Home Security Systems: More Than Just Having An Alarm In Place

It is understandable that you want to protect both your valuables and the security of your loved ones. Installing a home security system is a smart choice, but be prepared to encounter some confusion when choosing between the different types of home security systems. Rest assured, however, that whichever type you chose, you know that you’ve done the most to secure your home and family!

Security systems that protect a home have surely come a long way from locks and barred windows. Modern technology has made these devices surprisingly sophisticated. Luckily, this sophistication is not reflected too much in their price: affordable prices, in the range of a couple hundred dollars, made these devices relatively common in modern homes.

Some home security companies offer significant discounts just in order to get your business. For under hundred dollars a month, you can pay a home security company to have someone keep an eye on your home day and night. It is a very small price to pay for your peace of mind! In some cases, you can even get a free installation and free equipment when you sign up for a home monitoring service. Besides, just announcing the presence of a security company, protecting your home day and night, can act as a deterrent to a potential criminal threat!

Installing a home security system may actually save you money because some insurance companies are willing to shave your premium if you have an electronic alarm system in place. Taking into account the average national premium, and how much an average electronic alarm system costs – the installation will pay for itself, just in insurance savings, in as little as three years.

There are two main types of security systems that protect your home: monitored alarm systems (video surveillance), and local area systems (so-called “bells only”). The latter are the more basic ones. These traditional unmonitored systems have various types of sensors placed in and around the house: for example, they can be hooked up to doors and windows. Some devices of this type will also include motion detectors. “Bells only” typically include the use of sound alarm that goes off when the device detects a perceived threat. This will alert you – or your neighbors, if you’re not at home – of any unauthorized entry, and the loud alarm will scare off the burglars. Some devices of this type will also transfer the information about the location and the type of threat to the nearest police department.

Monitored home security systems are the most advanced, and therefore a pricier option. Monitored home security systems include video surveillance, where cameras are connected to a central monitoring system. They serve as video door phone, and for identification and access control, but they can also be used as crime deterrence: their presence signifies that your home will not be an easy target. Just the sight of a video camera is enough to scare away potential burglars! They know that they are more likely to be identified when breaking into a home with a video surveillance, and the video material can be used as an evidence against them. Some types of monitored systems can also sound alarms and alert the police. The company will call your house and ask for a password, and if there is no answer, or the wrong password is given over the phone, they will call the police. When used to protect apartment complexes, they include live monitoring and a trained security guard.

The most important consideration when choosing a security system to protect your home? Using it consistently, and in a manner, it was meant to be used! Teach yourself, and each member of your household, how to correctly arm and disarm your home security system. Finally, display the signs that announce that your home is protected by a home security system – that alone will keep most burglars at bay! Having a home security system in place indeed means improved home security!

Make sure that you don’t become too complacent, though: a security system needs to be regularly maintained and used responsibly. Never reveal the code with deactivates your home security system to anyone. It is still a good idea to always lock your doors and windows when leaving home, and follow other basic home security measures.

5 FAQs on Home Security and High Security Doors for Home

High-security doors for your home are a great investment since they can prevent break-ins and help keep your family safe. If you’re thinking about investing indoors for home, you probably have a few questions. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about buying security doors for your home.

1. Do I really need security doors for my home? Whether or not to buy a security door for your home is a personal decision. But the unfortunate fact is that burglaries happen, even in safe neighborhoods, and high-security doors make it less likely that you’ll be a victim of that type of crime. Not only does a high-quality security door help keep intruders out, it also gives off the impression that your home is well protected, making it less likely that you’ll be targeted by burglars in the first place.

2. Should I buy a wood, iron, or steel front door? Wood, iron, and steel are all excellent options when it comes to security doors for home, so the decision really comes down to aesthetic and price. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Many homeowners choose a steel front door because it offers security at a relatively low cost. Wood doors are a more expensive option and should be made out of solid wood, not a composite material. Wrought iron screen doors can provide an additional layer of security while also letting light and air into your home.

3. Will high-security doors keep intruders out of my home? A good door will go a long way toward keeping unwanted visitors outside of your home. But there’s no guarantee that a door will prevent a break-in. To get the most out of your doors for home, make sure you buy a high-quality model and pay close attention to both the locks as well as how the door is installed. The strongest door will be useless if it comes with a weak lock. Make sure your door has a strong deadbolt that is securely bolted to the frame.

4. Aren’t home security doors expensive? Not necessarily. Doors are available in a wide range of price points, so you don’t have to sacrifice safety in the interest of saving money. While this isn’t an area where you want to pinch pennies too much, it should be relatively easy to find an affordable, high-quality steel security door. But if you want a solid wood door or a door with special features, such as biometric locks, be prepared to pay more.

5. What else can I do to keep my home secure? A secure front entry door is an important part of home security. But it’s not the only thing you need. Don’t forget to secure sliding glass patio doors and lower-floor windows, since these can be easy points of entry for criminals. Gates and fences can provide an additional layer of protection, as can security cameras and guard dogs. Being alert and aware is also critical (if you notice something suspicious, trust your instincts and alert the proper authorities).

Allied Gate is your source for home security doors in the Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Goodyear, Sun City West, Surprise, Peoria, Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler & Glendale AZ areas.

Home Security FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about your Home Security System

Do Home Security Systems prevent burglaries?

A home security system will not prevent a break indirectly. The system is designed to detect if someone is trying to break into your home or if they have already entered your residence. Depending on the options that you have chosen for your alarm system you can detect a thief before they enter the home. The system will trigger a loud alarm that can drive the burglar away. If your alarm system is connected to a central station with 24-hour monitoring then the authorities can be dispatched to your home automatically. Te presence of an alarm system does statistically reduce break-ins over homes without one.

How do I choose the best home security system?

A good quality alarm system is more than a brand name. There are basically two types of systems available. These are wired and wireless. The wired system requires running wire throughout your home from the control panel to every home security device. The wireless security system operates with the use of transmitters and batteries that communicate to the control panel. The wireless system is a favorite with DIY Installers and professional installers alike. There are cases when the wired system is a clear choice but that is usually for more complex installations.

What features should I select when purchasing a home alarm system?

Security Systems have evolved drastically over recent years and are much more than a basic intruder alert system. They can be controlled remotely from a cell phone or laptop computer. Your lights can be turned off and on by a programmed schedule or by remote access. You can even open your doors with the tap of a button from anywhere in the world. The more important question is what types of protection that you want. Today’s security systems can also double as an emergency alert system for the elderly.

The basics of any home security system should be:

Perimeter protection of all doors and windows
At least one motion sensor inside your home
Fire protection with a minimum of one smoke detector
A Carbon Monoxide Sensor
Can I have an Alarm System in an Apartment?

People that rent apartments do have a tendency to be more transient than people that purchase their homes. This means that many times you do not get to know your neighbors or if you do they may not be living next to you for long. Considering this as the norm then a security system can be even more important in an apartment because you do not have the built-in protection of neighbors looking out for each other. A wireless alarm system is the best choice since many control panels can be installed without penetrating any of your walls. They are easily removed and taken to the next location that you move to.

Do I have to pay for Home Security?

There is always a cost to just about everything. Do not be fooled by the ads that say you can get a free security system. The free security systems use an over inflated value for what you are getting and the cost is built into the monthly fee that you will be paying for central station monitoring. You have several options in the amount of money that you pay but there will always be a cost.

Option One-Do It Yourself Install with No Monitoring

The cost involved will be for the cost of the control panel and the individual devices that you select for your home. This is a onetime cost unless you choose to expand and add more devices.

Option Two-Do It Yourself Install with Monitoring

The cost of the equipment will be the same. If you do your own installation and want to get monitoring by a professional company then they will charge you a minimum of a service call and a monthly fee for monitoring.

Option Three-Professional Install with No Monitoring

This option will be the cost of equipment and labor. Alarm companies are counting on the recurring revenue that is generated every month so if you have elected to not have your system monitored then there will be no discounts on the installation price. Remember that anywhere you go will have a built-in markup on the equipment.

Option Four-Professional Install with Monitoring

This is actually the most inexpensive way to get a security system for the short term. I say short term because the alarm installation company will give you a free security system. However, the system will be limited in devices. The typical free offer is 3 door sensors and 1 motion detector. This is a very limited system and only offers partial protection. The alarm company will install additional devices at an additional cost. The problem with this type of system is that besides the minimal protection you are actually paying for the system every time you pay for your monthly monitoring.

Am I required to have a phone line or cellular phone for my security system?

In the old days if you wanted your home security system to be monitored you were required to have a phone line. This was never an issue because most everyone had a phone installed in their home. With the addition of cell phones to everyone’s life, many people no longer have a home phone line. If you want to have your home monitored then you must select to get a phone line or you can use cellular technology. This does not mean that you need a cell phone. The control panel has a GSM device that uses cell phone towers to communicate to the central station instead of the traditional phone line. The cost of this service is built into your monthly monitoring fee. You do not have access to use the cellular device. It is dedicated to the alarm system. If you do not currently have a phone line you must consider the additional cost of adding one and paying for the monthly service. Your monitoring service will range from $24.99 to $65.00 per month depending on the alarm company and the features that you are using. If you choose to use a phone line you are adding an additional $20.00 per month.

Is Cellular better than Landline monitoring?

In my opinion cell phone monitoring is the best type of monitoring. A landline can easily be disabled by a savvy burglar. The cell phone chip is located inside the control panel so in order for it to be disabled the intruder would need to be inside the home. By then the alarm would have already been triggered. The cell phone technology also allows complete remote control of your system while landline access is limited.

Will my call waiting affect my home security system?

When a security system is properly installed the system will take over your phone line. If the system goes into alarm and needs to contact the central station the phone line is automatically disconnected from the house lines and at that point is dedicated to the sole use of the alarm system. Once the transmission is complete the line is returned for normal operation.

When I have a power loss will my alarm system still work?

All home security systems are designed with a battery backup. When your normal house power is lost the control panel will switch over to battery power. If there are no alarms generated while on battery power your system can last at least 24 hours without your power being restored.

Introduction To Suitable Home Security

Every individual, family, and community need adequate security in order to live in peace and comfort as required. Business and life will thrive and communities will prosper when there is adequate security. Unfortunately, there are some communities that are quite unsafe and it is essential to ensure that such communities are protected from all issues of insecurity. There is only so much that the government and local authorities can do. Families will need to enhance their own security at the home and this is where the local home security industry comes in.

There are a good number of security firms providing quality advice and services to the local communities. It is important that families and businesses in a given local community feeling rather vulnerable seek adequate protection and security services from these providers. It is important that property owners, home owners, and all other leaders ensure they have the capacity and the ability to ensure that their property is protected. There is nothing as important as ensuring that the family is safe at home. This can be secured by engaging the services of home security industry players. A good local firm can provide monitoring and other services to a family home.

The security firm will not just protect the occupants of the home but the contents of the home as well. This means all the possessions such as personal effects, valuables, electronics, furniture, furnishings and assets such as cars and all others will be protected and secured by a good local security firm. There are several ways that this sort of security can be achieved. The first is the dispatch of security personnel to either guard or regularly monitor the home. This is important as the security personnel are well trained and can handle all the different situations that may arise from the security arrangements.

There are various other ways that security around a home can be organized. One of these ways is to install security gadgets and features. These include monitoring gadgets such as video cameras, CCTV, lasers, alarm systems, flashlights and all others. These can be installed at entry points, exits, the gates, windows and at strategic locations within a home. A good security official will be able to assess a property and recommend areas where these gadgets can be installed. They will identify the most vulnerable locations such as dark areas and open spaces.

Installing security gadgets is important as these will monitor a home even in the absence of the owner and the entire household. These gadgets are very reliable and can operate on a 24-hour basis every single day of the week. It is important to choose the most suitable so that a family receives the most reliable services from these home security industry found locally. Robbers, burglars, and prowlers intending to cause harm to people or to steal and rob will be deterred by homes where there are security features, security gadgets, a security dog and all other features. Even installing a security sign is enough to deter prowlers and intruders.

Why Home Security Should Always Be A Priority!

Technology has given us many amazing things and a residential home security system is one of them. It has allowed the average person the ability to simply, effectively, and quickly install and secure our homes. With many home-based businesses, this is not a luxury, rather a necessity.

Security is one of the top concerns that every homeowner has. Times have changed and the need for security has changed as well. Too often we only think of our security and the security of our family after something has happened to us, friends, family members, or neighbors. The need to properly equip our homes with alarms and security systems has never been greater. People take proactive approaches to most things in their life. However, in our home security, we often fail to plan for the unexpected, the safety and security of our family and possessions.

Your home is your safe haven, and it should always be kept that way. You never want to feel unsafe in your home. Why take the chance of losing that feeling of invincibility and security due to the lack of preparation. Your home should be the singular place that your family, children, and friends can come to when the world feels unsafe.

The facts are simple and people must wake up to it. There has been a noticeable rise in the number of criminal activities in most US states, including robbery, burglary, and hold-ups. We must understand the times when our homes are most vulnerable and what it is we can do to prevent us from being a statistic. Let’s first look at the risk areas:

Burglaries and home invasions can happen at any time. However, statistics show us:

• Most break-ins occur between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. For many homeowners and renters, this fact shocks them. When break-ins are thought of, it is under the “cover of darkness.” The fact is, intruders do not necessarily want a confrontation, they want your items. They will do so when they think no one is at home, usually at work.

• Most break-ins occur right at the front door! 34% of all break-ins occur right at the front door. Next 23% of break-ins occur through first-floor windows. 22% of break-ins occur on the first-floor backdoor. 9% enter through a garage. Why? They will pick an entry to the home that allows them to stay inconspicuous. Often times vulnerability occurs at the places that people think less of. People often fear their child’s second story window. You must secure that area for sure, however, it is the common areas that are chosen and these are the areas that are most neglected, security speaking.

According to the FBI, home break-ins occur every 13 seconds. As economical times become more trying, these statistics are not going to decrease, they will only increase. The fact is police and law enforcement are not adept at preventing break-ins, it is simply impossible. The homeowner is the one who has the control, with the power of wireless home security alarm systems or traditional alarm and security systems. That is the greatest deterrent of them all.

Here are a few more statistics to prove the need for a wireless home security alarm systems and/or traditional residential home security:

• 2.5 million homes are broken into every year.

• ONLY 17% of all homes have any kind of residential home security system.

• 1 out of 3 residential break-ins results in the assault.

• Criminals are not just stealing property when they break in, they are stealing identity as well.

• 85% of all break-ins are done by “not” professionals. Meaning, it increases the danger level to the resident.

Statistics and facts can go on for pages. The question becomes; Are you one of the 83% of homes in America without a residential home security system? The time to take action is now. How do you safely, securely, and economically prepare you home with a wireless home security alarm system or another type of alarm and security system? There are solutions!

Your house and property may have a much different alarm and security needs, and you need effective solutions. Those solutions for residential home security can come as wireless home security alarm systems or the more traditional alarms and security systems. The time is now to be proactive, not reactive.

Purchasing a New Home Security Alarm for Your Home

Home security has become one of the most important problems for homeowners all around the world. The steady increase in the number of crimes being committed each day has resulted in the requirement of a robust system of alarms that can alert the residents of the house in the case of any trespassing or an emergency situation. Modern homeland systems are equipped with the latest technology, which enables them to secure a person’s home entirely from outside as well as inside threats.

These systems are very capable devices for protecting one’s home but they do with a hefty price tag. Therefore, the decision of buying or purchasing a new alarm for your home is one that needs to be made very carefully. Any hasty decision-making can result in you investing your money in buying a system that you do not even require. Here are some tips that can come in handy when purchasing a new security alarm for your home.

Search the Internet

The internet has become a great medium of the search for the people in the last few years. You can find any and everything on the internet with ease nowadays. When looking for purchasing a new security alarm system for your home, searching the internet is a very good option to use. Find out the names of the companies that provide the best alarm system online and visit their websites. You can learn a lot of useful stuff about the companies from their website like the services they provide and the prices they charge for them. Thus, when you want to purchase a new home security system for your home, remember to search online.

Ask the Opinion of your Friends and Neighbours

Asking the advice of friends and neighbors that have a security system put in place in their homes can help you in purchasing a good security system for your home. People who have prior experience of buying a security alarm can offer useful advice about the best companies and security systems, which can aid you in your search for a new system. Moreover, they can also tell you about the stores or places from where you can buy the security systems on discount. Therefore, do ask the opinion of friends and neighbors when buying a new alarm system for your home.

Interview the Local Security Alarm Providers

Security Systems need to be installed properly for them to provide effective security to the homeowners. Getting a local security system’s provider can help you in the installation of the home security system. The local providers know about the locality and the requirements as well and can provide you good advice about the security features that you need to have in your security alarm system. Thus, it is best to interview the local providers of security alarm systems before purchasing a new security alarm system for your home.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you a lot in finding a top class homeland security alarm system for your home.

Finding a good company for buying home security systems is crucial. Therefore, if you are looking for a good company that can provide you a quality Home Security Alarms then visit an online store.

Top 10 Best Facebook Apps (Games)

Facebook is a virtual world with a lot of apps. And they’re all different and (sometimes) addictive in their own sense. Top Facebook apps like Farmville, Criminal Case, Texas HoldEm Poker and much more are loved by users, serving as a great past-time, and perhaps, the perfect distraction. Sure, staying online all day to play games is unhealthy and not recommended, but a little indulgence never hurts anyone. As long as you don’t have any other work. Therefore, here’s a list of the games you should try out if you’re free, online and bored.

1. Criminal Case

Publisher: Pretty Simple

Rating: 4.5

It’s a game that makes you feel like a badass detective or even Sherlock Holmes. Or maybe that’s just me. You need a keen eyesight and need to be quick about finding all the clues. After all, you need the time bonus. As soon as you start playing, Detective Jones is the one who tells you what to do and gives you hints along the way. But the hints have their limits, at five bars.

You have a Tablet in the game, which is where you get your cases from. And as for the cases, not only do you need to find all the clues at the crime scene, there’s a lab where all the autopsies are done and you need to go and discuss all the not-so-gory stuff, so that the lab geek gives you another clue about the criminal you’re trying to catch. You also have a forensic kit.

Your score, time and hints bonus, are added up after you find the clues, and these are the things that decide whether you get a star or not. And don’t forget the gold coins. They all so give you experience and are what increase your level. To investigate cases, you need your energy. And every case has its own energy cost. So, after getting all the clues, you need to arrest the killer. And there’s always more than one suspect. You need to arrest the one with the most matches.

But, Criminal Case is quite fun to play, if you like the ‘identify and spot the object’ kind of game.

2. Zoo World

Publisher: RockYou!

Rating: 4

Zoo World has one main objective for you: becoming the best Zookeeper in the (game’s) world. You have to acquire various animals for your zoo and save and breed endangered species. You also have to buy kiosks. Players can also get their Facebook friends’ help and recruit some of them as zookeepers.
The game has hundreds of animals, some of them you might not have even heard of. Ah, but you can’t accept help without giving something in return.

Well, you can but that’ll leave you with a guilty conscience. You can help your friends out by gifting them with animals in return. Ultra rare animals include Unicorns, Pterodactyls, Tyrannosaurus, and Rudolph. Yes, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. And, let’s not forget the ‘Loch Ness Monster’, the Pegasus (which gives you a major Clash of the Titans flashback) and the Werewolf.

Zoo World is pretty easy to play, and you should enjoy it if you’re an animal lover.

3. Farm Heroes Saga

Publisher: King.com

Rating: 4.5

Farm Heroes Saga is all about stopping the main antagonist- The Rancid Raccoon. This little animal on a quest to ruin the ‘Happy World Farms’, and it’s up to you to stop him. The game is quite similar to Candy Crush Saga in terms of the actual playing- switch around the fruits to match them in rows to pass the level.

The game is simple at first and the level of difficulty increases as you go through the levels. It’s a good past-time when you’re getting bored to tears, but not everyone can play it for more than an hour (or at least, I can’t). You have to switch and match strawberries, pears and other fruits- including the one that looks like a sun, but I’m still not quite sure what it is.

4. Papa Pear Saga

Publisher: King.com

Rating: 4.5

Okay, so this game involves physics- don’t worry, it’s in a fun way. There are 75 levels in the game, and you have to help the main character, Papa Pear, bounce around the screen.

Your goal is to get all the buckets at the bottom of the screen to light up and remove as many acorns as you can. Honestly, the way the buckets keep beckoning towards the pear is very funny. But that is what you need to do, so it’s all good. The game is simple and fun, and you should probably give it a try once. It doesn’t require that much thinking.

5. War of Mercenaries

Publisher: Peak Games

Rating: 4

It’s got a pretty serious name, but in all actuality, the game’s quite fun to play. It’s a bit similar to Age of Empires. According to the game, it went through a series of expansions throughout the land, and even a huge war.

In the new era of Mercenaries, it’s your objective to build the greatest empire. You have to build your own army of mercenaries and go to war with other empires. All in all, it’s a strategy game, one you need to play carefully. You can even get dangerous beasts for your army. If you go to war and win, you can loot and raid the empire you have beaten. It’s a game you should try playing once.

6. Plants Vs Zombies Adventures

Publisher: PopCap Games

Rating: 4

Another interesting strategy game which is also closely related to the original version; it could also be called the zombie field version of the original one.

This game goes further than your everyday backyard: you have to go on different quests and even road-trips and destroy every zombie that tries to stop you. There are new types of zombies and new kinds of plants. Another interesting feature is that players can send groups of zombies to their Facebook friends. If you liked the original game, give this one a try too.

7. My Ninja

Publisher: Unknown

Rating: 4.2

An adventure and RPG game, inspired by the manga and anime show, Naruto. Create your own ninja, customize him or her, train regularly to become the best ninja. Aside from the training, the game has different Chapters and missions for you to complete.

As you level up, there are four types of skills you can master: Body, Mind, Elemental and Passive. Your skills depend on what element you chose while customizing your character. You have the option to choose from Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and Lightning. Completing missions and sparring against other characters will give you bonuses.

By completing missions, players can level up to different ranks, starting with Genin. To level up, you need to participate in specific exams. Completing quests gives you Elemental Ores, which are needed to master your elemental skills, among other bonuses. Throughout the game, you need to buy new weapons and armor according to your level, as they play an important role in your battles. You can buy those at the weapons and armor shop respectively, with the coins you earn through your missions.

My Ninja is pretty fun to play if you like ninjas and battles.

8. Words of Wonder

Publisher: Playdom

Rating: 3.5

This game is set in a world where words are what sustain life itself. Explore worlds and chapters, which have their own stories. Your main guide throughout the game is Watson, the Owl. He’s a cute little creature, that wears glasses.

The game is all about spelling words. Each chapter has jumbled up letters, and you have to spot words with three or more than three letters. Each chapter has a specific objective as well. Finding more words even fills up the star meter. There are 195 chapters in the game, so you have a long way to go before you finally beat it.

Also, each chapter has a bonus letter, and if you use it in a word, it leads to the bursting of surrounding letters.

9. Uphill Rush 4 Game

Publisher: Unknown

Rating: 4

A racing game, with different vehicles and even animals. You can participate in different cups, for races or a time trial. There are six cups in total, all with three levels of difficulty: Easy, Normal and Hard.

You can even customize your player, by choosing the gender, outfits, and vehicles, though you need to earn cash before you can choose a vehicle of your preference. Not only that, but you can also unlock a dolphin.

Throughout the race, you need to control your mode of transportation carefully. One wrong move could end it. You can even perform stunts to earn more points. The game is fun and even challenging. Try it out if you like racing games.

10. Jelly Glutton

Publisher: RoyalCactus

Rating: 4

The main protagonist of this game is Jelly, the little glutton. It’s a puzzle game that’s all about matching up the same food pieces. Make them disappear, and help Jelly. With four delicious game modes, explore the world of Jelly Glutton. There’s ice-creams, candies, biscuits, and fruits.

Each level has its own objective, and you have to complete it. Completing the stages also gives you stars. Complete levels, and set personal records. The game is fairly easy to play, but playing it actually made me hungry. If you’re really bored, give this one a chance. It’s pretty cute, even though the way of playing it is quite common.

Dangers of Game Addiction

Ever since the advent of video games, there have been debates on the pros and cons of gaming. While there is no denying that gaming sharpens a number of skills of the child, it also stands for a fact that the addiction of gaming can have dire health consequences. Apart from health risks, an addiction to gaming also brings along a non-social temperament that leads to stalled emotional growth.

Here are some of the most common dangers and effects of game addiction:

1. Stress

An obvious fallout of game addiction is stress. Stress develops when the person gets so involved in the game that there is an inbuilt pressure on him or her to achieve goals and cross stages and levels of the game. It slowly converts the game from a source of entertainment and fun to a catalyst of stress buildup. Also, when a person realizes that his life is in a pitiable state because of excessive gaming, he or she develops more stress out of the fear of not being able to get back to normal.

2. Lack Of Sleep

A major portion of a person’s time is taken up by work and it has been found that many people sacrifice their precious time to play an extra game or two instead of sleeping to rest the body. Long term game addiction leads to a sleeping disorder called Insomnia that takes a huge toll on a person’s health.

3. Disregard For Personal Hygiene

Excess gaming leads to seclusion of the gamer from the outside world which eventually leads to little or no interaction with people. When the person realizes that there is nobody who may notice his lack of grooming, he feels less compelled to take care of his personal hygiene.

4. Seclusion And Isolation

Gaming addiction can lead to people developing a tendency of seclusion and isolation. They start isolating themselves from family and friends. The fact that they start ignoring their personal hygiene is just the beginning of his or her displacement from the social scene. Gaming starts taking precedence over other important chores such as interaction with friends and as this addiction intensifies, the subject may start becoming more and more stubborn and rude. All that a gaming addict wants to spend time on is games.

5. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome And Arthritis

Excess gaming can lead to these two physical disorders. Studies have revealed that years of excessive gaming can lead to serious issues with the person’s thumb as this area is most exercised in gaming and is prone to osteoarthritis too. Carpel Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which there exists an excessive pressure on a nerve in the wrist which is responsible for allowing certain hand movements. This syndrome is likely to surface in game addicts since they make a lot of repetitive hand and wrist movements while playing games.

6. Unhealthy Eating Habits

With excess gaming, one becomes oblivious to dietary routine because he or she is too busy thinking about what is next in the game for them. Most game addicts choose fast food and sugary sodas to accompany their gaming sessions which further leads to deterioration of health. They also prefer frozen food that does not take much time to cook and thus does not hinder their gaming spree. Such eating habits are a major cause of diabetes and obesity in adults.

7. Depression

It might be rare to know a gaming addict who realizes that he is slowly slipping into depression. Depression slowly makes its way to the addict’s brain as he or she gets more and more addicted to the game. The only time they realize that they are in a state of depression is when they pause for a moment to realize that they have made a mess of their lives by excess gaming and neglecting other necessities of life. What makes the matters worse is that the only recourse they find to get out of this depression is more gaming and this drags them deeper into the trouble creating a vicious cycle that declines to break until the person resolves to take back the control of his or her life.

It shall be wise to conclude that video games, when played in moderation, can promote good health. They improve motor skills and develop the cognitive ability. It is recommended to address the issues of game addiction as soon as it is noticed lest it may take a heavy toll on health and personal life.

Gaming: Evolution and Devolution

People often have trouble understanding the word “tradeoff”, sure enough, it’s easy enough to understand as an exchange but in today’s corporate parlance it is meant as an exchange of one commodity for a cost for another. I was playing Final Fantasy’s Dissidia on the good old PSP yesterday when I marveled at the game’s replay value, yes I have spent over 50 hours on it already, which is what this entire topic is all about.

Normally if you look at the oldest games like Mario and Dave, they had one thing unanimously common, addiction to it. Not that I am propagating obsession towards anything, however, this is what the current paradigm of gaming has come down to; a commodity. I have always been a gamer, I will not deny that and this is exactly what my contention with gaming today is. The first games had a lot of things that hooked people up but most of all it was about the level of engagement that the player had with the game environment or the “world” of the game. And this engagement has little to do with the 3D graphics or the extensive options available.

Let us take a look at the progression; first, it was the advent of the simple arcade type games which were phenomenal to a certain point. Kept players hooked and introduced a whole new boom of media into the world. This was where literally every child was begging for the Atari systems and your Pentium II and III machines had Sega and NeoGeo emulators installed (mine still has both installed by the way) and gameplay elements were about difficult commands mixed in with clever sequences. Take this forward a bit further and the same two systems incorporated decent mixed stories and continuity in the games enhance the media capabilities being explored in the two avenues. The fighting game series KOF is an ardent testament to that and from there came the further boom of turn based strategy and role playing games which became akin to “user controlled novels” on computers. This adaptability of both game-play and media can be called as the turning curve of the gaming industry.

Because this was where a lot of business heads realized that the games could be used to simulate a lot of things, pretty much everything so the potential as a business commodity was obvious even from then on. The progress from then on was about enhancing the visual effects of the game, the additives were obvious the visuals needed more work so in came the influx of investment in gaming studios and the push for 3d graphics into gaming. That apex can be called as the secondary curve because once that was established, the potential for business gain via games became second to almost none. Hollywood movies will tell you the story of boom and fall without fail but games have the replay factor attached to them irrespective of their audience size that guarantees reward.

And this replay factor was cashed in next. We all can see the online capabilities being offered by games which as also paved the way to players just buying the next powerup or update online. The concept of “buying all” is where we can point and say that gaming has devolved. So at a point where gaming was fun with added complexity like Baldur’s Gate, Ys, Metal Gear Solid, the games went on to become more about commodity value.

The biggest factor in all this is mobile gaming of course and here I point at the smartphone games which are purely centered on time killing. The problem occurs when the majority of the smartphone gamers are not regular gamers but more so there to just kill time. So when you give a game like Subway Surfers online buying advantages for the “normal” people, some level of competition envelopes between the console/PC games and the phone games. The niches are different, the categories are different, and the size is different. A game like Temple Run cannot be compared to Farcry 3 but ultimately when the games become about money then these things sidetrack and mix in.

Today you have fantastic gameplay elements being added, furnished and perfected. Complexity is a given and with that, some features sit well whilst others do not. What’s adverse to the gaming paradigm, in general, is the holistic focus on sales which often makes them compromise on a lot of things from the gameplay side. Ultimately when gaming becomes more focused on buying rather than playing than the entire reason for playing a game gets taken away.

A Career in Testing Video Games

Playing video games for a living makes one think that this is the ideal job. People who witnessed the advent of computer gaming in the late eighties to early nineties have probably dreamed of having a game testing job. Who wouldn’t desire a job that compensates personal enjoyment?

Almost everyone loves video games. The days of video games confined to clunky consoles that cannot be taken on a plane trip or any trip for that matter are long gone. When people choose to play games, they use portable gaming devices such as PSP Vita, or even their Android smartphones or tablets.

Now that video games are competing with so many other personal entertainment types, a freemium model is now widely utilized in PC games and mobile gaming, which has given video games a boost. This is great news for those seeking to be video game professionals and they are willing to do what it takes to secure their place in the industry. One of the fastest ways to gain a foothold in the video game industry is to apply for a quality assurance testing (game testing) position.

It is important to note that those testing a game are always separate from the team that codes or programs the game itself. Therefore, the bug-tracking phase is accomplished by quality assurance testers (game testers).

Further, game testers are asked by companies and game studios with presenting bug reports on a regular schedule. For example, if one is testing a game and has submitted only a few bug reports for all the months in the company, one should not anticipate superiors giving glowing reviews.

Since communication with the programming department is in writing, excellent written communication skills are needed. Without good writing skills, one will not thrive or survive in this field at all.

It is paramount to remember that game testers are not very special in the video game production world. The reason is that there is an abundance of potential testers, and if one leaves, another will quickly fill the void. So, if advancement is desired, one must demonstrate an above average or better game tester ability for superiors.

Here are the hard facts:

Survival Skills. In order to survive in the professional quality assurance testing (game testing) field, one will require skills of the trade that can be obtained through formal training (on-the-job training) and through continuous experience.

Paramount to playing video games is an experience. However, it is not the be-all and end-all of game testing. It is just a small aspect that will assist in the performance of a game tester job.

Most Important Asset. The most important asset of a game tester is the ability to perform on the job. How good is one in bug tracking newly developed games? One cannot astonish lead game testers and quality assurance managers just by simply telling them that as a 15-year-old one was a programming whiz. No matter how true this may be.

Game tester effectiveness lies in the capability to discover the bugs that may arise from many combinations that exist within specific game segments.

A tester is not assigned the whole game, but only a specific segment in which to discover bugs. This when tester effectiveness will be scrutinized.

Be Prepared. Being prepared will greatly improve the chances of getting hired. To gain proof of time spent and monetary investment, one should enroll in courses just before applying for a game testing position. One cannot tell employers that they are well versed on game testing through reading. Interviewers will not accept this as experience and will end in one going home with a broken heart. It is important to be aware of this now, in order to prepare for what lies ahead. It is not easy to get in, but it is not impossible either.

Professional and Passionate. One will need to demonstrate to superiors not only professional performance but also an extreme passion for video games. This will enable one to advance above the average game testers.
Stephen R. Summitt

Do you want to find sustainable employment by getting a job as a game tester? If you are here because you are serious about getting a job as a game tester, you have to deal with facts, not myths and the personal fantasies of hopefuls. Discover the truth about this field and how you can enter it.