Archive for the ‘empowerment’ Category

Every now and then, I have a little mercy on my wife, and I bail her out from cooking dinner with an impromptu trip to a restaurant (preferably with a buffet). In this case, it was an Eat n Park. As we ate our 5 or so helpings from the unlimited soup and salad bar, we could not help overhearing the conversation from the adjacent booth.

OK. It wasn’t much of a conversation. Maybe it was a date? All we can say for sure is that it was an uninterested female, listening to a very animated guy (about 30 years old) talk non-stop about…..a video game. The amount of detail, the characters, the strategy, how much each character costs, the amount of time devoted, and on…we got quite the dose of eSports and gaming. Not to be gossipers, but my wife and I filled in a few blanks for each other as we took turns making trips to the buffet. I mean, we were kinda curious as to just how important this game was, to warrant him NOT having a car, as the game took so much of his time and money. Yeah, his admission.

That meal really hit home just how obsessed, er, devoted gamers can be. This guy eats, sleeps, and breathes his video game. Though surely he is not alone. In fact, he mentioned many ‘friends’ whom he had never met. One guy he really admired and envied, acquired a certain coveted character! Wow! As for the girl, she was just giving dismissive ‘mmm’ responses to everything…. But it begs the question: How many more are like him?

The Rising Trend of eSports and Gaming

For better or worse, things change. Trends come and go. Fads rise and fall.

Before continuing, I should disclose that I have not personally played a video game in probably decades. I’ve been meaning to plug in that dusty Nintendo I have stored away, and play “Ice Hockey, ” but something always is higher on the to-do list. (It really is called “Ice Hockey” btw)

That said, I’m definitely aware that others do play video games… a lot…and the Rising Trend of eSports and Gaming is real. I’ve walked past my now college age cousin playing with a headset, conversing with players in-game. I’ve heard the complaints from my sister about my nephew playing too much. I know that there are gamers of various stripes.

Contrast this air conditioned ‘play time’ with that of a story from the Great Depression. My nanu (grandfather) has many stories of how they played outside as youth. They even reused construction scraps to create variations of games we know today. Or my mother who recalls how all the neighborhood kids would be outside playing baseball, hockey, sled riding, etc. My own youth was spent outside on the swing, then climbing trees (until the neighbor cut them down), playing hockey, bicycling, swimming, and so on. After all, staying in the house would be considered a form of strict punishment!

But now, many kids prefer to stay in the house playing video games….electronic sports. Pigskin is being swapped for pixels. Vulcanized rubber for a plastic remote. Helmet for a headset.

The trend is clear. ESports and gaming are on the rise.

Where else can this be measured?

Pro Sports Attendance

There has been a topic recently about Major League Baseball instituting rule changes (like introducing the designated hitter in the National League) to increase offense. Why? Attendance has been getting hammered, down 6.6% from a year ago! They believe that replacing a pitcher’s at-bat with an actual hitter will lead to more offense, which will keep better interest for fans. They overlook that the American League, which already has the designated hitter rule, has most of the lowest drawing teams by attendance.

Is this an anomaly? Apparently not. In 2015, the National Football League’s Super Bowl had a TV viewership of over 114 million. In 2018, the viewership was down to 103 million.

After the ‘Stand for the Anthem’ controversy last season, several NFL stadiums saw huge swaths of empty seats. This was not really apparent in attendance as the tickets were pre sold (it will be interesting to see what happens this upcoming season)… but the eye test was unmistakable.

Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA | League of Legends Final | 2013

Staples Center | Los Angeles, CA | League of Legends Final | 2013

The National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks play hockey at the SAP Centre. That venue hosted the INTEL Extreme Masters gaming event and drew 12,500 fans over two days. It’s true that the Sharks draw way more than that in a single game, but the INTEL event was viewed by 4 million people from their homes! That is ALMOST as many viewers as the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final draws! So it can be said that regular season viewership of the NHL is already surpassed by eSports and gaming viewership. Yes, read that again.

More ESports photos here.

An article on growing eSports viewership here.

Sure there and many variables with these stats, like weather for baseball attendance, and live streaming for hockey viewership. The point is, rule changes will do nothing in the face of a demographic shift.

 

This entire write up is not to say pro sports is dead, but it is changing. It must not be ignored that peak professional sports may be really close, if not already here. There is major competition in the rising eSports and gaming area, and we can see that attendance and viewers of conventional pro sports is becoming a concern.

It’s not all that crazy though. None of the major sports leagues even existed 150 years ago. When compared to thousands of years of human history, what is 150 years, but a phase. And the era of ever inflationary mega contracts for the athletes is only a few decades old. There is no reason why there can’t be salary deflation. Especially if attendance and viewership continues to trend down. The owners are running a business, and none of them want to lose money.

See below this IR4 chat about the Past, Present, and Future of Video Games. IR4 stands for the 4th Industrial Revolution. Check out their IR4 Patreon page to keep up with future updates.  (note: there are a few expletives used during the eSports and gaming talk)

 

Maybe you still are not convinced that eSports and gaming are a big deal… Then you should probably go to Eat n Park for the soup and salad bar. It’s only 8$ for a limited time… 11$ if you get it with a meal.

If you are already convinced that eSports and gaming are just beginning to take off in popularity, then here are some ways to prosper.

 

Capitalize on the Rise of eSports and Gaming

We are called to be good stewards of all that God provides us. So if you do take advantage of these opportunities in the Rise of eSports and gaming, be charitable with your wealth.

Keep in mind, it may not be the best time to buy some of these companies, as some of them are overbought or heading into resistance. However, a pullback can prove to be an opportunity of a lifetime. This is to alert you to long term plays for eSports and gaming, not for specific short term trades.

 

The recently launched HUYA Inc. (HUYA) is a leading game live streaming platform in China.

huya

 

Versus Systems Inc (VRSSF) has launched the Winfinite platform, which gives developers and publishers the ability to give in-game and real-world items as prizes. 

 

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) owns the Overwatch League! This is like the National Football League of gaming… and the owner of the New England Patriots and New York Mets are already owners of teams in the Overwatch League. More on Activision Blizzard here.

 

Tencent Holdings Ltd. (TCEHY) is a Chinese company which has the biggest stake in gaming in the whole world. It has owns most of or a piece of almost everything in the eSports and gaming industry. It even owns a piece of Activation Blizzard. 

 

Electronic Arts (EA) is the owner of the popular EA Sports subsidiary. They have been churning out games for several decades and have made popular the ‘Madden’ line of football games. 

 

Mentioned in the IR4 podcast was Twitch. Twitch was actually acquired by Amazon (AMZN). Through Amazon Web Services they can not be overlooked, as they have become a cloud computing giant, and Amazon is a mainstream vehicle to get involved with ESports. 

 

Fijian e-Gaming Tournament Group is partnering with AsuraCoin, currently in ICO, to be the token for payments to their tournament winners.

 

Unikrn has the UnicoinGold (UKG) betting token… and if people bet on conventional sports, then of course betting on eSports and gaming is to follow in big numbers. 

 

Skincoin (SKIN) allows gamers a medium-of-exchange to customize characters and buy upgrades…. and obviously these in-game items have a monetary value attached, as we heard from the guy at Eat n Park. 

 

Decentraland (MANA) is a virtual reality platform of the Ethereum blockchain. Virtual Reality. 

 

Enjin (ENJ) is a cryptocurrency for virtual goods. 

 

GameCredits (GAME) has a decentralized platform for developers to reach gamers, and also is trying to become the sole payment system for internet gaming. Imagine having an application on Google Play or Apple…then cut out the middle man Google and Apple…that is what is meant by a decentralized platform for developers.

 

There are a lot of eSports and gaming options above, so you have your work cut out for you in determining which are the right investments for you. Also, many of these are competing against each other, so in some cases, a company or coin can lose to another while the overall industry takes off.

I will link a few more links here of some pages I ran across while compiling this eSports and gaming article… this one touches on WAX, CHIMAERA (not the metal band), DreamTeam, First Blood, HunterCoin, Skrilla, and BitQuest. And here is a HUGE LIST of ESports and gaming coins. Also, Steve Bannon was recently pointed out as having in a stake in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and in that article it is mentioned how he was involved with the Gaming Industry before he was involved in President Trump’s candidacy. So this industry has been around, and is still growing.

Above are a few plays you can look at if you want to take advantage of the rise of eSports and gaming. Is there something you think needs to be listed here? Please sound off below. Thanks for spending your time here. I know our time is limited and I appreciate that you chose this page on which to spend it.

Travis

JMJ – UIOGD

Former chief strategist to President Trump, Stephen Bannon, is betting on Bitcoin. Much like Donald Trump threw a wrench into the status quo of politics, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can throw a wrench into how conventional banking and entire industries function.

In a New York Times article by Jeremy W. Peters and Nathaniel Popper, Bannon admits that he has a “good stake” in Bitcoin and has had private meetings with hedge fund managers, crypto investors, and those behind ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

bannon betting on bitcoinSome key words and quotes throughout the article would win some friends in the cryptocurrency realm…

Steve Bannon said “It’s disruptive populism…It takes control back from central authorities. It’s revolutionary.”

“It was pretty obvious to me that unless you got somehow control over your currency, all these political movements were going to be beholden to who controlled the currency,”

He acknowledged that central banks “debase your currency” and make citizens “slaves to debt.” And recycled the famous  “Control of the currency…is control of everything.”

Betting on Bitcoin is Betting on Free Speech

As the article mentions, many who identify as alt-right or nationalist have been restricted by PayPal and Apple Pay. Others have seen their sites smeared and their applications blocked from being listed on Google Play.

These groups have relied on Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies to get funding and donations.

One social media platform Gab.ai (of which I have invested a small amount), is even in the process of launching an SEC compliant ICO.

The article also mentions coins being created tied to national wealth, like a marble based coin by Italy. Bannon’s connection with Brock Pierce (who has a highly questionable past) who was also involved with EOS at a point, and their involvement in the rapidly growing world of gaming.

When speaking of those who are behind the cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects, the article ends with a quote, “These guys are visionaries.”

 

The entire market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies combined is still less than 300 billion! It is not too late to get in. You can follow some of my trades on Trading ViewYou can check out RealLifeTrading to learn how to trade cryptos yourself. You can follow this site for occasional info. Or you can follow others who are even more involved than I. Feel free to reach out for any questions…

Travis

JMJ – UIOGD

A Blessed Resurrection to you!

As a relatively early adopter of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, I was the first to introduce quite a few people to the world changing technology of blockchain and associated projects. One of those people was Jerremy Newsome of the IR4 podcast and Real Life Trading. The IR4 podcast had me on last week and we discussed some bitcoin predictions, governmental policies, and ICO’s among other things. Hope you find it valuable, enjoy!

links relevant to the podcast….

Start Engine – Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

Gab ICO – Initial Coin Offering for GAB Free Speech Social Network

Start Engine ICO Summit – Network and learn about the upcoming ICOs set to disrupt the industry

CLOUD Act – A privacy infringing expansion of data collection powers

$10,000 Bitcoin – Our article from December 2016, calling for $10,000 Bitcoin, back when the price was only around $1,000.

IR4 – It’s the Fourth Industrial Revolution Podcast – You can find information surrounding Global consciousnesses, the way we interact, conduct business, and overall live as human beings. Check it out to heat about everything from entrepreneurshipAIblockchain techIoTeco intelligencenano techcryptocurrenciesfundraisingwearable techquantum computing, 3D printing and all other things changing the world. See their Patreon page HERE.

Real Life Trading – Is Jerremy’s trading group. You can get some free content there, as well as have the opportunity to join the trading groups (morning and/or afternoon sessions), get the Weekly Options Newsletter, or delve into the Cryptocurrency Trading course.

-Travis

JMJ – UIOGD

Second Vatican Council Series (audio)

December 31st, 2017 by Vigilo

This is a great series on the Second Vatican Council. Bishop Sanborn addresses head on, the inconsistencies and confusion, born out of the Second Vatican Council. This series will contain many answers to the questions you have today.

Substantial vs Accidental Changes?….Fundamental Error of Vatican II

Heresy of Ecumenism….Liturgical Changes of Vatican II

Doctrinal Errors of Vatican II….The Heresy of Lumen Gentium

Errors of the Decree of Ecumenism…. The Errors of Religious Liberty

Error of Collegiality….Evil Disciplines Regarding Ecumenism
False Doctrines & Evil Disciplines regarding Marriage

Below is an Explanation of November Indulgences for Catholics which can be gained for the souls in purgatory.

If you would like a refresher on Temporal Punishment and Indulgences, see the lesson in the video.

Indulgences for the Month of November

  1. The faithful who recite prayers or perform other devout exercises in supplication for the faithful departed during the month of November, may gain: An indulgence of 3 years once on each day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions daily for the entire month. (Raccolta, 589)
  2. Those who, during the aforesaid month, take part in public services held in a church or public oratory in intercession for the faithful departed may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on each day of the month; A plenary indulgence, if they attend these exercises on at least fifteen days and, in addition, go to confession, receive Holy Communion and pray for the intentions of the Church. (Raccolta, 589)
  3. From noon on All Saints Day to midnight of All Souls Day: The faithful, as often as they visit a church or public oratory in order to pray for the dead, may gain a plenary indulgence applicable only to the souls in purgatory, on condition of confession and Communion, and the recitation six times during each visit of Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be for the intentions of the Church. (This indulgence may also be gained on the following Sunday, but only by those who did not gain it on Nov. 1st or 2nd.) (Raccolta, 590) [This is the greatest indulgence for the Poor Souls in November, and can be gained as many times as the requirements are done, which is why it is referred to as the “Toties Quoties” indulgence from the Latin phrase for “as often as”]
  4. The faithful who during the period of eight days from All Souls Day (counting All Souls Day itself) visit a cemetery in a spirit of piety and devotion, and pray, even mentally, for the dead may gain a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, on each day of the Octave, applicable only to the dead. (Raccolta, 592)

 

Whenever a plenary indulgence says it is granted under the “usual conditions” that means the following must be done in order to gain the indulgence

“The usual conditions for gaining a plenary indulgence are: confession; Communion; visit to a church or public oratory (or semi-public oratory for those who have the right to use it, if no church or public oratory is attached, provided nothing special is prescribed); prayer for the Pope’s intentions. It is to be noted that the usual conditions are not always prescribed, e.g., none of them are really prescribed for gaining the indulgence of the Way of the Cross.” (Winfrid Herbst, S.D.S. The Church Suffering. Emphasis added.)

The confession can be made on the day in question or anytime during the week before or after. Holy Communion can be made on the day in question or within the following week or one day before the day in question.

The faithful who are in the habit of confessing at least twice a month unless legitimately impeded, or who receive Holy Communion daily in the state of grace and with a good and holy intention, though they may abstain from receiving once or twice a week, can gain all indulgences without actual confession for which otherwise confession would be a necessary condition. (Canon 931)

What are prayers for the intentions of the Pope?

When prayers “for the intentions of the Pope” are required, one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be are sufficient unless otherwise stated in the grant of the indulgence. These must be said externally by moving the lips but need not be said audibly.

The Toties Quoties indulgence on All Souls’ Day specifically requires six Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s during each visit in church. These six are to be said for the intentions of the Pope. They are not said for the Poor Souls but with the intention of gaining the plenary indulgence for them. The visit is made to pray for the Poor Souls and gain the plenary indulgence for them.

How does one pray “for the intentions of the Pope” during a vacancy? (as there is now)

During a vacancy of the Holy See, one can still gain a plenary indulgence by praying for the general intentions that every pope has. We sometimes refer to these as the “intentions of the Church” to avoid confusion during this time of vacancy. As explained by a notable canon lawyer before Vatican II:

“The intentions of the Supreme Pontiff for which one is to pray are: the exaltation of the Church, propagation of the faith, ending of heresy and schism, conversion of sinners, peace and harmony among Christian rulers and nations, and other blessings for the welfare of Christianity. It suffices to have the general intention to pray for the intentions of the Pope or the Church.” (Stanislaus Woywod, A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, p. 538. 1957)

 

Remember to do your part as the Church Militant and use this ‘Explanation of November Indulgences for Catholics’ to pray for the Church Suffering this November.

JMJ – IOGD

Stock Alert: STRL Is Positioned To Gain Big

August 30th, 2017 by Vigilo

Sterling Construction (STRL: NASDAQ) is positioned to gain big over the coming weeks.

Thanks to the National Inflation Association for shining light on STRL. They sent out the suggestion Monday August 28th, when the price was $10.25 per share. As of the close Tuesday August 29th, it was already up to $11.99 per share.

To give an example of the gains that are available, in a little over a day, options at the $12.50 price, expiring in December 2017 had already gained over 150% ! But what is fueling this stock?

Sterling Construction is an infrastructure company based just outside of Houston, TX.

But that’s not all. Even before Hurricane Harvey devastated the area, the company was highlighted to gain from national transportation projects. Now, add in all of the Houston area projects that they could bid on during the rebuild phase after Hurricane Harvey, and this company could hurdle it’s all time highs in value.

 

strl2

 

As you can see, there is some resistance in the $13 range…but if it can clear the $14 range, there is not much to hold it back.

Of note, in NIA’s suggestion, they had mentioned that it could reach $15-$20.

Con: On the flip side, Unicorn Bay has STRL’s book value listed at only $4.86.

Whether or not you decide to enter a position on STRL, consider donating some of your profits to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

-Travis

JMJ – IOGD