Donate video games to children in hospitals

Post by Mark

Digumz is helping KACCH (Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital) collect video games (PS3 & Xbox360) for children all around hospitals in Kuwait. The idea started on the United Nations Universal Children’s Day but they’ve now made some adjustments to their campaign to make it even easier for people to donate games. Here are the options available:

Option 1
If you have 5 or more games you would like to donate (used or new), you can call Digumz on 25733040 and they will come by and pick up the games from you. If you have less than 5 games you can still donate them but you need to drop it off yourself at their store in Salmiya.

Option 2
You can purchase games from the Digumz Online Store by using the coupon code UNCHILDREN. When you use that code you will automatically get a 10% discount and the games will be accepted as a donation for the children and held at the store with the rest of the donated games before being sent out to KACCH.

Note: The coupon code works on PS3 and Xbox360 games only since those are the two systems available to the children. Also, the coupon is entered at “Step 5” in the payment process. You need to enter the coupon if you want to donate the games.

Here is the link to the Digumz Online Store [Link]

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Digumz Eid Offer

Post by Mark

Last night Qaiss, the owner of Digumz called me up and he told me he wanted to offer my readers a limited time deal on the occasion of Eid. After a bit of discussion we agreed on a deal that would be cool for my readers while still being fair to him. Starting today and for 3 days only he’s reduced the KD15 monthly membership price down to just KD10. The offer is available starting from now and for the following days:

Thursday, November 3rd
Friday, November 4th
Saturday, November 5th

KD10 a month will allow you to rent as many video games as you would like as long as its one video game at a time. Your membership will also continue to renew at the special offer price of KD10 a month and not KD15. If you’re interested, here is the link to sign up [Link]

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Review: Digumz Video Game Rental

Post by Mark

Digumz is a local video game rental website which I posted about back in March. Three weeks ago I decided to sign up and try them out and I’m really loving them so far.

Registration was a pretty simple procedure and I had two options for payment, K-net but I would have to leave a deposit or credit card and no deposit. I opted for the credit card payment and once the account was setup proceeded to order my first game. I went with Gears of War 3 and they managed to deliver it the same evening. They drop off the games and pick them up when you’re done and there are no delivery charges which is fantastic.

Their website is really easy to use and practical. Ordering a game is pretty simple and quick. You flip through their site, find a game you want and then click on the “Rent Now” button and it will be added to the queue list. If you don’t have anything on that list the game will be dispatched to you immediately. You could then continue to add games to your queue list and arrange them according to your priorities.

When you want to swap a game you go to your “Games I have” list and click on the “request game exchange” button and the next game on your list gets dispatched. In case your first choice isn’t available they will dispatch your second, if the second isn’t available the third and on and on.

Now there really aren’t any negatives, at least not for me since when I signed up their prices started at KD7 a month. For that price I can rent as many games as I want per month but only 1 game at a time. A couple of weeks back though they increased their prices and now the most affordable package starts at KD15. Lucky for me and everyone who signed up before the price increase, our memberships will continue to be renewed at KD7 a month which is great. At KD15 a month I don’t think I would have signed up since I am probably going to be renting only 1 game a month. For KD15 a month I might as well buy a game a month instead of renting. If you are planning to rent at least two games then KD15 a month would make more financial sense. They also have other packages in which you could rent more than a game a month but of course those packages also cost more.

Here is the link to the Digumz website [Link]
They also have another website where they sell games, here is the link to that website [Link]

At KD7 a month I’m really loving Digumz.

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My Sakhr Games

Post by Mark

Nearly everyone who grew up in Kuwait at one point in time must have had a Sakhr (MSX) or at least had a neighbor or knew someone who had one. I lost practically all my toys during the Iraqi invasion except for my Sakhr which I was able to take with me to Lebanon and then bring back to Kuwait after the liberation where it’s been with me ever since. I decided to take pictures of all my games (there are a few I couldn’t find like Rambo) in the hopes of bringing back good memories to people familiar with the games so here they are below.

Update: I found Rambo plus 3 other games and added to the gallery above.

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Hello Pandora

Post by Mark

Not to be confused with the Pandora music station, this Pandora is something completely different. I love old gaming systems and I still have a bunch hidden away in boxes but the thing is it’s a headache to take them out and get them working. This is why I ended up getting the Pandora. It’s basically a super tiny laptop with game pad controls built in. It runs the Linux operating system and it allows you to install whatever emulator you want onto it. Pandora was actually created by four guys who wanted something better than what was available in the market. With the help of a gaming community they went ahead and created Pandora with the primary function being to run video game emulators. It costs them $400 to build each Pandora and they sell it for $500. It’s kinda like selling cupcakes from your home except they’re selling this incredible portable gaming system.

Pandora can run a ton of emulators including N64, Neo Geo, SNES, Sega CD, MAME, Sakhr, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Dos games and even Quake 3. I’ve been playing a ton of old school games on it since I got the Pandora with my favorites currently being the Dos version of DopeWars, the best racing game ever which is Neo DriftOut and The Castle, an old Sakhr game that is still crazy hard over 20 years later. If you want more information on the Pandora click [Here]

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Event: Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition Tournament

Post by Mark

I’m a Street Fighter fan but don’t think I’m good enough to play in this tournament and I don’t think anyone wants to watch a 30-something gamer getting his ass kicked by a tween. Here are the details if you’re interested:

Date: July 15th at 6pm
Location: Freeze Club Arcade, 360 Mall (4th floor)
Entry Cost: KD5

1st place 150kd
2nd place 100kd
3rd place 50kd

Best of 3, Double Elimination. Finals best of 7.

If you’re interested in taking part you need to go to the Freeze Club receptionist and ask to enter.

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Kuwait Flight Simulation Center

Post by Mark

Yesterday I posted a video taken at Flight Experience in 360 Mall, well there is another place that’s officially opening tomorrow (April 20th) that has a wider range of flight simulators available. The place is called Kuwait Flight Simulation Center and they are located in the basement of Discovery Mall in Kuwait City. I originally passed by them yesterday to take pictures but wasn’t allowed to since there was a miscommunication but the owner told me I could pass by today and take pictures which I did except I didn’t have my camera with me today just my iPhone 4 so apologies for the quality of the shots.

The place looks like a large plane fuselage from the outside. Once you walk in you have 7 simulation capsules on the right hand side, 3 combat stations on the left and right next to them you have a large enclosed room which is a proper full scale flight simulator similar in style to the one at 360 Mall. You also have a small coffee shop, a small shop that sells scale models and another shop that sells flight simulator accessories for PCs.

Today the place is open but it’s invite only, starting tomorrow though it should be open to the public. For more information you could visit their website [Here] or Facebook page [Here]

That’s how the inside of the capsule looks like

The 3 machines on the left are the fighter plane simulators

I think the fighter plane simulators actually move and give force feedback

Thats the inside of the full sized simulator

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Digumz at P2BK

Post by Mark

I posted about Digumz a few weeks back on the blog. It’s a new business started by a blogger called Qaiss which allows you to rent video games for a fixed monthly fee. Well Qaiss decided to participate at the P2BK event and has posted on his blog a very insightful behind the scenes look into his experience so far. I love his transparency and I’m looking forward for his next post once the event is completed to see if his experience changed for the better or not. [Link]

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Digumz: Kuwait Game Rental Store

Post by Mark

Qaiss from the local blog io81 has recently launched a new business. I’ve been reading his business oriented blog for a long time now since I am always interested in what he has to say about the local market and I also enjoy reading his complaints, tips and business ideas. So when I heard he launched a new business called Digumz I was excited to find out more about it and so far the first impression is really good.

Qaiss basically has set up an online video game rental website which also has a physical location at Omnia Mall in Salmiya. He has kept it simple with 3 flat rate rental plans, KD7 a month will allow you to rent as many games as you want per month as long as you rent 1 game at a time. KD13 will allow you to rent 2 games at a time and KD18 will allow you to rent 3 games at a time. Once you sign up and become a member you just login to his website, choose the game you want and they will deliver it for free.

I think it’s a pretty simple and cool idea. So if you’re interested check out his website

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Review: Microsoft Kinect

Post by Mark

Last week X-Cite sent me a Kinect to review for the blog. I had been reading a lot about it online (mostly all the cool hacks people were doing) and was interested to try it out. The Kinect is Microsoft’s answer to the Wii and the Sony Move except unlike either of those two, the Kinect doesn’t use a physical controller, you become a controller. When I first opened the box I was surprised by the size, I was expecting it to be smaller but the Kinect is pretty big. I struggled to find a place to put it (you’re supposed to have it either on top of your tv or below). The second issue I ran into was space, the Kinect requires you to be standing at least 1.8 meters away from it. My living room is pretty small so it was having trouble detecting me. Finally I moved the Kinect to my other TV where I had more space in front of it and managed to get it working there.

The Kinect is freaky, it recognizes you, your hands, your head, your legs… your whole body. With the Wii and PS3 you need to actually hold a controller in your hand and move that around but with the Kinect you don’t need any of that. It’s like a much more advanced version of the PlayStation Eye. In the games I was playing, if I put my hand on my head so would my character in the game, if I clapped my hands or started stomping my feet so would my character. It felt like I was inside the game.

The Kinect comes with a game called Kinect Adventures. Inside it there are five different games that show off the Kinect’s abilities. The games are:

20,000 Leaks – In this game you’re basically standing in a glass room under the sea and fish and sharks come and bang the glass to create leaks. You need to try and cover the leaks as they happen. In some cases you get 5 leaks at the same time so you have a hand on every leak, your head covering another leak and each foot on a leak as well. It’s fun for a few minutes but gets boring quickly. In two player mode it’s slightly more fun.

River Rush – You’re on a raft going down the river and you should avoid obstacles by either shifting your weight to one side of the raft or by jumping. I didn’t find this fun even when playing it two players.

Rally Ball – This was my favorite game, it’s a mixture between the classic breakout game and dodge ball. You have to throw a ball towards objects down a hallway and try to get rid of them. Sometimes you hit objects that doubles or triples the amount of balls so you have to start moving quickly trying to throw them all back at the objects. Me and my brother enjoyed playing this the most.

Reflex Ridge
– The most physically exhausting game of the bunch since it’s kinda like a track and field game. You’re standing on a moving railway cart and you need to avoid objects by other jumping, ducking, moving left or moving right. Video games shouldn’t be this physically active and after one round I was all sweaty and out of breath.

Space Pop
– The most boring game of the bunch, you’re in space and you need to float up and pop balloons all around. Not fun, didn’t even bother playing it two players.

Playing the games two players is more fun than alone. You only need one Kinect to play games two players but you need to stand at least 2.2meters away from the Kinect device. The games that come with the Kinect aren’t that great but since they’re free you can’t complain that much. There are more games you can buy that work with Kinect but I didn’t have a chance to try them. The PlayStation Move is more advanced than the Wii and sometimes like in a first person shooter it would be cool to physically hold an assault riffle, but the Microsoft Kinect is a more advanced system than the Move and because your whole body becomes a controller it really opens up a lot of doors. I’m giving it a 4.5 out of 5. I just wish the games that came with it were more fun.

The Kinect is available at X-Cite as either a standalone for KD54.9 or with the Xbox Slim 4GB for KD126 or with an Xbox Slim 250GB for KD148.

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