Daily Archives: March 9, 2020

Which gaming events have been cancelled due to coronavirus? – Metro.co.uk

Posted: March 9, 2020 at 1:46 pm

TwitchCon Amsterdam was cancelled amid coronavirus fears (Picture: Martin Garcia/ESPAT Media/Getty Images)

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak continues to impact major events across the world, with SXSW and Six Nations games both being pulled because of the virus.

One of the industries affected by the ongoing spread is the gaming industry, which has also seen several key events be pulled as a precautionary measure.

So what gaming events have been impacted by the ongoing crisis?

TwitchCon Amsterdam, scheduled to take place between 2 and 3 May, was cancelled this weekend due to coronavirus concerns.

The organisers made the announcement via their official Twitter channel where they wrote: We have been monitoring Coronavirus concerns and having weighed the potential health risks to our community weve made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel TwitchCon Amsterdam.

TwitchCon is the best weekend to be a Twitch fan. To say were disappointed you wont be able to enjoy the show weve been building for you is a massive understatement. But the health and safety of our community, employees, and everyone else who has a part in making TwitchCon happen is, as always, our top priority, their statement continued.

Fans are able to get a full refund for their tickets.

Meanwhile, E3 2020 still looks set to go ahead from June 9 to 11, in LA, with the Electronic Software Association (ESA) last week releasing a statement to say they are actively assessing the situation.

Its also likely the outbreak could have ramifications for upcoming console launches namely, the reveal of the PS5 and X Box X.

Since other hardware has been delayed there could be a strong chance the consoles, and therefore their reveals will be as well. Sony has denied there are any delays while Microsoft are yet to comment.

Neither have released the dates for their console launches.

Minecraft Festival which was scheduled to be held from the 25 to 27 September has also been cancelled by Mojang after careful consideration and much hand wriggling.

Tickets for the event were supposed to go on sale on 6 March, but were never released.

The developers announced the news via a blog on the Minecraft website which read: Our partners, producers, and exhibitors are based in all corners of the world, and right now we cant meet and collaborate in the way we need to. Without knowing exactly when we can resume planning, we have decided to postpone.

The Overwatch League also cancelled its February and March matches in China and South Korea, while the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) the worlds largest professional game industry event has been postponed.

Organisers say they fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer.

EA has also postponed several competitive gaming events, including the Apex Legends Global Series, scheduled to take place between March 13 to 15.

Several EA Sports Fifa 20 Global Series events are also postponed or cancelled, including the CONMEBOL Libertadores Online and Live Event, which was due to take place at the weekend.

The PlayStation Licensed Qualifying Event, due to take place on May 2 and 3 is also cancelled.

No dates have been provided for postponed events yet, with EA saying they are continuing to evaluate the situation.

Other tech events have been cancelled such as the UKs biggest mobile phone show, Mobile World Congress, which was set to take place between 24 and 27 February.

The music, film and technology conference, South by Southwest, has also been axed, impacting hundreds of thousands of potential attendees.

Closer to home, the upcoming London Games Festival is still scheduled to go ahead from 26 March to 6 April, with the organisers yet to post any updates regarding Covid-19.

MORE: Twitch star Alinity bitten by pet cat on live stream following animal abuse allegations

MORE: PlayStation 2: my 20th anniversary memories Readers Feature

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The Inevitable Collision of Gaming and Athleisure – WIRED

Posted: at 1:46 pm

In a cavernous former bank in SoHo, New York, Fortnite pro Nate Hill was gaming in front of a live audience of dozens when, over Fortnites voice chat, a teammate asked if hed ever modeled at New York Fashion Week.

Yeah, Ive done that a bunch of times, said Hill, scoping in on an enemy. Not a fan.

Hill, 25, was a full-time model until he signed with the esports organization FaZe Clan in 2018. Now he games live on camera for a living, and, professionally, looks good doing it. At D-CAVE, a popup gaming event thrown by Diesel North America CEO Stefano Rosso, Hill wore a blue Champion hoodie with colorful Pac-Man ghosts down the sleeves and well-fitting, light-washed skinny jeans. His clean, white Puma sneakers were adorned with Tetris blocks, and yellow sunglasses framed his foxlike face.

So many kids that are gamers are really into fashion, Hill said in an interview with WIRED. They are looking up to people like us who do both, and I think they want to do that as well.

Its pass to even mention the stereotype of gamers in fraying threads pale from basement binges, but in conversations at D-CAVE, Rossos new lifestyle melting pot for esport fanatics, some attendees didnt hesitate. Most references to that phantom slob werent accusations; they were points of contrast. Attendees looked nice. A pair of red Nike Jordan 4s. Tailored sweatpants. A gray Adidas sweatshirt with blue details that played off blue-flecked Adidas sneakers. A Champion beanie with a matching Champion hoodie.

Despite the patina of money, the fashion on display at D-CAVE was not an enormous aesthetic shift from the at-home gamer uniform of cozy sweatpants and a worn-in sweatshirt. Right now, athleisure and streetwear are having a momentand intersecting with the corporate mainstreamification of gamers.

Athleisure is an outgrowth of sportswear, says Dierdre Clemente, a fashion historian and professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While sportswear was originally engineered to, say, help a golfers arms swing with the least resistance, synthetic fibers and other modern technology and textiles have made it comfortable and stylish enough to become the new casual, she says.

"When people see these influencers with their nice clean clothes and tennis shoes, thats how gamers in real life live out that identity."

Dierdre Clemente, UNLV

Growing up alongside sportswear was streetwear, now an inextricable ingredient to many athleisure brands looks. In the 70s, tracksuits and high-end sneakers were big in urban landscapes. Over the next few decades, thanks to hip hop culture, streetwear proliferated into the mainstream. Now skateboarding apparel brands like Supreme elicit around-the-block lines for hoodies and T-shirts and, at least in Supremes case, $1 billion valuations.

While the original athleisure trend was responsible for taking the comfortable silhouettes and performance features of sportswear out of the gym into everyday fashion, it was the global rise of streetwear that built the culture around it and made it collectible, says Volker Ketteniss, head of menswear at trend forecasting firm WGSN.

In a cute way, gaming is athleisure incarnate. Its competitive and athletic, but yeah, sure, youre sitting down. Cozy and fly, athleisure and its streetwear manifestations naturally mesh with gaming, which is probably why so many companies are putting out gamer-bait clothing: Adidas, Puma, Champion, Nike, UNTFD, and Uniqlo all sell apparel featuring gaming icons or have partnered with gaming celebrities over the last year. Luxury brands Moschino, Louis Vuitton, and Prada have done it, too. At the same time, esports teams like FaZe and 100 Thieves are raking in cash selling athleisure repping their pro gamers. 100 Thieves chief operating officer John Robinson estimated in a recent New York Times article that his company can take in about half a million dollars of revenue in a single morning, selling sweaters, sweatpants, and T-shirts with the minimalist appeal of Apple.

Clemente theorizes that the gaming audience has outgrown its image of guys in dirty sweatpants and pizza-stained T-shirts. Its not just pass; its inaccurate. The clothes are constitutive of their identity rather than reflective of their identity, Clemente says. When people see these influencers with their nice clean clothes and tennis shoes, thats how gamers in real life live out that identity, she says.

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Great moments in PC gaming: When a game drops you out of the sky in the intro – PC Gamer

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.

Bayonetta doesn't mess around. It opens on you, a witch librarian dominatrix, perched on a ruined clocktower as it falls off a cliff. Also, angels are attacking you and your witch friend. Before you've even been shown what to press for punch and kick, you have to jump around booting servants of the Lord to death with high heels that have guns in them. Then the ruined tower explodes and you fight a flying wyrm-thing while standing on the clock face. It's ludicrous, a real statement of intent. It says, "This game is going to be over-the-top all the way through, so we may as well start as we mean to go on."

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine pulls a similar trick, opening on three manly men of the Imperial Space Marines deciding how to get their spaceship past ork artillery to the planet below. Captain Titus, voiced by Mark Strong in the role he was born to play, orders the ship to retreat so he can deal with this personally. Then he pulls on a jetpack, and jumps out.

The tutorial for Space Marine is a fight across the deck of a flying ork pirate vessel, stabbing goblinoids to get to the main cannon so you can turn it around and blow up the ship you're standing on. After it crashes you dust yourself off, walk out of the rubble, and get on with the rest of the game. It's a perfect way of getting you into the role of a superhuman who believes cover is for other people.

What these games have in common is a confidence that you're going to get it. They're not openings designed to be a challengeyou don't have a health bar in Bayonetta's intro and I'm not sure it's even possible to diebut they are designed to blow your hair back and shock you into paying attention. These aren't games where you're going to spend the first half-hour learning which button to press for crouch when you get to the bit where some pipes block the top half of a tunnel. You're going in at the deep end, from a great height.

And for my money no game does this better than Saints Row: The Third.

After a bank-robbery tutorial you're stuck on a plane full of international gangsters. The only way off is to open the cargo hold and parachute out while the plane's cargo of very explosive cars falls past and a bunch of machinegun-toting goons follow. Shaundi, your partner in crime, doesn't have a parachute. You have to kill a bunch of falling bad dudes then Point Break your way through the exploding cargo to grab her before you can pull your chute.

Then the plane you just jumped out of finishes turning around and tries to ram you. To Shaundi's disappointment your solution to this is to drop her, shoot the cockpit glass, zip through the plane grabbing a fresh parachute as you go, then whip out the back and repeat the whole dive-through-the-sky-shooting-dudes bit until you catch Shaundi a second time.

These games are writing their manifesto across the sky in letters made of explosions. It promises they won't waste your time, that they'll keep the pace up. There will be midair boss fights and exploding helicarriers and more spectacle than you can shake a gunheel at.

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Bucks Gaming quenches thirst with Sprite and Kwik Trip – Esports Insider

Posted: at 1:46 pm

NBA 2K League team Bucks Gaming, the official affiliate of the NBAs Milwaukee Bucks, has partnered with the Sprite drink brand and regional convenience store company, Kwik Trip.

Kwik Trip, which is already partnered with the NBAs Bucks, will provide the team Sprite beverages at its downtown Milwaukee performance center. Additionally, Kwik Trip courtside branding will appear in Bucks Gamings virtual court during home games.

RELATED: NBA 2K League finds restaurant partner in Panera Bread

Kwik Trip and Bucks Gaming will host a giveaway this summer that awards the winners a trip to New York City in July to watch the team play, as well as meet players. Kwik Trip visitors can enter the contest beginning in June.

Mark Meisner, Director of Advertising and Marketing for Kwik Trip, commented in a release: Extending our Bucks team sponsorship into the esports space was intriguing. The explosion of esports provides a completely new platform in which to engage younger consumers who are typically tough to reach through traditional media channels. Our collaboration with Sprite will provide Kwik Trip guests with the opportunity to win incredible esports experiences throughout the season. We look forward to the partnership.

RELATED: Bucks Gaming procures partnership with Raynor Gaming

Bucks Gamings other partners include Alienware, Raynor Gaming, kitchen and bathroom products brand Kohler, and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. The NBA 2K League season begins on March 24th at THE TIPOFF tournament.

Esports Insider says: Bucks Gaming is banking on the power of regional partnerships with this Kwik Trip deal, with the added allure of Coca-Colas Sprite brand in the mix. Given the Bucks own recent surge in the NBA, maybe it can lend some of that hype to the 2K League team, as well.

ESI New York 2020 - Find out more

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Forfeited Games and Virtual Learning: Coronavirus Shuts Down Schools – The New York Times

Posted: at 1:46 pm

SAN FRANCISCO After months of training and competition, the girls soccer team at Lowell High School in San Francisco could taste another title.

The players were on their home field last Thursday, preparing to play a state semifinal game, when Lowells coach gathered her team. But this was not a final pep talk. It was bad news.

The entire school of 2,700 students was closing until further notice after a students parent had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The game was off. The team would have to forfeit and give up its chance to win a third consecutive state championship.

The fact that something so out of our control ruined our chances of advancing really sucks, said Sarah Ginsburg, 16, a junior forward.

As the virus continues to spread across the country, more and more schools are choosing to close their doors in an effort to protect their students. That has elicited an array of emotions, from fear to frustration, as well as a host of questions from parents and students. If there is an outbreak, there could be widespread, long-term school closures, and that has caused concerns over how it will affect learning, burden families and upend communities.

Lowell, part of the San Francisco Unified School District and one of the states highest- performing schools, was the citys first public school to close.

On Saturday, the Elk Grove Unified School District, Northern Californias largest, announced it was closing for at least a week after a relative living with multiple students in the district tested positive for the virus. The district has 63,000 students spread across 67 schools in the Sacramento area.

In the Seattle area, there have been several short-term school closures for cleaning. But the Northshore School District, after several individual school closures, announced it was closing the entire district for up to two weeks. Its more than 23,000 students will convert to online learning in the meantime.

And at Saint Raphael Academy, a private Catholic school in Pawtucket, R.I., administrators announced that the school would be closed this week after chaperones and a student who had traveled to Italy on a school trip tested positive for the virus.

The situation is like a huge snowstorm or a hurricane, in that it requires calm, and it requires people to dig deep and look out for each other, but its different, said Holly Taylor Coolman, 53, whose two teenagers at the school will now be switching to virtual learning for the next two weeks. Im trying myself to really look for the positives, she said.

It is not clear how effective school closings are during virus outbreaks, said Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for the Seattle and King County Public Health agency. Diseases spread faster among people in close quarters, a factor that often drives decisions to close schools. But schools in the Seattle area closed during the H1N1 pandemic a decade ago, and we saw tremendous community disruption, Dr. Duchin said.

Students continued to gather elsewhere, he said, and parents were burdened by having to stay home from work. Among them were health care workers who were unable to provide care because they had to attend to their children.

Many lower-income students also rely on schools for meals. Officials in New York City have said that they would close the public schools there only as a last resort, in part because about 114,000 students in the school system are homeless and may have nowhere else to get hot meals, medical care or even a place to wash their dirty laundry.

State and federal officials have yet to require school closures, so for now the decisions are in the hands of individual districts and schools.

The Northshore district in Seattle made its decision to close after King County officials recommended that people 60 years of age or over, those who have medical conditions and pregnant women stay home. The over-60 population alone accounted for 500 employees in the district, including teachers, cafeteria workers and bus drivers.

Now parents and students are adjusting to their new reality for the next two weeks.

For Erin Peistrup, the mother of two school-aged children in the Northshore district, the sudden closure was manageable, if unwanted. She is a stay-at-home parent, a luxury that many other families dont have. The district said it was looking for ways to assist at least 250 families who said they needed help with child care.

Ms. Peistrup gave her 12-year-old sixth grader Thursday off as an Xbox day, but on Friday began getting ready for online classes to start on Monday. They checked out an extra laptop for her 7-year-old second-grader and moved a card table into his room, so that he and his older brother would not pester each other while they were supposed to be paying attention to school online. He is just so excited to be playing school at home, Ms. Peistrup said. He has taped all of his logins and passwords on the wall.

Her sons excitement aside, Ms. Peistrup said she was managing her own expectations and hoping that her children could spend their home recess with her neighbors children.

Some parents were expressing frustration that the situation had arisen to begin with.

Some parents with children at Saint Raphael Academy in Rhode Island said they wondered why the students and chaperones who went on the trip to Italy were not more quickly quarantined after they returned.

On Feb. 22, a chaperone, a senior administrator in his 40s, was ill after coming home from the trip and did not report to school. The Rhode Island Department of Health became aware of his case on Feb. 26, officials have said, but did not have the capacity to test for coronavirus until Saturday, Feb. 29.

In the meantime, those who had also gone on the trip, including a teenager who later tested positive, were circulating on campus.

After news of a possible exposure, the group that went on the trip went under self-quarantine, which ended Saturday. A second and larger group which was exposed to those people, representing around one-quarter of the student body, is also under a two-week self-quarantine.

The entire student body will now remain home until March 13, spending virtual days at school online, said Nancy Cifune, the schools communications director.

Suzanne Arena, whose 16-year-old daughter attends the school, has complained about the states slow pace in releasing information about the risk of infection.

The teenage rumor mill was so active that she learned of the suspected case when another schools cheerleading team refused to compete against Saint Raphaels on Sunday morning, for fear of being exposed.

Imagine taking your daughter to a meet and having the other team say, Were not playing you because your faculty member has coronavirus, she said. Is that normal? I expect more protection from my tax money that I pay to the Department of Health.

If there was a lag in response in Rhode Island, the opposite might be said for Lowell.

At 2:14 p.m. on Thursday, Judy Chan Higa, who has two daughters at Lowell and another at a middle school in the district, received a two-sentence text message from the district: Lowell HS is closing immediately. Phone call and email to follow.

Its concerning but Im not paranoid about it, she said, adding that as a geriatric nurse, she had been preparing for the coronavirus to hit the wider community.

The district has not identified the student whose parent tested positive, unnerving some students, said Kelly Higa, a 17-year-old junior at Lowell and one of Ms. Chan Higas daughters.

Its really scary because nobody knows who the student is, so everybodys unsure if you have a class with the student or share a classroom from a different period, she said. Were not sure how much contact weve had with that student.

District officials said the student had not shown any symptoms. The district was doing enhanced cleaning at Lowell, a district spokeswoman said in an email.

Sarah Ginsburg, the soccer player, said she believed the district overreacted by forfeiting their soccer game. Their opponents from Chico had already been on the field and shared a bathroom with them, she said, so it seemed too late to avoid any exposure.

The hysteria can be more detrimental than the virus itself, she said.

The disruptions to schools have extended into the community as well, with some families saying they felt ostracized because of their connection to the virus.

Daniel Richard, the principal at Saint Raphael, sent an internal email to students and parents describing an incident at a restaurant where he had dinner with his wife. He said he wore a school jacket, and started getting glares from fellow diners. When someone approached him, he explained that he was not among those being quarantined, so he posed no particular risk to the community, he wrote in the email, which was posted on social media.

As a faith-based school, he wrote, we need to remember to treat others respectfully even when we are the target of their misguided comments.

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Best gaming books 2020: novels, retro compendiums and other page-turners – GamesRadar+

Posted: at 1:46 pm

There's still nothing better than physical media, I think, and gaming books are the epitome of good physical gaming merch and media. They are some of the best companion material going in the vast world of game merchandise. Offering a fine, and refined, means to add to one's gear and merch collection, they also provide a way into loads more information and background content to our favorite games too.And what better time of the year to celebrate them, given this month contains World Book Day!

So, when it comes to physical game merch, video game books combine a few wonderful things to make them really attractive acquisitions: by merging behind the scenes insight with artwork and inspiration, or great stories and filling in narrative gaps seamlessly with great imagination, or taking us back to our early days of gaming with wonderfully retrospective looks at the retro gaming scene. Gaming books, in all their forms, are something to be cherished and valued highly among the wealth of plastic and flammable tat that usually comes to the fore when looking at game merch.

We hold many gaming books in the highest regards, (we also have a dedicated guide to the best video game art books). And you'll see some of our favorites here as we take a broader look at the best gaming books: from novelizations and supporting fiction, through to gorgeous art and lore books, and books specifically celebrating the retro games from our pasts - there's a glorious selection to choose from. (Just as a word of warning, book covers and artworks may look different depending on where you are in the world but as long you as you use the links below and stick to the book titles you won't go wrong.)

Novels are a great way to continue enjoying the stories of our favorite games - or to enjoy them again but in a slightly different but equally absorbing way. Admittedly, some are more successful than others, but generally, there are some great books that go alongside some of the biggest and best game series we know and love.

It's important to note that even the most seemingly straightforward novelization of games' plots - like the Assassin's Creed books - are still very much worth a read as the writers and authors often provide lots of extra background story and narrative or plot sequences that support and fill 'gaps' that the games may have had. For example, you'll get some extra bonus Kenway Saga backstory and information with the novel Forsaken, rather than just a retelling of Assassin's Creed III. You'll also find that some games that are chock full of lore and history, and different lands and peoples give birth to really rich novel series with unique, standalone stories that are really gripping, like the Dragon Age books.

Anyway, there are many, many series of novels based on games that it'd be rather uninspiring to just list all of them out, but there are several standout series of novels to go to in the first instance, and you'll find some of them below, starting with one that's become very popular again recently...

Witcher book series | Amazon US | Amazon UKRiding off the back of the recent Netflix series, the Witcher books are enjoying a big resurgence. Go for The Last Wish for the very start or Blood of Elves to jump in at the beginning of Ciri's 'Saga' to enjoy some awesome stories and tales from The Continent.

Assassin's Creed book series | Amazon US | Amazon UKOliver Bowden et al do a great job of joining the dots and adding narrative flourishes to the Templar v Assassin conflict through the ages. You can start with Renaissance as it was the first book to be published, with The Secret Crusade that follows Altair as per the first game, or with whichever one goes alongside your favorite game.

Metro book series | Amazon US | Amazon UKCombine the recent and final DLC release of Metro Exodus with these moody and gripping subterranean tales set in Moscow during post-nuclear apocalypse. Luckily they are easily navigated due to the year number that features on each, and so Metro 2033 is the one you want to go for first.

Dishonored book series | Amazon US | Amazon UKAn underrated series of books, the three of these novels keep alive the rich world of Dishonored's Empire of the Isles and its history and locations to great effect. The Corroded Man is the first book.

Dragon Age book series | Amazon US | Amazon UKOne of the most rich, interesting and brilliant game worlds in Thedas comes to life in these novels. There's so much lore and history already established by the games to build on. To get going with the books you'll want to start with The Stolen Throne.

Halo book series | Amazon US | Amazon UKAn iconic game series, with a well-established and deep universe to draw from; it's a great set up for a book series. You'll want to start with Halo: The Fall of Reach to get the ball rolling.

Mass Effect book series | Amazon US | Amazon UKMuch like the Dragon Age series, there's a rich mine of lore and history to mine with Mass Effect's futuristic sci-fi setting. Start with the one called Mass Effect: Revelation.

Video game art books are some of my favorite things to collect and I've got dozens of them that I love dipping in and out of frequently. Gone are the days of guide and strategy books that happened to include some art, and even the purely behind the scenes books ('how the developers made the game') are not seen as frequently. Now, they cover inspirations and concept artwork, further game-universe lore and information, place histories and character backgrounds - enhancing almost everything about a game and what you thought you knew about it. They really are some of the best video game books you can get. There are hundreds of these art books, and each year we are treated to more, so we've simultaneously pointed you in the right direction, generally, as well as a little more specifically, below. (You'll have to forgive us for not including everyone's favorites *sadface*.)

Video game art books at Amazon USThis link will take you to a raft of lovely video game art books. The listings often start with some big hitters or recent releases but you'll find everything you want there.

Some real crowd favorites are out there and remain ever-popular, so I've taken the liberty of listing some below for inspiration, as well as including some of the nailed-on excellent gaming books that are yet to grace our bookshelves and that are up for pre-order.

The World of the Witcher | Amazon US | Amazon UKThis compendium is a perfect book to go alongside the novels, games and now the Witcher Netflix TV series. Written from Jaskier's/Dandelion's perspective it covers the lore of The Continent, and its monsters, peoples and places beautifully.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Creating a Champion | Amazon US | Amazon UKAs we wait for Breath of the Wild 2, this art book is the perfect acquisition in the meantime and to complement that Xth playthrough, in order to see how Nintendo made its favorite champion.

The Art of the Last of Us Part II | Amazon US | Amazon UKGot your The Last of Us 2 pre-order reserved? Well, why not get the accompanying art book pre-ordered too? Like I have. Or maybe pre-order the Deluxe Edition, like I have too, and get the most out of Naughty Dog's beautiful post-apocalyptic world and story.

The Art of Death Stranding | Amazon US | Amazon UKOne of the most intriguing games of the past year or so, Death Stranding sure did have a unique style of art and aesthetic, but also a wonderful world to explore. Go further than Sam's in-game journey and get the book.

The Skyrim Library | Amazon US | Amazon UKHands down the best written-word companion to all Elder Scrolls games - not just Skyrim. This is a brilliant video game art book collection (there are three volumes to get your teeth into, either individually or in a lovely box set) and offers a mass of lore, maps, history and information that covers all things Tamriel.

One of the most exciting and excellent things to come out of the recent (ish) wave of retro gaming enthusiasm we're enjoyingis the parallel surge in the media through which we're enjoying reminiscing about past games and tech. As well as the resurgence in the best retro games consoles, gaming cabinets and arcades and accessories, retro gaming books are also enjoying popularity - and with good reason. The standard of publication of retro game books is better than its ever been, and from enormous encyclopedias of a console's library, to insights into a retro classic's development, through to tracking the technology's history and all the trends and twists in culture that were enjoyed along the way, retro gaming books are a wealth of information and enjoyment.

Below you'll find some picks from the bunch that our friends at Retro Gamer magazine have picked out for us - thanks to them for helping us out with this bit - but if you'd like to browse more specialist books and tomes that are not found at usual retailers then check out Read-Only Memory and Bitmap Books. Both of these websites have awesome collections of really nice retro books that are classy, documented in a detailed fashion and bring to life the joy of retro gaming, that we all remember fondly, but also areas that are more niche, but no less interesting.

Retro Gaming: A Byte-Sized History Of Video Games | Amazon US | Amazon UKThis is a terrific, well-structured, accessible little read. It offers a brief snapshot into some of the biggest games and systems from across the decades. All the usual suspects are present and covered, from the release of Pong right up to the appearance of the sixth generation of consoles.

The CRPG Book | Amazon US | Amazon UKThe Computer Role-Playing Games book is rather special. Published by Bitmap Books, the quality of this title is absolutely superb with lots of sumptuous photography, revealing and interesting interviews and delightful screenshots to pore over. Highly recommended.

The NES Encyclopedia | Amazon US | Amazon UKChris Scullions first book is a very enjoyable read about one of the best-loved consoles of the 80s. Its a little light on in-depth interviews but thats easily forgivable given that all 714 officially licensed games have been included in this thorough tome.

Sega Master System: A Visual Compendium | Amazon US | Amazon UKAnother brilliant publication from Bitmap Books, this is a ridiculously lavish tome, with gorgeous photography, beautiful pixel art and detailed insight into swathes of the System's games. It's so good, some entries on games will leave you wanting more.

The Nostalgia Nerd's Retro Tech | Amazon US | Amazon UKThis book provides an introduction to just about every significant console and home computer format from the Magnavox Odyssey to the Xbox. It doesn't cover handhelds, but each system present gets multiple pages of coverage, featuring a solid history, some nice photography and a range of games to see, play and avoid.

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Worms is returning in 2020 and promises big changes – PC Gamer

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Team17 is bringing back its wriggly warriors for another round of invertebrate murder this year. The first teaser, above, doesn't show off any of the new game, but it does hint at big changes on the horizon.

After going on a nostalgic trip through the history of Worms, the teaser literally destroys the old games, making way for this year's mystery game. It's Worms as we've never seen it before, apparently, with Team17 adding that there's be "New Worms, new ways to play," in a tweet.

Worms is no stranger to reinvention. It briefly went full 3D, controversially, and later games have added things like physics and procedural water. The last game, 2016's WMD, was heavily inspired by '99's Armageddon, but also threw vehicles into the mix. For the most part, however, the fundamentals have stayed the same, so maybe it's time for a shake-up.

Team17's not spilling any more details just yet, but more are coming soon.

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Logitech G says this app will improve gaming audio if you take a picture of your ear – The Verge

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Logitech G is launching support for a new app that lets you customize your gaming audio for better immersion. The app is supposed to let you hear game sounds like large-scale battles, nearby footsteps, or racing sounds on a race track more clearly.

The new app is called Immerse and was made by Embody, a spatial audio company, in partnership with Logitech G. Embody says on its website that Immerse was designed to let PC gamers hear game audio as you hear sounds in the real world, and make sounds appear to be closer or farther away from you.

The Immerse app uses AI to create a personalized sound profile for each user. When you sign up for the app, Immerse requires you to scan a QR code and then take a picture of your right ear using your smartphone. Immerses AI then uses algorithms to analyze all of the parts of your ear to predict how your ears receive sound.

The Immerse app is a paid subscription service, with subscriptions starting at $3 per month in addition to a free trial period that lasts two weeks. I played a little bit of the Resident Evil 2 remake using my Logitech G433 headset with the apps Close Combat mode enabled; this allowed me to hear more precisely where enemies were and take in the groans of the undead. Then I tested out Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition with an expanded sound field, allowing me to hear smaller sounds from a farther distance, such as enemies roaming the environment.

The Immerse app supports more than a dozen Logitech G headsets, including the G Pro X and Pro gaming headsets as well as the Logitech G533, which we noted was a PC gamers dream headset during our CES 2017 coverage.

In addition to Logitech, Immerse also offers support for headsets made by Beyerdynamic. So, there is a possibility that Embody will team up with other headset companies to provide more accessibility to its customized in-game audio in the future.

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Logitech G says this app will improve gaming audio if you take a picture of your ear - The Verge

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Owners of Houston Rockets and Florida Panthers opposed to games with no fans if coronavirus worsens – CNBC

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Houston Rockets ownerTilman Fertitta told CNBC on Friday the idea of playing games without fans in attendance is "never gonna work," as fears of thecoronavirus outbreak continues to plague markets worldwide.

"I don't think you ever want to play games in front of no audiences," Fertitta said, adding he would instead prefer to suspend play for a week. "But you don't want to play games with no fans."

Appearing on CNBC's "Power Lunch," Fertitta commented on the coronavirus, urging fans to remain calm and not panic. Fertitta approved of attendance at Thursday's night's Rockets contest against the Los Angeles Clippers, which the National Basketball Association reported as a sellout at 18,055 tickets sold.

He added the game was a "lower no-show" for fans than usual"which I like to see because we're not panicking, and we shouldn't," Fertitta said.

Several sporting events have been canceled or altered due to thecoronavirus outbreak. The NBA delayed the start of the Basketball Africa League, which was scheduled to begin next week.

And though the NCAA announced its Division III men's tournament atJohns Hopkins University in Baltimore will be played without spectators, the organization'scoronavirus advisory panel said it doesn't recommend "cancellation or public spacing of athletic and related events scheduled to occur in public spaces across the United States."

Hence, as of now, the annual NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will be played as scheduled.

"We've got to go on about our lives," Fertitta said when discussing the coronavirus.

Austin Rivers #25 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the LA Clippers on March 5, 2020 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Bill Baptist | NBAE | Getty Images

Fertitta's opposition to playing games with no fans is shared by a counterpart in the NHL,Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola.

Viola, who is also the founder of Virtu Financial, told CNBC on Friday he was opposed to playing NHL games in empty arenas. He suggested such a move could have a sustained impact on the way fans interact with professional sports.

"It probably beckons at worst a delay on our way to complete the schedule eventually. No, I don't want to play games in front of an empty arena," Viola said on "Fast Money Halftime Report." "I think that would not be good for the long-term concept of crowd activity."

The decision to cancel or postpone sporting events or simply play them with no spectators carries significant financial ramifications. There are high-dollar TV contracts and neatly planned venue schedules to consider, among other factors, adding to an already complex public health situation.

Viola said he did not foresee the NHL putting the season on a temporary delay, but he stressed the league and its leadership would not compromise the safety of its fans.

"But what I see is the contingency that we have to be prepared to do what's best for our fan base," he said.

"The fans come first. Their safety is paramount," Viola said, adding his franchise was in frequent communication with U.S. health officials. "Obviously we don't want to conduct an activity if we think there's even the slightest chance that that activity is going to promote the spread of a not normal virus."

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Owners of Houston Rockets and Florida Panthers opposed to games with no fans if coronavirus worsens - CNBC

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Giannis Antetokounmpo to Miss Bucks’ Next 2 Games with Knee Injury – Bleacher Report

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks are going to be without star Giannis Antetokounmpo for at least a few games.

According to the team,Antetokounmpo will miss the final two games of the team's road trip with aminor joint capsule sprain in his left knee. He'll be reevaluated ahead of the team's March 12 game against the Boston Celtics.

Antetokounmpo is likely on his way to a second straight MVP in 2020.He's averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists through 57 games, helping the Bucks open a wide gulf between themselves and the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee received a scare in a 113-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Antetokounmpo, who landed awkwardly on his left leg in the fourth quarter,received a precautionary MRI after the game, though it appears the prognosis is far from the worst-case scenario.

With regard to the health of the 25-year-old, the Bucks' primary concern is ensuring he's ready for the postseason. Even withoutAntetokounmpo in the lineup, they have enough firepower to remain in first place in the East.

Milwaukee's hopes of an NBA Finals run hinge on the Greek Freak's performance, though. The Toronto Raptors successfully bottled him up in last year's postseason, which resulted in the Bucks' conference finals exit.

As long asAntetokounmpo's injury is as short-lived as expected, the team should be fine.

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