How To Become a Viral Sensation

viral content

Fame is more attainable now than it has ever been. Anyone with a unique talent can use the Internet to become widely known. Though many Internet celebrities have managed to maintain a long-term hold on the public’s interest, most of these people are destined to become short-lived viral sensations.

A viral sensation is born when someone creates a tiny bit of online media, usually in the form of a short video, that is passed around on social media sites and blogs. Though viral sensations involve modern technology, their fame is garnered in a true grassroots way. The tone of these videos is often humorous, which is why so many people send them to their friends. The videos are fun little jokes between friends in the middle of a work day or pulled up on smart phones during social outings. A viral sensation becomes part of the real-life cultural landscape, even if only for a short time.

Becoming a Celebrity

On rare occasions, a viral sensation can become a legitimate celebrity. Kate Upton’s YouTube video of herself doing the Dougie helped her become one of the most successful young models of the past few years. Her rise to fame is significant because she does not have the body type that is typical among fashion models. Her success has been driven purely by consumers; people found her beautiful, and the fashion industry had no choice but to concede if it wanted to stay in touch with current trends.

Jenna Marbles is another young woman who managed to launch a whole career after having a few home-made videos go viral. She maintains her success due to a strong work ethic and a quick wit. She uploads new comedy videos every single week, which allows her to build a rapport with her fans and stay fresh in their minds.

The Importance of Making Goals

Before trying to become a viral sensation, one should think about what his or her ultimate goal is. After all, most viral sensations become popular by accident. To become a viral sensation, one would have to have a very good understanding of pop culture and the sorts of videos that tend to get repeat viewings. Some people just want to be famous for a little while. Others want to become more well-known so they can establish careers for themselves. Someone who falls into the latter category should have a backlog of potential content at the ready, since the only way to maintain viral notoriety is to continue to make popular videos.

Keeping a Blog

In addition to producing videos, an aspiring viral sensation should also have a fully-realized web presence. It is a good idea to start keeping a blog a month or two before launching a video. That way, people who like the video can learn more about the person behind the sensation right away. If the individual has other talents that are evident on the blog or other social media sites, the publicity could lead to work in those fields. If you plan on making this a full-time career, you also need to utilize database solutions to ensure that your videos are safely and efficiently transmitted throughout the internet.

According to Juice Blog, it is possible to become a viral sensation as long as one genuinely has something new and special to offer to the public. It could be a legitimate talent or a point of view that is unique or funny. Some people have natural charisma that makes other people want to know more about them. Though viral videos are little more than tiny blips of humor, the best ones showcase big personalities with a healthy dose of sincerity.

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4 Tips for Planning Your Perfect Greek Ball

greek party

If you’re lucky enough to be on the social committee of your fraternity or sorority (or even the head of the whole crew), you know that planning your annual Greek ball is challenging at best. You have a lot of people counting on you to make it fun, memorable, and brimming with the spirit of your organization. Planning can take the entire academic year, but it’s not too late to pull everything together. Start with selecting a gorgeous venue that fits within your budget (it’s easier than you think).

Here’s your cheat sheet to planning an amazing event that will set the bar high for all other houses and years to come. If only finals were this easy:

1. Choose an “off” date

You’re probably competing with proms, graduations and weddings if your ball is in the spring. If possible, hold your event on a Thursday evening or other “off” night when venues and entertainers are available at bargain prices. This might not suit those who have early morning classes, but if everyone in the houses finishes with their finals on a Thursday (as any savvy planner should do), then hosting your ball that night is a great way to end the term.

2. DIY catering if you can

Some venues offer a kitchen or otherwise let you bring in your own food, while others require you spend a certain amount per head or only use their own (often overpriced) services. The Food Network has a list of fantastic easy appetizers, and if you split up the cooking around the house, you can turn a potluck into a posh affair.

3. Find a DJ in the Greek system

There’s a very good chance someone in the house or another one has a blossoming DJ. They might be up for spinning at a discount, or even in exchange for a free ticket and dinner to the event. However, while The Knot suggests wedding songs to put on the “don’t play” list, you might want to do the same for songs and genres. A Kanye or Nicki Minaj remix might not go with the theme you have in mind.

4. Pick a venue with built-in decorations

Decorations can quickly add up, so pick a venue that offers interesting details such as moulding or pillars so you can minimize costs. Peruse the Dollar Store for cheap options for linens, flowers, etc.

This can be a night to remember with smart planning and a little research. Secure your place as the best social chair of all time, and you just might get re-elected.

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2014 Holiday Gifts for the College Student


Whether located across town or hundreds of miles away, it is not too soon to start thinking about special gifts for college students. From high-tech products to more traditional items enhanced with a little creativity, the possibilities are numerous. Personalize gifts with a holiday photo card to add a touch of home.

New Headphones


While many of today’s gadgets come with an inexpensive pair of earbuds, we would appreciate a set of quality headphones that eliminate the typical noise that emanates from an exhuberant roommate or dorm parties. As we get a little more quiet, the devices also serve to spare our roommates from the noise of going over recorded notes while trying to study, listening to music or watching a movie. Noise-cancelling headphones come in many different price ranges and are styled as earbud type devices or comfortable over-the-ear options.

Extended USB Hub

The majority of electronic devices recharge via a USB port. However, whether we work from a desktop PC or a laptop, there are a limited number ports available. The Satachi 10-port USB 3.0 hub offers connectivity with all of the devices that we use everyday. The ports are separated into groups of three with the extra port on the side. Blue LED lights signify when each group is charging. Best of all, the hub plugs right into our PC without needing an external power source. The small, slim style also saves on overall space and offers portability.

USB-rechargeable Battery Pack

Whether at the end of the day or while on the road, at least one of our mobile devices inevitably requires charging. If stuck somewhere without the ability to plug-in, the chance to recharge is slim. A portable battery pack provides us with the perfect solution. Battery packs come in different physical and battery sizes. The portable charger allows us to get a quick partial charge or completely rejuvenate a device.

Mini Coffee Maker

We fully expect that there will be late nights cramming. A mini coffee maker saves us time and trips to the cafeteria. Miniature brewing stations do not require a lot of space, are relatively inexpensive and some come with convenient travel mugs. Programmable models are also great for that first morning cup of coffee as we rush off to class.

Small Care Packages

We truly appreciate care packages that often contain a delightful selection of home-baked treats and small gifts. Consider implementing this concept into a new wallet, purse, backpack or other common portable. Surprise us with a little cash, maybe one or more gift cards to our favorite outlet store and any other treasure that comes to mind.

Favorite Flicks

A selection of blue-ray DVDs, featuring our favorite titles or recently released movies makes an appealing gift. Base the titles around a specific theme or one of our favorite actors. Similarly, parents might consider purchasing us a one year’s subscription to Hulu Plus or Netflix. That way, we can take a break and catch up on past or current TV shows or watch a movie.

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PAX Prime 2014 Impressions: Evolve


Evolve is set to be an interesting and unique first person shooter action experience. The game is primarily a 4v1 multiplayer experience in which four players act as a team of monster hunters trying to take down a massive alien monster controlled by the fifth player. This creates a gameplay experience that is unique and is a refreshing departure from the traditional team deathmatch-style games that have inundated the FPS market for so long.

Graphically, Evolve takes full advantage of the power offered by the next generation console platforms. Environments are highly detailed and varied with plenty of three dimensional space to work with, allowing players and monsters to traverse cliffs and buildings and fly through the air. The game’s particle and weapon effects are top notch, and the UI is minimalistic while still being fully functional. As the monster, players will find that the game provides direct graphical feedback about their condition. As health deteriorates, bloody wounds will appear across the monster’s body.

The gameplay in Evolve is carefully balanced, and this creates what is perhaps its biggest risk. Unlike in other multiplayer shooters where players are essentially on the same playing field in terms of weapons and team strength, the 4v1 style of Evolve presents an entirely different balance system. Its early impressions present a good balance that will hopefully last through to its final release. The team of four hunters relies heavily on the synergy between players’ abilities. The loss of even a single member can be extremely debilitating for the team, giving the monster an edge that can lead to a cascade effect as more team members are taken down. With that said, player groups that maximize this synergy are very powerful. This style also forces very strong team play among the hunters. A group that becomes separated for a length of time very often loses the match.

The monster side presents an entirely new style of gameplay and is dramatically different from playing as the hunters. The monster is weak at the beginning and must work quickly to eat lesser creatures and evolve to power up. Since health cannot be regenerated, the monster must engage carefully and retreat to regenerate its armor or shield if it takes too much damage. Playing as the monster against a good team is an extreme challenge and will appeal to the solo player. This dual appeal, providing a gameplay aspect for both group and solo players, will surely be part of Evolve’s appeal among a wide variety of gamers.

One area in which Evolve falls particularly short at this stage of its development is in terms of story and content. While the developers have promised a single player aspect to the game and some sort of campaign feature, they have released sparse details. This means that the story element has taken an obvious back seat to the multiplayer features and will probably not be where the game stands out. This many turn off players looking for a rich story or some sort of RPG experience, but Evolve has taken no steps to present itself as that kind of game. The game does offer a unique and refreshing multiplayer action experience that’s sure to be a major hit when it is released.

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PAX Prime 2014 Impressions: Borderlands The Pre-Sequel


The Borderlands franchise may be not be as old as some of the other ultra-successful FPSs, but few game developers have pushed the boundaries of gaming as far as Gearbox Software. With their announcement of Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, fans are more excited than ever to see what this company is going to bring to the table in their third installment of this franchise. Here is a closer look at just a few of the features this game will be touting and how it will stack up against the impressive 2014 lineup.

When Borderlands the Pre-Sequel was first announced, fans of this series were in for quite a bit of shock: the game was not developed for the next-gen gaming systems including the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. Gearbox Software decided to do this due to the fact that many of the gamers that followed this franchise decided to stick with the last-gen platforms, and those that did move on still had the option of playing with backwards compatibility. In addition to this, 2K Australia decided to join up with Gearbox Software to create Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, and they felt comfortable that the graphics and physics were perfectly suited for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and most PC players. Both 2K Australia and Gearbox Software clearly stated that the true Borderlands 3 game would be on next-gen consoles.

Moving into the storyline, the newest installment of Borderlands takes place between Borderlands 1 and 2. Players hop into the world of Handsome Jack just before he becomes the maniacal antagonist of Borderlands 2 and is simply a man looking to consolidate his power. The game actually takes place on the moon of Pandora before it has become a fragmented series of rocks as can be seen in Borderlands 2. This switch to the moon of Pandora not only helped to flesh out the storyline, it also helped changed the physics and combat of the game.

Players have four new Vault Hunters to play as including Claptrap, the overbearing and high-strung sidekick of Borderlands 1 and 2. Each of the Vault Hunters has come with their own unique personalities as well as skills, and this also adds a bit of depth to the strategies that have already been altered due to the low-gravity nature of the moon. For those that have played the previous games in the franchise, game developers have said to expect a wide array of familiar characters. Vault Hunters will also be given a variety of new weapons, weapon-types, and vehicles that they will be able to use while running through various missions and side missions.

For anyone that enjoyed the previous two Borderlands, this new addition is sure to be an extension of both the gameplay and the storyline. With the controls, themes, and humor all remaining the same, there will be hours of extended missions for those that would like to carry over their enthusiasm from the original titles.

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PAX Prime 2014 Impressions: Project Totem


Still in Alpha, Project Totem by Press Play was debuted at PAX to a resounding sigh of relief at its revitalizing style of game play. Far different from the more popular gritty shooters or action genres, this game is a simple yet complex puzzle game hearkening back to the success of Braid a few years back. While it does not have a release date, the beta is designated to open up spring of 2015.

Project Totem presents itself as a deceptively simple puzzle game. You control two totems of different colors and have to move them both safely to the other side of the screen. Unfortunately, this is where the simplicity stops and the true mental gymnastics begin. The totems themselves mirror one another so if you push left, they both go left no matter what. They also both jump at the same time. Anyone with any flash game or phone game experience knows how complex just these two mechanics can get within a matter of 10 levels but Press Play was not content to keep the gameplay limited to the basics.

After the easy first levels, you are then introduced to countless other mechanics, sometimes within much later levels. While the levels available at PAX certainly don’t show everything, they definitely run gamers through anti-gravity, switching colors, stacking totems and even finding a way to maneuver colored goo. Some levels even give your totems wings, making the X button change its purpose ever so slightly. As it stands, even this wide array of strategy does not even encompass half of everything Project Totem will ask of its players, making the eventual release of this game even more exciting.

While these mechanics may seem like the game itself will be nigh impossible to complete, those that want added challenges or who don’t like playing alone can find their fix in the multiplayer option, a revolutionary addition that always ups a good challenge. Instead of two totems, there are now four, two for each player. To minimize confusion, color swapping does not exist, and to make challenges less stressful, there are no speed puzzles. Because of this, the game then turns more into a communication challenge than a skill-based puzzle system, but this does not mean it completely drops any sense of frustration during harder parts.

At its core, Project Totem is designed to be a simple, clean platformer devoid of anything more than the knowledge to move and jump. While the levels are complex, clearing them is based around precision and timing more so than the all too often used physics engines. Its release at PAX did not reveal any strong sense of a story, focusing more on gameplay in both single and multiplayer. Both work seamlessly, and if this is only a piece of what the developer is promising, then this release is sure to wow once it reaches the masses. Sadly, it is only going to be a Microsoft release for both the Xbox One and 360, but should it do well, there is always the chance for expansion.

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PAX Prime 2014 Impressions: Far Cry 4


Far Cry 4 continued to excite audiences at this year’s PAX Prime gaming exhibition. As the sequel to 2012’s critically acclaimed Far Cry 3, the open-world action-adventure first-person shooter has a lot to live up to. The series has always thrived on exotic locals, wild action packed situations and memorable villains. The demo available at PAX did not disappoint.

You play as Ajay Ghale, a Nepalese native who returns home to Kyrat and becomes embroiled in the civil war raging through the untamed land. Ghale is well equipped for the task with tons of weaponry available including crossbows, bombs, knives and even a wingsuit for gliding off mountain peaks. He is equally skilled at hijacking cars, piloting helicopters and even riding wild animals. The game is being called a giant playground, giving the player free run of the land with near endless options and avenues to complete missions in their choice of style.

While we got a look at our main villain at this year’s E3, King Pagan Min voiced by Troy Baker, the PAX demo focused mainly on showing off the open-world gameplay. In the demo, you are tasked with liberating an enemy fortress from the evil militia. The full game will of course give the player free reign of the entire world and the tools to complete missions in a multitude of ways. For the sake of the demo, Ubisoft provided the players three different tactical approaches – stealth, ground assault or air assault.

In stealth gameplay, you are given a sniper rifle and crossbow and must cleanly and quietly take out the enemy guards. By carefully going through the fortress, you can avoid sounding the alarm and face minimal resistance.

The ground assault places you atop a wild elephant which you can use to ram the gate, guns a blazing. Armed with a shotgun and LMG, there’s no subtlety to the approach, but you can clear the fortress in record time.

The air assault gives you control of a gyrocopter to fly above the enemy base to rain bullets and grenades. Each option brings different story outcomes as well as different reactions from the enemies. The militia runs in fear from the massive elephant breaking down their walls and heads for cover when faced with an air assault.

This was only a taste of the single player experience. Far Cry 4 will also feature cooperative multiplayer so you can team up with your friends.

The game looks beautiful and is packed with detail. Ubisoft Montreal’s CryEngine allows for more textures and interactions than its predecessors while still maintaining the series look and feel. Most notably, the world feels more alive. Wild animals interact with their environments and scenic Himalayan mountain backdrops give you a sense of scale. Most of the controls remain the same, allowing veteran players to dive right in.

Far Cry 4 is scheduled to release on November 18th in America and Europe, with an Australian release two days later for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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The Top 10 Games of PAX Prime 2014


PAX Prime has once again changed the gaming industry with a sneak peak at some of the most highly-anticipated titles to-date. For those that are ready to dig into some of the most advanced games ever created, here is a closer look at the top 10 games of PAX Prime 2014 and how they will each be taking gaming to the next level.

1. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Going all the way back to the N64, Smash Bros. has remained one of the most anticipated titles for every new Nintendo gaming system, and Smash Bros. for the Wii U is no exception. With this newest release, Nintendo has attempted to find a middle ground between both casual and competitive players with a lineup of new characters, locations, tactics, and game types.

2. Shadow of Mordor

Created by WB Games and Monolith, players will move through this action-packed game as Talion, a Guardian of the Black Gates looking to stop Sauron’s push for more power. The standout feature of this game is the “nemesis system” that creates custom gameplay for every single player as their actions change the personality, movements, and tactics of their enemies.

3. Evolve

Evolve has taken a unique approach to competitive and cooperative gameplay as 4 players square off against one monster during each match. Much like creating a dungeon in a tabletop game, the monster has a third-person perspective while setting traps and unleashing NPCs in order to stop the 4 on 1 raid.

4. Far Cry 4

Building on the ever-growing popularity of the Far Cry series, Far Cry 4 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting releases for the next-gen consoles. This game takes place in an open-world atmosphere in the remote Himalayas as players utilize a wide variety of weapons, vehicles, and gadgets to stop a despotic king’s rise to power.

5. Project Totem

Project Totem has been revealed as one of the most unique games at PAX Prime as players immerse themselves in a fanciful 2D world. Played either in single player or co-op mode, each level is designed to challenge players with unique physics, power-ups, and gameplay not seen anywhere else.

6. Dragon Age: Inquisition

While the original release of Dragon Age was met with mixed reviews, the game developers have taken the criticism to heart and created Inquisition as an upgrade to almost every facet of this series. This roleplaying game is set in a beautiful landscape that offers players the chance to upgrade skills, seek out weapons, and customize all of their belongings on a scale never seen before.

7. Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Assassin’s Creed: Rogue

Few games have created as fanatic a following as Assassin’s Creed, and both Unity and Rogue were revealed with new gameplay videos at PAX Prime 2014. In AC: Unity, players will work together on co-operative and semi-competitive missions while AC: Rogue returns to the traditional single-player gameplay set in the French Revolution.

8. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

One of the few sneak peaks that will not be coming to next-gen consoles, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is the exciting third addition to the Borderlands trilogy. Set between Borderlands 1 and 2, players will follow the story of Handsome Jack as he attempts to consolidate his power on the moon of Pandora with 4 new Vault Hunters.

9. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

The Temples of Osiris returns to the gritty and violent world of Lara Croft as she and a rival explorer stumble upon a tomb which results in a powerful curse. With new options for up to four player co-op gameplay and a vast new world to explore, those that have been fans of the first few releases in this franchise are sure to find excitement in Temple of Osiris.

10. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Based off the vast fantasy world created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is slated to be the last in the series after 10 years of game releases. Much like Mass Effect, every action or statement made by the character has far-reaching consequences as players move through war-torn landscapes, epic outdoor areas, bright cities, and a violent underworld.

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PAX Prime 2014 Impressions: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris


In the third person style shared by such classics as the Diablo series from Blizzard, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is the next installment of 2010’s Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Unlike previous games, however, this is the first one of the beloved series playable by four people at once. Set to release December 9 and playable on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, this is definitely a title not to miss.

The story follows our hero, Lara, as she explores the Temple of Osiris. Lara and rival archaeologist Carter break into an ancient temple and are subsequently marked with a curse of death. Much to our protagonist’s luck, however, the gods Isis and Horus arrive, offering a way to remove the curse before any real harm is done. As the title suggests, the game revolves around the ever popular ancient Egyptian theme and even follows the rivalry of Osiris and his brother Set. The story even offers players an overworld map with story not limited to tombs.

Aside from map expansion, the Lara of this game is held at a different standard than the Lara of the recently revamped Tomb Raider, going so far as to have a completely different voice actress. This gives fans the chance to keep playing Lara at her most intense and experienced where running from a giant scarab is merely all in a day’s work. Those that are enjoying her back story as the tomb raider will find that next installment released in 2015.

Unlike its predecessor, the best and biggest upgrade is its ability to support four different players, Diablo-style. Lara packs her guns, Carter has burning brands, and the “gods” carry the Staff of Osiris to aid in blocking incoming attacks and the power to raise platforms. Because of this, the gods are the developers’ first foray into a magic class for the series, and it works well. However, it doesn’t come without a catch.

Even though it is a co-op game, you score yourself the chance to be an absolute sadist to your friends. From dropping their rope as they try to scale a wall, pushing them off of ledges or blowing them up with remotely detonated bombs, this game offers plenty of opportunities for laughs and mischievous fun with friends. You and your friends can quickly turn into enemies as you race to grab the dropped loot. If you do happen to die by way of your own mistake or the purposeful calculations of a so-called friend, you lose a bit of the loot you’ve collected.

To ensure everyone has a chance to play with others whether they have four friends around or not means that an online matchmaking system has been implemented, guaranteeing that even the loneliest of us can find partners. With the competitive nature of the game, the developers, Crystal Dynamics, have built in a way to keep things civil. If any one person is purposefully not playing well with everyone else, they can be kicked from the group. No matter your play style, though, this game promises to be nothing but fun.

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How to Balance Gaming with College

video game

If you’re a gamer but you’re also attending college, managing your work/life balance can be tricky at best. Even though you’re an adult and on your own, that doesn’t mean you’ve mastered the art of time management (which is a lifelong discipline).

Gaming can be a great way to stay sharp and relieve stress, but not if it gets in the way of studying, getting the most out of your college years, or a part-time job. Can you really do it all?

video game

The answer is yes, whether you love casino gaming online or first-person shooters. It’s all about sticking to a schedule and giving yourself some buffer room.

For example, start recognizing that things (including gaming) always take longer than you think. Start working on ditching those procrastination tendencies so you can make the most of these four years.

Make time for what you love and what’s required

Unfortunately, gaming tends to be at the bottom of the totem pole while you’re in college. Many other things pretty much have to come first, such as homework, actual work, and prepping in whatever way is necessary for your future, whether that’s grad school applications, scholarship essays, interviewing for corporate jobs, etc.

It’s easy to get so overwhelmed that you either put your passion for gaming on the backburner or completely give up and indulge in a gaming binge. Neither is a healthy option.

Everyone has the exact same hours in the day to work with, and you can make time for both the things you love and what you need to do. If you want more time for gaming (or anything else), start by assessing your daily habits.

Is there a way to shave off some extra time, such as holding a weekly “cleaning party” with roommates so you’re not constantly picking up after them? How about cooking meals in advance so you’re not always running to the store?

Know your bad habits

Most gamers have that one game that just sucks them in and doesn’t let go. This can be dangerous if you know you’re prone to zoning out for hours.

It doesn’t mean you have to give up gaming, but you may need to switch to a game that imposes clear time frames (such as table games instead of an epic quest). Understanding your own tendencies is a life skill best established when you’re young.

Most important, don’t beat yourself up if you slip. Sometimes a long-haul session with your game of choice is just what your body and mind need.

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