Which Console Should You Go For?

The gaming console market has been known for being simple, allowing almost anyone to get into gaming without having to deal with any technicalities. For a really long time now, console gaming has provided gamers with two simple choices: the PlayStation, and the Xbox gaming consoles, each of which have their own perks and drawbacks. If you are planning on getting a gaming console then you are going to have to pick one console for yourself, so let’s take a look at what each console has to offer and what makes it different from its competition.

The PlayStation 4:

Sony’s PlayStation family has been a huge success ever since it first came out and the latest version of this console (which came out in 2013) has so far beaten the Xbox in sales by quite a margin. Since its launch date, Sony has released upgraded versions of the PS4 as well; the PS4 Slim and the latest being the PS4 Pro, Sony’s mid generation upgrade that was pretty much necessary since Microsoft did the same thing in order to keep up with the rapid pace at which gaming software has been advancing.

The PS4 Pro is what you should go for if you plan on gaming at 4K or at normal 1080p for the next year or so. The Pro version of this console is heavier but costs the same as its previous versions, Sony managed to keep the price tag from inflating by making use of checkerboard rendering to mimic 4K resolution without actually having to equip the console with the hardware required to render at actual 4K.

If you are looking for a simple to use console that lets you enjoy your gaming experience without any hiccups then the PS4 is the way to go, and if you are not planning on going 4K anytime soon, then you might as well just get the Slim version instead of the Pro one.

Xbox One:

Microsoft’s most recent console; the Xbox One, has taken a step off the traditional path followed by consoles and has instead decided to not only provide gamers with a powerful console to game on, but also a device that can be used to setup an entire ecosystem in your home. Just like with Sony, Microsoft has made a couple of upgrades to the Xbox One as well in order to keep the console from becoming obsolete too quickly.

What makes the latest Xbox so promising is the fact that Microsoft has been making an effort into bridging the long ignored gap between PC gaming and console gaming by implementing their “Play Anywhere Program” with the Xbox One. The Xbox One offers a lot of great features and it just might become even more versatile if Microsoft plans on fully implementing cross platform gaming.

However, the Xbox can also be a bit technical and is pricier than the PS4, it all comes down to what are your requirements and which gaming platform do you feel more comfortable with.

The Rise of Gaming Culture in The Arab World

You do not usually get to hear much about the Middle East advancing technology wise, mostly because of the fact that the media does not relate the Middle East with such topics. However, many Middle Eastern countries, especially Arab ones, have been developing an interest towards technology related hobbies and practices. There has been an especially rapid growth of gaming culture in these areas, a while ago parents would discourage children from gaming since it was not really considered to be productive, but this has slowly been changing.

With the rise of gaming culture, people are slowly becoming more accepting of gaming as a hobby and even as a profession, thanks to numerous governmental bodies that have promoted and funded many endeavours along with help from tech giants such as Twitch and Facebook. The fruits of their efforts have already started to show, the recently organized Games Con event that was held to showcase local talent and develop interest in gaming related technology was a huge success with over 10,000 people attending it.

This three day event was inspired by the many humungous gaming events that are held throughout the world on annual basis and has seemed to win the hearts of the many gamers that live in the UAE. The international game market has grown by 12% in 2017 and reports have shown that many Middle Eastern countries have been a part of this growth, showing that the practice of pirating games and DVDs in these areas has gone down.

Where there was a practically non-existent market, people have now started legitimately buying games, this is largely thanks to efforts made by governmental bodies to promote various titles in the area. By collaborating with companies like Sony and Disney, the filtering and banning of video game titles has been cut down over the past seven years or so.

Another promising development has been the evolution of an e-sports culture in the UAE, even though it is still miles behind Asia’s e-sports culture, there has been a noticeable change in perception. Local and regional gamers have started making names for themselves by competing internationally and by producing money through gaming, Arab gamers are already bringing in skills and fresh challenges into the international gaming community.

Last year, the world’s best Mortal Kombat player was almost beaten by a 22 year old Ahmed Hashem at the renowned Evolution Championship Series held in Las Vegas.

Gaming tournaments are not the only place where Arabs have been gaining ground, there has also been a positive trend in the rise of UAE YouTubers who have been gathering followers and heading towards success. The Saudi Government has had a big hand in promoting the development of such talents and activates and thanks to this, the UAE is quickly catching up with the rest of the world’s gamers and YouTubers despite the fact that they joined this race much later than everyone else currently operating over there.

The Prevalence of Gaming Inspired Violence

We all game in order to escape from reality for a time and to spend time in virtual worlds where normal rules and norms are not there to hold us down, which can be tons of fun. However, research conducted on gaming has brought forward results that state that violent games can be a bad thing for kids. The debate about videogame violence is a pretty old one, but new evidence suggests that this debate might actually be worth listening to.

Humans, especially children are known for conforming to the norms of their social groups, research has suggested that the same videogame titles played by children can result in their group norms being affected adversely. According to Tobias Greitemeyer, aggressive video games can not only increase aggression in the player, but also in the people who are a part of their social network. This association of gaming and aggression is backed by evidence from several past studies that have highlighted the relation between psychological constructs and network ties.

A detailed study was conducted in order to find out whether gaming induced aggression can spread from one person to another, the survey that was conducted to prove this involved 998 participants of an average age of 37 years. The participants were equally divided between women and men and each one was asked how often they play violet videogames. The participant’s responses were noted down on a scale of one to seven and after this, further tests were conducted in order to ascertain their aggressive behaviour.

After being asked questions related to their aggression, they were made to answer the same set of questions for five people who were closest to them. The results of this entire study showed that even a single violent gamer in a social network could result in there being a spread of aggression throughout the entire network.

While Tobias (the head of this study) has stated that there is no proof of causality to go on, these results can still be thought of as disturbing and should be given greater concern in order to keep aggression from spreading to a societal level.