• I recently read an article regarding the business side of the gaming industry and the prediction of a subsequent crash. The author claimed he knew exactly what he was talking about and as I read further along I started to think maybe he could be right. Could we be facing another video game industry crash?

    If you are like me, you think of video games as entertainment, and when I think of entertainment I am kind of naive to the fact that it could potentially crash and the impact that it would have on my gaming experience. Would a crash mean I would have to stop playing? This is not about entertainment stopping this is about the business side of the gaming industry losing money. It happened once in 1983, the revenue was somewhere around 3.2 billion dollars until it dropped to an estimated 100 million dollars over two years. That is a 97 percent drop in two years.

    The more and more I think about it, I see it as a good thing. I don't mean the people losing their jobs, or the idea of video games being not being sold anymore, I am thinking about a reset button. Think about what the video games we play today have become. Usually when someone thought of a video game they had one of two thoughts, a waste of time, or a fun hobby to pass the time. Today it seems we have been over run with a plethora of new players, although these players that are not drawn to video games because they are a hobbyist, but because it is a product they are coerced into purchasing. I have heard lots of people talk about the sheer number of video games produced in recent years, and the fact that the market is being over run by big corporations trying to squeeze every cent they can from such a huge industry. If you were a small developer and you decided one day to make a video game, it would be hard for you the ever get anyone to play it. This is due mostly to the amounts of video games on the market and the advertising other games receive because of what corporation they belong too.

    So what would a crash do? Well a crash would force most of these big names to go away, which in turn would make people lose their jobs and eventually spawn small game developer companies everywhere. Honestly that really sounds awful when you say it like that. Thinking about people losing their jobs is just horrible. But if you look at it from a gamers point of view it could revive a dying hobby. You see most of these big gaming companies are trying to make money, and the best way to make money is to get as many people to buy your product as you can. Video games were never meant to be like that, like any hobby they are to help someone with their boredom and to fill the void of spare time. Yes they do still have that, but the problem is now most games are disposable quicker. So instead of games having a really long story lines and many, many hours of gameplay, we have video games that can be completed in a day and we are stuck waiting for the sequel to come out. Which means we pay more money for less entertainment.

    Some people do not realize that the people creating our games are also players themselves. Think about the ideas they must come up with, and now imagine yourself in the seat and you don't want anything but money. If I came up to you and said 'Hey I have an idea that will allow the player to spend 30 hours on a particular aspect of our game.' What do you think you would say? Sure some of us might say 'great what do you have', but if you are a business person and your game produces 12 games a year, why would you want your players to spend 60 hours on a campaign when they could buy 4 of your video games that are 5x shorter and you make 4x the money. مانجا عرب is if you are entertained you are not going to be buy any more of their products. So unfortunately that idea is most likely going to get shot down. But if you have a small company, with limited resources, developers are going to be able to add whatever they would like, which is entertainment for themselves and the other players.

    For me the gaming industry is getting worse, and I find more and more people everyday notice the same thing. I think all we can do is wait and see if video games go back to their former glory. For now though we will all probably continue to search for that game that can entertain us for longer than a day.

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  • "If you make your hobby your career, you'll never work another day in your life". I was told that by a good friend many years ago, and at the time I was making a living restoring classic arcade machines. Runescape accounts 'd been interested in video games for as long as I could remember, and working with classic machines such as Space Invaders, Galaga and Pacman was a lot of fun - it certainly didn't feel like work.

    It wasn't what I really wanted to be doing though - what I really wanted to do, and what I had always wanted to do, was to be creating new games as a developer.

    Designing and writing video games used to be a one man job. Classics such as Manic Miner and Skool Daze were brilliantly created by talented one man teams who took care of the design, coding, graphics and audio.

    These days things couldn't be more different. With huge development teams and equally massive budgets (GTA4 had a budget in excess of $100 million!) the industry is big business, and breaking into it requires both talent and experience.

    The traditional approach is to graduate in a computing related college degree, and then get a low level job in the industry and climb the development ladder. That can be a long, slow process though and even with a good computer science degree there is no guarantee of a job at the end of it.

    Since game studios are typically looking for both skills and experience, there are other paths which can be taken. Typically these involve getting experience in the industry, and bypassing the degree part altogether.

    There are basically 2 ways to gain experience. The first and most logical is to start writing games. By developing "indie" games you can build up a portfolio of work which can help you get a job with a development studio. The second option is to get work as a games tester, which involves working for a games studio, testing games and reporting back to the development team. It's possible to get games testing jobs with little or no prior experience, and while the work tends to involve long hours of repetitive testing with tight deadlines, it does allow for gaining the experience needed to break into the games industry properly.

    There is no doubt that for many people "games developer" is a dream job. Whatever path you choose to take in order to get into the games industry, it will take determination and perseverance, but the rewards are more than worth it!

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  • Finding a therapist who can be a good match for your needs may take a lot of your time, money, and energy. I would like to offer some tips that might make "shopping" for a therapist easier. My suggestions are based on my personal experience as a therapy patient or, in marketing terms, a consumer of therapy services and on my professional experience as a therapist.

    In general, I see selecting a therapist being similar to finding and hiring any professional. There is a pre-interview stage during which you find a handful of candidates. Next, you interview them either by phone or in person or both, and, finally, decide whom you will hire.

    The difference when you look for a therapist is that you can let your feelings influence your decision much more than when you hire any other professional. Normally, it is not a good idea to put your feelings or emotions in charge, but therapy work is unique because it is largely constructed around feelings and emotions. The premise of therapy for the patient is to discuss their personal matters with the therapist for the purpose of improving their emotional state and/or life situation. The exposure of one's personal material makes one vulnerable and, therefore, should not take place without a basic sense of safety. If something about the prospective therapist makes you uncomfortable, don't take a second guess and move onto interviewing the next candidate before you spend a large sum of money only to realize that you and the therapist aren't a good fit.

    During the pre-interview stage, you will be mostly using one of the two sources for selecting candidates or both of them: personal connections and online sources (therapists' online directories and Google search). I don't think that one source is in any way better than the other. Each one has its up and down sides. Some people only trust referrals that come through their connections, some prefer to use online directories and search engines, others do both. I, personally, suggest using both sources as it increases your chances to find a decent therapist.

    When you get a referral from someone you know, they often will tell you their impression or opinion about the therapist they are recommending, and that is a valuable piece of information you won't get if you use online sources. On the other hand, the mere fact that this therapist helped somebody you know or is recommended to you by somebody you know is not a guarantee that they will be able to help you. They might be very experienced and knowledgeable and still not be a good fit for you on a personal level. Besides, when a referral comes through personal connections, you won't be able to form your own impression about the therapist before you meet them. By comparison, when you look at therapists' online profiles and websites, you can get an intuitive sense about who they are before you contact them and this way won't have to waste your time and money on someone who does not appeal to you from the beginning.

    The online search might get overwhelming, as you will have to go through many websites and profiles and look at many photos. Pay attention to the therapist's picture first. Look at the face carefully. Is this the face that you like and that you can trust? The face of someone you can connect with? This may sound like a childish approach, but as I said before, therapy is a unique type of work that is build around feelings and emotions and, therefore, feeling safe with the therapist is the fundamental condition for the therapy to begin.

    After reflecting on the therapist's picture, read their profile or website carefully and see if their approach and philosophy resonate with you and match your needs, and then decide if you want to include this therapist in the list of candidates for interviewing.

    When you have selected several candidates for the "position", contact them and ask for an appointment. Some therapists offer 10 or 15 minutes free initial "consultation" over the phone. I, personally, don't believe that phone conversation will give you a clear sense of what kind of person is on the other end of the line. Physical Therapist in Bergenfield may be helpful to talk on the phone first if you want to decide whether to meet with them or not. If you dislike them after a couple of minutes of talking, then you don't need to waste time and money on a meeting and can move on to contacting the next candidate. I also don't think that it is accurate to call this first interaction on a phone a "consultation", as the therapist is not really "consulting" you about anything at this time. This is just a preliminary mutual screening, when you both are deciding if you want to take it a step further and to schedule a meeting.

    Keep in mind that it may take more than one session for you and the therapist to assess if you can work together. The nature of therapy work is very personal and it may take a little time to get a feel if you and the therapist are a good match.

    I believe that during a preliminary stage, when both, you and the therapist, are trying to assess if you are a good fit for one another, sessions should be offered at a substantially discounted rate. Many therapists would disagree with me, but I think that not much work can or should be done during the assessment period while the commitment to working together has not been made yet, and, therefore, it is not fair to charge the full fee during this period. It also might create tension in you as a prospective patient because on some level you might see the unfairness of the situation. You don't know if you are going to work with this therapist. You don't even know if the first session will be a good experience for you, and, yet, you have to pay the full fee. Psychologically, it puts a pressure on you to commit to working with this therapist right away, because you have already paid a substantial amount on your first meeting and would feel like a fool if it turns out to be a waste! A reduced fee, therefore, reduces a pressure to commit, puts people at ease and makes their first experience with the therapist more positive. Besides, when you are given a freedom not to hire the therapist, paradoxically, it increases the chances that you will decide in favor of hiring them, as you will appreciate that you were not pressured to commit too soon.

    When you meet with the prospective therapist the first time, relax and pay attention to your senses. Do you like this person? Do you feel that he or she is a good listener? Listening might seem like an easy thing to do but it is not. It requires one to put aside their frame of reference while listening to you and to be willing to see your experience from your perspective. I believe that the therapist's ability to listen is one of the major curative factors in therapy. If you didn't feel that you were listened to during your first session, waste no more of your time and money with that therapist and make an appointment with somebody else.

    During a preliminary stage, it is also important to ask the therapist about their approach to work and methods they use and to make sure that their business policy is clear. You can also ask them about their credentials and professional experience. They have to be willing to answer all your questions related to their work.

    They have the right not to answer personal questions. In fact, in many cases it would be inappropriate and even unethical for them to do so, as their self-disclosure might undermine the therapy work. There is only one personal question that, I believe, the therapist has to be willing to answer and that is whether they have had their own therapy. I believe that it is a legitimate question to ask, as I also believe, that education and professional training are not enough to make someone suitable for doing therapy work. In order to be effective and, at the very least, not do harm therapists have to stay aware of how their own psychological issues may interfere with the work they are doing, and personal therapy is a must for them to maintain this awareness. In addition, I believe, that every therapist has to know what it feels like to be a patient.

    Just like everybody, therapists are different in their personalities, working styles, theoretical background, interests, beliefs, training and experience and this is wonderful because you, as a consumer, have a lot to choose from. There is one quality, however, that every therapist must have and that is a clear understanding of what a therapeutic relationship is and what it isn't. They should never allow their relationship with you to develop into a close one. They have to be able to empathize with you and to have compassion for your pain and struggles, but empathy and compassion should not be confused with closeness and intimacy. When therapists are confused about their role and don't know how to be helpful without crossing a professional boundary, it often results in patients getting hurt rather than healed.

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  • Often overlooked, this fundamental question must be answered before you can pursue your dream of becoming a long-term successful poker player.

    A poker players' decision as to where he/she is going to play poker is perhaps the most important decision affecting the players' enjoyment of the game and his/her bankroll. Generally speaking, a player has four possible venues to choose from, they are:

    1) Online poker sites
    2) Casinos/Local Poker Rooms
    3) Home games with family & friends
    4) Local Charity/Fund-raising tournaments

    Each of these four venues has their own unique 'pros and cons' to be considered. One venue may be best for Player 'A', but not necessarily a good choice for Player 'B'. The correct venue is relative to your personality, bankroll, and skill level.

    Lets' take a look at each of the four venues more closely, and discuss the characteristics of each. I will be speaking in broad generalities which are consistent wherever where you live, but you should realize geography plays an important role in venue selection. Gambling laws vary from one locale to another, so please research the laws in your area and play within those laws. With that caveat in place, lets' examine online poker first.

    Online Poker

    Without a doubt, online pokers' popularity has exploded in recent years; so much so, the Federal government has placed limits on the ability of US players to move money to and from the poker sites. These restraints pose a real problem for poker players, and several player associations are trying to fight these restrictions. The future of online poker laws is uncertain at this time. A full discussion of the legalities of online poker is beyond the scope of this article, but I encourage all poker players to do their research before you jump into online play.

    Pros of Online Poker:

    - The best thing about playing poker online is the ability to play from the comfort of your own home any time you wish. Sites such as Poker Stars, Full-Tilt, Ultimate Bet, etc. will literally have tens of thousands of eager players online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whenever you are ready to play, you will have no problem finding an available game.

    - Online play allows the player to play a wide variety of games. If you would like to take a break from Texas Hold'em and have the urge to play Omaha, Stud, Razz, Horse, or virtually any other game you can think of, the online sites will accommodate you.

    - Another benefit to playing online is that you can play any stakes you are comfortable with. If data kuda lari are conservative, or just starting out, you can play for as little as a few pennies a hand. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you can play for as much as several thousands of dollars. The sites will offer a wide variety stakes in between these two extremes as well.

    - Finally, because the online sites keep the games moving quickly, you can improve your game by playing a high volume of hands in a relatively short period of time. More experienced players may play multiple games at the same time. These players are seeing an extraordinary number of hands per hour.

    Cons of Online Poker:

    - Online poker can quickly become addictive. Online poker addiction can have severe negative consequences for the players' physical, emotional, professional, and financial well-being. An addicted player will often start staying up all night playing while ignoring his need for sleep. This may lead to emotional problems and ultimately lead to a strain on the players' home and professional life. A player must be vigilant to remember poker is not as important as family, friends, or your career away from poker.

    - The online player may also become a victim of cheating while playing online. The poker sites try to catch cheaters through the use of sophisticated software that monitors play and looks for irregularities, and I believe they are partially successful in these efforts; however, it cannot be denied some cheating goes on without be caught. The problem for the individual poker player is that he can never be certain he is not being cheated. The poker world was a buzz last year when the media reported the scandal involving Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. Some cheating occurs between the players themselves when two or more players gang up on an unsuspecting player through the use of telephone communication while the hands are being played out. If your opponent has more information about the hole cards than you do, you are at a significant disadvantage.

    - Because poker is played quickly online, the less skillful player will likely lose more of his bankroll online than if he played elsewhere. If a losing player plays more, he will naturally lose more over the long run.

    Casino Poker

    For this discussion, I will consider full service casinos (which you are likely to encounter in Las Vegas or Atlantic City) and local Poker Rooms (commonly found at Kennel Clubs, Horse Racetracks, or other Pari-Mutual facilities) to be one in the same. The size and degree of sophistication may be greater at a full service casino, but Poker Rooms have come far in recent years and can offer similar services to a poker player. Each facility provides the tables, chips, dealers, and pit bosses to manage play, and each provides a comfortable atmosphere for the players to enjoy. In exchange for providing these services, the 'house' will rake the pots or charge you an hourly fee to play (more on this later).

    Pros of Casino Poker:

    - Casinos/Poker Rooms typically do a good job at offering the player a comfortable environment to play. As more and more card rooms spring up, they realize they must compete for your business; therefore, you are likely to be treated well because the casino would like you to become a regular player at their facility.

    - A player can be relatively confident the games will be run by professionals. The entire staff from the dealers to drink servers know their jobs (and their tips) depend on providing the players with excellent service.

    - Casinos and card rooms are generally conveniently located within a community, and they are open 12 or more hours a day seven days a week. On short notice, a player can head off to the casino and expect to find plenty of action. Texas Hold'em is king at casinos, but other games are offered when enough players are available to fill a table.

    Cons of Casino Poker

    - Playing at a casino can be an expensive experience. A casino has considerable expenses, and must recoup these expenses through a 'rake'. Some card rooms charge an hourly fee to play, say $10-12 per hour per seat. Others will take a percentage of each pot, or a percentage of the total tournament entry fees. A house rake of 10-20% is not unusual and must be overcome to be a long-term winner. A player must also be mindful that good etiquette dictates the player should tip the dealers and servers for the service they provide. These tips will add to the cost of playing at a casino.

    - Another pitfall to playing at a poker room is that you may be the victim of a couple of 'regulars' who team up to soak the new fish that sits down at their table. Players can communicate their holdings through subtle hand signals which puts the unsuspecting player at a disadvantage.

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  • Hopefully you are reading this because you landed a job interview. Congratulations! Now you need to make sure you don't waste this opportunity to make a great impression and get the job. You need to practice and train for the big day. If you were an athlete, you would have trainers and coaches to help you prepare for the big day and show you how to act in different situations. But as a job seeker, you don't have a coach or trainer and will need to dedicate your time to develop your interviewing skills in much the same way that an athlete would train and practice.

    Think of the job interview as the championship game. All of the time and energy you poured into the searching and getting your resume and cover letter in order have gotten you to this point. You have done well so far. Now you get to have a one-on-one discussion with the potential employer and tell them why you are the best choice for their position. No matter how great your resume is, it has done its job and now it is your turn to sell yourself. You must prepare yourself or you may lose out to another candidate.

    You need a job interview coach or trainer just like athletes preparing for the big game would have. In the absence of such a trainer, your job in preparing for your job interview is to come up with a way to make yourself stand out and appear confident and qualified. There is more than just giving the right answers to interview questions. For example, your interviewers will also be looking at your interpersonal skills or how well you carry yourself and interact with others. For example, do you make good eye contact or stare at the table, do you come across as friendly, do you offer a firm handshake, do you smile, do you have enthusiasm and energy in your voice when you speak?

    1. Task One - Research and Learn About Your Potential Employer... Before the Interview

    Being invited to meet your potential employer is a great honor - it means that you made the cut! Congratulations! Now the hard work starts. Take some time to research and learn about the company, any recent news, perhaps some of the challenges it faces in its market or with its products or services. You can learn a lot in just an hour or two using the Internet. Take notes on any important items you learn. Is there any way you might be able to use the information you learned in your interview? Do you now have any questions you would like to ask in your interview? Questions based on your research show that you took time to learn about them and can make a good impression.

    If you haven't already, you will want to research the company using LinkedIn. With LinkedIn, you will be able to find information about companies, but more importantly, the people who work for them. In fact, many times you will be able to read profiles on the people who might interview you. Compare their backgrounds against yours and see what activities they have been working on recently.

    When you are done with your research, evaluate all of it against your background and experience. Is there a way you can use what you have learned to present yourself in a better light or have some discussions on topics that perhaps that give you an edge. For example, if you learn they are replacing an system or changing a process similar to work you have done before, you should definitely talk about this. It could give you an edge and would be interesting conversation for the interviewers. These are the types of interesting stories or examples you can share with your interviewers. More and more companies use behavioral interviewing techniques, so it is very important that you identify and prepare lots of examples to share as you answer their job interview questions. Being prepared will help you appear confident in the actual interview.

    2. Task 2 - Prepare to Tackle the Top Interview Questions

    Many people panic at the thought of those tough interview questions. The questions are what people think of most when they think of interviews. Truth be told, you have no way of knowing what questions your interviewers will ask. To be prepared, you will have to make sure you know how to answer the most common interview questions so you are confident in your answers. Since behavioral interviewing is being used more often now, you will want to have lots of examples that you can talk about in the interview. Prepare to share stories about how you handled related situations or results you achieved that are relevant to the job you to which you are applying. Always try to tie your answers back to examples because many employers believe that past performance is the best indicator of future performance.

    Learn the right way to answer the most common interview questions. The importance of this step cannot be overstated because taking the time to practice will help you answer the questions clearly and appear confident at the same time. You can find a list of the top resources for answers to interview questions on my site that can serve as your coach to guide you through your interview question preparations.

    3. Task 3 - Develop Your "Talking Points"

    By now, you should be starting to understand what your strongest assets are going into the interview. As you prepare for each interview, make sure you have about three key points to share with your interviewers that summarize why you are the best candidate for the job. Your talking points are what you want the interviewers to remember about you after you leave and they should set you apart from the other candidates, so they must be based on your personal experience and qualities, and how they are related to their needs. Remember that the best qualified candidate is not always the one that gets the job.

    Memorize your talking points and learn how to emphasize them in your interview answers. If you can work each of these in several times, they should be able to associate you with them. This is similar to how political candidate continue to answer questions using prepared "talking points." Take the opportunities to present your case within answers to your interview questions. Make sure you the talking points well before you head to your interview.

    4. Task 4 - Rehearse the Job Interview Before the Big Day

    You need to practice the job interview ahead of time to ensure you are confident in your answers and actions. You can practice in several different ways. For example, you could practice with a friend or family member, video record yourself, sit in front of a mirror. The point is that you will only become comfortable with your responses and identify actions or habits that need addressed through practice. Learn what Nigeria job vacancy are now while you have time to correct them and make your presentation flawless. Some of the things you want to pay attention to as you practice include:

    Slouching or relaxing too much.
    Over use of hand gestures or facial expressions. These are good tools to show energy and excitement, but do not overuse them to a point where they become a distraction.
    Not making good eye contact with the interviewer(s). I have always been told to pretend there was a dot on everyone's forehead and to look at that as you speak to them.
    Nervous twitches or actions, such as shaking leg, tapping foot or pen/pencil, licking lips, scratching head, sighs or deep breaths, etc. If you have these, keep them under control and be aware of them.
    Not being able to quickly and confidently form a great response to a question. Look for long pauses before answering, saying "Um" or other delaying tactics. These are confidence killers. Create opportunities to work in your key selling points.
    Speaking too softly or, more commonly, too quickly. Find a nice volume and pace to speak so you are clearly understood.
    No enthusiasm or excitement. Avoid monotone speaking. You are talking about what you know best-you! Sell yourself to them and make them excited about what you have accomplished and what you can bring to their company. Tell interesting and exciting stories in response to their questions. Give lots of examples of similar things you have done to answer their questions.
    Make Your Preparations Count

    You should be proud that you got the job interview! This is a big accomplishment. Congratulations! It means that you were at the top of the list of all the applicants. Like an audition, you made the cut. Focus your attention now on preparing for your job interview so you can be the confident and strong candidate you know you are. Know how you will answer common interview questions. Have some good stories about your related work experience ready to share so you can show them that you have handled similar situations. The hard work on your resume got you this far, but now you need to focus your energy and time on preparing for the interview so you can close the deal. Make sure they can see your enthusiasm, energy, and confidence. Take the time to prepare and you will do great.

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