Neoseeker : Tags : technology

Is modern technology a net benefit to society, or does it do more harm than good? It's a topic I've been pondering more and more in the past few years, and a theme that I've discussed with several different people in recent months. I could elaborate on each point in far greater depth and use lots of citations and all that jazz, but considering my audience (if I have any, that is), I believe I'd be wise to resist the temptation to turn this blog post into a grand essay and instead keep it reasonably concise. Some of these same arguments apply to television, video games, and above all, cell phones, but those media are another story for another day.

Academic/Business
  • Internet research greatly assists academic research, but often encourages students to rely on dubious sources like Wikipedia (or worse yet, answers sites, or Googling things without even clicking on the pages in the search results) instead of higher-quality, peer-reviewed articles.
  • Computers allow innumerable new ways for businesspeople to communicate and collaborate, but they also introduce just as many computer bugs and glitches to disrupt work.
  • The Internet provides many ways to save time finding information, but also allows employees to get paid to waste time checking Facebook or irrelevant YouTube videos, or worse yet, viewing pornography or other inappropriate material.
Ethical/Legal
  • While many forms of copyright laws are clearly anachronistic, it's not an exaggeration to say that the majority of material on the Internet is probably in violation of one or more intellectual property or privacy laws. And regardless of the current status of arbitrary laws penned by mortal man, much online activity makes it easier than ever to violate obvious ethics standards and to view material that isn't exactly beneficial to one's morals and sanity.
  • The online world is really good at keeping records on what we do. While this explosion of data has many legitimate uses, I can't help but wonder whether the stuff people posted on the Internet in their earlier years will come back to haunt them someday. Old MySpace pages are an especially common source of embarrassing "tell-all" blogs and chronicles of human folly. Sure, it's possible to write under a pseudonym, and to try to delete your original posts, but no matter what you do, it often takes very little digging to find stuff that might jeopardize one's employment or domestic harmony.
  • The Internet has helped evaporate any sense of privacy existing on this planet, whether it's threatened by big government, big business, identity thieves, vigilantes like WikiLeaks and Anonymous, or the voluntary exhibitionism prevalent on sites like Facebook and Twitter. I still think the spirit of liberty and democracy is fostered by the feeling that some matters are no one else's business. As lawful as the "if you don't do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about" argument sounds, many innocent things could set us back a few notches if certain information leaked out to the wrong parties. In particular, even insignificant transgressions could put applicants for police/security jobs or for positions dealing with sensitive financial privileges at a disadvantage - not to mention candidates for political office!
Political/Social
  • Along with the rise of cable news, the Internet makes it easier for the shrillest fringes of the political spectrum to gain influence at the expense of better-informed, more moderate commentators. It also makes it more convenient for people to seek out more opinions that validate their existing opinions and filter out voices that might challenge or question their beliefs.
  • The various combinations and permutations of "social media" might allow us to become acquainted with a wider variety of contacts, both people known in real life and otherwise, but might tend to cultivate superficial relationships rather than meaningful friendships.
  • Since the beginning of time, humans have been adept at treating one another unkindly. However, the lack of face-to-face interaction makes the Internet fertile soil for trolls and bullies, and I fear these destructive attitudes might carry over to real life, even as these troublemakers grow older.
  • Things like online games and social networks are fun but can be addictive to susceptible individuals. Obviously, the people who have starved to death while playing MMORPGs or killed an irritating baby who was distracting their Farmville session are extremely rare cases. However, many young (and not-so-young people) spend the majority of their free time "plugged in" to an electronic device of some sort, and this can lead to problems ranging from eyestrain to obesity, as well as distracting them from other, potentially more meaningful activities.
  • Oh, and I almost forgot to mention this little detail: A lot of the people on the Internet are really, really stupid, and the E-net provides lots of innovative ways for stupid people to let the world know precisely how stupid they really are.
I'm not saying it's wrong or bad to use the Internet - there's lots of wonderful things the online world lets us do that would've been unthinkable a couple of decades ago, from discovering gifted artists you never otherwise would've heard of, to providing a medium for sharing alternative viewpoints from people around the globe. Twitter might have even played a role in helping overthrow a totalitarian regime or two. Even though I've always used the Internet in a relatively responsible way, I find my productivity, creativity, and personal sanity go in a positive direction when I keep my "plugged in" time to a healthy limit.

- Vinny

musingsthoughts technology internet ethics law sociology facebook

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I'm a huge punk fan, Steampunk, Technopunk, Genepunk and I love that game developers are starting to dig more into these realms more than ever. From Capcoms new game Remember Me http://www.neoseeker.com/news/20324-capcom-announces-new-cyberpunk-ip-remember-me-for-2013-release/ to BioShock Infinite the old are being the new and popular. Like Lydia had in her article: "To be more specific, Remember Me tells the story of Nilin, "an elite memory hunter who is not only incredibly athletic and trained in martial arts, but also has the special ability to break into people’s minds and steal or even change their memories." We can see that the main character will be extremely technopathic and have the upgraded physical stats of a genohuman. In the past steampunk was treated as alternative history but with the game makers these days they are turning the genre into a total future and not a what if past.
There have been those failing games that tried to bring the old new; for example Shadowrun http://www.neoseeker.com/Games/Products/XBOX360/shadowrun/. I've played the pen and paper version of this game for years and adore this franchise. It has had it's share of game cross-over and they have all done the title proud, except the last iteration from Microsoft Studios. The idea could have been solid, taking a techopunk title into the FPS mode works. Making it ONLINE ONLY and then not even putting in a story mode to know what the hell is going on is where they failed. I played this game till they finally called it quits and was extremely bitter, can't you tell, about how they treated this fantastic RP saga. (It was so bad that I would play PartyPoker just waiting for a game to get put together there was so few people.)
Now, through break out hit titles and super hero movies the super soldier Genopunk genre is starting to take off in a huge way. Haze tried to do it with Nectar http://www.neoseeker.com/Games/Products/PS3/haze/, The Bourne Legacy is doing it with their story line and of course Captain America. The genopunk genre has been around for awhile and been used for everything under the sun but never got the true respect it deserves. The future is bright and shiny for the punk genre and I look forward to seeing the hard work of all the teams in the development field making these stories come to life.

technology movies anime xbox 360 pc steampunk genopunk technopunk

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So I've decided to start a new blog... not because I think anyone'll read it, and not because I want to share what happens in my life with anyone else... because there are things I would like to put on Neo and out into the world but don't exactly know how. My blog will be my place to post whatever I want, and I may post different things in different "series" if you will, but it won't be one of those blogs normal people do which consists of, well, blogging. In fact, I've decided to dedicate (for now) my blog towards usernames I've thought of for anyone else to use on Neo or on any other site. I know it sounds stupid but for some reason it seems like username ideas have been flooding into my head recently, so I though, why not share them? My blog may be used for other purposes in the future, but for now I'll just list my ideas so everyone can use them and the world will be happy. Of course, I've already snagged the best one, so you can't have Wheat, but here's a selection of others. :D

Remember, feel free to use these. I would be more than happy to see a user with a username I came up with floating around the site or any other site! Also I have not testes anywhere whether these are taken or not. Just try yourself.

Slumber
Autumn
Asleep at Last
Numb
Permanent
Nightmare
Nightmarish
Perishable
Nocturnal
Mockery
Hooligan
Leader
Isolation
Chlorine
Lucky Penny
Happy Go Lucky
Twitch
Banned
Not Available (you know, "Username: Not Available")
Phew

Well, the list goes on, but if I post everything that comes to mind I'll be typing these up until the day I die. So let's take a break now, shall we? Have a nice day.

neoseeker related technology other web development usernames internet name cool user

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Last week we hit the LA Games Conference for their 6th year of the event, there are tons of panels and events setup each year for new entries into the realm of gaming. This year of course kept the tradition going with some extra twists with the CEO of Trion delivering a keynote and many popular figures from the industry continuing to join up and meet and talk with the press and developers.

For those curious on what the magic entry fee delivers it's a few things.

  • 3 Tracks of panels covering gaming, marketing, development, trends
  • Food and events for socializing over (Breakfast buffet, Lunch buffet)
  • An after party event for everyone to unwind after taking in a ton of hard information from the day.

    The tracks are in depth and have open mic opportunities for attendees to voice their mind and get feedback on their direction or the direction of the panel at any given point. It's a dynamic energy driving new minds to veterans in the field. Worried if your new app is really going to hold up to the test of time? Sit in during the mobile panels and find out how the trends tend to work and how to extend the longevity of your product. Learn what your consumers are leaning toward in the analyst panels and feel out the field of gaming as a whole with new technologies like streaming and cloud storage.

    Here are a few panels I hit for Neoseeker this year as samples, please excuse me if they're slightly rough.

    ===========================================================================
    Panel 1: State of the Industry

    Panelists:
    Jesse Redniss - USA Network
    Jack Buser - Playstation Digital Platforms
    Matt Hulett - GameHouse (Real-Networks)
    Mark Spencer - Rumble
    Baudouin Corman - Gameloft

    Moderator:
    Mark Friedler - Worlds and Games Consulting


    ===========================================================================
    The Los Angeles Games Conference kicks off the first panel with a simple question, where is the state of the industry at for your respective companies, where do you see the tides going in the future?

    Jack Buser brings a very interesting development Sony and their side of development. While we've heard investors ask Nintendo to consider other platforms but the same was never requested from the other mobile developer, Sony. Playstation Digital is working on a new platform of Playstation Certified devices powered by Android to cater to this space. The idea is that binaries written for Vita can run without porting on devices that meet the requirements to get approval from Sony, the program is currently in beta right now and the development entry cost is their lowest yet at $99 to get into this new ecosystem. The idea of course is the Playstation experience can eventually reach HTC, Motorola and other devices through their development investment right now and that richer experiences will make their way to the consumers.

    Baudouin supports the movement from Playstation Digital, mentioning this should help the continued growth in emerging markets by making widely accessible content. Also noting that new IP's are still just as viable as ever in the mobile space and that Ice Age Village has moved over 5 million downloads in 7 days time. Matt Hulett stepped in to note that IP development is on a rise again with old genres coming back into the mainstream again. Bejeweled and even poker games coming into the fold again, the market around them has gone from 2 primary IP's in to 6 in the past year catering to these areas.

    Jesse Redniss explained that while many feel the industry is coming to a head for developments that room still exists to expand as a result of those genre revivals and new approaches to them are always coming. Even with that, there will be a convergence in his mind, understanding the market and users and eventually seeing focused and driven content make its way into syndication for that global market. Mark supported this noting that developers are coming through with reduced complexity in input to meet the current market already so a high quality experience is coupled with ease of use, LA Noire being an example of this movement.

    Jack was able to follow-up with other examples for Playstation in this field with Dust 514 being a complete F2P experience for PSN soon. The focus being all the testing done in Playstation Home coming full circle, they've tried so many things that they understand social isn't just a chat log and much more for a core player and they feel Dust 514 will act as a demonstration of this analysis.

    ===========================================================================

    The panel moved forward to a sensitive question of Hype, what's overused or stressed in the industry right now?

    Mark was first to bat noting Play Anywhere is a huge buzzword for those in the industry right now, the reality is that while a nice idea that devices are not universal. The focus should be on the experience and developers would be wise to act carefully about the experience they end up delivering to the users or they'll lose them from those bad ports. Baudouin was able to chime in with the issue of quality, can it be retained across a field with so many levels of division. The feeling is that developers need to mature how someone experiences a game and that it can't just be a simple control adjustment. Jack stepped in after with Cannibalization of the market, noting that while core gamers may feel threatened that a strong reality is the group isn't going anywhere in the market. The demise of the core group of gamers is just a hype sensation and that essential products will always exist in the market to meet those needs.

    Baudouin noted that even Gameloft has faced harsh reactions from the public but once the fans were able to give it a shot they could see it wasn't a threat directed at them and an enjoyable experience could be had. As a whole gaming isn't being diluted in his eyes, it's just growing outward and the pool that it attracts is vast but it's a new audience not a breakdown of the current core culture.

    The big question then was simple, is this sustainable? Will a CPM model hold up in these developing markets or will a new shift be required to keep these alive.

    Jack was first to catch this question, bringing up investment figures from players in Playstation Home, average user sessions hit 1 hour at a time and the 3D engagement of the world and campaigns allows for complete immersion during the play experience that 2D struggles to keep up with in comparison. For Playstation the idea of integrated experiences makes for a fluid presentation while they feel that 2D will just erode over time without the same level of immersion to the player.

    Jesse was able to chime in on developing content around that issue, moving from CPM to connections, getting a transcending movement isn't so simple though as it takes a dedicated and detailed partnership to commit to these plans. CPM still stands as king in the TV space for content publishers / stations but companies like USA are looking to the next evolution of experience like Defiance by Trion. What happens in-game shapes the TV show and users are constantly engaged on both sides of the story, content partners in this case are integrating products by thinking ahead 30 years into the future to be part of that landscape.

    Mark as the newcomer in the bunch felt that advertising was only a small piece of the puzzle and micro-transactions will play a larger part in the future of the industry. Prove the value of the game outside of just the aesthetic perks seen today, sure you can buy some cool clothes for your avatar but what happens when it fades? Instead the focus for Rumble is helping not only the player but their group or guild as well, by involving a greater pool there's a reward and longer term delivery for users.

    ===========================================================================

    The panel closed on a final outlook topic, where is development changing and what is happening?

    Mark noted the increase of F2P and live gaming is a shift for teams that are used to traditional development cycles, in the console world a game is produced by a team and a month out as it enters testing the team retires on vacation and comes back to start on their next task after launch. In these new live worlds a game is released but what rests ahead is the next update and in that period there are hundreds of thousands of users actively engaging those games. It's a difficult shift but it's something that developers learn, marathon and sprint as needed, remember the game is a service not a product anymore and the adaptation comes from there.

    Matt was quicker to talk about the technical side of all these devices on the market, controlling memory footprints and technical delivery to the user. With so many devices out there from Apple and Android the best products require a firm understanding of universal limits.

    Jack noted that while Playstation has one of the largest development pools out there, they're still cutting their teeth on these concepts and the generations of developers are exchanging their histories. The most prominent example coming to mind was the issue of new developers caught up in the business side of development, making a game that follows the metrics to sell or go viral with ease. The older developers from the console side had their own injections though, while you can have a formula game that delivers on basic points you still need to make something fun for the player or it's a waste of time.

    Baudouin felt that with new power coming in the next year to the mobile arena that developers face the challenge of keeping games as a service instead of a single experience. Processing power will add incredible opportunity but the potential needs to be controlled so it streams to any platform with the same care for delivery over all else.

    ===========================================================================

    Panel 2: From Console to Cloud: Exploring today's multiple distribution possibilities

    Panelists:
    Nanea Reeves - Machinma
    Joel Resnik - Redbox
    Jon Estanislao - Activision
    Chris Donahue - Onlive
    Brad Hisey - Nexon America

    Moderator:
    Ted Cohen - TAG Strategic


    ===========================================================================

    Ted put down a quick question to the panel, will players still be on consoles are will things evolve to streaming for content?

    Chris was first to respond, noting we're in a digital content boom right now, you have streaming experiences coming to all platforms in at least some form, you can be on a tablet and stream Netflix or on a Mac and Stream PC games to play through. The idea of gaming going away from the TV is another story though, noting that gamers will always reach out to experience their titles on the biggest screen they have no matter how content is delivered, as a result it's hard to say that streaming means getting away from a console.

    Nanea followed in quickly noting that Millennials are proving to be a digital generation, not focused on physical media in her experience.

    Joel was quick to include device experience is also a factor here, how a developer controls the lines for experience on each device will also dictate how consumers react.

    Jon was able to step in with the experience from Activision, they had a simple question on going digital, "How can we deliver values to the consumer?" the factors considered were improving how they interacted with customers and how to connect and engage them before trying to monetize on that experience. As a result they've favored creating big brands as a way to support that pursuit.

    Nanea expressed a factor in the cloud will be ownership, do consumers own the bits and can they access them offline somehow, if the publishers can overcome the hurdle they'll simply have technology pushing platforms away.

    Chris followed up on this noting that platforms are already fading with technologies like Onlive you can now have PC game experiences on a Mac, Netbook or a Tablet that were exclusive to those gamers without needing a hardcore PC to power it. All users can share the experience at any time and from a publisher side, it makes it harder to cheat the system in the process.

    Joel responded on this noting that few have attempted to embrace other streaming variations outside of just Onlive, mentioning that progressive downloads aren't facing acceptance either and to stay in the game it would help to see a game readily accessible instead of waiting hours for it to install.

    Jon reaffirmed Activision is still firm to the retail space, Asia heavily consumes physical media and they're working to develop the retail experience even more with games like Skylanders which offer hardware expansion with a wide selection of figures to collect for the game.

    Chris came back mentioning that streaming needs a focus of tailoring games to the user experience, touch controls to make it work but simplify those controls when needed to make it accessible.

    Nanea broke in for a moment noting more social games need guns.

    ===========================================================================

    The next question asked if we're there yet with the cloud?

    The general group shot quick reactions about broadband accesssibility for the country as a whole. Expanding with 4G as an alternative to cable crisis issues, but even then Verizon and AT&T have petitioned to expand their spectrum from their current allocations and wide spread availability would still be an issue reaching those customers if they're falling short in their current state.

    Joel reminisced that even with a digital catalog to flip through it's hard to beat the experience of going through the bin and picking out a title.

    Brad chimes in with Uberstrike as an example of how in regions you have games already in the system that allow for instant access without a massive client.

    Nanea notes that for her experience we're already there with digital and community has driven content like walk-throughs into digital form that you can access anywhere. The community driven contributions are growing and eliminating the need to consult a guide book anymore. From her experience the retail community needs to involve the consumer in new ways or it loses to digital.

    The panel turned to Redbox as a whole, without revealing very much the outlook was set on how the company integrates the digital experience. Users are able to trust Redbox as a community brand and use word of mouth to expand their experience. They embrace their community through social media channels and email and text so they're able to listen to the demands and react to those appropriately while earning trust. Redbox may look to the cloud but as a whole they fill that middle area where users still want their physical media on the coastal states and throughout the rest of the country.

    Jon mentions that Activision is actively learning and developing with the community to see what will work in their future plans or changes before they roll them out. (referencing COD Elite most likely) Also mentioning that Activision is always looking at new cloud models and will expand in the space as openings present themselves.

    Nanea suggested that while the cloud may not be here completely that experimenting with pricing or time based use might help expand its presence in the market to those gamers it wouldn't normally reach.

    Chris was quick to jump in mentioning that Onlive has had a large amount of success using a variable pay system or as they call it the PlayPack for $10 which gives flat access to a large library to get exposure for those companies. As companies wish to pull out of it or join in they can in a drop of a hat and get access to those users in that subscription pool. The idea is they're able to cater to the sampler players vs the hardcore who want to lay down a larger sum for a specific game and that it captures monetary value normally lost to high prices. He also went on to note that while the industry is quick to embrace new technology as it has, the retail side is still lacking as his company had experienced in 2011 (Gamestop Deus Ex vouchers, he doesn't mention this specifically for legal reasons so please treat with care).

    With the final words from Chris the panel wraps up.

    ===========================================================================

    It's just a sample and without all the action and gestures it's not the full picture of course but it's a unique event and young minds that can afford to get in or new companies looking to expand their vision should really think about what the show has to offer with so many people readily available. Being able to sit in on a panel and walk out with the hosts and talk to them at lunch or in the lobby and get that one question in for them to see how its going. Some are even more flexible and make a habit to set up shop for discussion after the event wraps.

    We have attended for quite a few years now and it's always a unique experience to gain another perspective on the growing game industries and how the landscape is constantly evolving as it matures each year. While it's not an absolute source of information it's a huge step for many, it would be nice to see some of the moderators engage other issues in the future though, one that stood out in the cloud and online debate was the current network provider issues, bandwidth caps and limits to fiber across the country to sufficiently stream over gaikai or onlive.

    gaming conference mobile developers mobile gaming web development technology gaming related

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    I got the DOS emulator recently, and found out just how awesome it is! I can even record videos of the games I play! And take screenshots! For those of you who don't know, I know there's at least one, DOSBox is an emulator that lets you play disc run games, like from old computers. If you want you can even get the first Elder Scrolls games free from the Bethesda site. Look it up on the internet, because I'm too lazy to put the link here. :)

    gaming related technology other pc

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    I just started playing Skyrim and this strange stuff happened. Is Alvor doing something dirty...? I guess he was stuck in walking animation but looked pretty suggestive and seemed like he was having a good time by playing with himself...No pun intended..All this is jokes but not a fake footage, you know, Skyrim was full of glitches before Patch 1.03, well, it still might be but less, we need 1.04 patch ASAP..Please :(


    MORE CRAZY STUFF AT- YouTube.com/DarshanD93

    xbox 360 playstation 3 pc gaming related technology

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    Basic rundown of my room at my mum's house. I have a Mac Pro which I got for $50 instead of the usual $2000 because I bought it off my art co-ordinator at school. 2009 design but everything is absolutely perfect with it, nothing is wrong at all. Running next to that bad boy in comparison is an incredibly old XP computer my uncle got at his weekly computer meet, still I use it to hold all of his torrented television series'. Then just last week my uncle came in and told me he got a Mac Pro at the meet but a couple of things were missing inside like the memory so we tore it open and salvaged all the remaining parts - now I have spares of almost everything with my Mac! xD

    I have also decided to stay more active on Neoseeker as well. Lately I've noticed that a lot of my Neofriends that left 1+ years ago have suddenly decided to log on, which has given me an incentive to post a lot like I used to 2005-10 era. More threads, more posts, more activity!

    computer mac pro neoseeker neofriends technology neoseeker related pc hardware

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    So I can already feel the Christmas spirit. This morning we're going to be having a family Christmas party, so we've been hanging lights and whatnot.

    In other news, it's been a couple of weeks since myself and TeamHydroAura are no longer a couple.

    I also picked up Super Mario 3D Land a few weeks ago, and it is definitely worth the buy. If you're on the fence about it, get it, it will be worth your time. It's exactly what the 3DS needed. :D

    ds other technology

    As part of my running series of holiday-themed posts, this year, I've desided to make you all feel even more useless than you already are. And I'll do it with style.

    You see, Black Friday is a lie propogated by the American media in order to go out and, you know, buy stuff. It originated from the slow news day of the after Thanksgiving, and in actuallity is the fifth biggest shopping day of the year, the first being *October First*, and the first week of November and the Monday after Thanksgiving taking two of the other three slots.

    This day is a burden to all, from the ones doing the shopping (search "Black Friday trampled death" and sit back to wait for your browser to load) and those not (as far back as one hundred years ago, the frickin police have gotten in car crashes and traffic jams on Black Friday).

    Reason Three: *bleep*ing Rebecca Black. Ever since her freaking fastest-selling-single-of-all-time, no one has let it go. Everyone sane agrees it was awful, and no one even wants to hear any parodies of it, it was that freaking horrible. Unfortunately - scratch that, *indescribable torture* - It's being brought back. She's even making a new song, Saturday. Will we ever stop taking this woman seriously? Will she become the third person on my kill list, after Stephanie Meyer and Justin Beiber? Only time will tell.

    Four: Everything you know is a lie. There are no sales on this damned day. In fact, to the stores themselves, they hardly make any extra profit. It's just an average shopping day. It's because of the fact that not only do they not lower prices, but it's countered by the fact that not every one goes out to shop on this day...contrary to popular belief. Anyone part of the gaming community knows this; Nintedo and almost every other gaming company from Japan won't lower prices because they see Black Friday for what it is: a stupid holiay, unfit to even exist. However, America has steadily been going around this. For example, Target Stores offer forty dollar gift cards with the purchase of a 3DS. No doubt we will come to the point where video games will be 50% off on this accursed day. Admittedly, it's a mixed bag...

    Final Point: No hangovers. One of the great things about the holidays is that the day after (November 1st, December 26th, January 1st, February 15th) is the day where the people that didn't degrade themselves the night before get to enjoy watching those with the hangovers sulk back home. And Black Friday not only prevents getting a hangover from Thanksgiving, but it occurs in the morning, typically, so one won't get a hangover from that day, either. It just goes to show that maybe Japan knows better on some things: never have a holiday that revolves around shopping if you want to get laid.

    ds musingsthoughts technology gaming related

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