Kids in the UK are now spending more money on ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Roblox’ than candy and books

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Childrens’ spending habits in the UK have shifted to online games such as “Roblox” and “Fortnite” since lockdown began, away from sweets and books, a pocket money app has reported.

Kids are also saving 14% more money than they did in 2019 — that’s £104 ($135) a year, RoosterMoney.

  • Lego, Roblox, and Apple are the top three brands that children save up for, the study found.
  • Online video games “Fortnite” and “Roblox” have overtaken sweets and books as the main target of kids’ pocket money spending in the UK, according to a pocket money app.

A study by RoosterMoney of 24,000 kids in the UK aged between four and 14 had Roblox, a virtual gaming platform, in top spot, followed by Epic Games’ “Fortnite,” a battle-royale video game.

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HTC is prototyping an AR headset that looks like sunglasses

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The HTC Proton concept rendering

It’s still a work in progress

HTC just announced updates to the Vive Cosmos, its lineup of consumer-ready virtual reality headsets. But it’s also testing a more streamlined mixed reality device codenamed “Project Proton.” While the Proton is just a prototype, HTC shared concept images of its design, shedding some light on the company’s goals.

The Proton headset seems functionally similar to the upcoming Cosmos XR. Both are built for mixed or augmented reality experiences, but unlike Microsoft or Magic Leap’s mixed reality glasses, they use passthrough video instead of transparent waveguide lenses. (So basically, you’re looking at a VR-style screen, but it shows you live video overlaid with virtual elements.) But where the Cosmos XR looks like the Cosmos VR headset, the Proton looks more like ski goggles or — to put it generously — very large sunglasses.

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US Army to study gamers’ brains to build AI military robots

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A group of experts wants to study the brain waves and eye movements of people playing a video game in order to build an advanced AI that could coordinate the actions of military robots.

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA, awarded a team from the University of Buffalo’s Artificial Intelligence Institute a $316,000 grant for the study.

Although swarm robotics is inspired by many things, including ant colonies, researchers believe that humans have a lot of potential to improve AI learning systems. The study of 25 video game players will include real-time strategy games such as StarCraft, Stellaris and Company of Heroes.

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More than a game, Fortnite is emerging as the best new social network

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The wild popularity of the shooter game is a reminder that socializing is way more fun when you’re actually doing something with your friends.

It has more than 200 million users, up to 8 million of whom are online at any one time. Most spend six to 10 hours a week on the platform. And half of teens say they use it to keep up with friends.

Snapchat? Instagram? Twitch?

Nope. Fortnite. The wildly popular online video game has quietly become one of the planet’s biggest social networks. Not in a traditional sense, of course. Fortnite Battle Royale is, first and foremost, a last-man-standing, shooter-style game, especially popular among teens and twentysomethings. (Disclaimer here: I’m not a hardcore Fortnite player, though I know plenty of people who are.) In the game, 100 players at a time jump out of a flying bus and onto an island. Combatants are left to duke it out, Hunger Games-style, with a variety of weapons, armor, “healables,” and other tools at their disposal. Though the premise is violent, the game itself really isn’t, with none of the gore or blood of more graphic offerings. Eventually, the final combatant claims the coveted “Victory Royale.” All told, each match lasts around 20 minutes.

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Inside the ‘World Cup of E-sports’

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The League of Legends World Championship Finals in Incheon, South Korea, on Nov. 3.

Two squads battled it out at a 50,000-seat stadium in the South Korean city of Incheon. Photography by Jean Chung

This weekend, legends were created in South Korea, the birthplace of esports.

Watched by tens of millions of people each year, the world championship finals of League of Legends this year featured two squads battling it out at a 50,000-seat stadium in the South Korean city of Incheon.

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VRgineers new pro headset XTAL features Auto eye IPD and leap motion

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The new design features a raft of professional features.

Czech-based virtual reality (VR) startup VRgineers specialises in producing high-end head-mounted displays (HMDs) for enterprise, having started with the VRHero 5K Plus. Now the company has unveiled a successor, XTAL, a pro headset with unique features.

VRFocus first reported on the new enterprise-grade headset a few months ago, with VRgineers revealing little in the way of specifications, just that the company was working on a new project.

The XTAL headset has been built around the needs of professional designers and engineers – so don’t expect to see on in Best Buy or PC World – boasting a 5K resolution, 170º field-of-view (FoV), and patented non-Fresnel lenses.

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The first Fortnite World Cup with $100 million in prize money is happening in 2019

Qualifiers start later this year, and anyone can participate.

Epic Games announced more details about its e-sports plans for Fortnite, revealing today during its live celebrity-streamer ProAm tournament in Los Angeles during E3 that the competitions will all be part of what’s called the Fortnite World Cup. The prize pool, first announced earlier this year, will be $100 million. It will be spread out over a number of different “organized events, online events, and major organized competitions all over the world,” reads the developer’s blog post.

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WHO classifies ‘gaming disorder’ as mental health condition

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(CNN) — Watching as a video game ensnares their child, many a parent has grumbled about “digital heroin,” likening the flashing images to one of the world’s most addictive substances.

Now, they may have backup: The World Health Organization announced “gaming disorder” as a new mental health condition included in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases, released Monday.

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Fox to kick off the human-robot war with a new AI-based game show

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As children, most of us humans are taught not to be a “sore loser” by throwing some kind of tantrum when we lose a competition. The idea of gracefully accepting defeat forms the basis of friendship, democracy, and game shows, but Fox is risking the sanctity of all of that by developing a new show in which humans must compete against malevolent entities that know nothing about the danger of being a sore loser. We are talking, of course, about evil robots—or at least neutral robots that have the potential to become evil.

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