Posts tagged with "geeks"

Computer illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Becoming a Programmer: Possibilities & the First Steps to Take

Contemporary tendencies, as well as the crisis, are forcing many specialists and even students to change jobs or even completely alter their professions. You have to learn new skills and gain new knowledge. In this case, the profession of a programmer can be an excellent choice. It’s profitable and highly demanded nowadays. In this article, we will try to focus on how to begin a career as a programmer from scratch.

You should start your path to a career as a programmer by answering the questions, “Do I need programming at all? Will I be able to withstand all the difficulties of the profession?” These questions do not apply to those who study or studied in a specialty close to programming. If you were better at math than in the humanities at school, if you like spending a lot of time in front of your PC, if you want to learn something new, then programming is the field suitable for you.

Where to Start

There are several options for the development of events, as a result of which a person is destined to become a programmer:

  • The first one is the parents-programmers who taught their children. These kids don’t even need to go to university. 
  • The second option is the fashionable profession of a programmer that attracts a school graduate. After school, a young person chooses a major related to the programming field. 
  • The next option is a hobby that has grown into work.

If none of the above is about you, then you have a choice of four options:

  1. Self-education. This option can be used both independently and in conjunction with other methods. The Internet is full of sites, books, and applications that help you learn various programming languages and technologies. Even though it is the hardest path for beginners, it is not worth giving up at the very beginning. If you are a student, even in a programming field, and hesitate if you can find enough time for self-education, make use of the professional programminggeeks services that will help with too complicated tasks. Meanwhile, you will be able to concentrate on the relevant topics and aspects.
  2. Higher education. If you graduate from high school and want to be a programmer, then go to college and choose a major related to the field. But don’t forget about the necessity and importance of self-education as well. The choice of a college should be approached with high responsibility. Study the programs carefully and choose a college that meets your expectations for the future profession.
  3. Mentor. It is beneficial if you manage to find someone who will agree to help you and direct you. This person will suggest suitable books and resources, review your code, and provide helpful advice. You can look for a mentor among familiar programmers, at IT parties and conferences, on online forums, and so on. The most crucial is not to be too shy. Ask an IT specialist you are fond of, and quite probably, you will get a positive response.
  4. Specialized practical courses. Try looking for courses near your place of residence where you will be taught a programming language or technology. Select courses attentively. The best option is to find a course that provides a possibility of employment after graduation.

Final Say

As you can see, almost everyone who would like to become a programmer has got plenty of opportunities. If it is your dream, select one of the above options and start implementing your dream into reality.

relationship illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Find Your Happiness With Hypnotherapy

Cupid has been slacking this year. Singles need to settle for virtual dates if they want to maintain social distancing regulations and have a love life, and relationships have been falling apart all across the globe. So, we need to change the direction of Cupid’s arrow towards ourselves and start practicing self-love.

Loving yourself and caring for yourself first will help you find the happiness you are capable of having.  Society has placed a stigma against single people as if it is a condition brought upon by them being unworthy of love, and some people allow this mindset of others to enter their own thoughts.  Allowing these outside variables to influence your opinion of yourself will only amplify the negative feelings you have about what it means to be alone.  You have the ability to challenge these feelings and these thoughts which will lead you to seeing your own worth.

An effective way to help change your mindset and guide you to a more positive outlook is to practice hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is essentially meditation but with a goal.  So why not take meditation practices a step further?  Hypnotherapy, as the name suggests, is a therapy.  Counter to pop culture depiction of hypnosis associating people clucking like chickens while being hypnotized, hypnotherapy is a proven tool. Albrecht Wobst, H. K. MD, from Anesthesia & Analgesia writes “Contemporary clinical investigators claim that the combination of analgesia and hypnosis is superior to conventional pharmacologic anesthesia for minor surgical cases, with patients and surgeons responding favorably.” Research on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy continues to grow.

So, how can we use hypnotherapy to help with loneliness? First, we need to understand hypnotherapy.  Certified clinical hypnotherapist, Christine Deschemin, shares “A typical approach of hypnotherapy is for the hypnotist to deliver verbal suggestions that are tailored to the needs of the client.” She also shares that you can practice hypnotherapy on your own, with just an audio guide from her app, UpNow, to get you started.  “Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of awareness. This state achieves the ‘bypass of the critical factor’ and as a result enables you to make changes to the self-defeating behaviors and self-limiting beliefs, bringing you then to your desired target state – sleeping better, becoming slimmer, and managing pain more easily for instance.”  

So, we can target the negative feelings triggered from loneliness due to the adverse connotations we associate with being alone through self-hypnosis.  Our subconscious thoughts have a strong impact on the way we view and approach different things in life and by practicing self-hypnosis, we can help change those thoughts.  We can learn how to enjoy our own company and grow to value it.  We can also help diminish anxiety about the future, and the depression and hopelessness that sometimes comes with being single and actively searching for a partner with no avail.  

When you work on yourself first, and you start to manage your own struggles, you will also start to attract better people around you.  Building up your confidence and independence will help you to fearlessly work towards your goals. The closer you get to your goals the more confidence you will have.  Working on yourself and your independence will become your priority, as it should always be.

Remember, being in a relationship is not the determining factor of success, but there is nothing wrong with wanting a partner either.  Yet, in order to love someone else you have to learn to love yourself first, practicing self-hypnosis will help you get there. 

With the pandemic bringing a new type of challenge for those looking for love and happiness, we are in a constant search for new methods of how to cope and navigate those struggles. Christine Deschemin’s app, UpNow, was created to enable people to practice hypnotherapy on their own in a safe and affordable manner. You can use hypnotherapy audios from UpNow to bring you to your full potential and find what you’re looking for. 

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for gaming article inside 360 MAGAZINE

Can Playing Online Darts Be Good As In-Person?

Online darts are getting more attention than ever. They were always popular with a certain class of players, but now people want to know what online darts are really about and if they can replicate the real-life experience. And in many ways, yes, online darts can be a great substitute for live play. There are even many areas where they offer a better experience, though they are still not for everybody. You will have to conquer the learning curve of online play if you’ve only played the traditional way all your life. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of online play.

Online Darts are More Accessible

One of the best things about online darts is that you don’t have to leave the house. As long as you have your setup, you can pick up a game with anyone in the world. While you won’t have the same ambiance as if there was an audience watching you, you can still have other people watching and commenting. People love discussing and interacting with players. You can even stream a game live or post it on platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or IGTV.

Playing Online Can Feel Lonely

Many people love the social aspect of darts as much as the game itself, so playing alone may not have the same charm. However, you could do things to make the game feel more interesting. You could get your family involved or have a few friends over if it’s possible. If not, a zoom call or group FaceTime could help you to regain the community experience.

The People You Can Play Will Challenge You

Online dart can take your skills to the next level. You’ll get access to a much wider talent pool, and you’ll have the chance to test yourself with players you would probably never play against in real life. 

Many pro players like to play games against casual players for fun. Having a pro watching you play could help you work on your technique and strategy. They may give you some great general tips like what their routine is and what they did to improve the way they play. Being able to have this kind of one-on-one chat with some of the greatest players is one of the advantages of online darts.

Online Play is not Intuitive

The biggest thing about online darts is that darts is not a game people associate with online play. To play online, you will need to invest in a good setup. Some people use a smartphone mount for video, but it would be better to invest in a high-quality webcam.

Contrast that with something like online casinos. If you check Onlinecasinos.co.uk, you’ll find tons of casinos that replicate the online casino experience to a tee. Some of the sites featured on Onlinecasinos.co.uk are even better than live casinos in many cases. For instance, very few in-person casinos will give money to new players just so they can play. The gameplay is also very immersive on some of the games, and they can be much more exciting than traditional options.

However, the same can’t be said about darts. While it’s a fun way to play, it’s also not an improvement over real play. 

Competition is Easily Accessible

Know that while many people decide to play online darts for fun, there are also leagues when the tournaments are played 100% online. The Webcam Darts Association is a great example. They will allow you to compete against top players from all over the world, and they hold regular tournaments and keep rankings. They are one of the first and most recognised online darts organisations in the world.

You can decide to join a team or play solo. That is great if you want to get that feeling of camaraderie that you would get in a real team game. While it may not have the same intensity, the more interactions you have the more fun and life-like the game will feel.

All you will need to get in the league is darts, a dartboard, and a webcam with a mic. That’s it. The league will provide the rest. And the best part is that it’s totally free to join. They also have a massive community, and you can connect with available players in minutes. Any time when you get an itch, you can log in and join a game. They are the closest to the real darts experience that you can get. If you’re intrigued, we strongly suggest that you check out online darts leagues and their requirements.

The Best Aspects of Online Darts

Online darts are probably the best way to get some real practice in. You get to play with other people who match your game or better and work on your technique. The difference is that you won’t have the pressure of having other people watch you, which can take a lot out of your game.

Online darts is also a great way to get ready for a big game. Again, you’ll have much less pressure and will be able to work out some of your kinks.

However, don’t expect online darts to replicate the pub experience. Playing one-on-one against someone or having your teammates congratulate you when you make a difficult out is something that can be hard to reproduce online. There is still a strong social component to them and a huge online community, so you won’t feel completely isolated.

If you weren’t sure about online darts or whether the game was for you, hopefully this guide helped you better understand the game and its community. We suggest that you at least give a few games a try and see how it feels. Playing online darts may be all that you need to take your game to the next level.

You may also check out sbobet for additional information on this subject.

360 MAGAZINE illustration for online gaming by Symara Briel Wilson

Forgotten Vintage Gaming Consoles

The video game console scene these days is quite settled, boring even. Sony and Microsoft have a stranglehold on the market, with the PlayStation enjoying a healthy lead on the Xbox. And then you have Nintendo doing their own thing with the Switch on the handheld segment, despite the rise of mobile gaming. 

All this is a far cry from the early decades of video game consoles. Consoles had some crazy innovations in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, as the designers were experimenting quite a lot. Naturally, the technology was also quite primitive in terms of computing power, graphics, and display, resulting in some extra weirdness. 

These are some of the vintage gaming consoles that never made it to the big leagues in the cut-throat video games market. Some were from small brands while others are from the big names we still see churning out consoles and games today.

Fairchild Channel F 

Despite being the first home console to use cartridges and a microprocessor, the Fairchild Channel F failed in the console market. Pitted against the legendary Atari 2600 (home of Pacman), the Channel F ended up decidedly second-best. 

Before the Fairchild, other consoles like the Magnavox Odyssey came with games built-in, which severely limited choice as well as graphics quality. The Channel F came with two built-in games and a library that eventually expanded to include over 26 games. 

The cartridges for these games were called “videocarts” and had games like Tic Tac Toe, Space War, Spitfire, and Shooting Gallery. Though it had a decent list of games, the Fairchild Console could not match Atari’s popular arcade games. 

And the controllers were also decidedly poor quality, breaking rather quickly. The F in Channel F stood for “Fun.” The fun stopped for Fairchild in 1983 as sales declined and they ended production after a six-year run that started in 1976. 

Radica Games Consoles

The modern handheld consoles like PSP, GameBoy, and Switch are designed to play many different games. But in the past, we had consoles that were basically one-trick ponies – they only came with one or a few handfuls of in-built titles. 

Radica Ltd is a name that many who were kids in the 1980s and 90s may not remember. Though not as famous as Sega or Nintendo, the US manufacturer was quite prolific in the handheld consoles market, mass-producing devices between 1983 and 2006. 

Though they became famous for consoles that carried titles from the biggest brands like Sega and Taito, Radica actually started in the gambling business. The company initially launched collectible game consoles for casinos. 

These had classic games like Blackjack 21, Poker, and Solitaire. Though thoroughly outdated by modern standards, the vintage feel of the games does make Radica consoles great from a nostalgic POV. Online variations have been designed to model modern blackjack tables as found in top land-based casinos.

Radica did not do anything innovative in the design department. Their consoles largely copied the design set by others. The company was eventually acquired and fully absorbed by toy giant Mattel in 2006. 

The Vectrex

We take screens for granted these days – be it on handheld consoles or mobile phones. But there was a time when consoles had to depend entirely on an outside video output source (and they still do for PS5 and Xbox Series X). 

The Vectrex was an idea that came far too soon – in an era when screens were still bulky, monochrome, and highly pixelated. Launched in the early ’80s, the Vectrex came bundled with its display, which was like a mini-TV. 

The display was black and white, with a series of plastic color overlays that you could place on the screen to make the objects look red, green, or blue. Though it had way better graphics than contemporary consoles, thanks to vector graphics instead of bitmaps (smooth lines), the console was ultimately a failure. 

For one, it was incredibly expensive. And the allure of not needing a TV for gaming was not huge in those days, especially as this was not a portable device. It was one of the major casualties in the great market crash of the video game industry in 1983.

Virtual Boy

Virtual Reality is a cutting edge technology that holds a lot of promise in gaming. Yet in 2021, it is still a niche in the video games landscape – a fast-growing one at that, but still in need of evolution. So you can imagine how primitive a VR-based console must have been way back in the 1990s. 

Launched by Nintendo in 1995, Virtual Boy was a good 20 years ahead of the technology. The 3D game system came with a cool VR headset and a connected controller, and games in full monochrome glory. 

Yes, Virtual Boy games had to be enjoyed in red, as the hardware was not capable of outputting in any other colors. It had a real “Terminator vision” vibe to it, which was probably intentional given how popular those movies were back then. 

The hardware was quite bulky, with the headset being quite cumbersome. And it was also quite notorious for causing headaches and eye strain to users. The one major game available on the Virtual Boy was Mario’s Tennis. 

Though the stereoscopic 3D was quite impressive for its time, the console was widely panned by critics and users. It was a commercial failure as well, due to insane pricing. Nintendo did try to make it more appealing by dropping the prices but to no avail. The Virtual Boy sank without a trace. 

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for gaming article inside 360 MAGAZINE

The Best Microgaming Slots for Pop Culture Enthusiasts

Popular culture spans several categories, including entertainment, sport, news, politics, fashion, and technology. These are generally recognised by people in society at any given point in time as having the most dominant influence on the population. For example, it could be a television show, song, sport, or US president. 

As the things and people involved in pop culture are so ‘popular’, it is no surprise companies try to capitalise on their popularity by releasing a number of products. The products can be anything from posters to toys. However, one of the most entertaining ways for pop culture enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the things they love, is by playing the latest online slots games. Over on BestCasinoSites.net you will find a detailed selection of slots games reviews but what are the best Microgaming slots for pop culture enthusiasts?

The hit television show, Game of Thrones, has played a significant role in pop culture ever since the first series aired in 2011. There were 73 episodes broadcast over eight seasons and it concluded in May 2019. The series attracted record viewing numbers and a huge fans base thanks the complex characters, epic sets, and deep storylines. As a result, Vulture ranked the series’ fans as the most devoted in popular culture, which is some recognition considering it was up against Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.

The Game of Thrones slot is a 5×3 reel game available in both 243 ways-to-win and 15 lines. The game allows you to choose between the four great houses of Baratheon, Lannister, Stark, and Targaryen. There are different rewards depending on which house you choose to represent and you can hear the Game of Thrones theme song playing as you spin the reels. The banners for each of the main Houses of Westeros are symbols on the reels along with A, K, Q and J royals. Fans of the show will also notice the Iron Throne, which is the Scatter symbol and the Game of Thrones logo, which acts as the Wild symbol.

Remaining in the world of visual entertainment and we come to the Jurassic Park online slot. The first film in the ongoing series was released in 1993 and directed by Steven Spielberg. The original film and the whole series are based on attempts by human beings to create a theme park based around real dinosaurs. The success of Jurassic Park has led to the creation of comic books, collectable figures, video games, theme park rides, exhibitions, and live shows. Due to its place in pop culture, Microgaming made the move to create an online slot and it was released in 2014. Complete with symbols of Velociraptors, T-Rex, Triceratops and other Jurassic Park creatures, the Microgaming Jurassic Park slot is a 243 payline video slot with 5 reels and 3 rows. The game is easy to play as you are immersed into the Jurassic Park world thanks to the graphics, music, and sound effects.

As highlighted above, both sport and movies play a big role in popular culture. In addition to the Jurassic Park slot, Microgaming have also released a game based on The Terminator. You must go back to 1984 to find the release of the first Terminator movie and this was directed by James Cameron. The film starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, and has achieved a great legacy. In 2008, The Terminator was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and it has been named as one of the 30 Most Significant Independent Films of the last 30 years. Step forward The Terminator 2 online slot by Microgaming. The second film also became a cult classic and the slot game features all the main characters on the reels and clips from the actual movie. The biggest prizes in the game come from the T-1000 symbol and it is possible to win 129 times your total stake. 

In terms of sport, football has long been the one with the greatest fans base. Football is the most popular sport in the world, with millions of fans around the globe and this has led to the creation of various products. You can purchase football shirts, figures, cards, stickers, posters, paintings, books, comics, and so much more. This has led Microgaming to develop the 5-reel video slot called Football Stars and it has received rave reviews thanks to the great features and entertainment. The reels feature a selection of football players plus football boots, kits, and even a stadium. As you would expect, the star striker pays the most and the Football Star Deluxe logo symbol is the wild.

Other sports based slots games created by Microgaming include Cricket Star, which plays in a similar way to the football game.

With new additions to their catalogue every year, what will be the next top Microgaming slot for pop culture enthusiasts?

King in Black: Return of the Valkyries

Jan. 2021 is hitting hard with the return of the Marvel Universe’s finest warriors, the Valkyries, in the brand new King in Black: Return of the Valkyries.

The story is written by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk with Nina Vakueva providing the art. The stars of the series will be Jane Foster, Dani Moonstar and Hildegarde, and a brand new Valkyrie will be introduced and given an origin story.

The Asgardians will face off against Knull, who seeks to overtake the Nine Realms with his unrelenting darkness. As Knull moves throughout the galaxy, it becomes evident that only the Valkyries and their new secret weapon are equipped to deal with him. What is their weapon, and is it enough to help them fend off Knull and save the universe?

It all comes to a head Jan. 6, but you can see never-before-seen art in the stunning trailer for King in Black: Return of the Valkyries by clicking right here.

Grønbekk called the Valkyries “powerful women who navigate both the spaces of the living and the dead,” adding that they are just inherently interesting to her.

“The role demands a perspective on life and battle that is quite unique; they see the whole picture, always, and when you combine that with the great humanity you find in characters like Jane Foster and Dani Moonstar, you get something really special,” Grønbekk said. “It takes courage to see the world through the eyes of a Valkyrie (especially when that world is under attack by Knull!), and that makes for complex and exciting stories of the kind I want to tell.”

This is the Valkyries greatest era, and it’s available for purchase on comic book shop shelves everywhere Jan. 6.

To find a comic book shop near you, you can click right here.

You can follow Torunn Grønbekk on Twitter and Instagram, Jason Aaron on Twitter and Instagram and Nina Vakueva on Twitter and Instagram

You can learn more about Marvel by clicking right here, and you can follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Vitalik Buterin illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

Vitalik Buterin × Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin, the 26-year-old Russian-Canadian and inventor of Ethereum, has amassed both wealth and fame as one of the most influential figures in the world of cryptocurrency.

A blockchain is a series of transactions that is based off of the other. A record of cryptocurrency transactions takes form, made up of code. This allows for decentralized governance and more secure transactions, because a third, intermediary party is not involved in the transaction. The transfer went from point A to point B (with many microscopic jumps in between). Thus, no data mined. This is what the blockchain platform, Ethereum, is made out of.

This disrupts the way we think about the internet, and the idea was coined by a 19-year-old. 

Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2011, which he wrote for until 2014. A noted fan of Bitcoin, Buterin set out to improve the cryptocurrency. According to Nathanial Popper of the New York Times, “the most basic aim of Ethereum was to make it possible to program binding agreements into the blockchain—the smart contract concept. Two people, for instance, could program a bet on a sports game directly into the Ethereum blockchain.” Once an official winner is declared, the money would automatically be allocated to the winner. 

In 2013, Buterin published a white paper advocating for what was just his idea at the time, the blockchain platform known as Ethereum. Venture capitalist Peter Thirl then granted him a $100,000 fellowship, which allowed him to drop out of the University of Waterloo in Toronto, and devote his time completely to his idea, which is now worth more than $43 billion.

It is obvious that Ethereum and Buterin have a bright future ahead of them—and blockchain technology, even more so.

According to Matthew Braga of Canadian Business, “major financial institutions are already showing interest in blockchains.” If companies were to commit to Ethereum, they would become much more democratic. Executives would no longer call the shots, but rather, pieces of secure, man-made code would behave transparently in accordance with the consumer’s wishes.

And they have. In 2017, Popper reported that approximately 30 companies would form the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Now, the EEA functions with a global developer community of more than 3,000 contributors. Their mission is, according to the EEA, is to “enable organizations to adopt and use Ethereum technology in their day-to-day business operations.”

Nipping at Bitcoin’s heals, Ethereum holds immense promise.

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M.O.D.O.K. HEAD GAMES

Showrunners for the upcoming Hulu series about the popular Marvel villain M.O.D.O.K. will also spearhead a brand new comic series with the character as the lead.

M.O.D.O.K. HEAD GAMES comes from Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum, who will showcase the leader of the terroristic organization AIM.

M.O.D.O.K. will be outsmarting the rest of the Marvel universe on his way to victory and domination, but this story is a bit more personal. He is haunted by memories of a family he doesn’t know, putting his power, and his brain, at risk.

You can see everything Oswalt and Blum had to say about the supervillain story in an exclusive interview from Marvel by clicking right here. You can also see brand new, never-before-seen pages of the interior of the books from Scott Hepburn, the artist of the upcoming run.

Oswalt said the writers of the show created such an amazing world for M.O.D.O.K. that they had to go further.

“We had so much creativity to burn that Jordan just said we should fill this in in a four-issue comic series as a background. I always love that, to be able to go even deeper into that world,” Oswalt said.

Blum added that he was excited to write the 616 version, or our world’s version, of M.O.D.O.K. specifically.

“We leapt at the chance to write the M.O.D.O.K. who had been there since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and put our spin on him and pull from a lot of the other versions of M.O.D.O.K. in the past. The character is very flexible and I think you can do a lot with him,” Blum said.

The premiere issue of the series will hit shelves of comic book shops everywhere Dec. 2, and you can keep an eye out for the series starring the historic villain streaming on Hulu in 2021.

To find a comic book shop near you, you can click right here.

You can also follow Patton Oswalt on Twitter and Instagram, and you can follow Jordan Blum on Twitter.

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Video Games Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Colin Kaepernick x Madden 21

by Justin Lyons

Colin Kaepernick is officially back in Madden.

For the first time since 2017, football fans and Colin Kaepernick fans will have the chance to use the ex-49ers quarterback in the signature football game from EA SPORTS.

The announcement came from EA SPORTS themselves, saying, “Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA SPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game.”

Though Kaepernick is not signed to a team in real life or in Madden, he is available to sign to any team in Franchise mode. He’s also available in Play Now mode.

His jersey is also available in The Yard, a mode new to Madden this year that allows users to express themselves creatively. His signature celebration, which is available upon scoring with Kaepernick, depicts the quarterback raising his fist in the air to signify Black Power.

Kaepernick has been rated 81 overall, which is good for the 15th best quarterback in the league, tied with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to EA SPORTS, that number was determined using data-driven simulations. They did take into account the fact that Kaepernick has not played since 2016, but his mobility and big play ability earned him the 81 overall rating.

EA SPORTS also said players looking to have complete control over their Franchise mode can change his rating however they see fit, including bringing him up to 99 overall. Adjusting his stats to 99 overall would make his only company the likes of Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Stephon Gilmore and the only 99 rated quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes.

Kaepernick was among the first in professional sports to kneel during the American National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 2016 season, and not one of the 32 NFL teams has made a move to acquire him.

Largely suspected of being a victim of blackballing, Kaepernick has since worked as an activist in the community, especially with children. He has led rights campaigns and camps and was the face of a Nike campaign in 2018 that carried the slogan “Believe in something. Even if means sacrificing everything.”

Roger Goodell encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick in a conversation on ESPN in June, just weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

The killing of George Floyd seemed to awaken large corporations throughout the United States, leading many to make statements, including the NFL.

Though criticized for not speaking out sooner, the NFL and Commissioner Goodell released a statement via Twitter on June 5 saying, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

NFL teams cancelled practices and scrimmages in the past month after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Action taken after these events could remove the stigma NFL owners appeared to have when it came to signing Kaepernick, and fans who believe in his message and talent would love to see him on the field again soon.