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5 Features The Best Online Games All Have In Common

5 Features The Best Online Games All Have In Common

You might have noticed that online games in recent times have been negatively criticized by a significant section of the community.[1] Most of these criticisms usually focus on how much time people passively use when playing online games instead of other more active engagements. Most of these reports miss or ignore the resultant benefits of playing online games. Recent empirical studies have generated an overwhelming body of evidence in support of online games.

    This article will convince you that online games are indeed the best alternative for the gaming world. In a study published by the American Psychological Association in 2013, Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger Engels reported the most significant benefits of playing online games (p. 66). Before we review these benefits in more detail, and, thus, make our argument, it is important to highlight some concurrent findings from other empirical research studies besides Granic, Lobel, and Engels (2013).

    Recent Research Findings on Offline Games

    In 2013, the then President of the US, Barrack Obama, alongside Joe Biden, his Vice President, condemned the impact of video games and called it a trigger for gun violence in the country. In response, they announced that the US Congress had allocated over $10 million to renew research on the effects of violent video games (Obama & Biden, 2013). The statement followed the death of 33 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at the hands of a video-game player turned gunman. The conclusion, however, had been drawn from several research findings.

    Among these studies was one conducted by Ferguson (2007) who conducted a “meta-analytic review” on the “effects of violent video games” and linked video games to a rise of violence among the youth (p. 309). Gentile and Gentile (2008) also conducted “a conceptual analysis” of how modern “violent video games” act as “exemplary teachers” to teenagers to appreciate violence (p. 127). This was not a US reality but a global issue. For instance, Schmierbach (2010) explored “the connection between competitive game play and aggressive cognition” to yield a so-called “killing spree” in today’s society (p. 256). These are only a few studies among hundreds conducted in the last decade.

    Several realities emerge from all these studies, including the following four:

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    1. All these studies focused on video games played offline
    2. None of these studies ever linked online games to a real-life effect
    3. All of the games reviewed were primarily aimed at mass killings and not about the need for strategy, creativity, or resourcefulness
    4. There have been worse cases of violence in society before the invention of video games, as highlighted by Granic, Lobel, and Engels (2013)

    Features and Qualities to look for in Online Games

    Online games have not been associated with negative social effects, are not based on the mass violence theme of most offline games, are extremely resourceful and educative, and as Fredrickson (2001) observed, they trigger a very positive psychological state among players. To you, these traits may however sound very generalized. Indeed, they do not apply to all online games, because some are designed as a cure to boredom.

      The question therefore, is how can you select online games that are beneficial? Which features should you look for when selecting the online games to play, and on which platform? Granic, Lobel, and Engels (2013) and related studies help identify the features and qualities that define recommended online games. These features and qualities include:

      1. Role-Playing Opportunities

      You should always prioritize games that require you to play a certain role. Such games help you develop your character, creativity, intelligence, and strategic behavior.[2] This helps you become a strong character in real life, and even helps students in performing better at school.

        2. A Wide Variety to Select From

        There are thousands of sites now offering assorted online games. Some games follow specific themes, such as online strategy games, online fighting games, or arcade online games, among others. When selecting online games, always select a website with the most number of games, or specifically for a singular-theme of online games, such as fighting.

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        3. Cognitive Response

        Online games can help trigger cognitive development. They help inspire creativity and strategic mentality in problem-solving. Such problem-solving skills are essential and very valuable in real life (Schmierbach, 2010). Online games can help improve a person while allowing them to have fun at the same time.[3]

        4. Positive Emotional Reactions

        The online game you select should also help nurse a “positive psychology”, as recommended by the Broaden and Build Theory (Fredrickson, 2001). A good example is a game that helps you recognize your potential and skill in a way that inspires confidence in real life too. The best online games help you broaden your awareness, inspire development, and build your personality in real life. Online games are not just an option when you are bored, but also for stirring your creativity and personal development.

          5. Optimal Accessibility and Cost

          Finally, the game should be easily accessible from any connected device, whether a stationary computer, a laptop, or a mobile device. Furthermore, it should not impose any additional costs on you. The benefit of online games is that they do not demand the high price ascribed to video and RPG games, and bring you a gaming experience without charges.

          In conclusion, we recommend the use of online games in our lives as it plays a very important role in learning and improving oneself. Without question, the future of online gaming is bright.[4] When selecting online games to play, look for games that provide role-playing opportunities, involves cognitive response, inspires positive emotional reactions, and is easily accessible with no additional expenditure.

          ~~~~~~

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          Sources

          Ferguson, C. J. (2007). The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A Meta-Analytic Review of Positive and Negative Effects of Violent Video Games. Psychiatric Quarterly, 78 (1): 309 – 316.

          Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology: The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions. American Psychologist, 56 (1): 218 – 226.

          Gentile, D. A., & Gentile, J. R. (2008). Violent Video Games as Exemplary Teachers: A Conceptual Analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 9 (1): 127–141.

          Granic, I., Lobel, A. & Engels, R. C. (2013). The Benefits of Playing Video Games. American Psychologist, 69 (1): 66 – 78.

          Obama, B., & Biden, J. (2013). Remarks by the President and the Vice President on Gun Violence. Transcript Available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/.

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          Schmierbach, M. (2010). Killing Spree: Exploring the Connection between Competitive Game Play and Aggressive Cognition. Communication Research, 37 (2): 256–274.

          Image Credits:

          Pokemon go mobile trends via Pixabay, Dad sims 4 game online house via Pixabay, Set of nice fighting characters via Freepik, Children laugh study of laptop via Pixabay

          Featured photo credit: http://www.synedge.com/ via synedge.com

          Reference

          [1] Business Insiders: 10 Misconceptions About Online Gaming
          [2] Huffington Post: 50 Online Learning Tools That Will Keep The Kids Sharp All Summer
          [3] Forbes: 30 Under 30 2016: Games
          [4] Forbes: The Time Is Here For Online Gaming

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          Last Updated on August 16, 2019

          10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

          10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019

          The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

          Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

          Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

          In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

          1. Cal Calendar

            Cal Calendar has recently appeared on the market of mobile applications (Android, iOS). It is the brainchild of the development team of Any.do that features impressive functionality and well-thought-out design.

            The application comes with many great features, including support for Exchange and Google Calendar, widgets, voice recording, and many more.

            Cal Calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

            Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

            What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

            Cal Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

            Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

            Available for iOS and Android

            2. Google Calendar

              Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

              Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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              Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

              The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

              Available for iOS and Android

              3. Jorte Calendar

                Jorte Calendar is one of the most popular calendar applications in the Google Play store.

                The program features a wide range of configuration options, with many design alternatives. You can adjust display mode to your needs and view calendar entries sorted by month, week, or day (by hours). It is convenient for quickly picking the desired date, using task bars, and setting reminders.

                Apart from its ordinary information storing function, this application can be a special cloud service, Jorte Cloud, allowing you to synchronize calendars, schedules, and task lists on multiple devices. The application also supports data importing from Google Calendar.

                For those paying attention to the program design, there is also Jorte Store, where you can buy styles and icons to personalize the calendar. This feature makes Jorte is one of the brightest calendar applications.

                A basic version of the app is free of charge, so if you do not want to spend money on a calendar application, it is a good option.

                Available for iOS and Android

                4. Business Calendar

                  Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                  The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                  You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                  The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                  Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

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                  Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

                  Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                  A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                  Available for Android

                  5. aCalendar

                    aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                    Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                    Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                    When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                    Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                    The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                    The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                    Available for Android

                    6. DigiCal Calendar

                      DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                      With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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                      Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                      The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                      Available for Android

                      7. SolCalendar

                        SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                        The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                        Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                        Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                        Available for Android

                        8. Calendar

                          Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                          A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                          Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                          Available for Desktop, iOS and Android

                          9. Today Calendar

                            Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                            The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                            If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                            Available for Android

                            10. Calendar Widget: Month

                              Sometimes people do not need a heap of calendar applications. They would prefer to have one efficient calendar widget.

                              Calendar Widget: Month perfectly fills this niche and meets all the needs of a modern user. It has some features of an ordinary calendar, but the real great thing about this software is that it has 80 or more themes in its library.

                              The design of the application is great; the themes are perfectly tuned. There are options for almost any theme of your smartphone. The only drawback is the fact that the widget memory is not too large, and you should be ready for it.

                              This simple calendar widget was created in the image and semblance of widgets from Yahoo. The widget window displays one calendar month with the ability to go to the previous and move to the next one.

                              If you need a simple and affordable calendar to plan your tasks and affairs for one month, this widget is ideal for you. Calendar Widget: Month is so simple that it does not even have Google Calendar support.

                              At the moment, it does not have the function of connecting any third-party calendars and services. Developers allow the possibility of introducing support for Google service as an addition to the widget, if users request to have this opportunity.

                              Available for Android

                              Our Verdict

                              Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                              Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                              Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                              The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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