I was tempted to post this one both as a musing and public reminder to others to play in moderation.
So, what do I do if I’m not playing games?
1.) I sleep
2.) I go to the Gym (exercise)
3.) I go to the malls to watch a movie
4.) I go on trips and take photographs
5.) Read a book
6.) Engage in an outdoor activity
7.) Give talks
8.) Practice the Guitar (the real guitar)
Well for me, that’s usually how I go about my non-gaming activities. Try spending a few hours away from the PC or console and socialize, "no man’s an island" so they say.
With the advent of cheaper LCD TVs with HDTV support and High Definition videos, it’s now becoming common occurrences at homes to have LCDs slowly (but surely) appearing. Add to that the increase of the use of Internet as a source of high definition videos, and people collecting music as well as taking more pictures through Digital Cameras (I for one own a DSLR) and usually we store them in our PCs now as the primary storage, whereas before we’d store them separately: In VHS or CDs or DVDs for Videos, CDs or Cassette Tapes for Music, and Albums for Photographs – though we still back these things up in CDs or on Paper just to be safe. Add to that the amount of hardware we have aside from a TV: We have decks of VHS/Betamax (oh yeah)/VCD/DVD Players in our home entertainment system coupled with another stack of hardware for controlling the sound, as well as another set for playing music CDs and boxes of albums for all photographs. But with the improvements being made on Operating Systems (namely Windows), these can now handle most of the stuff we used to keep in the past and save space and (to a degree) electricity and maintenance costs since everything’s on our computers. The problem now is, How?
The book Windows Vista Home Entertainment (with Windows Media Center and XBox 360) provides a typical Windows user ways on how to improve the use of Windows at home. The book targets the regular home user, the audiophile, the video (DVD, Blue-Ray, etc) collector, and the avid photographer, and most importantly, the novice user who’d like to create a neat Home Theater for their home.
The book introduces the user to the concepts of Windows Media Center as a manager for various media (music, photos, video) in our computer. It also covers the technical details of the various computer hardware and terms needed to build a home entertainment system, for non-techies and those who are new to the technologies being used in Windows Vista, Media Center, and XBox 360. It is separated into 5 Parts, covering:
- "Technical Matters" – Introduction of the concepts of Windows Media Center, and the associated computer hardware to be able to take advantage of the technology, as well as audio/visual terms and concepts.
- "Managing Your Home Entertainment System" – Gives a background on how to access and organize data in our Media Center systems, as well as setting it for optimum performance and being able to record television programs and watch it on our own time. And it also tackles the Media Center’s Internet capabilities.
- "Music and Memories" – Checks out the capability of Media Center to work with Window Vistas’ built in applications, from Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, and Windows Media Player.
- "Get Your Game On" – Covers the role of the XBox 360 as an Extender, Xbox Live, XBox Live Arcade, as well as Parental Controls on the XBox
- "Extras for Everyone" – includes other Windows Vista features for the home, such as Ease of Access, Windows CardSpace, as well as a quick troubleshooting portion for those
Windows Vista Home Entertainment, provides easy to read text, well suited to readers of various ages, as well as a clear understandable explanations to how to segments. Photos describing sections of Windows Media Center and others are littered inside the book, the same with numerous notes providing additional information to readers.
With the number of useful tips, guides found inside the book, it’ll be helpful to those who’d wish to do something more with their PCs.
Here’s a quick list of early 2008 games for the Games for Windows brand of PC games coming out to the market. Right now I’ve been only able to scronge up one 2 titles and a third one’s on the way (as well as the images) *update* Added Mass Effect (but still no pics yet to chuck out :
Sins of a Solar Empire – It is a strategy game set in space, not it doesn’t play like StarCraft, where we can command fleets of a specific race. It’s slightly similar to Supreme Commander’s mechanics where we can zoom in or out of a battlefield and see the entire picture… galaxy wide. First impression, it looks good enough, yet I have to get a demo copy of this one to try out. Also don’t be surprised with the Publisher, Stardock, the company that makes Windows XP’s interface look cool; they do make games too!
However, it does seem it’s a hit in major gaming websites. Another feather again on the cap I’d say. http://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/
Frontlines: Fuel of War – Remember Battlefield 1942? Specifically THE MOD of BF1942 which spawned the development of BF2 called Desert Combat (I remember that one, spending free college days playing it out at Internet Cafe’s outside school)? Well, the team that developed the Desert Combat mod has released their own FPS game and published by THQ. In the not too near future, oil from the Middle East has gone dry and the remaining reserves come from Russia, and they’re not taking things lightly with the west due because of it, triggering into several conflicts, escalating into a world war.
Mass Effect (for the PC) - I remember the news about this game that was supposedly banned in Singapore but was overturned due to some, sensitive issue. But hey, this game’s an RPG made by the guys from Bioware (remember the original Never Winter Nights?), and it made a hit with the X360, they decided to expand it onto the PC and also have its own Games for Windows Live support. Pretty nice indeed. And I’ve heard it port’s gonna be like Gears of War…. it’s going to have additional bonus materials!
The Club – From Bizarre Creations, quite a bizarre game where killing people is the game. I expect some parents should monitor the kids… wait this one’s for Mature Audiences only. Well it’s a ‘fun’ looking game of an arcade shooter though. And I heard there was a story… Now I’m confused. Well I’ll try out the game and see how it fares.
Well, since my search for a PC version of Guitar Hero’s quite fruitless in the Philippines, here’s a new game that’s trying to rework on the guitar-rhythm game… by letting us play with actual electric guitars. The game has several levels of difficulty starting for the non guitar playing beginner to the guitar trashing expert player.
The game is Guitar Rising, it’s currently in development and it looks really promising!
Now here’s a good excuse to get me an electric guitar! (I’m a lazy guitar learner)