Top Five Gaming Keyboards

It’s no secret that online gaming is becoming more popular in the mainstream. While LAN gaming and early FPS titles dominated the market in the late 90s and early 2000s, PC gaming was still in obscure territory.

With the arguably oversaturated amount of FPS (First Person Shooter) titles on the Xbox and PlayStation consoles, gamers began to turn to new genres after Everquest and World of Warcraft brought MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) gaming into the mainstream.

PC gamers have the natural advantage of not having to buy an entirely new console for each generation of gaming. PC gamers need only pay for new parts and upgrades to their system as they become available, but PC gaming in the long run is generally less expensive than console gaming.

For hardcore PC gamers, it is important to have a setup that gives an advantage in online and competitive play. This means that gaming mice and keyboards are an essential part of any system.

Why is it so important to have a good gaming keyboard?

Having a keyboard with a lot of extra keys means that players can assign their spells, weapons, or in-game interface options to a number of customizable, easy access keys.

The top gaming keyboards allow for a HUD (Heads Up Display) add on screen that displays relevant information about the game or the status of the player’s character.

Most high-tier gaming keyboards are made to last, which means they are a valuable investment for all gamers to consider.

Some gaming keyboards include stencils or customizable stickers to help players remember the functions of each of their essential buttons.

Let’s take a look at the top five gaming keyboards for competitive play:

1. Saitek Cyborg – Saitek has an excellent line of backlit keyboards, and the Cyborg is the classiest of them all. The only bad part about owning a Saitek keyboard is a lack of American support. The company’s main repair center is located in South Korea.

2. Merc Stealth – This fancy gaming keyboard is both rugged and built for comfortable, ergonomic play. Rubber keys replace the standard WSAD configuration, making long gaming sessions a lot less painful on the fingertips.

3. Razer Black Widow – Razer is well-known for their long line of PC gaming mice and keyboards, and the Black Widow is the best of the best. With responsive keys and a comfortable wrist rest, it’s the perfect board for a serious gamer.

4. Logitech G15 – With an attractive LED screen that gives in-game contextual information, the G15 is adept at quick macroing. It is a perfect choice for most gamers.

5. Optimus Maximus – While this keyboard is ludicrously expensive ($1600 USD list price), it makes this list just for the cool factor. Each key on the keyboard is its own LCD display, and users can customize the icons on each key.

Family Time – Fun Board Games

In praise of good clean family fun

Ah, the joy of a family night of fun board games played at the dining table! From Chutes and Ladders to Monopoly, through Tripoly and Clue, to Stratego, Risk, and Battleship, board games are just plain fun.

When we were youngsters, our movies were books and our game consoles were stored in boxes on the closet shelves. I recently rediscovered this joy with my seven-year-old granddaughter. We made a decision to watch tv less and spend more time doing things that encouraged conversation and personal interaction. It was a great decision. We spent the summer working puzzles, reading books together, and playing games at the dining room table. I now know which girls in her class giggle too much, which boys will chase you on the playground, and how much homework “they” expect her to get done. I also had the pleasure of watching my really smart, very funny granddaughter become a card shark.

All of this together time took me back to my childhood. We never really had to decide to watch less television. We only got three channels and my father’s interests ran the gamut from the news to football. Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and Joe Namath pretty well dominated the airwaves at our house. The Philco belonged to Daddy. So we played outside in the sunshine and played inside when the rains came or nightfall drove us indoors. I can still sense the feeling of sitting around the kitchen table on a cold night with my brothers and sister and sometimes my parents, the smell of goodies cooking, the laughter swelling with the ups and downs of game play. I remember so clearly knowing the warmth and comfort of my place in the family. And all of this is connected in my mind with the delightful fun of board games.

Board Games for Adults can be fun!

Board Games for ADULTS??? Okay, “for Adults” doesn’t have to mean “for Adults,” if you know what I mean.

Seriously, most of us just want to have some good conversation, good company, and good clean fun when we socialize. What better way to enjoy the company of friends than with a peaceable evening spent playing a game or two. Put on a pot of coffee, heat up some banana bread or a coffee cake, and pull out a crowd-pleasing board game.

Pictionary is a terrific game. I have a friend who guesses the picture from a straight line. Honest. I have trouble identifying a photograph, so they wait until I’m out of the room to choose teams. I’m much better at Scattergories. And Trivial Pursuit. I am a font of useless knowledge.

How about you? Are you a brain? Maybe Cranium or Scrabble are to your liking. If your ability lies in strategy you may prefer Chess or Mastermind. Backgammon and Yahtzee both utilize a combination of strategy and fortune. There’s always Clue if you’re a sneaky son-of-a-gun or if you harbor suspicions and conspiracy theories. Old reliable Monopoly lets you practice getting wiped out financially. And for all of you would-be Kings of the World, it’s hard to beat Risk for world domination.

There are lots more. Pick a favorite board game or two and call the crew. The adult crew. Adults – grown-ups – having fun just playing some board games. Hanging out. You know you want to. It’s been too long since the last get-together.

Teens want to have a little board game fun, too.

Fun board games for teens just sounds like you’re trying too hard. Really. But you’re not. Young people are just people. They have friends. They like to do things with the people they like. They get tired of trying to say the right thing, wear the right clothes, hang with the right crowd. Heck, they get tired of just trying to figure out what all of that is. They need some easy-going time with no big consequences – just a chance to slow down a bit now and then. Offer them a board game party.

Risk, Yahtzee, Pictionary, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit – all of these lend themselves to team play. Trivial Pursuit comes in a number of variations, so if they’re big Lord of the Rings fans, go with that one.

They will, however, play with a different intensity than their parents. “Soorrryyy” could take on a whole new meaning at your house. Player pieces may well be slapped around the board with more energy than one might expect. The Game of Life could be assigned choices not listed in the rules. Scene It will cause them to monopolize the television while Monopoly will give them time to take over the refrigerator. Who cares? They’re home, at your house, laughing like crazy and having more fun than they ever thought. No keggers, no missing parents, no car trouble – just friends and food and fun. Even teens have fun with board games.

And how about the children? Do they have any fun playing board games? Mayybeee.

The foundation of board games: children’s board games. I’m talking heart of childhood, elementary school, make a game out of everything age group. They make their own board games. They play board games at school when the weather is bad. They play board games all summer long in the floor, usually in the doorway to the kitchen. They just play. So what do they play?

Old stand-bys are still loved. Checkers and Chess are easily obtained and only take two people. Monopoly can take an entire afternoon and even then may not end with a clear winner. There’s a Monopoly Jr. now that is perfect for beginning readers and only takes about thirty minutes to play.

Sorry and Trouble, with it’s great Pop-O-Matic dice tumbler, remain crowd favorites. The Game of Life has become pretty convoluted, but kids still like to play it. Mouse Trap is fun to build and has the added value of a half hour of trapping mice once the game is done. Upper grade levels have a great time with Clue and Colonel Mustard and the Library – with the candlestick. Then there are cartoon-based games (think Spongebob) and Junior versions of Trivial Pursuit and Cranium. And Chinese Checkers and Parcheesi and Operation and Tri-Bond and Mancala and Aggravation and Backgammon and Scrabble and – oh, you get the idea. The list of children’s board games is as long as your imagination.

Don’t leave out preschoolers. Board games are not just fun. They’re useful.

We don’t always think about board games for preschoolers when we think about their play. Little ones run and jump and fall and get up and do it again. We sometimes limit their calm time to television – cartoons and children’s movies are quite good when Mom and Dad need some quiet time. Still, we miss out on some important training for small ones, as well as missing time spent together in an atmosphere of calm. More and more, children are losing the art of polite conversation and civilized interaction with adults. One solution? Bring out the games!

Pre-school board games help children to develop skills they will need in reading. They learn to match colors, count, recognize letters and their sounds, think sequentially, win graciously and lose gracefully. These are pretty important concepts. Candyland and Chutes and Ladders will wear you out, because your youngster will want to play again and again. There are all kinds of dominos (I know – not strictly a board game) that allow children to match cartoon characters rather than dots. There are games that let them match picture cards arranged on a grid and games that require fine motor skills. You’ll find that all of them are great fun for your four-year old.

Take the plunge. Board games with your preschooler. How much fun can you cram into one day?

WHOOHOO! Most fun section. Vintage board games.

Yep, fun board games of time gone by, making them vintage. Nice word for old. Well, maybe not all that old. Remember these?

Tripoly. We played this one with the neighbors. I don’t remember much about it except we used poker chips. There was a big green mat. And it was pokerish. And rummyish, too, I think. That’s it. That’s all I remember. Probably because I had a crush on the neighbor.

Then there was the Game of the States: VERY educational.

I’m pretty sure this one was a gift from my aunt. Very sure. Really. Aunt Helen. She was always the best at finding “educational” stuff that was pretty fun. Thanks, Aunt Helen. I miss you.

We really did learn all kinds of things about the states. We learned capitals, state birds, agricultural products, population – none of which I remember now. Not that much of it would be the same, anyway.

Now let’s talk about the REAL fun we had with board games. How about Tycoon? You had to be money-grubbing and free of conscience. My brothers slaughtered me. What are some others? Stratego. Mystery Date! Now there’s a great game for a sleep-over. Surfer dude. Hmmm. Remember him? Clue, Monopoly, Scrabble, Rook, Payday, Stock Market – all great games. I wish I still had all of them. But there was one we played ALL THE TIME:

Square Mile. This was the game with plastic roads and bridges. There was a railroad and a swamp. There were these little bitty buildings – houses, a school, a church, factories, apartment buildings, a shopping center. This was a cool game. Square Mile was the best for a rainy day.

Board games are amazing fun. I recommend their resurrection even if you just pull out the Monopoly game for an evening. Step away from the x-box, look your children in the eye and say,

“That’s Boardwalk with four houses. You owe me $1700.”

Online Gaming – The Perfect Activity for Relaxation and Fun

Online gaming is a wonderful way to play your favorite games without going to the rental store, waiting to see if the game you want to play is back on the shelves, or wondering where you will get the money to pay the fees. These are just some of the advantages that appear when getting into the online gaming world.

Don’t be surprised if, after using a certain platform of online gaming, you will stick by it and even fall in love with it. And you won’t need to play a long time for that to happen. There are lots of benefits brought on by online gaming.

The manufacturers of game consoles understand the value brought on by the online gaming world, so they are trying to come up with consoles and hand-held pieces of equipment which can permit the user to get rolling from the computer and from the equipment. One no longer has to sit in a rental store line to check out the games that have been rented out or not. They no longer have to waste money in order to rent a game cartridge for 1 week.

The online gaming world offers access to your favorite games whenever you want. Sometimes you might have a terrible schedule and you might not have time to wait around for someone else in order to play your favorite games. And now with the help of online gaming you don’t have to! If you choose your computer as ‘weapon’, you only have to log onto the site of your choice, hang out with friends and play, making new friends.

Lots of people like to get into the game and show their talent. Perhaps you only want to play games to see how you like it, but at one point you will want to win. And that’s all! This is the entire idea behind the excitement of playing online games, eliminating the enemy, creating your wealth, playing what you have to play and live the experience the way you should.

Online gaming is great because you can get in touch with people you actually like. The majority of gaming sites include interactive features (chat, private talks) that allow you to discuss with others. This will offer you the opportunity to let everyone know about that race you just won, or the awesome hand at poker that just came to you. It is a great thing to play with people who like the same things as you and who come from all around the world.

And to these amazing features you should also add the great sound and impressive graphics. Most of the top hits are turned into games enhancing the experience and allowing you to listen to your favorite song while destroying your enemies and taking command of the empire. This is one of the best activities a player can ask for. It is extremely easy and pleasant! Who would say no to that?