The Enchanting Mess that is Black Friday

Photo courtesy of Nell Smith via Flickr

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and you know what that means. The holiday season is in full swing. Everyone is putting up their decorations and Christmas music is back on radio stations as well as everyone’s iTunes playlists. Most of all, everyone is flooding stores, like Toys “R” Us, Target and Walmart, to do their holiday shopping. This leads to the infamous day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday.

Looking at it on the surface, the concept of Black Friday does not seem so bad. In fact, it seems perfect. A day where all of the hottest toys, electronics and anything else that could be on the market gets significant discounts is absolutely genius in theory.

The problem with Black Friday, of course, is the stigma surrounding it and the chaos that is bound to ensue during the shopping day. Every year during Black Friday, all you have to do is turn on the news, and chances are you will find multiple stories of chaos regarding shoppers trampling each other for mere goods. Some even go as far as intentionally harming others to get what they want, such as the infamous pepper spray incident in 2011.

In fact, there is a website called, which counts the number of people killed or injured during Black Friday shopping. As of today, the website has counted a total of 10 deaths and 111 injuries during Black Friday since 2006. The irony that is often pointed out is that Black Friday is the day right after Thanksgiving: the day that we give thanks for what we have. Is it not hypocritical of us to be fighting 24 hours after we are supposed to show gratitude? That is exactly what Black Friday brings to the table.

Some of us are not aware that there have been plenty of examples of Black Friday shopping done right. My experience during Black Friday in 2015 is a perfect one. My mother and I woke up at four in the morning to go to GameStop to pick up a PlayStation 4. That was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The store was calm and the employees and shoppers were kind and friendly. Most importantly, we were able to save money during Christmas shopping and have fun while doing it without all the chaos.

There are many examples of Black Friday shopping done right, particularly at stores like GameStop, Toys “R” Us and Target. It can be such a great experience enjoying everything you bought and being able to create great memories while shopping. Unfortunately, all of the good experiences are ruined by places like large malls and Walmart, where the dangerous atmosphere is a lot more common.

In a nutshell, the negative stigma and numerous incidents surrounding Black Friday ruins what could be a great experience.


Opinion: Call of Duty: WW2’s Server Mess and Bugs Badly Hurt an Otherwise Good Game

Normandy Seashore has been deserted for just about a week in my copy of Contact of Obligation: WW2. What is actually intended to be a Destiny 2-like social hub is rather something akin to a ghost town. I cannot even full 1 of the initial social missions in which I am intended to commend a fellow soldier.

It is really only the most seen symptom of what has ailed Phone of Obligation: WW2 because it launched this time very last week. Around the previous 7 days, players have reported lots of complications with glitchy servers, online games likely unrecorded, bugs, and weapon balance.

1 significantly horrible bug is the so-known as “Prestige Bug,” which triggers immediately after you max out your degree and enter Prestige Mode. The bug resets the preliminary Welcome to Headquarters quest even though blocking you from getting new orders from Key Howard—a enormous dilemma offered that they are an great supply of source drops.

Late past evening, developer Sledgehammer Video games produced a somewhat massive patch intended to tackle many of the difficulties highlighted by lovers. But server problems appear to be just as negative as just before, and some gamers are reporting that well-regarded problems like the Prestige Bug persist.

“Double XP is broken, disconnects are non-halt, orders are continue to broken, seven days devoid of any key fixes,” one enthusiast complained on Reddit adhering to the update.

Another wrote, “Hottest update broke matchmaking for me. Been hunting for a match for the past 20 minutes, consistently stating 40+ probable video games identified but nothing.”

Sledgehammer Online games has been periodically posting updates on Twitter.

Phone of Obligation: WW2’s issues have no question place a damper on what is in some methods an intriguing and formidable recreation.

The new “War Manner” in unique is staying lauded by several as just one of Simply call of Duty’s very best additions in a long time. A multi-stage multiplayer mode in the vein of Battlefield 1’s Operations, it includes a comprehensive-blown multiplayer Battle of Normandy, with a single aspect assaulting the seashores whilst the other defends. It really is a method that feels real to the matter matter while freshening up the principal gameplay.

You know, when it works.

Server concerns and bugs have led to unfounded accusations that Sledgehammer Game titles isn’t going to treatment, exactly where the reality is that they ended up basically possibly also bold for their have excellent.

Look at the Headquarters: A Destiny-model multiplayer hub that has been bolted on major of Contact of Duty’s common multiplayer. On paper, it need to have appeared amazing—a complete-blown hub the place you could wander all over Omaha Beach, obtain orders, and interact with other gamers.

But in apply, it is really a incredibly advanced setting with heavier gameplay hooks than you may generally obtain even in Destiny. It consists of minigames, a lot of shops, and the potential to get supply drops. There are so many methods in play that it can be no wonder that it really is so damaged.

This is not to justification Sledgehammer Game titles: If you might be going to introduce an bold social hub, you would much better make positive it performs. But it does spotlight how effortlessly even a huge-spending budget activity like Phone of Responsibility can go poorly completely wrong.

Unfortunately, these troubles have been all too prevalent this year, and it’s only apt to get even worse.

Contact of Duty and the Price tag of Working a Provider Recreation

Call of Obligation: WW2 is just the most recent “service match” to struggle out of the gate in 2017.

Sport game titles in distinct have experienced a hard time of it. MLB The Clearly show 17’s server issues were so undesirable that early online gatherings experienced to be canceled. NBA 2K18 had significant troubles with disappearing Digital Currency.

As far more and additional knowledge is saved on remote servers, the infrastructure is becoming a lot more fragile. Server outages and glitches are breaking full games.

This is what is fueling the anger at the rear of the problems bedeviling games like Get in touch with of Duty: WW2. Not only are enthusiasts possessing to offer with an inflow of microtransaction-weighty mechanics, now their most popular video game isn’t really working adequately as a outcome of their inclusion.

On line game titles are receiving far more bold by the calendar year, but the accompanying increase in backend challenges is massively disheartening. It is receiving to the stage where it truly is not even really worth picking up a activity at start provided how significantly the inevitable mega patches will in the end change factors.

I have no doubt that Sledgehammer Online games will eventually get factors beneath handle, specially as the preliminary surge of gamers move on to greener pastures. But becoming scarcely functional at start shouldn’t be the price of creating an evergreen “assistance recreation.”

Unfortunately, if 2017 is any sign, we are truly via the seeking glass when it will come to these types of on the internet platforms. And I question the accompanying tech challenges are going to get better any time quickly.

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Nintendo: SNES Classic preorder mess wasn’t all our fault


Nintendo is telling would-be buyers of the Super NES Classic Edition console not to worry. 


Guess Nintendo won’t take all of the blame after all for last month’s Super NES Classic Edition preorder fiasco.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé told the Financial Times on Saturday that some of the problem falls on retailers, saying the preordering issues were “outside our control.” It wasn’t clear what Nintendo wanted retailers to do differently. The game maker didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

The console, a smaller version of the classic ’90s Super Nintendo that comes with 21 preloaded games and goes on sale for $80 on Sept. 29, was available for preorder online with virtually no warning three weeks ago. 

As a result, retailers including Best Buy, Amazon, Target and Walmart sold out almost instantly. The fiasco left many gamers, including CNET’s Sean Hollister, pissed

However, Fils-Aimé said, there should be plenty of the consoles available for sale later this month. 

“I would strongly urge you not to overbid on an SNES Classic on any of the auction sites,” he said, while attending Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit in LA over the weekend. “You shouldn’t [have to] pay more than $79.99.”

Fils-Aimé added it will not be a case of a supply issue, as with last year’s NES Classic Edition. Last year, the $60 console sold out quickly, after selling 2.3 million units, and was discontinued before popping up for as much as $200 on Amazon Treasure Trucks this summer.

The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.

‘Pokemon Go’ Dev Founder Blames PokeFest Mess on Phone Networks, Bad Software

Last week’s Pokemon Go Fest was more or less a disaster, with widespread connectivity issues causing many of the 20,000 expected fans who showed up to Chicago’s Grant Park to not be able to access the game they’d traveled to the sold out event to celebrate. In the wake of the issues, developer Niantic issued refunds, $100 in Pokecoins and worked the entire day to rectify the issues.

Niantic CEO and founder John Hanke, who faced his fair share of boo’s and criticisms when he took the stage at the event on July 22, recently issued a second statement about the event, both acknowledging the shortcomings of the event and praising some of the more level-headed attendees – who weren’t throwing bottles onstage.

Hanke cites technical issues with Pokemon Go’s software as causing the issues many players faced, likely from an influx of users in one spot trying to access the game. These issues were worsened, he wrote, by network congestion and “oversaturation” of some mobile networks. Over the course of the day, Niantic performed multiple server configuration changes which solved these issues for some attendees, but not all, he points out.

“On the pure network access issue, we provided detailed estimates on attendance and required data throughput per user to our event partner who worked with the major carriers to allow them to plan for adequate coverage,” Hanke wrote. “Some carriers deployed Cellular on Wheels (COWs) to extend their capacity. In other cases, the providers deemed them unnecessary based on other infrastructure already in place at the site. Users reported different levels of success with these providers. Wifi was enabled by one provider as a solution which helped some users but not all. Sprint was onsite as an official partner, deployed a COW, and their network was busy but held up well.”

While Hanke does acknowledge the many shortcomings of his company’s event, in his post he does make a point to mention some of the ways attendees made their own fun outside of the event.

As frustrated event-goers left Pokemon Go Fest, many took to the surrounding Chicago areas where there was less cellular congestion to play the game. According to Hanke, during the evening of the event and the following day downtown Chicago players participated in over 69,000 raid battles and captured more than 7.7 million Pokemon – 440,000 of which were rare, legendary Pokemon.

“It was inspiring to watch Trainers band together with their friends and to enjoy the beautiful evening together despite the struggles of the day,” Hanke wrote.

Hanke concludes his statement by adding Niantic is taking all of these issues into consideration, learning how to better plan events in the future. The company currently has Pokemon Go events planned across Europe and in Yokohama, Japan later is summer.

“Last Saturday was not a happy day for us but we are committed to listening to that feedback, however harsh, to improve what we do so that we can continue to build experiences that bring together people, technology, and the real world in innovative ways,” Hanke wrote.

World’s first Pokemon Go Fest in the US a hot mess – crowd turns ugly

The world's first Pokemon Go Fest was not as happy-looking a place as this.


The world’s first Pokemon Go Fest was not as happy-looking a place as this.

The first ever Pokemon Go Fest – a live event in the US for the augmented-reality monster-catching game – has turned out to be a bit of a mess.

A mix of long queues and intermittent coverage to the game left many paying attendees disgruntled.

Game Informer‘s Andrew Reiner – who was at the event in Chicago’s Grant Park – says he couldn’t keep the game open “for more than 15 seconds at a time” without it crashing, while others also had the same issue.

Fairfax NZ

Stuff reporter and complete game novice Michael Daly tries Pokemon Go

This is in addition to queues that stretched well outside the park.

* Pokemon Go coming down hard on cheaters
* One year after its release, why am I still playing Pokemon Go?
* Why I despise Pokemon Go
* Pokemon Go: 5 things you didn’t know

Fans were so displeased that when the CEO of Pokemon Go developer Niantic, John Hanke, arrived on the event’s main stage he was booed. The crowd also started chanting “We can’t play!”, with some hurling obscenities at Hanke.

“I know that some of you guys have had trouble getting logged on this morning, and I wanted to let you know that we’re working with the cell companies – trying to get that worked out,” said Hanke in an attempt to placate the crowd. “And we’re working on the game server to get that worked out. So I want to ask you guys, please know we’ve got the whole Niantic team working against this, so please be patient with us.”

The event was so disastrous, Niantic offered to refund the ticket price for all attendees.

By way of an extra apology, other bonuses were also granted. All registered participants of the event will receive $100 in PokeCoins added to their account and will also receive a free legendary Pokemon, Lugia.

​The event wasn’t a total failure however. By accomplishing set goals during the event, attendees unlocked the ability for players around the world to catch Lugia. The monster is briefly appearing in raid battles worldwide.