Category: Gaming

Did you know that in bricks and mortar Casino’s, traditional slot machines used to pay out on 3% of spins, but now - fast forwarding to modern day slot machines, they pay out on an average rate of 45%? That’s pretty good odds!

According to an article by Andrew Thompson in the Verge the slot machines today are far more generous than those of yesteryear. And it’s not for no reason either, it is a rather specific science in actual fact.

UK casinos  will know all too well the theory that comes behind these more beneficial odds. It’s all explained by psychology and has it’s roots in an experiment performed by BF Skinner. He discovered that a pigeon was more likely to press a lever that gave it a pellet of food on random presses than when every single try gave out the prize. Odd right? And not to say that we are hugely like pigeons but the theory is there.

Thomson writes: “ Too little reward and the animal becomes frustrated and stops trying; too much and it won’t push the lever as often”

You can read about some of the better options if you want to test yourself!

So the fact that machines pay out more nowadays is simply because people are working out better methods of play. Could this be because more people are able to have a little casino in their pocket on the tube? Who knows?


‘Little Italy’ in Clerkenwell is the apt backdrop for the London Games Festival Fringe event, hosted by creative agency Unity and production company Blueprint Film

Start your engines! One of Nintendo’s finest arcade games, Mario Kart, is coming to Clerkenwell this April with a unique racing tournament for the creative industry around Super Mario-themed stages.

The tournament is part of a series of events happening across the capital as part of the first-ever London Games Festival Fringe.

Mario Kart Tournament will be held on Thursday 7 April at 6.30pm in the basement of creative agency Unity’s Clerkenwell office in ‘Little Italy’ and will pit London’s creatives against each other in a one-off knockout tournament.

The tournament will be played on the new WiiU version of Mario Kart 8, with knockout racing battles to find a champion for each side of the city. The night will then climax in what promises to be a legendary race to find London’s one true champion.

The event is organised by Unity and production company Blueprint Film.  The two companies came together over a shared history of looking out for banana peels and firing red shells.

In addition to the serious business of showing off gaming skills, the event will also be a networking opportunity for those working in the gaming or creative industries. And with beer, soft drinks and a tuck shop available throughout the evening, there will be plenty of opportunity for the drivers to top up their fuel.

Fancy your chances? Indulge your inner Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Princess Peach, Toad or Yoshi and let the countdown begin.

Free tickets are available to the public here:


Where:                        Unity, 5-13 Hatton Wall, Clerkenwell, London, EC1N 8HX

When:                         Thursday 7th April, starting at 6.30pm


I had the pleasure of using one of Sony’s new Morpheus VR headsets with their Playstation 4 not long ago and given time to think I’m left with very mixed feelings about it all.

reality vs game

In terms of what Sony have done with the software developers they are working with? it was the ultimate childhood video game dream come true. Having a headset placed on you at a fancy promo party by London’s Embankment to then suddenly be sitting in a dark and dingy room with someone holding a blow torch to your face and interrogating you is a very surreal experience, but of corse highly entertaining.

Its fun because in these early stages we’re able to see this as a new gimmick, an experience that its new to you much like a ride at a theme park that you’ve never been on. But what is a little concerning is when the graphics become photo realistic and VR headsets are common place in every gamers home for 24 hour use, how hard would it then become to engage back into what may be a “dull” life in comparison?  Would most not prefer the world where you’re the hero or the villain without any real consequences aside from probably gaining a few pounds and becoming a recluse.

Not to mention the young people who will be raised with this technology, where they can jump in and out of worlds where in one they are asked to contribute to society through hard work, the other they can just run around shooting, stabbing, sexually assaulting and more at will. I work with young people and I already find it hard to get them to engage in things long enough to actually learn something and thats just when I’m competing with a smart phone. How hard might it be when almost total escapism is a headset away?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of VR headsets and of corse I walked away from Sony’s event messaging all of my friends stating that I’m getting one as soon as it comes out. But I’m currently very aware of my addictive traits and would set limits to my gaming use in the future (moderation is key kids) but not all have the same self awareness or the ability to control themselves. For example an Alcoholic can’t control their addiction at all, therefore have to abstain from alcohol full stop in order to survive, but to learn that they are an alcoholic they tend to have hit a rock bottom in their life. What concerns me a little is the rock bottoms that might be hit while completely engulfed in a virtual world. And will there then be a VR Addictions Anon system in place like their should be for Facebook etc?

I am confident that most people using these headsets won’t be so careless, most will enjoy it much like they do the odd film or theatre experience. But we know that there will be more than a couple parents too busy wanting to feel like they are in a World Of Warcraft / Game Of Thrones kind of world than the one in which they are to monitor their child, change its nappy and such. Not to mention the mental health triggers that could cause serious panic attacks and more in horror games.

I mean, to be fair these things are already common place. We already see the overweight adults on the bus neglecting their child in order to play Candy Crush. And the Dad’s who would rather smoke weed and play Fifa or Call Of Duty than take their little ones out to the park. The warnings are already there, just the thought of giving these people complete escapism, where they can artificially change their whole image, lifestyle, surroundings, rules and more….it scares me a little. Because these people are the parents of the future generation that we will have to trust with our lives and political choices when we’re old.

I love video games, but I’m very aware that in the past (like some readers i’m sure) they were a tool of escapism. To avoid stress, boredom or displeasure in life I would just pick up a controller and zone out to a world where my actions were gaining “rewards” and praise much easier and faster than in real life. I mean, don’t even get me started on my VR headset and porn concerns! I feel like now would be a great time to start studying marriage counselling because they are going to be raking it in with POV VR Porn.

All I will say is we're all becoming far too desensitised by media as a whole (not just video games) when you can see footage of a drone on the news gunning down real innocent lives and think "that looks just like a level in a video game" it makes you wonder, what might the consequences be for a generation that could have a problem distinguishing the difference between VR and reality?

Our brains’ reward systems are being rewired these days to want easier, faster and unrealistic fixes of achievement, entertainment, arousal and such. What might we feel entitled to (rather than earn or deserve) in reality when in the alternative artificial worlds we habitat we're encouraged to be careless gun wielding homicidal car jacking maniacs that can have sexual experiences with whoever, kill at will and obtain almost anything all by sitting on our asses?


I don’t know the answer, but i’m sure we can “Just google it” one day.

Shout out to Offworld and FeministFrequency for bringing social awareness to gaming.


You can’t get away from it, almost everywhere you look people are on their phones -tapping and swiping away into oblivion, barely looking up to cross roads or get off at train stops.

We’re not sure about you but we get pretty addicted to the games, maybe not Candy Crush saga but many like it.

Some of our favourites are of course Angry Birds - but the space edition - which is just jam packed with satisfying sounds and visuals for something so simple as well as Fruit Ninja. We have swiped our way through hours with this one and some people are so into the game they decided a real life version should be made.

Lesser known games include Timberman which is free and so frustrating in a good way that you'll be swapping to wood chopping scores with friends in no time and Daddy Long legs - why not put yourself into the shoes of these strange wobbly creatures for a bit on your ride to work? It should also be mentioned that the illustrative side of it is pretty nice too.

Smartphones and windows 8 are now facilitating better and better game play whether you’re playing the modern day equivalent of Snake, something all together much more involved that looks like it should be on a Playstation or having a little flutter on one of these betting apps.

Hey - if you’re going to spend that much time on it might as well get a possible win right?

We’re quite liking Friday Thrills, a game from Mansion Casino that could give you a pretty good weekend. Pus currently they are offering $20 bonuses to players just for playing during the week, not to mention a £5,000 welcome bonus when you sign up - yes that’s not a typo - not bad for a bit of fun on the side that’s not coloured globules heading down your screen! It may only be Monday but we’re fans of looking forward to the weekend - especially on drizzly mornings.

So if you do have twitchy thumbs get on over to Mansion Casino as there may be a game there that both floats your boat and your bank account, it may just pay for your lunch once you get into work - now there’s something Candy Crush can’t do.

Playstations for £19.00Today, PlayStation® opened the doors to the PlayStation ’94 Shop in Bethnal Green to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Following a series of cryptic clues posted from the PlayStation UK social channels regarding the once-in-a-lifetime console offer, dedicated PlayStation fans from up and down the country came out in their hundreds to be in with a chance of owning one of the limited edition consoles and to take a nostalgic trip through PlayStation history.

Unveiled last week, the PS4™ 20th Anniversary Edition is highly collectable, with only 12,300 units available worldwide. The special console features the same iconic ‘Original Grey’ finish as the original PlayStation and comes packaged in a commemorative box.

In a secret day-one offer aimed at rewarding the PlayStation Players, 94 lucky fans were able to purchase the ultra-rare console for just £19.94 at the pop-up shop if they arrived with a piece of PlayStation memorabilia and a secret password revealed on YouTube: “I crashed my bandicoot”.

unnamed-1Designed to celebrate the landmark two decade milestone since the original PlayStation was launched in Japan in December 1994, the PlayStation ’94 Shop has been faithfully recreated in the style of an independent video game store from the era. It is also home to a vast array of iconic memorabilia from throughout PlayStation’s 20year history, including the original PocketStation and imported Japanese games. Fans will also have the chance to purchase special merchandise such as t-shirts, bags and Christmas jumpers.

The shop will remain open until Friday 12th December, with the queue for the remaining 50 consoles available to buy on Thursday and Friday for the full RRP of £399 already full. All proceeds from the sales of the console across the three days will be donated to the GamesAid charity.

David Stockley from Woolwich was the first person in the queue to buy the PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition console in the UK, and showed incredible levels of dedication by queueing from 7pm on Tuesday evening. David said “I’ve been a huge PlayStation fan since the first console came out in 1994 and have been desperate to get my hands on one of the anniversary PS4s after it was revealed last week. When I saw the videos on PlayStation’s YouTube channel last night, I ran here straight from work to be front of the queue. It’s been a long, cold night, but knowing I’m one of only 12,300 people that will own this piece of PlayStation history makes it all worth it – and the fact it only cost me £19.94 is the cherry on top of the cake!”  

Jonathan Ross, who opened the door to the gamers at 11am said: “I was so excited to be able to walk back in time and relive the past twenty years of Sony gaming. It was fun, it was exciting and more than a little emotional.”


Fergal Gara, Managing Director and Vice President, Sony Computer Entertainment UK & Ireland comments: “It was Black Friday earlier this month and it seems that today is ‘Original Grey Wednesday’, with excitement hitting fever pitch as gamers were able to get their hands on the PlayStation 4 20th Anniversary Edition for the unbelievable price of £19.94. We’re so thankful to all the fans that have supported us over the past 20 years, we’re really pleased to be able to share this milestone with them and I couldn’t think of a better way to show that PlayStation is truly for the players.”


In addition to the PS4 20th Anniversary Edition consoles already snapped up by queuing fans, gamers will also have the chance to purchase the highly sought-after console exclusively through a suitably PlayStation route – where players have to prove their PlayStation credentials to be able to buy from from Monday 15th December. Keep your mince pies glued to PlayStation social media channels for more information and opportunities to get your hands on this exclusive PS4 20th Anniversary edition.


For more information on the PlayStation ’94 Shop, open until Friday 12th December, please visit PlayStation UK’s social channels.