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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/21/2018 in Articles

  1. 2 points
    Victoria Enmon was an amazing little girl. She demonstrated love and compassion to others around her as much as she possibly could. Whether being thrown into the air at cheer leading practice or battling cancer, she never stopped supporting the people whose lives she touched. In the words of her parents, Vic and Jo Ellen Enmon, she flew. Today would have been Victoria's 27th birthday. "She wasn't afraid of heights. In fact, she wasn't really afraid of anything." - Jo Ellen Enmon At a little over 11 years old, Victoria was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and it would be something she fought for the rest of her life. While she battled her condition, undergoing multiple transplants and treatments, she never let it break her spirits. Even while sick, Extra Life's founder, Jeromy "Doc" Adams recalls her as "the kind of kid you could hear coming before long before she got to your soundproof studio." It also never stopped her from giving all of herself over to helping people without hesitation. At Camp Periwinkle, a summer camp for children with cancer, one of her doctors holds onto the memory of her helping another girl suffering from both cystic fibrosis and cancer. That little girl needed extra help to get ready to experience camp each day, and throughout that week Victoria came to help. Victoria made sure that her fellow camper would get to have an unforgettable camp experience. No one asked her to, she just did it. As she entered what would be her final stay in a hospital, Jeromy Adams began working with Sarcastic Gamer to get her some games to help her pass the time during her treatments. The overwhelming response consisted of more games than her family could handle. Of course, Victoria started giving them away to other kids in the hospital. That impulse to give everything to those around her, that was just the kind of person she was. "You know, here she is, lying up in bed tubes connected to her. She didn't go and cry about it or bemoan her situation. She went around to all these other kids to make them feel better. I think that's really the legacy of her." - Vic Enmon From 11 years old until 15 years old, Victoria never stopped fighting, not even when she contracted a fungal infection due to her compromised immune system. She passed away on January 21, 2008, finally resting from her battle against leukemia, failed transplants, and infections. But that's not the end of her story. To keep her spirit alive and make sure that everyone knows how amazing she was, Jeromy Adams started Extra Life that same year. On october 13, 2008, over 1,200 people showed up to support children like Victoria. It has grown every year since and has now raised over $50 million to help sick and injured kids across the United States and Canada. One of Victoria's last wishes was to see Christmas lights. The final time he saw her, Victoria, her parents, and Jeromy all stepped outside to see the lights glow in the dark. "We were only outside for about 10 minutes. There wasn't a lot of talking. We just looked at lights," Jeromy remembers. Victoria isn't gone. She's become like those lights, shining brightly in the dark, touching more lives with comfort and love with each passing year. She's able to do that through all of us working to keep that fearless and caring spirit alive. Happy birthday Victoria. We're doing our best. For The Kids
  2. 1 point
    The deep sea survival game Subnautica is free for a limited time through the Epic Games Launcher. This follows closely on the heels of Epic's announcement of an Epic digital distribution service that begins with their launcher. And even better? Epic says they will be releasing a free game every two weeks until the end of 2019! Subnautica debuted to the world four years ago as an Early Access title through Steam. After years of additional development, the seafaring title released fully in January of this year. The game places players in a dire survival scenario: Their spaceship has crashed, seemingly with all hands either lost or dead. Players end up having to fend for themselves on an uncharted ocean world. Securing resources, salvaging gear, upgrading equipment, researching upgrades, and constructing a base of operations all become engrossing activities. It only recently launched on consoles, and unfortunately the free version seems to be exclusive to PC for now. Announced via Epic Games, the company has launched its year-long free game service with Subnautica, an offer which will disappear on December 27 to be replaced by a new free title. The service itself is free - all that you need to do to download the free biweekly game is to download the Epic Games Launcher and download the free title from there. From that point on, it's yours to keep with no strings attached. While a schedule of the games coming to the platform have yet to be announced, we do know that the next game heading to Epic users for free will be Team Meat's classic platformer Super Meat Boy. This move to distribute free games doesn't come out of the goodness of Epic Games' heart, however. The company is making an effort to capitalize on the 200 million people who play Fortnite through their service, a number that absolutely dwarfs juggernauts of the industry like Steam, which boasted a record 18.5 million users in January of this year. If even 10% of Epic's user base begins to use Epic Games as their go-to digital platform of choice, things could really begin to shake up in the slowly crowding digital distribution market. Undoubtedly, the allure of free games for an entire year will keep people opening up the Epic Games platform and building a collection of titles that could potentially include a few games they picked up on the storefront beyond the free games. It's a perfect way to rope in people who are already playing Fortnite and bring in new blood who want free games. Overall, this will likely accelerate some degree of competition between the biggest digital storefronts like Steam, Good Old Games, and Origin. With free games bringing in users and a better cost sharing arrangement than other platforms, Epic really does have a shot at securing a spot as not one of the most used but the most used digital games platforms in the world. This could be the beginning of an entirely different digital ecosystem. Be sure to grab Subnautica on PC before December 27! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. 1 point
    Epic Games is rolling in cash courtesy of Fortnite, the cool thing the kids are playing these days (or so some cool kids tell me). What exactly has it done with all of that moola? Use it to start a digital storefront designed to compete with the likes of Steam and Good Old Games. "For the past five years, we've been building tools enabling Epic to bring our games directly to players. We built the Epic Games launcher on PC and Mac featuring Fortnite and Unreal Engine; we built a worldwide digital commerce ecosystem supporting dozens of payment methods; and we gained great economies of scale thanks to Fortnite's growth," said Tim Sweeney in his initial announcement of the Epic Games Store. All of this has put Epic Games on track to launch their storefront. The main selling point that Epic Games wants everyone to be aware of is their dedication to showing fairness to developers who sell games on their platform. A major part of their announcement states that all developers will earn 88% of the revenue from sales on the Epic Games Store, a piece of information that was accompanied by a chart comparing an their 12-88 revenue split to Steam's 30-70 (or 30-55 in some cases) split. The graphic also makes it clear why Epic Games is pursuing a piece of the digital distribution market: Devs that make use of Unreal Engine 4 automatically pay 5% of their game's revenue to Epic, but if Epic sells those games on their own platform, they can up that cut to 12% regardless of game engine, all while getting good PR for sharing more revenue with developers who sell through their store. It's a win-win relationship for Epic and those who sell through them. Given that Epic now has strong ties to an entire generation of gamers through Fortnite and the Epic Games launcher, this makes complete sense. They have the technological infrastructure, a readily available pool of customers, and the unique position to reap larger profits while attracting more developers. Another benefit will be a more curated atmosphere that lacks on a service like Steam that has already opened the development floodgates for practically anything to make it onto the platform. Sweeney wrote that the service will help devs reach their players by giving users a newsfeed that will update with information and updates from developers. Developers will also be able to reach out to streamers, vloggers, and bloggers through Epic's Support-A-Creator program to help get the word out about up-and-coming indies. The somewhat murky part of this is that through this program content creators will be able to receive a cut of the revenue (determined by the developer) from purchases made using their referral links. The first 24 months of the service will see Epic Games covering the first 5% of the revenue shared with content creators, so that's pretty neat. Sweeney's announcement was a bit lacking in details regarding exactly when the service would launch, though more details will be coming on Thursday, December 6 during The Game Awards. The Epic Games Store will first launch for PC and Mac before spreading to Android devices and beyond over the next year. Are you excited for a new digital store in the mix? Is a bigger revenue share for the devs enough of an incentive for you as a customer to switch over to Epic? Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. 1 point
    Members of PlayStation Plus will be receiving a treasure trove of great games this month. Each of the currently active consoles connected with the service will be receiving two games each, and they're all incredibly solid and fun ones. The headliners for the month are definitely the PlayStation 4 titles. users will have the chance to snag the existential horror game SOMA as well as team racing title Onrush. SOMA comes courtesy of Frictional Games, the studio behind Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It weaves a strange and unique tale about sentience, robotics, and the nature of being, forcing players to grapple with questions that might threaten to keep them up all night. It's a horror game, certainly, but the horror largely eschews jump scares and instead builds its dread slowly, in a way that sticks with you long after the credits roll. Oh, and it is all at the bottom of the ocean, just in case you were looking for more water in your games. Meanwhile, Onrush stands as a unique racing game that doesn't determine winners by who comes in first place. Instead, racers are divided into teams and win the various modes by performing enough stunts (Overdrive), passing enough checkpoints (Countdown), staying within a certain area on the race track (Lockdown), or a battle mode where each player has three lives (Switch). Onrush was developed by members of the same team that worked on the Motorstorm series. PlayStation 3 players will gain access to Steredenn: Classic, a sidescrolling roguelike and Steins;Gate, an adventure game/visual novel involving time travel that has spawned manga and anime adaptations in the years since it released. Steredenn: Classic, if you've never heard of it, is similar to games like classic spaceship shooters like R-Type, but with a more modern style and roguelike elements that make each playthrough unique. Without spoiling anything about Steins;Gate... it's good, definitely check it out for some compelling drama and branching storylines. Finally, the PlayStation Vita is getting some love! This month, PlayStation Plus members can download Iconoclasts, a sidescrolling metroidvania released this year (crazy, a game released on Vita in 2018!). Users can also grab Papers, Please, the highly acclaimed indie game from Lucas Pope, the developer who recently released Return of the Obra Dinn. Both games are truly quality indie games and it warms the cockles of my cold heart to see them available to a lot of people on the Vita. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  5. 1 point
    If you've ever wondered what it would be like to play a classic game with a completely different soundboard, here's your chance to experience the magic. NBA Jam is receiving its own Boss Fight Books treatment and the official Twitter account for the book dug up a pretty interesting video from back in the day. The video from 2012 depicts a working Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet that has had its soundboard swapped with one from an NBA Jam cabinet. The results are incredible. All anyone could possibly say to this is, "NUGGETS! NUGGETS! NUGGETS! NUGGETS!" Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  6. 1 point
    Article written by Sid Wing, a fourth-year participant who plays for Children's of Alabama. Some have asked - "Why do you do this 'ExtraLife' thing?" For kids like my Grand-nephew Cyrus. Last year he celebrated his 3rd Birthday, began attending developmental preschool, and took his first steps! None of this would have even been possible with out Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital. Who knows what amazing things will happen for him THIS year! At 28 weeks gestation, we learned that Cyrus had a “constellation of defects” that pointed to a genetic disorder. His mom, my neice, had to have an amnio-reduction procedure at Vanderbilt two weeks later, in order to avoid amniotic fluid-related complications. At the same time, the team took extra fluid in order to determine whether there was a genetic cause for Cyrus’ many defects. Cyrus was born by emergency C-section on October 22, 2013. He had an APGAR score of 2. The NICU had already been alerted about his condition, and we already had a team dedicated to each of his systems. The entire medical staff there were attentive, supportive, and collaborative with us regarding his care and treatment. There was no stone left unturned; because of Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital, Cyrus, for whom the chromosomal anomalies should have been a death sentence, is alive to celebrate his third birthday and reach new milestones.
  7. 0 points
    Spoiler alert: Both machines rely on emulating games made for other consoles and handhelds. Soulja Boy has taken it upon himself to enter the console business by launching two new pieces of hardware with his name attached. Under the brand SouljaGame, the rapper released the SouljaGame Console and the SouljaGame Handheld, both of which seem to be part of a larger effort on his part to put together a line of branded products that includes the SouljaWatch, SouljaPad, SouljaPhone, and SouljaPods. While certainly an interesting business move, observers have noted the similarity all of the products bear to high profile knock-off electronics that can be found on services like Wish or Alibaba. Compare the SouljaGame Console on the left to the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console found on Alibaba The reliance on emulation stands out as perhaps the most shocking part about the launch of these devices. The SouljaGame Console comes packaged with 800 console titles and promises to play games intended for SouljaGame, PlayStation, NeoGeo, PC, Sega, Game Boy Advance, and NES games. The console also claims to be capable of outputting 4K resolutions. Meanwhile, the SouljaGame Handheld comes stocked with 3,000 titles and claims to play games intended for Nintendo Switch, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, NeoGeo, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advanced. Setting aside the dubiously legal nature of emulation as an explicit purpose for a commercial product, the console itself seems to be a slightly repackaged version of the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console. Both share almost exactly the same specs, right down to the built-in library of 800 games and the support of TF memory cards up to 32gb in size. Both consoles even make use of controllers that appear to be wholesale ripoffs of PlayStation's controller designs. As for the SouljaGame Handheld, it's even more of a mystery. The handheld's massive library seems to be an eclectic grab-bag of titles with the games advertised on it ranging from something that looks like an Incredibles game from the Game Boy Advance, an untranslated Pokemon game, Golden Sun, Sonic Racing, and more. It also claims to have download support and the ability to play games on the handheld on the television via a "connerting cable." The device seems like it can also play videos as it boasts MKV and AVI file support. Honestly, I don't know what to make of this. I don't think I could recommend anyone go out of their way to buy either of these machines, but I also can't deny that I have a morbid curiosity that makes me want to experiment with this strange collection of devices. On the other hand, with the recent revelation that Sony's PlayStation Classic runs on emulation, boasts fewer games, and is easily hacked, maybe there's a market for a dedicated emulation machine with a much larger library? What do you think of Soulja Boy's ambitious foray into the console and handheld markets? Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
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