Video gaming has always been a competitive sport. Arcade boxes earlier had their pixelated high score charts, and every kid wanted to have the one with the top scores in his neighborhood. With the internet explosion and the release of iconic first person shooter games like Doom and Counter Strike, players from all over the world began to come together. In 1997, one of the first e-sports organizations, Cyberathelete Professional League was established. Since then the gaming world has leaped forward to online gaming and streaming. Let us take a closer look at the phenomenon.
The Rise of Online Gaming and Streaming
In the past four decades, online gaming has become one of the world's largest entertainment industries. According to reports from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global online gaming industry in 2010 was worth around $ 56 billion! This is bigger than both the magazine or the music industry and about two-thirds the film industry's size. According to a 2011 report by Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a gamer in the United States is 37 and 42 percent of these gamers are female.
One of the biggest trends today, in live streaming is not music (as you might have previously assumed), but competitive gaming. e-sports today, joins thousands of viewers. A number of sites today, catering specifically to gamers and their fans stream e-sport events. Several e-sport websites have exploded all over the internet as live webcasts taking competitive video gaming to a completely new level, transforming it into a sport that is viewed by millions from one which was limited to just insiders.
Video Game Streaming: The Big Players
Among the big players in video game streaming today are Own3D.tv and TwitchTV. Own3D.tv began online video game streaming in 2010, and at present, the website gets over four million unique viewers a month for video game live streams. In March 2011, Electronic Sports League (ESL), the world's largest gaming league, broadcasted the Intel Extreme Masters event, which is among the most popular gaming tournaments of the year, through Own3D. With $ 400,000 as prize money, the gaming tournament drew 75,000 simultaneous live viewers on single event days, while the overall audience reached several million gamers. June 2011 saw over 200,000 concurrent viewers watching a Dreamhack contest (which is based around League of Legends, another popular game) on Own3D, with about 250 GBps of traffic through the event.
And live video streaming vendor Justin.tv watched e-sports video streaming at such a rapid rate that they dedicated an entire website to it. In June 2011, they launched TwitchTV after video game streaming reached around 3.2million monthly unique views on its main website. TwitchTV now engages over 12 million unique viewers each month. Also it has had a steady month over month growth rate of 11 percent since it was launched. Beside that, TwitchTV has over 1,000 premium partners. It has also received over 80,000 downloads of its iPhone mobile app in less than a month of the app's launch. Between October 10th and October 16th the website received massive traffic as can be seen from the following figures:
Total Hours Watched: 6,737,250
Weekly Unique Viewers: 4,214,057
Total Hours Watched per Unique Viewer: 1.6
Weekly Unique Chatters: 309,220
Peak Concurrent Viewers on a Single Stream: 125,862
Peak Concurrent Viewers on all Gaming Content: 165,250
Video Game Streaming: Popular Genres
Here are some of the most popular genres in live online video game streaming:
Adventure (Assassin's Creed II, Lego, Lost Planet)
Strategy (StarCraft II, Total War, Worms)
Sport Games (FIFA, NBA 2K10, MLB 2K10)
Shooter (Modern Warfare 3, Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2)
Role-Playing (Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age)
Racing (Need for Speed: The Run Playthrough Part 1 !, GP2 Asia Series 2011)
Simulation (The Sims)
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game – MMORPG (World of Warcraft, Hydra 9)
Streaming Games Online: The Legal Side
By now you might know or at least hear about the new bill related to anti-streaming video – S.978. At present, it is not illegal to stream, for instance a walk-through of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 online as it is considered to be a public performance. However, a bill like this would make such videos illegal. This bill might seem like a great thing at first glance as it helps curb piracy, but as parts of the bill are quite vague, it could lead to a few issues for members of the media / gaming enthusiast communities.
However, it is also possible that game developers and publishers may decide not to broadcast streaming gamers, thereby leaving things quite the same way as they are now. Given the huge number of such videos available on the web, it would be rather optimistic to actually think that game developers and publishers will have the time and money to pursue users every time they break this would-be law. Beside online video game streaming has generated a win-win scenario for all parties involved.
Game Streaming: A Win-Win Situation for Everyone
Websites like Own3D.tv and TwitchTV witness most of their traffic around gaming events. However, these websites feature live video feeds of gamers playing popular video games any time, as well. Some of these gamers are just amateurs who like to show their gaming skills to other gamers while some actually belong to professional gaming teams, and are preparing for the next tournament.
Beside, gamers today are increasingly monetizing matches as live video game streaming offers them another way of earning money and making a living. Live video game streaming websites like Own3D.tv and TwitchTV have revenue sharing deals with professional gaming partners. The most common types of monetization include ads, subscriptions and pay per views.
TwitchTV for instance, has a revenue sharing plan where they sell ads on the gamer's stream and the profits earned are split between them. TwitchTV also includes automatic transcoding, where viewers can flip between a variety of quality settings, based on their connection. Besides that partners also get early access to latest technology from Twitch as well as the ability to test out new features.
The companies are also on the winning side. Zvetan Dragulev, Own3D.tv CEO explained that they get 90 percent of their video views from pro-gaming teams and events that pull in higher CPM rates as compared to traditional user generated live video streams. Besides that, advertisers also love the fact that they are catering to a well defined audience. So Everyone's happy – well, no one's happier than the gamers would be my guess!
The winter season can cause a lot of damage to your car. During the cold winter months, the car‘s plastic, glass, tires and paint work are at the mercy of the elements. Before the winter arrives, you can help protect your car with a little protective work. Let’s take a look at a few things to keep your car protected for the winter:
Seal the paint work
A paint sealant like a synthetic wax is a practical option to apply to your car if it is likely to be left exposed to the extreme winter conditions. Use a proper paint sealant to give the desired protection against road salts and water. Many of the modern sealants are very effective at creating a useful barrier to stop oils, chemicals or other contaminants from causing damage to the paint work. A single application of a top-rated paint sealant has the potential to last the entire winter season.
Keep the car clean
Driving on the road in the winter can increase the risk of the car getting chipped or scratches because of the many items of debris on the road. Any deep scratches that are left in the car‘s paint work can lead to moisture penetration which will continue to freeze and thaw. Over time this will start to weaken the local paint work and oxidation will start to set in.
A regular car wash is a great way to minimize the risk of paint related oxidation. Also, the entire body of the car should be checked for paint scratches and chips. If any defects in the paint are noted, they can be repaired with a suitable paint sealant.
Treat the leather interior
The cold winter months can have a negative impact on the leather interior of a car. The dry and cold weather is very effective at pulling the moisture from the leather upholstery. The best course of action is to treat the leather before the start of the cold weather arrives. Ideally, it is wise to start the work on the leather before the daytime temperature drops below 50° Fahrenheit. If the treatment is left too late it can be difficult to get the leather to accept the conditioner.
Give the tires protection
Every part of the car has a tough time in the winter. This even applies to the tires, which can benefit from a generous application of a high-quality tire dressing to give a useful barrier against the natural elements. Also, a silicone based tire dressing is a further option for those traveling in snow because it can help to stop the buildup of road salt, ice and snow.
Whether you need to travel to another city or another country, it’s never been easier to book a flight. There are many options for travelers. The airline companies themselves offer booking services via the internet, phone, and in person. There are also budget travel sites that simplify the whole process by allowing you to compare all of the rates from every airline at once and choose which one would most suit your preferences.
There are many things to consider when booking a flight: departure city, departure date, arrival city, arrival date, whether or not you want a round trip, number of nights you’ll be at your destination, whether or not you want to book a car rental and/or hotel along with the flight, and so forth. Luckily, all of this is made easy with the use of online search and comparison tools. You can experiment with the dates and times as well as the destinations to get an idea of the price range. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to get a cheaper price.
Age is an important factor as well – especially if you’ll be traveling with children or the elderly. Ticket prices are different for adults and children 17 and under. For older adults, senior discounts may be available. While credit / debit cards are the primary methods of payment preferred by the airline industry, there are a few airlines who accept PayPal and unused travel funds. You might also have flyer points or gift cards that you can redeem.
Price Alerts Will Help You Book a Flight
Be sure to sign up for price alerts before you book a flight. Tickets can fluctuate considerably – even on a daily basis. Even a small decrease can result in large savings if you have to buy tickets for relatives or associates. Some online sites and tools even allow you to set your own budget, and will notify you when a ticket becomes available within your budget range.
Determine whether or not it would be cheaper to book a long haul flight yourself. If you are flying a long distance, consider that it might be cheaper to book two or three legs of the trip separately by adding another destination or two to the trip. For example, if you need to fly from Europe to Alaska, it might be cheaper to first book a trip to Atlanta, then book a trip from Atlanta to Chicago, then fly from Chicago to Seattle, and then finally onto Alaska by taking budget airlines who offer smaller trips.
The best thing to do is to use a travel shopping comparison site that will allow you to compare all of the prices from all of the airlines on the dates you enter at once. Choose the option that best suits your needs and book a flight as well as hotel room and car rental if you need to.
Whether you want to book a flight for a business trip or a vacation, the best place to begin your search is online. The site will not only uncover the best airfare rates, but hotel rates and car rental discounts as well. You can create your entire itinerary and save money in the process by using online coupons.
The youngest kids around can easily use reading games for kids. These games can teach them about the alphabet. This is one of the most essential points of learning to read that any child should understand. A good game can help to make it easier for any child to understand this. There are many reasons why it is such a good idea to see how these games can teach kids how the ABC's can work.
Why the ABC's?
The alphabet is important simply for the fact that it is the main set of building blocks for reading. The alphabet includes individual letters that have their own sounds. They all have their own standards that could be used when getting them all arranged.
Letters can form words
A good point of getting reading games for kids to work with learning the alphabet involves how these games can include details on how different names are arranged. This comes from how letters can be used to create meanings for individual items in language. Understanding these letters will be a smart thing for any child to do.
Many games for the youngest kids can teach them how different letters can start certain words. Teaching the link between letters and items in a game can help to get any kid to learn how to read.
Arrangement of letters also helps
The largest part of learning the alphabet in reading games for kids involves how these letters can be used together to create a wide variety of sounds. These are all sounds that will be used in several types of words throughout the English language. Teaching kids how to mix these letters together can get them to understand how different types of words are formed and how they can be verbally said. This may be used to get any child to understand how well a word can be spoken.