Author Topic: GAMERS THREAD  (Read 232203 times)

Offline Emperorjones

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Offline Battle

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« Reply #1036 on: December 03, 2019, 04:15:19 pm »

This is a significant article considering that Sony beat Nintendo's sales record despite Nintendo's dominance in the 'console wars'.

Microsoft was nothing more than a faithless follower of the two.  :)

Offline Battle

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« Reply #1037 on: December 04, 2019, 01:38:03 am »
Wednesday, 4th December 2019
Riot Games will pay $10 million to settle gender discrimination suit
by Sam Dean

Riot Games agreed to pay out at least $10 million to women who worked at the company in the last five years as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit over alleged gender discrimination, according to court documents filed Monday.

The suit began in November 2018 when two women who had worked at the Los Angeles game studio, which makes the popular “League of Legends” game and is owned by the Chinese technology giant Tencent, sued over violations of the California Equal Pay act, alleging that they were routinely subjected to sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

The newly filed documents reveal the details of the settlement, which was announced in August, for the first time.

The approximately 1,000 women who worked at Riot Games from November 2014 until the date the settlement is finalized will be entitled to a payment from the multimillion-dollar pot.

The final dollar amount that each employee who self-identifies as female receives will vary depending on how long they worked for Riot, with full employees receiving more than contractors.

Asked about the settlement, a Riot spokesperson said in a statement:

“We’re pleased to have a proposed settlement to fully resolve the class action lawsuit. The settlement is another important step forward, and demonstrates our commitment to living up to our values and to making Riot an inclusive environment for the industry’s best talent.”

The company has approximately 2,500 employees at offices around the world and brought in an estimated $1.4 billion in revenue in 2018.

The settlement filing also lays out a number of commitments Riot has made to improve its company culture, including beefing up internal programs for reporting sexual harassment and discrimination.

They include undertaking a review of all pay, promotion and hiring practices to increase fairness and transparency, hiring a dedicated chief diversity officer, and creating a number of employee groups empowered to track the company’s progress on these fronts.

Both the plaintiffs and Riot have agreed to the preliminary settlement, but it still needs to be approved by the court.

The lawsuit was filed in the wake of a dramatic series of exposés, beginning with an article from the games website Kotaku, in which current and former employees described a workplace rife with sexist behavior.

"I'll Sue!"

The suit laid out allegations that Riot fostered a “men-first” “bro culture,” where harassment and inappropriate behavior such as “crotch-grabbing, phantom humping, and sending unsolicited and unwelcome pictures of male genitalia” and managers circulating a “hot girl list,” ranking female employees by attractiveness, went unchecked.

The suit also alleged that outspoken female employees faced retaliation from Riot, including “denied promotions, refusals to provide increased compensation or equal pay, demotions, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, losses of benefits, suspensions, terminations, and other adverse employment actions.”

Two employees also filed individual wrongful termination and sexual harassment suits against the company.

In response to the scandal, Riot committed to a series of internal initiatives to add more women to its leadership, close wage gaps, and change its company culture.

"I'll Sue!"

But in the spring of 2019, the legal battles spilled out of the courtroom and onto Riot’s West L.A. corporate campus after Riot tried to force the two individual cases into arbitration.

In response, employees organized a walkout.

The walkout marked the first mass worker action of its kind in the video game industry.

Organizers said that it was inspired by the massive Google walkout of November 2018, which was also staged partly as a protest against the tech giant’s use of forced arbitration.

The practice, which denies employees suing their employer a full trial by moving the dispute to an arbitration process that critics say often favors the company, has faced mounting opposition in the last year.

After the Google walkout, the company agreed to do away with forced arbitration entirely.
Fakebook partly followed suit, saying it would stop the practice for sexual harassment cases.

In October, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new bill making it illegal for companies to require employees hired after Jan. 1, 2020, to sign an arbitration agreement.

Riot Games, for its part, refused to give in to the demands of its employees after the walkout in May, though it did pledge to allow new hires the option to waive the forced arbitration clause for sexual harassment and assault

“once current litigation was resolved.”

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Offline Emperorjones

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Offline Battle

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« Reply #1039 on: December 08, 2019, 12:34:21 pm »

Sunday, 8th December 2019
Three Queens to Rule Them All: South Side Chicago School Crowned State Chess Champs
by Anne Branigin

Ten years ago, St. Ethelreda, a majority-black co-ed Catholic school on Chicago’s South Side, was close to being shuttered due to low enrollment.

Now, the school is sitting on top, thanks to the performance of three chess champions.

Shakira Luster, Trechelle Williams, and Imani Hall were greeted with raucous cheers from their fellow students this week as they walked down the hall with their hard-earned trophies.

The three girls each placed in the top 10 of the state tournament last month, securing St. Ethelreda’s place as the top chess team in Illinois, reports ABC 7 Chicago.

“Chess, all chess. No running, no nothing—[just] sitting down, looking at a board, figuring out what’s the best move,” Imani told reporters about her vigorous training regiment (wearing a crown, no less!).

“We always thought we were the best chess team, but now that we have the trophy, it’s proved,” said Trechelle.

Their coach, Eric Luster, and principal Dr. Denise Spells credited the community with rallying behind the team—and the school.

Spells told ABC 7,

“It’s what you do in school to build the community—a community of family, a community of love, a community of students who believe they can conquer the world if they set their minds to it.”

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Offline Battle

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« Reply #1040 on: December 22, 2019, 12:35:02 pm »
Sunday, 22nd December 2019

Poking a lil' fun with one of my all-time favorite video games and one of my favorite politicians on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

Jenova the Ranger is a female Elf member of the affluent Rampart and, some players may argue, one of the most powerful towns next to the mysterious & near invincible Necropolis in the classic computer strategy game series, Heroes of Might & Magic 3.

Jenova's portrait bears a striking resemblance to Representative Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez also known as Representative AOC.

Much like the video game character in Heroes of Might & Magic 3, Representative AOC can fundraise for the causes she most believes in such as The Green New Deal for a more Just Society.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 03:47:57 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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« Reply #1041 on: January 11, 2020, 01:58:56 pm »
Anyone ever see Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson play against Grandmaster Gary Kasparov in an exhibition game of chess?

« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 08:48:29 am by Battle »

Offline Emperorjones

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« Reply #1042 on: January 16, 2020, 03:55:57 pm »

Offline Battle

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« Reply #1043 on: January 20, 2020, 01:25:59 am »
Monday, 20th January 2020 (originally published Friday, 15th February 2019)
The Story Of The American Classic Arcade Museum
by Gary Waleik

When Gary Vincent was a kid, he and his family spent their summers in Laconia, New Hampshire.

There, on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, visitors camp, hike and swim.

But Vincent was often found at a 70,000-square-foot indoor entertainment center called Fun Spot.

He liked to play the arcade games he couldn’t find back home in Connecticut.

Crazy Climber and Alpine Ski," Vincent says.

"Alpine Ski never really caught on with a lot of people, but I got pretty good at it."

In the summer of 1981, Vincent had just graduated high school.

He took a fill-in job as a floor attendant at Fun Spot.

He helped customers whose tokens jammed in pinball machines.

He handed out prizes at the counter near the row of Skee-Ball games.

The job was supposed to last three weeks.

"Thirty-seven years later, I’m still here," he says.

After a brief stint in college, Vincent took a managerial job at Fun Spot.

He didn’t enjoy that very much.

But business boomed.

It was the golden age of the arcade, when customers put their tokens down and waited in long lines for a shot at games like 'Pac-Man', 'Donkey Kong' and 'Frogger'.

But it didn’t last.

"1983, 1984, is the era when the crash occurred," Vincent says.

Affordable home entertainment systems like Intellivision and Atari offered arcade-quality graphics and game play. "That's not accurate."

The big, bulky stand-up consoles were no longer in demand.

People stopped showing up.

"Anywhere from 75 to 80 to 90 percent of arcades closed in a very short period of time," Vincent says.

Thousands of Zaxxon, Galaga, Asteroids and other console games ended up in dumps.

But Fun Spot survived.

It had a bowling alley, kids' rides and lots of other attractions.

It had ample space to store its big console games — and Vincent had learned to repair and maintain them.

Then, in the early 1990s, Vincent noticed something funny happening when visitors showed up.

"They would see a Defender on the floor, or a Pac-Man, and say, ‘Wow, they used to have one of these at the pizza place in town, but they took it out. So, I’m so happy you have a few of these games left,’ " Vincent recalls.

That got visitors asking about other games they remembered.

Vincent saw an opportunity.

"September of 1998 was when I approached the owners at Fun Spot and said, ‘I wanna start a museum.’ " 

They said yes.

The IRS granted non-profit status, and the American Classic Arcade Museum was born.

Gary Vincent was the curator.

At first, he had his doubts.

"Where are we going to go with this?"

Vincent remembers asking himself.

"Is anyone going to like it? Will there be any interest?"

Undeterred, Vincent got to work.

The classic games Fun Spot already owned were scattered throughout the massive building.

So he shepherded them into their own dedicated 7,000-square-foot room.

Then he worked on the atmosphere.

"The room is darker than any of the other rooms that are in the building," Vincent says.

It's louder, too. Vincent installed speakers in the ceiling that pump in 1970s and 1980s music.
But Vincent wanted new — or, rather, old — games to add to the existing collection.

He visited trade shows and networked with game enthusiasts.

Sometimes, the games found him.

"Some person will come in and say, ‘Hey, I’m cleaning out the garage. My wife says “Throw ‘em out!” ’ I say, 'Well, don’t throw ‘em out. I’ll take ‘em.' "

He found games at yard sales and on eBay.

They were in various stages of working order, so Vincent bought old control panels, marquees and industry-standard 19-inch screens.

While juggling his other responsibilities at Fun Spot, he found time to hole up in his massive workshop to repair and reconstruct games.

"And I’ll sit on a cabinet for 10 – 15 years trying to find the rest of pieces to put it back together," Vincent says.

"And that is always very exciting to me. I don’t know why. Most people probably think I’m nuts. But that is what I enjoy."

ACAM now features over 250 classics from the golden age of the arcade game.

It’s the largest collection in the world. And visitors can play them all.

But there was one game in particular that Vincent had his eye on.

"I had always wanted a Death Race," he says.

"And they were hard to find, because in 1976, when the game came out, it was very controversial."

In Death Race, the player tries to drive a primitive-looking, black-and-white car over pedestrians ...
who scream when they die.

"By today’s standards, it would be, ‘Oh, it’s just a game where you run over these stick figures,’ " Vincent says.

"But, back then, it was, ‘Oh! It’s violent.’

So a lot of them were pulled from arcades and destroyed."

Very few Death Race consoles survived.

But one day, Vincent saw one listed on eBay.

It was the only one he’d ever seen with yellow and black graphics on the cabinet.

So he bought it.

He was thrilled.

Weeks later, the game arrived.

"All wrapped in plastic," he remembers.

"And we’re cutting all the plastic away, and then you get that whiff — mold, mildew, damp dirt floor cellar smell. And it just became more overpowering as we cut more of the plastic off. And the smell was horrible."

The fiberboard used on most arcade game cabinets is porous.

It picks up odors if stored in areas with moisture.

"And animals," Vincent adds.

"Big problem. A video game is basically a gigantic mouse condominium. So now I’m starting to think that I have this $1,500 boat anchor. And I moved the whole mess up into the shop, wrapped it in a tarp — and it sat there for a year and a half."

"And then one day, I had some time, and I said, ‘You know what? It’s now or never.’ "

Vincent decided to rebuild the cabinet from scratch.

"I posted on one of the game forums what I was doing. So one guy in Florida says, ‘Well, I can scan the artwork for you.’ In the meantime, another gentleman out in Oregon said, ‘I do silk screening. I can make the screens.’ So he flew in and spent a day in my shop with me putting silk-screened artwork back on that game."

Vincent placed the fully-restored Death Race on the ACAM floor.

I’ve played it, and it doesn’t smell anymore.

It’s one of the museum’s many gems, including a 1973 version of Pong and Computer Space — the first commercially-available video game — released all the way back in 1970.

These days, ACAM is an educational resource for enthusiasts of all sorts, including game club members and students from New England colleges.

On my first visit to ACAM, I watched as 200 game design majors from Champlain College arrived on a field trip.

They stormed ACAM’s aisles like a swarm of aliens from 'Space Invaders'.

"And I always enjoy watching that," Vincent says.

"They’ve grown up in an era with amazing graphics, sound — put on the headphones, and you’re in another world. These games are so old. They are playing games that were made before they were born."

"Always brings a big smile to my face when you see parents teaching their kids how to play the games they played when they were younger — ‘Here, let me show you, because I was really good at this!’ "

On that first visit to ACAM, I was there with my wife and our son, Daniel.

He’s one of those Game Design majors from Champlain College.

We located some of the games my wife and I played together in our college student union; 'Dig Dug', 'Centipede', 'Millipede' and 'Q*bert'.

My son watched over my shoulder as I guided the cute fuzzy orange Q*bert away from the bouncing purple snake with the nasty looking fangs.

And I realized something: Daniel is exactly the same age I was when I began playing these games with his mom.

I cleared Level 3 and leaned in closer to the screen.

I couldn’t see too well.

There was something in my eye. :)

Offline Battle

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« Reply #1044 on: January 24, 2020, 11:56:23 am »
Friday, 24th January 2020
Ju Wenjun Retains Her Title!

2020 Women's World Chess Champion, Chinese GM Ju Wenjun retains her title after beating the challenger Russian GM Aleksandra Goryachkina in the third tie break game!