nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

In Desperate Times

Lots of dark chapters in human history. There are some we seem to glance over, exemplify or never recognize its significance. Coming towards a crises as a mind species, we could easily reflect on our actions but legitimize the plans we make for the future. The Europeans though it would be nice to have a fast trade route to Asia and Hitler wanted Germany out of debt, how can we predict a good action from a bad action?

As a child and teenager, I was always told “If you cannot remember the past, you are doomed to repeat it.” Only a very few phrases have ever stuck to me to shape the person I would become. I took history as a class an course through my school so I remember those pictures, those written experience; to remember what humanity has done onto itself. The troubling fact is I don’t remember myself. I don’t remember my childhood all that well and frankly, the parts I do remember terrify me and have scarred me. When people reminisce about their upbringing and ask to share my tale, I have to resort to two actions. Should I lie or tell the truth? One hand it would sound believable while the other will sounds either irrelevant or even people think I made it up. Fact of the matter, it’s a choice to say either but only one is the solid truth. The truth is never the right nor wrong answer, the truth is simply itself. Right and wrong is a judgement call from a third party bias. We distinguish right and wrong from what other’s tell us is right and wrong. This is the basis of law, is it not? It is the institution of drawing the thinnest line between good and bad and gets people to ensure we all stay on one side of this line and to always respect the line. As thin as you can draw the line, the easier for it to fade away and we see that in many ways. Is it murder when you do it self defence? How about if you do CPR on someone and they die? If you pushed someone out of harm’s way and accidently touched the inappropriately, would that be considered sexual assault? We do have laws in place of the exceptions but in my opinion, even with exceptions it would be in some cases an unbelievable tale to tell.

Within those split seconds to react to protect other, what is the overriding factor? In which instances are we more inclined for self preservation or peer preservation? Say generically we a thief who stole from you, would you rather have him steal money, food or your possessions? For whatever you picked if you caught him and explained himself, would you believe they were stealing to support themselves or their family? Now place yourself in the thief’s position; you are caught and you tell them the truth, do you think they would believe you?

Over the past week, I have hidden a truth to the world. I am at the breaking point where I am re-evaluating all the fundamental principles I was born and raised with to hopefully legitimize my next action. Back into a circle where two phrases stay in my mind; “This is bad” because all I learned go against these actions, “I need this to survive” because my current situation doesn’t allow me to think conventionally anymore. I am at a crisis where I will have to toss the rulebook aside and do what I have to do to survive or I might potentially die. If these actions are taken, I could get in trouble and void the opportunities I want to have for myself but I would live to keep moving on. In my mind, I wasn’t given the luxury to think in a grey zone. It has to be black or white, yes or no, do or die. Even my actions my seem small compared to others, some will have the comfort of thinking outside of my situation and find me as a misfit, a person on the opposite of the thin line. No matter what I did or what I say, I will be guilty and consequences will be made for a small action I committed because I chose to live one more day to work towards a better future. In essence, death is the only “right” answer at the moment but to me it is “wrong” answer.

In desperate times, do I choose slow death or survival? By the book or out with the book? Civility or necessity? These are the questions I am facing, real consequences affecting me as person and member of society.

Crowdfunding, Space and STD’s – Random Thoughts

I’m off the wall this week. I’ve been getting active and creative recently which has been churning out some random thoughts. Once again, I would like to be open about them regardless how random, dark or silly they are; here we go again, sit tight folks!

I am starting to think those people who want to never age are very self centred. You probably know some people  who go out of their way to say “I want to live forever.” First off, bad idea to go around to say that because I would get judgemental. Secondly, why would you ever want to wish immortality on yourself? To each day of your life at one age as others die around you. Your friends, family and pets; they will move on and you will be stuck as yourself at one state for the rest of your life. In this hypothetical if you were to live every day normally and remember everything, you will still be the same as you are forever. So in 60 years you will look like you and have the same vitality but at the same time, everyone you known and loved have passed on. You would become the loneliest survivor of death. What if everyone lived forever? That would be even more catastrophic. Considering the world and its resources, you have about 9 billion people on the planet all wanting the same things. They all want food, materials and shelter; what if they give birth to the next generation. Assuming the entire population was at adulthood and was split fairly between gender, we would have 4.5 billion children wanting the same. That would be 13.5 billion people wanting food! I don’t even think we have enough space at the moment to feed everyone let alone 13.5 billion. If we lived forever, our food demand would increase and it would be exponential. If immortality was existent, I wouldn’t want it because either my future will be lonely or crowded.

With all the conflicts and arms proliferation in the world, what if we took all the money which bought our weapons and war machines and put it into scientific pursuits? What can we human accomplished if we put money into developing new technology? Would be be able to solve our famines with science? Could we build space travel technology within the next 50 years? Perhaps viability for our first warp drive? If we had the money from all our recent wars put into colonizing Mars, would we even be there already? I am still optimistic about our society doing bold and amazing things if we tried hard enough to put aside our differences and do something to help us all. That’s how societies and nations are created, why can’t we just all get along and solve the problems with science?

There has been a lot of gadgets for PC developing at the moment, mostly toward immersive virtual reality. I’m all for VR for video games but I still like the tactile controls of mouse and keyboard; perhaps the occasional controller since most games don’t support controllers on PC. I’m still baffled on why can’t we just consolidate on one or two devices for PC. I have 3 attached to my computer for user input. Of course some manufacturers unify their devices to work on one port. I’m talking about have the one device that can do most if not all the input. I wouldn’t mind having a a device the size of a controller have keyboard functionality with a joystick that can be used as a mouse. When not for work, this nifty gamepad can be my game controller for games that require it. With smartphones, it’s a definite proven fact we can type with our thumbs. I think there may be an untapped market in having an all-in-one device for PC which is you keyboard and mouse and when combined turns into a nifty controller. Someone get on it!

I realized recently I’ve been looking through crowd-funding website for games. You can literally crowd fund for a lot of things now, want a shirt? Crowd fund! Need a video game idea come to life? Crowd fund! Really weird porno? Crowd fund! What about something big and huge, could we crowd fund a space program? Could we crowd fund a cure for cancer? I’ve read article of people having a go at space travel from homemade means. I wonder if they went public and allowed people donate, how much money would they gain from crowdsourcing a space program? I wonder what the rewards would be; if 15 bucks gets you a t-shirt, what would you get for 15 million? Perhaps a seat on the maiden voyage? What about stretch goals, would there be something worth doing as a stretch goal? Science is always trying to find new and cheap ways to do more science, maybe someday I might want to get on board crowdfunding a mission to the Moon or even Mars.

When I was a kid, I was into the first Matrix movie. The idea of plugging in and experiencing a network through firs person. At the time, the notion sounded amazing because then video games become very realistic. Looking back, maybe realism shouldn’t be so realistic. It should suck to die repeatedly in a video game. With my luck, I would sprain my ankle or get shot up like swiss cheese. If I remember correctly, if you get hurt in the Matrix then you get hurt in real life. With the current state of the Internet, I wouldn’t want to “jack in” to the world wide web. For one thing, the trolls; so many trolls that the beauty that is a city would be vandalised. Lastly viruses, there’s a lot of computer viruses. What if we have this technology and we have malware that can infect the brain. What would be the repercussions of of having your brain infected with rogue data and information? STD’s are scary enough, would you want a System Transmitted Disease?

This has been another random thoughts. Until next time, keep being random!

Finding balance

It has always been a problem with me. The world isn’t a linear place; when you have everything set in, some new is willing to test you. I realized this when I was a teen when I tried to balance work and school. It never really panned out since the schedules always conflict and it was my grades or job performance would drop because of it. Sure I could ask for extension and different test days or a different work schedule, but it would never work out.

As pessimistic as it seems, it is the reality. When you finally settle into something you want to do or want, you will realize the other half of it. When you finally settle down, you feel like you have nothing really left to explore or be curious about. You would feel a plateau much like exercising when your body begins to easily accept its regime. At the end, it doesn’t benefit you as much as it did before. Later like I have learned after so long, you will find you just want something more – something different. You want to stretch out there and find something worth pursuing. Like being steady, I found it’s somewhat difficult to do something entirely new and abandon what you already know. Just from what you feel comfortable to what you don’t really feel comfortable, it’s a quick adjustment you can’t really transition towards even if you really wanted.

Change, I find is incremental. It is never sudden, never immediate, never always helpful. Change is merely a transition from a method or idea to another. While in change, we find and discover new things and even question where we will go and where we have come from. In my lifetime, I have witnessed much change. The internet going from phone lines to fibre optics, from personal websites to social media, from homophobia to homophilia to name a few. Even with all this, we are still on the bring of new and different things; some scarier than others. Net neutrality for instance, where companies are slowly pushing to allow speed throttling to certain websites and services at a cost. Civil wars clashing between the people, their oppressors and armed fundamentalists who go against everyone else but themselves. Change is tumultuous, either in the self of in the society. Whether you want to or not, change is always there to test you.

As for me, change is a bit different. It is not a bloodbath or a peaceful demonstration. It is a test of growing and becoming someone I feel comfortable with knowing. It is a change in identity, to question who I was and who I will and want to become. How far am I willing to push myself? Is this my purpose? These are the questions I ask myself sometimes to affirm myself of what I want to do and become. I want to be athletic, so I exercise. I want play video games but not too much, so I starting recording gameplay. I want to get going on a career I find I can be challenged but enjoy; well, I’m working on it and I will let you know how that turns out.

For me, I have been having trouble with balancing my life with change. I have been a bit unfaithful to myself towards tasks and I just want a steady pace while doing new things. It hasn’t come out clean, but I managed to find a balance. Finding that intersect where you feel comfortable but also comfortable enough to try something different. As ambitious as it is, I want to do more and do different things. I want to volunteer but so far no one has accept my applications. I want to exercise more, but it’s getting colder. These are my changes I want happen and I am willing. The questions is about commitment and motivation. Which I have been thinking about a lot in my mind.

Change is something you cannot avoid, but you can control the flow. However over time, there will be change regardless of how slow you want to take it. You never know all the outcomes but you know the best and worse of them. You will never get what you want at the end but change will teach and open you to new things if you let it. Even at it’s worst, change can help you understand a bit around you where you failed to see it before. It might not help you in the future, but it would humble you to know. You never always control how much change, but you can control how much you can accept over time. You may disagree now, but sooner or later you will come around and change your opinions. No matter how rigid you stay, you will crumble; you can either break apart or slowly build upon it. You don’t get a beach body in a matter of weeks in May, you start working towards it at the beginning of year or maybe take you a few years. You don’t get millions of dollars within a month (unless you win it all), you save a little away to get to that amount whether it’s a dollar a month or a dollar a day. You have to be dedicated to change to accept it or change will do it for you. It is your choice to be who you want and do what you want to do in life.

Until next time, let’s all spare a little change.

Leg Days…

This week, I started running. Fairly late into the season, but I thought after a good few weeks of hitting the pool I thought I was ready to push myself. Spoilers, I was sorely wrong.

Early in the week I started with an easy 500 metre jog. Literally felt like nothing, I think I would be able to sprint it if I could. However exercise to me is more about speed; endurance is just as important as speed itself, sometimes it’s not about outrunning your time but more of being able to go farther at a pace. A day later in the morning, I tried a one kilometre run. For people who are inclined for imperial units of measurement, it’s about 0.6 of a mile. This time I decide to push myself a bit harder. I have to admit, I’m out of shape and I felt a bit of fatigue right up to the end. Yesterday, I completed a distance of 2 km. Not much of a feat but more like muscle memory, I’m still feeling it up to this morning. I’ve been known to be physically aggressive with my own body when it comes to fitness but I know this is the tip of the iceberg.

No doubt I want to live a bit healthier on a budget, but the problem is I’m not a health nut. I don’t feel automatically motivated to exercise yet I do want to be more and do more than sitting for extended periods of time. With much consideration, I think I’m going to dedicate an hour a day minimum for physical fitness. Even at the end of the year and through into 2015, I want to be healthier. No longer this “I want to try” business. It’s been a constant for me over the summer to not exercise and now with just under two weeks of summer, it’s now all down to pushing it to the end of the year. Rain or shine, to and through the limit.

Right now, it’s a matter of consistency and variation. So far lots of cardio from swimming and running, weight training is still out of the question. A gym membership is beyond my budget, sticking to push ups would only last for a good while. I could only wish I had some weights.

Late Lifestyle Change

Summer’s ending which meant community pools are closing fairly soon. It’s unfortunate because recently I got into swimming again after half a decade avoiding it. I might have swam a few years back but never returned since. However recently though I’ve been feeling the need to exercise more. No pressure or anything, just thought about it and decided to do it. At first I did a bit of sit ups and push up and now I’m starting to take an interest in swimming. Likely not going to be competitive but more recreational for it’s health benefits.

After a week of swimming at the local pool, I already came to a few conclusions. First being I’m very out of shape. In my teens, I could swim a lap or two but now a lap is pretty much just out of reach at the moment. Regardless, I am definitely capitalize as much of the summer remaining to swim. Even on my “busy” recording schedule for my gameplay series on YouTube, I should find something outside and outdoors to do.

At the moment I’m still as hesitant as I was before with running and jogging. I think it’s more of a self esteem issue I want to confront but I haven’t gotten the gall to put up with it. Any advice to anyone with a friend with self esteem issues; if they want to confront their problems, help them at all cost. Seriously if I had a friend, I would want them to help me through some of these problems. In time, I’ll find my way through it; just will and the choice to do something about it will take me there.

On the video game front, I’ve been enjoying Kerbal Space Program a bit more. Maybe because I have a plan or a fixed time limit because of the series, but I’m really enjoying it. The career mode is pretty dull but combined with the let’s play series on my channel, I like it. I feel I can definitely share all the highs and lows. So far as of this post, I’ve been into orbit a few times, rescued a couple Kerbals, and set up two satellites around our fair planet. And of course since career has contracts, I’ve been working on testing parts for money and science to get the jobs I want done. For the moment in the future, big plans and construction plans are coming up. Mostly setting up a permanent presence in the Kerbol system. Maybe considering on some roleplay in career mode. Sky’s the limit, quite literally. Definitely a lot of plans for manned and unmanned missions. Hopefully go beyond what I already have done in the game in the past, which is travel to the two moons around Kerbin. With the ARM (Asteroid Redirect Mission) update, definitely want to showcase a bit of that content as well. Not sure when but definitely when I feel confident on orbital rendezvous.

Besides KSP, I’ve been approached by some Steam friends on playing some other games with them and maybe record some of those as one off videos. I did do a few videos in Insurgency but I found the content wasn’t that interesting. Who knows, I might record more Insurgency and maybe get working on an Unturned collaborative series. For now, my system can handle storing a regular gameplay series and some videos here and there. As far as having a parallel series in another game, that will require some help.

For now I have a good balance between KSP and swimming. I can upload while I swim, then coming back I can continue editing. That’s how life should be, balance. 

Specking IRL

In video games, especially in MMO’s, specking is a way if life. The purpose to be best of the best; either to be the most swift, the most smart or the most strong. Which would explain why everyone looks alike in their equipment, either to counter weakness or amplify their strengths. As I grow older, it seems to me this fact slowly holds true in many vectors in living.

Must like video games, modern society focuses on learning a set of skills or possess particular knowledge akin to skills and attributes. When you go to school at a young age, it’s merely the tutorial to the real world. It should be teaching things to talk to other people and complete certain tasks. Over time you begin to do these things regularly in different settings and with speed. Then you get into university, that’s where you specialize into doing something in the group. This institution is the two to six years where you pick you class, archetype or specialization. After that with much hope and debt, you are thrown into the open world with other newbies and seasoned veterans. It this ultimate massively open world experience; you get no respawns and rerolls, reputation and social groups matter, and the choice to add more specializations at a cost.

Choosing something for yourself in this game may be difficult but like any MMO, it’s based on what you want. If you want a life of brute labour, focus mainly on a strength build of lifting weights and running. If you want to be more brain than brawn, tapping out data and equations; then calculus and mathematics should be something you should really concentrate. If you stay the course, you would do fairly well. Those who decide to backtrack and choose something else, it can get difficult. Without the safety of a tutorial environment, you would have to learn on the go. If you wind up in a grind, you wouldn’t have just bored to deal with; some people just can’t handle it and would just get fed up.

As a person with a intelligence build who is more into a physical build, here’s my advice to anyone still in tutorial. Find something. Pick something you are good at and go with it. If you can think fast then find something more fast pace. You like to lift? Then pick a laborious workfield. Want to stick to something you like to enjoy? Stick to it. Disregard what other people say to you that you won’t make money or whatever, screw them all. People want you to have a intelligence build and all you want is agility with some strength, then agility and strength. It is up to you to make those choices to get you the right build. When you get it right, things will be easy. Get it wrong? Well…let’s hope you enjoy a longer grind to the top than you think.

Mistakes

No matter who you are, you screwed up at one point or another. Whether you forgot to take an exam, broke your leg that time you jump off a building, or you go arrested for possession of marijuana when you were actually holding it for a friend; you got in trouble and you had to pay the price for your own stupidity. No matter what the case, “mistakes happen” said every teacher ever but they don’t tell you that being an adulthood, mistakes get you into really big trouble (at least 75% of the time).

As kids, we all got into trouble at some point to some degree. Most of the time, the worst we get would be a beating because back then there weren’t child abuse laws like there are now. So we got our asses literally handed by our parents for everything we did. If your parents didn’t beat you, then well done because either you were smart enough to get someone else beat or your parents didn’t care about you and you’re probably needing this weekly blog post more than me. When we were kids, consequences were consistent. It would be a slap on the wrist, being grounded, or for some, get hit. If you are fortunate, your parents would be the main source of your consequence. As you grow older everyone else, including you, will put out the pain. In high school, your consequences would include the most easiest of consequences but they would hurt physically or emotionally just like how your parents raised you. Low grades? Consequence for not learning. Not going to rehearsal to see a movie? Well you can kiss your shot at the talent show next spring goodbye. Accidently got someone/yourself pregnant? Congrats, you are now a parent. It would seem like the you are either screwing up pretty badly or just feel the world is never giving you a break.

As with growing up, things get more complicated and the consequences to your mistakes regardless of how small are now amplified. Why? Because society thinks being an adult is knowing everything. In reality, adults know nothing. Seriously, I know some people including myself; we still don’t know what we’re doing. We’re always getting into trouble either in our own little ways or after two decades of getting beat down, we’re finally learning to cover up for our mistakes. But even when we cover up our mistakes, being adult has it’s curveballs. Even if you cover up, it might come back to bite you back whether you learned your lesson or not. So to really enjoy adulthood as society places it, is to really never do anything wrong or against society itself. Discussion of fascism aside, I don’t think any of us can really be capable of never screwing up and usually if we do, we would either get in trouble personally or professionally. Legally would be the beating your parents gave when you were a child, but as an adult legal troubles are the worse because this can just ruin in one hit.

Though as badly as your parents, school or society puts it; we all get into trouble regardless of degree. You could be a millionaire having an affair or a teenage girl with an unfaithful love in your life. Just know before you realize it, everything is a mistake. Everything we do or experience is a mistake. Regardless whether we want it to happen or not, something started us along these path of choices and we travelled the best we can here. Even then, we will travel down the wrong path, make the wrong choices, even tried to go back and try again. Doesn’t necessarily make mistakes a bad thing to do, in fact mistakes can sometimes be the best thing that can happen. Getting into trouble for me usually taught me more than school, which is pretty irony but true. The choices I made that never panned provided me some perspective. School can tell you about experience and things that went on with the world and things that might help you with your job. There is no substitute to learning stuff on your own, even when you screw up you learn what would happen when you screw up.

We are not all perfect people, we don’t fit in to any description quite perfectly. We all make mistakes, the best we can do is learn from them and be comfortable with those mistakes because what you did with your life makes your life unique. People might scorn you for them after and you might get into more trouble, mistakes happen but they always happen. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s recommend to make mistakes. When you can do something wrong, sooner or later you will learn to do something right. That’s how evolution happened and parenthood happens because no one learned to evolved or became a parent, you learn from what you know and how badly you screwed up.

Until next time, screw up a little. You’ll live a little, maybe learn something from it.

Everything has changed…

I’ve taken the next step into the voyage into YouTube. At the start, I didn’t want to turn it into something bigger than just to moderate my time.

Though my prowess in visual art is lacklustre, I find it fairly productive. The whole process of editing my videos have been kind of therapeutic in a weird way. Mostly indescribable the way it’s a bit calming to just go through and edit everything. After all the artwork and stuff added to the edited gameplay, I must admit it’s pretty beneficial. For time, I put away about 2 hours per video to recording and editing and about 5-10 hours on uploading. So turn around is about 12 hours for a video. Since I like to record en masse, that would come in handy since I can edit and upload at the same time. As long as can put out videos as fast as I can edit them, it’s not a problem. However throwing a wrench in the works has already taught me a few things.

Before the last couple parts of my Defiance let’s plays (part 60 and 61), OBS was the one program that required tweaking and adjusting. For most of the series, I’ve been secretly adding and subtracting numbers to find the best settings for me. Though these little additions and fixes are sparse, they have been helping me push back the file size. From a 1 GB file to just under 900 MB, not much of a reduction but it saves some space in case I need to do anything which ironically is not the case.

At the budget of “I wish I had money”, Windows Movie Maker seems to be the route to take for editing at the moment. I feel like I only scratched the surface of editing. Cutting has been pretty easy, but with all my efforts the couple tests I’ve done have only cut down maybe 5 minutes off of a 20 minute video and less depending on the size of the video. Most of the time, I cut a lot of driving and small bits of the combat in game to push through it than watching these drawn out battle scenes.

So far it’s been slow learning about visual art and video editing. It has it’s challenges and rewards. It’s definitely something that I can grow into but my interest in creating art is more or less reserved to writing than to a canvas of colour. For now, my maxim of “whatever works” has taken me this far. Until next time, let’s see how far I can really take this.

Formality v. Functionality–Big Twitter apps

[Starts 3 paragraphs in for those who want my review, thought you liked a good story…]

It’s not a surprised I use Twitter more often now to promote my blog and YouTube channel. I’m usually on there to just find something to read or have something short to get off my chest rather than posting it on my blog with under 140 characters. For a awhile when I started my blog, I wanted to be able to spread my message out there in the simplest form. Mainstream or some way to broadcast to the world, “I wrote something, might be nice to give it a read.” I started using Twitter as a media prerequisite to learn about the world and the culture I live in, over time the account went into disuse until I started my blog. First impressions, Twitter wasn’t the best place for a 19 year old. I was on it because my teacher wanted me to be on it so classroom censorship was a tough deal breaker when you have something to say but your account is restricted for media studies only. The turn around when I started this blog a few years ago a way to document my thoughts and activities. As I began to grew a skin around blogging and microblogging, I decided to use an application to be a hub for all my Twitter needs. At the time, I just read up on applications and reviews; most of it in jargon. So rather than just reading a review for the pick, I just observed what everyone was using. Most of the time, it was TweetDeck and HootSuite.

tweekdeck

For the past couple years, I’ve used TweetDeck on the basis of popularity. It was most commonly used when I was lurking at hashtag threads. When I first got it on Chrome, the interface was simple to master. One simple login screen later, the application went to work by sending me feeds from my own Twitter. Soon after, found the Search button to find other hastags to follow and after that was able to organize to what I wanted to see and not see certain posts. But that’s just one camp out of many to simplify the experience.

The other large one I seen and heard about was HootSuite. Only largely came to me from large app review sites and users from organizations. I was really hesitant at first to ever try it. Today, let hesitation be damned! Setting into a new application isn’t always easy if you’re like me, why move on to something else when one works perfectly? After creating an account through HootSuite, I was greeted with a stark dashboard similar to the TweetDeck app. Along with an approximate sidebar for your options. So how do they fare against each other?

hotsuite

After spending a few hours on HootSuite, the similarities begin to fade away. Both platforms offer multi-account support, so you can monitor each Twitter profile simultaneously. Each can create tabs based on criteria such as retweets, favourites, and hashtags you wanted pinned as a tab for easy reference. TweetDeck and HootSuite provide a simplified interface to ensure ease of use, so you know where to go and how to do certain Twitter-y tasks. Unfortunately this is where TweetDeck ends it’s list of goodies.

HootSuite offers more than just connectivity to Twitter. It provides a way to be connected to other blogging and social media websites like LinkedIn, WordPress, Facebook and mixi (Hell if I know what is mixi). Along with account aggregation, it has an array of enterprising features such Assignments to help business consolidate their media efforts. As a Pro and Enterprise user, you have access to team organizations to help with assignments. With organization, you would want to see the team’s or your brand’s performance in media; so they have analytics to help form a report on your media involvement through all your accounts or just particulars. Along with it’s organizational faire; it boosts a range of in-app applications such as a YouTube app to view and share through your HootSuite, which most apps are trying to advertise the same view and share feature if not trying to enhance the in-app experience.

As a Personal user, I found the program fairly restrictive. Most of the features your listed as Pro feature which required a $8.99 (assuming US currency) per month payment for use. The only things I can really necessarily do is add apps within an app and just view counters of my tweets and followings with analytics. As a personal user, the only redeeming quality is a list of followers and a list of people I followed; which is easily accessible but really unnecessary at times. Like this feature already available on TweetDeck and on Twitter itself, it’s analytics is par if not worst to the online solution already provided by Twitter. I’m a free user on both, but getting additional data from Twitter for free. Though if I was a business, I would agree HootSuite might contain some insight through it’s own analytics but would not necessarily change my behaviour within social media. The auto-scheduler is a nifty touch if you want to send out tweets at a particular time. However this feature is best removed to prevent people with spam accounts from filling threads with their wares. Unlike Tweetdeck, it feels more geared towards businesses than it is for individual users. With it’s suite of analytics and in-depth monitoring, it’s a improbable choice for a single user like me.

What I found interesting is the load times and the refresh rates. Upon loading up each application, I found TweetDeck to be much faster. Though if you have a speedy connection, you won’t feel it. As a person who uploads video to YouTube, it’s noticeable. I can only speculate what is going behind the scenes, but this slowdown makes it very regrettable since it feels not optimized for lower connection speeds. On HootSuite, you can set refresh rates to as close to 2 minutes for each tab within the application. On TweetDeck, you can set it to almost real time in a margin of a few seconds if you have a slow connection. While TweetDeck can update in the background, Hootsuite seems to stop updating when you’re not in the Chrome browser tab. Along with update angst, the way it personally handles hashtags does make it easier to read since it gives you a brief amount of time before the dashboard tab refreshes. Good thing if you are watching a keyword or tag with a lot of frequent users.

Each application has features gear towards a niche user. Enterprising and business prefer to see things by the numbers while your average Jane and Joe want to just post and share. As a personal user with very little social outreach, it would be preferable to stick with TweetDeck by Twitter for it’s simplicity. Simple doesn’t always mean better, simple means in this case I get what I need and I don’t really need it to be any better. If I was a social media specialist or a community manager for a large organization with multiple accounts, I would say HootSuite is the way to go to provide the means of easy consolidation; but would not jump on board too quickly on analytics.

Overall experience for both, restrictive on HootSuite where features are blocked and load times are slower when connection is slow. However it does provide a sense of additional control through analytics and aggregation. Where are TweetDeck is simplistic with little to no load times. However remains to be seen if it can handle business.

Don’t believe me? Give them a try on Chrome:

TweetDeck

HootSuite

Until next time, follow me on Twitter?

Dating a Gamer – The Insider Guide

[Left in a lot of euphemisms, enjoy!]

This week, we’re going to be a bit light on the subject and approach a topic I don’t talk to anyone about; mainly because I have no one to really talk to about things, hooray loneliness! With how prevalent gaming culture is now, it’s best to lay down the line about going to pick up someone who is a gamer just like you. If not like you, then picking a gamer to be that special somebody in your life. Like any good RPG, there will be ups and downs filled with dungeons of demons and dragons in the hopes your reward was worth the quest (Can this sentence get any dorkier?).

As a note, I’m not a dating expert; I’m a gamer. I take from my personal experience to help you if you are confused or unsure. Results may vary since people’s personalities vary, this is to help you and not all necessarily get you hooked up with anyone. 

Let’s Play

On top of how you fine that special someone, a new complexity reaches when the person says “I like to play games” and “I’m a gamer”. It might sound like a turn off, but I find video games are the best way to learn about someone. Much like learning their hobbies and interests, video games can be a great indicator of their personality. Approaching someone with the question should be around the same time you ask about their interests and hobbies. Now, don’t freak out that you don’t know any of the titles they’re mouthing off, feel free to ask them about it and you can totally just Google it later.

When you bring up the topic of video games, there can be two reactions; ecstatic or passive to the topic. If they seem to come back with the “Meh, games are okay.” kind of response, you got a lamer. They’re not into games but they have no opinion on it (or they do but they just want something else, I’ll let you figure that one out). To me, these people are way to active to play video games; totally understandable, we all need something else.

If they’re really interested, they would probably tell you their favourite games and all that. Good indication, they are committed to one thing. If you’re looking for a long term relationship, commitment is good right?

Choose Your Own Adventure

Now when it comes to their favourite games, they usually stick around for a reason. The game will always fall under a certain genre, much like music or movies. It can tell a lot about someone based on the games they stick to or are currently being played.

If this special someone like MMO’s, they’re usually seeking social interactions and a sense of belonging. Depending how often they play these games, they want to be sociable with some control.

Shooters are the equivalent of your adrenaline junkies. They seek a short thrill and they want those quick amazing moments. As one of them, definitely you want more and more until you get burned out.

Strategists whether they play in real time or turn based, these people really like to plan it out before they execute it. Total control for the right results. Plan and then execute. Careful where you make you move because they will make their move.

Roleplayers like to be in their own world and play their own parts. Self control comes from doing deed for the comrades around them. They can get fairly creative sometimes (Bow chicka wow wow).

Indie gamers are a toss up. Those I’ve met have been a bit of everything; hipsters to mainstream gamers. These people usually are looking for something outside their comfort zone and open to new ideas and concepts. They want change and want to find the small and special gem.

Tank or Spank?

There are two “streams” in gamers; competitive and co-operative gamers. All gamers possess both but one will be the most dominate. There is no both or none; even lone wolf gamers, they are competitive because they want to be good by themselves. Competitive gamers strive to be better than all and would try to do whatever it takes to be the best and on top (Wink wink nudge nudge).  Cooperative players usually put the team before themselves, they rather watch your back than be alone. They are committed to being one with the team than running solo.

Endgame

After all it’s said and done, knowing if someone is a gamer can be the easiest way to find out more about themselves than through other hobbies or interests. Opens up to know what their personality is like. However as a note of caution like any human being, a gamer has their flaws. They will range from person to person, but usually it’s obvious depending how much video games they play. Sometimes they can be hyper focused on games, but that’s the risk you take. Only way to really date a gamer is to be a bit of a gamer yourself. You don’t have to be totally involved to it or into it, just contribute a little and they will contribute back.

Each gamer has their flaws so watch for pitfalls and explosive barrels. Be committed to the plan or leave the game. Most of all, enjoy it and take every little bit of loot you get. When you find the right one, make sure you’re both geared up for the best two-man raid of a lifetime.

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