Video games are an artform these days. The medium is bigger than ever; in-depth and immersive technology, AR landscapes giving us whole new worlds to explore, and even one-person studios bringing the cutting edge of gaming to our screens. For as many big AAA deals that hit the market quarterly, there are twice as many hidden gems you can pick up for £1.99 a piece! All in all, there’s something for everyone in the gaming world. 


But gaming as a hobby can be intimidating. If you’ve not been using console gamepads or a mouse and keyboard since you were a teen, gaming can feel like a hard community to move into as an adult. However, it’s rather easy to sit down and boot up a game, and it can even be a very beneficial hobby for you! Here are some more tips to keep in mind if you want to start gaming a little more often. 


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Why Gaming is a Good Hobby


Gaming is a very good hobby to take under your wing, thanks to just how many core skills it can help you build. Not only is it one of the most fun things a person can do from the comfort of their own sofa, but you can learn a lot without even noticing it. For example, gaming has long been well known to help you hone your problem-solving skills. Plenty of puzzles get thrown at you in every single game you play and figuring out how to complete them can help you in real life as well. 


One of the main things gaming can help you do is be more creative in life. You tend to think more creatively as you play in simulated environments, and you can catch plenty of inspiration when games impose limitations on your gameplay style. So many people have come up with some pretty inspiring gaming situations by simply having to think outside of the box! 


All in all, gaming can be beneficial, and it’s a great way for both kids and adults to improve a number of faculties. And with all that in mind, here are some great ways to get into gaming and have fun as you go. 


Ask a Friend for Game Recommendations


A good way to get started, considering the massive library of potential games you could try out, is to ask a friend for a recommendation. A lot of games these days are made to be a real challenge - most recently Elden Ring, to name one - and picking one of these up as a novice could seriously frustrate you.


Plus a friend will know what kind of things you already like and will be better able to point you in the right direction. They’ll know if you’re more of a platformer or an RPG guy, or if you’d love an FPS that’s great for harnessing your aiming ability. There’s a whole bank of genres out there and subgenres within those, and it can be overwhelming if you don’t really play any video games. 


Or you could go online and use sites like Reddit for general recommendations. Subreddits like r/ShouldIbuythisgame or r/gamingsuggestions are two good places to go for advice on what to pick up next. If you know the kind of game you want to play, these two forums will be able to provide plenty of info on what to try. 


Pick a Comfortable Platform


The gaming platform you use matters a lot more than you think. Some people take to gamepads like a duck to water whilst some people never quite get the hang of them. On the other hand, using a keyboard and mouse can be incredibly dynamic for some, but others can hate how clunky it feels in comparison. But ultimately, it’s up to you to choose what platform you like most based on how comfortable it is to use. 


It’s also a lot cheaper to focus on just one shelf of games compared to picking and choosing from the whole store! To start with, PC gaming is more popular than ever. It’s easier to set up a computer with optimised hardware, and most people already own a laptop at the least. Plus, if you’re already used to gaming on sites like https://www.vickers.bet/casino, staying on PC is a good call. 


But consoles have long been the front runner in the gaming world thanks to the image they bring. When we think of gaming, a PS5 or an Xbox One are the first things we tend to think of. And there are some pretty sweet exclusive games on either side! So if the kids already have a console, boot it up one day and try out a game yourself to see how it feels. 


Get to Know Your Platform Specs


This is mostly an issue for the PC gamers out there, but you can still make some modifications to consoles as well. For example, you can add an SSD for extra storage and faster loading times, especially if your console is a few years old. But if you’ve chosen to play PC as your major platform, it’s best to figure out how the right specs for a usable gaming rig. 


The world of computer tech moves fast; Nvidia, the most well-known GPU developer on the market, brings out new tech around every 2 years. But older rigs still stand the test of time, and it’s easy to upgrade pieces here and there as you need. But what are you looking for when you’re in the market for a gaming PC?


You’ll want to keep an eye out for RAM amount, the type of storage used (SSDs are favoured most currently), and the CPU and GPU in play. Plus if you check out the store pages for a game you want to play, you should easily be able to find the minimum recommendations for running it. But you can also try building your own PC; there are plenty of tutorials you can use that go step by step, so check out a few before you part with any money for an already built set. 


Get on the Mic


A lot of games are made to be multiplayer these days, and that can be nerve-wracking for a number of reasons. Toxic gamers tend to populate these kinds of games, and you’ve probably heard a number of creative insults hurled at other players in your lifetime. Maybe even the kids have been subject to it in the past, and you’re concerned about allowing them to see you play these kinds of games? 


But getting on the mic to interact with a gaming community isn’t all bad. Sure, some games are more notorious for it than others, but you can make all kinds of new friends by dipping into a lobby and letting your voice be heard. Older players, maybe like yourself, tend to be far more mature and level-headed when playing games, so it’s these gamers you want to try and make connections with. 


Plus if you’ve already got a gaming group to play with, you can use private chats and lobbies to keep random players out. This helps limit the toxic environment to a minimum, and you don’t have to worry about hearing any kind of negativity over your headset. 


Don’t Think Too Much of Your Performance


In the early days when you’re just starting out, make sure your gaming experience is fun! It doesn’t matter how good you are at a certain game, as long as you’re enjoying yourself and having a good time. Sure, it can be frustrating to make a mistake every now and then, but the more you play the better you’ll naturally get - good games set a progression level from the beginning that allows anyone to get involved, and a bit of practice will take you far. 


If you’ve ever used the internet, you already know there’s a current mentality amongst the gaming community that you have to be ‘proficient’ at gaming to really enjoy it. That tends to include the idea that you should never play a game on ‘easy mode. But if that’s where you want to start, don’t let that idea get into your head. Simply buying a single-player game with your own money means you get to play it whatever way you want! 


Gaming was Made to Be Fun


And that’s what makes it a great hobby! You can dip into another world filled with stories you can lose yourself in, blow off some steam, and have a great time in group matches with your friends. 


Sure, it can be easy to lose time when the PlayStation is on, but that doesn’t mean it’s an inherently bad activity to do. You could even improve your hand-eye coordination whilst you’re at it! Pick your platform, choose a game to get started with, and don’t be afraid to try a multiplayer scenario. 


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Sports are a huge part of life. For some, they are pointless and steal the attention away from more pressing matters. For the majority, however, we see them as ways of blowing off steam, enjoying life, and conquering that competitive need we all have inside of us. If you’re a sports fan, then you’ll know all about the passion that people have for them and you’ll know all about the goosebumps they can produce. Stadiums filled with people may witness the greatest thing they’ll ever be a part of. 

 

The majority of sports fans would like to work in the field, of course. Imagine being able to say that you do something that you love for a living. The good thing is that you actually can. People who work in these jobs are just ordinary people just like you, so why can’t you also get involved? There are so many avenues and they are easier to come by in this day and age thanks to technology and the power of the internet. Here are just a few ways you could get stuck in:

 

Become A Photographer

 

If you’re into photography and editing some of the most wonderful shots around, then this could be a job for you. Sports need to be captured as people will want to see the latest and freshest imagery. This is important in team sports, but the likes of extreme sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding, and many others tend to have an affinity with the photography world. Some of the best moves need to be captured in order to be believed. 

 

Write About Them 

 

Some of the best gigs in sports – besides being involved in the games or activities themselves – are those that require writers. Whether you’re a journalist or you write satirical pieces, people will want to read in order to get the latest. Just look at the likes of https://sportnews.in/ and you’ll see the kinds of things that are published. Writing will always be a job that is in demand. 

 

Commentary

 

Sports will need some kind of commentary if there are enough spectators. If you feel as though you have a voice that people could listen to and that you know lots about what you’re saying, then this could be an avenue for you to go down. A start on radio as a volunteer could get you into this kind of spot. 

 

The Medical Side Of Things

 

Sportsmen and women will always need help in terms of their bodies and mind. Even those at the grassroots level will feel aches and pains every now and again. If you’re passionate about helping people and the medical side of life fascinates you, then this kind of work would be perfect. Physios, osteopaths, mental health professionals – all of these kinds of jobs are needed in the sporting world. 

 

Statistics And Tracking Figures

 

This is especially poignant in professional games where the standards are high and the margins are razor-thin. Statistics matter so much and, if numbers are your thing, then this could be your pass into the sporting field. 



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So you’re an “evolved man” now.  You don’t “mansplain” and you certainly don’t sit with your legs apart on the Tube or the bus, no matter how much your biology says otherwise.


But despite all this evolution, that same biology just won’t let you give up on one thing: Taking care of your family and at no time in history has this been more important than right now.  If it’s one thing we have all had to learn of late, it’s how to be a better guardian of our families' financial security.  This may be the last bastion of positive masculinity we have left, so blokes - we must get it right.  We’ve previously looked at the many Dads Duties that we regularly undertake, so today - we’re taking it to the bank.





TOP FINANCIAL PLANNING ADVICE FOR DADS, FROM DADS


The first and possibly most important bit of advice that anyone can give you is this:  it is never too early to start your financial planning journey and it doesn’t matter if you have £ 100 a month save or £ 1000 a month, the key to creating a legacy as well as a financial safety net which could ultimately lead to some wealth creation, is not how much you earn, but how much you save.  


If like many British dads you’re in the recovery process Post-Covid and money may be too tight to mention, you could seek to start creating new sources of income.  Dad’s everywhere are looking to online trading, selling goods on platforms like Facebook’s “marketplace”, trying their hand at the CFD game, (that’s foreign exchange trading to you and me) and while some of these options may take some upskilling, they can be a lucrative way out of a current financial bind.


This tip is an “add-on” to the first but it’s well worth it.  Pay yourself first.  Yes, you have to keep track of bills and mounting interest charges, etc. but you have to set aside some money for yourself too - this can be added to a savings regime or savings account and if it’s not spent by the end of the month, roll it over to the next and keep adding to it.  You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up and before you know it, you’ll be ready too…


Set Up an emergency fund.  Don’t fall into the new age trap of thinking that “planning for an emergency causes the emergency”.  Why not ask any of your friends if they feel that way after this year.  A solid amount of readily available (but not too readily mind you) cash can mean the difference between a few more mortgage payments...or the alternative.  Don’t get caught with your pants down again.


It might seem redundant “after the fact”, but there is no time like the present to start planning your financial future - with the long-term in mind.  Wealth creation doesn’t happen overnight and if you’re not the kind of guy that’s naturally gifted with this sort of skill, then get online and find a financial planner/broker who can guide you through it.  


Make no mistake, we’re not out of the woods yet and who knows what’s happening around the corner, but in a world gone mad, the buck stops with Dad.


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How To Ship Your Motorcycle Across the Country

In the UK, motorcycle trips amount to 4,800 miles annually. Riding your motorcycle across long distances can be a thrilling experience, but there are a few things you need to consider, such as fuel costs and unfamiliar terrains. Fortunately, there’s a better option you’ll find more convenient; this takes the hassle of moving your bike from you. Do you own a motorcycle? Here are a few useful tips on moving your bike across the country. 


  1. Rely on the best transport company





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Some companies over the years have been able to carve a niche for themselves in this regard. Indeed, motorcycle transportation is the easiest and most reliable way to move your motorbike across the country. The company you opt for will determine how cheap or expensive it’ll be to convey your bike. For better comparison, however, you’ll find it useful to learn about the rates to ship a motorcycle. For example, while you may pay between £200 and £500 with one company, another may charge more, depending on the following factors:


  • Distance

  • Delivery location

  • Mode of transport (open or enclosed trailer)


Additionally, in your search for a reliable transport company, read more on customer reviews on their social media pages or via paid online search results. Moreover, it’ll be easier to contact former customers who utilised these services directly. Most importantly, check their claim records for detailed information on their credibility and business ethics.


  1. Maintain a record of the bike's condition

Taking records of your motorcycle’s condition before moving it across the country is a necessary thing to do. First of all, it becomes first-hand evidence should anything happen during the moving process. Even with the most trusted motorcycle handlers, the worst could happen, and you need that record to be safe and handy. Record taking should include the following:

  • Ample pictures of the motorcycle from all angles

  • Detection and recording of pre-existing dents and scratches

  • Unique markings on your machine's engine or other critical parts to foil attempts to replace them on your blindside.


With this documented information on your two-wheeled automobile, you’d have safeguarded your property. More so, in the unlikely event of being scammed, these details will come handy in case of a refund brought on by damages.


  1. Use a tow trailer





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Trailers are the most common way of transporting most types of automobiles. They can be open or enclosed; the choice really depends on you and how you wish to transport it. However, most transport companies recommend going in for the enclosed types as those ensure privacy and enhanced security. This is especially ideal if the motorcycle being moved is a pricey model or a limited edition. An enclosed option protects your machine from the elements.

 

Lastly, don’t forget to empty your motorcycle's trunk (that's if the model is designed with one) before transportation. Again, any other part that can be unscrewed and kept away from the entire haulage should be detached to enhance security and safety from damage.



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