Online Gamers Get Serious with Competitive Tournaments

One would be hard pressed nowadays to find a game that doesn’t offer the player some degree of online functionality. With big budget, triple-A releases being developed with online in mind, taking advantage of the large, cult like followings that online games garner, more and more money is being spent on an aspect that was once an afterthought. Online gaming, however; thanks to the competitive nature of human beings; has spawned a thriving community of competitions, championships and tournaments, played on a variety of titles. With these competitions on the upswing, we mulled over why exactly gaming competitions have gotten so big.

It’s not just competitive spirit and cyberspace self-worth that has spawned tournaments, however. The Call of Duty World Championships, held this spring, had a total prize pool of $1,000,000, and in 2011, the Battlefield 3 Worldwide Conquest Tournament had a prize of $1,600,000; quite the prize for what is, to the untrained observer, playing a computer game. With this much on offer, players that thought they were good at the game whilst playing for fun are enticed to take it that step further. Meanwhile, with such big prizes on the line, publicity is generated and game copies are sold; the benefits are shared by consumer, publisher and developer.

Online gaming doesn’t have to be a high-definition, bullet-ridden endeavour, however. Take online casino mobile providers. These companies have been enjoying enormous growth of recent, thanks in part to the lifting of the taboo of gambling across society and the rise in mobile gaming apps. Casino games obviously lend themselves to tournaments, and as such competitions are regularly held, testing the competitors’ mettle across a variety of games; blackjack, roulette, poker, to name but a few; as huge prizes hang in the balance. These competitions are so popular that continent-wide and worldwide competitions are regularly held, satisfying the competitive desires of many whilst simultaneously making many individuals rather wealthy!

ESports – the multi million pound industry that shows no sign of slowing down

When some of Europe’s biggest soccer clubs become involved, it’s a sure sign that there is money to be made. Soccer’s voracious appetite for money is legendary and when it comes to exploiting market segments, few sporting organisations are better than soccer clubs.

Paris St Germain, Santos, Manchester City, West Ham United, Ajax, Besiktas and Schalke are just some of the clubs involved. When leagues begin partnerships, it’s a sign of more investment to come.

City signed their first eSports player others are ahead of that curve. For the clubs, it’s all about brand exposure. Tara Warren, executive director of communications at West Ham, explained that digital and tech are the club’s priorities as far as brand awareness is concerned. eSports and the professional game enjoy a symbiotic relationship.

So too do other sports and the burgeoning eSports, which is of little surprise when the market is estimated by some analysts to be worth $1bn in 2018. Global sport finance specialists, Deloitte, offers more caution, predicting significant – but smaller – growth, a point with which the Financial Times agrees.

It’s clear that some areas of eSports are more established than others. While the winners of the Interactive FIFA World Cup receive £20,000, the winning team at the International Dota 2 Championships get £6.7m. To put it into context, the winner of the Men’s Singles at Wimbledon 2017 will walk away with a cheque for £2.2m. According to the BBC, the total prize money won globally in 2016 was a staggering $93.3m.

Premier League involvement may see the FIFA money increase; 600m players worldwide mean that each year’s new version of the game pulls in more money than the previous edition.

And if you’re still not convinced eSports is the real deal, consider this. An ESL Gaming initiative, in co-operation with NADA and working toward WADA recognition, is to outlaw the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) which blight other sports. eSports has arrived.

Taking Advantage Of The Tools To Hand

All this from humble beginnings when groups of players met at conventions for multi-player tournaments. Now, most online bookmakers offer a full market on events, while Betway Sports made the headlines last year when they became lead sponsor of Ninjas in Pyjamas, one of the world’s most famous eSports teams.

Despite the money involved, there’s still a perception in the wider world, that eSports is a fad, a new toy whose novelty will soon wear off. Nothing could be further from the truth; eSports will evolve in the same way other professional sports did.

It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the UK bought into American football. Since then, it has grown through a path of two steps forward, one back. Now more popular than ever, the Super Bowl is becoming an ‘event’ in its own right in these green and pleasant lands.

eSports is unlikely to follow a similar trajectory. It’s very nature puts it front and centre of the technological world we live in today. Any advancements are likely to pull eSports along with them, giving it an immediate advantage on those which went before.

There’s little sign of the growth stalling. It may slow down in coming years but with studios producing games deliberately designed for the eSports, as well as the domestic markets, the signs are that there is much more to come.

Perhaps the biggest danger is the internal perception. With prize money commanding staggering sums, there is bound to be a schism at some point. Those who want the ‘purity’ of their eSports retained will reach a point where the mainstream popularity is too much for them. A bit like fans of a band who after years of working the club circuit make it big but some resent their ‘precious’ being popular.

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Unlimited

That won’t matter much in the overall scheme of things. As eSports gains in popularity and the additions outweigh the churn of players, there is no problem. BI Intelligence reported that 300m people “tune in” to eSports today, with projects of 500m by 2020. With that kind of reach, the cliff edge seems some way off.

It’s important to remember that as an industry, professional eSports is less than a decade old. Amateur level occupies the same level as Comicon, where the participants are viewed as obsessives. Professionalism confers a different status and in a young industry, there are still plenty of revenue streams to exploit.

Indeed, there are more games to exploit. The genres may be well defined but the games themselves are limited by technology and human imagination. So long as the studios come up with original ideas, as well as iterations of games which capture the imagination of the players, there is a market for eSports.

All-Time Greatest “Guilty Pleasure” Horror Movies

Source: Flickr

There are some horror movies that are so well crafted they immediately become classics that you’ll return to time and time again. These movies are rare gems, and have the perfect combination of cast, storyline, director, script, special effects and soundtrack. Some horror movies are watchable on first viewing, but for whatever reason fail to make an impact and slide into horror movie obscurity. Then there’s that final, special category of horror movies … the ones that are so bad, so terribly cast and so poorly written that they just shouldn’t work, but they do and they achieve legendary status. These movies are the ultimate in guilty pleasure – and here’s are our all-time favorites!

Dead Snow (2009) – a Norwegian zombie splatter movie, featuring mountains, a death metal soundtrack, snow and Nazis. Yes, Nazis! Although not as terrible as some of the other movies on our list, Dead Snow is one of those films that’s gone onto achieve a bit of a legendary status despite less than satisfactory box office figures. It has even spawned a sequel, ‘Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead’. In ‘Dead Snow’ a group of students are forced to fight off a series of zombie Nazi attacks, who are out to protect their stolen gold at all costs…

Poker Night (2014) – since poker is well-integrated in popular culture it was only a matter of time before it became the theme for a late-night chiller! ’Poker Night’ was released straight onto video on demand in 2014, but did pull off a limited theatrical release later that month, and stars the ubiquitous Ron Perlman. The plot is not unlike a good old-fashioned Amicus portmanteau: Beau Mirchoff plays a detective who gets invited to a poker night with several police vets and detectives. Each of them has a story to tell about different cases they’ve been assigned to, and when he gets captured alongside Halston Sage he realizes he must use the stories from his fellow officers to find a way to escape.

Wild Zero (2000) – the second zombie movie to make our list, this Japanese masterpiece ticks all the ludicrous boxes – meteorites? Check! Zombie apocalypse? Check! ‘Wild Zero´centers around the story of Ace, a wannabe rockstar who becomes friends with a supernaturally gifted band Guitar Wolf during the afore-mentioned zombie apocalypse caused by falling meteorites and invading aliens. Wild Zero features a gorgeously corny soundtrack, a heart-wrenching love story and all the gore you need for a Saturday night’s viewing!

Faust Love of the Damned (2000) – Brian Yuzna has a unique take on comic book adaptations, ‘Faust Love of the Damned’ is one such film, and like his previous forays into the world of comic strips it wasn’t quite what people expected! Faust ticks all the boxes for icky special effects (thanks, Screaming Mad George!) and is a bafflingly funny take on the legend – a lovesick artist makes a deal with the devil to avenge his the death of his wife. ‘Charming’ is not normally a word you’d associated with a horror flick, but if there’s one thing this movie is, it’s that!

Leprechaun 3 (1995) – well, it wouldn’t be a list of “terribad” films without at least one Leprechaun title, eh? So what makes this particular installment in the wacky series special enough to warrant inclusion above the others? Well it stars the Leprechaun in Vegas for a start, as he literally takes a trip to find his gold. Things get a bit lycanthropic when the little guy takes a bite into Scott, who himself goes through a transformation into (you guessed it) a Leprechaun! Leprechaun 3 is the perfect mix of camp and gore, and being set in Vegas allows for some creative set pieces and a very nice twist, which you’ll just have to watch the film to discover!

What are your favorite so-bad-they’re-good horror movies to watch?

Super Bowl LI: The Perfect Sporting Film?

Source: NFL via Facebook

You just couldn’t script it, could you? Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, one of the most successful franchises in the history of the National Football League, produced the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all-time to beat the Atlanta Falcons back in February.

Trailing 28-3 at half time, Tom Brady led the Patriots to a phenomenal victory that will live long in the memory of football fans across the globe. If you want to create a dramatic sporting film based on real events, look no further than this game – it will go down in the annals as one of the craziest matches in Super Bowl history.

If truth be told, nobody saw it coming and that is what made it even better. Heading into the famous half time show, the Patriots and the great Tom Brady were down by 25 points. Only a fool would have claimed that New England were going to win from such a bleak position…

But they did. In true Hollywood style, the Patriots offense rallied and started to close the gap. On the other side of the ball, defensive co-ordinator Matt Patricia made a handful of tweaks to the system and the Falcons just couldn’t cope with the added pressure. A movie would have to go down the route of a favourite bouncing back despite facing major odds rather than a true underdog story; the Patriots were well fancied going into the clash.

To be honest, you wouldn’t even need to focus primarily on the first half at all. While some may be looking for eye-witness accounts from New England players, a greater emphasis on the storyline might work better.

Source: New England Patriots via Facebook

Shooting a movie based on the comeback could be relatively straightforward; open up with the Patriots heading into the locker room with the scoreboard in sight and dive in there with a Belichick speech littered with inspirational quotes and passion. If you want to grab attention right from the beginning, an opening scene like that would certainly fit the bill.

Who knows, we could be set for another equally dramatic event in 2018. Next year’s Super Bowl will take place in Minnesota and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Bill Belichick and the Patriots, currently +600 in NFL betting odds with bet365, competing on the big stage once again.

As long as Belichick and Brady are at Gillette Stadium, New England will always be in contention and a film focusing on how both men have carried the Patriots’ dynasty in recent years would go down a treat with sports fans.

Last year’s Super Bowl was truly remarkable and New England supporters will never forget the comeback. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons have been criticised for choking but that is completely unfair to the Patriots; they deserved to win based on that second half effort.

When we look back through the history of sporting films, underdog stories tend to dominate so it is about time that we celebrated an era of success; the New England Patriots deserve a movie on Super Bowl LI – let’s hope that a film maker out there agrees.

How do live online casino games work?

 

Online casinos are growing in popularity and in part this is due to their ability to simulate real-life gambling. While many games are purely virtual and involve no interaction with real people or other players, the best online casino will offer its players live games that can be so much more exciting and realistic than a regular online casino

In essence, a live online casino has live dealers instead of a computer drawing the cards, rolling the dice and spinning the wheel, just like they would do in any real casino, only this time it is being captured on webcam.

Differences Between Live Casinos and Other Online Games

The rules, of course, are the same. However, the biggest difference is that playing the game gives you a stronger feeling of being in the action. When you open the game you see a live video with your dealer standing at a real roulette or blackjack table, or whichever game you have chosen to play. The dealer is in an authentic casino environment, and there may be several other players at the table at the same time playing from home just like you.

Live Dealer Technology

Technology has advanced so far that casinos are able to now stream live footage in real time using cameras showing real dealers in real casinos. Real time means that there is no delay between flipping over cards and what you see on your computer screen. And with high-speed Wi-Fi and fast internet connections, the high image quality makes you feel like you’re truly sitting at the table.

How It Works

Live online casino games work just like you would expect with a dealer at a brick and mortar casino. For a card game you will see the cards being shuffled, for roulette you will see the wheel being set in motion, etc. You will have access to an interactive control panel where you can place your bets on a virtual betting table, check your account balance, communicate with the dealer and more.

The Advantages

Just like with any online casino games, probably the biggest advantage to playing online is convenience. With a live dealer, you add in the ability to play against real opponents and dealers, making the experience feel even more authentic, while still being in the comfort of your own home.

You can play at any time on any day, without having to wait and with a world of opportunities at your fingertips.

Planet Comicon remains the best in the Midwest

Rough weather in the Midwest didn’t stop tens of thousands of people from packing into Bartle Hall in Kansas City over the weekend for Planet Comicon. For three days, folks braved monsoon-like rains to meet their favorite stars, socialize and geek out. Nearly every inch of the convention center was brimming with fans, excited to see, meet and hear from celebrities, creators and cosplayers.

Like previous years, the 2017 edition of Planet Comicon featured all-stars across the entertainment spectrum. Everyone from Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy” and “Hellboy) and Felicia Day (“The Guild” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”) to Jason Aaron (Writer for “Doctor Strange and “Thor”) and Kevin Eastman (Co-creator of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) brightened the otherwise gloomy days. Our very own Mike Smith even hosted an informative panel on “Jaws 2” and Hollywood sequels. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who was disappointed by this year’s line-up and activities.

Saturday, one of the busiest days of the three-day extravaganza, could have been disastrous if it wasn’t for the quick work and social media tools at the disposal of Planet Comicon organizers. A backdrop collapse during John Barrowman, early on in the day, could have thrown a wrench in the organizer’s plans. But a quick reshuffling, along with constant updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Planet Comicon’s new phone app, notified fans about the up-to-the-minute changes. It’s just one of many signs that Planet Comicon is always evolving to become bigger and better. It’s truly a leader of cons in the Midwest and shows the perseverance to become one of the best cons in the U.S.

MediaMikes would be remiss if we didn’t thank Planet Comicon organizers for not only their hard work, but for the opportunity for some of our readers to win three-day passes to the event. We’re already planning to attend and cover next year’s Planet Comicon.

Photo by Dan Lybarger

“Hellboy” himself, Ron Perlman Pikachu on the dance floor at an after party Felicia Day with balloon versions of the “MST3K” robots No-Face from “Spirited Away”

 

Emma Caulfield and Clare Kramer reflect on their roles on “Buffy” Batman’s true weakness Jason Isaacs talks Harry Potter and DC A near-perfect Bob and Linda Belcher The one-man show, John Barrowman No shortage of creativity Tara Reid talks about how she wound up in the “Sharknado” series Ariel delighting children Shannon Elizabeth has been busy since “American Pie” An unlikely duo, the Mad Hatter and Jack Frost

Students And Computer Programs

“I don’t want to write a single line anymore as it takes too much time! I am too young for this stuff. All I want is to have an assistant or an app that will help me to compose the best piece of writing ever.” Are these words familiar to you?  Have you ever had any similar thoughts? Of course, you have! If this was not the case, you wouldn’t be searching for some information about the best apps to help you compose a successful academic work on time and without any mistakes.

Hacks to Complete the Task Better

The essay writing problem is looming on the horizon of every student or pupil almost every week. However, some of the tasks are extremely difficult to tackle. Someone prefers to use a custom essay service. That is why you may read this article if you want to entrust your task to the expert writers. But what to do and what online helpers to use to make the writing process easier for yourself? Here you will find some valuable information on types and names of the most interesting and effective facilities or online tools to write quickly and correctly.

Tools and Apps to Create the Best Texts Ever

When searching for numerous online thesis generators or proofreading software, you may be confused by the diversity of their types and the quality of their assistance. No panic! We will rescue you from the difficulties of choice. Let us introduce the most effective and productive programs!

  1. The first and best student helper is Essay Writing Software (http://www.essaywritingsoft.com/). This online product helps you to deal with different types of problems and has a complex of tools for your convenient use. Here you can find an essay master, generator, rewriter, researcher, bibliography creator, and an essay shuffler. All these apps are aimed to improve your ready paper, avoid plagiarism, and correct some contextual mistakes.
  2. The Thesis Statement Generator (http://www.thesisstatementgenerator.info/thesis-statement-generator/) is a complex online facility allowing to formulate a proper thesis for your paperwork. To get a profound and fitting sentence describing the main idea of your work, you need to fill certain boxes with relevant information.
  3. QueText (http://www.quetext.com/) is a free plagiarism detector searching for any similarities of your text with others published in the Internet. You can check your paper online at any time and without signing up.
  4. Grammarly (Grammarly.com) is also worth your attention. This service makes it easy to proofread the ready work and has a rich vocabulary toolkit. So, you may change repetitive words for some proper synonyms to improve the uniqueness and stylistic value of the work with a single click.

With the help of these tools, you can fine-tune and improve your paper to bring it to a professional level. Besides, using the mentioned helpers, you are able to learn new words and phrases simultaneously. Thus, you may improve your writing skills greatly!

Film Review: “Sorcerer” – 40th Anniversary Restored Version

Starring: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cramer, Francisco Rabal and Amidou
Directed by: William Friedkin
Rated: PG
Running time: 2 hrs 1 min
Paramount/Universal

Our score: 5 out of 5 Stars

Pop quiz: In 1977, 20th Century Fox announced plans to release one of the most anticipated films of the past few years. What was it?

Four men. Each of them running from something that will consume them. There’s Jackie Scanlon (Scheider). A small time gangster, he and some of his pals have just made the mistake of robbing a New Jersey church whose priest happens to be the brother of a BIG time gangster. Victor (Cramer) is a Frenchman running away from a certain prison sentence in his native country. Kassem (Amidou) is running from his past as a wanted terrorist in Jerusalem, whlle Nilo (Rabal) is a mystery man. They find themselves deep in the South American jungles where they are recruited to drive trucks loaded down with highly volatile explosives. Their reward: freedom at best. At worse: BOOM!

William Friedkin’s follow-up to “The Exorcist,” “Sorcerer” is a loose remake of the French film “The Wages of Fear.” For various reasons, none that I couldn’t understand as a 16 year old boy, it was not greeted well by the public or film critics. Was it the symbolism? The fact that the first 15 minutes of the film are mostly in a foreign language? Heck, was it the “Exorcist” curse? I have no idea but I can tell you today what I thought 40 years ago: “Sorcerer” is a masterpiece of filmmaking.

Friedkin took his cameras on-location to various locales across the world and captured the colors and emotions of each one brilliantly. In the South American jungles, the beauty of the trees and wildlife contrasts against the dreary, constantly rain-filled skies. As the trucks begin on their journey, you are white knuckled with the drivers, as each roadside cliff, rock-strewn road and badly dis-repaired bridge constantly puts the men one bad bump away from death. As the road gets more treacherous, the men learn that, if they can’t trust each other, there will be no one left to complete their mission.

The cast is top notch, with Scheider coming across as a modern day Fred C. Dobbs. The rest of the cast are equally strong. Even when there are no words being spoken, the four men communicate plenty. Visually the film is stunning. The restoration makes the film look brand new. And the score, by German band Tangerine Dream, is outstanding. If I have one quibble, it is that I remember seeing the film opening night with a short four-minute overture while the screen stayed black. The creepy music and black screen really helped prepare you for what you were about to see.

OK, do you know the answer to my question? If you said “Star Wars” you are…WRONG! No, the big movie from Fox that year was supposed to be “The Other Side of Midnight,” based on the steamy novel by Sidney Sheldon. Very few theatre owners had even heard of “Star Wars.” That film’s prospects were so low that Fox mandated that any theatre that wanted to play “The Other Side of Midnight” had to agree to play “Star Wars,” which was bad news for “Sorcerer,” which opened in many cities the week after “Star Wars.” Mann’s Chinese Theatre, which had played “Star Wars,” dropped it after a week to play “Sorcerer.” This was May 1977. Soon, “Star Wars” returned, where it played through June 1978. Not bad for a movie nobody wanted.

“Sorcerer” is now back on the big screen at many Alamo Drafthouse Theatres. To see if it’s playing in your city, head here.

What Can We Expect from “Game of Thrones” Season 7?

Source: Game of Thrones via Facebook

Season six of Game of Thrones, fortunately, didn’t leave viewers in disarray, unlike the finale of the previous season. In fact, it gave hope that the end game is upon us and viewers will soon be rewarded, watching their favorite characters finally succeed in the quests that they embarked on at the very beginning. But knowing our beloved show, there are sure to be a few spanners in the works in season seven of the greatest TV series ever made. Needless to say, beware of spoilers to anyone who hasn’t watched up until the end of season six.

The release date of the next episode of GoT has been confirmed for July 16 this year. But for those who just can’t contain their anticipation over the return of the Westeros residents, there are other ways to get a fix before July. One option is to re-watch all the episodes from the beginning in one of the most epic TV marathons ever. Another is to play the intriguing Telltale game series that explores an entirely original storyline set in the same universe. There is also a Game of Thrones slot game, developed by iGaming software provider Microgaming. As discussed by casino comparison site http://www.casinouk.com/, the studio is best known for their extensive selection of slots, including those based on other licensed titles such as Jurassic Park. Along with all those things, there is a GoT strategy board game by Fantasy Flight Games that is great to play with friends.

The best pastime could be coming up with theories on what will happen. Because the series has totally overtaken most of the storylines in the book, viewers are well and truly heading into the unknown. All HBO has graced us with so far is the above teaser trailer that focuses on Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow all taking up their respective seats of power. Cersei sits upon the Iron Throne, Jon takes his place as King in the North in Winterfell, and the throne that Daenerys claims is at Dragonstone, an old Targaryen stronghold that hasn’t featured much in the TV show up to now.

The most intriguing aspect of the trailer is Cersei blowing out cold breath at the end just before it cuts to the icy blue eye of the Night’s King. The internet has sparked a debate about what this could mean for the trajectory of the series. The most likely thing is that this is suggesting that winter has finally come, and the White Walkers will breach the wall and head south. But with two more full seasons planned, one would expect this to be a huge action piece in the final episode of the forthcoming season.

However, others think that Cersei may be planning to try and forge some kind of allegiance with the Night’s King. A Song of Ice and Fire folklore suggests that that wouldn’t be entirely impossible, as the Night’s King was once supposedly a Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. He was seduced by a “woman with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars” beyond the wall who subsequently took his soul and turned him into a White Walker – could Cersei be destined for a similar fate?

The great thing about this show now is that there can’t be any book spoilers, and people can come up with whatever theories they like. Some believe that we may even get to see an ice dragon. July 16 can’t come quickly enough.

Movavi Screen Capture Studio vs. Camtasia Studio Review

 Nowadays having a good screen recorder up your sleeve can be extremely useful and it can do far more than just create video content such as tutorials, how-to guides, and so on. Because you will be able to record any video footage from your screen, it will open up numerous doors and let you save Skype calls, online streaming videos, and much more.

When you start to shop around for a screen recorder, you’ll immediately notice there are two that are a lot more well-known than the others: Movavi Screen Capture Studio and Camtasia Studio. Considering their popularity, you may be wondering how exactly they stack up when compared to one another.

  • Screen recording functions

Both Movavi Screen Capture Studio and Camtasia Studio are extremely capable screen recorders and the features they bring to the table are closely matched. In short you will be able to record any footage from your screen and adjust the recording parameters to suit your needs.

  • User experience

In terms of user experience, Camtasia Studio often faces criticism for the complexity of its interface and menus that tend to require a lot of experience to master. On the other hand Movavi Screen Capture Studio has built its reputation around its intuitive and user-friendly approach that has practically no learning curve and can be easily put to use even by a complete beginner.

  • Video editing features

Part of what makes Movavi Screen Capture Studio and Camtasia Studio stand out from other screen recorders is the fact that they both include a built-in video editor. While Camtasia Studio’s editor is nothing to sniff at in terms of its capabilities, its user interface makes it far more difficult to use. In comparison, Movavi Screen Capture Studio’s simple yet effective approach will make it a breeze to apply special effects, add captions, include background music, and spruce up your video in other ways.

  • Price point

When it comes to the price point of both these screen recorders, there’s really no contest as Camtasia Studio will set you back about $299 if you want to purchase it. Considering Movavi Screen Capture Studio is only $49.95 – it is pretty much a sixth of the price.

As you can see when you compare a Camtasia review to a Movavi Screen Capture Studio review – the conclusion is clear: Both are great screen recorders, but the Movavi Screen Capture Studio provides a far better user experience and comes at a much cheaper price. In a nutshell that means that you will end up with a fully capable screen recorder that has its very own built-in video editor and is easy to use to boot – all for a fraction of what it would cost you otherwise.

Eight Fun Mobile Games to Play When You are Really Bored

We’ve all been there, bored out of our wits, stuck at home, waiting for the train or traveling with the bus, and we have all wished to be relieved of that boredom. So, what can be done about it? There are actually lots of things you can do. One of them is playing online casino games, and if you don’t already then we suggest giving it a try. It is an amazing way to deal with boredom. There are so many games on offer, meaning, so many ways to kill time.

  • Neo Monsters. Let’s start with a real old-school game, we are talking about Neo Monsters, available on both iOS and Android, it is monster collecting battle with cool graphics reminscient of Game Boy and old Super Nintendo. We are very happy to recommend this game for all of you.
  • Townsmen. This is an awesome game, reminiscent of the game settlers, which was a big thing a few years back. It’s a simulator, where the goal is to create a town, by using resources and by creating new ones. The idea is to be strategic as well as a good tactician, in order to complete different assignments with respects to the town you are building, in order to succeed.
  • Jackpot Paradise. It is not possible to recommend games to kill the boredom, without recommending this extraordinary Casino site, this is quite a new name in the online gambling world, and yet, it is already well known and well liked. The site offers a great Welcome Bonus for new players. How about 10 free Slots and up to £200 matching bonuses? Go to Jackpot Paradise and check it out.
  • KleptoCats. One might argue that this is a game for children, however, we couldnt disagree more. Who does not love cats? And why cannot an adult play game be both cute and funny? Why not play a game where you own a bunch of adorable cleptomaniac cats that will bring you all kinds of stuff for your room? Sounds weird? It is, but we promise you will also find it interesting and hilarious. The game is available on both iOS and Android.
  • Bet365. There is no way presenting a list of hilarious and fun online games without mentioning Bet365. This is a great Casino and Sports Betting site that offers its own Casino application. The site’s Casino app is powered by Playtech, and as such, it offers some of the best games around. There are Slots as well as Live Casino games on offer, such as Roulette and Blackjack.
  • Trivia Crack. Here is yet another great game, fun to play, together with your friends. This is an application, a multiplayer application in reality, that offers a trivia game concerning completely useless information. We liked it a lot when trying it out, it gave us quite a few laughs. If you have great remote friends, then this is the game for you, and you will most likely share a lot of laughters from afar.
  • Lucky Nugget. We present to you, yet another great Casino appliction. This is a great site with a good reputation that has been around for more than 10 years in total. When the site receantly launched its own Casino application few were surprised as it was a great way for it to notch up its success a bit. Lucky Nugget is powered by the amazing Microtech and installing on your mobile device unlocks 50 free spins for real money.
  • Twofold. This beautifully designed puzzle game is a real mental challenge, it offers great gameplay as well as lots of fun. For those of you that have played Candy Crush, this game is the perfect continuation of your gaming career. However, the game is a bit tricky from the get go and it requires a little bit of getting used to. The tutorial is great though, and so with lots of help, the players are eased into the role of Twofold-players.

 

Singer Amy Lee of Evanescence talks about her new single “Speak to Me”

Amy Lee is the co-founder/lead singer for the Grammy Award winning rock group Evanescence. Lee has also participated in numerous other musical projects and has performed as a solo artist. Amy’s latest release is for the film “Voice From the Stone” starring Emilia Clarke and Marton Csokas. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Amy recently about the film, her experience at Skywalker Ranch and what’s in-store for Evanescence this year.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your new single “Speak to Me”?

Amy Lee: This was quite different for me. Writing a song comes from a lot of different places. This one has a really cool and unique story. It was written for the film “Voice From the Stone” which I got to actually see before writing the song. I really loved the film as it made feel so many different things. Being a new mother I was really able to connect with the film main theme as it centers on the bond between mother and son. For me to watch that and relate it to the new huge inspiration in my life I instantly knew it was something I wanted to do. I spoke on the phone with the film’s director Eric Howell and Michael Wandmacher the films composer and we had a great talk about the directional idea and once we were off the phone I went straight to the piano and came up with the initial idea. That doesn’t always happen with me. Sometimes I can go months waiting for an idea to come that I feel is good enough to move forward with. Working on this track was a very inspiring experience.

AL: Were you basing your idea on a portion of the films score or
was it something completely separate from that?

Amy: When I saw the film the score was there but it wasn’t completely finished. They weren’t looking for me to do anything related to the score. They wanted me to write the one and only song in the film which has lyrics. It was helpful to see the visuals and hear some of what was going on as it helped me envision the finished product.

AL: Was this your first time writing for a film?

Amy: I have actually written quite a few things for movies however, most of the time it hasn’t made it through all of the different doors you have to go through to get to the final product. (Laughs) There have been several things that have made it though. In 2014 I did my first score which was a much bigger undertaking as opposed to doing just one song when I worked with David Eggar on the movie “War Story”. There’s another film titled “Blind” coming out later this year that I worked on the score for as well. My experience working on this latest film was very unique as I was able to travel to Italy and visit the filming locations and I was also invited out to Skywalker Ranch in California while they were mastering parts of the film. That was just a dream come true!

AL: Do you ever find differences between writing solo/Evanescence material and music for films?

Amy: Definitely. When I am writing for Evanescence or for my solo stuff and I am writing something that is supposed to represent me. I have these expectations I set for myself to ensure that whatever I do represents who I am. From the lyrics to the music I want it to showcase me. Luckily there are lots of sides of who we are so I get the chance to go down a lot of roads. When you are writing for something like a movie where you are trying to represent the emotions of a character you have to put yourself in that place and try to speak artistically from that view point. Even though it’s someone else’s emotions you are their voice and vehicle. This is different but it’s a nice change as you are allowed to make other choices

AL: What was it like being able to work at Skywalker Ranch?

Amy: After showing my idea to everyone a couple days after our initial talk and them really liking it I was invited to the Ranch to record. I had never been away from my son at the time as he was only thirteen months old. I had to really think about things as it was such a great opportunity but living in New York I would have to fly across the country to California and leave my baby for the first time ever. We hadn’t even had just a single overnight away from one another at this point. After deciding to do it things really couldn’t have been more perfect. Being away put me emotionally in the right place to write the song as I was dealing with separation which was something the song needed. It was just perfect. The ranch is such a great place for creation. There recording studio is the most immaculate place I have ever seen. I actually stayed there and when you are a guest you get stay in your own private cottage with a bike you can ride from place to place on. The one night I was there I had this idea in the middle of the night so I rode my bike down to the studio and just started working. It was the perfect free space to work. Any chance I get to work there again I will certainly take it.

AL: Can you give us an update on your solo work and what is going on with Evanescence?

Amy: About a month ago I released a new solo song called “What Exists”. Looking at my solo releases I feel like I have released more than I actually have. (Laughs) I certainly feel like I have done a lot. I have done a lot of covers. Doing covers is something you can put your own style to without the pressure of having to write a song. I did some of those covers for Disney a few years back. Evanescence has started touring again and we are gearing up to start next month. We will be in South America for a few weeks then we go to Europe. We are working on a bigger project right now which I can’t talk about just yet but we will be releasing something this year. I am very excited!

AL: Any other projects you would like to mention that you have been working on?

Amy: I worked on the score for an independent film titled “Blind”. The film stars Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore. I am not sure of the exact release date for it but I believe it should be coming out this summer, possibly fall. It was a different type of project for me. I didn’t do the soundtrack but as there was a need for music David Eggar would call me. It’s a very different film than “War Story”. For me it’s really fun to be able to work on different things as I get to learn about different genres of music or how to play a different way. There are different feelings which come along with all of that. It’s great to be able to find new collaborators and projects as you are giving yourself the space and a reason to try new things which I think can only be good for you.

Guitarist Alex Grossi talks Maps to the Hollywood Scars and their new EP “Vol. 1”

Alex Grossi is one of the busiest guitarists in today’s music scene. Some of his projects include the bands Beautiful Creatures, Hookers and Blow, Hotel Diablo and most notably Quiet Riot which he joined in 2003. Alex’s newest project Maps to the Hollywood Scars” recently released a new EP titled “Vol. 1” featuring former American Idol contest James Durbin. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Alex recently about the new project and the recent addition of James to the Quiet Riot lineup.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new project Maps to the Hollywood Scars and, how you and James Durbin came together?

Alex Grossi: I had met James back in 2011 through a mutual business acquaintance when he was doing American Idol. We became friends during that time but lost touch for a few years. It wasn’t until James was doing a residency in Las Vegas recently that we reconnected and I started sending him demos. He was recording some great melodies and lyrics and the more we worked the better things kept getting. Eventually we have almost a dozen songs done. We decided to put out an EP to see how things would go and that led to us doing a second one and so on. Things happened very organically and we are very happy where things are at.

AL: What was the process like for working on the new EP titled “Vol.1”?

AG: I had been working on songs as they came to me for about a year prior. When I sent them to James he immediately got it and was inspired. There was really no set plan for anything but I had been demoing songs for about a year and finally found the right outlet for them. Having James come in has been great and also working with our producer AJ St James and Dizzy Reed who played piano and strings.

AL: How did Dizzy Reed become involved with the project?

AG: I have been playing in a cover band we do called Hookers and Blow for the past twelve or thirteen years. When we wrote the song “Death” I could just hear the string parts and piano parts. I sent him the song and asked him what he could add and what he sent back is what you hear on the record. He did a great job and nailed it.

AL: Are there any plans to tour behind this release?

AG: There have been some offers that have come in but with the both of us now being in Quiet Riot we have to work around that schedule and we would have to put a band together. Right now we are only going to do what makes sense for everyone as it’s hard to schedule something for spring and summer when we already have commitments with Quiet Riot. There has been talk of doing some late night television appearance but as far as a full blown tour we will probably only do a show here or there. It’s a side project and something that we want to keep special. We have plans but we just have to wait for the right time when everyone’s calendars line up.

AL: Can you give us an update on the recent Quiet Riot line-up change?

AG: We just announced James as our new singer and we are currently recording the new album with him titled “Road Rage”. We have bunch of new tour dates that just went up on the Quiet Riot website which will taking us all over the country and also to Canada. More shows keep getting added to it hard to keep up with them all. (Laughs) We are very grateful for the support which keeps us going.

AL: How instrumental were you in bringing James into the Quiet Riot fold?

AG: I was demoing the songs with James and during that time I was sending the tracks over to Frankie to check out. He has been very supportive of the project since I started it so when it came time make a singer change I offered to call James up and see if he would be interested. I called him up; he said he was interested and about two weeks later things were on their way. We did rehearsals and a photo shoot and that was it. It all happened very quickly. James is such a pro in that he came in prepared knowing all the songs and was ready to go. I am very blessed to play with such a great group of guys. We all get along great and I am really excited to get out there with this new lineup.

AL: What other projects are you currently working on?

AG: Back in 2002 I joined Beautiful Creatures replacing DJ Ashba. We recorded an album called “Deuce” which we just got the rights back to. We remixed and re-mastered that album along with adding a few new things. That is going to be released March 31st. We are calling it “Deuce Deluxe” it’s going to have a bunch of new stuff on it and it sounds really great. I also do a fun cover band with Dizzy Reed called Hookers and Blow which we will be doing some shows here and there. I also am working still with Steven Adler. Getting to see him play with Gn’R this summer was amazing.

For more info on all of Alex’s projects visit: www.alexgrossimusic.com

The Secret Casinos of the Gaming World

New video games have taken the world by storm. Old video games were over quickly, had limited graphics and sound and boasted maybe 2-3 key features that grabbed player’s attentions, but now games are complex, enthralling masterpieces that often have unlimited replay value. One part of gaming that has been around since the beginning is the Easter Egg. This started out mainly as an in-joke between developers, who would slip little additions into games, often without permission, that would be difficult to find for the average gamer. Easter Eggs are now purposely put into games, along with other features such as minigames, unlockable content or download only features, characters or costumes. We’ll be taking a look at some of the best hidden content or side games that feature casino gaming and gambling, so gamers who enjoy trying their luck in playing online slots can revisit their old favorites to find content they might not already know about.

 

Pokemon Red and Blue

Rewind back to 1996 and the games which kicked off a multi-million dollar global phenomenon and unbelievably, you can visit a Pokemon casino complete with themed slot machines. Many players will know about this one, but may not know that just like in real-life, the machines have fixed odds that can be taken advantage of.

 

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

Even though there are literally hundreds of Easter Eggs, references and lines lifted straight from popular culture in the entire Grand Theft Auto series, one of the most popular side games from the 2004 PS2 / Xbox release were the casinos that could be visited in the game’s Las Venturas area, a like for like digital remake of Las Vegas. Although you can hit it big by gambling in-game money, if you end up in the red and tried to run away, you’ll be hunted down by armed casino guards who will try to claw some of their money back.

 

Fallout: New Vegas

The second game in the re-launched 3D fallout world followed on from the massively successful Fallout 3 back in 2011. Set in a futuristic Las Vegas that has suffered from nuclear war, players must follow the storyline to figure out what happened them and pick a side ahead of a battle for the Hoover Dam. Along the way, you can of course visit some bombed-out casinos and partake in a game of blackjack, roulette or caravan, a specially designed card game for the series. The hidden content can be found in the Atomic Wrangler casino in Freeside, where you’ll get an ominous tap on the shoulder if you start winning too often…

 

Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar’s critically acclaimed western game turned heads back in 2010 and a sequel is on the way this year. Rockstar make great minigames and liar’s dice was no exception. John Marsden, the main character, could play this basic dice game and also poker in many of the saloons within the gaming world, getting into fights if the player won against the wrong guy.

The Legend of The Holy Grail in Film

 

There are many legendary tales from years gone by, legends that have been handed down to generation after generation.

Some have managed to become a little convoluted over time as they ultimately change as society and culture changes around them, whereas other legends have caught the imagination and even helped inspire some memorable moments in film, television and even the world of gaming.

One such Arthurian legend revolves around the divine vessel known as the Holy Grail, and the apparently epic quest to uncover it.

Here’s a look at just some of the shows, movies, literature and games that have been inspired and spun off from this cup of eternal youth.

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975)

To kick things off we just have to make sure that this incredible comedic gem is where it belongs, right at the top. From the surreal minds of the world famous Monty Python team they were able to collectively draw from the Arthurian legend of the Holy Grail in their first feature film outing.

It was 90 minutes of absurdity and hilarity and in spite of its budgetary restrictions it still bought an incredible amount of historical accuracy and realism to the proceedings focusing on King Arthur (played by the late Graham Chapman) and his loyal knights as they embark on their legendary Grail quest.

 

INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989)

In what should have been the final feature in an Indiana Jones trilogy, which was sadly followed up with an extremely unsatisfactory and almost ridiculous sequel involving aliens and crystal skulls, Indie’s final crusade involved plenty of action and adventure as he teamed up with his Holy Grail scholar father as they set out to track down the legendary cup before those pesky Nazis get their hands on it.

In the final moments of the movie Indiana must face a series of challenges in order to reach the cup only to face a vast selection of various cups, false Grails and an ageing knight sworn to protect the chamber.

He must choose the correct one in order for it to give healing powers, needed to help his injured father.

 

AVALON 2

In this follow up to the original popular slot game the fun and medieval theme flows around the quest for the grail. Avalon 2 is a 5-reel game that requires the player to help King Arthur retrieve the grail and return it to Avalon.

It includes a special Grail Bonus feature that includes an impressive line-up of 8 additional bonus games to enjoy. It’s triggered when 3 or more random Grail symbols appear anywhere on the reels and there’s plenty there to keep most gamers interested.

 

THE DA VINCI CODE (2003)

In Dan Brown’s bestselling mystery thriller novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ it’s Professor Robert Langdon who races around on his hunt for the legendary Grail.

Along with police cryptographer, Sophie Neveu, the pair must solve a number of cyptic clues that will lead them to the hailed cup which is revealed to not actually be a cup at all, but a tomb containing the bones of Mary Magdalene.