There’s something horribly fascinating about zombies. The concept of a horde of mindless, flesh-eating drones has terrified movie-goers and video gamers for decades, and the genre has seen a recent revival the last couple of years, with shows like The Walking Dead and games such as Left 4 Dead, DayZ and 7 Days to Die bringing in millions for producing companies and developers.
To the urban survival/prepper crowd, the doomsday never seems far off, creating a major demand for survival gear, food supplies and precious commodities on the investment markets. As the U.S. presidential elections draw closer, and with the obvious advantage of Clinton and the Democrats in national statistics and polls, Republicans scramble to prepare for at least another four years of economic recession, famine, pestilence and divine punishment. This mentality seems to have rubbed off on the gaming community, with plenty of well-respected players diversifying their dispensable assets in prepper gear and finite products such as fuel and gold. If you were to ask the survival gamers of the prospects of society’s future, the majority response will be dystopian, at best. It may seem far-fetched to some financial speculators, but the possibility of an imminent viral outbreak is not inconceivable by any means. With new, more resistant strands of flu and airborne epidemics on the rise, maybe the zombie apocalypse is lurking right around the corner?
So how does one prepare for the collapse of humanity? The most popular answer appears to invest your money in tangible commodities that carry a lasting value. This often means precious metals such as gold or platinum. The predicted scenario goes as follows: In the early days of a complete societal breakdown, the economic markets will be the first ones to fall. Paper stocks and bonds will become worthless and regular currency will follow shortly after. Governments will try to slow the crash by ramp up the printing of money, as they always do when things begin to go south. It may have some initial benefits, but the rapid inflation will ultimately cause a massive devaluation of the dollar. At this point, there’s nothing that can be done except go with the downward spiral and produce even more currency. Paper bills and coins will be worth nothing to the public and vital products like food, water, tools, vehicles and equipment will be traded on a barter-based system where rare commodities will act as the new currency, valued on their demand and useable properties.
This is where gold and precious metals come into play. The attractive qualities of gold especially have always ensured its preserved value. Combine this with the many uses of the rare metal in a post-apocalyptic rebuild and it becomes apparent how an investment in gold is one of the go-to choices for the prepper crowd, gamers included. In the case of a global meltdown, the price of gold will skyrocket beyond measure, making it the universal currency in both trade and aggressive leverage between countries and private investment parties. A 50k investment today could possibly be enough to sustain both you and your family in the early end of days, buying you enough time and means to secure your place in whatever world comes next. Why 50k? Well, it’s sort of become an ongoing meme among survival enthusiasts and zombie gamers. No one is really sure how the trend got started, but it makes perfect sense – 50,000 is not an impossible sum to acquire, but is much enough to make a pretty significant investment in gold. If you look at how the price of gold has risen since the last big market crash, it becomes easy to see how precious the metal really is for central banks and private investors alike.
There are plenty of ways to make a secure investment in a physical gold supply. By choosing a trusted precious metal provider that has your investment account backed by actual gold bullions, you’re sure to make the most out of your funds. It’s the best way to invest 50k in preparation for doom and despair. But even if, by some fortuitous chance, the apocalypse isn’t coming next year, you’ll still have a good insurance of your personal wealth; an investment that is likely to grow exponentially in value over the next decade, as the economic climate is always in flux. Printed bills, real estate and company shares may rise and fall on a daily basis, but the power of gold is clearly here to stay.
Zombies or not, the current economy and the political setting will continue to see a rise in real and rare assets – none more so than physical gold. So go ahead, grab your 50k and make a real investment for the future, whatever that may be.
Back in the early 80’s, console gaming was all but extinct. While arcades were still largely around, the concept of gaming in one’s living room was largely abandoned by companies and developers. Video games were a dying breed. That is, until a Japanese company released what would become the most successful cartridge-based console of its time, and would revolutionize the gaming industry forever. We are, of course, talking about Nintendo Entertainment System, better known as the NES console. Nintendo started out in 1800’s as a small company that was mainly making simple card games for the Japanese market. Under the supervision of CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo saw, in perhaps an inspired moment of foresight, the massive potential of a system that would bring the popular arcade games into the homes of the Japanese population. It was a big risk, one that would either make or break the entire company, and involved a lot of pre-planning and testing. Nintendo had originally planned to release a complete 16-bit PC system with an accompanied keyboard and floppy disk drive, but the design was eventually abandoned in favour of a more compact and cheaper machine that used cartridges instead. This was not just a production cost-based decision, as the executives deemed a more simple, plug-n-play approach would go better with the home audience.
Programmer Masayuki Uemura was the team leader of project GameCom, a name that was later changed to Famicom to give the impression of a family computer system – something everyone could use and enjoy. The first test model was completed in ’82, followed by an extensive programming and fine-tuning process. Because there was no cross-development software available at the time, Nintendo had to create everything from the drawing board to final production. The code for the software was written on an NEC 8001 system, with an added LED grid solely used for graphics design. The games were packaged in cartridges using the same kind of connectors that could be found in the much larger arcade machines. In order to take full advantage of the Famicom’s power, the cartridges required 60 lines of connection. Broken connections were a common fault with the standard arcade systems, prompting Nintendo to produce their own unique line of connectors to prevent any of these issues in their new flagship. The game pad controller was basically nothing more than a straight up copy of the old Game & Watch machines. The original concept was to use the same kind of joystick featured in the arcades, but the idea was scrapped when the developers realized the difficulties of incorporating such relatively large mechanics in a smaller pad. The wear-and-tear of a joystick seemed too much of a gamble, which is why the finished controller came with the simple setup of a D-pad, a Start and Select button, and two game action buttons.
The Famicom was finally released to the public in the summer of 1983 with three available games: Popeye, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. These were nothing but direct arcade game ports and the system had a stumbling period of initial sales, mainly due to a faulty chip set that caused the system to crash on numerous occasions. After a full product recall and a new motherboard design, the Famicom began picking up momentum. Gaining more and more popularity, it ended up become the most sold game console in Japan before the end of ’84.
With all that success under their belt, it wasn’t long before Nintendo started casting their gazes across the ocean towards the North American market. While the Famicom’s design worked well in Japan, the company deemed it too similar to a child’s toy to appeal to the American consumer. This was in the era of the VHS, with almost every American family owning a VCR system. In an attempt to make the Famicom’s look more “professional”, the console was redesigned to mimic the aesthetics of a VCR, with a bulkier housing and more traditional colour patterns. Also, in what can best be described as an act of inspired lunacy, Nintendo also abandoned the top insertion slot of the Famicom for a press-down slot where the cartridges had to be inserted at an angle and then pressed down in order to activate the connectors. A bold experiment to increase the console’s appeal, but a decision that would later come back to haunt them as the connector pins on the cartridges would eventually bend or break, causing a loading malfunction. The hardcore gamers of the 80’s know exactly what we are talking about.
The redesigned Famicom was introduced to America under the name of NES and had a most impressive lineup of games, including classics such as Duck Hunt, Golf, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Pinball, Excitebike, Soccer, Tennis, and most importantly, Super Mario Bros. Nintendo’s American campaign was a roaring success, with more than 7 million units sold in 1988. The modest company that started out making card games had come to more or less dominate the gaming industry in both Japan and North America, with Europe to follow soon after.
Of course we now know it didn’t last forever, mostly due to a number of product delays and some bizarre business decisions. But no one can deny what Nintendo did for video games, creating a legacy that remains strong till this very day.