6 PC Games That Are Perfect for a Rainy Day

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So it’s raining and you’re stuck indoors without anything to watch on television? Don’t worry: there are plenty of great PC games to make your day worthwhile.

Here are some great PC games suitable for any rainy day.

1. Bioshock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is the most recent offering from Irrational Games. You play the role of Booker DeWitt, a member of the U.S. Cavalry who has become a mercenary. As is often the case, the protagonist (DeWitt) has some skeletons in his closet. But that just adds to the dramatic tension characteristic of great first-person shooters. Here, you’ll find yourself fending off enemies from the bottom of the ocean to way up in the sky.

2. Battlefield 3

Like BioShock Infinite, this one is a first-person shooter. You play not just one but many heroes, each of whom is a member of the U.S. Marines. The game play takes you from New York City to Tehran and Paris. The game production company, DICE, has implemented a proprietary battle engine called Frostbite 2.

As a result, the video game simulation looks about as real as anything you’ll see in a militarized first-person shooter. It’s a great option when your beach trip has been rained out.

3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

It’s hard to believe there are gamers around who haven’t even played Skyrim in a while. This is the fifth installment in the well-known “Elder Scrolls” series. If you’re into fantasy role-playing, then this game is a dream come true. You can play in either first or third person as you battle numerous opponents using swords, axes, and spells you’ve acquired along the way. The ultimate goal: destroy a dreaded dragon name Alduin. It’s up to you to stop his rampage, or no one will.

4. Team Fortress 2

What’s the best thing about Team Fortress 2? It’s free. Aside from that, this is another great first-person shooter produced by Valve. It’s basically a comedy version of some of the more popular first-person shooters on the market, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. The game offers nine different classes, depending on how you want to play (as more of an offensive, defensive, or technical character).

5. Guild Wars 2

This massively multiplayer online offering is brought to you by ArenaNet. It’s a fantasy-based game, so you can expect the usual assortment of quests, monsters, spells, and weapons that come with that territory. Here, you’re in a world called Tyria, and the problem is that it’s being overrun by dragons. To combat them, you’ll need to reassemble the members of an old guild called Destiny’s Edge. Of course, that task is not as easy as it sounds.

6. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

This science fiction, real-time strategy game is brought to you by Blizzard Entertainment, the same company that produced World of Warcraft. So right out of the gate, you know you can expect a quality product. This is a great option if you are into multiplayer gaming. Further, if you want to join a league and begin playing StarCraft II as a member of a team, you can do that as well.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Regional American Music

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With 50 states and almost 314 million people, the music of the United States is varied and diverse. Rooted in the country’s multi-ethnic culture and history, American music has changed the world, with some of the biggest recording artists of all time drawing upon their homegrown influences in the creation of their own styles and sounds. From country to bluegrass, from grunge to heavy metal, American music as as dynamic and idiosyncratic as the nation itself. Here’s a beginner’s guide to regional American music.

1. New York City

Unquestionably the most famous city in the world, New York City has a music scene to rival that of entire countries. As the focal point for all things American, the sounds you’ll hear upon entering the city will represent a variety of different sources, and yet, all intrinsically New York: hip hop, disco, punk rock and salsa music, the latter borne from the city’s rich South American immigrant heritage. No guide to music in New York would be complete without mentioning the world famous Broadway theater, which sold over $1 billion in tickets in 2012.

2. Seattle

The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was not known for its music until the grunge explosion of the mid-1980s. Led by bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, the gloomy skies of Seattle became home to the nihilistic, dirty grunge sound, an image and perception that persists to this day. The area has now become home to indie and alternative acts like Death Cab For Cutie and The Presidents of the United States, as well as heavy metal groups like Metal Church, Nevermore and Queensrÿche.

3. Austin

Everything is bigger in Texas, they say, and so is the music. Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”, the city is well known for its annual South by Southwest Festival, one of the largest music festivals in the world, which pulls tens of thousands of attendees who hear everything from electronic music to Texas wedding music. Austin is home to Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lucinda Williams, among many other artists.

4. Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee could arguably be considered the birthplace of modern American music. The Grand Old Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame shaped the entertainment landscape in the United States for well over a generation. Down the road, Memphis made names like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis immortal.

5. San Francisco

The sun, sand, surf and sex of San Francisco made the city a haven for the counterculture movement of the 1960s. From surf rock to punk rock to heavy metal, San Francisco has always been the place to go for music that’s a little off the beaten path, giving the world bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and the Creedence Clearwater Revival.

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