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Thia’s Top Ten Foreign Horror Movies

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There are few things in this world as enjoyable as good horror movies. There are so many kinds of horror. Ghosts that makes you question every shadow on the wall. Killers who slash their way through the cast of attractive teenagers. One of my favorite sub genres is J-Horror. This has led me to start watching different movies that also weren’t American. Here are some of my favorites that I hope you will enjoy!

    1. Ringu. This movie is a great example of the “found footage” genre of horror. Released in 1998 and directed by Japanese Hideo Nakata this movie is so popular that it has an American remake. When a reporter’s research leads her to an unlabeled videotape she may find herself in for more than she bargained for. If you like found footage and creepy ghost girls then this is a movie for you! 
    2. Shutter. Shutter has a fantastic story with many twists. This thriller hails from Thailand and was directed by  Banjong Pisanthanakun and  Parkpoom Wongpoom. It was released in 2004. When a photographer and his girlfriend see something strange in one of his photos it triggers a series of spooky events. If you want great surprises with your horror then check out this one.   
    3. Ju-On:The Grudge. This is one more fantastic Japanese horror movie. It was released in 2002 and directed by Takashi Shimizu who also directed the American remake. A social worker enters the wrong house during her rounds. This one has ghosts and a killer story to uncover.
    4. A Tale of Two Sisters. This amazing film hails from Korea. It was released in 2003 and directed by Jee-woon Kim. Two sisters come home from a mental institution with more hurdles to their recovery then just their cruel stepmother. This movie is honestly my favorite on the list. The story is just phenomenal.
    5. Reincarnation. This was my first foreign horror movie and it is so good. Reincarnation was directed by Takashi Shimizu, yes this is his second mention in this article, in 2005. A Japanese actress starts to see things after landing a coveted role in a horror movie. 
    6. Tag. This 2015 Japanese film was directed by Sion Sono. A field trip gone wrong leads to a very bad day for a Japanese teenager. Careful, this one is gory. 
    7. Train to Busan. This one is for all the zombie fans out there. In 2016 director Sang-ho Yeon unleashed this movie. Set in South Korea passengers on a train must survive the zombie outbreak on their way to Busan. 
    8. Tales of Terror from Tokyo and All Over Japan: The Movie. Directors Keita Amemiya and Shun’ichi Hirano released this film of a collection of horror stories in 2004. It features many different chilling stories from throughout Japan. There is also a television series of a similar name that is very good!
    9. The Phantom of the Theater. This movie is a treat for the eyes. Full of bright imagery and directed by Wai Man Yip this movie was released in 2016. The setting is Shanghai in the 1930s. A movie is being filmed in an old theater but there are setbacks happening and some of them might be deadly. 
    10. The Wailing. This Korean film was released in 2016 and directed by Hong-jin Na. When a small village contracts a mysterious disease local police step in to try to find a solution. That leads to a stranger with dangerous ways.

 

 

If you haven’t tried a foreign frightening film then I hope you will take these into consideration. All of these films have great stories. Many of them have lots of twists and turns in their stories. Some have even been remade into American versions. So happy watching and pleasant dreams!  

a tale of two sisters

 

ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!

Top 10 Video Games I played in 2018

I know what you’re thinking, it’s June of 2019 Crymson, this should have been up in January.

Well, I’m a busy person who also procrastinates (and Vanri totally didn’t even edit this for 2 more months).

Also, this list isn’t about games that came out in 2018, just what I played.

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  1. Five Nights At Freddy’s – This stress-filled horror game is enough to make me punch actual things. I beat 1 & 2 on stream and haven’t gone back for 3. I loved playing them but the amount of stress that came with each night increasing was a lot and I needed a long break. Doesn’t mean I will never return to the series, just have to forget the horror to actively relive it.

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  1. 7 Days to Die – Why so early in the list for a game I play often. Because as much as I love this survival horror game it can get a bit repetitive, I do love that they are always updating and adding new things, and right now my goal is just to make 365 days… if it weren’t for the bear apocalypse.

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  1. Graveyard Keeper – A fun game I started playing last year, with adorable Mixer integration on Xbox. It’s a graveyard sim with a story? Fix it, bury it, burn it, fish it, the game has a lot of it. My only problem is the Xbox is behind on the PC updates and I find it challenging to remember what all I was doing if I take long breaks because there is SO MUCH TO ALWAYS DO. At least I am never bored.

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  1. Overwatch – I just got into the game last year and love it. It, like everything, is better with friends and now have it on PC, the list of people to play with is greatly expanded. I still am not sure who I main and I don’t play it constantly as to prevent burnout but I still get joy with my salt when I do play.

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  1. Creativerse – I played this game A LOT. Free to play on PC, this is a Minecraft inspired building game. I love building new things, playing with blueprints and running from the corrupted zone. However, breaks are a plus with this game given that the creative juices can run out.

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  1. Dead By Daylight– Easily one of my favorite games. DBD always has something interesting coming and it feeds my need for horror and my lack of time commitment. I can jump in and play a few matches without having to get invested in a story or remember what I was doing last time. Also for a game that frequently goes on sale, it is cost effective. Allowing you to play on maps and be hunted by new killers, even if you haven’t bought the latest DLC.

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  1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins – I never said I had to beat the game. Origins competes with Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag for my all time favorite Assassin’s Creed game. I’ve love ancient Egypt since I was a kid and this brought all that wonder right back to me. I love so much about it that I’m disappointed I never finished it but it’s massive and there is so much to do and I must complete it all. The story, characters, it is all magic.

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  1. Murdered: Soul Suspect – A highly underrated game. I enjoyed playing this immensely and finished it before my trip to Salem, Mass. Which looks nothing like the game. However, I was highly entertained and invested the whole time. I even enjoyed the side stories and collecting achievements. If you get the chance, play it.

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  1. Stardew Valley – I know it’s been out for years and I play it very often. There is a reason. It is an amazing game that I adore. For me the replay value is priceless. I also still have a lot of people to marry. Currently, I’m streaming this on Thursday nights on RWoG channels.

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  1. Vampyr – I absolutely loved playing Vampyr. It had to be my favorite of 2018. It was almost everything I want in an RPG and when the protagonist Jonathan got a little dominate I nearly melted off my chair. I was a bit disappointed with the ending I got but that just means I’ll have to play it again.

 

Do you agree? Disagree? Is there a game I need to play? Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Free-to-Play Steam Games of All Time

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1. Counter-Strike

This is a game that has changed a lot and only a little over the years that it has been out. It was actually created 19 years ago and has evolved into a free-to-play game. It was once a pay-to-play (that’s when I got it!) and has since become free-to-play as of 2018. There is a more battle royale feel to this in the Danger rwog_csgoZone, but you can still just go play with bots if you wish.

You start the match as either Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist and after so many rounds, you switch sides. The idea is for the Terrorist team to win by setting off the bomb, or the Counter-Terrorist team to stop them from doing this to win. I spent many hours with my friends practicing and playing this because my significant other needed to practice a lot for the super-insane group of people he played this with. There is no pay-to-win here as you can only purchase cosmetics with real money.

2. Warframe

This is a third person co-op game that has always been free-to-play, to my knowledge anyway. You are located in space and you can warframe_rwogchoose different characters to play, some of which are free, some of which you find parts to get, and others that you can buy. You go and do missions on different planets to get upgrades to your armor, pets, weapons, abilities, etc. In the past year they added a more open-world planet (possibly more than one) to go get items on as well instead of just the missions. I can say I didn’t play this much, but I did enjoy the few times that I did. You could say this game has a few pay-to-win advantages as you can buy upgrades and characters to play.

3. Path of Exile

This is an MMORPG game that has a bit of a learning curve. You have to go through the story and zones to level up, get better armor and wpoe_rwogeapons, as well as learn more skills. You can customize your character a hell of a lot in this game, but it can be overwhelming for some as the gameplay can be difficult at times. A bonus to this customization is you can choose the same type of character as your friends and still have completely different spells and play styles. I hear this is much easier (and more fun) with your friends, but can definitely be played alone. I never made it very far in this game (it updates a lot and I have shitty internet), but I know a few people who really enjoy it. Also, it is never pay-to-win as you can’t purchase advantages with real money.

4. Smite

To me, Smite seems like a very complicated game. I did try to play this a few times, but never really got into it. This is a battleground game that now has over 100 gods that you smite_rwogcan choose from to play. You can be Zeus, or Loki, or even the Monkey King.  There are multiple types of competition that you can play such as competitive mode and conquest.  This is a hugely popular game that people like to brag about where they are on the leaderboard and I would say they have good reason as I found it a bit difficult. Also, no pay-to-win here that I know of, unless you consider being able to open up all Gods with the Ultimate God Pack an advantage.

5. Team Fortress 2

This is another game that was not originally free-to-play, but has become so recently. I have not played this game, but it seems to be another battleground battle. It has a lot of maps and nine different classes that you can teamfortress2_rwogplay as. They advertise it as constantly being updated with new game modes, maps, equipment, and hats (which they say is most important! Lol). You can collect, craft, buy and trade hats and weapons in this game so that you can truly customize your character and therefore your gameplay. As that is about all you can buy.. this is not a pay-to-win game either!

6. War Thunder

This is a military game that has aircraft, naval, and ground vehicles from the 1930s all the way up into the 2000s for you to command… in the same match! They advertise it as warthunder_rwogthe most comprehensive free-to-play, cross-platform, MMO military game for Windows, Linux, Mac, and PS4. It basically lets you have a full on war with all of the vehicles you would want. And who doesn’t love a game that is cross-platform?! I’ve never played it, but my significant other has and says that it is a great time if you like free military games. There is both PvE and PvP content so that everyone can enjoy it. And definitely not a pay-to-win game.

7. DOTA 2

This is another battleground game – I think I’m seeing a pattern! – that you can play that is constantly evolving. They boast that alldota2_rwog of their heroes are free and can fill multiple roles in the game allowing people to change things up in every battle. They want you to play how you want and find your favorite play style, but also be able to change it if the need arises. You can play co-op versus bots or you can go play PvP. I have never played this game, so I have no personal experience with it, but it is definitely not pay-to-win!

8. Paladins

This is one of the first battle royales that I can remember playing and came out just months after Overwatch did. This is more of a fantasy shooter where you can have guns or magic and customize your abilities to play the way you like. When I played this it was paladins_rwog5 v 5 battles, but I’m not sure if that has changed at all. There are a lot of cool skins that you can get for the characters and the battles can sometimes be really intense. They have done a few updates since it came out and currently Future’s End is the game going on. They have a new champion, Atlas, and as the others are he is free. Anything that affects gameplay is unlocked just by playing, so this is not a pay-to-win game. Although you could call it a pay-to-look good game (lol).

9. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links

So, if you don’t know, Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally a Japanese Manga series about gaming that was written and illustrated by Kazuki Takahashi. Over the years this has morphedyugioh_rwog into animes, novels, films, and games. This game is based upon trading cards for Yu-Gi-Oh! and is basically that, but online. It allows you to do duels, and PvP, as well as create your own deck with the cards you get in-game. They have voices from the anime in-game and great 3D animations. I have not personally played it, but it looks like fun if you are into trading cards. I am not sure if any of the in-app purchases make this pay-to-win.

10. World of Warships

Another battle game! (I told you – pattern!) As you can gather by the name, this is naval combat at its finest. You can choose from Japanese, American, German, British, French, Russian, Pan Asia, Italy, Commonwealth, and Poland. Not to mention, the premium ships that can be from nations not in those tech trees. Within these tech trees you can choose from Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships, and aircraft carriers. You will always start in a cruiser, but from there you can work your way up to tier 10 ships via the different worldofwarships_rwogbranches as you choose. You can play PvP in this game – the fastest way to level up – or you can choose to level up by playing PvE. My significant other plays this game heavily and really enjoys it (if you want to try it, I can get you an invite link that will give you free stuff! Just send me a message on our Discord!).

You can purchase ships for real money, but I’m not really considering that pay-to-win as when you play matches the ships on the other side are the same ships on your side of the battle. A fun fact about Wargaming is that they choose to use some of their proceeds to benefit real ships that are still out there. Earlier this year I actually went to the U.S.S Texas for free thanks to Wargaming. They had a scavenger hunt to give away prizes, they gave away ships in the game, and they gave away some nice take-home prizes (a gaming console and some leaves made from metal from the ship!). It was a great time and a great way for them to give back! From my knowledge they do this every year at the Texas.


That’s all for this list! But keep an eye out for many more Top Tens right here on Real Women of Gaming!

Top Ten Ways to Engage with your Nerdy Child

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Understanding your kids can be tough. Particularly if they have very different interests then you do. Fandoms can seem weird and perhaps even a bit scary to a person who is unfamiliar. They are also a lot of fun! For some of us these nerdy years will be the foundation of who we will become. I think my parents would have loved a list of ways to engage with me, probably still would. So here are ten ways that you can engage with your nerdy child.

1. Listen.

I know it can be difficult, particularly if you have no idea what they are talking about. However just sitting down to listen to them talk will not only keep your child’s trust but will also give them a confidence boost. It makes them feel important. It will also give good memories associated with both you and the interests that they are cultivating. Who knows you might end up loving it too.

2. Check out your local Library.

Yes I know that I have a bias for this as I have run many events for children in different fandoms and activities. So take this one from personal experience that these events can be really great. They are usually free. They give your child a safe space to interact with others about what they love. So please go check out your local Library and see what they have going on.  Also the staff who are running the event are having just as much fun as the kids. As proof here is a picture of myself and Iris the Keyblade Master at an event we were working.

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ThiaTheBard and IrisTheKeybladeMaster

3. The internet can be your friend.

You can and should research what your child is into. Not only will it help you talk to them about it but it gives you resources that you can look into on your own time.

4. Go to your local shops, comic or gaming.

There is a lot of good that can come from this suggestion. These shops are one more space for you and your child to experience what they love. The employees can also help you to learn more about what your child is into. How you can support them and can also help support you. Also, you being a patron of these places helps them to stay open and provide these services for others. It is a great, grand nerdy circle of life!

5. Get together with other parents to learn from each other and support each other.

As mentioned above you also need support. You can all learn from each other. Vent to each other. Just try to figure out what is happening together. Being confused in a group is always better than being confused alone.

6. Encourage your child.

Particularly if they are doing art, cosplay or writing. It can be difficult when just starting out. You are a person they can look to for guidance and a little boost.

7. Help them with goals related to their interests.

Anything from cosplay, making models or word count. It can be really tough for children to break up their path to success. Sometimes they may need a hand in figuring out how to best navigate the steps to their goals. What may seem insurmountable to them but something you can break down to make it a little more manageable.

8. Help them get to safe spaces they can make friends who actually share their interests.

Sometimes just giving them a ride can be a huge help.

9. Try their interests.

Ask them to help teach you to draw, sew, design, game, watch the movie or read the book. Not only will this help you learn it shows them that you care. Also, you may really like it.

10. Remember something you loved.

Remember what you needed and try to give it to them. Talk to your child about it. Let them know you have cool interests too.

I hope that this might have helped a little. Mostly just remember to show love. Love will always be the best way to have your child’s back and give them a little advantage in this world. If you have any other tips leave them in a comments below! 

ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!

Top 10 Resolutions Nobody Keeps and How to Change That

 

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Every year around December, people start talking about New Years’ Resolutions. I find it kind of annoying. However, I understand that people want to better themselves and that they feel a new year is the best time to start something. I also know that most of the time it’s bullshit.

People get all nostalgic and feely around the holidays (for good reason) and that leads them to thinking they need to change their whole life to get back to some better time or better them. While I can understand trying to be a better you, I don’t believe you should try to be an old version of yourself again. You have progressed past that, whether the progressions are good or bad, and have to move forward to a new you. 

Before we get to the resolutions many make and don’t keep, let’s talk about why we don’t keep resolutions.

First off, many people make some huge resolution that they can honestly never dream of keeping. Saying “I’m going to eat healthier” but not being specific or realistic about it doesn’t work. Don’t suddenly start eating kale and drinking smoothies for every meal because that will get old fast and those cravings you are suppressing will eventually win.

Second, people know what they want to do, but don’t actually have a reason why they want to do it. Sure eating healthier sounds good, but without a strong basis as to why you want to your brain will eventually ask, “what’s the point?” and you won’t continue. 

Another reason is people are in a hurry to fulfill this resolution and don’t have the patience to do it correctly. Yes, eating healthier is good for you. But jumping face first doesn’t work for most people. Change small things gradually – maybe 1 thing a week. Otherwise it gets overwhelming and feels impossible and we quit. We also forget to look at our progress and see what we have accomplished.

Instead, we see what we didn’t accomplish and that de-motivates us.

The last reason I have is probably the most important step in attaining the end game: support. You need people to help support you. We crave motivation and positivity. We want someone to tell us we are doing a great job, that we can complete this, that we’ve come so far and can finish! 

With that in mind, it’s obvious what one of my 10 most common resolutions is that no one keeps, but here they all are:

  1. Eating healthier 
  2. Exercise more. 
  3. Save money. 
  4. Make new friends. 
  5. Live in the now. 
  6. Find a new job. 
  7. Spend more time on hobbies. 
  8. Clean out the junk in the house. 
  9. Have a better love life. 
  10. Help others more. 

All of these are great resolutions, if done correctly. But, recently, VanriTheRogue told me she preferred to call her New Year’s Resolutions “goals” and I think that is a much better mindset.

We know we have to work to obtain goals. With resolutions, we think it will just flip a switch and change. All of the above are attainable if you are specific about what you want to change, make slow progress towards completing it, have people to help you, and make sure that you track your progress to see how far you have come. 

With that in mind, a few of our Real Women of Gaming family have graced me with their goals for the year. And I’d like to say a few things about them: 

  • VanriTheRogue – Her biggest goal for this year is to finish her book. She also wants to be healthier to improve her health and read more books to improve her mind! She had success with her goal this past year – she wanted to have 1000 followers on Mixer. She attained this by trying to keep to a schedule, networking with other creators, and making sure to have fun with it. Great job!
     
  • SaltyHylian – He wants to reach at least 500 followers this year and stick to a schedule for streaming.

  • LadyJoCrawfX9 –  She wants to lose 30 pounds, double her savings, reach 300 followers, and stream more (on schedule!).

  • Azkadelya (me) – I want to continue to cook more at home and eat out less. It saves money, calories, and I really do love trying new recipes. I’ve failed on this the past few weeks with the holidays and I miss it. I also want to be more active. I don’t know yet what this means, but even if it’s going outside to play with the dogs more, parking farther from the door at the store, or whatever, I am gonna get off my butt a bit more! As far as streaming goals, I don’t have a number in mind because I know it all depends on my internet, but I would like to stream more and be consistent about it (which will get better once PAX South is over). 

If we all support each other, these are absolutely obtainable! 

I wish you all an amazing 2019 and good luck with whatever goals you see fit to choose to set. Remember to be specific, don’t overreach, get support, and track that progress. If you have ever completed a difficult goal before, then you know when you get about halfway it can get harder. Being able to look back and see all the progress you made can give you that extra burst to keep going!

Here’s a toast to a better year than we had in 2018, to our family, friends, and ourselves. We’ve made it this far and we can attain our goals this year! 

An Event List: 10 Games to play during the Holidays

Holidays – BAH HUMBUG! I am not a huge fan of Christmas. I will take Halloween over it any day of the year. However, we do get some pretty great events in gaming this time of year. Just in case you forgot, or didn’t know when they started, here’s a short list of some to watch out for!


 

Overwatch: Winter Wonderland 2018: Dec 11 – Jan 2 

Anyone who plays this game loves holidays because it means new skins! Winter Wonderland is no exception. This holiday season Blizzard World is getting a makeover and with new heroes this year, we can expect new skins. There was an “accident” earlier this year that revealed a skin called “Figure Skater.” but no news on who’s getting this skin. It is confirmed that the Yeti Hunt and Mei’s Snowball Fight will be back in the arcade. There is rumor of a “Rat King” Junkrat, but we will have to wait a few more days to find out! 

 

World of Warcraft: Feast of Winter Veil: Dec 16 – Jan 2 

Feast of Winter Veil is a yearly occurrence for those of us that still play WoW. There are snowballs and cookies and ice cold milk. We get to save Metzen from the Greench and return some stolen treats. You can decorate your garrison for the holidays and don’t forget Great-Father Winter wants some milk and cookies before Christmas. Added last year was the snowglobe in which a Yeti spawns every 30 minutes or so and whoever gets there first wins! And of course come Christmas there are gifts under the tree for all to partake in. Get your pets, your toys, and decorate your pug and mounts – have all the holiday fun! 

 

Fortnite: Season 7: Dec 6 

Fortnite’s sixth season is coming to a close, just in time for a Christmas themed Season 7! It is confirmed a big announcement and world premiere will be happening on The Game Awards that same night. There have been subtle hints about the cold front coming.. It is said you can see your breath on the starting island for Battle Royale, there is an iceberg on the horizon, and the message “A bitter ice spreads…” from their Twitter. So far no leaked trailers (the one everyone thought was leaked.. A fake!) to show what’s coming and also no leaked skins. Stay tuned to Fortnite’s Twitter this week as they will be sure to give more hints as Season 6 comes to a close. 

 

Creativerse: Elfi’s Toy Drive: Dec 24 

Nothing has been officially released on Creativerse’s News page, but a quick search reveals that they plan to update for the holidays later this month. In recent years the login chest was replaced by a Trog Trap Login Chest and most likely will again this year. It gives you traps for starting timed holiday events similar to the Halloween ones. You can also randomly find presents on blocks of ice and snow all day and night. You use rescued toys from these events to buy the holiday themed recipes and hopefully other holiday decorations. 

 

Ark: Winter Wonderland: No date released yet 

Ark may have missed Halloween this year because of the release of Extinction, but be damned if they will miss the rest of the holidays! This event brings Raptor Claws who will drop random presents around the map and there is a possibility of snow. No word yet if there is anything new coming with this new expansion, but with the devs saying to stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks. So we can hope! 

 

DC Universe: Season’s Greetings: Nov 30 – Jan 2 

This holiday season there are new quests to be found. Go and thwart Larfleeze! Be sure to look for the new feats to accomplish, as well as go to Skeet’s Workshop daily to view the discounted item of the day. 

 

Blade and Soul: Holiday Treasure Trove: Dec 5 

Blade and Soul doesn’t do big events for holidays like many other MMO’s. Instead, they mark it with troves! You get one chance daily to get extra awesome loots from this trove. You can buy extra slots and keys to increase your chances. The trove is essentially a store roll – but with drastically reduced prices. This is the time to try and get all those items you need to upgrade the legendary weapons of your dreams. I have also found out that there are a few quests this year that you can do. The event currency is snow crystals and you can get all the loots with it – including 2 items that reduce the cost of upgrading a legendary by 50%. If you go into the store for 0 hongmoon coins you can get a Joy to the Realm Jackpot gift that keeps on giving every 10 hours until you reach the end and it grants the phat loots!

 

Destiny 2: Dawning: Dec 11 

This will be the second year for this event, but is starting a bit later than last year. It still promises holiday quests to be done and the possibility of the return of the Mayhem PVP Mode. Not much is available for this right now, so keep an eye on their news feed! 

 

MapleStory 2 : Dec 6

We all know the adorableness of this game. This year we get to do The Holiday Uproar where we help a sad little girl enjoy the holidays. Could it get any cuter? There is also Schwanda’s Holiday Gallery where you can get lots of consumables and 2 event-exclusive prizes by doing tasks in the Merry Village. Plus! Our favorite game Dance Dance Stop is also getting a holiday makeover! I should also mention this is a huge expansion that has lots of goodies in it!

 


These games are going to have Holiday events, we just don’t really know when or what! But honorably mentioned anyway!

 

Slime Rancher – Wiggly Wonderland

There is no official information on when this will start, but it has happened in past years and has been confirmed for 2018. You get a visit from the Twinkle Slime on your ranch daily.

GTA 5 Online – Festive Surprise

Nothing out yet on whether this will be coming back this year. Generally, GTA releases some snow for snowball fights and masks for the occasion. Hopefully, this continues! 

 

Top 10 Gifts Under $20! (For Your Nerdy, Fandom loving, DIY-er)

Growing up I had a plethora of hobbies and I know my family had a hard time figuring out what to get me. It was often daunting for them to figure out what exactly I’d like. It’s hard not knowing what to get your super nerdy cos-player friend, or your hardcore gamer, or that cousin that sits around a table with his friends and talks about dragons while tossing strange looking dice all over the place. Now try to make it happen on a small budget… That’s what this list is for! We’re here to help you figure it out, and maybe (just maybe) you’ll surprise them with something wonderful.

Firstly, a bit of advice: Identify their hobbies and the things they love. If you don’t know, ask them or their friends. Find someone that knows. This is important. Taking this tiny little step can go a long way to figuring out what you should be looking for in the first place. Do it.

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10. Elegy for a Dead World. ($14.99)

You find yourself in a peculiar situation. You’re friend is both a writer AND a gamer. What to do? Elegy of a Dead World solves that problem with one fell swoop, in which you take the role of a writer filling in prompts given to you through the imagery of various worlds you explore. The game is short and really only sits well with this particular geek.

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9. Google Cardboard. ($15)

VR is expensive. Plain and simple. This is an inexpensive alternative that can turn any phone (with the proper applications installed) into a portable VR experience. Plus, cardboard is in right now, just look at Nintendo Labo.

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8. Gift Cards. ($NA)

Gamers are often creatures of impulse. Having a little extra green in their steam wallet for that game that just went on sale or in their blizzard account for some packs of Hearthstone cards, can go a long way.

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7. Dice. ($5 – $20)

For those D&D (And other Tabletop RPG) aficionados. Their collection of brilliantly colored polyhedral gems are an extension of themselves and often considered sacred ground. Don’t you dare touch their collection, however, take a peak and look for their favorite color. From there take a look online or at your friendly neighborhood gaming store and see what you can find!

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6. Supplies. ($NA)

You’ve identified their hobbies right? Then ask yourself: “What do they need?” If you have an painter, do they have enough paint? Maybe a few canvases. Do you have a Dungeons and Dragons player? Maybe they could use some #2 pencils or index cards. A cosplayer could use more makeup or fabric. What’s your kids favorite gamer fuel? Mountain Dew? Water? Make it happen.

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5. D&D starter Set. ($19.99)

Do you have a buddy interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons but has no idea where to start? You’re looking at all the books and seeing $50 price tags and your not really sure which ones they need? Get them this. The D&D Starter Set includes everything they’ll need to get going, including some dice, a starter adventure, and a basic copy of the rules.

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4. Smart Cooler Mugs. ($19.99)

“A mug, really?” Yes dammit! These mugs are cool… errr warm… hot? They keep things cold or hot, depending on what you’re looking for. They are made from stainless steel; including the straw, have a no sweat exterior, and a vacuum sealed lid. You can choose from many colors and hold up to 30 oz of liquid! Awesome…

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3. Board Games. ($5- $20)

There are a plethora of board games available that are not only high quality, but inexpensive as well. They cater to a large range of gamers and nerds and very few will be disappointed by a quality card game. You’ve got titles like Chrononauts for those interested in time travel and history, or Bang! For your Red Dead Redemption fan. Codenames, Forbidden Island, Guillotine… The list goes on.

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2. Skrewdriver Pen Pocket Multi-Tool. ($12)

Multi Tools are super useful. From someone that likes to build their own computers to cos-players and artists. This handy pen comes with a level, screwdriver, ruler, and stylus! Super convinient. 

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1. Show interest in their hobbies. ($Free, usually…)

Far too many gamers are out there feeling all alone. I know I was. I would have been ecstatic had my grandparents come over and asked me about those cardboard cards I’m playing with or that game I play in the basement with my friends once a month. Offer to learn about it or have them show it to you. Take an interest in their hobbies. You have no idea how much it could mean to them.