Pokemon Go and the Future of AR Gaming

So I was heavily into Pokemon GO like so many when came out a few weeks ago but this kind of tapered off a little as the distraction was taking time away from doing blogging and product reviews after hours.  Though I did enjoy clocking the 40KM of walking in 6 days which is way above my normal run/jogging distances for such a short time frame.  I have seen all of the media frenzy around Nintendo stock skyrocketing and then plummeting as people realize that Nintendo doesn’t make the game (never did, don’t even have a logo on it) and only a small share of the profits go to Nintendo from microtransactions.  The frenzy however behind the game has fueled everything from conspiracies (government agencies using it to track and catch people) to agencies or companies wanting to turn Pokemon GO players into Sheeple.

In truth, Augmented Reality games are on the verge of breaking out along with Virtual Reality games, this one just happened to hit on the niche of that explosion of interest.  It is likely to be that AR is going to come out and be a big hit with casual players like the Nintendo Wii was and then after a few years the market may become so saturated with AR games that the buzz and hype just die down.  One thing I did appreciate about Pokemon GO and see potential for is that there is a real desire for casual gamers (especially on mobile devices) to congregate and connect in person.  People are social creatures and sometimes just socializing online on chats isn’t enough to really bring that closeness.  This is why I personally have always loved couch co-op play where a split screen side by side with 4 people where you can be in the moment instead of just hearing someone.  Being able to share a drink, pizza and just game together in person harks back to my days playing Dungeons and Dragons and the connection of friends playing together in person is lacking in the online MMO space in my opinion still.  This is one reason why I don’t like consoles reducing the number of co-op gaming forcing online only copies, and I miss the days where all PC games had local co-op or LAN Play modes where you only needed to connect the PC’s on your local network to get friends over for a LAN Party.  Warcraft 3 was the last such game where I had engaged in local LAN parties and there were some great times.

So Virtual Reality gaming with headsets like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and such will create more immersive virtual worlds where people are still at home gaming and only connecting in the virtual/digital space.  However, AR is where I believe the interaction with real people and the real world begin to blur and getting people together to meet up and play an activity in person yet augmented in some way can be amazing.  Imagine if Pokemon GO were played on something like Google Glasses where you see them in front of you at all times while you are chatting with friends and you can all point and go chasing them together in a park, simply tossing your arm or pretending to or actually throwing a softball to catch them.  The one thing I don’t like is having to hold the phone up in front of my eyes to augment the reality around me, once we have the display moved into thin glasses that are comfortable and virtually indistinguisable from regular glasses we will usher an era into new interactive environments.  Of course the catch is the era of distraction, ensuring that people’s tendency to multi-task and get distracted pull them away from properly driving, or even walking across roads in many cases.  Can we learn to have limits, or have technology that is aware enough to put a pause when an unsafe situation is encountered?

I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to visit our Facebook Page and share your thoughts on AR and where you think it will be headed, good, bad or just stupid?

Pokebracelet

The Killer SEO Checklist [INFOGRAPHIC]

SEO can be a brutally complicated thing to understand if you are just getting involved in working with online properties or CMS systems.  For WordPress bloggers many who just start out have no thought put into how to optimize their content to maximize the chances their content will be found on Google Search and other Search Engines.  This little (understatement) SEO Checklist does a great job showing 75+ steps involved in helping optimize your content for SEO.

For the uninitiated

  • SEO = Search Engine Optimization
  • SERP = Search Engine Results Page

Killer SEO Checklist [Infographic] by the team at Capsicum Mediaworks, LLP

Killer SEO Checklist

You can read full article here.

T-Shirts and Art on Mountain of Strength

One thing I love doing is showcasing artwork and this is especially true of Fantasy/Sci-Fi art that I run across in doing my normal product reviews.  So recently  I was contacted by an artist named Aaron Hover who provides artwork services as well as sells some of his artwork over at MountainofStrength.net and I asked him to send me some examples of his work and I would be happy to share it with my friends and fans.

Well, Aaron provided me with a few T-Shirts, one for my oldest son and one for myself.  Which I will showcase below, but more than just selling some artwork on his store which includes T-Shirts, Posters, Pillows, Mugs, phone cases…etc.

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So my son received the Let’s Get Kraken T-shirt Blue, and I received the Little Dragon 2 T-Shirt Red.  I have to tell you that not only is the artwork fun and creative, the T-Shirt material is incredibly soft and comfortable so whichever T-Shirt supplier he is using behind the scenes make comfortable T-Shirts.

dragonkrakenshirts

I bought my son some Jinx T-Shirts for World of Warcraft and he says these shirts from Mountain of Strength are more comfortable and prefers them.

But it isn’t just Aaron’s store I wanted to showcase, you can actually hire Aaron to do artwork, graphics design or illustrations for any project you have and this can be for things like Book Cover illustrations, Game Design, Board Game or Trading Card artwork and more.  I have wished I had artistic talent and you really should check out some of his portfolio work if you want to see the types of images, design and artwork he comes up with.

 

Honestly, I was impressed with all the illustrations by Aaron Hover and I encourage you to take a look at his stuff over at Mountain of Strength.

You can also Follow Mountain of Strength on Facebook and Twitter.

A Gaming Dad’s Sunday

Sunday was a rather interesting one and started with a long drive back from Ensenada, Mexico where my wife and I spent our 20th Anniversary of the day we met together celebrating.  We left at 2:30am to arrive at the border by 5am’ish and crossed into US and was back home in Encinitas by 6am.  Lack of sleep didn’t stop me, and Sunday turned into an epic gaming day with the boys.

Some Fallout 4 Far Harbor Play

In between doing laundry, and grocery shopping since my wife was feeling a bit ill.  I kicked off the day Live Streaming Fallout 4 Far Harbor, then my son and I dove into The Elder Scrolls Online for about 3 hours together, while my other son and I went on to play Uncharted 4 for about an hour and a half before we all culminated in some PS4 Sports Friends gameplay to cap off the evening.

Some Uncharted 4 Play

A spectacular gaming Sunday in where it was spread across 4 games, and I am looking forward to a Memorial Gaming Weekend with Overwatch releasing today, and finishing Far Harbor and more of Uncharted 4.  Gaming Times, Gaming Times.

The Blogging Conundrum and Shutting Down 4 Sites

I am one who always loves having pet projects and this has lead me at one point to have over 7 blogs simultaneously running and trying to keep up producing content and information and experimenting in growing in different niches and areas.  Unfortunately this left me scattered and not able to be dedicated and focused too much on my smaller sites and many had gone idle over the past year and a half.  This combined with my work becoming more complex and needing more hours and time, I realized that I had lost my favorite activities “gaming time” by being consumed keeping up with all my sites.  This mean’t my gaming hours were whittled down to less per week than I have fingers on one hand.

This also mean’t I was paying hosting fees for several providers many for sites I as producing 1 post per month on as of late.  As a result I have made a very heavy decision to discontinue and shut down many of my sites, sites that I knew would not be sellable as there was no income model they were more for fun and just experiments.

This included Wanderer Thoughts Poetry which was one of my creative poetry outlets as a blog, though I used an excellent plugin to convert all my poems into Word documents and will be using them to flush out the next series of Kindle Books which I already had 2 published, I can turn those poems into the other series of Kindle Books, so those aren’t lost.  Though I do miss doing the Random Twitter Poetry game, I had no time to do it anymore and contributions became so infrequent even when making calls I wasn’t getting the engagement in previous years.

The Chefs Cookbook was a culinary blog originally started by my wife who went a different direction with her career and didn’t want to continue it, I maintained it because it still had 500-1500 views per month and had some active interest, but it gradually whittled away as I am not a cook, I can’t really create my own content easily and the guest posting content provided wasn’t sustaining it.  It wasn’t really a sellable property other than the domain name, because much of my wife’s original content and personally created content made up the site which we didn’t want to be sold.

WPCypher was a dedicated WordPress, Web Development and Internet blog where I had originally was shifting WordPress, Blogging, Code and Plugin reviews off of DragonBlogger.com to this site, but I wasn’t able to keep active and produce enough content to justify keeping it operational so I ported over some choice content that did well to Dragonblogger and shut the site down.

GiveawayContests also was a site that was good in theory but unneeded, which was meant to simply be a consolidation of giveaways and sweepstakes found online, instead I was able to accomplish just as much with dlvr.it feeds to the Facebook fanpage and just retire the WordPress site itself.  The reason is giveaways have such a short duration of validity and having a site that just has thousands of expired giveaway posts is simply a waste of a database, so to me something like this was better to run as only a social media channel where posts are short lived, and you have limited time to view/enter without any need to keep track of expired giveaways in outdated posts that just waste space on the Internet.

Now this site, JustinGermino.com is one I struggled with deciding what to do with.  I considered shutting it down but obviously I would never let my own name DNS name be released, and just park it, it doesn’t generate much traffic or income, but I do get enough requests for local product reviews or servicers (more when I lived in AZ since moving to CA) and since this site is all about me and my own thoughts, decided to basically merge anything I would put on Wanderer Thoughts Going forward into this site as my personal blog.  So this site will remain my only other site that I maintain besides Dragonblogger.com for the foreseeable future.