Can You Game on a Mac?

Hey guys, this is Austin, and today we’re going to find out, can you actually game on a Mac? So to find out, I have two of the most recent Macbooks in front of me. So this is the base line 13″ model, so it has a dual core Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and integrated Iris graphics. Where I also have a 15″ maxed out model, with the Core i7 quad core, 16 gigabytes of memory and the dedicated Radeon Pro 460 graphics. Obviously, no one should go out and buy a Mac as a gaming PC, they just don’t make sense. However, what I’m curious about is if you already do have a Mac for whatever reason, can you play games on them at all?

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What’s kind of cool is that over half of my Steam library will work on macOS, no problem. Now, a couple of things actually have changed on the gaming side of Mac in the last couple years. Most notably, Metal. This is very similar to a lower level API, such as DirectX12 on the PC, or something like Vulkan, and essentially, it should allow us to get better performance by abstracting all the stuff in the middle and letting the game get as close to the hardware as possible. To start with, I want to try F1 2016, which does take advantage of Metal on the Mac. Now I’m going to start using the 13″ Macbook Pro, as I feel like this is pretty similar to the Macs that most people are using.

So it looks like this works pretty well. I don’t have a way of testing the exact framerates but to my eye it looks nice and smooth. No torn frames or anything dropping too badly. So right now I’m using the Playstation 4 controller, which interestingly enough, actually just works straight out of the box. You literally just pair it via bluetooth and that’s it.

Oh, nope, you can’t go flat out everywhere, no, no, nope, no, no, no, no. (laughs) Okay, so maybe you actually can’t go flat out everywhere. I will say the graphics are not the greatest, so we’re running at 1280 by 800 but, I mean, I would say that this looks roughly equivalent to something like an Xbox 360 game so it’s hard to know exactly how much of a difference Metal makes since I actually can’t turn it off but considering that I’m running on an integrated graphics this doesn’t look bad at all. Next up, we have Minecraft and because of our wonderful dongle life, I have to use an adapter, but besides that, we should be good to go. So max framerate, 60, VSync, yep, Maximum, Fancy, this is pretty much all turned up.

Minecraft’s easy. (laughs) I mean, after running Minecraft on the Raspbery Pi, I’m really not surprised that anything can run Minecraft, but I think the nice thing is that we’re really not losing anything with the Macbook Pro. Yeah, maybe you can do stuff like shaders and whatnot on PC, but to be fair, a lot of mods, in fact, I think most of them actually should be just completely fine to run on Mac. (singing doo in rhythm) I was just having fun, and then Ken started zooming the camera and pointing at my face so I feel like that just made in in the video. Next, we have CS:GO.

Now this is another game I know will run on Mac but what I’m curious about is what happens if we actually try to crank up the resolution and settings. Alright, it works but it’s definitely dropping some frames. To be fair, we actually are playing at 2560 by 1600. It’s decent, but let’s see if we can crank the settings down a little bit.

Oh, that’s way better. So cranking the resolution down to 1280 by 800 pretty much immediately fixes all the problems. There is a little bit of screen tearing though, which is interesting. Almost immediately, I could tell this is usable. It’s definitely playable but it’s not as nice as it would be on a machine running Windows.

So next we have Rocket League, and again, this is another game that natively does support the DualShock 4. So it thinks that we can run at 900p with pretty much everything cranked up, so let’s give it a try. It looks like we actually have pretty much the full Rocket League experience here. Graphic wise, on high it looks pretty nice. We’ve got stuff like the rain, and the particle effect.

And, uh, no! How did that happen? I am noticing some framerate drops, it’s maybe not the smoothest thing in the world but we definitely do have a lot of room to crank the graphics down if we need to. Next, I want to see how a more powerful Mac handles games. So we have the 15″ Pro.

So the first trial that I want to try is StarCraft 2; not exactly a brand new game but it does have support for Metal. So right now we’re running at 1650 by 1050 with everything set to high and again, it seems to be running nice and smooth, which is important for a game like StarCraft. So the first thing that’s actually throwing me off a lot is actually the keyboard.

The Command, Option, Control and Function keys are not remotely in the same spot as they are in Windows so all my muscle memory is just completely shot right now. For example, my escape key is a software key, which seems like it would be a big problem. Especially for a game where I’m actually kind of canceling commands sometimes but it actually kind of works.

Can the Macbook successfully help me win a game against an easy AI, or I guess, a hard AI? Yes. The answer is I can actually kind of play this. Next, we have Shadow of Mordor. Even though this is a couple years old, this has been one of my favorite games to benchmark PCs for quite a while and for what I remember, the port to Mac and Linux is actually pretty decent.

I really actually do like Shadow of Mordor. It kind of feels a little bit like playing some of the Batman games that it’s kind of a bit like a hack and slash. Like God of War or something but one thing you actually should be careful of, especially with these kind of more high end games, is to make sure that you have a Mac that’s going to be compatible. Lighter stuff, like CS:GO, should run on basically anything, but a lot of these games specifically do need a dedicated graphics card, or a quad core processor, or something, so don’t just expect that you could just pick up any game and it’s going to work. Yo, am I going to beat, like, 40 guys right now by myself on a Macbook? Pretty proud of that.

Of course, you could run Windows on a Mac via Bootcamp which will open up pretty much all the games in the universe, but that doesn’t get around the fact that you should not buy a Mac for gaming. However, if you already have one and you just want to play a few games, it’s totally usable. So, what do you guys think about gaming on a Mac in 2017? Let me know in the comments below and I will catch you in the next one.

Low budget VR Gaming

The development of VR is something that I have been paying a lot of attention in the last couple of years. One of the things that I find interesting is the potential it has for redefining what “low end” means due to how extremely computationally intensive it is. Take this GPU for example, this a GTX 750, a mid-end graphics card from 2014. I bought this one for about 70 euros and after asking you guys it seems it can be found 60 to 90 euros or dollars in most places, or around of 100 if you are unlucky. Compared to the GPUs I have featured on this channel in the past this card is an overpowered beast that crushes games on the lowest settings in citadel casinos.

However, throw this thing on VR benchmark and you realize that supposedly this is pretty insufficient for virtual reality. So the question becomes: can you play in VR with a “budget” GPU like this one? Lowest settings? Maybe, Tweaked games? Answering this question is hard because of another problem, the cost of a VR headset. At the time of writing this script the full HTC Vive kit is about $800 and from what I could gather you can not buy just the headset alone, at least new.

You can buy an oculus headset but… it is about $500 dollars which is like twice my entire PC budget which prompted me to search for some creative solutions and I was surprised of what I found. I will be using a service called Vridge by RiftCat, which basically allows you to connect your cellphone to your PC in a way that tricks the computer into believing you have an HTC vive headset, so you can then play any seated VR experiences by putting your phone into some headset, like this literal piece of cardboard I got in amazon. So now, not only my computers are shitty, now my VR headset is also crap. Awesome!

And after contacting RiftCat they have agreed to sponsor this video, so double awesome. They have a free trial version of their software so you can try it, link in the description. Setting it up was fairly easy. You can run a program in your PC and a companion app on your phone and you can stream the view of the game over wifi, if you are brave, or better yet, a USB cable.

After setting it up you can launch steamvr from the program and then start a game. There are plenty of guides on their website if you want to give it a try. So now we test My first experiment was Subnautica, I already dedicated a video to this early access submarine survival game.

As I commented on that video there is a secret menu accessible with f3 and in there, you can use the numbers in the keyboard to disable a lot of the effects. Furthermore if you disable mouse pointing using your view in vr and press escape you can reduce the draw distance of most objects, as I explained on that video. Welcome to the very dangerous sea. Man, it’s a little bit too close.

I can pick up things by just staring at them, that’s interesting. I can’t remember what’s the- does that thing hurts me? Can I grab them? Huh, what are-? Wait, those are bad right? Yep, yep, that doesn’t look good.

The great low-resolution expands! With low draw distance and things popping out in front of me and this time… in full virtual reality. Now you can live the low draw distance, not just see it, you live it! Like, you’re there!

Another game I wanted to try is Project Cars, a game I have not shown in the channel before but that also includes a VR option and seems to be fairly well optimized on the lowest settings. You can also add some launch options to the game to try and squeeze even a bit more out of it, like dx11mt for multi-threaded mode, skip crowds to disable models of bystanders and pthreads to match the number of cores in your CPU. Oh wow! Well, this is something else. Wo-wow shit!

This sure ain’t Mario Kart. I don’t know if I’m in awe or scared! Another game I was curious about is Minecraft. Java-based Minecraft does not support VR out of the box, but thanks to a mod called Vivecraft you can add some rather robust VR options to the game. And the mod installs optifine which adds all sorts of graphical options which I am going to take advance of to disable all weather, animations and sky effects for the best VR performance. The link the vivecraft mod is in the description if you are interested.

If I do this, and I stare, my fps is right here, it’s 57 fps… that is neat, this is the best one that I have tried so far, wow, I was joking draw distance before but check this out. This is literally the world that’s in front of me, huh? Is the world not gonna load? I’m staring down into the abyss of the unloaded world, this is really scary.

Oh, there he goes. Ok, the other examples were cool but this was by far the coolest. I seriously never want to try minecraft any other way again, this is really something else. So, in conclusion. How did it go?

Is this an Vive and Oculus killer? No, I mean come on. VR are nothing short of of technological marvels and thinking that a phone will be just as good might be a bit naive, but it you want to get your feet wet in VR, and get your first experience without breaking bank, this might actually be a really interesting first option.

Performance wise, the results were interesting. There is an option on Vridge to limit a stream to 30 fps but definitively the closer you can get to 60 fps the easier it becomes to handle the movement. Minecraft which is by far the most twekeable of the games I tried and therefore the closest I got to 60 fps was quite the experience. My current VR library is… rather insufficient but I wonder if I keep digging, would I get a couple of other VR games to be low enough to work really well on this setup? Well, you tell me.

Let me know if more budget VR experiments are something you would like to see in the future in comment or in the discussion thread of the LowSpecGamer subreddit. Thank you to the Patreons and this video sponsor for making my crazy experimentation possible. See you in the next video.

Top 10 Best PS4 Games of 2018

What’S up guys Earnest here from 760 games, released on the ps4 this year, 155 of them received their play scores and from that we’re gon na give you the top 10 best PlayStation games of 2018 arranged by play score. The play score is an average of gamer and critic ratings and opening our list is Celeste. Winning the 2018 game Awards for Best independent game and games for impact Celeste deserves a spot in the playstation force competitive rankings. Amid today’s obsession for vast explorable, open worlds, Matt, Thorson and Noel berries, indie game is a 2d platformer that manages to overcome the limitations of form from the creators of sky torn and towerfall ascension. Their expertise are on full exhibit with their level designs. That makes up basic jump and climb in ways that open players up to broad platforming possibility, still built upon the same masochistic formula of tried, die and repeat.

It’S warm hug of a storyline isn’t enough to balance it all out following the character Madeline and her journey up. The eponymous mountain Celeste narrative expresses veritably human struggles in a dreamlike atmosphere is one that resonates with today’s crop teaching lessons on mental health and the upward struggle of overcoming it. Frustration with the charming purpose.

It has a playscore of 8.9 3, it’s all of mice and men at number 9, with Maus released in February 2018. This adventure game from poly art will let you experience a storybook fantasy first and not exactly a graphical marvel. It’S one of the few VR titles that maximize the platform’s potential, while offering a complete narrative experience using the powers of VR Moss, tells a short and sweet tale seen through the eyes of the little man or rodent play as guide to the game.

Small, yet noble mouse quill as she goes on a quest for greatness in a world decidedly larger than her own targeted towards children. Its gameplay combination of puzzles and platforming isn’t exactly much of a challenge it clocks in at around three or so hours of gameplay, but every second is rifle. It is endearing visuals, intuitive controls and inventive mechanics, making subtle use of the VRS functions.

It voted well for the future of the psvr and the platform itself. It has a playscore of 8.9 3, giving us a commie homily wave at number. 8 is Dragonball Fighters, one of the most hyped up fighting games last year. This Dragon Ball inspired. Fighting game came to us in the early days of 2018 and it looks like the excitement hasn’t died down just yet, along with Arc System Works, a company known for the cult, fighting sensation guilty gear, Vaughn die, Namco gives free reign to sprinkle, their signature, cinematics and Animations to their world of high-flying combat, it’s definitely not the first dragon ball game and compared to others that have come before it.

Fighter’S roster of 24 characters isn’t exactly impressive. On the other hand, Arc System Works brings the four to the spirit of the series in its explosive visuals and callbacks to the anime. Not one to skimp on gameplay in this title also strikes that balance between accessibility and strategic depth that unites fighting, rookies and veterans alike, maintaining quality with recent balance patches and adding eight more characters in DLCs. The game is only getting better and better and it receives a playscore of 8.9 4 coming straight out of the playroom and into the number 7 spot is Astro bot rescue mission coming to the shelves at the tail end of 2018, Japan Studios adorable Eve light blue Robot has become this year’s psvr poster boy, seemingly coming out from the know where the VR platformer manages to steal the show entirely, even so far as winning this year’s best VR game. It’S not that it’s groundbreaking or entirely new, no Astro bot defies expectations because it attempts to perfect the platforming experience on the VR in the most genuine way possible. It’S only goal is to delight, and it does so with its vibrant environments and each with peripheral, surprise, reminding us of the pure joy virtual reality and of being completely enveloped in a digital world.

Astro bot is tactile, intuitive and inventive, making good use of proximity and the DualShock, for it almost makes platforming and the platform itself entirely new, though a short experience as most VR games go, it’s undoubtedly an essential one and it has a playscore of 9.0 4 slamming Her weapons down at number 6 is monster hunter world, a franchise that bill it’s named on action, role-playing game play that revolves around taming and battling humongous creatures. This first entry into a new generation takes all that and expands it to fit the larger scale of today’s powerful consoles with a sprawling size and scope. Equaling. The behemoths that it’s known for Monster Hunter world’s graphical upgrade not only makes for immersive exploration. It also does justice to the ferocity of their diverse bestiary other than the obvious makeover. Mh world isn’t much of a deviation from Capcom’s long-established formula and that’s not a bad thing.

Instead, it homes in on the addictive thrills of their signature, combat and refines the little details of the overall hunting. Experience, though, aimed towards casting a broad net of players, it synthesizes well with the game’s, revamp multiplayer an audacious entry into the new generation. It has a playscore of 9.1 3. What’S your favorite PlayStation 4 game this year, tell us all about them in the comment section also. You can get these awesome titles by using the links provided in our description box and if you want more of what to play check out our gameplay channel what to play live where we play the latest and greatest games out there. You can use the link right here in the top right corner rolling.

The dice of number five is divinity original sin 2 definitive edition, as if the second installment to their breakthrough hit wasn’t good enough. Larian Studios guilds, refined gold, with this definitive edition of their exceptional RPG, released on the ps4. Just last August, divinity sequel has been described as one of the richest role-playing games on the market in earned universal acclaim for bringing the creativity of pen and paper adventuring into the digital form, with its breadth of customizations, interactive environments and fully fleshed out storylines original sin. Two’S wealth of options makes for a complete role-playing experience, no matter how many times you play and with a definitive edition, adding a fresh perspective on both multiplayer and singleplayer. It only served to bolster the sequels success while the console controls weren’t perfect. It’S minor quibbles just weren’t enough to dampen the sparkle of larry ins, polish gem.

It has a playscore of 9.1 6. Let’S get big and emotional at number 4, with Shadow of the Colossus, a true PlayStation Classic team, ICO’s master crafted action-adventure game gets a PlayStation 4 makeover. Si a Japan, Studios and Blue Point games.

Take the helm to recreate the beautiful and emotional video game for everyone to play. For starters, the visual enhancements textures and the smooth 60 frames per and make it an exhilarating journey right along its desolate world, with your trusty steed and Slade down towering colossi, an epic third-person action all for the power of love. Its downside, however, is that it’s a remaster, it’s basically the same game, but with a completely fresh visual polish.

The bosses don’t offer much challenge, since all you do is climb and not fall down. The lack of new content makes it less of a remaster, but it’s still a fantastic adventure nonetheless, due to its wonderful story of romance and hope it receives. A playscore of 9.1 7 swinging in at number 3 is marvel. Spiderman insomniacs record-breaking new IP no longer takes you to the shoes of ratchet & clank.

This time, Marvel’s web slinging superhero takes center stage inspired by Rocksteady super hero formula. Marvel spider-man takes you to a bustling open-world city of New York, dominated by high crime rates, supervillains and collectibles. Since your spider-man web slinging is so much fun this time around it’s easily the best thing about this game. Players swing around buildings, crawl on skyscrapers, burry thieves with your webs and fight thugs, as you upgrade your suit for that massive gameplay advantage, it’s huge and detailed open-world makes every web slinging worthwhile, especially taking down the big baddies from Peter Parker’s rogues gallery. Although it’s a huge game, it’s simple execution of open-world tropes make it similar to most other open-world games.

It brings nothing yet to the superhero genre table, but you know what they say. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It has a playscore of 9.1 8th bringing down the big axe at number. 2. Is god of war winning this year’s game of the year at the game. Awards follow Kratos and boy as they embark on a life-changing journey about fatherhood, responsibilities and world ending prophecies considered.

As a soft reboot of the franchise, Kratos no longer serves the Greek gods. This time the Norse realm awaits his presence traveled to the frosty realm of Midgard or through the peaceful, yet corrupted Alfheim alongside your son, and take down mythical creatures with your magical axe for the first time of the series it incorporates a more mature take on everyone’s God, slaying protagonist and his new camera angle seamlessly puts players in a completely epic hack and slash experience if short game. Time, however, leaves players wanting for more one thing’s for sure about this game. Thor and Odin aren’t happy with this father and son duo. It receives a playscore of 9.4 9 and here are the runners-up before we reveal the number one Tetris effect enhance game’s twist on the classic brick game, a vision, trip with ethereal and futuristic visuals. It’S a casual, friendly, Tetris experience that anyone can enjoy.

It has a playscore of 8.8 6 dragon quest 11 echoes of an elusive age, a refreshing new look on Yuji Horii Dragon Quest universe. This 11th installment brings high definition to the RPG gameplay, an old-school adventure wrapped in the liberating details of the new age. It has a playscore of 8.8 6 hollow Knight, void, heart Edition, packed with all the DLCs as the complete hollow Knight experience follow the little bug boy on his quest to save hollow nest from doom. It has a playscore of 8.7 9.3 mastered a completely remastered Dark Souls. Experience praise the Sun once more with a new visual overhaul, gameplay balance and another round of hardcore action-adventure. It has a playscore of 8.7 for yakuza kiwami, a ground-up remake of the 2006 yakuza developed using the latest dragon game engine, adding new features, bonus, content and a whole new story to the sprawling open world of Japanese escapades.

It has a playscore of 8.7 for DJ max respect. A reboot of neo is iconic rhythm game. It marks the latest in there groovy series offering various tracks from their collection. Try your hand at over 6 different modes and take in the freshness of their HD. Look.

It has a playscore of 8.7 one Dragon’s crown Pro a story of swords and sorcery from vanilla, where it’s remastered, visuals and added content. Take the award winning strategy experienced to greater heights, praised for its RPG mechanics and challenging dungeon crawling. It has a playscore of 8.6 9 yeah cos a six-song of life vii main entry of the Yakuza series returned to the life of Kazuma Kiryu, as he saves his family’s life from a mysterious threat.

It has a playscore of 8.6 seven dead cells, live and die and live again in this hardcore roguelike platformer, 4motion twin brave, through infested dungeons and try not to die, so you can make it to the end. It has a playscore of 8.6 6 Valkyria, chronicles 4 war meets anime, and this tactical role-playing game from sega save your kingdom from a grueling civil war. One move at a time it has a playscore of 8.6 5 and the best ps4 game of 2018 is Red Dead Redemption rockstars Western open-world action game may not have taken home the game of the Year award, but it’s certainly one of the most ambitious video game. Achievements: this year, a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption players assume the role of outlaw Arthur Morgan as he tries his best to save the western frontier against the growing government forces.

As a member of the van der Linde gang assert your dominance by either performing shootouts heist, horseback, riding or just interacting with various NPC’s in a huge open world, a true upgrade compared to its predecessors, experienced rockstars, most detailed game. Yet right around the western sunset. With your trusty steed start bar fights or just talk to the folk around town with branching dialogue options. However, it’s only gripe is its pacing issues. Rockstar isn’t really known to enter games in a good note, but nonetheless, this minor setback is nothing compared to the game’s. Sheer amount of aw there’s so much to do in this game and it gives us so much hope to rockstars upcoming Grand Theft, Auto 6.

It receives a playscore of 9.5 and those were the top 10 ps4 games of 2018. And if you loved this video, don’t forget to like share and subscribe to become a certified what player and that’s about it, see you next time,

The Game Awards 2018 Highlights

The 2018 Game Awards just wrapped up, and aside from giving us a bunch of awesome sneak peeks, some of the best titles of this year we awarded for their brilliance. Here’s the main ones that you need to know about: The Game of the Year award went to God of War! A well deserved win. Best Game Direction – God of War’s Cory Barlog from Santa Monica. God of War also won best action adventure.

Best Narrative Game was won by Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, beating out God of War, Detroit Become Human, Life is Strange 2 episode 1, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. Best Performance – Roger Clark for Arthur Morgan in Red Dead Redemption 2 Best Score Music – Red Dead Redemption 2 Best Independent Game – Celeste, the only other indie game to be nominated in the Game of the Year award. It also won the Games for Impact award. Best Role Playing Game – Monster Hunter World Who promised great news for their fans in a few days, so be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Best Sports Racing Game – Forza Horizon 4. The winner was announced after a bit of a cringe moment where the Mortal Kombat 11 trailer was screened instead of the nominees, but Ed Boone, the presenter, took it in stride. Best Ongoing Game – Fortnite. Fortnite also won best multiplayer, and debuted a new mechanic that went live in the game as of the award show; the block, which features awesome creations crafted by players in the Fortnite Creative mode. Who else won? Best Audio Design – Red Dead Redemption 2 Best Art Direction – Return of the Obra Den Best Mobile Game – Florence Best VR AR Game – Astro Bot Rescue Mission Best Action Game – Dead Cells Best Debut Indie Game – The Messenger Best Fighting Game – Dragon Ball Fighterz Best Family Game – Overcooked 2 Best Strategy Game – Into the Breach Best Content Creator – Ninja – but perhaps the best moment of this award was Christopher Judge saying “read it boy” as the award was being presented.

Best Student Game – Combat 2018 from Norway, which was judged by a panel that included Todd Howard of Bethesda and Hideo Kojima. ESPORTS were also celebrated at the Game Awards this year. Here’s who won.

Best Esports Player – Sonic Fox, Dominique MacLean, who wore his fox costume up on stage to accept his award. He also gave a shout out to the LGBTQ and Furry communities. Yay representation in gaming!

Best Esports Team – Cloud9, 2nd year in a row Best Esports Game – Overwatch, which got a ton of cheers from the crowd Best Esports Event – League of Legends World Championship Best Esports Host – Sjokz Best Esports Coach – Reapered, as voted by the fans Best Esports Moment – C9 Comback win in triple OT vs Faze There we have it friends! Which awards were you the most excited for? Were your predictions on point? Let us know in those comments below! Also for more on what went down at the Game Awards this year, be sure to check out our highlights video.

Super Secret Deaths in Video Games!

In the very last mission known as Stone Rain in 3-D Realms Shadow Warrior from 1997. (machine gun) You will eventually clamber up a deadly volcano to activate numerous switches. One in particular that will open up a tunnel allowing yourself to jump down into the unknown depths of the mountain. (electronic pop music) When not long after you can discover a secret panel that leads on into a special cave.

Which is home to two killer white rabbits and references the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie. (machine gun) But as you venture in deeper you will also discover the bodies of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  – Cowabunga. Tomb Raider The Last Revelation and fourth installment to the series follows a 16-year-old Laura who is joined by Werner Von Croy as they explore ancient ruins located in the northwest of Cambodia in search of the artifact named The Iris. Not long after the initial tutorial and during the very early stages, you can hop across a courtyard and take a series of steps down into a small chamber where you can feast your eyes on another well-known treasure hunter. (upbeat pop music) As yes, you can find the great Indiana Jones whom has been impaled on a bed of spikes but still clutching onto his most famous of possessions.

As you progress through mission 12, Wild Territory in S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl, carefully navigate through the train platforms and make a heading towards the helicopter crash site. When nearby you can find a tunnel, a dead body as you enter, an electrical current spilling across the floor combined with deadly traps. But by taking the high ground and utilizing the wreckages and containers, you will eventually find the body of Gordon Freeman, the main protagonist from Half-Life. Plus a rather powerful handgun known as the Black Kite. (alarm clock tone) (ominous alarm clock tone) (video game coins clinking) For those of you that have played Kojima’s digital comic adventure Snatcher on a variety of console ports, will know that Gibson’s death is a rather gruesome one, upon discovering him with free pokies.

Roll forward to 2008 when Fallout 3 arrived and by traveling across the metro lines from Mall Southwest to this station located at grid reference 16, 15 you will be able to find the Capitol Post building on a street corner. Where lying on the sub-level, a chap also named Gibson is slumped up against the wall and has also suffered the exact same fate with his head decapitated and resting between his legs. He was also carrying a note reading, “Search the house”, the same message from the original game. Which will lead you to a dwelling in Minefield. (elated trumpets) (video game coins clinking) In the Sega Genesis port of the hack and slash adventure the Sword of Sodan.

As you gather up four different potions and eyelet them all at once to create one wacky combination and one helluva cocktail. And then send it down the hatch, to which your characters chest will rip open. (deadly groans) And blood will seep out onto the floor while the message ‘Winners Don’t Do Drugs’ appears on the screen. Which is also a direct reference to the FBI’s screenshots that was placed on imported arcade machines to North America from 1989 to 2000.

Upon the stage known as the Forsaken Compound in Serious Sam II which was released in 2005, it is after passing the third main gates that you shouldn’t be so eager to complete the level. Cause by veering off to the left, there is a small chain of islands that leads to a secret sword, hat, and a coat. Plus a dead tree, where hanging from it, you can find the corpse of Duke Nukem with a rocket shoved through his pelvis. – [Character] Secret Duke’s skeleton has been found. – [Man In Video Game] Dude, you’ve been hanging here, like, forever. – [James] A reference to the title Duke Nukem Forever which yeah, wasn’t released for another six years after this game but believe it or not, Duke Nukem Forever was first announced back in 1997.

In 2014 Laura Croft set out on an adventure to recover the fragments of Osiris to stop Set from enslaving all humanity. – [Laura] She’s seen us, run. (rocks crashing) – [James] Roughly 10 minutes in you again liken The Last Revelation can discover another adventure. – [Laura] It seems we’re not the first adventurers to come this way. – [James] But instead of Indiana Jones, you can find the skeleton of Nathan Drake who has succumb to an awful death with a sword that has been plunged through his chest.

If you happen to walk the riverbanks of the River Charles just to the south of the Cambridge Polymer Labs in Fallout 4, then you will stumble upon a motionless boat close to the embankment. And by hopping upon it will definitely make for some great viewing as there lays a mutant shark and the body of a man sporting a machete and a bandana. Who is none other than Ben Gardner, portraying that terrifying scene from Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Yeah, for our final death scene we are checking out Beavis and Butt-Head in virtual stupidity. And it is every bit as funny, crude, and rude as the regular t-v show. As the pair skip school to join a gang and cause havoc in just about every corner of the town. (heavy metal guitar) (balls popping) – [Character] Hey. – [James] But when you visit the coffeehouse for a benefit regarding saving the sperm whales head straight into the toilets and use the foot icon on the three screws holding up the broken mirror. Then, use it upon the skull and prepare yourself for a very secret death.

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The Gaming Club

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Online Poker Rooms

Online Poker launched in 1998. Planetpoker.com was the first opened room. This Online Poker room should work hard to overcome some obstacles like trust and style of realistic game. But after so many efforts Planetpoker.com achieved great results (about 80000 players at the same time!) .

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Online Poker Rooms are the right places, where poker players can join the best poker games.  Lucky Nugget casino nz offer different poker games, poker tournaments and many bonuses. Nowadays many people prefer to play poker at Lucky Nugget casino nz, than in real casinos. There are many good reasons to play at Lucky Nugget casino nz – you can win real money, you can stay at your home, you can play with different poker player, you can play free games, you can get bonuses. Games are the same like in real casinos, with the same rules. It is very big pleasure to win in Online Poker Rooms. That means that you are the best poker player between so many people. Play now Texas Holdem Poker, Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud and many other games. Some rooms offer high quality software, so it is good to choose large room, appropriate for you!

How Casinos Trick You Into Gambling More

I’m going all-in on this gamble of a DNews episode, how is it that casinos keep people gambling, even if they don’t really want to? Hey penny-slotters Trace here for DNews today diving into the flashy world of gambling. Literally, it’s flashy, there are lights and sounds and smells, adventures to be had money to be won!

But when you’re in a casino, hundreds of papers and experiments are brought to bear to keep you in their gilded halls. So how do casinos keep us gambling? increased arousal A 2010 study in the Journal of Mental Health Addiction found both lights and music created “increased arousal” effects.

And a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at the brains of rats finding increased arousal increases dopamine reception — one of our brain’s powerful reward chemicals. Feeling good means we spend more, so casinos cash in on dopamine at every turn. Numerous studies say more arousal means more gambling, and faster music paired with flashing lights makes people bet more quickly and spend more money! But that’s not all… colored lights Marketers know the color red makes people more aroused too. And studies show red light makes people more gambley than blue light!

Thus, casinos put red everywhere! The Journal of Gambling Studies revealed a bunch of other insights into gambling behavior as well. Things like “the illusion of control,” the idea that if you’re pushing a button or pulling a lever, you have control over the situation… and if the risk seems low and you get an immediate response to your bet, you’ll bet more, and then more. free drinks/design Some casinos even offer free drinks, great, right?

For the casino. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and increases expectations, further increasing play. architecture Even the architecture has evolved. I find this particularly fascinating.

Originally casinos focused on “gaming design:” all the slot machines and tables were lined up, all together in a maze-like configuration. It was thought that this design would make us step up and gamble at every turn. But based on scientific studies, casino design has been radically redefined. New casinos are based on the idea of “adult playgrounds” with high-ceilings and expansive, opulent, easy-to-navigate spaces; the Bellagio is the quintessential example.

Old-style casinos famously avoid windows and clocks to help gamblers lose their sense of place and time, but “playground” casinos make people feel happy and comfortable, with sunshine, high-ceilings and art; keeping us gambling, having fun, and spending that money. A study published in the journal Environment & Behavior proved that this is working. People like the playground design, especially women. In the compact “gaming design” women felt crowded by others around them, if they were too close to other people they’d gamble less. The adult playground design mitigates these problems, and women now gamble even more.

Slots, for example, are historically very popular with women, and revenue increased over 30 percent since 1970. It turns out, adding windows, bright colors, and a resort feel, has a huge payoff for the House. The research showed, gamblers in a resort playground casino feel more comfortable and are reminded to have fun constantly.

So they do. oxygen The thing casino’s don’t do, though, is pump in oxygen to give gamblers a modest high. It’s a myth, dating back decades. What they actually do is pump in scents which keep people aroused (back to that arousal effect, thing) and according to the scent designer for one company who does it, AromaSys: refreshing and soothing scents keep people gambling longer. conclusion In the end, casinos cash in on exploiting our psychology to the tune of 240 billion dollars a year. They do it with the games, the decor, the drinks, the smells, assaulting our senses to get us to make it rain in the desert in Vegas and elsewhere.

But what about gambling addiction? Isn’t that worth considering? Gambling addiction does have a genetic component, meaning if your mother or father has gambling addiction, you could too!

Laci explains how that works here. I don’t really like gambling, I’m just not taken in by it all… I like wandering the hotels, but I don’t feel the need to pump quarters into a slot machine. But how you y’all feel? Do you gamble? Have you stopped to think about why?

What Beats What in Poker Hands | Gambling Tips

Hey guys, I just wanted to go over poker rankings with you. These rankings apply for just about any poker game you are going to play: hold em, or five card draw, seven card stud, or any of that. Basically, I got a deck here all rigged out to get the cards I want to come out. I want to let you know your rankings. First up, we start from the bottom.

We have a no pair. Alright and basically you would be playing for high card. With the case of no pair, whoever has the highest card would break whatever ties. Generally, you can count on this hand winning like, never. Every now and then you might get lucky with an ace high or a king high. Next hand, is one pair.

You get two of the same value. Then everything else is the same. Anything else is everything else. With the pair whoever has the next highest card would break the tie there. It doesn’t happen very often.

But, every now and then it does. Next up, is two pair. You have the pair of queens and ace.

The highest pair takes preference. So, if you had a pair of queens and eights, somebody else had a pair of jacks and tens, then because you have the queens, you win. This would be the hand higher than the one pair.

Next up, three of a kind. In this case we have a three of a kind jacks and a five and a two. A lot of times new players make the mistake of thinking that you have got two pair then it’s a bigger deal than having three of a kind, but three of a kind always beats two pair. It does not matter the game.

Next, is a straight. A straight is five cards in sequential order regardless of the suit. In this case here you have the straight that goes up to the eight. The case of the players that with a couple of straights whichever has the highest one, ace’s being high, would win that pot there. This is a straight and it is better than the three of a kind.

Better than the straight, we have a flush. A flush would be five cards of the same suit. It doesn’t matter what their values are. In the case here, we have an ace high flush. The high card takes value here, so if somebody else has an ace king high flush, since he has the ace, he would win. Then that beats a straight.

And what beats a flush? Is a full house. A full house would be three of one value and then two of the other. On this case, this would be called kings full of tens. This is a very, very powerful hand and usually if you have hands like this or stronger, you will more than likely win whatever pot of poker you are playing. In the case of multiple full houses, the precedence comes to whichever the one you have three of.

If you have three tens and then kings, then the tens would be dominant. If someone else had three jacks, say then you would lose that. Here kings full tens beats a flush.

Better than a full house is four of a kind, also known as quads. Basically, four of the same thing. You get all four in all suits of the same value and most poker games nobody will ever be able to tie you so you will never have to worry about that but then obviously four tens would beat four nines or something like that.

A very, very powerful hand. When you get to this scenario, unless you are extremely unlucky you will almost always win with four of a kind. Next highest from there is a straight flush. This is five cards that are in sequence and of the same suit. So in this case we have a seven high straight flush. These hands are very, very rare to come by, but when they come, it is going to be money for you.

And then that would beat the four of a kind and everything else below that. And the highest type of straight flush, you probably already know is the royal flush. All five cards from the ten to the ace in sequence, of the same suit.

No other hand can beat this one. Those are our poker hand rankings.

The Rules of Blackjack

Hi there! You’re watching Rules of Blackjack, by Crazy Vegas Casino. In this video, we’re going to look at the rules of Blackjack. The object of the game is for the player is to draw cards totaling closer to 21 than the dealer’s cards, all without going over 21. Blackjack is played with one or more standard 52-card decks. These days, most games use four, six, or eight decks.

These decks are then shuffled and placed in a card holder called a shoe, from which the dealer can slide out one card at a time. Each card denomination is assigned a point value. Cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value, face cards (kings, queens, and jacks) are each worth 10, and aces may be used as either 1 or 11. The best total of all is a two-card 21, or a ‘Blackjack’!

Blackjack pays 3-2: that means that a two-card 21 on a $5 bet will win $7.50. However, if the dealer also has a two-card 21, the hand pushes, or ties, and you get your original bet back. On the other hand, if the dealer goes on to draw 21 in three or more cards, your Blackjack is still a winner with its 3-2 payoff! How do you play the game?

Play begins when you place a bet in the betting square on the table directly in front of you. After all bets have been placed, each player and the dealer are given two cards. A player’s cards are both dealt face up. In the dealer’s case, only one of their cards is dealt face up, and the other face down. When the dealer’s up card is an ace, players generally have the option to take Insurance, which is a side bet restricted to half of the original bet. Insurance pays at 2:1 if the dealer does hit Blackjack.

If the dealer has a ten or an ace showing, then he will peek at his face down card to see if he has a Blackjack. If he does, then he will turn it over immediately. If the dealer does have a Blackjack, then all hands will lose, unless a player also has a Blackjack, which will result in a push.

Then, each player in turn decides how to play out their hands, usually one of five options – hit, stand, split, double or surrender. Hit: Take another card from the dealer. Stand: Take no more cards, also known as “stand pat”, “stick”, or “stay”.

Double down: Players are allowed to double their initial bet, but then receive only one more card. Hitting a double down is not permitted. The double down bet is placed in the betting box next to the original bet. Split (only available as the first decision of a hand): If the first two cards have the same value, the player can split them into two hands, by moving a second bet equal to the first into an area outside the betting box. The dealer separates the two cards and draws a card to each.

The player then plays out the two hands. Doubling and further splitting may be restricted depending on the game, and Blackjacks after a split are seen as non-blackjack 21. Hitting split aces is usually not allowed. Surrender (only available as first decision of a hand): Some games offer the option to “surrender”, directly after the dealer has checked for Blackjack. When the player surrenders, the house takes half the player’s bet and returns the other half to the player, which ends the players hand. Once all players have finished, the dealer plays according to set rules: in Blackjack, the play is more restrictive for the dealer.

The dealer must draw more cards to any total of 16 or less and must stand on any total of 17 or more. In some casinos, the dealer will also draw to “soft” 17: this means that the total includes an ace or aces that add up to 17. And those are the rules of Blackjack. Pretty straight-forward, right?

Keep in mind that some of these rules will have variations depending on the game that you are playing – and don’t forget to practice playing the rules through for yourself, to get a good feel for the game. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time, when we’ll be looking at Blackjack Strategy.

Card Counting Legend Tommy Hyland – Exclusive Interview

– [Colin] This is always a special treat, if you guys don’t know who Tommy Hyland is. He would never call himself this, but he’s a legend. He’s a huge hero to us, inspiration.

He’s become a friend. So, give Tommy a round of applause (audience applauses) – Basically I didn’t have any particular affinity for math, no background in math, I just went to a small college in Ohio, Wittenberg, and I was taking Political Science and a lot of the guys I hung around with liked to gamble. We were playing some poker, and some backgammon. This was a small blue-collar town in Ohio. And there wasn’t much to do, so one time we happened to go in a bookstore and there was a Blackjack book which I later found out was really an incredible book for it’s time. Playing Blackjack as a Business by Lawrence Revere and we bought the book and for a simpleton like me this was the perfect book.

It had these nice beautiful color charts, it illustrated how to play basic strategy, and explained card counting pretty well. And so my roommate and I started practicing. And the one thing the book didn’t tell us, is they didn’t tell us how to actually do the running count at the table. They told you that the two through six was plus one, and seven, eight, and nine was nothing, and ten through ace was minus one.

So we understood that, but we didn’t actually physically know how to do the count. And we saw how fast, to us, these dealers dealt. And we figured, well you must have to be some kind of memory expert to keep this count. So what we used to do is we’d sit next to each other on the five dollar table. And I would count the high cards and he would count the low cards or vice versa. And then whisper after every round to each other what we had and then we would subtract.

And we knew how to do the true count and all but nobody, and this went on for like, believe it or not, this went on for like two months. We must’ve played 20 or 30 times like this. And we were winning, you know. The rules were very favorable back then in Atlantic City.

And we only had 1000 dollars each, and eventually we ran into some other card counter He told us, well look all you do is wait ’til the person on first base gets a second card then you cancel out. You know, all this time playing we were concentrating on not making any playing errors and all that so we never, so anyway it took us about six months to build up the 1000 up to 4000 each. And then we met these other two guys that were card counters, young guys, that were just starting out.

We used to find a casino that you know we didn’t want to play regular Blackjack at and we used to use it for a training casino. And I’d just stand behind him and you know they have to do three or four shoes you know bet reasonably correctly and not make any playing errors. And every time they’d make an error, I’d hit em, why did you do that, and stuff like that. Yeah I wasn’t always the guy in charge. I was usually like a co-manager, or I bet I’ve been on bankrolls with probably well over a hundred different people. Over the years, probably closer to two hundred.

When I was kinda young and a little reckless, people would be coming out the, they heard about the success we were having around this golf course and the word spread like wildfire and basically people would come up to me and say, hey I got a cousin, he’s really good at math, can he play, and I’d say oh I’ll meet him. I would take him on the team eventually and as you can imagine that led to a lot of problems. I had a lot of good players, some of my best players were close friends, and some of my other best players I just met, somebody introduced me to em.

Starting in October or November, I try and play a lot until next April. When I say a lot, I’m not talking about at Joe’s level, he plays way more hours than I do. But like this year I should end up with about 350 hours or something. So seven hours a week or something like that. People ask me that all the time they say “Aren’t you banned everywhere?”

And I say well, these days it’s impossible to not be able to play, if you wanna play Blackjack. I mean there’s so many casinos I mean hundreds and hundreds of casinos You know some people might think that the old days of Blackjack were better when the games were better, they had four decks, they dealt down the half a deck or they had better rules. But there’s a lot to be said for these days. What is there over 30 states for sure probably 35 states with Blackjack, and a lot of them are not that smart and there’s no way you could get kicked out of every casino where you could make money. I haven’t been to some states in 10 or 12 years where I know there’s good games. Luckily I’m not six foot ten or something like that.

My face is not that memorable, I grow a beard, and I comb my hair different, wear a hat. Until I start betting really big, they don’t really notice me right away. My philosophy almost since the beginning, and I had arguments with other team members or something is always get the money first. Don’t worry so much about if the casino likes you, if you’re gonna lose your comps, getting the EV, and getting the money is way more important than worrying about getting kicked out.

That happened on our team a lot. People were so scared, they might’ve had a nasty back off or something like that and they were so scared that they were afraid to put the money out. And you gotta put that money out there when the count’s good.

I mean you can mess around, your small edges you can fool around at True one and True Two. But when that count gets good, you gotta send that money out there. And when a count gets bad, you gotta get off the table, or bet the minimum.

Luckily, these days, I’ve had some nasty incidents in the past, but, I’d say in the last eight or ten years almost every back off has been pleasant. Or they might tell you, “We’re gonna arrest you for “tresspassing the next time.” And I don’t really let that stop me if they tell me that, I don’t go in the next day or something, but I’ll go in six months or a year later. And then what invariably happens, almost every time, is they say the same thing, “The very next time we’re “gonna arrest you for trespassing.” And most of the time it’s a bluff. Once in awhile they’ll follow through, but it’s very rare.

They don’t wanna have the hassle, and it’s not clear that they’re allowed to arrest you for trespassing. It’s basically a gray area and they’re not sure what they’re allowed to do, and we’re not sure, now in New Jersey they absolutely can’t do it, in Missouri they can’t do it. And other places, maybe they can maybe they can’t. Certainly card counters aren’t in the wrong at all. I think it’s one of the most ethical, and honorable things you can do, is play Blackjack against the casinos.

I’m sure everybody knows somebody or has heard of somebody that’s had their life ruined by a casino. Where somebody’s lost their family, or their house or whatever. And these casinos are ruthless.

I mean just read, there’s a good book, Whale Hunt in the Desert, by a casino host, or it’s about a casino host, absolutely how ruthless these people are about trying to get every last cent from these high rollers and stuff. Now I think that’s, the money is certainly better off in your pocket, than in these casinos. They’re not really nice people. They have a lot of influence with these politicians and these courts. And for them to be able to, for just doing math in your head while you’re playing a game, by the rules that they offer.

For them to be able to arrest, or threaten to arrest you or force you in a back room, and all this, is really wrong. It’s not a close call as to who’s in the right, the card counters or the casinos, I don’t think. Well there’s a lot of good things about card counting, to be thankful for. I mean the fact that your time is your own. The one thing we all are gonna run out of is time. Some of us may run out of money, all that but time is the most precious thing you have and to have the time your own, to be able to go out and play when you want to, to not have to be at a certain place at a certain time, is worth a lot.

I’ve had 40 years of that, where if I feel like playing Blackjack I play Blackjack. If I feel like I wanna play golf, I can go play golf. You know whatever. So that’s probably the best thing. And then another great thing is all the people you meet.

I’ve met some incredibly smart guys. One of my early teams I had, there was five of us. One guy’s probably gone on to be the highest winning gambler in the history of the world. And he was one of my first teammates, in fact he started out similar to me, he had basically no money and he was just about to take a job, at a Burger King, on the graveyard shift, because he was down below a thousand dollars he happened to be playing, and he met some other guy who was a card counter, and the guy saw he played really well, and he invited him back to their place to join the team. And now he’s a billionaire from gambling.

Some of the people you meet, it’s been phenomenal. Be aggressive. The other thing we didn’t talk about much is you really have to bet in proportion to your bank roll. You have to size your bet to how much advantage you have, on a particular thing. That’s really important.

You can’t go betting black chips when you have five or ten thousand dollars. You have to put the hours in, keep your expenses down, and build your bankroll up. And then you bet in proportion to that bankroll. And be aggressive, don’t be worried about getting kicked out of one casino, there’s a thousand other casinos to play at. I don’t know why more people don’t do this.

I think it’s a really good way to make a living. There’s not that many people that play Blackjack for their main source of income. When I first started doing it, I didn’t know that I was gonna do it for 40 years. I figured oh I’m gonna do this for awhile, and then I was thinking of teaching school, or you know various things, doing something with golf. If I had to say when would be the best time to play Blackjack, I might say it was now. You know, that’s only my opinion.

Other people say it was definitely better in the old days. But I think this is a real good time to make money at Blackjack. In the beginning, I was a young kid, once we learned this stuff and the money just kept coming in, we thought that this is the easiest thing in the world. And I did a lot of careless stuff. I was real sloppy with the accounting, I remember one time we had a house down off of Atlantic City Brigantine, I remember walking into the house with a briefcase, full of money, I forgot to secure the latches on the briefcase, and it was windy and the briefcase just popped open and there was money blowing all around the neighborhood. (audience laughs)

The Ruins of Las Vegas | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

Here’s an idea. In Las Vegas, we’re are the America’s ruins. So when most people think of Las Vegas, they think of this– gambling, drinking, all kinds of crazy revelry, nonstop glitz, glamour, entertainment, and showmanship happening inside and around these massive, palatial casinos. Vegas’s sobriquet is Sin City, a place where one has access to any and every vice, assuming one is able to pay the price. And these buildings structure literally the whole experience. But this is also Las Vegas.

It’s just people don’t normally think about this part of it. Nevada was hit hard by the subprime mortgage crisis, where banks gave mortgages to people who technically couldn’t afford them, and then repackaged those mortgages as sound investments which eventually defaulted, leaving people with homes they couldn’t afford, investors with empty pockets, and gaping money holes in many markets. As of late October, 2015, Nevada has the highest home foreclosure rate of any state in the country. And metropolitan Las Vegas typically ranks within the top five. For a city that we associate so strongly with opulence, there is a fair amount of hardship here, and not just here but also here.

The casinos, Vegas’ monuments to diversion, excess, and abundance, but also provider of no shortage of employment opportunities for locals, also suffered in the wake of the recent economic collapse. This is Echelon Place which began construction in 2007 and was slated to be finished by 2010. It was to be an 87 acre project with 5,300 hotel rooms across four hotels. And it had a construction budget of $4 billion. In 2008, construction stopped, first for a year, then another estimated three to five years. So it sits here, waiting, now more of a memorial than a monument.

Echelon Place isn’t alone, either. In the last decade, there has been 10 hotels that have been abandoned or demolished. There are nearly a dozen massive projects which started construction but never finished. That Vegas is pocked with all of these foreclosed upon homes and incomplete monoliths is a testament to both it and America’s relationship to chance and chance’s relationship to wealth.

Let’s do some history. Long before The Strip, downtown Las Vegas got its start as a playground for construction workers building the Hoover Dam. At the time, Vegas was the closest significantly sized city with businesses that would stay open late.

The state had legalized gambling in 1931, the year that the dam started construction. But the US government wasn’t too keen on that move. They didn’t want their federally-paid dam workers spending their hard-earned dam cash on games of chance.

So they schemed to keep the workers away. But of course, their scheming had the opposite effect. Dam workers flooded Vegas– pun intended– and made it rave– pun and mixed metaphor intended. In 1936, when construction of the dam completed, the Great Depression was still in full swing, so all of those labors went elsewhere to find work. Vegas needed to figure out a way to survive, and quick, because it had learned to depend on that dam cash, which had vamoosed. Luckily, though the dam had stopped powering Vegas financially, it could now power Vegas literally.

And building upon their long-held reputation as a playground city, Vegas began outfitting its downtown, Fremont Street, with bright lights a-go-go. After not long, this part of town became known as Glitter Gulch. The rest is roughly and literally speaking, history. Vegas learned to depend on tourism fueled by glitz, glamour, and nearby scenic attractions. Gangsters and real estate developers learned to depend on Vegas’s lax law enforcement, regulation, and tax code. Entertainers from nearby LA, and eventually across the world, learned in Vegas, there is always an audience.

By the late ’40s, Vegas had stepped into its own as America’s playground, initiating its modern reputation as the perfect expression of American exceptionalism by way of a particular brand of flashy, capital-fueled, American excess, which works like gangbusters until 2007, when the boom became more of a dull thud. In the midst of a global economic recession, the glitz of Sin City can seem excessive at best or irresponsible at worst, which means that tourists are less likely to come visit. Add to that the fact that the city’s banks handed out some 35,000 loans that people technically couldn’t afford . I mean, I suppose in a city that’s defined by betting, it would make sense that real estate developers and lending organizations would bet it all. On the one hand, with civilian homes, it may be simple predatory lending.

But on the other hand, with things like casinos and resorts, I think it’s something else. The Vegas most of us recognize was constructed not to be used like a normal city, like a New York, or a Paris, or a Tokyo, to be marveled at. The Vegas we know is for gawking, not living. The Bellagio, Luxor, the Hard Rock Cafe, and their ilk all comprised a pseudo city which isn’t for residents, but for people who have come to play in as many senses of the word as possible. These structures are for residing, but relaxing.

And architecturally, this is all almost literally America’s playground in that we’ve perhaps outgrown it and abandoned it, except at great literal cost. Vegas is thoroughfares and signage, towering obelisks, and countless simulacra– a pyramid, but not the city, but not Europe, but not bodies of water, but not– were not built to age gracefully, but to impress immediately and then be demolished or abandoned. On one block between Sands Avenue and Flamingo Road used to sit Sands, Castaways, Nob Hill, Holiday Casino and Inn, the Imperial Palace, O’Sheas, and the Barbary Coast. Now, it’s home to Treasure Island, The Palazzo, The Venetian, The Mirage, Casino Royale, Harrah’s, The LINQ, Caesar’s Palace, Flamingo and the Cromwell. Not one original building remains standing.

In their influential book, “Learning from Las Vegas,” architect Robert Venturi, Denise Brown, and Robert Izenour write that in this landscape, architecture becomes symbol in space, rather than form in space. Weirdly, they weren’t writing about this Las Vegas or this Las Vegas, but this Vegas. They compare the parking lots of Las Vegas to France’s Versailles, a massive, sprawling palace famous for its gardens that stands as a symbol of the wealth of the old ruling class, but also the absolute monarchy of the old regime before the French Revolution. The parking lot, they write, is the parterre of the asphalt landscape, beautiful for all of its uselessness, a status symbol for storing other status symbols. What then of those massive, sprawling, finished, and unfinished mega casinos? What symbol are they?

I might say, our ruins. Given the turnover of the strip, destruction and ruination is practically pre-built into them. Some of them become alike to ruins before they’re even finished.

Sure, technically speaking, ruins are structures which at one point were complete and have become decrepit over a long period of time, though haven’t turned entirely back into dust. Machu Picchu, the pyramids, Petra, Teotihuacan, Angkor Wat, the Parthenon, the Acropolis, Caesar’s Palace– there’s this idea that the strength of a society is confidently communicated by the quality and resilience of its ruins. A powerful culture will build a long-lasting structures. In short, America has all kinds of impressive structures which will look great in the post-apocalypse, while it seems a Vegas casino is unlikely to make it half a generation, let alone some millennia. [MUSIC – “VIVA LAS VEGAS”] strip in Las Vegas, as a location, is such a perfect distillation of that stereotypical American abundance that it feels like maybe this should be our Carthage or Roman Forum, even if it won’t be. These structures stand already fulfilling their role as a ruins, though of course, technically, they aren’t testaments to the things that are important to us, but also what isn’t at a time where the future of the United States’ longstanding cultural and economic authority is anything but certain.

Though these things may not be ruins then, perhaps it’s meaningful for us to look at them as ruins now. What do you guys think? Are the ruins of Vegas something like Carthage after the fall of Rome? Let us know in the comments and our response to some of them in next week’s comment response video.

In this week’s comment response video, we talk about your thoughts regarding listicles. If you want to watch that one, you can click right here or find a link in the doobly-doo. Thank you so much to everyone who wrote a short story to enter in to win an Idea Channel t-shirt.

We had an awesome time combing through them, randomly selecting three winners, which we have. The winners are Papa Bad Dad, Observer of Worlds, and Chemical Word Smith. So we’re going to be sending you guys a message via YouTube to get your information to send you a t-shirt. We are, however, going to also postpone the dramatic reading, because I caught a cold. And I don’t want my cold memorialized for all eternity having to read your beautiful short stories with a nasaly voice. So maybe that’ll happen like next week.

But I promise, it will. This week’s episode was brought to you by the hard work of these high rollers. We have a Facebook, an IRC, and a subreddit links in the doobly-doo. And the tweet of the week comes from Leif Nelson, who points us towards a post about the “Wizard of Oz,” which has been re-cut alphabetically, which means that every scene that begins with a word that starts with the letter A is first. And it works its way all the way through scenes that begin with the word zipper. And it appears that there is more than one kind of movie that has been re-cut this way.