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Thought of the Day: Video Games and the Human Heart

By Carla B.

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Best Movie Quotes: Film – Beta Test (Directed by Nicholas Gyeney)

“One thing we must acknowledge as a leader in this field is our responsibility to shape our society. If you look where we’ve come, or arguably where we’ve fallen to, you have to ask yourself, what happened to our humanity and where did it go? In my new position, my focus is to return the spotlight to the gamers. I find that the single most important thing. And hopefully if we’re smart enough, we can remind our consumers to engage in balance, to remember what makes them human in the first place. In between missions of course. ” — Movie: Beta Test (Character Max Troy played by Larenze Tate)

“Any ambitious man would dream of reaching the top. To deny that would deny my own humanity, I think. Andrew Kincaid was a god in his own world, and any god who is obsessed with his own power sets himself up for his own demise. And that power falls on his angels. Someone had to take up the reigns. All we can do is hope for a fresh perspective. Ultimately it’s up to us to enter this world, to take up that controller, to make those decisions. Ultimately it’s your quarter.” — Movie: Beta Test (Character Max Troy played by Larenze Tate)
 

Image credit: Mirror Images LTD

      Compassion and Empathy is something Humanity must not lose…

Healing The Heart ....

Today, video games play a big role in many of our lives — as it is often the go to source of entertainment. It’s been proven that in a large number of American households  there is little fun time spent -aside from playing sports outside -without an X Box, Nintendo or Sony controller in the hand — and most recently, smart phones….and for good reason…?? As there is no denying that for many, video games can be incredibly fun to play. I still remember to this day how immersed I became in games such as Super Mario and Pac Man — all of which managed to preoccupy countless hours of my childhood. With the gaming industry capabilities consistently improving I find it interesting to explore just how big of a role video games play in our modern society and whether or not they are having any lasting effects on those who play them. According to a study released by statista in September of 2014, global video game revenues exceed $100 billion, with $6.1 billion of that being generated by video game sales in the United States alone.(1) These already staggering numbers become even more surprising when one takes into consideration the state of the US economy. How much of that $100 billion is being spent by families and individuals who cannot comfortably afford to buy that $59.99 game or that $349.99 system? In terms of time — which is arguably our most precious commodity -in 2013 the average US gamer over the age of 13 spent 6.3 hours a week playing video games -which is up from an average of 5.6 hours spent in 2012.(2) Violence, in some way shape or form has been a predominant theme in the world of video games for quite sometime. The numbers support the basis whereas the action and shooter genres, which account for a combined 51.9% of video game sales in the US in 2013. Even if masked under the intentions of playing a hero whose sole purpose is to destroy a series of “enemies” to save the world, violence is violence and gamers seem to love to engage in it virtually.

Image credit: Getty

So, it would not be presumptuous to add that many of the  video games we see and interact with today allow gamers to be as brutal as they like — within a very realistic scenario. Users can simply go up to someone — on any given street and attack them, use their vehicles to run a person down, and or even carjack them. Sexism, violence and hatred are the video game industries biggest proponents today. It seems the goal is to systematically desensitize and erode our natural empathy, our innate state of being — of oneness. Sadly, what we are seeing today are individuals being brutalized on any given street corner by someone — and passerbys simply standing by and doing nothing. In many of these cases there is hardly ever anyone coming forward to help. Why is this? Could all this violence that is engaged in virtually by so many of us worldwide be creating some sort of dark effect on us? And most importantly, is it desensitizing us? Why are we allowing this to happen? I can remember back in the day, before all this new technology arrived whereas our very own pocket communities banned together to assist one another in times of need. We sought out, maybe only **subconsciously— to be a service to others, our neighbors, friends and humanity as a whole. With this being said, I guess the only question that really needs answering is: What can we do to reconnect with our heart?? A 2011 study out of the University of Missouri-Columbia looked at the long recognized belief held by many scientists that playing violent video games can cause players to become more aggressive in their daily life. The researchers measured brain responses as they showed the participants a series of neutral and violent photos. The final stage allowed the participants to compete against an opponent in a controllable task that allowed them to choose how aggressively they would blast their opponent with sound. Researchers found that those who played a violent video game were more aggressive in their blast by comparison to those who played a non-violent game. Another study in the publication Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that aggression triggered by video games can last for up to 24 hours after the game is played -if the player continues to think about the game. The authors of the study noted that violent gamers often play for a lot longer than the 20 minutes they were allotted in this particular study, making it more likely that they let thoughts of it marinate within their mind habitually. Several authorities, including the US Supreme Court, the US Surgeon General, the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission all stand on the side of there being no causal link between violent video games and violent behaviour. Any theories to the contrary they state are a myth, and in response have compiled a list of research to support this stance. They do advise however that individuals -especially parents -make informed decisions about what they do and do not choose to expose themselves to. Each game is subject to a rating and suggested age range, and all major gaming systems are required to have programmable parental controls. As with so many other things in the world today, I’m finding that the best solution always lies within. When deciding whether or not to expose yourself to violent video games, observe how you feel when you play them. Scan your heart. Are they purely an entertaining experience that you are easily able to disconnect from? Or are they an escape that allows you to release frustrations, negative feelings and emotions? I’d also advise to look within when deciding whether or not play video games at all. Observe your behavioral patterns to see whether you are simply engaging in an available form of entertainment or if it has become a habitual decision. Be sure to be honest with yourself when analyzing this as well, as you won’t be doing anyone a favor by masking how playing as much as you do makes you feel. I personally do not think that video games are inherently good or bad. They aren’t for everyone, and there is a time and place for them for those who enjoy them. It’s up to us to decipher just how much and when that is, if at all. Ultimately, it should never be okay to advocate any kind of violence in video games — regardless of how the 1 percent spins it. Thoughts? Please share below in the comments.

Heart Chakra | Human Energy Flow - Image credit: HumanEnergyFlow.com

RELATED: The Heart Chakra and its meaning for the human body My prayers and hopes today, right now… is for us all to take a step back, look within and exude our true power in light and love. Connecting with our heart is what we should be doing…not disconnecting from it….regardless of what life experience we may be working through. We must not lose our humanity. Peace and blessing, Namaste. Thoughts? Please share below in the comments. SEE ALSO: The Universal Law of Freewill

Our Truth is not Out there…. it is Within.

**Subconscious: acting or existing without one’s awareness: subconscious motive. noun. 2. (psychoanal) that part of the mind which is on the fringe of consciousness and contains material of which it is possible to become aware by redirecting attention Compare preconscious (sense 2), unconscious

Sources: (1) http://www.statista.com/topics/868/video-games/ (2) http://time.com/120476/nielsen-video-games/ (3) http://www.statista.com/statistics/189592/breakdown-of-us-video-game-sales-2009-by-genre/ (4) http://metro.co.uk/2014/01/16/100-best-selling-video-games-of-2013-revealed-4265929/ (5) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525151059.htm (6) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920094620.htm (7) http://www.theesa.com/facts/violence.asp

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10 Celebrities that are avid Blackjack and or Poker Players

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 22nd, 2014 - in Celebrity News, Entertainment News, Gaming, Pop Culture

By Janie Winehouse

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Below are 10 sport stars and celebrities who have a keen eye in or around poker and blackjack tables in Las Vegas.

Credit: EOTM Media/Getty

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley, a well known basketball player, achieved both fame and wealth in his career as a sportsman. After his retirement, he sought out blackjack to provide the emotional highs he was used to as a player. The mobile phone is Barkley’s preferred method of playing, and though he once lost $400,000 in one game, he managed to win it all back and more ($700,000) later on.

Gerard Pique

26-year old Spain and Barcelona centre-back, Gerard Pique has it all. Dashing good looks, bags of cash from his monster-sized salary, and he has been dating Columbian pop princess Shakira since 2010! Oh, and the boy loves poker too.

Pique competed in the 2013 WSOP, although he failed to cash in any events, but he did cash in the 2013 EPT Barcelona Main Event, navigating his way to 19th place before crashing out.

Ben Affleck

Hollywood star Ben Affleck has starred in films such as Good Will Hunting, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and was recently cast as Batman – that in itself is awesome enough – but away from the silver screen Affleck sits down at the green felt.

Although he only has one tournament cash to his name – a win in the $10,000 buy-in California State Poker Championship in 2004 that banked him $356,400 – Affleck is rumoured to be a regular in high stakes cash games in Los Angeles. In fact Affleck was one of the players named in a recent court case where a rouge hedge fund manager used investors’ funds to pay for his penchant for high stakes cash games!

Matt Damon

Matt Damon, star of 1998 poker movie Rounders, allegedly lost $25,000 at the WSOP while researching his role of professional poker player Mike McDermott. Looking at The Hendon Mob Database, it appears Damon has requested his results to be removed as his page is empty barring his photograph and I know he has cashed in a number of events. Damon actually shuns camera crews and bloggers whenever he is competing in poker tournaments so removing his results comes as no surprise.

Damon was part of same high stakes games that Ben Affleck and our next celebrity were regulars in.

Tobey Maguire

Tobey Maguire rose to super-stardom when he portrayed Spiderman in the films bearing the same name. Maguire’s last recorded tournament cash came in 2011 However, Maguire is somewhat of a cash game beast if reports about him are true.

Las Vegas Event TicketsThe aforementioned high stakes cash games in LA are an old haunt for Maguire – and Affleck and Damon – and they were very profitable. Rumors circulated that Maguire was winning as much as $1 million per month when these games ran and may have won up to $40 million!

SEE ALSO:Tobey Maguire Sued Over Poker Winnings

Prince Harry

Prince Harry has carried on the legacy of his royal gambling ancestors. Keen on blackjack the young Prince has been spotted playing at the Wynn casino, in Vegas. He was a regular player, and is known to be passionate about the different tricks and strategies used to win the game. Harry mentioned that what made him a big fan of the casinos were the drinks that were served for free, no doubt because of who he is. What he didn’t notice was that he was losing $300 in every small session game! We hope he understands nothing comes for free!

Shannon Elizabeth

American Pie star Shannon Elizabeth is a regular in Las Vegas – up to three times per month — where she locks horns with some of the State’s grinders and apparently manages to more than hold her own.

In 2010, Elizabeth finished second in the WSOP Ante Up For Africa Charity Event for $79,776, but her biggest score came three years previous when she came third in the $25,000 buy-in NBC National Heads-Up Championship.

Kevin Pollak

Actor, comedian and game show host Kevin Pollak has featured in some superb movies such as A Few Good Men, The Whole Nine Yards and The Usual Suspects and is also an avid poker player who regularly sits down with Hollywood A-list celebrities in homes games.

In 2012, Pollak went on a deep run in the WSOP Main Event, eventually falling in 134th place for $52,718.

Paris Hilton

Yep, the rich just keep getting richer. Paris Hilton who is worth an estimated $100 million, took home $50,000 in blackjack winnings back in February. The 32-year-old former “Simple Life” star clearly isn’t embarrassed by her spoils and even bragged about her winnings; she posted a photo of the cold hard cash to her Instagram account and wrote, “At the blackjack tables. #Killingit.”

Whoever said life is fair?

James Woods

If you have had the pleasure to visit the WSOP during the past 10 years you will no doubt have bumped into Hollywood star James Woods. Woods is a regular feature at the WSOP and has two cashes in WSOP events; the first came in 2006 when he finished 56th in a $2,000 buy-in Shootout and more recently in 2013 when he came 54th in Event #28.

SEE ALSO:Celebrities and Their Casino Adventures

Betting.Betfair.com contributed to this report.

Celebrities and Their Casino Exploits

Published by EOTM News Editor on August 7th, 2014 - in Celebrity Gossip, Entertainment News, Gaming, Pop Culture

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There are many different places that you can go to entertain yourself after a hard week, however nothing is quite like going to visit a casino to play many of the great games that have been around for so many years. Often now most people get to play these games online as casino companies have created amazing sites that even allow you to play games on your mobile phone. But if you really want to play casino games you have to go to a casino to get the right experience. This all goes for celebrities too as just like everyone else they need somewhere to go in order to relax and forget about their busy lives.

Bruce Willis, Matt Damon, Ben Affeleck, Toby Macguire - Image credit: Getty/EOTM Media

Out of the many celebrities Ben Affleck is maybe one that enjoys playing in casinos the most. This is because over the years he has become notorious for staying in The Palm casino in Las Vegas and playing in many tournaments for poker on the whole circuit. Ben Affleck though is no pushover when it comes to these tournaments though as he has won his fair share. Once he even took out fellow celebrity Tobey Magguire in the California State Poker Championship. A well-known friend of Affleck and someone who has both made films with him and acted in them Matt Damon is also a casino games lover, he is known for enjoying a visit to the Bellagio and also likes to play games online as well as take part in a tournament here and there. Not all celebs are winners though as a Bruce Willis could tell you, he once lost $100,000 on a single craps table one night in The Palms casino. This is nothing life changing for these celebs though as they can afford to keep up the lifestyle.

E3 Manifests Its Destiny – Gaming

Published by EOTM News Editor on June 9th, 2014 - in Gaming, Tech News, Trending

E3 Meets Its Destiny (via http://the-american-journal.com)

Playstation opened their presentation with this video. They’ve decided that it’s the big gun to lead with. And they’re not exactly wrong. If the gameplay looks familiar, that’s because the creators of Destiny are the team from Bungie.  No,…

 

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Mortal Kombat X Unveiled – 2015

Published by EOTM News Editor on June 3rd, 2014 - in Gaming, Movies

FIGHT! Mortal Kombat X announced for 2015 (via Lazygamer)

2011’s Mortal Kombat is widely considered to be one of, if not the, best fighting game ever made for the current generation of consoles, PC and handheld devices. But that was three years ago. Now, it’s time for round 2 on a new generation of hardware…

 

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC will come to Xbox first (Game Trailer)

Game Trailer: ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ (via Wall Street Journal Digital Network)

Watch the trailer for the video game “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” featuring actor Kevin Spacey. Photo/Video: Activision Subscribe to the WSJ channel here: http://bit.ly/14Q81Xy Visit the WSJ channel for more video: https://www.youtube.com/wsjdigitalnetwork…

 

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Telltale Games: The Walking Dead Season two tweets returning characters

Published by EOTM News Editor on December 2nd, 2013 - in Entertainment News, Gaming, Tech News
Telltale Games: The Walking Dead Season two tweets returning characters (via Lazy Gamer)

Telltale Games: The Walking Dead returns for season two to horribly depress you on any device you may own. The picture above was tweeted by Telltale Games clearly depicting recurring character Omid and Clementine from season one. It is unknown how your…

 

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The Legacy of Nintendo Visionary Hiroshi Yamauchi

Tributes have been paid to former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi – pictured in Kyoto in 1997 – who has died aged 85. Photograph: The Asahi Shimbun

The Legacy of Nintendo Visionary Hiroshi Yamauchi (via Repost Video News)

The longtime leader of Nintendo passed away on Thursday from pneumonia. He leaves an outstanding legacy as a pioneer of the gaming industry.

 

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Top 5 free iPad game apps

Published by EOTM News Editor on July 29th, 2013 - in Gaming, Tech News, Technology

 The iPad has changed the face of mobile gaming forever and the huge selection of great games on offer ensures that players never run out of options.

In celebration of the Apple App Store turning 5 recently, Apple offered even more games and apps for free. This is a roundup of our favorite 5 iPad apps of all time:

Angry Birds

No list of mobile games is complete without Angry Birds and thanks to its great variety of games on offer (Rio, Space, Star Wars etc) it has to top my list. Rovio Entertainment struck gold with the catapulting bird arsenal and Angry Birds remains the world’s most downloaded app internationally- all for good reasons!

Casino games

The real money or the play-for-fun no risk versions are equally as enjoyable on the iPad. Sites like iPad casino offer realistic and authentic versions of table and slot games that feature giant jackpots and nonstop entertainment 24/7. The iPad touch screen makes the experience even more enjoyable as it allows for interactive player involvement unlike anything experienced before.

Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush is completely addictive! There are now more than 365 sweet levels that needs to be conquered in this match three game that requires a hint of strategy and a lot of careful planning to reach the next stage. Candy Crush capitalizes on seamless Facebook integration, making it one of the most popular social media mobile games available at the moment.

Real Racing

The number 1 free downloadable iPad app in over 90 countries, Real Racing from EA Sports is an awesome race simulator with incredible features. A wide variety of licensed tracks, 22 car grid and more than 50 cars from Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini make this game a mobile racing experience that can’t be beaten. Hyper realistic features and over 1000 different events make this game the best racing game for mobile by far.

Sonic Dash

If you are a Sonic the Hedgehog fan then this is for you. Put the world’s most famous hedgehog through its paces and see how fast and far you can run, and how much you can destroy in your path. The Facebook integration lets you beat your friends best times and a high score multiplier opens up new levels for you to enjoy. This Sega Game characters offers great mobile entertainment and endless hours of fun.

 

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