Digital gamer guide: 10 tips to help new online players

To the uninitiated, online gaming may be slightly intimidating and a bit confusing. We can relieve those lingering trepidations with this set of practical tips for new players.

Image: iStockphoto/gorodenkoff

According to a recent study published by Gismart, the number of active users of apps and games has increased by 200% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Even the World Health Organization has launched a campaign to encourage people living under stay at home restrictions to participate in digital game play. These are truly unprecedented times.

The joys and benefits of playing digital games are well known to those of us who engage in the activity on a regular basis, but those of you with less gaming experience, particularly online gaming experience, may be a little confused and slightly intimidated by the prospect. To be certain, online gaming has a reputation for being a little rough on

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17,000 doctors and nurses training for COVID-19 pandemic using VR technology

Oxford Medical Simulation is offering online VR training to help busy hospitals and medical facilities as they are being crushed by large numbers of patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

A virtual reality (VR) medical training system built by Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) is now being offered for free during the COVID-19 pandemic to help hospitals and medical schools bring in badly-needed additional staffers to provide patient care. OMS is providing the free use of its VR training system to health care facilities in the US, Canada and the UK so retired doctors and nurses can get back up to speed on patient care quickly. The hope is that these doctors and nurses can  return to help treat a steady stream of patients with other more typical medical emergencies, such as heart attacks, strokes, and broken bones while specialists are assisting coronavirus patients.

“At the moment, during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals

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COVID-19 pandemic impact pushing smart home voice control devices to predicted 30% growth

Global shipments of smart home speakers will increase this year due to fear of coronavirus germs, according to ABI Research.

With so many millions of people working from home, the value of voice control during the pandemic will ensure that this year, voice control device shipments will grow globally by close to 30% over 2019–despite the key China market being impacted during the first quarter of 2020, according to global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research.

Last year, 141 million voice control smart home devices shipped worldwide, the firm said. Heeding the advice to minimize COVID-19 transmission from shared surfaces, even within a home, will help cement the benefits of smart home voice control for millions of consumers, ABI Research said.

“A smarter home can be a safer home,” said Jonathan Collins, ABI research director, in a statement. “Key among the recommendations regarding COVID-19 protection in the home is to

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New COVID-19 dashboard maps give daily updates on coronavirus impact for every US county and state

Drill down into the latest data for individual counties in every US state to find out the newest information on how the coronavirus is affecting your city.

Counties and municipalities across the country are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, so Esri has released a new dashboard to give insight on how coronavirus is impacting their community

The Impact Planning for COVID-19 dashboard is available to the public free of charge and it is powered by Esri’s ArcGIS Business Analyst.  It merges hospital bed availability data from Definitive Healthcare with daily COVID-19 cases with Esri demographics for an overall snapshot of preparedness, capacity, and vulnerability at the county level for every state in the US.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium) 

Insurance coverage, at-risk population and hospital beds in data

To use the map, just select any state and county from the dropdown menu and

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Facebook, Slack and Twitter among tech companies joining WHO to launch COVID-19 hackathon

The goal is to develop software to help solve some of the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Proposals are being considered this week as part of a global hackathon whose mission is to develop software to manage the COVID-19 outbreak. The online #BuildforCOVID19 Global Online Hackathon is being spearheaded by the World Health Organization and leading tech companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, WeChat, and Slack.

The hackathon “is an opportunity for developers to build software solutions that drive social impact, with the aim of tackling some of the challenges related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” the group wrote.

Each participating company has committed resources for developers who apply. The site has received close to 20,000 submissions. Winning proposals will be announced on Friday, April 10.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

The group developed a list of the key challenges

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WHO campaign promotes gaming as a preferred coronavirus pandemic pastime

Activision Blizzard, YouTube and Big Fish Games are among the industry leaders launching an initiative with WHO to tout video games as a healthy activity to avoid spreading COVID-19.

Gamers around the world can rejoice. The World Health Organization is advising everyone to play video games to combat social isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. There’s a new campaign called #PlayApartTogether with 18 of the world’s biggest game industry leaders participating to promote the cause.

The campaign is a way to remind everyone of the importance of social distancing to avoid spreading the coronavirus, but also giving people a way to feel connected with each other remotely.

Each of the game industry leaders participating in the initiative is encouraging its users to follow the WHO’s health guidelines, which include physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and other preventive actions people can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

SEE: Coronavirus:

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