Daily Archives: March 29, 2020

I Worked from Home with my Husband for 3 Years – Reader’s Digest

Posted: March 29, 2020 at 10:53 am

When my fianc, Nick, and I were first faced with sharing a small office space in our apartment, we quickly learned that our relationship was not as bulletproof as we had previously thought. We had both left our jobs in the pursuit of entrepreneurial dreams, and the long workdays involved meant that we were often together 24/7. Nearly four years and three shared office spaces later, we fortunately feel quite a bit differently!

Our journey took us from Miami to Denver and finally to the Chicago area. While in Denver, I founded Bucha Brewers, my kombucha home-brewing store and website. Nick found a passion working with small businesses on finance and strategy, and in 2019, he took a job as a finance and strategy manager in an office.

During the three years we shared a small workspace, we really learned how to manage our physical space, as well as each other, to optimize the situation. These are the big lessons we learned along the way, which were relearning now that were together again because of the coronavirus situation. Hopefully our story and our ground rules can help other couples avoid some of the challenges we experienced at first.

Early on, we would constantly interrupt each other to talk about our days or some work issue we had. Neither of us wanted to hurt the others feelings, but it was distracting being in the same space and constantly doing that. We needed to focus. At some point, there was a little bit of tension because of that, and we had to discuss it. I think Nick was the one who brought it up, but we had both been getting frustrated. We needed to set some boundaries and rules for ourselves to handle working from home better. Find out exactly what you need to be successful working from home.

What we decided was this: If one of us was deep in our work, the other wouldnt interrupt. Wed let each other stay in the zone. To work to the best of our abilities, we set a rule that work would come first. During the day, unless there was something really urgent going on, we would try to keep the focus on our own jobs and basically act like we were coworkers in a shared working space. Our relationship was actually better because of it. When we did get to talk about our work, whether it was on a midday walk to get a break from things or at the end of the day over dinner, we would have more things to share.

Having defined, separate desks and workspaces in our office was essential. We never shared desks or organizerskeeping the workspaces physically separate was necessary. Before our current place, we lived in two-bedroom apartments and shared an office in the second bedroom in each of them. We are both particular about our workspaces (we both like having standing desks and dont like to work sitting), so we never really worked in our living space either. The only occasion either of us did was when the other had a video call.

In our first apartments office, we had a futon that was between our two desks, so it gave us a common space where we could sit and chat for a while. Or if one of us wanted to take a break or meditate, we had a little Zen corner. In another apartment, I had a small desk in addition to my standing desk. It was a space used by me only. I had a file organizer on it, and it also had a rolling shelf with work-related items that I would move in and out as needed. When it wasnt in use, I would store it in another part of the apartment in order to clear up more common space in the office. We had a bookcase, too, and then more personal touches that made the office more functional and comfortable. Need some specifics? These are the best work-from-home essentials you can get at Target.

A good co-working space is also largely about setting your expectations with each other. Things can get complicated when you add work to your romantic relationship, and that can be difficult for both work and romance if you are not on the same page as your partner. In short, communication is key!

Also, Nick and I tend to get very focused on our work and that sometimes led to us not paying much attention if the other came in to chat throughout the day. We learned not to take this personally and to try to wait until the end of the day to catch up on things.

Since we were sharing the same space, we also learned to run calls and meetings by each other ASAP. When possible, one of us would clear the office and work elsewhere if the other had an important call. Getting kicked out at the last minute or sharing a noisy space during a call was always frustrating for both of us.

We have offices in separate rooms now, so calls arent an issue at the moment. But for other couples who dont have that luxury, I would recommend communicating calls and meetings in advance so the other person can plan accordingly. Figure out a backup workspace just in case you need it. And if youre having trouble focusing in that space, use the time to get some movement by going for a walk or rejuvenating yourself with a quick meditation.

I tend to jump into ideas. When I have a project, I like to dive into itI live and breathe it until its done, for the most part. Nick, on the other hand, likes to look at things more in depth; hes more analytical. But we would bounce ideas off each other, and it was helpful. We wouldnt always agree, but I think we were able to take a lot from each others perspectives because we tend to approach things differently. He would help me to take a step back and look at things more closely. And sometimes I helped him jump into something that hed been taking a little more time on.

Nick and I have different work personalities, and we never saw them up close and personal until we shared a workspace. At first, our differences led to frustrations with each other. Eventually, though, we learned to utilize each others strengths and to help each other on weaknesses. We would even hold each other accountable for work items we had talked about. Working past the initial friction we experienced allowed us to learn from each other.

Courtesy Kristie Covey

At first, we needed to examine our boundaries and behave like coworkers throughout our workday. But after more than a year of doing that, it carried over into our personal lives and our free time, and for a while, we forgot how to act as a couple. We really needed to discipline ourselves and plan dates and fun stuff and time away from the workspace. That took some work. It was hard to separate that since the physical space was the same, so we had to be really careful to maintain a balance.

While thats a little harder to do right now, you still have options: Here are 20 things happy couples do after work.

It would vary by day, but a lot of times, we would start out the day together. We would go on a quick run with our dog and then break apart, get ready for the day, and jump into our work phase. Wed plan to cook together for lunchtime. In the afternoon, wed take a walk with our dog again. At night, our routine would vary. Sometimes, wed both be done by dinner and wed enjoy our time together after that. Or sometimes one of us would really be in a stride with work, and so maybe wed move into our living space after 8 oclock. One of us would be working late while at least being in the same space so we could enjoy each others company.

We went through some trying times as a result of sharing a workspace for so long, but we came out a lot stronger in the end. We really learned to value our time apart and also learned that it was OK to want time apart. We learned to focus on ourselves and our individual goals all day and found that this meant we would bring the best versions of ourselves together at the end of the day. And we also learned to plan for and treasure our romantic relationship, even when we were already spending 12 hours a day in the same room working.

When Nick returned to a traditional job, I really missed my work-from-home partner at first. He was working long hours and had a rough commute, which meant I had also lost my co-chef at the end of the day. Despite that, I found my productivity was up a bit. We also got a lot better at leaving work at workonce Nick was home for the night, we dedicated our time to enjoying each others company. We had more to catch up on, and we were able to remember what it was like to miss each other.

With Nick returning to work from home over the last few weeks, there have been a few occasions where we interrupt each other and get frustrated. But we have quickly remembered our ground rule of work comes first and not to take the neglect from each other throughout the workday personally. That really makes all of the difference. By focusing on ourselves and our individual goals throughout the day, we bring the best version of ourselves to each other at the end of the day. For more tips, check out these 13 golden rules for working at home.

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The American way will carry us through difficult times – The Daily News Online

Posted: at 10:52 am

As a community and a nation, we come together in times of crisis. Ironically, when it comes to COVID-19, our unification is best done in a metaphorical rather than literal sense.

In that spirit of unity, I ask that everyone in the community reflect on the brave men and women of law enforcement and those who work throughout the criminal justice system, who despite these difficult times, come together each day on a shared mission to serve, protect, and uphold the rule of law. Every individual working in law enforcement, whether as a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, began their career with an oath. Because that oath engendered a promise, it also carried with it a moral obligation. In the case of those working in the criminal justice system, that obligation includes a promise to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to uphold our Nations laws.

But their obligation our obligation does not end there. As Americans no matter our occupation, no matter who we are, and not matter what we do each of us are part of what our Founding Fathers characterized as the great experiment in self-governance. Yet, I fear that too many of us have come to view self-governance as a descriptor of how we go about choosing our leaders more than it is a characterization for how we ought to go about living our lives. Indeed, our very identity, as a Nation and as citizens, is predicated upon our ability to engage in self-governance. That is, the responsibility and obligation that each of us have to control and govern our own behavior to live morally.

In times such as this when we are tested we must reaffirm our commitment to engage in self-governance and to unify in order to uphold those aspirational values which lie at the heart of our identity as Americans. As Americans, our identity depends not on where we came from, who we are, or what we have, but instead it is all about what we honor and uphold. Notions such as equality, justice, fairness and perhaps the greatest legal precept ever the Golden Rule serve as the signposts on our collective journey toward unification and continued survival. We call it the American way, and it is our commitment to that American way that has guided us through troubled and uncharted waters in the past and it will carry us through these difficult times as well.

Those of us working in the criminal justice system at all levels remain committed to ensuring that the justice system will continue to function during this national crisis. The tremendous men and women who serve in my office will follow the guidance of the Attorney General, which makes it clear that the critical mission of the Department of Justice will continue. We will work closely with our partners in law enforcement and with the judiciary in order to ensure that health of those public servants who selflessly do their best each day to live up to their oaths of office. Together, we will continue to hold accountable those who fail to live up to their moral obligation as Americans.

Finally, my Office and the entire Department of Justice will remain particularly vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. There have been reports of individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud, reports of phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and reports of malware being inserted onto mobile apps designed to track the spread of the virus. The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic. Such conduct will not be tolerated.

Together, we will pull through this crisis and reaffirm to the world that, nearly 250 years after the great experiment in self-governance, our people, our communities, and our Nation remain resilient, vital, and healthy.

James P. Kennedy Jr.

U.S. Attorney, Western District of New York

The fork ratings are based primarily on food quality and preparation, with service and atmosphere factored into the final decision. Reviews are based on one unsolicited, unannounced visit to the restaurant.

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Reflections on isolation and support networks – FE Week

Posted: at 10:52 am

Being alone successfully is a strategy that can be learned. Just a few behavioural techniques will make working home alone bearable and even productive, writes Jo Maher

As working at home becomes the new norm, Ive seen countless social media comments and blogs on how people in various professions such as the armed forces have coped with extended periods alone or away from civilisation. Strange as it may seem, my education career has also been marked by periods of isolation.

It turns out good isolation practice is also learned. From being quarantined with colleagues in Zambia during the swine flu outbreak, to having to work at home as a result of various joint surgeries, Ive learned a few coping strategies worth sharing, in the hope of saving readers the steep learning curve involved.

First and foremost, structure is essential. For me, its not about writing a timetable (though it may be for you, especially if you have children). I am not naturally someone who likes rigid structure if I can avoid it. I find physical cues are most helpful to help my mind switch between tasks. I wear smart/casual clothes as a cue that it is work time, and, as funny as it sounds, it helps my dog as well. She genuinely knows the difference between outfits. A pair of jeans means walk time. I suspect the same is true for any company you might keep while working from home.

One golden rule I have set up with my friends and family another cue is that a phone call is to discuss serious topics and concerns, while a social media call is exactly that, a social catch-up to focus on positives. If you havent yet downloaded the Houseparty app, or another like it, on your phone, do. Its a great way to bring people together. (Wine is preferable throughout.)

Next, managing the small things gives you a sense of psychological control and promotes mental wellbeing. I set my workstation up in the same place each day and I mirror my work times, even down to sticking to the diet that I would have at work, in order to avoid unnecessary snacking.

Ive also found it helpful to add in things I would not have time to do at work, such as five-minute rehabilitation breaks every hour, to breathe, relax, stand up, move around. I avoid the living room until at least 8pm every day, because in my mind this is an evening relaxation space. Walking the dog also helps to change the scenery.

My experience of surgical recovery has been one where my wife and family have supported me for the first week or so, but as you become more able to do things for yourself, people migrate back to their other commitments, and rightly so. The same is likely to be true in our current circumstances even if other commitments get thin on the ground. Contacting friends is hugely beneficial for you and them alike. Dont wait for others to contact you. You get out what you put in! Adapt to others patterns, and let them know how to adapt to yours. It made a huge difference to me.

Contacting friends is hugely beneficial dont wait for others to contact you

In the coming weeks and possibly months, many will be isolating with families and children in the house. In this case, it is vital to find ways to adapt for them as well as to them. Checking in with people in a similar position to yourself to share tips can really help too. Colleagues both close and distant can provide great support, and its worth remembering that talking to someone who isnt as emotionally involved in your situation can provide much-needed objectivity when the going is tough.

Looking out for other people can be challenging if you are not looking after yourself. Keeping yourself physically and mentally well is essential. Access your support networks through your colleagues, family and friends and do not be afraid to ask for help, even on the small things. I have lost count of how many staff put my suit jacket on for me when I had my arm in brace!

Its together that well get through this. Stay safe.

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6 expert rules for working at home in the UAE – wknd.

Posted: at 10:52 am

With experts thankfully rapidly regaining their superhero status and their every word being hung upon, we thought we'd get in touch with some of the UAE's foremost voices about a most pressing issue. Periods of remote working appear to be being extended, so here are the definitive six golden rules for making your home office adventure as productive and comfortable as possible for the duration.

The importance of...

Waking up on time and getting enough sleep

This one seems pretty straight forward, though is often the first convention to go out the window when you don't have an office to get to.

"Sleep gives our bodies time to rest and repair, it helps us process information and consolidate our memories, and it can even allow us to problem-solve in a creative manner," says Dr. Sarah Rasmi, CDA-Licensed Psychologist & Managing Director, Thrive Wellbeing Centre. "Changing our sleep routine can be disruptive to our circadian rhythm, which is responsible for regulating our alertness and arousal.

"Shifting our wake up time by even a few hours can have the same detrimental effects on our body as being jet-lagged."

RULE: Maintain your bedtime routine to stay alert.

The importance of...

'Dressing for work' even though you're at home

How does it go? 'Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.' If that is the case, this writer wishes to be a professional hobo. However, Kelly Lundberg, Dubai Style Expert and Business Mentor, says it's okay to take a style break for a little while before smartening back up again.

"The first few days of working from home, novelty kicks in (especially if this is not the norm) and the joy of not having to put much effort into what you wear, do your hair and make-up is refreshing. But my advice is you will then soon find you want to step it up slightly especially as you now have a little more time to get ready.

"It is important to change out of 'work clothes' to signal the end of you day. If you are on video calls, make sure you change your top daily, no one will know you are sitting at home with your slippers on."

RULE: Take a fashion break, but get smart soon.

The importance of...

Not munching throughout the day

Why are we all eating so much more? It's not like we do this on the weekend (too often), so what's the reason we're snaffling down Mars Bars like they're going out of fashion? Apparently this is quite common says Nadine Aoun, Clinical Dietitian at Medcare Women and Children's Hospital, but it should be avoided especially as we look to bunker in for the long-haul.

"Never skip breakfast," was her first drop of wisdom. It helps maintain that increasingly prevalent word: 'routine.'

"Stock up on fruits and veggies for healthy snacks. Avoid frying your vegetables. You can have them as salads or steamed. Avoid canned fruits instead have fresh fruit cuts.

"Meal plan for the whole week. Prepare a menu for seven days, this way you don't overeat, and you tend to eat healthier food options." According to Aoun, low fat Greek yogurt with mixed frozen berries is a good alternative for dessert.

RULE: Stop snacking. Step away from the Snickers.

The importance of...

Going for exercise no matter how little

If we are going to take anyone's pointers on staying fit they are going to be from Rafat Shawe, Professional MMA fighter, personal trainer and nutritionist. "One of the biggest issues many of us are facing is stress and anxiety especially when unable to leave the house," he says. "Exercise releases endorphins which help you cope with stress - it releases your happy hormones. Secondly exercise helps keep your immune system healthy and strong which is essential right now."

RULE: 10 squats while stood at the stove never hurt anyone.

The importance of...

Ensuring you have a dedicated work space

How many of you actually have your laptops on your lap? That's a big no-no says Dubai's Ash Young. The popular Interior Stylist displays her creations on Instagram (@adoredecordxb) so you can see for yourself she knows what she's talking about."From a practical point of view a home office can help reduce physical distractions (such as children or pets!) but it can also have an important psychological effect," she says. "Not only can you 'arrive' at work in the morning, but once you step away from your desk, you should be better able to switch off and enjoy your down time.

"Of course, not everyone has the luxury of a separate room in which to create a full office but even setting up a desk area with a comfortable chair and your required technology in place can make a huge difference to your productivity, creativity and well-being."

RULE: Make some space, man.

The importance of...

Turning off the TV

Do we really need to go into this one? Stop scrabbling around for the remote every time someone from the office calls and heed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Saliha Afridi's advice.

"It is very important that you do not sit in front of your TV all day, because while it may help temporarily numb out the boredom, in the long run you will feel worse. Instead you should spend your days doing things that make you feel productive, learning new things, and having a healthy routine."

Rule: Telly can wait.


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Gaming Laptops and Notebooks – Newegg.com

Posted: at 10:51 am

Moving down the list of price points from high to low you will see graphics card and display features determine much of the price differential. Knowing how to compare NVIDIA GeForce video cards helps find value in laptops for gamers.

The latest batch of mobile gamer rigs have full-on desktop GPUs in the build, qualifying them as VR-ready. Mobile gaming rigs with GTX 980 desktop cards hit market in the generation prior. Budget-minded gamers should check out SKUs with a GTX 1060 for VR gaming.

Lower-tier mobile gaming rigs use M-class NVIDIA cards, which are lighter in weight, energy consumption, heat emission, and performance compared to their desktop counterparts.

What about laptops with SLI? High-end gaming laptops have SLI graphics card configurations, NVIDIA jargon for connecting two or more graphics cards to a single motherboard. Capable of pushing pixels at 60+ fps (frames per second) onto ultra-high definition displays, elite models like MSI GTX 1070SLI and GTX 1080SLI laptops run two full-on desktop GPUs and command over $3,500!

If youre looking for SLI laptops under $1,000 check for refurbished deals. The prices get close to that mark for dual GTX 970M cards.

Are there any gaming laptops under 500? Tight-budgeted gamers find value in refurbished machines on sale under $500. They boast modest but legit gaming specsGTX 950M GPU and a 15.6-inch, 768-pixel (HD) display. Use the filters on the left side bar to specify price range, and usually a handful of choices will be present under $500.

Which CPU for laptop gaming? The vast majority of laptops for gaming have a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. A few low-budget choices have Intel Core i5 CPUs. The Skylake (6000 series) architecture is solidly mainstream for new models. Clock speed ranges between 2.40 2.70 GHz, a touch slower than desktop counterparts.

Intels laptop CPUs have letter designations at the end that signify additional features:

Storage drives: Laptops use 2.5-inch SATA III storage drives. A 7200 RPM 1 TB HDD is standard for onboard storage in gaming notebooks. Higher end models will include a SSD in tandem for the OS and your main gamesthe titles that you want performance boost when running. Super high-end gamer laptops have 1 TB SSDs in them; 512 GB and 256 GB represent the mid-range, and 128 GB the entry level.

Wireless: The latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity is ideal for multi-player online gaming, which is ubiquitous in new models of gaming laptops.

System memory: 16-32 GB of RAM is standard across the board. Laptop memory uses a small online form factor (SO-DIMM) something to be aware of should you upgrade laptop RAM later.

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What is gaming? – Definition from WhatIs.com

Posted: at 10:51 am

Gaming is the running of specialized applications known as electronic games or video games on game consoles like X-box and Playstation or on personal computers (in which case the activity is known as online gaming). The term "gaming" originated as a synonym for "gambling" although most electronic games today do not involve gambling in the traditional sense.

Pong, an electronic version of ping pong, was the first widely played video game. It was simple: you moved a bar up and down to deflect the ball, which your opponent (either the machine or another player) would attempt to deflect on the other side. It became popular in the 1970s. Since then, gaming has grown increasingly complex with enhanced graphics, full-motion video, 3-D effects and high fidelity stereo sound. Specialized input devices such as joysticks and steering wheels enhance the ability of the user to interact with the programs.Games designed for playing offline on individual computers are sold on DVD or Blu-ray media and can be downloaded from the Internet.

Second Life, one of the firstmassively multiplayer universe (MMU) games,uses a decentralized server architecture to meet the demands of up to several thousand online users simultaneously. In its most sophisticated form, a gaming interface can constitute a form of virtual reality. More recent developments include motion gaming, which responds to the movements of users, and virtual reality headsets, which enable an immersive experience.

Because of historically slow response time in playing games over the Internet, a trend in which gamers convene at a so-called LAN party, bringing their own computers and attaching them to a LAN (local area network) set up especially for the occasion. The increasing prevalence of high-speed Internet connections has made online gaming practical for more people in recent years, however, making LAN parties less common.

Gaming faces criticism by groups who point out that some of the programs have violent, xenophobic, sexually explicit or otherwise objectionable content. Concern has also arisen because some young people seem to become addicted to gaming, spending inordinate amounts of time at the activity. That said, gaming can be useful in a wide variety of professional and educational scenarios, especially in simulations for activities requiring visual and motor coordination such as driving race cars and piloting military fighter aircraft.

See Jane McGonigal's TED talk, Gaming canmake a better world:

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Gaming Labs International – Gaming Labs International

Posted: at 10:51 am

Gaming Labs International - Gaming Labs International GLI "); } /*if ($(window).width() '); }*/ }, (jQuery)); Ask GLI

Services Revolutionizing Global Gaming Certification

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) provides the gaming industrys leading testing and certification services. And we are so much more than just testing, with an unsurpassed range of services and tools for regulators, suppliers and operators.

One of our most popular requests is for pre-compliance testing services. These services involve working collaboratively.

GLI provides independent testing and inspection of electronic gaming products.

Precise forensics protect the operator, regulator, and the player.

RG initiatives are essential to maintaining public trust and is the cornerstone to the continued success of the gaming industry.

Helping regulators keep as up-to-date as possible in new technologies.

Pioneers in interactive gaming testing and consultancy.

Your global resource for complete and thorough business solutions.

Identify threats and reduce risk before it's too late.

Services for existing and emerging jurisdictions worldwide.

Helping you identify opportunities for growth and enhanced quality.

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The Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission has had the privilege of working with GLI since the beginning of our gaming operations. We are proud of the relationship that has flourished through the years with their professional team. Their highly trained experts continue to provide world class services to our organization. We look forward to working with them for many years to come.

MELINDA COFFIN Executive Director, Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission

GLI has always been responsive to our needs as a Tribal Gaming Regulatory Authority. By consistently providing the gaming industry and industry regulators the technical expertise and game certification required to keep pace with todays ever-changing casino game offerings, GLI has established themselves as the worlds leading independent gaming testing laboratory. We are confident of the integrity of all games offered for patron play in our jurisdiction, as operating in accordance with manufacturers technical specifications, once they are tested and certified by Gaming Laboratories International.

TIMOTHY MCLAUGHLIN Gaming Commissioner, Graton Gaming Commission

In online business, working closely with your test partners, and their ability to move quickly in lock step with you, is critical in the businesss ability to innovate, trial, improve and update. For Gamblit, GLI has proven time and time again to be an exemplary partner. We couldnt be more pleased with their service and responsiveness. Their people and systems allow us to push content and updates at record speed.


The Gaming Division of the PR Tourism Company has contracted GLIs services for the past 16 years without interruption. As regulators, we have obtained an excellent and professional service that has allowed us to be always ahead with everything related to new technologies, programs and modalities of emerging games. As part of our recent regulatory efforts, we are in the final stages of testing the use of the IRIS Online program in a modality that will allow us to achieve a better measurement of our communications systems and certification of gaming machines in our authorized casinos. Additionally, we are working together with GLI on Legislative projects regarding Online Gaming and Sports Betting, a measure in which we can regulate this activity and achieve growth in the sector. We thank James Maida and all his team for the support and consulting during all these years."

Jaime A. Irizarry Delgado Gaming Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company

Puerto Rico Tourism Company

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Five games like Animal Crossing to try on other devices – The Star Online

Posted: at 10:51 am

With Animal Crossing: New Horizons exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, here's a whistlestop tour of five other options across console, computer, and mobile: Garden Paws, My Time at Porta, Mutazione, Seabeard and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

The adorable, laid-back Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been getting a fair bit of attention since its March 20 release on Nintendo Switch.

Yet console availability (and attainability) is not always in line with aspiration so here are some alternatives on mobile, console and computer.

Garden Paws

Instead of a human mingling with an animal population, you're a cat, fox, bunny, dog even a cute, kindly dragon. There's still a load of fishing, digging, crafting, trading and customisation to make your rural town a happy place to live. Currently playable in its Early Access form on PC (through Steam) and confirmed for Switch at some point in future.


It's got the daily dip-in, dip-out rhythm of Animal Crossing coupled with a more adventurous spirit, with quests, seafaring, monster hunting and building up a functioning retail economy. Free with optional payments for iOS and Android.

My Time At Portia

Another town sim which, upon its debut, was likened not only to Animal Crossing but also community farming game Stardew Valley and its inspiration, Harvest Moon. It's all about building up a town in (an extremely pleasant) post-apocalypse. There's no multiplayer mode so if that's not something you want to concern yourself with, then Portia could be ideal. On PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and Windows PC.


Set on an island, much like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but one that's more than 100 years into recovering from a meteor strike. This one's about looking after your grandparent, helping mutant islanders with their neighbourly dramas, and growing plants to help with their ailments. For PlayStation 4, Apple Arcade for iOS, PC, and Mac.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

It's got the general play style and characters of New Horizons and its predecessors, within a campsite setting, visits to and from friends, and an upfront cost of zero (though Pocket Camp has been criticised for its reliance upon microtransactions). For iOS and Android. AFP Relaxnews

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Its a Perfect Time to Play Video Games. And You Shouldnt Feel Bad About It. – The New York Times

Posted: at 10:51 am

A game like the online shooter Destiny 2 offers hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of play, exploration and study. Set in an intricately designed sci-fi world, it tasks players with taking out wave after wave of alien enemies. It also rewards them for understanding a complex character progression system that involves completing ever-more-difficult goals and objectives, sometimes multiple times, in exchange for rarer and more powerful weapons and armor. You might not actually accomplish anything after a day spent checking off quests and gathering virtual materials, but youll feel like you did.

Game critics have noted the worklike nature of many modern games for years, not always favorably. But in a world of stay-at-home mass unemployment, even the illusion of accomplishment is probably better than none at all.

Indeed, the particular shut-in nature of our current crisis makes video games unusually relevant in a different way: What video games do better than any other medium is simulate places.

Open-world games like Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption II or The Witcher 3 are built around giant, explorable spaces, sometimes the virtual equivalent of hundreds of square miles, with elaborate geography and shifting weather. They can take days or weeks to fully explore and at their best can be unexpectedly beautiful, offering the opportunity to encounter animated versions of sun-dappled vistas or foggy mountain peaks, to wander through crowded city streets or stroll past others on well-trod footpaths. Games can give us someplace else to go.

That makes games useful in another way. Some of us are shut in alone. But especially in cities, many are now effectively trapped inside modest apartments with family or roommates, and little private space. Games offer a form of personal escape, a way to simulate being elsewhere from the confines of your couch.

And for those who are alone, games can also serve as social spaces, virtual fields of play for cooperative adventures or competitive contests. Many of todays most popular games are online experiences that allow players to engage with friends as well as strangers, to forge digital versions of the same sort of bonds with teammates that can develop in the real world.

If youre new at this, the cost of entry is fairly low: There are thousands of high-quality games available for phones, and many more available to download directly to your computer.

Excerpt from:

Its a Perfect Time to Play Video Games. And You Shouldnt Feel Bad About It. - The New York Times

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Board Games Adapted for the Pandemic – The New Yorker

Posted: at 10:51 am

Sorry Not Sorry!: Each player rolls the dice to determine how many steps closer Trump and his staff will move toward one another, behind the press-conference microphone. The winner gets to yell out, I dont take responsibility! or Thats a nasty question! and revoke a reporters press credentials.

Medical Risk: Players survey physicians and researchers across the globe to assess various medical risks and best practices for flattening the curve. Then they ignore all logical advice in an attempt to destroy their home countries as quickly as possible.

All-Inclusive Battleship: Every ship is a cruise ship with an open-air buffet and only four serving spoons.

Hungry Hungry Hoarders: Players attempt to grab as much toilet paper as possible, in sixty-second intervals. Then the losers judge the winners for their callous selfishness, while buying up all the pasta.

Delivery Monopoly: Players compete to see who can set up the most Amazon warehouses in a neighborhood. Chance cards tell you whether your dried garbanzo beans and low-sodium Progresso soups are still in stock.

Stock-Market Jenga: Players carefully tap various industries out of the economic chain, hoping they dont remove a link that sends the Dow crashing down.

Chutes and Ladders, Spring-Break Edition: A team game. One team diligently climbs the flattened-curve ladder. The other insists on getting drunk and engaging in sloppy Fort Lauderdale orgies, determined to slide everyone back into crisis mode.

But I Really Need This Operation: This game is actually impossible to play because, in addition to the regular missing organs, there are now no masks, gloves, or hospital rooms left.

The Game of Quarantined Life: Landmark events include getting an (online) degree, cancelling your wedding, and saying fuck these streaming yoga classes before eating a dozen Toll House cookies, while watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Solitaire: No adjustments required.

Excerpt from:

Board Games Adapted for the Pandemic - The New Yorker

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