Category: Games (Page 1 of 2)

Free Flight Simulators

free flight simulators

Google isn’t the only one to offer simulated flight. If you’re looking to take to the skies from your computer screen, check out all these free flight simulators:

Google Earth Pro: downloadable for Windows, MacOS and Linux computers, after you launch the software, click Tools and choose Enter Flight Simulator.

Geo-FS: this one is web-based, meaning you should be able to use it in any browser on any type of computer.

YSFlight: downloadable for Windows, MacOS and Linux computers.

FlightGear: downloadable for Windows, MacOS and Linux computers.

DCSWorld: for Windows only, and is more battle/mission-oriented

Steam Card Scams

Steam Cards function like gift cards: you spend an amount of money for the card, to be able to use that as a voucher on the Steam website for purchasing video games and other software. And like any other gift card, Steam Cards are often targeted in scams.

Steam Cards can be bought at physical stores or online through the Steam website. They’re often on display with other gift cards, but the scams that involved Steam cards are a little bit different than you’d expect.

Examples of Steam Scams

  • You find yourself locked out of your Steam account, and someone is contacting you to help you regain access to it. But they need you to buy a Steam Card and send them the number from it before anything can be restored.
  • Someone messages you, stating, “I accidentally reported your account and am worried that you will be banned from Steam. Contact Steam Support at this number/email and do what they say to remove the account ban!” And if you cooperate, the fake support person will threaten to delete your entire library of games unless you buy Steam Cards for them.
  • An attractive person messages you over Steam or Discord, asking for Steam Card Codes, so that they can play the same games with you. Instead of pressure tactics, they may be flirtatious or send racy photos.
  • You encounter a Bitcoin investment opportunity, where you fund it with Steam Wallet eGift Cards.

In any case, treat Steam Cards as you would all gift cards: They are equivalent to cash, and should only be given to people you know and trust. Treat unexpected requests for Steam Cards as you would any other gift card scam. Shut it down as soon as you recognize it. Block or avoid the person trying to commit the scam.

If you don’t use Steam, you may still need to be aware of all of this to safeguard any young gamers in your household. As your children or grandchildren come asking for Steam funds, make sure everything is on the level. Check that they want these cards for their own use. If you learn that they want a Steam Card for something other than just buying a game, you may have a teachable moment on your hands!

Steam Tweak to Reduce CPU Usage

Some clever people over on Reddit have figured out that the Steam Client sometimes gobbles up too much of your CPU. If you see Steam using too many resources in Task Manager, try these steps. It may lighten the load that Steam places on your gaming rig.

  • Open Steam.
  • In the lower-right corner, click Friends & Chat.
  • On the Friends window, click the cogwheel icon.
  • Go to the last option for “Enable Animated Avatars…” and switch it Off.

The Fortnite Settlement

If you play Fortnite, you may want to keep tabs on this: Epic Game, the maker of Fortnite, has to pay over a half of a billion dollars to our federal government. This is a settlement over charging players for unwanted items, as well as locking people out of the game when they tried to dispute charges.

And a lot of that money will come back to Fortnite players! But… the FTC hasn’t figured out that part yet. I’m sure it’ll come out soon. If this affects you, keep an eye on the FTC page about this settlement, or sign up for FTC email updates.

Epic Games – Holiday Freebies

Every year, Epic Games goes on a giveaway binge. Starting today, you can get a free game every day til the end of the year. The holiday freebies change each day, so check in daily to see what’s up for grabs. Go to this page and scroll down to the Claim Today section.

Epic Games - Holiday Freebies
What will tomorrow’s game be???

And put this on your calendar for next year, so you won’t miss the next round of holiday freebies. We can expect Epic Games to uphold this tradition every holiday season, starting in December!

Finding the Best Prices on Video Games

Back as the pandemic began, I blogged about CheapShark, a great site for finding your best prices on video games. But since then, other similar sites have been launched. If you’re a frequent gamer, there are a lot of ways for you to save money on your hobby/habit!

GGDeals is the first I should mention, because it may match what CheapShark does. And GGDeals covers a different range of game vendors, so you may want to review both in turn to find your best deals.

PsPrices is more for console game players. Here you can find game pricing tools for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft game systems, as well as the Epic Store and Apple App Store.

DekuDeals is for Nintendo Switch games only. But you may find it more pleasant to find your deals here than by combing through the Nintendo Store.

And there are plenty more niche sites that will help you save money on hard-to-find games or bundle purchases, as well as review pricing history for the games you want. Some runner-up mentions are:





Steam Calculator

If you’re a gamer, you surely know about and patronize Steam, the biggest platform for video game sales. A 3rd-party website, SteamDB, has a clever tool called the Steam Calculator you might use on your Steam account.

Steam Calculator

If you input your SteamID on that site, it will quickly gives you lots of statistics about your Steam gaming. You’ll see stats like

  • Account value of all the games you purchased
  • Hours of gaming on record
  • Average price per hour

If you use this on your own account, you may be proud or dismayed to see how much time and money you’ve spent on gaming. It’s OK, no judgment here! But you might also use this on your child’s account, to monitor how they’re spending their resources.

Experiments with Google

You should check out the Experiments by Google website! Programmers and coders everywhere have been submitting their projects to Google, and many of them are shared here, free for all to use.

But if you go to the main Experiments page I linked above, it may seem like too much to browse through. There’s over 1600 “experiments” out there! So the Collections menu or page may help you narrow it down to more relevant and interesting items.

Personally, I’m finding the most enjoyable offerings under Play with Arts & Culture, Experiments for Learning, Creatability, Arts & Culture Experiments, and Chrome Experiments. You’ll encounter information tools suitable for homeschooling, fun games & puzzles that you can share over the internet, and so much more.

I’ll specifically call out:

3D Periodic Table

Puzzle Party


Song Maker

Art Coloring Book

Typing Trainer (Learn Morse Code)

Bookmark anything you love, to avoid the challenge of finding it again later!

Windows 10 Gaming Performance Fix

Since March 2021, some gamers have had some real problems on their Windows 10 computers. The problem was not with your casual games, like Solitaire and Mahjongg, but with more demanding games, like CS: GO and GTAV. Many players could not resolve issues with stuttering and low frame rates, and it all traced back to Microsoft as the culprit.

Microsoft has finally developed a fix. And while the fix is included in a larger update next month, Microsoft has gone the extra mile and released the gaming fix now, as an optional update. If you’ve been suffering under this problem, go get the download now:

Click Start, go to Settings, then Update & Security. You should see the update in question (KB5004296 ), under the heading “Optional quality update available”:

Click “Download and install”, wait out the update process, and reboot when it appears finished. I hope this improves your future games!

Permanently Delete a Steam Game

Permanently Delete a Steam Game

If you play Steam video games, you should know that you *can* permanently delete a Steam game from your library. This is more than simply uninstalling the game. Deleting it from your Steam Library means you’ll never again see it in your list of available games, or be able to reinstall it.

It’s not obvious how to remove a Steam game in this manner, so here are the steps:

  • In the Steam program, click Help and then click Steam Support.
  • Click “Games, Software, Etc.” and then click on the game you wish to remove. If you don’t see it, use the Search field to find and select it.
  • Click “I want to permanently remove this game from my account.”
  • Click “OK, remove the listed game(s) from my account permanently.”

Please know that this is irreversible and does not get you any kind of refund. Why would you permanently delete a Steam game?

  • You know you’ll never play it again.
  • You’re embarrassed to have it in your library.
  • You’re a parent taking action to remove something inappropriate from your child’s Steam collection.
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