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Opinion Pieces

Oculus Rift and the Impact on Online Gaming



Early in 2016 we will finally find out if the science fiction writers and moviemakers were right or missed the mark completely, or at least if Oculus Rift, the Virtual Reality (VR) device lives up to the hype.

VR has been a favorite topic of science fiction writers for decades. Phillip K. Dick used VR in several of his books and novellas, as did Orson Scott Card and JD Robb. Scholars also looked at VR and gaming in books like Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Technology of Computer-Generated Artificial Worlds-And How It Promises to Transform Society by Howard Rheingold.

In the 1990s, moviemakers were particularly fond of including VR in the story, with The Matrix, Virtuosity, and Total Recall. The world of VR even became a part of James Bond’s arsenal.

It is interesting to note that VR is not universally seen as a good thing. To some, VR is a harmless escape that allows the ever-present VR helmet wearer to explore, play games, or visit with imaginary girlfriends. To others, VR represents a fall into the rabbit hole of mayhem and disassociation from real life – a concept that was brilliantly satirized in a South Park episode.

The March Toward VR

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The keyword for video game play for over a decade has been “realism,” which is where the role and acceptance of Oculus Rift will be interesting to note.

Realism in video games has long been tied to the game’s graphics. As computing power and graphic capabilities have grown, especially on mobile devices, the increased “realism” has been a part of the marketing.

In 1997, Final Fantasy VII was considered one of the most graphically realistic games ever made and prompted one critic to write, “squint a little and you could almost swear you’re watching real, live actors …There are scenes … that rival anything you’ve ever seen in a feature film for scope, detail, and emotional impact. You will be amazed.”

While Final Fantasy and its contemporaries like Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hills remain icons in gaming, their graphic realism has been eclipsed many times over by games like Project Cars, Destiny and Mirror’s Edge 2.

However, graphic realism does not equal user satisfaction. Destiny was the most expensive video game ever released and utilized true state of the art graphics. Yet the main criticism from players and critics was that the game was unrealistic.

Some games have thrived by utilizing the increased graphics power along with increased computing power to deliver realistic play in a more real world setting.

Sports Games

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Sports simulations, a field dominated by EA, is a perfect example. Realism is of vital importance in sports games as players desire the ability to develop complex strategies and to compete in real world conditions. Madden remains one of the most popular sport simulations of all time. While the graphics are indeed stunning, it is the combination of the game’s use of real world statistics and a player’s use of strategy and tactics that make the release of each edition a much-anticipated event.

In the fast growing casino sector, the approach has been different. For example, PokerStars’ Casino recently launched live dealer games. Instead of a “realistic” looking casino experience, the game harnesses today’s processing and graphics power to take the player into a real casino. Players interact with a real dealer via chat box which addresses them live, and they use a heads-up display to carry out real-time live game decisions. Players hear and see the other tables in the studio casino as well.

Oculus Rift and Video Game Reality

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Many games have attempted to address video game realism in a variety of ways. Fable II and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas avatars change based on how much food a player eats or which muscles the players use. Metal Gear Solid 3 addresses the ubiquitous health regeneration aspects by requiring players to treat wounds one step at a time, rather than simply run over a medical kit. Day Z addresses the issue in a more drastic and realistic manner; when you die, you are dead, forever.

Oculus Rift Cannot Address Other Realities of Game Play

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Games have definite boundaries. Regardless of the graphic power, the world of a video game today is just as limited as the world in the original Duke Nukem; there are places players cannot go simply because they don’t exist in the program.

While characters will look and sound realistic, the verbal exchanges shatter the realistic image. There is no way to incorporate the whole of human conversation into a game while advancing a plot and maintaining the playability of the game.

If game designers could manage to incorporate an artificial intelligence such as Silvia and the graphic realism of Oculus Rift, it would represent a major step in achieving true VR. Oculus Rift will have a major impact on game design and savvy game designers will look to fully utilize the new opportunity. However, after decades of being told how amazing the VR world would be, will gamers be satisfied with anything short of the holodeck on the Enterprise?

Opinion Pieces

How can you determine the realistic value of your property?



As a homeowner in the UK, determining the realistic value of your property is a critical step whether you plan to sell, refinance, or are merely curious about its current market worth. The UK property market is dynamic, influenced by various factors that can make it challenging to accurately assess the value of your home. However, seeking the expertise of an estate agent and obtaining a free property valuation can provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about your property. In this article, we will explore effective strategies, with input from UK estate agents, that can assist you in determining the realistic value of your property.

  1. Engage a Reputable Estate Agent

One of the most reliable ways to determine the realistic value of your property is by enlisting the services of a reputable estate agent. Estate agents possess in-depth knowledge of the local property market and have access to data on recent property sales and market trends. By conducting a thorough property valuation, estate agents can provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your property’s worth, considering factors such as location, size, condition, and comparable properties in the area. Moreover, estate agents can offer expert advice on how to maximize the value of your property before putting it on the market.

  1. Research Recent Comparable Sales

In addition to consulting an estate agent, conducting your research on recent comparable sales in your neighborhood is essential. Look for properties with similar characteristics to yours, such as size, layout, and condition, that have been sold recently. Analyzing the sale prices of these comparable properties can give you a good indication of the current market value of your home.

  1. Utilize Online Property Valuation Tools

Various online property valuation tools are available that can provide you with a preliminary estimate of your property’s value. While these tools can be helpful as a starting point, they may not consider all the nuances that an estate agent would when conducting an in-depth valuation. Therefore, use them with caution and as a supplementary resource to the valuation provided by an estate agent.

  1. Consider Property Improvements and Upgrades

Take into account any improvements or upgrades you have made to your property over the years. Renovations, modernized fittings, and energy-efficient installations can significantly enhance the value of your home. Be sure to mention these upgrades during the property valuation process, as they can positively impact the final valuation.

  1. Evaluate the Local Property Market

The state of the local property market is a crucial factor in determining the value of your property. Keep abreast of property market reports and trends in your area. Factors such as supply and demand, economic conditions, and government policies can all influence property prices.

  1. Factor in Location and Amenities

Location plays a pivotal role in property valuation. Consider the proximity of your property to schools, parks, public transportation, shopping centers, and other essential amenities. Properties located in desirable areas with access to various amenities tend to command higher values.

  1. Analyze Current Market Conditions

The current market conditions, whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, can significantly impact property values. In a buyer’s market, where demand is low, properties may take longer to sell, and prices may be more negotiable. Conversely, in a seller’s market with high demand and limited inventory, properties can attract higher values.

  1. Take into Account Unique Features

If your property boasts unique features or characteristics that set it apart from others in the area, ensure they are considered during the valuation. Special features, such as a garden, a view, or historical significance, can add significant value to your property.


Determining the realistic value of your property in the UK is a multifaceted process that requires careful consideration of various factors. Seeking the expertise of a reputable estate agent and obtaining a free property valuation are fundamental steps to obtaining an accurate assessment. Additionally, conducting your research on recent comparable sales, considering property improvements, evaluating the local property market, and factoring in location and amenities all contribute to a comprehensive property valuation. By combining these strategies, you can gain a better understanding of your property’s worth and make informed decisions regarding its future.

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Opinion Pieces

How Does The Size And Weight Of Furniture Affect Its Packaging?



Furniture packaging is crucial in ensuring its safe transportation from the manufacturer to the customer’s doorstep. The size and weight of furniture significantly impact the packaging process and the materials used to protect the item during transit. In this article, we will explore how the size and weight of furniture affect its packaging.

Size Considerations

Dimensional Constraints

The size of the furniture is a critical factor in determining the packaging design. Large furniture pieces, such as sofas, beds, or dining tables, may require custom packaging to accommodate their dimensions. The packaging must be designed to fit the furniture snugly without excessive empty spaces to prevent movement and potential damage during transit. Custom packaging helps ensure the furniture remains securely in place throughout its journey.

Disassembly Options

For furniture with substantial dimensions, disassembly options are often provided. This allows the furniture to be packed in smaller, more manageable components. Disassembling the furniture reduces the overall size, making it easier to package and transport. Manufacturers may include detailed instructions and necessary tools in the packaging to assist customers in reassembling the furniture at its destination.

Compactness and Efficiency

The size of furniture can also impact the efficiency of packaging. Manufacturers strive to optimize the packaging design to minimize wasted space and maximize efficiency. This can involve nesting smaller components within larger ones or utilizing modular packaging techniques for furniture in multiple pieces or sections. By ensuring the packaging is compact and efficient, manufacturers can reduce shipping costs and minimize the environmental impact of packaging materials. Find out the Article furniture packaging and how to choose the best furniture for you. 


Weight Considerations

Structural Integrity

The weight of furniture is a crucial factor in determining the level of structural integrity required in its packaging. Heavier furniture items, such as solid wood tables or large cabinets, require robust packaging materials to withstand weight and prevent breakage or deformation. Reinforced cardboard, thick foam inserts, and additional support structures commonly provide strength and stability.

Handling and Transportation

The weight of furniture also impacts the logistics and handling process during transportation. Heavy furniture may require specialized handling equipment, such as forklifts or pallet jacks, to safely load and unload the items. Packaging materials must be designed to withstand the weight and distribute it evenly to prevent damage to the furniture or injuries to the handlers. Clear labeling indicating the weight of the package helps ensure proper handling procedures are followed.

Shipping Costs

The weight of furniture can significantly affect shipping costs. Shipping companies often calculate rates based on the weight and dimensions of the package. Heavier furniture may incur higher shipping charges due to increased handling requirements and the need for additional packaging materials to ensure protection during transit. Manufacturers and retailers must consider these factors when determining the pricing and shipping options for their furniture items.



The furniture’s size and weight significantly impact its packaging design and materials used. Manufacturers carefully consider these factors to provide secure and efficient packaging solutions. Custom packaging may be employed for larger furniture items, allowing for a snug fit and minimizing movement during transit. Disassembly options make packaging more manageable and efficient. The furniture’s weight influences the packaging’s structural integrity and requires proper handling and transportation procedures. It also affects shipping costs and logistics considerations.

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Opinion Pieces

Baby Gender Reveal Party



Congratulations on the soon-arrival of your bundle of joy! Prepare to start a new journey into parenthood with a memorable celebration – Baby Gender Reveal Party. Both exciting and nerve-wracking, nothing quite beats finding out whether you will be welcoming a boy or girl when they arrive. Let us help make this special occasion one that you’ll treasure forever by providing fun surprises and activities for family and friends to take part in as we welcome your child’s arrival together.


Organizing a gender reveal party can be an exciting experience for expecting parents. Not only is it a great way to share the big news with friends and family while celebrating your impending bundle of joy, but you also get the added bonus of coming up with creative ideas for making this special occasion even more memorable. Hosting such an event brings loved ones together in anticipation of welcoming their little ones into the world!

Are you planning an unforgettable gender reveal celebration? Whether it’s a low-key family dinner or a large-scale soiree we have just what you need! With our unique tips on how to create memorable décor and host fun games plus access to reliable professional service providers – together let us craft a special occasion that will remain etched in everyone’s memory forever.


Tips on how to do an excellent Baby Gender Reveal Party:


  1. Set an appointment with your doctor for the ultrasound

I suggest planning ahead for around 20 weeks into your pregnancy when doctors could already determine the gender. Instead of finding out right away, ask them to write it on paper and have it sealed in an envelope so you can make your own reveal that is special to you!


  1. Decide a theme that you want

When you’re planning a gender reveal party, it’s important to find an appropriate theme for the occasion. Consider something simple like pink and blue or explore creative motifs such as ocean themes, which could be perfect if you plan on swimming during the celebration! Make sure to add personal touches like signature food items so your guests take away special memories from your event. With careful consideration of all elements – decorations, a confetti popper, invitations & food – you’ll ensure everyone will have fun while discovering a baby’s gender in style! You can also make your party more personalized by adding signature drinks and snacks that tie up with the theme.


  1. Set the date and the venue

You should decide on the date and venue of the event soon after the ultrasound scan. That way you don’t have to rush in preparing all the items for the party.


  1. Send your invitations

Reaching out to friends and family with invitations is essential for them to be aware of your party. Purchasing pre-made or printable designs online, or crafting personalized ones provides plenty of options. Doing so at least weeks in advance will mean they have all the information needed regarding date, time and location – giving everyone enough notice to attend!


  1. Plan the decorations 

Some of the most used decorations for gender reveal parties include balloons, chairs, steamers, tables, and banners. In fact, blue and pink decorations are obvious at most events. You can also match the food with pink and blue dyes.


  1. Pick some activities 

Certain activities can make your gender party more interesting as well as enjoyable. Try hosting guessing games, matching games related to your theme, time capsule challenges and even diaper changing on dolls for fun. These are some great options to ensure all your guests enjoy special memories at this event!   


  1. Choose a Special Reveal Plan

Discover the gender of your baby in a memorable way with these fun and exciting options; From balloon box to pass the package and even gender reveal cake, you’ll have plenty of ways to show off that much anticipated moment. No matter which method you choose, it’s sure to add more drama and excitement to your special event! 


  1. Thank your guests

Make your gender reveal party memorable with a thoughtful, final touch of personalized goodie bags. Give guests something they can take home and remember the special moment you shared – like homemade cookies, sugar-coated popcorn, a bar of soap or even an engraved mug. Show them how much you appreciate their attendance by giving that extra little thank-you gift!

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