Category Archives: Sports&Games

Summer Games Done Quick

Watch your childhood memories get destroyed

Seeing how our issue this term is nearing its final production steps, there has been a lot of discussion on stereotypes within our team. And what better stereotypes are there than the ones revolving around gaming and gamers? Well, let me destroy the misconception of sweaty and unsocial gamers in the next few minutes as they destroy your favourite games in the meantime!

Gotta go fast!

First of all, you might ask what I’m talking about. The “Games Done Quick“ event takes place twice a year in America and is livestreamed for free on a platform called „twitch.tv“. Gamers from around the world met up this past week in Bloomington, Minnesota, to showcase their skills in some of the most classic video games out there but also a bunch of new releases. I already hear you say “Pff, video games don’t take any skill. It’s just pressing a bunch of buttons.“. I’ll have to pull a Trump on this one and tell you you’re wrong. Remember that time you got stuck on that one dungeon in “The Legend of Zelda“ as a child and you just couldn’t figure out the solution? How about just entering a series of button presses in the exact right amount of time to launch yourself over the entire thing, maneuver skilfully to the desired spot on the map in the dark – because obviously the developers had not intended for you to take that route – and just slay the boss of the level without having any of the tools available you’d have access to if you took the normal way around. This is what’s called a “speedrun“ in the community: the abuse of ingame mechanics to beat a game within a fraction of the time needed, compared to playing normally. Months of preparation go into every single one of these runs that have been featured during this past week. Even more impressing that the players don’t only show off incredible tricks but also entertain the audience at the same time and try to explain what they’re doing. So if you were worried you wouldn’t understand what’s even happening on your screen, fear not!

The good cause: Médecins Sans Frontières

There’s a massive production team behind these events every year. Most of them coming straight from the community themselves. And – to my knowledge – all of them organising this on a voluntary basis, though there are known sponsors and brands to help out. During the stream, the audience can donate money which entirely goes to a good cause. The winter production forwards it to cancer research and the summer production to “Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)“; a non- profitable international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. MSF gives emergency aid to people affected by wars, epidemics, famine, natural disasters and man-made disasters, or areas where there is no health care available. It provides this help to all people, regardless of their race, religion or political beliefs. (definition taken from wikipedia.org). Noteworthy as well that MSF have won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. They act on a set of 5 fundamental medical rules: Impartiality, Independence, Neutrality, Bearing witness, as well as being transparent and accountable. An overall great cause to donate money for, right? Something a few hundred thousand other people have thought, too, and they’ve raised a whooping $3,003,839. So not only have there been new time records set for some of these memorable games, but also a new record in the charity’s history that started in 2011.


With all that being said, I can only implore you to go check out this great exhibition if you’re interested in video games. There’s over 100 games being showcased so there should be something available for all tastes and ages. The livestream itself has ended yesterday, but all the runs have been recorded and uploaded to the „Awesome Games Done Quick“ YouTube channel. For legal reasons, I can’t link you directly. Go check it out and enjoy! Same goes for Doctors without Borders. Their homepage is incredibly informative. Go check that out, too!

Author: Tobias Lorenz

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor anyone on the eMAG team is involved in “Awesome Games Done Quick“. This is the author’s own opinion and he has not been paid to promote the event.

Push yourself …

What promises a healthier body, a sunnier outlook, and the perfect opportunity to catch up? Running! And it’s one of the best butt-kicking, calorie-blasting workouts around. Still not convinced? Then read on…

Laziness

One of the most interesting races of 2017 was the Berlin marathon. Motivation, strength of mind and exhaustion were only a few comments I picked up at the start line. Thousands of runners were trying to make it through the cold weather to the finish line.

Exhausted, with my feet burning, I got up from my couch after watching TV for 3 hours. I picked up popcorn from my sweater and switched off the documentary about the marathon on TV. I really needed to do something about my laziness.

Do your homework

Running a half marathon not only takes a lot of physical preparation but also mental endurance and if you’ve never taken on the challenge before, not knowing exactly what to expect can be rather depressing. The first weeks were sheer torment. I gasped for air after ten minutes of running and felt just awful. Overchallenged and glum, I was ready to give up. A few days later, while I was walking through my hometown, I found a note on the ground that read “Do your homework“. I guess a student had dropped it. That day, I literally found my motivation on the ground. I started to run almost every single day and the running improved incredibly fast. Even cold weather didn’t stop me. In some kind of way I got addicted to running, more than to watching TV. Who would have thought?

The grand finale

The final race day was incredibly nerve-wracking. I hadn’t slept a lot the night before and was up way too early. At the location, I picked up my race materials, including start number and t-shirt and went towards the start area. Lined up there, looking around at all these athletic, good-looking runners, I thought I would never be able to make it. I heard the gun and started to run. I can’t really say anything about the race itself because it felt like I was in my own world. People were supporting us, yelling and waving on the side of the road. The feeling was just amazing. The finish line came faster than I thought and it was okay. Actually, it was more than okay because I had sprinted the last two kilometers.

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The whys and wherefores

Answering the question of ”Why so much pain?”: it’s the feeling of running that sets our souls on fire. If we push on, running harder, further away from the world and the structures of our lives, we begin to feel connected to ourselves. We begin to get a tingling sense of who, or what, we really are. Besides the mental health issue, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a thoroughly trained, muscular body?!

Text & Picture: Linda Decker

Why ice hockey should be much more popular in Germany

icehockey 1I wasn’t too thrilled when my dad told me that we would watch the ice hockey finals of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Back then, I was eleven years old and all about soccer, American football, and basketball. Ice hockey was the game my brother used to play on our local ponds, not something to watch on TV and get excited about. Then, the game started, and I was hooked. Canada won against the USA, and the game was everything I came to love about ice hockey: fast-paced, rough, and electrifying. After that, though, there wasn’t much hockey on TV anymore. Only the DEL (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) playoffs and that was pretty much it. And then the day came on which pay TV finally began to broadcast the NHL (National Hockey League), and my love affair with hockey continued and quickly blossomed into a lifelong marriage to this wonderful sport. But soon I wondered: why is ice hockey not much more popular in Germany?

Hockey is such an easy sport to follow and the rules are really not hard to learn. There’s also little difference between the basic rules of the NHL and the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation). The biggest differences are the size of the rink and the overtime procedures. The other differences are so detailed that really only die-hard fans need to know them. The best and most fun way to learn the rules of both the NHL and the IIHF is, of course, by watching hockey games. So you should really start watching games right now, if you want to learn something really interesting for a change 😉

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The only thing I ever had trouble with watching both, DEL and NHL games, were the German words used for basically the same thing. For illegal plays like slashing, Germans say Stockschlag. The result of such plays is not a penalty but simply a Zeitstrafe. At the same time, Germans say penalty shooting when they actually mean shootout (three shots that determine the winner when the game is still tied after overtime), and in English, a penalty shot is something different altogether. So confusing! Yet the weirdest expression is bully. This is the German word for face-off, the dropping of the puck to continue a game. I guess I might be the only one who is bothered by this, though.

Overall, it’s really such a great sport and even though the German national team hasn’t been doing too well in international tournaments and didn’t qualify for the last Olympic Games, things sure look up when you consider the numerous Germans now playing in the NHL, e. g. Tom Kühnhackl, Leon Draisaitl, Tobias Rieder, or Dennis Seidenberg.

Additionally, ice hockey has given me the best memory of my life as a sports fan when my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009 in a nerve-wracking game seven against the Detroit Red Wings, which reminded me yet again why I love this sport so much. So it’s really kind of sad that I can count the hockey fans that I’ve met in Germany on one hand, although everyone I’ve talked to seems to like at least some sports – hell I’ve even met some German baseballs fans. I thought once I’m studying in Augsburg, this is all going to change – they have the Panthers after all. But that wasn’t the case either since the only hockey fans that I’ve encountered were standing in front of the train station getting ready to leave for an away game. Go figure!

In my opinion, ice hockey is also still sorely overlooked by the media, even though it’s gotten better over the last couple of years and the DEL is now shown on free-TV. So if you’re into sports, just do me a favor: go and see a game if you haven’t yet, even if it’s just on TV and see if you like it (I’m sure you will!). Alternatively, start by watching a movie about hockey, e.g. Mircale. It’s about the surprise victory of the US national team in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid. It’s one of my favorites! And maybe then, ice hockey will charm you just as much as it charmed me 14 years ago.

Author & Pictures: Alisa Lechky