Features

How video games helped me cope with depression

And made it worse?

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Video games have been a vital part of my life. My first game was JumpStart. Frogger quickly followed. From Frogger, I played Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros., and Suikoden II. Playing video games was pretty much how my siblings and I spent time together when we weren’t studying and pretending to do our homework.

I once borrowed a girl’s Nintendo DS and played Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and obsessed over farming and flirting. No, seriously… This was the game that weirdly taught me how to flirt. I know I’m not the only one (I think). I honestly hope not, but that’s for a different article for another time.

Playing games was a large part of my childhood. But, it cemented itself into my life in a different way when I suffered from depression.

I think I was thirteen when depression and I had met but didn’t quite know each other’s names. I honestly thought it was a phase. “Thirteen and depressed,” sounded too silly to have been an actual thing. It was strange. I don’t quite know what was going on with myself. I just knew I had absolutely no motivation to not only be thirteen but to also, just be.

I remember staying up one night playing Ori and the Blind Forest on my laptop and feeling like I needed to just play it. I zoned out and played until the end. By then, it was morning. I had to wash up and head to class completely unprepared. As much as the day that followed that night was pretty much set to be horrible, I felt less anxious about having a bad day.

I realize now, in retrospect, that much of playing games growing up has taught me to be fine with failure. Well, I suppose that was the case because I was completely terrible at games, but had the stubbornness of a completionist.

Night in the Woods was one of the notable games that helped me through tough times.

I played games to escape the daunting reality of existence. From mulling over the purpose of life to the significance of one’s self in the grander scheme of society, I was not going to have it. No, sir. No, ma’am. No, thank you. I was going to play to have fun and if it meant watching my character die over the dumbest of things, I was going to laugh it off and start over.

I grew up failing a lot at games, but it’s not to say I failed at every single thing. Much of my first games were educational ones which set me up to know out-of-left-field facts. The ones that followed were pretty much where I learned to get better by failing.

Games like Suikoden II and Harvest Moon were where I learned to play once for the fun and a second time to meet all the stars of destiny to save Nanami from dying and to make every single non-playable character (NPC) fall in love with me. I’m not obsessive; I just have a fear of missing out.

Games may have played a vital role in my escapism, but sometimes that sense of detachment from reality is necessary to come back functioning better than before. In cases like mine, it taught me a healthy way to cope with my depression.

You see, when I was depressed, how I saw myself was pretty much distorted from reality. It still is sometimes. In many ways, video games can be a great avenue to strip yourself of the haunting noises in your head. This may not follow for some games with inevitably toxic chats but remember: They’re as much sad saps as you are — just kidding. Be nice, play nice, and have fun.

Playing games gives you the opportunity to shift perspective and alter your sense of reality. You get to decide whether to take it seriously or to take a step back and consider it as just a game. Also, there’s more to video games than having fun. Sometimes, dabbling into the deep technicalities make the game all the more fun.

How you immerse yourself can change how the game changes you and how willing you are to have it change you. As for me, it’s sometimes what keeps my sanity in check.

SEE ALSO: Indygo: A game that talks about depression

Features

moto g 5G plus: Fast in more ways than one

Should this be YOUR 5G smartphone?

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Things aren’t slowing down any time soon. To keep up with the pace, Motorola gives us the moto g 5G plus — a phone that’s fast in more ways than one.

Next-gen 5G connectivity

It’s no secret that the primary draw of this phone is its 5G capability. If you find yourself suddenly needing to buy a phone, it’s best to get one that’s future-proof in terms of connectivity.

A faster connection means faster downloads both for media and for your usual browsing. It also improves latency for your online mobile games.

To make things easier for you, snapping up the moto g 5G plus gets you a free GOMO 5G sim with 25GB of data that DOES NOT EXPIRE as part of an ongoing promo that lasts up to January 31, 2021. How fast you consume that 25GB of data allocation depends entirely on your usage, but when you’re near a 5G area, this is the kind of speed you’ll get.

Take note, this particular test was done indoors and normally plays between the 90mbps to 150mbps range. 5G is real, it’s here, and it’s pretty awesome.

A smooth, speedy display

The moto g 5G plus sports a tall 6.7-inch FHD+ display with support for a 90Hz refresh rate. We can’t gush enough about how when you go to 90Hz, it’s a little hard to go back to 60Hz.

Not only is it a smoother and faster experience overall, it’s also better for your eyes. Plus, it’s extra satisfying rummaging through your crush’s Instagram posts when the screen looks and feels this smooth.

My UX is satisfyingly clean

As far as Android skins go, we think My UX is grossly underrated. There’s not a lot of bloat and it certainly feels just as snappy as vanilla Android.

The animations don’t stutter, everything feels seamless, and overall interaction with the UI and the phone just feels like an uninterrupted flow. You also get to make it your own with a few customizations here and there.

The Snapdragon 765G is no slouch

Qualcomm has managed to deliver midrange chips that can go toe-to-toe with and perhaps be even better than flagships from years past. The Snapdragon 765G housed inside the moto g 5G plus is a testament to that.

This chip won’t leave you wanting whether you’re using it to answer work emails, a quick gaming session to take a break, or browsing through Netflix’s library until you find the title you want to watch.

For a lot of people, this level of power and productivity will more than suffice.

Long-lasting battery

Here’s an aspect that you’re thankful isn’t fast — this phone promises up to two days of battery life with its 5,000mAh battery. Naturally, this will vary with your usage. In our experience, it’s a phone that won’t have you panicking in case you forget to juice it up before hitting the sack.

For filling up, the phone supports 20W TurboPower charging. That’s enough to give you a few hours of extra usage despite only charging for minutes.

Pricing and availability

The moto g 5G plus retails for PhP 16,995. As of writing, it’s the most affordable 5G-capable smartphone in the Philippines. You can snap one up at any authorized reseller nationwide. It’s also available in the Lenovo Mobile Official store in Lazada. As mentioned earlier, there’s an ongoing promo up to January 31, 2021 wherein buyers can get the moto g 5G plus bundled together with a free GOMO 5G sim with 25GB of data that DOES NOT EXPIRE. If you avail of the promo quick enough, you may also get a free Lenovo Smartwatch S2! Visit http://lenovoph.com/motog5gpluslazada for more info.


This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and Lenovo Mobile Philippines

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First Look

ASUS ZenBook S (UX393): Unboxing and First Impressions

Sleek, gorgeous, and sexy!

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There’s a premium laptop in town, and it’s worth your every attention. Meet the ZenBook S (UX393) — one of ASUS’s most premium headliner laptop.

In case you didn’t know, ZenBooks got all the coolest features that you can find on a laptop today. While looking fancy.

Without further ado, let’s unbox this beaut!

Bringing that sexy black

The ASUS ZenBook S UX393 landed in my home in a black box. You’ll know it’s not the usual laptop seeing how most laptops use a brown box made with sustainable materials.

Taking a peek inside, you’ll see two black boxes: one that carries the laptop and one that contains the peripherals.

There’s also a sleek, laptop sleeve!

But first, let’s take the smaller, rectangular box out. Inside, you can find a long, 65W fast charger in USB-C.

There’s also a USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter. Yes, you read that right. This gorgeous notebook doesn’t have a headphone jack anymore.

Moving on, the bigger box carries the ever-gracious ZenBook S. But first, let’s admire how sleek and sexy the box is — in and out. With its minimal Zen-like pattern, it’s easy to be astonished at first sight. It also looks posh with its sexy black and copper-red combination, the same colors utilized by the beautiful ZenBook S.

Upon opening, you’ll find ASUS’s stamp regarding its commitment to sustainability, honoring its promise to using environment-friendly materials despite using a different color for its packaging.

Underneath the laptop, you can find the usual product guide and warranty card tucked inside a discreet envelope.

Gorgeous and stunning

Looking at the ZenBook S is like staring at a Valentino coat and Burberry underwear. You’re not sure if you need it, but you know you want it.

It maintained the iconic, off-centered logo on its lid, with a spun-metal finish, embellished with its prominent Zen-like concentric circular patterns.

Its luxurious Jade Black finish is accentuated with subtle Red-Copper diamond-cut edges, certainly leaving quite an impression — whether it’s you looking or the one showing it off.

On its sides, the ZenBook S demonstrated a design made for people on-the-go. It has a full-size HDMI, USB Type-A ports, MicroSD card reader, and Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports.

These Thunderbolt ports support fast charging, 4K UHD external displays, and up to 40Gbps of data transfers.

First impressions

The ZenBook S embodies ASUS’s philosophy when it comes to premium laptops. Just the way it looks, it’s pretty clear that it’s meant to be fancy, smart, and glamorous.

ASUS also brings in innovative features — an ergonomic backlit keyboard design, function keys that make navigating easier, and the NumberPad 2.0 which makes the touchpad work as an LED numeric keypad, too.

For the price it commands, it’s certainly convenient and secure to use. With Windows Hello, your face is your password! The front infrared (IR) camera recognizes your face in seconds and lets you log in instantly and securely.

The ZenBook S also sports ASUS’s proprietary NanoEdge display albeit with a taller 3:2 aspect ratio and a 3300×2200 resolution touchscreen.

Its screen has a Pantone-validated color accuracy, as well, making it an excellent choice for budding creatives. Coupled with Intel’s Evo platform powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, it runs any software seamlessly while you multitask for an efficient workflow.

Price and availability

The ASUS ZenBook S (UX393) is like meeting someone and falling in love at first sight. There’s so much to explore, and you can’t keep your hands off it. That’s what the experience with the ZenBook S felt like.

And for a flagship headliner, we know this laptop still has a lot of surprises on its sleeves. It currently retails for PhP 99,990.

More details on the ZenBook S here.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.

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Laptops

ASUS ZenBook Flip S (UX371EA) Unboxing & First Look

Premium 2-in-1

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ZenBook Flip S

ASUS is always coming out with head-turning devices, but the ASUS ZenBook Flip S might just be the one that really grabs your attention. Let’s take a look at it!

There’s nothing particularly striking about the box. 

And this one’s pretty beat up when we got it, but that happens. Everything on the inside is fine.

Jumping straight to the contents — here’s the power brick.

It’s USB-C so it can also charge your smartphone — so long as it also has a USB-C port.

You also get a USB to LAN cable and a USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack cable. 

ZenBook Flip S

Opening the inner box reveals the laptop plus some product information. 

ZenBook Flip S

Digging in a little further, you’ll see it comes with a pen. 

It’s worth noting that there’s no holster on the laptop for the stylus. You’re gonna have to keep it safe at all times and store it somewhere in your bag or your pocket to make sure you don’t lose it.

And the usual manual and warranty card. 

ZenBook Flip S

Ta-dah! Here’s the ASUS ZenBook Flip S. 

With that patented concentric circle design originating from the ASUS logo. Nice and sleek.

Like plenty of ASUS laptops, the screenpad also doubles as the numpad. 

ZenBook Flip S

Over on the right side are the power button and the USB-A port. 

And on the left, an HDMI port along with two USB-C ports. 

The fun thing about 2-in-1s is that you can spread it out like this. 

ZenBook Flip S

It’s a bending ability that we recently realize can come in handy.

You can, of course, use it as a regular laptop. 

ZenBook Flip S

But there’s also this tent mode perfect for consuming media.

ZenBook Flip S

Then, there’s tablet mode which works nicely for something like this that’s relatively light. 

Shin Ryujin 💗

You are working with an OLED touch screen so that’s fantastic for your eyes. 

ZenBook Flip S

Not Shy about stalking ITZY’s IG page.

The keys on the keyboard though are a tad smaller than we’d like. 

ZenBook Flip S

It might take a few hours to a few days to really get used to the keys. They just seem off by a fraction of a millimeter but it does make a difference. No complaints on key travel though, just the size of the keys.

Inside it is the latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris X graphics, combined with up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD. That means it can practically handle most regular office tasks. It’s actually overpowered for that kind of work.

After about a week of usage, we can say this can power through a regular workday and then some. You’ll have enough juice to watch an episode or two as you wind down for the day.

It retails for PhP 94,995 and could possibly be the sexiest piece of tech you can own.

More details on the ZenBook Flip S here.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines

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