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Galaxy Geforce GT 610 1GB - Budget GPU

The other day I picked up a 50 dollar card to replace my old Radeon 6400. I usually do not spend more than 200 dollars on any computer conponet as once you bought a high end card it is already obsolete, so I generally buy for longevity and do my homework on [insert card] and its features. Buying budget cards can be very rewarding if you know and understand the functions and features, but they can also be like a onboard gpu on steriods. People always say you get what you pay for, been saying that probably since the begining of time.


In this case, I tested the card on Arma 2, even when I place ALL graphical options to low, the textures STILL look crisp and lifelike. Frame rates are also improved on higher settings, and on low settings the rate is blistering and seamless. In this case, the 610 model is well worth the 50 dollar price. You can also buy a 2gb version that runs around 80 dollars if you want more boom for you're buck. I have been testing for a week and have not had any bugs. CTD's, or glitches of any kind.


If you are new to PC gaming or have a tight budget, the 610 card will deliver.



Sega CD - In Hindsight

Yeah, the good old days. When gaming magazines and over the top comercials controlled the masses. I suppose it's called hype now- and companies today are not as clever and down right faulse as they where 20 years ago. Back then buying a video game was a lot of trial and error, just because the title and box art sounded and looked cool did not mean the game was fun, actually almost all of them where garbage. If the game was licensed, or replaced the S for a Z in the title then it was worse. Those where the rules then. You bought a crappy game, you played it. Live and learn.


In the early 90's, Sega unleashed a console to wreak havoc on the world. It was the Sega CD, or Sega Mega CD for those PAL weirdos. There was memorable commercials that seriously blasted the hype, even though they showed footage of maybe 10 games with blistering speed. For some reason, the games where on CD, and somehow without knowing anything other than it would have better sound, I bought into the hype like a lot of Sega fans. 


The "CD" as I call it, did have some decent games. Snatcher was a hard to find masterpeice [had to wait for emulation to play that one] Sonic CD was so fast you almost had to chunk.Then the novel digital video "games" from Digital Pictures. For some reason I always enjoyed these- I remember everyone talking about interactive movies back then, so it was like sampling the future in way.


The strangest but neat fact about the Sega CD was that sega sold or licensed the technology to cheap electronic giant JVC. Before long the "X-Eye" was on the market, and was a practical buy as the X-Eye was a singular console with one power supply vs. the Sega CD's dependancy on the Genesis and added a aditional power supply [trust me, horrible config] The only drawback of the X-Eye was that the system was as durable as a 100 year old, the lid broke often, the eye would damage quickly and the eternal memory could malfunction nuking input.


Overall, the JVC console was not as durable but it was fun while it lasted. In this case you really don't get what you pay for, the Sega CD was around 300 US and the JVC being almost 500 US. Having owned both I would say that the cheaper offical version was better, but it just took up too much space and power strips. It was just too much work and the JVC was just too fragile. I still think the ideas that Sega had were good, before it's time. Saddly, not many games were made and a handful actually took advantage of the sound and color pallete. I actually miss this console- when I see it I think of the ground it broke for Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.


Sometimes something has to break to get the gears turning.

Video Game Depression?

So I logged on a few days ago to find a nice little video about how gaming can actually help depression. I am sure there are isolated cases where gaming actually helped someone overcome their demons. The game "Full Spectrum Warrior" came out nearly a decade ago. It was over hyped, had bad controls and it would of done better as a FPS or a true RTS. Even though the game failed to break much ground, it was reported that the game was used for therepy, helping combat veterans cope with the horrors of war and specifically PTSD.

Those soldiers were likely at best casual gamers, so the graphical simulation tweaked to their specific horror of battle; helped them cope and let go- usually them making different decisions in the game so their buddy did not die or they did not get shot.


I can see how in some situations how a game [usually a simulator] can help those who had little to no experience with games. I believe since we live in such a digital world that now such threpy would not be effective. This is a shame and I feel mental health personnel and even gaming publishers dropped the ball on a major opportunity that would of bridged gaming and therepy.


Since then I have not heard anything else of a practicle use for gaming in the real world other than simulators for the military. I am a gamer, so I know how addicting they can be. If anyone thinks that too much gaming is not a problematic then they are likely hardcore gamers themselves. This is such a problem that in South Korea gamers have died from exhaustion, and the South Korean Government actually has programs to help children and teens addicted to games to actually go outside, which is what the western world needs badly.


Kids still play outside however a majority of them have console or PC games. A good lot of them spend more time playing games than they do in real life, that can cause any number of antisocial disorders; like  OCD, Depression.  Before gaming got really popular, kids were having the same issues with televison. I really believe that gaming causes harm when over used, and that parents, publishers, and even schools should incourage kids to spend more time out of virtual reality. Games may be fun, but it only last for so long. 

Virtual Reality- A Long Journey

Have you seen "The Lawnmower Man"? if so, then you are probably pleased with the news of VR's return. Anyone born before 1985 can attest that in the late 80s early 90s that VR was one of the most promising technologies talked about, and not just gaming mags. I remember reading about it in the magazine "The Shaper Image" and becoming deeply interested in the work that was being done. Saddly, the technology was just too young, was not practicle and was uber expensive. It did lead to the Virtual Boy, but even in the early 90s most if not all was not impressed at all.


Now, 20 years later the technology has came back, though still in a headset format and also a limited field of view. The Oculus prototype has 110 degrees of view, and can play some really nice looking games like Doom 3 and Doom 4 is planned to be Oculus ready as well. Until I actually put on the unit I cannot begin to judge. It could be the VR experience we all hoped for 20 years ago, then again it could be a faulty peice of junk. Time Will tell.


There is another VR unit that plans to compete with the Oculus. It's the iWear VR920. With 32 degrees of view it doesn't sound like much at all, but it has a lot of support from major gaming publishers with a generous list of the best PC games in the last 5 odd years.


Personally I think gaming has been stuck in the same spot for 10 years or so. Maybe the next huge jump in gaming with be with VR headsets or glasses. I think the headsets are clunky and need to be streamlined, but they could offer a immersive gaming experience that we only wished for.