In the Philippines, a country known for being wired to the hilt; not necessarily fast-wired, but wired everywhere. A good broadband connection is typically only 10Mbps in the home and public hot spots would not be much better. Anyway, a recent survey is revealing that 4 out of 5 Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996 age 23 to 37 years old, are playing games online. Fifty percent of those young folks consider themselves competitive players and play online on a daily basis.
This is not too surprising considering that the Philippines sends more SMS messages than any other country in the world. Filipinos are hooked on their smart phones. Everywhere you go, you would see them staring into the smartphone screen. Standing in line at the ATM, inside the bank, inside the supermarket, (sometimes even while pushing their shopping cart around), in line at fast food stores. Most are playing games and others are scrolling their Facebook accounts. And of course, reading their old text messages and sending new ones.
You might wonder how the residents of a country that is considered to be a ‘poor country’ can afford all the online activity. First, sending a text is cheap, it cost just one peso which is about 2 cents USD. Going online with a prepaid data connection is considerably more expensive so only a few can afford that. Then there are the hot spots, in every mall, Starbucks, etc. etc.
This particular survey was done by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. The 1,200 respondents were chosen by Singapore-based firm Lightspeed Research, but they were not guaranteed to be a random sample, for some reason.
In today’s online gaming world, there are dozens of First Person Shooter, (FPS), games; some gamers say that the niche is saturated. Nevertheless, our editors have scoured the current selection of FPS games for the PS4 and the voting is in: Titalfall 2 takes the Blue Ribbon.
Titanfall 2 is a first person shooter video game, developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. Titanfall 2 is actually the latest version of 2014’s Titanfall which was released worldwide back in October of 2016 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The gameplay of Titanfall 2 has the players controling Titans which are mechanical-style exoskeletons.
Exoskeletons are ‘external skeletons’ that provide:
- armor for protection,
- vicious weapons,
- ability to run on walls,
- cloak themselves.
Initially, Titanfall were multiplayer games, but Titanfall 2 comes with the option of a single player FPS gaming experience. In this version, the single player follows the story of a character named Jack Cooper, a rifleman from a local militia who bonds with his mentor’s Titan after his mentor was killed. Of Course, the challenge is to survive the onslaught of a certain number of enemy Titans in order to be the last man standing.
A report from Experian claims that playing video games is the third most popular online activity at 51% after shopping at 90%, and personal banking at 88%. Most of this activity is happening on smartphones due to their
- ever-lowering prices,
- always-on connectivity,
- hot spots everywhere,
- and increasing technology.
People have found a way of passing the time when:
- waiting in an airport,
- between classes in school,
- waiting for supper to cook,
- riding a bus,
- riding a subway,
- riding a train,
- waiting in line anywhere.
Although sending email and social chat are still mainstays, playing a game online is just a click away with any smartphone. With this much activity and convenience, online games are getting a lot of attention from:
- new players,
- game developers,
- and advertisers.
According to a Newzoo report, the consumer spending on games will likely exceed $180 billion in 2021. And most of that spending will be done with mobile devices, in fact, already mobile spending accounts for almost 80% of the revenue on the popular online app stores.
Announced just yesterday, the Today Show is offering an application that includes free games for mobile phone users. The app can be downloaded from itunes.apple.com or play.google.com. However, the Today app has more than just a few games, it has all or most of the content from the actual live broadcast and it has archived shows.
“Find your favorite recipes, celebrity interviews, parenting tips, uplifting stories, healthy living, pop culture, and national news.” Today.com
For those of you not familiar with the Today Show:
“Today, also called The Today Show, is an American news and talk morning television show that airs on NBC. The program debuted on January 14, 1952. It was the first of its genre on American television and in the world, and after 67 years of broadcasting it is the fifth-longest-running American television series.” Wikipedia.org
A few of the hosts on the Today Show are:
- Savannah Guthrie
- Hoda Kotb
- Al Roker
- Craig Melvin
- Carson Daly
- Jenna Bush Hager
So, now you get have games, news, weather, and commentary all day long no matter where you are all in one single application on your iphone or android device. The games mentioned on the Today Show’s website are:
- crossword puzzles,
- card games.
Great while riding the bus or subway.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) raided a complex in Makati, Philippines on February 19, 2019 and arrested 276 foreigners that appeared to be employees of an online gambling establishment; first reported on local news outlet ABS-CBN. The Intelligence Division Chief for the BI, Fortunato Manahan Jr., stated the raid was “for verification of their travel documents and immigration status.”.
Reportedly, BI had received an anonymous tip that many of the casino’s employees were illegal foreigners. It is not clear how anyone would have known that, unless maybe the tip was from the ‘inside’ of the company. As it turns out, most were undocumented and they were not able to present any proof of their immigration status. BI Chief Mananan said that it is possible that these individuals simply did not bring their passports to work with them, or that their passports have been lost.
BI Chief Mananan also stated that identification and immigration status verification is ongoing and that in the meantime, the foreigners are being held at the BI’s Warden Facility in Taguig City. The scale of this arrest signals that 2019 could be a recored year in this crime catagory. The number of foreigners that were arrested in 2018 was just 533 for the entire year.
Europeans are getting a big break: up to 70% off on selected multiplayer games!
Here’s a partial list:
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker,
- Diablo III,
- Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection,
- Pocket Rumble,
- Super Meat Boy, Windjammers,
- FIFA 19
The discounts will run until February 21, 2019.
Nintendo Switch, aka: the Switch, is a video game console developed by Nintendo and was released on March 3, 2017. Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is said to be one of the world’s largest video game companies and has created some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as
- The Legend of Zelda,
- and Pokémon.
Nintendo Co. Ltd. was founded on 23 September 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade playing cards. By 1963, the company had started several small businesses, such as:
- a TV network,
- a food company,
- cab services
- and love hotels,
but those never really took off. In the 1970s Nintendo hit the jackpot: video games! This market and Nintendos ingenuity led the company to become one of the biggest in the industry with earnings of over $85 billion in 2007.
It’s official: Fortnite was the overwhelmingly dominate online game of 2018.
It’s full name is ‘Fortnite Battle Royale’ and it is a free-to-play battle royale video game developed and published by Epic Games. The name ‘battle royale’ actually comes from a 2000 Japanese dystopian thriller film directed by Kinji Fukasaku and written by Kenta Fukasaku. Basically, ‘battle royale’ means that a group of people will be isolated in a bordered area, usually an island, where they have to scrounge around for survival items such as food, water, shelter, and weapons. The concept is that the last man standing is the winner!
As of January 2019, the game has seen over 200 million players, and has been estimated to have earned $2.4 billion from in-game micro-transactions. Just as an example, in August 2018, Epic Games says that nearly 80 million people played Fortnite. Most players, about 60% are under the age of 24 and over 70% are male. Actually, those are the age groups that are registered members, during the game, it is more likely to be over 90% male.
Just two months after Rush Street Interactive (RSI) launched it’s PlaySugarHouse.com site in New Jersey back in November of 2016, thirteen underage individuals were allowed to sign up and place bets. They somehow bypassed or otherwise were not detected by the sites age detection system.
Oddly, RSI did not notice this problem for almost two years. That’s when the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), ordered RSI to pay $30,000 as a civil penalty on RSI for “permitting individuals under the age of twenty-one to wager online.” This all came about because Rush Street Gamings Date of Birth software allowed for a three-year variation for some reason. The $30,000 penalty might sound stiff, be no one knows how many other underage players placed bets or how much money they lost.
As soon as RSI noticed this flaw, they issued a statement claiming that responsible gaming is one of their top priorities and that they take this incident ‘very seriously’. They also said that they self-reported the ‘misconfiguration’ of the software to the DGE, then took corrective action immediately.
We interviewed several computer system administrators and they all said that they found it totally inept that age detection software meant to disallow those under age 21 was configured to allow for a three year variation.
Facebook is being accused of duping young kids into buying more and more in-game ‘extras’ by letting them think that they are only spending virtual dollars, but the charges are going straight onto the parents credit card. When the child or the parent realizes what has happen and requests a refund, the refund is denied.
As an example of taking advantage of the young players, when Facebook analyzed the Angry Birds game, they found that the average player age was just five years old.
The current law suit regarding all this was filed a few years ago, but a judge has recently decided to release some relevant Facebook documents to the public. Some of those documents show that it all started when a child referred to as I.B. made a one time payment with mom’s credit card to play Ninja Saga, not realizing that the credit card information had been saved and actually racked up a bill of hundreds of dollars. When that parent request a refund, she was denied, and thus, she filed a lawsuit.
In the documents that the judge has released, one Facebook employee openly admits that children could easily be confused by in-app purchases because it ‘doesn’t necessarily look like real money to a minor’.
As if Facebook didn’t already have enough legal problems, one of the worse possible reputations is that of taking advantage of unwitting children.
The online criminals are resourceful. They are always looking for new ways of ‘cleaning’ their dirty money, quite often the dirty money comes in the form of stolen credit cards. Anything they buy online or off-line might be traced back to their address or contact number. One of their techniques is gambling at casinos since their stolen money can buy chips that they can then cash in later with a different teller, but that takes time and effort.
Recently, it has been noticed that the criminals are taking advantage of the online game industry’s method of letting players join and play for free while charging for extras such as wearable armor, weapons, and vehicles that will help them win in the game. Once a player has joined a game, they can deposit some money into their account and spend it in the game with the game’s in-game currency. There are many online games that utilize this profit model. One of the most popular online games using in-game currency is the Fortnite series. The Fortnite series has over 200m players around the world, generating annual profit of $3 billion for its maker, Epic Games.
This technique works for the money launderers because they join the game using the name on the credit card, deposit money in the game, buy a bunch of extras, then, and this is the trick, they sell those extras and the deposited money, or the whole account on the dark web using bit coins which are very difficult for law enforcement to trace.