Posts tagged with "Games"

Audience illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

How Important Are First Impressions in Modern Entertainment?

Artistic design has become one of the most crucially important features in the modern entertainment industry. This is thanks to the rise of online libraries for everything from television to games. People are likely to make snap judgments about the pictures they see on the thumbnails in front of them and, if these designs don’t immediately grab the attention, the entertainment choice stands to lose out to a rival. Online entertainment providers need to be aware of just how important first impressions are, and design their offerings accordingly.

Audience Attention is More Discriminating Than Ever

There has been a vast amount of research into whether people’s attention spans are getting shorter, with some studies suggesting that the average human is nine seconds. However, others have been quick to point out that it is a vague statistic and something that isn’t perfectly measurable anyway.

Perhaps what is more likely is that the modern generation of internet users have much more selective attention than those who existed twenty years ago. What all researchers can agree on, though, is that online businesses and entertainment options only have a limited amount of time to grab someone’s attention before they move on to something else.

Users Know They Have an Abundance of Choice

The fact that there is just so much out there to choose from has led to this need for online businesses to capture audience attention instantly. Users are well aware of the abundance of choice in every industry. One of the biggest factors towards this has been the library model in entertainment, which was made famous by Netflix. This involves users scrolling through long lists of films and television shows, looking for one that catches their eye. The picture used here is so important, as it needs to stand out from all the others on the list.

Netflix has inspired numerous other streaming services, and the concept has also spilt over to gaming as well. Online casinos have been using this model for some time, as it is the best way to display the vast lists of games on offer. This is especially true for slots, where abundant choice is the best way to pull in players. At Vegasslotsonline there are hundreds of games to choose from, and developers probably have less than a second to capture players’ attention. This is why the thumbnails need to be bright, colourful, and instantly appealing. Some examples of this can be seen with offerings like Starburst, which has large font and multiple colours, and Mega Moolah, which also has bold writing and a scattering of gold coins in the image.

The library model is set to become ubiquitous in other sections of the gaming industry in the years ahead. This is thanks to the rise of cloud-based subscription services on consoles and PC. Options like Google Stadia allow players to pay a monthly fee to have access to a wealth of games, rather than having to buy individual titles. This means that players will spend less time deliberating on what they are going to play, knowing that they are not making a large investment for that game. With this in mind, developers need their titles to stand out, and this will all come down to the design of the thumbnails shown on screen.

How Important is The Design of The Thumbnail?

Because of the seemingly endless options on offer in the entertainment industry, the design of the thumbnail of a film, television series, game, or YouTube video is so important. It needs to serve multiple purposes if possible. This includes an image that is going to catch the eye of users immediately, a brief description in some cases, the name, and something that conveys the genre.

Going back to the slot game example, it seems that developers here have managed to master the art of incorporating these things into a tiny square on a screen. Book of Dead, for instance, shows a picture of a rugged explorer, a striking gold artefact, and a background of ancient tombs. It also has the name of the game in large, visible writing. From this, players can easily gather that it is an adventure offering set in Ancient Egypt.

Film posters need to give viewers the facts they need to sway their decision as to whether they want to watch. This includes names of popular actors or directors or a reference to a famous title from the same filmmaker. When it comes to thumbnails on streaming platforms, however, there is even less room available for these things. Therefore, designers need to be selective in what they show. Superhero offerings on Netflix are a good example of making use of limited space. For example, the Spider-man titles show the hero pitted against the main villain in each film.

There is no doubt that first impressions count when it comes to modern entertainment. Designers of thumbnails have a split second to capture the attention of users, who are well aware that they have a lot of options to choose from. Those who can master these designs will enjoy success in the modern age.

Gambling illustrations by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Know Your Slots: The Different Machine Types Explained

By: Claire Ward

Slot machines have been around for well over a century. Today, they have enjoyed a renewed attention thanks to the popularity of online casino sites.

There is definitely a lot of variety in the slot marketplace. So, knowing which kinds of machines are available and understanding how they work before you dive in is a good idea.

To that end, here is a quick overview of the different slot machine types and what benefits they bring to the table for players.

Progressive Jackpot Slot Machines

The concept behind progressive jackpot slots is simple enough; all players are effectively contributing to a central prize pool. The biggest jackpot pays out whenever a given combination of symbols are hit.

The longer that the main prize remains intact, the larger it will grow. Progressive jackpot slot machines are found both at land-based casinos and at online gambling sites, often with multiple machines contributing to the total jackpot. It is no surprise that this has led to record-breaking wins in recent years.

Bingo Slot Machines

As outlined in this comprehensive guide on electronic bingo machines, slots which aim to emulate the experience of playing bingo dont pit you directly against ‘the house’, but rather require two or more players to compete against one another.

This creates a more communal, social experience as compared to standard slot games. While there are still spinning reels and different symbols, the bingo-based inspiration for these games is an interesting twist. In general you can expect to find bingo slot machines at brick and mortar casinos more commonly than online. There are plenty of bingo-based gambling sites that have this market cornered in the digital sphere.

Multi-payline slot machines

In a classic slot setup, you will find a set of three reels which, once set spinning, will land in a random order. If the middle line of symbols match a paying combination, you will receive a prize. For multi-payline slots, this concept is expanded upon even further. Rather than one horizontal line from left to right being eligible for symbol-matching purposes, many of them are.

Multi-payline slots can have anywhere from three or four paylines to over 50 available. Another consideration to note here is that the more paylines you want to play, the more money you will need to bet on a given spin.

It is also worth checking to see whether multi-payline machines have particular requirements for jackpot eligibility tied to the number of paylines played. You may need to bet across all potential paylines if you want to walk away with the top prize.

Bonus Game Slot Machines

In the era of video slots and online slots, it has become common for machines to offer bonus games built in alongside the standard reel-spinning aspects of play.

These bonus games can take all sorts of forms. One form is simply allowing you to match playing cards and other symbols in a pair-finding exercise. Other games give you control of a playable character in a small-scale equivalent of a skill-based video game.

There will typically be conditions which need to be met in order to unlock bonus games, such as matching a certain number of wild symbols.

Aside from being a nice change of pace and an entertaining distraction in their own right, bonus games in slot machines can also provide you with a means to multiply your winnings even further. These bonus games are potentially lucrative, so long as the reels fall favorably for you.

Themed Slot Machines

While plenty of slots use symbols such as playing card suits and juicy fruits, others are centered around other themes and points of inspiration. Some slots are now fully licensed spin-offs from major motion pictures.

While you might think that these themed slots are different to their “by-the-numbers” slot counterparts, the truth is that they rely on the same principles for play. If you understand how one machine works, then you should have an easy time getting into the others that are available.

It is this accessibility and ease of use which makes slot machines so attractive compared with other types of gambling. Whether you play at a casino or online, you should be able to quickly get the hang of the different games that are offered.

Toys for Tots illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Toys for Tots × Good360

Toys for Tots teams up with Good360 (again!), to Distribute One Million Toys, Games and Books to Families-in-Need

Toys for Tots announces the expansion of their year-round efforts to support those less fortunate by distributing one million toys, books, and games to families in need NOW.  While Toys for Tots is primarily known as a Christmastime charity, the organization recognizes there is still great need to provide emotional support and doesn’t want to wait until the holiday season to deliver hope to children in need.

As a Nation we’ve all been hopeful that the Coronavirus pandemic would be in our rearview mirrors by now, but the sad reality is that COVID-19 has had a long-term impact on just about every sector of our society.  Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, and in order to help combat that Toys for Tots has decided to distribute one million toys this spring and summer with a focus on toys that teach providing STEM-related toys.

We realize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, no matter how difficult things may be right now. That is why we are once again partnering with Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving, and providing them with one million toys to distribute via their network of nonprofit organizations across the United States to DoGoodNOW.

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we want to DoGoodNOW and expand our partnership with Good360,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  “Without the assistance of Good360 and their vast network of non-profits throughout the country, Toys for Tots would not be able to distribute the one million toys we’re providing to families who are struggling outside of the holiday season.”

“With so many families struggling during the pandemic, Good360 is proud to continue the great work of our Marine Toys for Tots partnership,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360.  “We’ve seen firsthand how toys, books and games bring joy to children and their loved ones served by our nonprofit partners and expanding our efforts will significantly increase the impact of our program.”

Toys for Tots and Good360 have complementary strengths, and this partnership will generate greater impact. Together we are more than just the sum of our parts—together we can DoGoodNOW.  The two organizations launched their collaboration in April of 2020 and since that time have distributed 1.8 million toys, games, and books.

If you’d like, you can donate to Marine Toys for Tots here

Gambling illustrations by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Most Iconic Casino Scenes in Hollywood Movies

Gambling has always been popular. The demand for casino games and cinema grew simultaneously in the 1960s. That being said, there are countless examples of directors and writers using a casino as a high-intensity backdrop to their action or drama flick. Here’s a list of some of the best films and most iconic casino scenes in Hollywood, courtesy of Dominic Andreasson. At casinospel, you can also find a list of the best online casinos; Hollywood hasn’t caught up with that trend yet!

Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale (2006) might be the most famous casino movie in the history of cinema. It’s also part of the prestigious and adored James Bond lineage of films. The movie follows special agent 007, played by Daniel Craig, and Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelson, as they duke it out in a high-stakes poker game.

The most iconic scene in the film comes during an expensive hand. The total reaches over $100 million and pits 007 and Le Chiffre head to head. They stare each other down as Le Chiffre unveils his excellent hand, only to be beaten by Bond’s straight flush.

Casino (1995)

Casino (1995) is a classic gangster flick with a star-studded lineup including Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. Likewise, it’s chock full of iconic scenes. As you may expect, when gangsters run a casino, things aren’t going to run smoothly. 

One great scene details Ace (played by Robert De Niro) catching two players cheating. The voiceover goes through how the two are hustling the dealer and shows how brilliant Ace’s character is. It contains some great blackjack scenes throughout.

Rain Man (1988) & The Hangover (2009)

Rain Man (1988) and The Hangover (2009) are placed together in this list because one is referencing the other. First came Rain Man, the story of two brothers on a cross country road trip. Raymond, Dustin Hoffman’s character, is autistic; one scene in the film finds them at the casino. 

Raymond uses his savant-like math skills to count cards and win big at blackjack. This scene starts with Ray’s younger brother, played by Tom Cruise, saying the iconic line, “Let’s play some cards.” It takes the form of a montage and is some of the best gambling on video.

In The Hangover, the main characters Phil, Alan, and Stu are down on their luck and in the hole when it comes to money. To try and remedy this problem, Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis) references Rain Man and reads a blackjack strategies book. They go to the casino in an attempt to count cards. With hilarious editing, the gang manages to win all the money they need before being kicked out in a cheeky homage to the classic 80s film.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

A list of the most iconic casino and gambling films isn’t complete without mentioning Ocean’s Eleven (2001). This movie follows Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney) as he attempts to pull off the most extensive casino heist in history. This star-studded film also stars Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts. It features iconic scenes, including one where Brad Pitt’s character outlines how to call someone’s bluff in poker.

Black Panther (2018)

The most recent addition to this list, Black Panther (2018), gets an honourable mention for one of the most extraordinary casino-based fight scenes in film history. This movie follows T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, as he tries to find himself and unite his people. It’s within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is based on the comic book character Black Panther. Early in the film, T’Challa and his friends head to an underground casino to stake out the sale of stolen goods. This ends in a super fight where quippy one-liners abound. 

Conclusion

As gambling technology and the film industry continue to grow, we expect the relationship between the two to stay as intertwined as ever. Who knows, maybe the next great heist flick will be about online casinos or winning big at live dealer tables. The possibilities are endless.

Gambling illustrations by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

What are Pay n Play Casinos, and in Which Countries are They Available?

When you are new to online gambling, you soon realize that you have a lot of options. Of course, there are a lot of websites and operators to select. Plus, you can play so many different casino games. But, you also have to think about payment methods and what you are comfortable using.

Trending right now in the gambling industry are pay n play casinos. But, what are they?

What is a Pay n Play Casino?

The concept of a pay n play casino is simple. Essentially, it is a way for you to play your favorite casino games quickly and easily. All you do is make a deposit with your online bank and you are going to be able to play. This is all thanks to Trustly.

Trustly was founded in 2008 and they are known as a licensed payment institution. They are used by consumers in around 29 countries in Europe, meaning they are trusted and allow secure payments. They can be used to make deposits online, as well as to enjoy swift withdrawals when you choose new pay n play casinos.

What are the Benefits of Pay n Play Casinos?

If you have never used a pay n play casino before, you are probably wondering what all of the hype is about. Well, there are a lot of advantages to this system, which is why more casino players are choosing this option.

Namely, think about the traditional registration process of opening up a casino account. It is time-consuming and boring. You have to fill out a lot of information on the form and even the verification procedure can be difficult. You have to send a copy of your ID, as well as utility bills. But, the reason people like pay n play casinos is because you do not have to go through this process. Instead, you simply make a deposit to play. Trustly does all of the hard work for you and you can get to the good part; playing your favorite casino games.

Therefore, pay n play casinos mean you can skip the laborious process of registration. Instead, Trustly allows you to make a deposit to play and acts as the intermediary. It is free to use, which means that you can avoid the charge fees that often accompany other payment methods.

What Countries Offer Pay n Play Casinos?

Currently, there are a lot of countries offering pay n play casinos to online players. They are mostly in Europe. It is believed that around 29 countries are currently offering this to online gamblers. In particular, it is popular in the following countries:

  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Germany

It is likely in the future that more countries will want to offer pay n play casinos to their customers. There is no denying the advantages that such a system offers to online players. The fact that you do not have to go through the registration process will entice a lot of people to play at an online casino.

Sceenic illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Sports Innovation Lab × Sceenic

Sceenic, a leading software solutions provider for real-time experiences, has been named a Game Changer in the growing Co-Watch trend in the latest Sports Innovation Lab Power Play Index.

Sports Innovation Lab’s Power Play Index for the Fluid Fan Behavior of Co-Watch identifies those companies that are best positioned to create immersive viewing experiences for fans at home. Sceenic is the only Game Changer in the index, which charts the top 10 technology providers that offer co-watch solutions in the market.

The Power Play Index ranks companies in two categories: 

  • Technology Alignment: determined through a company’s signal score as it relates to watch parties, video chat, and voice chat.
  • Market Validation: determined through a company’s signal score as it relates to leagues, venues, people, and partners.

“When we publish a Power Play Index, we let the data do the talking. Our methodology identifies companies with both the market validation and technology depth that allows them to enable the Fluid Fan,” said Josh Walker, Co-founder and President of Sports Innovation Lab. “Sceenic is our Co-Watching Game Changer for 2020, proving that powerful co-watching technology isn’t the future, but the present.”

Sceenic is identified as the highest-ranking company for each measure due to the seamless turnkey nature of its offering for video, OTT, IPTV or STB providers, and the ease of integration for the Sceenic Watch Together SDKs and APIs into existing platforms with customization. The report also noted Sceenic’s partners and the experiences that they power in the market for clients such as BT Sport (UK), NPO (NL), ScreenHits TV (EU and US), LaLiga (ES), among others.

Key facts:

  • Sports Innovation Lab focused their recent fan behavior research on “Co-watch” presented in the Power Play Index. Getting fans to watch sports content – a live game, a recorded stream, or highlights – is simply getting them to show up. To keep Fluid Fans hooked, to get them coming back more frequently, and for longer periods of time, sports organizations must enable them to learn more about the sport and the athletes. When fans learn, they dive deeper into storylines, get invested in matchups, and come back again and again because they have a greater appreciation for the sport. When fans watch more, revenue opportunities from sponsorships, as well as ancillary behaviors like shopping merchandise or betting, increase
  • Sceenic is a leader in proving co-watch solutions to enhance the fan experience inside their clients’ platforms. Sceenic created the Watch Together software solution in 2013 to provide Broadcast, Telcos and Media companies with an engaging experience inside their platforms. The technology is available to be quickly deployed for video, OTT, IPTV or STB providers to integrate into their existing platforms
  • Sceenic was the first company, in 2019, to showcase and offer the Watch Together software solution on 5G
  • EE (the UK Telco) launched Matchday Experience on the BT Sport app in October 2020, with all BT Sport customers able to access the service from January 2021
  • BT Sport’s Watch Together is available on all broadcast content, 24/7 and on all devices (mobile, tablets, TV)
  • Powered by Sceenic during the 2020 Tour de France, NPO, the Netherlands Public Broadcaster enabled their users to meet the former cyclist Michael Boogerd inside their NPO Start web platform to share insights, answer questions and take online selfies with fans. 

“Seven years in development and refinement, our Watch Together technology stack is proving its worth in large scale deployments with BT Sport, T-Mobile Germany, NPO – Tour de France and others,” said Paul Bojarski, CEO, Sceenic. “What is now exciting is seeing how Watch Together actively supports our customers’ business objectives: the organic multiplier effect it brings to subscriber acquisition and retention, the powerful compliment of C2C word of mouth recommendations to machine learning, and the emergence of wholly original in-room interactive marketing/advertising opportunities.”

About Sceenic

Sceenic is an innovator and leader in understanding today’s customer behaviors and their expectations. In 2013, the company created the Watch Together software solution, adding value to fan-engagement and keeping the conversation within their clients’ platforms: BT Sport, T-Mobile Germany (Deutsche Telekom), NPO, ScreenHits TV, LaLiga, Virgin Connect, WeLoveGaming eSports, FIFAe, among others. You can read more about Sceenic here.

About Sports Innovation Lab 

Sports Innovation Lab is leading a sports research revolution. Sports Innovation Lab exists to educate clients on the technological possibilities for their brand and how to ultimately drive value to the end consumer: The Fluid Fans. Sports Innovation Lab inspires brands to create breakthrough fan experiences through data-driven technology insights and industry-leading research. You can learn more about Sports Innovation Lab here.

3 of the best casino scenes in popular movies

Bursting with atmosphere, thrills, and suspense, it’s no wonder that casinos make such an appearance in popular culture. There has even been a whole range of songs, books, and TV programs written about the gambling experience. But some of the best casino moments definitely come from films. All it takes is one clubhouse act in a picture and the whole thing comes alive.

Here are just three of the moments that encapsulate that casino feeling.

Casino Royale (2006)

Mirroring the first of Ian Fleming’s 007 books, Casino Royale centers around James Bond’s first mission to overpower a private banker during a high-stakes game of poker. The most famous part in the film focuses on Bond playing a tense game of Texas hold ‘em and the whole scene is filled with jeopardy and skill, making poker a real highlight of the film.

Fans of the special agent will be able to tell you that James Bond has become a massively influential part of popular culture. While we can’t jump in and play poker with Bond himself, we can find Interac Casinos that host poker games for us to play safely online. Using a transfer system like this is undoubtedly easier than swapping cash for chips! Doing this means there are even options to play live casino and table games to get that real Casino Royale experience. Now all you need is a bottle of martini and a cocktail shaker.

The Hangover (2009)

How could one of the funniest films about Las Vegas not be on the list? Starring some of Hollywood’s best comedy actors, the movie is about a group of friends that spend a typical night in Sin City for a bachelor party. However, after waking up with memory loss, the feature takes on a different spin and focuses on the guys trying to piece together what happened the night before.

After finding a book about blackjack in their hotel room, the friends decide to go back to the casino to play some cards. As expected, the scene is a mixture of funny and exciting as Zach Galifianakis’s character enjoys a game of twenty-one whilst simultaneously putting on Chapstick. The rest of the film is spent trying to find the groom, meeting Mike Tyson, and wondering how the dentist of the group lost a tooth. The film has been so popular over the years that it now has its own set of Etsy Merchandise. That means you can forever remember the best lines of the picture through t-shirts, posters, and cards.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Although famously not a film about gambling, there are plenty of scenes in this weird and wonderful movie that take place in clubhouses. It is about an eccentric journalist and his friend who take a trip to Vegas to report on a car show. However, they decide to mix things up along the way and find themselves experiencing some unusual escapades instead.

Of course, the best scene from the film is when the men enter a casino hotel and, naturally, odd things start to happen. For example, the journalist spends his time walking around with a typewriter, talking nonsense whilst trying to book himself into a room. For fans of unconventional films, it will come as no shock to learn that the movie was made by director Terry Gilliam, a member of Monty Python known for his ways of bringing the surreal to life.

With their electric atmosphere and interesting characters, it’s no surprise filmmakers choose to set so many features in the exciting world of casinos.

Virtual Hangout illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Houseparty is Poppin!

It’s award show season, and just because many are still social distancing it does not mean you can’t have a viewing party with friends and family! The show can still go on with Houseparty.

Houseparty is a synchronous face-to-face social network that enables group video communication through mobile and desktop applications. A user opens the app, and their friends get a push notification that they are “in the house” and ready to chat. The app allows users to come online and be present and see who their friends are talking to and join their conversations. On average, users spend 60 minutes per day in the app chatting with friends.

Get dressed up, pour yourself a drink, open the Houseparty app, and get your friends “in the house” to watch this year’s award shows – and make sure to check out the Trivia categories dedicated to movies! Click on the dice icon on the top right to play all the games available on Houseparty Heads Up! Tap a game and you’ll then be asked to add friends to play with you. Wait for them to connect, then it’s game on!

Fortnite Mode

Fortnite Mode lets you cast your party into Fortnite so you can bring your friends with you while you play. You opt into this feature by linking your Houseparty and Epic Games accounts on the Houseparty app.

Houseparty is a great resource for people right now and that they don’t need to miss out on gathering this award season. Houseparty is secure. There have been no data breaches and no exposure to customer data or third-party accounts. You can read their full statement on data safety to learn more.

Houseparty is available on iOSAndroidMacPC, and as a Google Chrome extension.

Follow along @houseparty.

NFL uniform rankings: which are the best and worst in the league?

It’s fair to say that the NFL is still one of the major sports in America, with millions of fans following the action each season. This saw $9.5 billion in revenue made by the NFL in 2020 and each team in the league getting a slice of this to build with. With the 2020 season delivering all the usual thrills and spills (with an exciting Super Bowl game to top it off), it is still a sport that offers so much to fans.

It is not just watching the drama unfold that brings so many people to the NFL, though. Betting on this sport also draws many fans in to keep up with the action. The AGA estimated that the 2018 Superbowl drew almost $5 billion in bets – much of it illicit. Thankfully, 2021 is a different time, and sports betting is making its way to gradual nation-wide legalization, with many states already fully allowing it.

In terms of actually making a profit from your wagers, for many, the key to success is finding the best NFL picks and predictions to use in their betting. If you can make the correct calls, it really helps you get the most from sports betting in the long term.

Of course, it is also the individual teams that make the NFL what it is. While the players that each team fields count for a lot, smaller things, such as the uniform each team wears, are very important. A snazzy uniform can help attract fans and make them feel good about their team – as well as leading to more shirt sales! A poorly executed uniform, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.

With the NFL in off-season until September, now is the perfect time to look at which teams come out best and worst in terms of stylish uniforms.

Best 3 NFL team uniforms – Packers, Saints and Rams

As it is always nice to look on the bright side of life, let’s start with the most fashionable NFL uniforms around. While teams are always rebranding and updating each off-season, these are the current top three:

First up are the Green Bay Packers. The green and gold shirt design is pure class and instantly recognizable. It has remained pretty much unchanged for a long time and this gives it a really classic feel. The flash of yellow on the sleeve edging gives it extra zip, while the all-yellow pants complement the shirt perfectly.

Second best would probably be the LA Rams. This might be slightly controversial, as they had a kit rebrand recently, which was not to everyone’s taste. For a lot of fans, though, it looks awesome and is a definite update on their old uniform! The all-blue shirts and pants give an elite vibe, while the tight fit of both gives players an almost video game-style outline.

Third place must go to the New Orleans Saints. All you really need to know is that their uniform brings together black, gold and white to stunning effect. The players helmets, in particular, work very well, as the gold color and white stripe help offset the black uniform itself. For the same reason, the gold player numbering also stands out well on the black shirts.

Bottom 3 NFL uniforms – Jets, Bengals and Falcons

While the previous teams have got it spot-on in terms of cool uniforms, these three have not. First up are the recently rebranded New York Jets. There is just something about this uniform that does not work, and it looks ugly. This is mainly down to the outdated feel and how the white lettering sits awkwardly on the shade of green that is used.

If the Jets uniform is boring, then the Bengals have almost the opposite problem – there is just too much going on! The orange helmets with black stripes are like a migraine-inducing magic eye picture, while the stripe of orange on the black pants does not work, either. Throw in a shade of orange on the shirt, which anyone would find hard to pull on, and you have a real disaster.

Last up are the Atlanta Falcons. They (like the Jets) recently rebranded but somehow managed to go backwards in terms of cool-looking uniforms. Whoever thought all white is a good look for the football field needs a serious eye test! The lettering and numbering on the uniform also looks like it has come from a Sega Mega Drive. All in all, it is a real no-no.

NFL uniforms are key to the game’s appeal

Although football is a sport, what the teams in the NFL wear really does matter. Just as you would only add the most stylish Italian fashion brands to your wardrobe, teams can only expect their uniform to be a hit if it looks great. Getting this right not only affects how the players feel when they wear their uniforms but also how the fans feel when they see them.

Problem Gambling Awareness Month: Dealing with Unseen Demons

By Adam Jablin

Transformational Life Coach and Recovery Mentor

Gambling addiction is real. Allow me to say that again– gambling addiction is a real thing. It’s not a lack of willpower. It’s an illness.

The medical community has four classifications to consider an illness a disease: it must be progressive, chronic, primary, and fatal. Gambling addiction fulfills all of the requirements. 

You see, it’s an uncontrollable urge—a phenomenon of cravings that one gets from a “high”. It’s as normal and necessary as needing air for you and I. 

Like a drug addict goes for a fix, or an alcoholic would thirst for that drink… the gambler chases the rush. That “rush” of dopamine is the same as a narcotic. Its an obsession of the mind that destroys families. 

Those addicted are constantly increasing the amounts for the thrill. They lie and scam to get more money, jeopardizing their most important and sacred relationships. They’re always trying to win the money back, stop all together, or resort to low measures like stealing and other fraudulent behaviors to continue their addiction. When the feel restless, irritable and discontent, they use gambling as an escape from reality. 

They may take it so far that it effects their physical health. Here is an excerpt from my book Lotsaholic: From A Sick To Sober Superman:

He lifted up his shirt and revealed a huge scar, from his upper belly across his chest and up into his armpit. “Three heart attacks. That’s how bad. I’m gonna die, kid, if I keep this up. That’s why I’ve been in here so long. I feel safe here.

I don’t trust myself out there, and I’m not ready to die.” As Tony reeled in his line, I noticed that he wasn’t wearing his fancy Rolex. Today he was wearing a simple Timex that carried the Caesars Palace logo.

“What’s with the new watch?”

He fiddled with his lure. “Tonight they take me outside for a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. Every time I go, I wear this watch. This is the most expensive watch I own. It cost me 1.5 million dollars. I gave Caesars my cash; they gave me a suite, champagne, and this beautiful watch. It’s my personal souvenir to remind me of how bad I get. It and the scar.” He bobbed his fishing rod up and down. “Say, you want to come with me tonight? I always go alone, but I sure would love the company.”

“Sure!” Where else will I get to experience a Gamblers Anonymous meeting with a former gangster?

The room was compact and dim. There was a small podium with a GA banner and about seventy old, wooden folding chairs. And the room was full. I enjoyed hearing Tony and the others share their stories. I realized how strong the high from winning is. On the wall opposite me was a giant banner listing the twelve steps of Gamblers Anonymous, which were almost identical to those of Alcoholics Anonymous, with just the slightest differences in wording.

Step 1: Admitted we were powerless over gambling—that our lives had become unmanageable. Next to the banner was a bulletin board that displayed meeting times for a list of various twelve-step programs, including Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Co-Dependents Anonymous (coda), Heroin Anonymous (HA), and Al-Anon/Alateen, a group for friends and families of alcoholics. The list went on. It occurred to me that anybody in the world can use the basic approach of a twelve-step program to achieve freedom from addiction and greater connection to a higher power. I’d discovered a new world.

But there is help out there. Now, many treatment centers, like The Hanley Center and Future’s focus on gambling and treat it like any other addiction or mental illness. Gamblers Anonymous—the famous twelve-step community has had amazing results. The solution for these illnesses is truly spiritual. These obsessions lay in the mind. Once the spiritual malady is solved, the mind and body follow quickly. So, never lose hope. 

There is a way out!