Sunday, August 9, 2020

Online Gaming Tournament

 Less than 30 days until our inaugural Labor Day gaming tournament starts!

 

One of the reasons to pursue FIRE is having more time for fun with family & friends, and online games have become a lot more accessible in recent years. And luckily we're starting the tournament in just a few steps:

 

  1. Pick a game

Mobile gaming has grown popular, & there are even games you can play for just a few minutes a day - such as turn-based games like Words with Friends (Scrabble) & Chess by Post.

 

You can start with picking the type of game that can work - such as fast-paced action games like shooter/sports, fighting, strategy, puzzle, & more.

 

There is an endless selection to choose from, and you can always search online for what is best for eSports. You can even find games coded on platforms like Scratch, & many games are even Free-to-play.

 

Our tournament will be family-friendly, so we chose Roblox. Roblox is a large platform of different games options where players can easily create their own games like Capture the flag (CTF). You can download it on PC or mobile device.

 

There are also many other games are out there, & popular ones include Valorant, Rocket League, & Super Smash Bros. And don't forget Minecraft where players can build worlds together, Realtime Strategy (RTS)  games like Starcraft 2 or Warcraft 3, & even Classic Games using a program like Retroarch - allowing you play Nintendo & other old arcade & console systems.

 

If you are still not sure you can also check out:

Software makers like Epic games which offers to get free games weekly, & others like

Steam, which you can also use to can also connect with other gamers.

 

  1. Connect & Practice

Keep in mind that some games may work better with specific controls, such as a mouse or gaming pad.

 

You'll also need a way to find & communicate with each other to talk & chat through something easy to use on all devices. Something simple like Google Hangouts can work.

 

There are also other options out there to connect to each other, such as Discord if you want to create a server channel to communicate there, or another gaming community like Steam. Skype is another option as well, which uses the same Microsoft account used for Xbox/Minecraft, so you likely have that.

 

It helps to have a consistent username/account to make it easy to find you. To get ready for the tournament, join us using this Discord invite.

 

  1. Play to win

Plan ahead what the schedule will be based on how many are in, how they win & advance to the finals. You can also easily record it for Twitch/YouTube or watch others for ideas.

 

Many tournaments are out there, & some are even free-entry with prizes like UMG Gaming.

And if you are in to classic console/arcade games, the Retro World Series has some great games lined up this summer like Ms Pac Man, Mario Kart 64, & Super Smash Bros.

 

Save the date for our tournament, which will be Labor Day weekend Sat 8/5 at 1pm EDT.

 

Enjoy the game, the prizes, & celebration afterwards.

 

What is your favorite game to play these days? Let us know @AGamerWarrior

Monday, June 15, 2020

Three Secrets to Achieve Goals

So what is the secret with achieving goals? Maybe you've reached some, but if you are like many you make big goals & then give up when it gets out of reach.

 In my younger years I struggled for years with keeping consistent with exercise. Then the TV show Ninja Warrior came along where I trained for 30 days & completed most of the obstacles. The same thing happened with my financial life - for years I lived in fear of picking the wrong investments, but now with the power of FIRE I'm on track to reach financial freedom in 7 years so my daughters can model the behavior.

Let's look at what works:
  1. Fun - Make it a game with rewards along the way. I love trying new craft beer, so for me that is a great incentive along the way to keep me motivated. I also love competition, so  challenging others can also help.
  2. Strong Desire - Having a powerful purpose drives our passion. Having a WHY is critical - the 80% vs. the how 20%. We need an urgency to help motivate us daily, so a shorter time like 30 days is a great time to solidify a habit & get 1% better daily.
  3. System to stay on track - Our brains can tend to make something bigger than it is, so don't let it. Break what you need to do in small steps where you can get into the habit even if it is just for 5min a day, & make sure you are building a Growth mindset so you won't give up.

For more on the secrets above, check out the books Start with Why, Atomic Habits, & Grit.

So get started, now is the time! Give yourself a 30 Day Challenge & get excited while you challenge others to set their goals. If you need some ideas, I'll share what our family is up to:

Tech
  • Code a playable video game - this includes designing the characters, story, sound. My daughters have been taking free virtual classes, & are even helping teach me. Along the way we've upgraded our computers & tried out old & new games, so look for an upcoming post on that.

Creative/Fun
  • Play 30 new songs on piano - I've always loved music in games & movies, but it wasn't until recently that I saw myself wanting to learn piano. Practicing one key at a time has been very helpful, & you can see my previous post of the USB 32-key piano I'm using on my computer.

Health
  • Running a new PR - I used to hate running, but when I started training with runners I learned the tricks of the trade. Just before COVID-19 I had my best time ever. So now I'm not only looking to reach that again, but also look into completing
  • The "Murph Challenge" - by later this year by starting with doing a shorter half-Murph. Look for a future post & a virtual 5K group that we're starting.

Wise
  • Read 5 books - this is a perfect time since I'm pursuing certification while helping colleagues adjust to COVID-19 & working remotely. I've also added friends that are avid readers to my Goodreads so my list of books to check out will never run out.
  • Level up the Spanish Language – 5min on a language-learning app is something that can easily be done daily, & making it a game makes it fun.

Money
  • Legacy document - this is crucial when you start building wealth so that your family has a clear path of what to do after your passing. I also want to
  • Challenge others to invest - in their future, even if they are just getting started. If you qualify, you can still contribute to a Roth IRA for the 2019 tax year.

What 30 Day Challenge are you going to tackle, & what reward will you choose? Let us know on Twitter using #30DayChallenge

Friday, March 13, 2020

Prepare for COVID-19

I'm sure the Coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic is on everyone's minds, & having a spouse working in the frontlines of the medical field helps me sort through the good/bad info. Snopes.com is a good fact checker, & check out the CDC safety tips such as practicing good hygiene, cancelling non-essential travel, & avoiding large crowds on the PDF linked at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Additional info from reputable sources:
I hope all my colleagues, family, & friends are taking the appropriate measures to stay safe & stock up on supplies. Feel free to share this & reach out for any questions. Thank you

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Master Instruments like Piano with Technology

Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed playing music. I remember memorizing keys to play basic songs on a keyboard recorder that could then play back what I recorded it to play. I enjoyed many styles of music, but specifically melodic music from video games and movies I would connect with the most. If I hear a portion of a song, I can usually remember what it is from. 

The only formal class I remember was taking 1 semester of guitar class in high school. I ended up searching online for guitar tablature so I could learn sections of classic songs like "Stairway to Heaven." 

My daughters are taking piano lessons and usually learning songs that they want to play, but they sometimes get bored playing a specific song repeatedly. 

Luckily there is software to help us out. Programs like Synthesia allow you to load up any song that has been saved to a MIDI song file, and will show you visually how to play a specific instrument from that song. It is easy to find free MIDI files online legally as well.

I have a PC with a touch screen, and could use the computer keyboard to play the songs. But for the best experience I recommend a USB MIDI keyboard. There are advanced models out there, but even an inexpensive model with 32-keys like one from midiplus is something that can give many hours of fun while learning to master your favorite songs. 

What song and instrument are you planning to learn next? Let us know in the comments 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Control Your Classic Gaming Experience

I played a lot of video games over the years. It has had a great history. 

And for me it started young at the arcades with games like Pac Man and Street Fighter 2. I remember saving up for my first console system the Atari 2600. Nintendo I was hooked on shortly after with games like Super Mario Brothers, Mega Man 3, and Punch Out. Then in 1989 I spent hours with my first portable video game system with games like Tetris on the Gameboy. 

Young in school I would finish my work early so I could play games like Oregon Trail and Lemonade Stand on the class Mac computer. Then in high school I got into PC DOS computer games like Doom, Lemmings, & SimCity when I got my first computer.  My goal was to finish assignments in programming classes so  we play each other in games like Duke Nukem 3D & Worms. With the Internet becoming popular that also gave us a chance to play each other in PC Windows games like Warcraft, Starcraft, & Quake 2: Capture The Flag. 

Games continued to evolve over the years, especially with the growth of mobile devices. I do play a couple of games on my phone like chess and scrabble, but find many of them push in-game purchases. 

Our family is putting together an "edutainment room" with old computers running Linux, and have found free versions of games such as Hedgewars. You can also find many free classic games such as at Archive.Org's Software Collection. 

For now I'll start them by using simple controllers like the inexpensive SNES 2 pack USB controllers that work on PC/Mac/Linux. Some may prefer something more advanced like an N64 controller, or even build their own arcade gaming machine with 1000 of games by using controllers parts from a Full DIY 4 player set 

What are your favorite systems and games? Let us know in the comments

Big Kid Sharing Childhood Fun

Having 2 kids, my wife and I joke regularly that our calendar has two phases – BK (before kids) and AK (after kids). When our kids were young, we found little time for the fun we used to have. But as our kids grow up we have a chance to share the great things from our childhoods. Our new TV connect devices, playing 80s movies & classic games I've collected, classic gaming, music, and more. 

I remember saving up for my first video game system Atari 2600, and the many hours playing other games on systems - Nintendo, PC, xbox, and more. I watched a lot of movies and shows – some good and some bad. And I've learn a lot along the way