Survivalism in Gaming: Pack Your Bags

Best Zombie Bug Out Bag ChecklistSurvivalism is big in gaming at the moment. Lots of TV shows have to do with being a survivor like Discover Channel’s survivor man and related shows, but what has made it more of a national and international success is how widespread the subculture of zombie survivalism has become.

Zombie movies have been around for decades and there has always been a cult-like following to the genre, but it was never a mainstream success. It was successful enough to have a few parody films made about it, but even those weren’t quite as big as what the genre has become. With the wild success of the Walking Dead franchise on AMC, zombies and zombie related merchandise are household names.

And this is nowhere more evident than in gaming. Zombie related gaming has absolutely exploded, both before and after the Walking Dead. The hugely popular Dead Rising franchise is a staple in the gaming world. Other games explore life as a survivor in a zombie apocalypse where players will create zombie bug out bag packing lists in order to prepare for an impending apocalypse and save their friends and family from emergencies.

These games are huge at the moment and they show no signs of slowing down.

In some of the more true to life ones (as true as you can be when talking about a zombie apocalypse, haha), the gameplay is incredible detailed and well laid out. The graphics are incredible and the scenarios are vivid and true to the fan fiction.

My personal favorite zombie survival game “Dead Survival 2,” which came out a few years ago now, starts off with life as it normally is. You can pick different worlds to begin the game with different resources available and you need to do your best preparing for the impending doom. The game then randomly generates when the full apocolypse happens, so you don’t know exactly when it will hit. Obviously, before it does, you do your best to gather up all of the resources for survival, you show your friends and family how to make a bug out bag pdf and you distribute disaster plans to everyone around you so that you can have a crew ready to go for when disaster inevitably strikes.

Then once everything hits the fan, you need to do your best to execute your plan and rebuild society. It’s a great game that you can play through hundreds of different scenarios and have a great time doing it. The first one was a great concept and very innovative in its originality, but the full-on gameplay just wasn’t quite there like the second one.

Games involving realistic survival situations have definitely sparked an interest in a lot of people. It’s not entirely clear if it will outlive the current phase or if it’s just a passing fad, but we know one thing for sure. There will always be a tight knit group of passionate zombie fans out there supporting new developments in the genre, no matter how snobby they may be once the subgenre peoples popular in the mainstream.

Using Video Games to Study for the CPA Exam

Using Becker or Gleim to pass the CPA ExamTypically studying and video games don’t work well together. Growing up you were probably told to stop playing games in order to do your homework or chores around the house. Well, today we live in a different era. Companies are increasingly using simulations and other options that have been available to the gaming industry for years to develop state of the art education software. Almost all professional examination prep companies have been doing this over the past decade, but it has increased drastically in the past three years. The certified public accounting industry is no exception. The CPA exam when to a computerized system over 10 year ago and as a result many review companies have embraced the new technology.

The two largest proponents of this strategy are Becker CPA or Gleim Review. These two companies have developed different strategies to try to increase students’ memory and capabilities in the testing center and before their exam date.

Becker CPA review has focused on the fact that people need to interact with something or someone in order to learn more effectively. This is why they offer live in person lectures and seminars for candidates to attend and turn in homework. This might sound like a traditional classroom, but it isn’t. The homework is done virtually, turned in virtually, and even graded virtually. Students can even log into the system and watch the live seminars online without having to travel to the lecture hall. The traditional interaction of the student and teacher is not lost in this new format. There’s a lot more information on the becker CPA 2015 review course here.

Gleim CPA review on the other hand has decided to focus on the new virtual world almost entirely. They have decided to embrace the idea of a virtual classroom without a need for a traditional professor or lecturer. Students can log into the new portal and watch the new videos. These videos include hours of lectures and training by some of the most influential educators in the industry. Another way the Gleim tends to differentiate itself from other study guides in the industry is that it has the largest test bank out of any other company. That’s right. The gleim CPA prep course test bank has the most multiple choice questions in the industry. This test bank allows students to login in from anywhere and work through a few problems or questions when they have a chance. This is a unique selling point that is taken straight from the gaming industry. The ability to be mobile and still function is extremely important.

As our lives become more wound around the strands of technology, video games will play an even greater role in how we do traditional tasks like study or interact with our friends. Games and gaming technology isn’t going anywhere, so you might as well embrace it. Look on the bright side, you will be able to play video games your entire life.

Dentists Begin Using Virtual Gaming to Train for Surgeries

doctors train performing dental implants with video gamesThere is a virtual renaissance going on in the game industry right now. Gaming technology has become so universal and so ubiquitous in our everyday lives that we might not even notice it anymore, but things that were on the absolute cutting edge just five to eight years ago are standard practice in modern society.

One of the clearest examples of this is showcased when you take a trip to just about any hospital—or even your local doctor’s office. Doctor’s offices are finding ways to cut costs and provide superior care by implementing different technologies into their offices. Many practices are using tablets to a larger and larger degree that owe a lot of their development costs to the gaming industry of the mid to late 90s. These devices allow them to streamline the entire doctor visit so as to best allocate the doctor’s time, which is incredibly valuable.

And today, students who are studying to go into the dental or medical practice are using innovative technologies that allow them to do experimental, virtual surgeries via computers and simulations.

Consider the very costly and in depth surgery of doing dental implants. Doctors doing dental implants in Pontiac are now experimenting with virtual surgeries that can prepare students for the real event that not only decreases on the total time that a doctor must be physically present, but can provide a student with the kind of hands of experience that he or she might not otherwise get in a typical shadowing program. This kind of experience is invaluable to doctors, students, and patients alike.

Obviously I haven’t personally tried any of these programs, but the concept is absolutely brilliant. After all, the military has been applying these kinds of gaming technologies to the training of troops for a number of years now. If it works for them, is there any to reason why it wouldn’t work for other professions? I don’t see why not. Obviously, a combat-ready soldier is doing much different work than a surgeon for dental implants in Auburn Hills, but the concept is still sound: applying a virtual experience to real-life situations.

New technologies like this always give me a smirk because it is a big laugh for anyone who was told growing up that “Playing video games will rot your brain.” Well, the very technology that was “rotting my brain” ten years ago is now being used to save other peoples’ brains. It is a little bit of selfish gratification on my part.

And if we are using these technologies for surgeries and military training today, just think about what we will be using them for in the future. It is quite literally limitless. Now with the production and manufacturing of drones and similar technologies we may even have robots be performing dental and local oral surgeries. Who knows? All I know is that it is an exciting time to be involved in the gaming and technology world.

And it all based in some of the basic software’s that were developed for gaming.

Writing Video Game Reviews

writing-game-reviewsI get a lot of request by friends and fellow gamers alike to write reviews for new games that are on the market or about to be on the market. I am usually more than happy to do it because that’s one of the things I like doing best—test playing new games and letting other people know the goods, the bads, and the uglies. But along with writing the reviews themselves, many of my friends have asked me how I go about writing them and what I consider and what I don’t while writing them.

So, by popular demand, I’m going to go through my entire review writing process and show you how I evaluate each and every game that I consider.

Make sure It’s Readable

The first thing I do when writing a game review is to remember who my audience is. When you think about it, writing a game review really is no different than writing for a newspaper or writing college essays. You need to keep you readers and audience in mind and make sure you are communicating to them what they need to know. And the last thing I try to do when writing my game review is to make it readable. You know what I mean. I try to take out any unnecessarily big words, and I try to keep my grammar proper. I make sure not to misuse the grammar of principal and principle because that tends to confuse the reader.

Game play

Firsts things first. I always consider game play above anything else. What is the game play like? Do you interact with other gamers, is it an open world or a sand box game?

After considering the game type, I look at the game based on similar games in the market. Is this just a rehash of something that we have already seen six months earlier or does it add something new to the genre? Unfortunately, a lot of game that are being released today don’t really add that much innovative game play but instead are just re-releases of old gaming technology.


One area that a lot of game design companies have been innovating in is the area of physics. Now, people have mixed reviews on physics—to certain degrees. You have your old-school console games who just want to have a control and that’s it. No movement, no motion, just give me the control and let me play. Then you have the ultra-physics nerds who want to literally be jumping up and down when they’re playing their games. That’s a little bit much.

I prefer something in the middle. I think what the Skate franchise has done to skateboarding games has been a major improvement and it’s something that both sides can get behind.

Longevity of Game

I might be an outlier in this regard, but another thing I look for in a game is a decent shelf life. Most games I usually “beat” in under a week, and there isn’t a whole lot publishers can do to fix people like me who binge play the games, but they can add missions and achievements that gamers can unlock.

I think that the GTA franchise has done a tremendous job of incorporating missions and achievements into the games that really put them up a notch in my book.

Review of Reviews

So to be short, I look at the basic game play and physics of the game. I make sure I easily communicate these features to my readers and I avoid the kind of basic grammar mistakes that cause people to second guess your opinion. Never mix up the meaning of immigrate vs emigrate when writing your reviews.

Nintendo’s Innovation That Left Them Behind

nitendo-wiiDo you remember when the Xbox 360 and the PS3 first came out? I sure do. I was first among the people in line waiting to get them. At first, I was a 360 supporter and it took me a few years to come around to the PS3, but, now, after everything is said and done, I have come to appreciate both as amazing gaming systems.

Regardless of my personal feelings, however, these were undeniable state of the art gaming systems of the day and they proved as such through their sales, but the innovation behind both platforms really was much more evolved than their predecessors the Xbox and the PS2. Better graphics, bigger hard drives, more expansive game play, these are all things you should expect with a new console. Nothing about them was revolutionary.

Out of this wave of consoles, the only company to really think outside of the box was Nintendo, and they did so in a big way. With the release of its Wii gaming system, Nintendo anticipated a complete shift in gaming that wouldn’t really catch on for a number of years.

The Wii was a quick hit and millions of people bought them. They are really great for family and party gaming, but they were not able to produce much staying power. People at first loved the idea of the Wii, but the whole concept never really caught on. Maybe this is because the technology wasn’t quite there yet or maybe it was because no platforms wanted to hassle with the release of a Wii game, but the Wii wasn’t able to produce the same kind of growth in gaming that the Xbox and Playstation both had with their static sales and with the growth of online gaming.

Another thing that Nintendo, apparently, did not correctly anticipate was how easy it would be for both Microsoft and Sony to adapt their existing consoling to match the Wii’s unique gaming experience. Granted, it did take both companies a few years to develop the technology and get it released and widely in consumer use, but they did it—and with minimal effort. Microsoft now has its Connect system and Sony has the Playstation eye.

And the biggest problem with Nintendo is that their platform is now rendered useless. The other game systems can now play traditional games and games that feature movement and real life physics.

This is a classic example of an early innovator not taking into account many other market variables and losing their competitive edge—even while being the innovators themselves. In effect, Nintendo introduced people to a new wave of gaming that Sony and Microsoft was able to pick up on and make into a better overall platform. The gaming market functions the same as any other market.

Now Nintendo has largely been relegated to handheld gaming, which is but a fraction of the total gaming market and may never reach the same threshold. Time will only tell what is in Nintendo’s future, but hopefully they will reenter the gaming scene sometime; the N64 was incredible!

My First Game Console

Sonic-knucklesDo you remember your first gaming console? I remember getting mine like it was yesterday. I, actually, still have it, too, but getting it was so exciting. It was Christmas morning and I felt kind of like that Gamecube kid. Remember him? That crazy kid screaming when he got the Gamecube? Well, I wasn’t quite that crazy, but I do remember being super excited and I played it all day long. It was a Nintendo NES game system. I got two games for it, one of which was Mario Bros. This was my game of choice for the next six months straight. I had so much fun playing that game, and it never got old.

But despite all of the fun that I had with my NES, what really tipped me over the edge into the gaming camp was the Sega Genesis.

The Genesis was a huge leap forward in gaming technology and it was absolutely state of the art. That, and by the time the Genesis hit the market, systems like the NES had popularized the gaming industry, so hundreds and hundreds of titles were being made for the Genesis, including many that I still have fun playing today.

One of my favorite games was Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and the Sonic and Knuckles game. Knuckles was always the coolest character to play because not only could he glide, but he could also climb walls. It kind of made you think, why would you ever want to be Sonic when you could be Knuckles?

But what made Sonic 3 so cool was that you could actually save it. I know this is something we take for granted in games today, but back then, belief it or not, you couldn’t actually save your games. You just had to play them all the way through until you had beaten then without turning your system off. I can remember taking turns playing Super Mario Bros 3 because in order to beat the entire game without turning it off, it could take well over 7-8 hours. So what we would do is play the first two or three worlds then hand off the controller to the next person. In Sonic 3, you didn’t have this problem because you could save the game. How cool!

Another cool feature about these two games is that the game Sonic and Knuckles, which was a stand alone game itself could also be used as an expansion pack for Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. It allowed you to play the entire two games with the character Knuckles. How cool is that? You can now go back and play Sonic 2 and 3 with the new character Knuckles.

Talk about a cool development. I remember first getting Sonic and Knuckles and going back through to replay all of Sonic 2 with my new character. It was so cool and a really great idea on Sega’s part. Now you can get all of these games for the Gamecube and Wii, and you can even play most of them online for free. So for any of you who aren’t sure exactly what games I’m even talking about, go check them out and play some of the classics.

How to Not Become “That Guy” While Gaming

the-ultimate-gamerEveryone who games even halfway seriously is familiar with “that guy.” They date back all the way to the early days of Nintendo. There are a few different variations of “that guy” in gaming too, so sometimes it’s confusing to know which one people are talking about, but today I want to go over how we as gamers can avoid being “that guy” while gaming.

The Über Gamer

Like I said above, everyone knows someone who is just a little too into gaming and who let it dominate every single aspect of their entire life an existence. These type of people have a hard time communicating with the outside world and carrying on normal conversations when gaming isn’t the main item of discussion. So what are a few ways that we can avoid this happening to us?

I know just how easy it is to get consumed by gaming culture because it happens to me every one in awhile. I will randomly find myself having gone days or weeks without every talking to someone about a topic other than games. And the best way I have found to counteract this trend is to find a group of friends who are either loose gamers or don’t game at all. This will help balance you out and make you more well rounded.

The Loud Gamer

The loud gamer is the guy who feels the need to yell every time he gets a kill in Call of Duty or every time he throws a touchdown pass in Madden. You generally see these types of guys frequenting college frat houses and other “bro” type atmospheres. The best way to avoid becoming a bro-gamer is to have a sense of self-awareness and keep a temperature check of the room around you. Sometimes it’s okay to be really loud and yell during gameplay, but if you’re the only one doing it, odds are you’re doing it wrong.

The Know-It-All

This type of gamer is in a league all his own—and he’ll let you know it. While the know-it-all gamer isn’t loud and boisterous like the bro-gamer, it sure will feel like it. Know-it-all gamers feel the need to correct everyone on what they determine to be “proper gameplay.” They usually don’t have much overlap with the über gamer because übers are generally nice people who just enjoy gaming. The know-it-all is a certain manifestation of the hipster who feels the need for everyone to be aware of his personal knowledge of gaming. Just sitting down and enjoying playing games isn’t enough for the know-it-all.

Generally is you’ve become a know it all and you aren’t aware of it, it’s too late. In most game circles these are the worst kind of people to play with. I can even stand gaming with the bro-gamer because they are at least well intentioned, albeit slightly irritating at times. The best thing to do to avoid becoming a know it all is to not feel the need to correct everyone on everything all the time. Try to let some things just be. If someone doesn’t know as much as you about a particular game or console, you don’t need to make them feel inferior about it. Just having fun playing the game! That’s what they’re there for!