Would US Online Poker Be Legalized Soon?

Many American citizens who also love poker would certainly love to see online poker being legalized beyond doubt in the near future. Online poker has become immensely popular in the last years and it is a pity that many US poker players are deprived from enjoying the game on the internet for some vague and wooly laws concerning online gambling. And since Barack Obama is himself known to be a fan of poker, there is all the more hope that something would be done soon.The fact is that the laws dealing with online poker in the country are somewhat vague and politicians and common public alike often misunderstand them. Since these laws took years to come into existence, the chances are small that they will be abolished altogether. But we can at least hope that the necessary amendments would be made so that US online poker players do not suffer from them anymore. The law that is most commonly misunderstood and seems to prohibit online poker is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), passed in 2006. But one should understand that UIGEA is specifically targeted at institutions and online sites that do the funds transactions related to online gambling. This law is in fact meant to consolidate the already existing laws against gambling.The issue here is to understand that poker is not a form of gambling. Gambling is a pure game of chance where you just throw the dice and wait for your lady luck to shine. But poker is a game of skill. While there is an element of chance involved, it is mainly a strategic game. This sets it apart from all forms of gambling and at least theoretically, outside the reach of UIGEA, too.Future however brings promises of good things to come. Recently, a Pennsylvania judge declared poker as being a game of skill as opposed to being a game of luck. Shortly afterwards, a Colorado judge declared the same. On top of it, Barney Frank, a House of Representatives member, has recently voiced his intentions to pass legislation that will help to counter negative effects of UIGEA.So US poker lovers are pinning their hope on Obama administration. But remember that the President cannot do anything on his own. So raise your voice and let him know how much you want online poker to get legalized in the country.

Testing Video Games For Cash

Playing video games for a living is a dream come true for some. Playing video games for a living and getting paid for it, is not just a dream, but a reality. Imagine testing video games for cash. Take two minutes to just sit aside and think about it. If you play video games now, just for fun, why not get paid for it?Video game testing is a very large, and growing, industry and should NOT be passed up by anyone. Many things are included when becoming a video game tester. Not only do you get to test video games, but you get to do things other people would never be able, or allowed, to do. Wanna know what exactly I am talking about? Well listen up. When joining the industry you get to take part in some video game beta testing. Don’t understand me? Well, that means the game is done, but it still needs to tweak out some things. So companies will pay you to do that. Do you know anyone who can play a video game before it is released into the world……..I didn’t think so. That is an advantage of testing video games.Another advantage is getting free copies of games before anyone does. Have you blown away all your money trying to buy the newest and coolest games on the market? Well, like I said, it’s not necessary. You can just get them, FREE. That’s the amazing part. You can also take advantage of learning a load of cheat codes and “bugs” before the game is released. I wouldn’t pass up on an opportunity like this if I were you. Does this all sound to good to be true? Well it isn’t. Many people have been completely satisfied with this kind of job. Do your parents want you to get a real job? If so, call them over to the computer right now and make them read this article. Hopefully they will start agreeing that the video game industry isn’t just for goofing off and being lazy, it’s for young teens (or even adults) to make a living that will be fun and enjoyable to them. Earning money while working at a hard job is the thing of the past. Making money from home is the way to go.Think about making almost $200 dollars a day. I know that number is very big, but it is possible. Anything is possible. You can test computer games, or even console games. Don’t like the Xbox 360? Well choose the PC. Don’t like the PC? Well choose the PS3. Not fond of the PS3? Go with the Wii. It’s all up to you.Testing video games has been around for a while now and, with the industry skyrocketing in growth, it is the way of the future. With over $50 billion dollars in sales last year alone (2007), don’t expect those numbers to drop. It will only continue on growing and growing and give Video Game Testers more work to do. But making that kind of money, who can complain? Don’t hesitate on becoming a video game tester. You will NOT regret it. I PROMISE!

Horse Fun and Games – The Making of a Card Game

For those of us who love everything equine, horses and games make a great entertainment combination. Creating a horse-themed card game is hard work and requires a lot of careful consideration. This article talks about the early days of discovery for the developers at Funleague Games as they embarked upon the journey of designing their very first card game called “Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!” Naturally, as with many things, the game started out as an idea. We wanted to create a fun horse game that was fanciful and stylized, yet still stayed somewhat true to the experience of riding a horse. Representing the idea of racing at high speed across country on horseback through a card game presented its share of challenges. We experimented with a lot of ideas and several times we experienced moments of “aha! This is it!” and away we’d go full-steam…only to discover a problem. The gameplay logistics were the main sticking points. We were cutting some new ground with this card game; it wasn’t closely based on any other specific game so we didn’t have a tried-and-true template to work from. Rather, we referenced bits and pieces of gameplay elements from other games we’d played and from our own vision of how we thought things should work considering the experience we were trying to emulate. Two other resources that have definitely been invaluable are Board Game Geek and Board Game Designer’s Forum. Thanks to everyone there who has posted such excellent info! Here are some examples of things we had a tough time figuring out: Our card game is essentially a race across country on horseback. You jump obstacles along the way…how do you represent that? Do you use tiles? Do you lay the cards out all at once, or one at a time? Face-up? Face-down? That kind of thing. Another element we struggled with was how the rider order was represented during the course of the race.If you were in first, but then dropped back to third, how would you know? We tried a bunch of things such as using charts, placing a token amongst the jump cards, etc. After a lot of trial and error, we eventually figured out a system that wasn’t confusing (unlike our earlier versions). We also struggled with trying to inject some strategy into the gameplay. We definitely didn’t want this game to be all about “luck of the draw”. We wanted the players to have to evaluate each situation and choose a best course of action. Strategy does add depth to a game, but on the flip side of this, a bit of chance can really spice things up and keep you wondering as you draw that next card. As this was a racing game, we didn’t want the players to get too bogged down pondering their options. That would detract from the idea that you were all moving at high speed over terrain in a dash for the finish line. Those were just some of the many things we needed to figure out as we developed our initial idea into something fun, functional and richly thematic. After emerging from the idea phase, we entered a stage of development where we needed to examine more practical business considerations: How big should the deck be?That has proven to depend upon a few things such as number of players, how many variables we were prepared to deal with, printing costs and art costs. We wanted the deck to have substance, yet still maintain some kind of control on the budget.
What should we price the game at?Now that one is ongoing. Naturally we need to make some sort of profit as a reward for our hard efforts and the main way to estimate what kind of pricing is involved is by breaking down the “per-unit costs”. For example, we make an initial assumption that the first print run might be about 5000 copies. Therefore, we would get a printing quote for 5000 copies of the game. And then add to that the cost for artwork creation. And legal fees. And advertising. That sort of thing. Add all those costs together, and divide by 5000. That will be our per-unit cost.How should we package and present the game?We need to look at a couple of key things here. One is; what kind of presentation will be most appealing to people? We want the theme to be immediately recognizable and we want to convey the message that this is a quality game. A game where it’s a high-calibre entertainment experience made of durable materials that will be a pleasure to handle. The other consideration is how much will the packaging and materials cost? Printing/manufacturing costs are arguably THE most expensive part of creating a board or card game. And the quotes will vary widely with each print shop we approach.Legal stuff?A board or card game is a creative product. It’s art and entertainment, meets commerce. There’s intellectual property, copyright, trademarks and other basic business considerations. We recognize that it’s a good idea to protect our hard work and ensure that all communication is organized and in writing. Legal stuff is not only about protecting what’s ours; it’s also about being clear about obligations when engaging in business with another party. When it comes to hiring artists to create artwork for a game, copyright ownership is one of the biggest key factors. It’s important to ensure clarity about who owns the art. Paying an artist to create artwork doesn’t necessarily mean we actually own it. It’s essential to have an “Artist Agreement” in place. This is a legal document that details the rights and obligations between Funleague Games and the artist. Artists work hard to do what they do best (we know this firsthand…Jeff and I are both professional artists) and naturally will want to be clear about all the details involving the work they do.What kind of art style am I looking for?This is an important thing to figure out, but it can be a tough one. The style of art is heavily influenced by the style of the hired artist(s) working on your project. It’s important to choose carefully who will be creating the visuals for the game. Arguably good art will sell more copies of a bad game than bad art on a good game. People like things to look “cool” or “beautiful”. Make sure you deliver in spades in this area by having a strong vision for what your game should look like and by only hiring artists who have an art style compatible with that vision. Art style should also take into consideration the target market your game is aimed at. In the case of Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!, I’m going for a style that is distinct from other games on the market. I also want the style to be inclusive and appealing to the full range of my target audience. For example, I need to avoid an art style that is too “young” as my target audience are people ages 7 and up. I want to feature artwork that has a fun innocence to it, but at the same time possesses enough refinement to appeal to a more mature audience.Who’s our audience?This is important right out of the gate (now there’s a theme-appropriate expression :) . Even at the earliest design phase it’s important to know our demographic. For example, if we designed a game to include a lot of deep and subtle complexities or tons of arithmetic, chances are that kids under 7 years of age could find the game too difficult. As for Perfect Stride: Cross-Country!, I feel that this will be a game that can be enjoyed by almost everybody, but the primary audience will likely be people who love horses. And as there is an element of strategy to the game, the very young may struggle with some of the gameplay concepts.Marketing?This is SOOOOoooo important. If Jeff and I never bother to get the word out about our really cool game, how are we going to sell it? Entire books (and even university degrees) are devoted to the topic of marketing, but suffice it to say it’s important that we learn a little bit about how to promote our product. Not only will we not sell any (or very few) copies, but so many people will never get the chance to enjoy a super-fun horse-themed experience! As our game is very strongly based on a specific theme (or niche) one of the first things we’ll do is seek to get the word out at places where the horse-loving public like to visit such as horse-themed websites, tack shops, equestrian magazines, etc.As you can see, we have our work cut out for us, but the creation of this card game has been a wonderful journey so far. We look forward to the time when the game is complete and ready to be enjoyed by many!

Video Gaming Goes to Brand New Heights

With all the advancements in technology, video games and video gaming systems have changed over the past couple of decades. In fact, if children today were given the very first video gaming system that hit the market they would most definitely think that it was a dinosaur.The graphics of these new video games are so intense that gamers have a very hard time pulling themselves away their video gaming system when they begin playing a new video game. These video gaming systems available today are the best that have ever been on the market, which explains why they are so popular around the entire world as well as the video games that go with them. Being able to keep up with the technological advancements does mean being able to have the money to do so, especially since about every two years a new video gaming system will hit the market. However, this does not seem to bother those intense video gamers.Still, there are those individuals that are simply stuck in their ways and do not mind sticking with their old video gaming systems. Most individuals, however, prefer to purchase the new video gaming system, especially if they have children, which normally will hit the market right before the end of the year so that it will be available to be on the Christmas list of every child in the world. The advancements that have been made in the video gaming industry have been truly incredible, especially if you take into consideration what video games looked like less than ten years ago.Individuals have been known to stand in extremely long lines to get their hands on one on the new video gaming systems when they hit the market. Then when an extremely popular video game is suppose to hit the market, gamers will pay in advance for an opportunity to one of the first ones to get their hands on one. With the release of each new video gaming system comes along with it brand new astounding features that gamers know they can not go wrong.Children and adults alike enjoying sitting down and enjoy playing a video game, which is another reason that video gaming systems and video games have become so popular all over the world. All video games require some type of interaction from the gamer. With the addition of each new video gaming system come new and improved graphics that are said to be better than before and gamers know it is true.The most recently released video gaming systems have the capability of on-line play, which allows gamers to connect to the Internet for a chance to play other gamers from all over the world. Some of the graphics on these new video gaming systems are enhanced by technologically advanced Blue-ray disc, which also brings along with it much better sound quality. With the addition of the Blue-ray disc, graphics are the very best in video gaming history simply because these graphics are so realistic.


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