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  1. Yep. Anyone who's tried a Go for an extended period of time is going to be worried about that strap!
  2. VR pundits are notoriously over enthusiastic I find. So the problems raised by the AT review are worth keeping an eye on: heavier controllers with poorer tracking, shorter battery life and a rubbish default strap are concerns. The latter two are addressed by accessories, but then the low price starts to become less attractive. I suspect that the core hardware - resolution and processor - will be enough to make it worthwhile, but I'm getting a whiff of interim hardware revision in 6 months.
  3. Perhaps there are alternatives in the pipeline, but this really limits (as in fucks over) the potential for using Oculus VR in learning environments. That includes VR development courses but also potentially any use of Oculus headsets in school or learning settings. Facebook integration is just a flat no policy-wise in a lot of these environments. It's purposefully exciting a growth market and I find it baffling.
  4. I have a particular soft spot for games where navigating/understanding/battling the UI is a core part of the game, so I liked Observation a lot. But the bit you've mentioned there really should have been caught in testing, the internet is full of people giving up thanks to those bloody clamps or whatever they are.
  5. I'm guessing 343 will have access to the xcloud infrastructure for this, but even then, it's risky. Studios often aren't keen on letting games out of their onsite test labs for fear of leaks: even though NDAs generally aren't worth much whether they apply in the lab or at home, I think there's an assumption that they can impress the downsides of leaking more effectively when onsite. Of course, it's much easier for players to leak get images or footage from remote testing, too. There are watermarking methods (they used interesting ones for Flight Sim recently) but users can presumably just blur or crop the image a bit.
  6. My main point of contact with game development is playtesting, and in cases where it's possible to do safely and with confidentiality, it's much slower than it was pre-covid (with some exceptions: remote unmoderated testing is an easier option, and there are solutions for mobile platforms).
  7. I think you were right! I've put 9L or so into a mini pressure keg and the rest in bottles about a week ago, and tried a bit from the keg last night. It's already pretty great!
  8. Me too! Malt Miller sell recipe kits for a 20L batch of it here: https://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/product/tiny-rebel-urban-ipa-jon-finch/ That seems to be taken from Jon Finch's book, which has a whole Tiny Rebel section!
  9. I've attempted my first all grain brew: just about to bottle an IPA made to a Tiny Rebel recipe. And holy cow I think I've fucked it up royally. I know bottle conditioning can fix a lot of ills, but giving it a taste after 12 days in the fermenter, it's overly bitter and a bit soapy. I have a horrid feeling I didn't get the temperature down quick enough! Ah well, into the bottles it'll go, and let's see.
  10. Yep, exactly this. The research - and conversation around games in general - needs to have a better understanding of the types of benefit: the shared-experience type socialising you've described here, the online socialising that's going to become more prevalent as the world changes, direct learning (eg maths skills, learning facts), indirect learning (creative skills from Minecraft, problem solving, etc), relaxation and mood benefits, etc. The Speedball 2 case is probably crucial as well! Frustration and anger as a negative outcome. Should we shield younger players from those? Obviously they're a core part of the Fortnite experience and I think that's where a lot of parents' worry about it comes from.
  11. So a couple of things here: with my interests coming from working in health and cognitive psych, and more recently working as a UX researcher in games. I've recently done some work that was focused on kids gaming activities during lockdown. If I had to comment on the general body of research on screen time, I'd say two main things: the negative effects they are showing are small (and I mean that formally - as in, the effect sizes are small. Way too much focus on showing significance at the moment without considering the practical impact, but that's early days research for you), and the quality of the body of research itself is low (I don't mean that as a slight: again, it's partly a result of an immature research field. Not enough studies, poor replicability, little ability to generalise, few good systematic reviews and meta-analyses) Here's the other thing with the research, from talking to researchers and attending conferences: too many of them have low digital literacy themselves. They barely differentiate between using devices to do different activities - watching videos vs playing games for example - and certainly are not at the level of differentiating between the nuances of various games. If I asked you 'are games good for you' - you'd ask "which games?" The same questions should be applied to screen time. When Times Table Rockstars and PUBG are both falling under the same metric, something is going very wrong. But again, all understandable. Researchers - psychologists especially - need simple metrics to start out with, and a screen time is easy to obtain on a mass scale. As time goes on, I think the direction of travel is that we will begin to tease it out: we will break down and classify device activities better. And we will begin to address covariates, moderators and mediators, which are just barely addressed in the current research. Eg: household income - this impacts access to devices but also then impacts access to quality of apps and games available. With less money available for purchases children are shuttled towards FTP games, which are often a mess of dark patterns, microtransactions, pushy notifications, and terrible ethical practices overall. There are issues around underlying conditions - some studies do not even account for increased device use in children with limited mobility, which could be enough to create the very modest effects shown. Attention also: be wary of blaming attention issues on prior use of screen time, when even the most negative of studies have not been willing to establish causality/direction of cause here. The evidence is extremely weak on attention, cognition , etc. And lots of other similar issues. The other big consideration that I think changes the screen time debate is relative risk. How much more risky is greater screen time than other activities? One comparison I saw was that it's about as increased a risk as having a diet that included potatoes. Although any nuanced discussion of relative risk needs to look at the combined risk of eating potatoes AND screen time, of course.. but the message is that screen time (and games) are best managed as part of an overall pattern of risk and behaviour, with no good evidence that it has a worse impact on children's lives than many of the other behaviours we encourage without even thinking about it. We have to look at how things like Fortnite and Roblox have been used in the last few months: for some children they've been their main channel for socialising with their friends. But anyway, to get off the academic stuff, many of the parents I spoke to were coming around to the view that if they could find apps and software that they felt confident about, they would probably lift screen time restrictions. This is a good direction to move in I think: things like Osmo and the Namco-Bandai one (have forgotten the name) are learning tools that children view as primarily enjoyable games, and that's great. More digital literacy in parents, in educators, in researchers will be what helps them to make better choices and guidance about what devices and apps children use.
  12. Thanks! I went for the path of least resistance with an RG350. Looking forward to getting it!
  13. I'm taking myself in circles here: I'd like a small, comfy little handheld to play pre-ps1 era games. But whenever I find one that seems about right I spot some drawback - tiny battery, terrible d-pad, etc. (And then end up looking at more expensive ones that pack more power then I might need) Is there any any one device that's well regarded for 16-bit and earlier and not too expensive?
  14. Just popping in if that's okay! Will leave a little something-something behind Nook's..
  15. This is even better considering it appears to be happening at Terminator Leia and Tricolour's Space Wedding, replete with stormtrooper ushers and a floating Space Vicar with no legs
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