct settings. Bear in mind that there aren’t many games that are compatible with portrait modes.

What Games Are The Best For Gaming On Vertical Monitors?

Portrait gaming is really great for racing and simulator games. You can see a lot further ahead. Tweak the settings a little bit and make sure the field of view is optimal for you. Don’t forget arcade games! Most are vertically oriented, so they will look great on a vertical monitor.

Arcade shooters

Vertical monitors can also be great for games in third-person view and app-like games.

Ensure that the monitor you buy has an in-play switching type of display to give you the accurate colors you want for gaming. Consider the screen size as well, and don’t go for anything less than 21 inches unless you’re trying to pair it with another screen and want the perfect ratio.

You can change how the game launches by changing the name of the root folder of the installed game for those who want to play horizontal games on vertical monitors.

However, if your goal is to have one monitor at a time, you can install different versions of the same game on the different monitors to allow you to turn on one screen without affecting the other, especially if you want to game.

Try games such as Downwell (Steam), various pinball games, Ikaruga (Steam), Crimzon Clover: World Ignition (Steam) and let’s not forget good ol’ Tetris!

Why Should I Play On A Vertical Monitor?

One of the reasons why people like vertical monitors is that they provide more comfort since they don’t cause straining. With landscape monitors, the angle sometimes gets too wide that you are forced to strain to see what’s happening. Vertical monitors are more precise, especially when you choose a game that will not be distorted by the change of resolution.

Vertical monitors allow you to enjoy complex games better. For instance, games that require more complicates strategies, as well as detailed storylines, are often better if displayed on one platform.

With landscape monitors, such games can easily confuse you with the intended message getting lost along the way. Vertical monitors also allow you to enhance particular features you want in a game easily.

This is very important if you’re looking for one game in a category that has similar games and wants to determine the distinguishing aspects of each game. The layout of the monitor will allow you to highlight those features with ease and therefore determine the most suitable game for your current needs.

Vertical monitors are also better for app games or any other games with the user interface specified as a portrait. While it may be easier to play games intended for landscape display on portrait display, playing portrait games on landscape display isn’t very effective.

The graphics and the visual appeal of the game will be lost, making the game less enjoyable. A portrait set up offers more freedom in terms of multifunctionality.

Portrait monitors also make it easier for you to explore different gaming features and options, which increases your chances of getting the right game. Survey has shown that gaming galleries that have portrait display get 13% more exploration rates, which shows that for most people, exploring portrait display is better than exploring a landscape display.

This may be attributed to the fact that most people don’t like having to scroll the screen in order to see all the information. Since landscape setups require downward scrolling to get full information, they are less appealing.

Since most people use mobile devices and most mobile games come in a portrait view, investing in a portrait monitor will give you better value. It will be easier for you to play more games on the screen, which means that you’ll be using the monitor more frequently. This may only appeal to casual gamers or beginner gamers.

However, professional gamers can benefit more from portrait monitors because most developers are exploring the portrait monitor option and are creating games that are compatible with such a setup.

As the type of display is seen as “revolutionary” by some people. Apart from that, the portrait games bring a lot of benefits to the developers and bring an interesting change to the gaming industry.

What Else Can I Use A Vertical Monitor For?

Even if your monitor is mainly used for gaming, vertical monitor is great for plenty other things! Vertical monitors are great for programmers, webdevelopers, writers, etc. You have much more text visible on the page and can go back and forth quickly without scrolling.

It’s great for Discord chat while you’re gaming too or browsing the internet.

Best Vertical Gaming Monitors

What if I told you that any monitor can become a vertical monitor? All you really need is a VESA stand (and VESA compatible monitor), which will allow you to rotate your monitor however you like. There are also monitors, which have a pivot already built in.

Best Multi-Monitor Stand

If you’d like to have multiple monitors, your best choice is this VIVO Dual Monitor Stand (Amazon) for two monitors. For three monitor setup, this Mount-It! Triple Monitor Stand (Amazon) will do a great job!

Conclusion

Gaming on a vertical monitor is a cool concept that you should try whether you’re using multiple screens or just the one. There are many suitable monitor brands that you can choose from to enhance your gaming experience, and they all come with different features and at affordable prices.

(Featured image credit: Steven Wilke at Flickr)


Video Game Calendars 2021 – New Year With Games You Love

I know that 2020 hasn’t been really good to us and at this time it’s really difficult to look forward to the next year with all this uncertainty.

Many of us have spent the quarantine playing video games and finding new favorites. If someone you know is a gamer, help them look forward to every month of 2021 by gifting them one of these gaming calendars witht twelve months of beloved characters and scenes from their favorite games.

Or you can purchase one for yourself!


How Do E-Sports Teams Make Money?

A few years back, not many believed that playing video games as a sport could help them earn billions. Yet, that’s what actually happened, the esports industry is booming!

So, the question is, how do esports teams make money? It is through sponsorships, prize money, merchandise and content creation.


Gaming Christmas Sweaters

Geeky Video Game Ugly Christmas Sweaters 2020

Right now you’re like: “Dana, what are you doing, it’s barely September and you’re already posting Christmas stuff?”

I know it’s early but we have to think ahead before everything is gone for the holidays! Plus you’ll beat any Christmas queues and that’s a win in my book. You don’t want to miss out these great video game ugly Christmas sweaters and feel like the odd one out on any Christmas parties this year!

Christmas sweaters have recently made quite a comeback, adding more and more cool designs to the collection. Thanks to that we can now get sweaters (or even jumpers and t-shirts!) with various topics, from Star Wars to comic books and, of course, video game related ones.

Here are some of the top gaming ugly Christmas sweaters you need to get this season! Whether you’ve been roped to another family get-together or an office Christmas party or you just simply want to hang out at your place and play video games, these are for you!

Make sure to check the sizing to avoid any problems.


Top 25 Earliest Computer Games – Early Computer Games List

The history of video games is very interesting, starting back in the 1950s, at first used only for training and research programs. But as time passed, and this technology progressed, it became more common and its uses varied.