New Age Gaming – Free Online Multiplayer Games

Gone are the days when the only modes of recreation were the outdoor games. It’s the age of Internet and thus internet gaming has become the favourite pastime of children as well as the youth today. Free multiplayer online game has become extremely popular as the large number of players makes the game more interesting and more challenging. The most popular free multiplayer online games are poker, checkers, billiards, memory game, gomoku, four in a row and many more. There is whole range of games available from fun games to puzzles, from separate games for boys and girls based on their distinct choices to games for adults, from role play games to games that require strategic thinking and keep a player mentally stimulated. There are loads of websites offering these games totally free.
A Massively Multiplayer online game (MMO) is a multiplayer video game which can support thousands of players simultaneously. Usually these games were played on personal computers, but these days Play Stations and Xbox are getting very popular as these can connect to internet and can therefore rum MMO games. Also, mobile sets with operating systems such as Android, iOS and Windows Phone are providing more and more MMO games.
While playing the multiplayer free games online people can co-operate or compete with each other on a big scale and also interact with players from across the globe. Rogue, Gemstone, Dungeon and Air Warrior are the first generation MMO games that are still quite popular. These MMO games create large scale game worlds often on the same server. However, sometimes the game universe can be copied to several servers to separate the players. This is called a sharded universe. Role playing games, bulletin board games, first person shooter games, turn based strategy games, racing games and music games are different types of multiplayer online MMO games popular now days.
Thanks to the application of new technologies and a developing market of gaming engines Internet has opened a new world of recreation for the kids and the youth.
Find more information relating to Free Multiplayer Games Online, and Play free online battles games here.

Find more information relating to Free Multiplayer Games Online, and Play free online battles games here.

San Diego State University: The 1941 NAIA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Champions
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Image by The Happy Rower
From left- Kenny Hale, Bill Patterson, Milton (Milky) Phelps, Harry Hodgetts, Dick Mitchell.

Photo was derived from bottom right of the below link and edited to restore the missing section:

From Wikipedia:

The 1941 NAIA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament was held in March at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. This 5th annual NAIA basketball tournament featured 32 teams playing in a single-elimination format. The third time was the charm for the Aztecs of San Diego State. After losing the previous two years to Southwestern College and Tarkio College, the Aztecs finally won beating Murray State College (Ky.) 36-34. It also was the first time that the tournament MVP was awarded to a player whose team did not win the championship, and make the NAIA Final Four (Charles Thomas played for Northwestern State University which lost in the second round to Texas Wesleyan University).

From SDSU Hall of Fame:

1941 Men’s Basketball Team: San Diego State’s first national team champion was the 1940-41 men’s basketball team. That squad, led by Aztec Hall of Fame members Milton Phelps, Harry Hodgetts, Dick Mitchell and Kenny Hale, and coached by Hall of Famer Morris Gross, posted a 24-7 record. The team traveled to Kansas City and won four games in the NAIA national tournament to bring home the national title. The 24 wins are still tied for the most by an Aztec club in a single season.

Kenny Hale (1920-2013): A first-team Little All-American at guard…Was an all-tournament selection after SDSU’s run to the 1941 national title…Led the Aztecs in scoring three times in five tournament games…Known for his outside shooting and quickness…Left school to join the Navy in World War II…Returned in 1946 to finish his college career…Became coach, principal and administrator in the San Diego school system and San Diego Community College.

Milton Phelps (died 1942): "Milky" was the first Aztec athlete to achieve first-team, major-college All-America honors…Three-time team MVP…His double-figure scoring average led the team all three years…Led SDSU to the NAIA national title in 1941…All of the men in the photo served in uniform in WWII, but Phelps was the only casualty of the war when he was killed in a training flight accident at Corpus Christi, Texas, in November 1942 as he prepared to become an Air Force pilot.

Harry Hodgetts (1918-2012): Helped lead the University to two national runner-up finishes and the 1941 national championship…Was the defensive stopper…Guarded Jackie Robinson in the Aztecs’ 1941 win over UCLA…Prepped locally at Hoover High School…Recipient of the 1998 Hoopla Award for lifetime commitment to San Diego State.

Dick Mitchell: Center for the 1941 national champions…A second-team All-American…Left the University as its third all-time scorer…Earned three varsity letters in baseball and was an all-conference pick in that sport in 1942…Was a national caliber badminton player in the 1950s…Was selected to the Badminton Hall of Fame in 1974.

Bill Patterson is the only member of the championship team not shown as individually elected to the SDSU Hall of Fame (the 1941 team overall was elected in 2002), though his playing was important. At 5′ 10" he was the second shortest member of the team–Hale was 5′ 9 1/2". The tallest member of the team was Andy Echle, the giant of the lot at 6′ 3".

A good account of the game is quoted from an article by James D. Newland in an open post at the web site listed following the quote:

"San Diego State was scheduled for the 1941 tournament’s opening night “featured” last game against Montana State. The Aztec speed and pressing defense resulted in a solid 46-29 win.

Their second game against Culver-Stockton College of Missouri was much tougher. The game ended in a 41-41 tie and it took two baskets from young Kenny Hale, who had become the team’s top scorer during Phelps injury-riddled season, and a Harry Hodgetts free throw along with a tight defense, to get a 46-41 overtime victory.

Awaiting was Texas Wesleyan, another highly rated opponent. The game was tight all the way. Andy Echle’s 13 points led the Aztecs. Phelps, still struggling with his injured knee, played only two minutes. Yet his only basket with 22 seconds to go proved to be the game winner in a 44-42 triumph.

The next challenge was a tall one—literally. West Texas State featured a 6-foot-10 center and a team average height of nearly 6-6. The Buffaloes were touted as tournament favorites.

Andy Echle [not in the photograph above] was San Diego’s tallest player at 6-4 followed by 6-1 Hodgetts and Dick Mitchell. When Echle went down with an injury in the first minute of the game, Mitchell and Hodgetts were left to guard the 6-10 center Charles Halbert and 6-6 leading scorer Price Brookfield.

Mitchell’s performance is legendary, holding Halbert to 13 points while scoring 14 himself before fouling out (only four fouls got you disqualified back then) with two minutes to go. A woozy Andy Echle re-entered for the last two minutes after Mitchell’s departure. Hodgetts’s defensive performance was just as impressive, holding Brookfield to 11 points while surviving with three personal fouls.

Gross’ strategy of using his team’s quickness paid off as they slowly pulled out to a 22-17 half time lead. Phelps’ gutty performance in scoring 10 points in reduced and painful, minutes along with small speedsters Hale and Patterson’s 9 and 7 points kept the “Texas giants” off-balance. Late baskets by Phelps, Hale and Mitchell sealed the stunning 43-40 upset victory.

The Aztecs participation in their third straight championship game may have seemed anti-climatic. Their opponent—Murray State of Kentucky—was a surprise finalist as well. But the injuries to Phelps, Echle and a banged-up Mitchell put the result in doubt.

Gutty performances by Phelps (7 points) and Echle (9 points), both wrapped in bandages from their injuries, along with Hale’s 10 points, made up for semifinal game star Mitchell’s absence. The scarlet-clad Aztecs raced out to a 20-14 halftime lead. But a 13-minute scoring drought resulted in Murray State tying the game with 3½ minutes left in regulation.

Here it was time for 5-9 forward Patterson, the team’s shortest starter, to make his mark on Aztec history. Patterson slipped behind the Racers’ defense for a layup to pull ahead 30-28. After reserve Jim Ahler made a free throw, Murray’s star center Bob Salmons closed the gap to 31-30 with 1:30 left.

It was then that Phelps, the team’s best free throw shooter and sure ball-handler, was pressured. He then deftly fed Patterson again to slip through for another basket. Patterson repeated with another basket to give State a 35-30 lead with less than a minute to go. Phelps added a free throw, his fifth of the game.

Murray State added two meaningless baskets in the last few seconds, but it was too late as the Aztecs held on for the 36-34 victory—and the national championship.

Milky Phelps ended the season as the Aztecs’ leading scorer with 1,043 points in three injury riddled and preshot-clock seasons. Phelps and Hale were named First Team “Little” All-Americans with Mitchell and Hodgetts were named second team."…

Steve and Larson countdown the top ten free-to-play video games.

Video Rating: / 5

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Online Gaming – Are Free Or Paid Games Best?

You may have heard the terms P2P and F2P in association with online games. These basically mean pay to play and free to play, and online games are either one or the other. The debate that is going on between players and followers of these two types of games often stem from which type of game is best and which one gives you more chances of building a strong character based on hard work or based on your having money.

The arguments that people bring to the table on this subject can be pretty interesting to listen to since both sides do have rather strong points when they point out the flaws and the merits of each type. Here are some of the arguments that you will commonly hear:

When you have a pay to play game, you will need to pay a monthly fee to allow you to log in and play. The usual argument with this is that in a pay to play environment, your subscription may run out without your using it if you play due to busy schedules and such, while free to play games that you can register and play on for free are there for you to visit anytime you want without the overhead monthly cost of membership.

When you play an F2P game, you can log in any time and play any time without the need for subscriptions and paid game time, but the downside to these games is that you need to purchase certain items in an item mall to strengthen your character up or to help them level up faster. This means that if you play an F2P game, even when you do not need money to play, you will still need money to build a strong character. This contrasts to P2P games in that, with P2P, once you pay for the game time, all additional extras are achievable in-game, without the need to continually buy weapons, armor and accessories.

The number of players involved in a game is the other major factor to take into consideration as, generally, the more players, the better the gaming experience as there is more action and interactions with others. F2P games tend to attract more players, though there are some exceptions, and you would therefore assume that F2P games win on this issue. However, the ‘quality’ of players is generally better on P2P; they are more involved and more knowledgeable. Therefore, for those gamers who wish to build armies and form alliances, P2P games are better, as the other players will be online more and will be more reliable.

To an extent, it really just comes down to personal preference and, anyway, there is absolutely nothing to stop you participating in both paid online games and free online games. Therefore, try not to limit yourself and speak against one or the other. Ultimately, the more people that hear good things about online games, the online gamers there will be, and the better the online gaming world will be for all.

Click here to play online games now: besplatne igre By Mark Walters.

Top 10 Ways to Get Attention on Flickr
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Image by Thomas Hawk
"What is more pleasant than the benevolent notice other people take of us, what is more agreeable than their compassionate empathy? What inspires us more than addressing ears flushed with excitement, what captivates us more than exercising our own power of fascination? What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us? What, lastly, equals the enchantment sparked off by the delighted attention we receive from those who profoundly delight ourselves? – Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence."

Caterina Fake, Co-founder of Flickr, 2005.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr that proved fairly popular. A lot has changed at Flickr in the past 2 years though and how imagery is rated and ranked on the site has also changed. That said, I thought I’d write a fresher updated post on the top 10 ways, presently, to get attention on Flickr.

Back in 2006 when I wrote my original article on how to achieve popularity on Flickr my photostream had been viewed almost 400,000 times. According to a Flickr stats page that’s been added since that time, the view count for my pages on Flickr now stands at 9,953,328. It should pass 10 million sometime this week. I’m averaging about 14,000 page views a day on Flickr.

Some of how one gets attention on Flickr has remained the same since 2006. Other stuff has changed.

1. Take great pictures. This was my number one way to achieve popularity on Flickr in 2006 and remains the number one way today. Despite all the other things that you might do to promote your photography, none of it will matter if your photos are not interesting. Everyone can be creative. Some are more creative than others. Sometimes your gear and photo processing matters, other times it doesn’t. I’ve seen incredibly beautiful and creative photos taken with a toy camera. And I’ve seen incredibly beautiful and creative photos taken with a ,000 digital Hasselblad. I’ve seen people upload interesting things from a crappy iPhone camera and I’ve seen people upload interesting things that they spent 8 hours on Photoshop with. But, the better your photos are the more likely that you will get attention. Taking great photos is a prerequisite to everything else in this article.

This said, there are certain types of photos that tend to become more popular on Flickr than others. Provocatively posed female self portraits or photos of attractive women in interesting poses, extremely saturated photos rich with eye candy like color, cityscapes, night photography, photos depicting movement and motion, silhouettes, dramatic architecture, unique portraits, creatively arranged macros and cross processed and some film photography.

2. The order that you post your photos to Flickr counts. The number one way that your photos will likely be seen in Flickr comes from your Flickr contacts looking at their Flickr contact’s photos. At present Flickr allows you to set your contacts most recent photos to their last photo, or their last 5 photos. Anything beyond 5 photos in a single batch upload will largely be buried on Flickr. If you are uploading more than 5 photos at once, make sure that you upload your best 5 photos last and what you consider your very best photo last of all. Frequently people will upload a batch of 30 photos from a concert or something with no thought as to which will be the last 5 of the 30 in order.

3. Consider places outside of Flickr to promote your photography. Do you have a blog or a photoblog? If you want more attention on Flickr you should. Flickr makes it very easy to blog your photos, you simply cut and paste the html code above your photo and you are now photoblogging with a direct link back to your photo. My blog, is my number two external referrer of pageviews to my Flickrstream. Are you on FriendFeed yet? You should be. It’s easy to set up and makes sure more people see your photos. Pownce (when it is working) is another place to post interesting photos.

4. Do you have your settings on Flickr configured for maximum exposure? After Flickr itself, Google drives more traffic to my Flickrstream than any other source, even my blog. Yahoo search and both Google and Yahoo image search drive traffic as well. But your photos will be blocked from appearing in search engines unless you authorize Flickr to display your images in search engines. Make sure your photostream is set to not "hide your stuff from public searches," here.

Same goes for the Flickr API. Lots of people are using the Flickr API in interesting ways. I get traffic from places like Flickrleech, Compfight, Technorati and lots of other places that use the Flickr API to extend your photos outside of Flickr. Make sure that you’ve authorized Flickr to allow API access to your photos here.

5. Explore. Explore still remains the number one way to get photos viewed on Flickr. Explore uses Flickr’s "Magic Donkey" algorithm to each day highlight 500 of what Flickr feels are the best photos on Flickr for that day. It’s a very popular section of the site despite the fact that everyone seems to constantly hate Explore and decry its mediocrity in selecting exceptional photos. Explore has changed and evolved a lot since it was first introduced at Flickr a few years back. Initially things like *when* you posted your photos mattered.

Whether or not Flickr chooses your photos for Explore is still very much a mystery. But there are some things that we do know. The more faves, comments, tags, etc. your photo gets, the more likely it is that it will appear in Explore. Explore also uses averaging in their algorithm now. This means that if your average photo gets 5 faves, then you’ll need to do considerably better than average if you hope to see that photo in Explore.

Photos are also constantly dropping in and out of Explore. I’ve got 157 photos in Explore at present but I’ve had 446 that have appeared in Explore at one time or another. You can check out which and how many of your photos that have been showcased by Flickr in Explore here. Just change my Flickr ID at the link above for your own.

6. Groups. Speaking of Explore, if you really want to get a particular photo in Explore consider adding it to a group that encourages tagging, faving and comments of photos. Photo critique groups are good examples of this. Some of the photo critique groups play games where tagging and commenting on a photo are part of the game. Flickr does not distinguish between a photo that has been commented on or tagged organically vs. one that is included in some sort of photo critique game. If you want to boost the likelihood that your photo will be selected for Explore consider putting a strong photo into one of these pools. Photo critique groups on Flickr run the gamut from nice and friendly photo critique groups like TWIP’s, to hostile and brutal photo critique groups like DeleteMe Uncensored (note NSFW and maybe not the best group if you are easily offended).

Whatever the case, the key to groups is participation. If you simply dump a bunch of photos blindly into random groups you will likely not get much benefit. In fact, Flickr actually penalizes photo rank if someone posts their photo to too many groups. But posting your photo to selective groups where you participate will encourage activity on your photos and photostream.

7. Tag for Exploration (especially your most popular photos). Why has this photo of mine been viewed over 27,000 times on Flickr? Well in part because it shows up on the first page search results on Flickr for the search term guitar. And why does it show up in searches for the word "guitar?" Because I’ve got the photo *tagged* guitar. By tagging your photos appropriately you can ensure that more people will see them in search. Think of other ways that you can tag your photos. Are all of your photos taken in San Francisco also tagged "California?" They should be. Are all of your photos tagged "self portrait" also tagged with your name? Again, they should be.

The better you keyword and tag your photos, the more likely they will show up in searches that take place on Flickr. Even if you think that your photos will never be popular enough to rank highly in search, remember that there are other ways that Flickr users can filter search. You can search just by your contacts photos on Flickr for instance. So even if you don’t have the most popular sunset photo amongst millions on Flickr, you might have the most popular sunset photo amongst your contacts because you tagged it.

A note that I’ve seen some people on Flickr abuse tags. They will tag every photo with girl, sunset, cat, etc. Even if these things are not in their photo simply to try and trick people into getting to their photos through search. This sucks. I’m not sure what/if/how Flickr penalizes people who do this, but it’s a crappy thing to do and ruins the search experience for everyone. Tag early and often, but only tag your photos with tags that truly are accurate and descriptive.

8. Geotag. One of the more interesting ways to find photos on Flickr is through exploring photos that are geotagged on a map. When I’m going to a new place that I’m not familiar with, frequently Flickr’s "Explore the World Map," is one of my first destinations. But of course your photos will not show up here if they are not geotagged. The best way to geotag your photos is actually at the file level before you upload them. I use Geotagger on the Mac which allows you to use Google Earth to geotag your photos. You can also download the free software program from Microsoft Pro Photo Tools to geotag photos on a PC.

Check what Flickr considers your most popular photos and make sure that you geotag (and more descriptively tag) these photos especially — even if you have to geotag these shots on Flickr using their tools. Geotagging has been documented by Flickr staff as increasing the Flickr "interestingness" rating of a photograph.

9. Consider creating a few "best of" sets and feature them prominently on your Flickrstream. Frequently when people first discover your photostream they don’t have time to check out your entire stream. But if you make it easier for them and create a few sets that highlight some of your best work they may stick around longer. I’ve created two such sets myself. My 10 faves or more set and my 25 faves or more set. These sets highlight what are some of my best work according to the Flickr community and are my two most visited sets on Flickr. As my photos are faved 10 or 25 times I add the tag fav10 or fav25 to these sets and then use SmartSetr to automatically generate these sets.

Make sure also that you change your Flickr page layout from the boring default one to one that highlights your collections and sets better.

10. Tell everyone you know about your Flickrstream. Are you active on other social networks? Is a link to your Flickrstream prominently displayed on your blog? On your Facebook profile page? Be sure to include a link to your Flickrstream in every profile that you are on with other sites. Consider buying Moo cards (even though has been lousy for me lately and won’t let me buy anymore cards from them) which highlight your photostream that you can give out to people that you run across while out shooting. Tell your friends and family and your offline "real life" contacts about your Flickrstream.

Bonus tip: Reciprocation. Above everything else, perhaps the most important thing about Flickr is that it is a community and a reciprocation based community. If you think that you can just post your photos on the site and they will garner thousands of faves and views simply because, you are wrong. Even the best photos on Flickr will not get very much attention if you simply upload them to the site and never participate.

Flickr has been built to encourage reciprocation. In fact a recent study cited reciprocation as the number one key to popularity on Flickr. Every single time you fave or comment on someone else’s photo you are giving them a link back to your own photostream. While you may not have the time to check out *everyone* who faves your photos, spend time each day faving and commenting on other people’s photos on Flickr. By sharing with others the fact that you appreciate their photos they will return the favor. Be generous with your faves and comments. Remember, other people like the attention as much as you do.

On digg here.

Update: An interesting link to comments Flickr staff have made about the Explore algorithm here. Thanks, Ole!

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Free to Play is the Future of MMO Gaming

Like or not, the signs are clear on this one thing: when it comes to massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, free to play is the way to go for 99 percent of new and existing titles. Sure, for the top MMOs like World of Warcraft (WoW) or Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) pay to play can work but that is because they are based on popular franchises and have multimillion dollar budgets. Games like those two presumably have the luxury of a long game development cycle that can last for as long as five years but most companies simply do not have the resources to compete with these giant franchises.

Not too long ago the most common pricing plan for MMOs was pay to play. Players had to buy the game and then pay a monthly membership fee to play it. Some still use this revenue model but more and more MMOs are switching to a hybrid business model.

What are these hybrid models?

Totally free to play (f2p) games are obviously quite rare, if not impossible to find outside of beta testing. The “free to play” titles today are actually hybrid pricing games, also called “freemium,” which is combination of the words free and premium. Most f2p MMOs and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs, the most popular type of MMO) can be downloaded for free and players can play them for free as long as they want. However, some content is premium, in other words players must pay to access them. The most common types are:

Cash Shop – also called item shop, this is a store within the game where items can be bought for real money. Many cash shop items are cosmetic ones that are used to customize the in-game characters of players such as hair dye or clothes. Others are useful goods like extra bags for more inventory space or teleport runes that save you time by letting you magically appear exactly where you want instead of having to run there.

Expansions – in this hybrid payment model, free players can access the areas and content designated for them but some places and quests are locked. Players will need to buy expansions to access this premium content.

Premium Membership – in other MMORPG games, players are divided into free players and members. Members must pay a flat monthly fee to access premium content. This is different from expansions because normally expansions are a one-time fee while memberships are paid every month.

All of these different types are called free to play although some insist that the proper term for hybrid models is freemium.

Now, why exactly is f2p the future of MMO gaming if pay to play was the norm in the recent past? Recent events have paved the way for the growth of f2p as game companies slowly learned that giving away their game for free can paradoxically increase their revenues. A good example is The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) which struggled to acquire enough subscribers when it was a pay to play game. When they switched over to the freemium model, LOTRO got a three hundred percent increase in revenue as well as a huge increase in users.

Worldwide, free-to-play is actually the most widely used business revenue model and industry veterans such as Sony Entertainment Online SEO John Smedley have gone on record that they believe that the traditional monthly subscription MMORPG gaming is on its way out. Why? Because free-to-play just has so many advantages like:

No upfront cost of buying the game – this has been a significant barrier for most new players who are understandably reluctant to fork out their cash right away without even knowing if they want to play it or not.

No monthly subscriptions – the classic game Everquest asked the players who were quitting the game why they were leaving and 40 percent of them answered that it was because of the recurring subscription. This clearly indicates that the monthly payments are a barrier that stops more players from joining or continuing their participation.

Players on other platforms – while most MMOs are played on computers, multi-platform games that can be played in a variety of devices such as consoles, mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, etc. have become popular and players who use non-computer devices are not used to paying subscriptions.

Worldwide appeal – since many Western games are trying to make a leap into the Asian markets with their potentially enormous playerbase, they would have to use the f2p model since that is what is the norm in that part of the world.

In a nutshell, freemium is just a much easier way for players to access a game which means it will probably make more money and game companies have now taken note of that fact.

So what does this all mean for MMO players? In the near future it is likely that in the top tier, big budget MMORPG titles will increasingly adopt the freemium hybrid business model. Players will be able to access most releases for free while the developers will make more money by attracting a larger number of users. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

The future is here: the best free MMORPGs 2012.

Do you know which f2p MMO has over 5 million players worldwide? Visit the Top 5 Free MMORPG Games list to find out the answer.

There are also many WoW clones that people can play for free. Check out this list of f2p games like WoW.

free to play games
Image by °<~ Gabrielle Sinatra ~>°
Seems like I’m caught up
in your trap
Seems like I’ll be
wearing the same
old chains
Good will conquer
And the truth will
set me free
And I know some
day I will find
the key
I know
somewhere I will
find the key
Seems like I’ve
been playing your
game way too long
Seems the game
I’ve played has
made you strong
When the game is
I won’t walk out the
I know I’ll walk
out of here again
I know someday
I’ll walk out of
here again

Bruce Springsteen

(it was supposed to be a cutie picture with butterflies all around my head… oh well)

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