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Outdoor Family Games

Every family, once in a while, needs to spend some quality time with one another. Not just parents, but even children these days have tons to worry about. With work, school, and chores at home, it won’t be wrong to say that hardly anyone gets to eat a meal together. If this is the situation at your place or you are the kind of family that loves to spend their weekends having some fun and adventure, then you should organize some outdoor family games. Kids used to play out before the invention of video games and cell phones. But now, all that has changed and they have become less active. You can kill two birds with one stone. Playing fun games will not only provide everyone with a great physical fitness, but also bring your family closer. So what are you waiting for?

Games for Families

One of the best things about planning a family reunion or a family weekend together are the games. Family games are fun for all ages and give you a chance to interact with one another. Check out these great outdoor games.

Musical Chairs
For this game, you will need one less chair than the total number of people participating in the game. To play the game, have someone (who doesn’t wish to play) hold a small boom box. Arrange the chairs in a way that every alternate chairs face the same direction. Ask the person who has the music to look the other way and turn the music on. Everybody stands in a line and as soon as the music starts to play, walk around the chairs lined up. When the music stops, sit on the closest chair in front of you before anyone else gets a chance. Whoever is left standing, they are out. Take one chair out again and follow the same instructions. Whoever is left sitting on one chair in the end, wins.

Crossing Steps
In this game, you’ll need to make a grid of 10×10 on the sidewalk. Now, each player will stand in 1 square and when the game begins, the players will move to an empty square. You will need to time every move as you cannot cross over someone or come to stand in a square which is occupied. If you can’t find an empty square and are stuck for more than 1 round (meaning other players have already crossed and you’re the one remaining), you’ll be out of the game. The game keeps going until there’s one player left in the end.

The Fruit Basket
To play the game, ask everyone to stand in a tight circle, without leaving any gaps between one another. Each person has to choose a fruit (banana, tomato, grape, apple, cherry…). One person will be standing in the middle of the circle who’s called It. Now It will call out a fruit’s name. Everybody else who choose that fruit will run to a different area from where they were standing; preferably an empty area left by another player of the similar fruit group. You can stand directly next to where you were standing before and nobody can stand in their same spot. It will try to get into one of the empty places left by the players, leaving another person to take It’s position in the middle. If It didn’t get a chance to step into an empty space, he/she has to do this thing all over again, with a new fruit.

Pick My Pocket
Take a large cloth (unused or one which can be cut) and make as many strips as the players. Now, all the players will keep 1 strip in their back pocket, with a little piece hanging out. When the whistle blows, everyone will try to grab the strips from each other’s pockets. The player with the maximum strips will win the game. In the game, if your strip has been taken, you still have a chance to get someone else’s back in order to stay in the game.

Scavenger Hunt
To organize a scavenger hunt, you need to divide the players into 2 equal groups. Plan ahead as you will have to hide all the clues for your hunt beforehand. Make 2 maps of the entire area of where the hunt will take place, making sure to keep it in a safe neighborhood or park. Write down all the clues in small pieces of paper and hide in unimaginable places. If you have organized the hunt, don’t participate. Instead, be a judge for the game to make sure no one cheats. Whichever team comes back with all the clues solved, wins a prize.

Capture the Flag
This game is really simple to assemble, but tough to play (physically challenging). You need 2 flags for this game and divide everyone in 2 groups. Now on the field, place the flags at both ends, as far as possible, and keep a goalie. When the whistle blows, the players of 1 team will try to take the flag of the other team, and vice versa. Here, apart from stealing other team’s flag, you will also have to defend your flag. Whichever team manages to keep their flag safe and steal the other team’s flag the most, wins.

Marco Polo in the Pool
Marco polo is one of the most popular games as you can play it in the pool and on the ground as well. Everybody chooses It who has to be blindfolded or closes his/her eyes. All the players scatter in the swimming pool and asks It to duck into the water. As It comes out of the water, he/she has to shout Marco loudly. Other players who are at different corners of the pool will reply saying Polo. The players have to save themselves from being tagged by It. Whoever gets tagged has to become to new Marco.

Paint-balloons
No, I’m not asking you to paint the balloons. What we are doing is altering the game of paintball. Instead of using a paintball gun, we will use balloons filled with colored water or better yet, Kool-Aid. Divide yourselves into 2-3 teams and fill the balloons with colored water or Kool-Aid. Now the trick here is, each team will choose 1 color to represent themselves. Let’s say you have 3 teams, then team #1 will use red, team #2 will use blue, and team #3 will use green. Once the whistle blows, hide and navigate yourself to the opponents and get them drenched with your color.

The main idea of organizing these amazing games is to bring everyone together and have a great time. Bring snacks and plenty of fresh fruit juices to your outdoor family fun, and enjoy playing some family fun games.

Outdoor Team Building Games

Outdoor games can be a great way to refresh stressed out minds and bodies. The games not only help to instill team spirit, they also motivate individuals. It is a great way to appraise an individual’s ability of making split second decisions, management and leadership skills. I will try to list some outdoor games, which are really fantastic for team building.
Outdoor Activities for Adults
Outdoor games are always fun for kids. Even adults love to join in outdoor activities and have pure fun. Team building activities help build relationship between co-workers, who generally interact only during work-related activities. It helps people learn more about the people they work with. This makes the general atmosphere in the office healthy and open. Some of the outdoor games that can be played by adults are as follows:
– Amoeba Race
This is a fun-filled race which requires close physical contact, group co-operation and competition. The group forms a biological cell, that is, cell wall, protoplasm and nucleus. A person who has good eyesight can be made the nucleus. He is supposed to sit on someone’s shoulders as a look out. Others can stand together surrounding the nucleus. These people become the protoplasm. Some team members should surround the protoplasm and face outwards. Their elbows should be linked together forming the cell wall. Try to build a block or maze and ask the amoeba group to travel along the given track. The group should then split into two amoebas and the new group should have its own nucleus. Have an amoeba race to spice things up.
Zoom and Re-zoom
This activity helps build communication and problem solving skills in the team. A problem is given to the team. A story is made up, which contains the solution. The team is handed out pictures in a sequence, linked to the story. Each team member tries to explain his picture and find a link among the group. This requires patience and good communication skills. The story is linked and a solution to the given problem is found out.
Helium Stick
This activity is a good team building exercise. Bring a long, lightweight helium stick. Helium weighs lighter than air, thus, can float in the air. Ask the team members to stand in a straight line. Place the helium stick on their extended index fingers. Make sure they do not hold or pinch the stick between their fingers. The task is to lower the stick to the ground. The stick floats up rather than moving down. The group needs to be patient, work in tandem and try to bring the stick down (which is easier said than done!). The trick is, there is no helium gas-filled in the stick. The collective pressure that is exerted by the fingers is more than the weight of the stick. This causes it to float up mysteriously.
-Limited Senses Game
This is a rather difficult game but one which will be lots of fun. The obstacles should be removed from the area, where the game is supposed to be played. Hand over each participant one number, which they are to keep secret. Try and jump the series, for example, 1,2,4,5,3,6,7,10,8,9 and so on. Blindfold the participants and ask them to find the numbers before and after them without seeing or talking to each other. They can clap, stomp or do anything to find the missing link. It is great to see many people come up with innovative ways to express themselves.
– Welded Ankles Game
This activity leads to communication, leadership skills and teamwork. Mark a straight line with bright paint or use a bright-colored rope. The game is that the team has to walk from start to finish, maintaining contact of the ankles. If anyone from the group loses contact, the game has to be re-started.
– Relay Bicycle Race
You can even try different sports activities to build team spirit as well as individual strengths. These activities include a game of archery where one measures the level of concentration and strength, relay races on a bicycle or small motorbike. Plain old musical chairs is also a fun game to play outdoors. Charade ideas can also be tried to build team spirit within the group.
There are many conventional sports like basketball, baseball or even beach volleyball which help develop team spirit.
You can try many other activities like treasure hunt or rafting. Outdoor team building games are stimulating and help members know each other better. Leadership skills, problem solving attitude and many more hidden attributes are discovered through outdoor games. These games not only help in developing a team, but it is also a great break from the daily mundane tasks.

Fun Indoor Party Games

If you are planning to throw a party for your child’s birthday, your marriage anniversary, or for any other occasion, indoor party games are a great way of enlivening the party atmosphere.

They are especially ideal during the hot summer, chilling winter or boring rainy days, when it is not possible to entertain your guests with outdoor games. Games, whether indoor or outdoor are an indispensable part of parties along with food and decoration.

Indoor party games help guests open up to each other and the best part is that they can be enjoyed in all seasons. So, let’s take a look at some fun indoor games that can help brighten up your party.

Indoor Party Game Ideas
There is a huge list of indoor games which can make your party the most memorable one. Following are some of these games, which can be enjoyed by all. Have a look!
Musical chairs is a very popular party game that can be enjoyed by children, as well as adults. To play this game, you need to arrange chairs in a circle or row, but be sure to keep one chair less than the number of guests or participants. The rule of the game is for everyone to walk around the length of the chairs, while music is being played. When the music stops, each one has to occupy one of the chairs and whosoever fails to occupy a chair, is out of the game. Each time a person goes out of the game, one chair should be removed and in this way the game is repeated, until only two players are left. Now, the one who succeeds in occupying the single chair is the winner of the game.
Another popular game is to prepare cards, with different activities, like dancing, singing, acting, mimicry, etc., written on them. These cards can be put in a container or arranged on a table. Then, guests can be asked to pick a card, one by one, and do the activity mentioned on the card.
Quizzing can be an interesting indoor game for people of all age groups. Make two teams of all the guests, and pose questions to each team. Allow each team 30 seconds or a minute for answering each question, so that members of a team can consult among themselves to find the right answer. The team that is able to give maximum correct answers would be the winner of the game.
This is a simple, funny, and delicious game. Take a long horizontal string and tie few vertical strings on it, keeping considerable distance between each string. Now, tie the other end of the vertical string to a donut and tell your guests or children to stand in front of each donut. Then ask them to start eating the donuts on your call, but without using their hands. See who is the first person to finish the donut, without dropping even a single piece.
A guessing game can be really amusing for your guests. To play this game, first divide the guests into two groups. Now, the first group is supposed to send one member of their team to the other group, which gives him or her a movie name. The person has to explain the name of the movie by facial expressions and body movements, without uttering a single word. The other members of the team have to guess the movie name by observing these movements.
Thumb wrestling is a simple, but amusing game. To play this game, the players should place their thumbs mid-air. The thumbs should be kept facing one another, while both the players should use their right-hand fingertips to grab the right-hand fingertip of the opponent. Now, each player tries to catch the thumb of the other, and then pin it down for a set count, usually a count of 5, in order to win the game.
You don’t need to be an expert at hula hooping to enjoy this game. People of almost all age groups can enjoy twirling the hoop around their waist. Just make sure that you have enough space for everyone to participate in this game. The person who can spin the hoop for the longest time is the winner, while those who drop it, are out of the game.
A Few Other Games
Apart from the games mentioned above, you can also incorporate the classic party games, like Pass the Parcel, Treasure Hunt, and Balloon Stomp.

Treasure Hunt is especially ideal for children, as they will simply love hunting out treasures, like chocolates and toys. You can also include Blow the Ball game and to make it more exciting, you can blindfold the participants, and ask them to turn around, then take a few steps forward and again turn around, before blowing the ball placed on a table. When you ask the blindfolded person to turn around, he loses the direction, and they might be blowing somewhere else, whereas the ball is placed at another place.

Another interesting game is Dancing with a Ball or a Balloon. This game is played by pairs, with a ball or balloon placed between their foreheads and then dancing without dropping it. If the ball drops, then that particular couple or pair is out of the game.

‘Guess What’ is the game for people who love music, where you can play the music of some famous songs for a few seconds, and let your guests guess the names of these songs. Also encourage them to sing a few lines of the song, which would make it more enjoyable.

By selecting a combination of fun indoor games, you can make each moment of your party enjoyable and exhilarating. Encourage everyone to participate in the games by arousing their interest, but don’t force anyone. If the party is for children, then give something as a gift to each of them. This would make them happy and would prompt them to participate in the games. To sum up, make your party as enjoyable as possible, with creative and funny indoor games.

Indoor Games for Adults

You’re having guests over and you want to show them a good time. Yes of course there will be those great dishes you will have cooked up, all arranged in a four course meal, no less. And the music that you’ll have especially selected to play will be a sure hit, no doubt. But do you really want to know how to ensure that your guests have a great time at your party? The easiest way to make that happen is to arrange for some fun indoor games. Once they start playing these games, you’ll see how they lose their inhibitions and really start to enjoy themselves. Now how do you get them to do that? Just choose from the following list of games that have been provided and let the fun begin.

Taboo!
~ Taboo is a fun-packed game that makes you stay on your toes, think real fast, and tests your mental ability.
~ There are two teams that play against each other. Each member of the team picks a card with a word on it, which he has to convey to his teammates by explaining the concept behind it.
~ While doing so, he cannot use the 4 words that are taboo (can’t use them for describing the main word).
~ These words are the most obvious options that you would use to describe the main word.
~ For example, the main word that you need to convey is ‘basketball’ and the taboo words are ‘sports’, ‘Michael Jordan’, ‘net’, and ‘dunk’.
~ These four words, as you can see, are some of the most obvious words that you would use to describe ‘basketball’. If you use any of the taboo words, you get negative markings.
~ You need to get as many words as you can in a minute.

Pictionary/Dumb Charades
~ This is a crowd pleaser through and through.
~ The group is divided into teams. A member from each team comes forth and is given a chit with a word on it, say, ‘chocolate cake’.
~ The member has to draw out the word on the board that has been provided. The teammates have to guess the word correctly.
~ The team that guesses the most right, wins.
~ Dumb charades is another interesting game you could play. Here, clues have to be acted out.
~ There can be more variations to the clues given in charades ranging from movie and song names to book names as well. Both these games require one to be quick thinkers.

List Them Out
~ This game is quite simple and can be played by any age group.
~ Make a list of 5 actors and 5 actresses.
~ Give each guest a pen and paper.
~ When all of them have seated, pick a chit and announce the actor or actress.
~ The guests have to make a list of all the movies they can think of, in which the actor/actress had starred, within a time frame.
~ At the end of the game, the person who has the maximum names, wins.

Out of the Hat
~ Make chits of a whole lot of activities. These could be anything from mimicking someone or singing a song to any of the ‘forfeits’ you can think of.
~ You’ll find that this one will be a pleasant surprise and make for some of the most fun games.
Murder Mystery
Murder Mystery
~ Murder mysteries can get so intense. With everyone getting involved in solving the mystery and learning to work on the cues, then finding out who the murderer is.
~ Such interactive murder mystery games serve as great ice breaker games for adults.

Mini Casino
~ Bring them a casino, and your guests will love this fun indoor game like nothing else.
~ You can even get all the board games for adults, say, Poker, Black Jack, Russian roulette, and more.

Treasure Hunt
~ This is always a hit party game.
~ You hide your final treasure and put in clues all around the house, one clue leads to the next and so on.

Who’s Line is it Anyway?
~ This has some of the most innovative and fun games that you can think of.
~ Try ‘Scenes from a hat’ – put in some really atrocious situations that people have to act out in pairs. For example, you walk in on a friend who is picking his nose.
~ Try the ABC story – you give a group a situation that they need to enact.
~ The twist is that every new sentence has to start with the next alphabet. Like, if the first sentence starts with ‘A’, the next one has to continue with ‘B’, until the whole alphabet line is done. The team that uses the maximum alphabets, wins.

Guaranteed fun. That is what these games ensure. These were some examples of the most popular indoor games for adults that you can use at your parties and instantly turn them into big hits. Try them and see.

Driving Games for Kids

Online driving games for kids help them learn parallel parking. You learn, how to park your car between two cars and parallel to the curb. During parallel parking, you have to make sure that you don’t go on the sidewalk, because you are not supposed to hit the pedestrians. You learn about right-of-way, so that you know who has the priority to go and who has to wait, when the routes of two cars conflict or interfere with each other.

You learn how to obey the traffic lights at four-way intersections. The traffic light system in the game is similar to the traffic light convention that is followed on the roads. The three-way traffic light system uses three colors―red, yellow, and green. The red light means your car has to stop, the yellow light means you have to take caution, and the green light means you can proceed. You also learn how to take a car out of a parking space and leave a parking lot. Of course, the games are no substitute to going to a driving school.

The free games use the keyboard to control the movement of the car. The up arrow key moves the car forward, and the down arrow key moves the car in reverse. The left and right arrow keys move the car to the left and right. The space bar key has different functions in different games. In some games, it is used to put the brakes on the car; in others, it is used to make a U-turn or jump.

Top 5 Websites to Visit

If you already have a favorite site that you play the games on, do make it point to visit these as well. You never know, you might just find a few games more interesting.

Learn4Good
There are games as great as the Grand Theft Auto with sports cars, buggies, school buses, police cars, and even trains. As you select a game to play, you will get the complete details about what the game is all about, your role in it, and how the game should be played. You can create your own free account on the site, or sign-in with your Facebook account as well.

Start Playing: www.learn4good.com

Truck Games Parking
Whether you want to play with pick-up trucks, monster trucks, sports cars, school buses, police cars, taxis, or tanks, this site has it all. Every game is unique and will keep you occupied for hours. And the best part is, you don’t even have to sign up to start playing. Just go to their site, pick the games you want to play, and proceed thereon.

Start Playing: www.truckgamesparking.com

Hot Wheels
Choose the cars by year, pick the races to be played in the city, as a race, go off-roading, or build your own custom car. All you need to do is become a member of the site so you can enjoy playing the games, win awards, and so much more. In only 2 minute’s time, you will have a plethora of games waiting for you.

Start Playing: www.hotwheels.com

Nick
You can play any of the games with your favorite Nickelodeon characters. Signing up with the site is so easy, all you need to do is pick the gender and type in an awesome username to represent yourself.

Start Playing: www.nick.com

Monster High
You’re not just going to be racing; you get to pick your own character as well. From ghouls and ‘mansters’, play wonderful games on the site with a spooky twist. Start playing the game by signing up with the site to become a member. Apart from playing the games, you can also win awards and points.

Start Playing: www.monsterhigh.com

Goals of the Games

► The goal of these games is to get your car to the finishing line. There is only a limited amount of time available to complete the tasks. You may be carrying some cargo which you have to transport to the destination. There are various missions such as transporting cargo through forests, deserts, and snowy regions. On the screen, you will see arrows that point to the general direction of the destination. You should look for passengers to pick up and then drop them to their destinations as fast as possible.

► Some games let you control the emergency services of a city. For example, you have to drive an ambulance to the hospital. The task would be to pick up patients on the way to the hospital. Another task would be to give CPR to someone who needs it. Some games may also require you to drive a fire engine to a place that is on fire. You may also have to drive a police car to a scene of robbery. You may also be given in tasks like defusing bombs and chasing down and capturing escaped zoo animals.

► There may be special objects in the middle of the road that increase the oil in your car. This allows the car to go a farther distance. There are other obstacles on the road which you should not hit as they may damage your car.

► You are also not allowed to slam into other cars on the road. You should also not drive into buildings, or the car may get destroyed. There is only a certain number of collisions allowed when you play a driving game. If you exceed that number, the game is over. But some games give you points for smashing into objects on the road such as tables and chairs.

Playing these is so much fun that we can’t contain our excitement as well. Do make it a point to visit the sites we’ve mentioned above, and let us know how much fun you had while playing the games.

10 Best Space Strategy Games for PC

Best Space Strategy games
In a strategy game, the decisions that gamer(s) take during the course of the game makes a difference in the outcome of the game. When playing these games, players need to be aware of the developments that take place in the game. What seems like a minor happening can have a momentous impact on the final outcome of the game. These games demand, from the players, the ability to think ahead of the current scenario and have a second plan ready in case the desired outcome is not achieved.

Many are fascinated by space. They are hardcore fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, and the like. Add some strategy-building abilities to this fascination, and be ready to be entertained for hours together, by some of the best space strategy games available.

Space-based Strategy Games for PC

Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

This turn-based game has been developed by Firaxis Games. It belongs to the 4X genre. In this genre, players need to expand, explore, exploit, and exterminate an empire. The plot is futuristic and set in the 22nd century. The gameplay is from a third-person perspective, and it has been directed by Sid Meier. The strategies in the game revolve around the idea of colonization of space. Players can choose to be the leader of any one of the seven available factions. This game is a spin-off of the civilization series. It was released in 1999, and is compatible with Linux, MAC OS, and Windows platforms.

Sins of a Solar Empire

This game has been developed by Ironclad Games. It is a real-time game and belongs to the 4X strategy genre. Here, players can choose to be the leader of any one of the three races – Trader Emergency Coalition (TEC), Advent, and Vasari. Leaders have control of their space empires. The goal here is to conquer different star systems. There are four packages of the game that have been released so far. The first was Entrenchment, followed by Diplomacy. The third package was Trinity. Rebellion was as the fourth stand-alone package of this game. This game was released in 2008, and is compatible with the Windows platform.

Star Wars: Empire at War

This game has been developed by Petroglyph Games. The showdown in this game is mainly between Empire and Rebels. Players can choose from three available game modes. These are Campaign, Galactic Conquest, and Skirmish. In this game, at times, there are land battles along with space battles. It is a real-time strategy game, which was released in 2006. Later, in the same year, an expansion pack was released for the game. This was titled Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption. This game is compatible with Windows and MAC OS platforms.

Galactic Civilizations

This is another turn-based strategy game, which has been developed by Stardock. The plot of this game is based in the 23rd century. Players are only assigned the human race. The player becomes the leader of the human race, and the goal to be achieved in this game is of galactic domination through colonization of the space. This game does not support multiplayer gameplay. The player has to play against AI (Artificial Intelligence) opponents. He can choose from various civilizations, which are Terran Alliance, Drengin Empire, Altarian Resistance, Arcean Empire, Yor Collective, Torian Confederation, Dominion of the Korx, and Drath Legion. This game was released in 2003, and is compatible with the Windows platform.

Lords of the Black Sun

This game was previously titled Star Lords. It is a turn-based game of the 4X strategy genre. You can play this game with multiple players along with AI. Players have eight races to choose from, and they are assigned as the leader of the race they choose. These leaders rule their empire, where the goal is to achieve space colonization. The game has been developed by Arkavi Studios. It was released in 2014, and is compatible with the Windows platform.

Master of Orion

This again is a turn-based game, and belongs to the 4X genre of mystery games. It has been developed by Simtex. Like most other games on this list, the goal here is to develop colonies in space. This game has its focus on colonization of the star systems. There are ten races available for the player to choose from. This is not one of the multiplayer space strategy games for PC. It is a single-player game, and players are pitted against AI. This game was first released in 1993, and is compatible with MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh, and Commodore Amiga.

Sword of the Star

This game is also from the 4X strategy genre. It has been developed by Kerberos Productions. Players get to choose to play from the various races, and the goal is to colonize the star systems. This is also a multiplayer game, besides providing an option to pit a single player against AI. Its sequel was released in 2011, while the game was originally released in 2006. It is compatible with the Windows platform.

Homeworld

This game has been developed by Relic Entertainment. It is the first 3D game in the real-time strategy (RTS) category. There are two races to choose from – Kushan and Taiidan. Players are provided with the option of playing individually against AI or in a group. The game was released in 1999, and is compatible with the Windows platform.

Endless Space

One more game in the category of 4X strategy genre, this is a turn-based game, which has been developed by Amplitude Studios. This game has options for multiple players to play the same game, as well for a single player to take on AI. The plot takes place in 3000 A.D., where players are the leaders of their interstellar empires. Here, they can create their own civilizations, and one of the ways to achieve victory is by universal colonization. The battle scenes in this game take place in long-range combat, medium-range combat, and combat at close quarters. The game was released in 2012, and is compatible with the MAC OS and Windows platform.

Planetary Annihilation

This is a real-time strategy (RTS) game, and has been developed by Uber Entertainment. Players are provided with a map consisting of various planets and asteroids. They have to capture these planets, which can also be annihilated by other planets. A player loses on losing the last commander of the fleet. This game draws heavy resemblance to Total Annihilation. It was released in 2014, and is compatible wit the MAC OS, Windows, and Linux platforms.

These were some of the top space strategy games for PCs, that provide a balanced mix of best of both the worlds, or should I say, many other worlds.

Negative Effects of Video Games

Video-gaming is indeed very addictive. A person developing a liking for it can go on and on with it for hours together, not even realizing the amount of time he has been spending on it. Gaming can also be extremely distracting. A person tends to lose interest in things he has been preoccupied with because the highly interactive video gaming interface tends to take control of his thought process as he gets involved. A research conducted by Dr. C. Shawn Green of the University of Wisconsin concluded, ‘video games can change your brain’. This has both positive as well as negative implications. In other words, video or computer games may have good as well as bad effects on the psyche of the individuals addicted to them. Positive impact of video games include development of qualities such as multitasking, quicker decision-making, teamwork and better response to challenges and risks. Games may also help people to develop better mathematical and analytical skills. But as the saying goes, ‘there are two sides to every coin’, despite the numerous positive effects that video games may have on an individual, some of the negatives of this technological innovation can prove to be extremely hazardous in the long-run. Given below are some of the negative and harmful effects that video gaming may have on an individual:

Physical Health

Addiction to video games hampers the health of an individual to a great extent. It is often very difficult to cure the ills that are caused by incessant gaming and hence trying not to get into such kinds of troubles as far as possible is the most advisable thing to do.

One of the most common health issues that is faced by most individuals, adults and children alike, addicted to playing video games is obesity. Addicted gamers often face this problem because they tend to sit in one place for a long time and hence their body practically misses out on any kind of physical activity. Being overweight may increase the risk of developing other ailments in the long run such as high levels of cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension and so on.
Playing video games for long hours at a stretch may also hamper an individual’s sleep thus leading to the development of insomnia. This may further result in drowsiness and hypoactive immune system.
Back pains are also commonly experienced by gaming addicts since they sit in one place and in one position for long hours. Although these might seem to be minor ailments in the beginning, they may have much deeper implications as the addiction progresses.

According to a research, conducted at the Council on Science and Public Health by Dr. Mohamed K. Khan, constant video-gaming may put people at a risk of photosensitive seizures, a form of epilepsy triggered by constantly flashing lights and speedily moving objects. Thus, addictive video-gaming can lead to numerous health hazards.

Psychological Health

Playing video games for incredibly long hours tends to adversely affect the social behavior of an individual as well. Excessive gaming can develop certain traits which may have negative effects on an individual’s all-round development.

Social isolation can be an immediate consequence of continuous and ceaseless gaming. People, especially children, tend to spend lesser time with their friends and others because they want to get back home/gaming place as fast as possible and continue playing. This makes them aloof from others and so in the long-run lack abilities of social communication and develop a kind of anthropophobia (fear of human company).
Children and teenagers may face confusion about reality and fiction. Due to the fact that addiction to video games may hamper their social life, the scope for them to mingle with other people and to experience the realities of the world becomes very limited. The consequence is that they end up believing that the real world is similar to the virtual world of the game they have been playing and hence, behave and interact in the same way as they do during gaming.
‘Content matters’ is a phrase that is very apt when it comes to the content that many video games possess. Numerous video games which are supposedly meant especially for kids have violent content wherein aspects such as aggression and revenge are rewarded. These things make a deep impact on children’s minds and they tend to judge people and society, on the whole, in similar light. In the long-run, this can turns them into aggressive and violent individuals who are often very reluctantly accepted by society.

A research carried out by the National Institute for Media and the Family, Minneapolis, infers that video gaming addiction in kids may result in increase in the levels of anxiety and depression in them. Excessive video-gaming can thus have long-lasting psychological impact on an individual.

Overall Performance

Uncontrolled addiction to video games hampers a child’s performance academically as well. This is bound to happen as a child always thinks about the game he is playing and thus, tends to lack interest in his studies and other related activities.

Academic performance is inversely related to the video game addiction. This means that the more time one spends in playing, the lesser he occupies himself with his studies. This obviously shows negatively in the annual report card and thus makes the child academically incompetent.
This is also applicable in case of adults. Excessive gaming hampers their overall performance and productivity at their workplace, predominantly because they may have missed out on adequate sleep due to constant late-night gaming.
Although games with good analytical content may help develop math and other skills in students, there are numerous bestselling games in the market today which tend only to distract them with their flashy animation and fierce characters. Such themes not only adversely affect their concentration but with the passage of time, they also lack the abilities of time-management.

Studies have revealed that kids who are addicted to video-gaming, frequently fight with their classmates, argue a lot with their teachers, and often miss their homework. Due to their habit of continuously playing games, addicts are unable to devote proper amount of time required for studies and thus score poor grades.

People addicted to video games also suffer from bad relationships. This happens because gaming addicts fail to balance the time they need to invest in cultivating their family/social relations and the amount of time they spend on gaming. In other words, they fail to devote quality time to their relationships in lieu of which they tend to have no family/social life left. Added to this, the amount of money that is spend on buying new games, or newer versions of the existing ones, cannot be overlooked. This may economically affect that person as well.

In order to check the possibilities of promoting violent, anti-social or pornographic content through video-games, in 1994, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was set up by the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) with an aim to keep a check over the content of video games. The ESRB has specified guidelines depending on various age groups as to what kind of content should be allowed. The games are rated accordingly and only then they are allowed to enter the market. It then depends on the buyer to buy the right kind of game for himself/his kids, by looking carefully at the ratings that it bears on its cover. It should also be noted at this juncture that video game market, much like the movie market, has not been able to escape the vicious circle of piracy, wherein cheaper versions available. Many times buyers opt for these but one has to keep in mind that though expensive, nothing can beat the original because they are more dependable than pirated versions which may not give the users proper ratings, content and even quality.

7 Building Block Games like Minecraft

Well, that wouldn’t sound surprising to anyone who has tried his hands on this open sandbox game. The building aspects of Minecraft allow the players to create a 3D world of their own, using their creativity on textured cubes. Constant updates and upgrades, and a lot of modding has got Minecraft on the top in the block building game world. Internet (YouTube, Facebook, Reddit) has also helped this game become widely popular.

It is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Java platform, Java applet, iPad 2+, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Raspberry Pi. The best thing about Minecraft is that it gives the player all the freedom to choose how to play, ’cause it doesn’t have a specific set of goals to be achieved like other video games.

We give you games like Minecraft, which will let your creativity shine out, and keep you involved in its play.

Building Block Games like Minecraft

ACE OF SPADES

Ace of Spades, just like Minecraft, offers various game modes to keep the player engaged in interesting things. It is basically a first-person-shooter game, but it has added functions to create your own surroundings and benefit yourself. For instance, you can build a castle to save your team, or dig an underground attack to your enemy, with just a little creativity. This free-to-play game proves to be an incredibly fun alternative to Minecraft.

╙ Available for: Windows XP with SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7

BLOCKLAND

Blockland!, a single player and a multiplayer computer game, projects lego-like building blocks, letting the users to create their own little world. Create your own block-like characters, and make them work according to you. The Physics feature that’s available lets you destroy your creation as and when needed, which is actually more fun. The inclusion of mini tasks and mini games doesn’t let the player lose interest in the game. Its virtual world has bricks that seem like toy blocks styled as a mini-version of Minecraft.

╙ Available for: Mac OS X, Windows XP or higher, Steam

CUBELANDS

Cubelands feels a lot like Minecraft. This 3D online multiplayer building game lands you into a small world, wherein a couple of structures are preloaded for you to get an idea. It also offers a feature of being able to save the screenshots of their creation, and invite your friends on the desired server. The gameplay being the same, however, the options are limited, as compared to Minecraft. But this game totally comes for free, we can overlook a couple of limitations (wink!).

╙ Available for: Mac OS X, Windows, Android

MANIC DIGGER

Manic Digger is a clone to Minecraft with a greater flexibility―free, open-source, and simpler to play. Its vast world lets you design any imaginable thing in this world. Don’t worry as they don’t have zombies here to scare you, but they sure have introduced nighttime in the updated version of the game. Minecraft addicts are of the opinion that Manic Digger needs a bit of polishing for it to be addressed as a clone.

╙ Available for: Mac OS X, Windows, Linux

ROBLOX

ROBLOX (ROBO + BLOCKS) is a massive multiplayer online game where imagination is the limit. You can create something of your own, or stick to the pre-made maps by other users. Since everything in this sandbox game is being developed and created by players, it gives a lot of plots and game types to play. The free subscription is enough to get you a Minecraft-like experience.

╙ Available for: Mac OS X, Windows, Android, iPad 2+, iPhone 4+, iPod touch 5th generation

TERRARIA

You can call Terraria as the 2D scroller of Minecraft. Terraria would be loved by those who adore exploring deeper depths in a strange world. It is an action-adventure sandbox game that involves exploring, crafting, and constructing. Though this game has less of block building and more of material collection, it will be thoroughly enjoyed by Minecraft lovers.

╙ Available for: Mac OS X, Windows, Android, Xbox 360, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Network, PlayStation Vita, Kindle Fire

FortressCraft

The only prominent thing that distinguishes FortressCraft from Minecraft is that it is available only on Xbox 360. Though it utilizes voxels to model scenarios, it still gives the reminiscence of Minecraft’s block-like appeal. It focuses more on building and socializing. Well, it isn’t pricey, but deciding to purchase it with your friends would be a better option.

╙ Available for: Xbox 360

This was our list of close alternatives to Minecraft. You could also try playing Block Story, Mine Test, and Garry’s Mod. Do tell us the games that you’re addicted to.

10 Interactive Adventure Games Like Heavy Rain

The early films of the ’40s had a cinematic style that let the story move at its own pace. The characters are stereotypical, with the hard-boiled detective who keeps his feelings to himself, the femme fatale with an air of mystery and grace; all of these make up pulp fiction. Now with the advent of technology, games are taking the same step as television did. With more of their plot-lines aiming towards character development, the lines between fiction and reality are becoming blurry. One of the games that has already succeeded in this journey is Heavy Rain.

Heavy Rain is the masterpiece of David Cage, that narrates the story through 4 characters – Ethan Mars, an estranged husband who stays distant from his wife and son; Scott Shelby, a private investigator who suffers from asthma; Norman Jayden, an FBI profiler whose only talent is investigation of cases and an addiction to tripocaine; and Madison Paige, a photojournalist who suffers from insomnia. All their lives converge in the small town they live in, where a serial killer abducts children and drowns them, with the only evidence being an origami figure, whom the press later dubs as the ‘Origami Killer’. The hunt intensifies when Ethan’s son gets kidnapped, and it snowballs into a climax unseen. If you are a fan of interactive adventure games, then scroll down and check out our list of games like Heavy Rain, and end your suspense.

L.A. Noire

The game is set in 1940s Los Angeles, with the war coming to an end, and the residents enjoying the sun and the babes frolicking the beaches. Enter Cole Phelps, a former Marine, and currently a police officer, who finds out that his former comrades from the Marines are being whacked one after another. Solve the mystery and more to come in this glitzy potboiler, which pays a homage to noir movies.

Available on Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

Alan Wake

From the creators of Max Payne comes Alan Wake, a psychological thriller, where the protagonist tries to find his wife and fight off the surreal nightmares that he believes are a part of his writer’s block. Though psychological, there are elements of actions involved with creatures that can only be defeated by light. Similar to Heavy Rain, the game focuses more on the drama than the lock-n-load action that follows later on.

Available on Platforms: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

Fahrenheit

Fahrenheit is an interactive action-adventure game similar to Heavy Rain, where a group of mysterious murders attracts the presence of the police, and the protagonist (player) is framed for it. In some areas, it has been released under the name Indigo Prophecy. The murders have a mysterious pattern: a group of people are killed at random, with no eyewitnesses. Lucas Kane is a loner who has been troubled by clairvoyant visions since childhood, but with a cult committing grisly murders all over town, and framing him for it, will he ever get out of it alive? With a combination of telekinesis and mixed martial arts, fight your way through this bloody mess.

Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PS2, Xbox, iOS, Linux, OS X

Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls has a great storyline for a movie, but let’s contend with the game for now. You play as Jodie Holmes, who has tremendous psychic powers due to an unexplained link in the other world. Due to her powers, Jodie has been under the care of Nathan Dawkins, a member of the Department of Paranormal Research, who built a machine that connects the dead to the living. With hostile entities at an arm’s length, use Jodie’s powers to stop Nathan’s crazy ambitions. As a bonus, this psychological adventure from Quantic Dreamit has Hollywood bigwigs Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page providing voice-over acting.

Available on Platforms: PS3

The Stanley Parable

This game is based on an individual named Stanley, who has the routine job of monitoring data. One day, when the data stops coming, he decides to explore the premises when desktop support doesn’t come through. Follow Stanley on his adventures, as every action he takes has a different ending to the story. This game plays homage to the movie Being John Malkovich.

Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows, OS X

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

This game is unique, and functions as a time machine, where the player can recollect or experience events from the past. Room 215 is supposedly a room in a rundown motel in downtown Los Angeles that grants wishes. Kyle is a former detective-turned-salesman, who investigates the room to find out the truth. Come experience the point-and-click nightmare, and remember to check out.

Available on Platforms: Nintendo DS

Black Dahlia

Black Dahlia is based on the real-life murder of Elizabeth Short, but the game mixes it with occult rituals and Neo-Nazi propaganda. As Agent Pearson, your mission is to solve he mysteries of the Black Dahlia murders, and the hidden conspiracy within. This is one adventure game you are sure to enjoy.

Available on Platforms: Microsoft Windows

The 7th Guest

As a guest, you try to solve the mysteries of the haunted mansion that you checked into. As you delve deeper into the mansion, ghosts of the past appear in a torrent, giving cryptic messages that hold the link to the future. The game has a linear format, and involves puzzles of logic and creativity. The plot thickens as you go in further, so don’t you dare miss this adventure.

Available on Platforms: PC, Mac, OS X, Linux, iOS

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

It narrates the story of Ethan Thomas, who has resigned from office after the events of Condemned left him in a traumatic state. With the homeless population going insane and causing more riots, it is the mission of the protagonist to find a cure for the insanity as well as hold on to his own. Are you game for this?

Available on Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360

The Walking Dead

This game, although inspired by the TV series, focuses on Lee Everett, a convicted criminal who stands a chance of redemption by saving the life of an orphaned girl, Clementine, who he just met. With the virus creating more zombies, Lee does everything to find a safe haven for Clementine. Get ready to find zombies and insane hillbillies, as you embark on this epic journey of survival of the fittest.

Available on Platforms: Android, iOS, Kindle Fire HDX, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Ouya, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Some Other Options

– Alice: Madness Returns
– Kentucky Route Zero
– 7Framed
– The Room
– Myst

These alternatives to Heavy Rain are all that you need to get your dose of adventure up and running. Enjoy!

8 Most Addictive Video Games Ever

Most addictive video games
A video game has the ability to generate many emotions in a player. Something about racing, role-playing, or going on quests to slay monsters can undoubtedly give you a rush, all in the comforts of your home. It gives you the opportunity to interact with other players and share a common love for the game. I have to admit, there was a time when I was addicted to Candy Crush; I would see myself playing it even in my dreams. Fortunately, I could control my addiction just before it began to affect me adversely. But on a rather serious note, according to a survey by the BBC, around 12% of online gamers show signs of gaming addiction.

With different and engaging themes flooding the market, deciphering which of these were the most addictive was a little difficult. After pondering for a while, we have come up with eight of the most addictive video games of all time!

Tetris
Simple yet engaging is the best way to describe this game. The aim of this game is to arrange the games pieces of different shapes that keep falling into the matrix such that you create a horizontal line of ten boxes (or units) with no gap in between them. When such a line is created the boxes in that line disappear, and the whole arrangement shifts down. If the stacked boxes reach the top, you lose. The speed at which the game pieces fall increases as you advance to the next level.

Angry Birds
If there’s one game that took the world by storm and captured the attention of the masses―from merchandise to starring in movies―this game has done it all. The basic concept involves shooting some really angry birds into the fortress of pigs. With every level, the difficulty of the game rises and various themes are applied across different versions of the game; right from Halloween to Transformers.

Candy Crush Saga
Set in the colorful Kingdom of Candy, this addiction is the sweetest of them all! This games involves pairing similar types of candies among the plethora that are available. With appetizing words like sweet and delicious being used, refraining from playing this game becomes all the more difficult. Every turn gives you five lives to complete the level; if you don’t, then you have to wait for another thirty minutes before you can resume. And just when you thought you have cracked the game, they add a few more levels back in.

Minecraft
Although it may not have visually appealing graphics, but this game can get you hooked even before you know it. The best feature of this game is that it gives players the opportunity to explore, build, and get in touch with their creative side. It doesn’t have a set of goals that players need to achieve, but rather all they are expected to do is survive. It has a twenty-minute night and day cycle. The player may come across non-violent animals that can be hunted for food and material. Usually during nighttime or in a dark place, the player might come across hostile mobs. All the player needs to do is survive.

World Of Warcraft
A world where you get to don cool avatars with different armors and skills, where you can go on quests and slay monsters―sounds intriguing right?! Well, this pretty much sums it up. This a MMORPG that allows its players to interact with other players and non-playing characters and join guilds or groups of other players. With every quest, players can achieve various skills, experiences, and game money for themselves. The best feature of this game is that each quest is related to the previous quests, thus enhancing the gaming experience.

Super Mario
Good things never need to change, this game definitely epitomizes this. The game is set in the Mushroom Kingdom, the sole objective of this game is simple, rescue Princess Peach overcoming all the obstacles that one may encounter. Once you reach the fortress at the end of the game; you win. This game consists of eight worlds with four sub-levels each. This game has been popular for over thirty years, many different versions from racing to sports have been created just to hold on to the interest of the players. The simplicity and the easy to understand gameplay is one the reasons for the prolonged popularity of this game.

Grand Theft Auto Series
As controversial as it may have been, this game definitely gets your adrenaline pumping. The gameplay usually allows the player freely roam through the game on his/her own accord. The player get to choose his own missions that make up the whole story. With engaging activities like racing, action, stealth, shooting at people, and the occasional role-playing, this game has gained huge popularity. However, the content and nature of the game has received a lot of criticism.

The Sims
Who wouldn’t love a game where you get to play God―this games lets you do just that. What’s appealing about this game is that it doesn’t give its players any specific goal to achieve. The player gets to create people (virtual of course!) called Sims and control their feelings and desires, place them in houses, and create stories for them. The best part about this game is that it leaves everything to the imagination of the players, while the game itself acts as a platform to the player to express himself of herself.

Okay folks, so here some of the most addictive video games that you must enjoy with some caution because once you’re hooked there is no turning back!