Video Games Marketing

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So when you start thinking of your game, think about how its going to get peoples, and journalists and youtubers, and streamers attention and why they want to find out more about it. In a way, the marketing starts from the moment you prototype. So, you might be asking yourself what’s a hook then? Well, in simple terms, it is that elusive thing that will make people want to pay attention.

It’s the little “oo, that’s interesting” or “hmmmm, ok, thats cool”. And the very first hook is your game’s title. So, let’s think about some of the popular indie games that are doing the rounds. What comes to mind? To me, I’m thinking of Ooblets, Super Meat Boy Forever, Untitled Goose Game. You can argue that from the get go, just buy hearing these names, you are hooked, or at least interested, and want to find out a bit more about these games.

Now, imagine if it’s the opposite, and you are presented with some generic titles like “Sunshine” or “Fire Sword” – do they really hook you in? Do they make you go “fuck yeah, what is this?! ?” If the answer is no, then perhaps you should think about how you can spruce up the VERY first thing that people will hear about your game adn about online gambling site Casinoslots Ireland.

Another hook that you should think about right in the beginning of your production process is the premise of your game. Let’s take Untitled Goose Game again. Now, I won’t hide it – I love this game, as it has hooks coming out left, right, and center. First up, you have a great title that makes you go “wth?? is this”, and then you hear the game’s premise. You play as a goose (sick!)

and the goose itself is an asshole – how great is that!!! If you tell this premise to someone else, I guarantee that they will go “ok, tell me more!” with a bonus smile on their face. Another hook that you can use is music. Maybe you have an unusual style of music placed in your game, such as bigband or jazz music in your shooter. Or perhaps the music is composed by a musician AND you use music from the hottest underground electronic music artist, like the soundtrack to the game Furi. So think about the music that you will have, and see how you can spruce up the score so to speak.

Let’s keep going. Remember how before Red Dead Redemption 2 came out, one of the biggest stories on that game was how the horses balls shrink in winter? yeah, I remember the hype for that too.

Now, this isn’t a feature or a gameplay element. It’s actually nothing of importance when you really think about it. It doesn’t really change the game looks or ow it feels.

But, this little hook, to me was genius because it made people go: “OHM God, there’s soooo much detail in this game that horses balls shrink. Can you imagine all the other shit you can to do!?! ?” Now, I understand.

You might not have the budget that Rockstar has (does anyone do? ), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t implement a not-so pointless hook in your game as well. Maybe your day and night cycle inside your game is based on the users real-life time. Or maybe if a player gets enough combos in your game, the pad will shake soo hard it can break someones wrist. Or an in-game story will go in a certain direction based on how players all over the world play. Now, should you implement this in your game?

Soccer BETTING lines & GOALIES 2019

soccer betting

So, p90, similar with hockey, when you’re looking at hockey stats, you wanna look at what guys get per 60 or per 20, so you can sorta guesstimate what they get. Per 90 is just the stats that they create in 90 minutes, so if you have a player that averages 10.5 points per 90, and he plays 90 minutes a game, you can expect his value to come out to 10.5 points in a game. If you have a guy that averages 15 points per 90, but he’s only gonna play 60 minutes, then you sort of prorate it, and you go and sort of assume he’s gonna get you around 15 points, or around 10 points, I’m sorry. So with soccer, when a guy is subbed, subbing is very important in soccer betting.

You want your guys not to sub if at all possible. If you play a guy that does sub, you generally want him to be a lower price, or to have a big per 90, so you can expect him to make it up in his time on the field. Because when a guy plays 60 minutes vs. 90 minutes, the guy that plays 90 minutes has 30 more minutes of possibility to get points of whatever you’re looking for. So, in a situation where you have a guy that’s gonna play 60 minutes, you really want him to be able to rack up points. So the best way to look up players is to see what their per 90s are, so you can look at their per 90s, per without score points, so that removes goals and assists, so you can sort of see who has great floors, and then you can do per 90s with goals and assists, so you see all the goal scorers and the top play makers, what they create when they get score points. So for example, a guy like Sergio Agüero, his per 90’s not gonna be super high because he doesn’t do a lot from the field other than shoot.

So you’re looking at a guy, maybe he’ll be like six or seven per 90 but when you look at score points he’s probably closer to 20 because he scores a lot of goals and he gets a lot of assists. Then you have a guy like James Maddison for Leicester, he might have a third team per 90 from without score points and then you might be at 20 with score points. So the situation where you can sort of use that to sort of gauge what you can expect from a player in terms of value for the game.

So if you’ve been enjoying any of this educational content for not just betting on soccer but bet on other sports or live dealer casino playing, one of the best ways you can support what I’m doing here for free is to throw me the follow over on Twitter, but also doing a ton of IGTV Instagram content these days that’s exclusive only to Instagram, so make sure you’re following me over there as well. I would really appreciate it. One of the things that I definitely didn’t know was that how international play can be completely different from a DFS perspective and some of the club teams that are out there.

So I want to talk to Sean a little bit about that now. (lightning striking) What you’re talking about, like does that affect ownership as much as it should? Say he’s not getting those set pieces and maybe his price is the same.

Like, obviously he makes a relatively good fade at that point. Does the owner, like are people paying attention enough to where his ownership gets depressed in those situations? – The really good people do, but even then they messed up but most bad players don’t realize that. – Right. – And it goes to something like, I’ve talked about international soccer betting.

The biggest difference with international betting soccer compared to league soccer. All of the game logs that DraftKings presents are what these players are doing for their club. When these players don’t play for their country they might play a completely different position that may it help or hurt what they do from a DFS production standpoint.

It would be like me telling you that Saquon Barkley is now playing fullback and is gonna get two touches a game. – Sure. – But, Saquon Barkley is so priced like he’s gonna get 25 touches a game. So the price doesn’t necessarily change due to what DraftKings does, but the players’ ability in what you can expect for an output might drastically change. And that’s especially noticed in international soccer where guys might play a different position than what they play with for their club, and that position may help or hurt their production for their country. So you might see a guy that is priced at 9 K that his for his country is really a 4 K player.

And then flip side, you might see a guy that’s a 4 K first club player, but he might be on the team that he is expected to do more for his country. He might be like an 8 K player. So, it’s a big switch in that situation, but people don’t follow that well enough.

They just sort of look at game logs, see a guy had a good game, don’t notice who else is in. They just assume that guy is doing it. And realistically you can’t be perfect.

All you can do is have your best guesstimations on who they’re gonna be. So I’ll follow all the teams and see who’s been taking what recently, to sort of get an idea of who I can expect to take a set, and if I think a guy might have 50 percent set sure compared to 100 percent he normally does, I might subtract a couple points from what I’m expecting of him that day. (lighting striking) – Just a reminder, if you’re looking to invest in yourself and take your game to that next level, I do offer one-on-one coaching, so definitely check out Joeholka.com/coaching if you want a little bit more information on that. Actually gonna be rolling out some group coaching as well, specifically for NFL. So definitely check that out.

And what a lot of people don’t realize is that if they have an Amazon Prime account, you automatically have access to a free Twitch Prime subscription. So make sure you’re taking advantage of that. As long as you’re watching, obviously that’s great but you’ll get access to our premium discord chat as well and a bunch of other subscriber only perks that only go through the discord.

So definitely take advantage of that. Really appreciate you guys, and make sure you’re following over at twitch.tv/joeholka so you don’t miss anything. So we’re gonna talk to Sean next about one of the things that I think goes under talked about in soccer DFS. And that’s the value of penalty takers and targeting teams that happen to take a lot of penalties as well. (lightning striking) – People that take penalties, it’s very important.

It doesn’t necessarily add tons of value per se. Certain teams draw penalties at a higher frequency. For example, Crystal Palace, I think drew 12 or 13 penalties this season. So essentially once every three games, Crystal Palace is taking a penalty. They have one guy that takes all the penalties, and he scored 12 goals and was their leading scorer. Or he scored 13 goals, 12 of them were from the penalty spot.

So in 38 games he scored one time, not from the penalty spot but he scored 12 from the penalty spot. So if you see a guy, generally they make the penalties the success rate like 80 percent or 70 percent. I don’t know, I haven’t looked at it recently. But like if a guy is stepping up to take a penalty you expect him to make it. It’s a very high percentage chance he makes it.

So when he doesn’t make it, it’s a massive swing because you’re looking at a 14 15 point swing if he misses it. And then he might lose the penalty share to begin with. But, certain players that don’t really produce much from the open play, they might take penalties.

Or, if you’re looking for goals in a high scoring game, you can expect penalties to be called if you’re on a very good team maybe once every three games. So if you are a three goal favorite, there is a reasonable likelihood you’re gonna take a penalty in that game. Probably a third of the time you’re gonna draw a penalty. So if you have the guy that’s taking it, it increases upside dramatically compared to someone that isn’t taking it, because that’s a twelve points event that is just not really make. You can’t make up a twelve point goal very easily, with anything.

So if you have a guy scoring twelve points there’s maybe only five guys in the entire league that averaged twelve points a game. So it’s a situation where if you have penalty kick takers it can drastically help your upside. (lighting striking) – Just like hockey it is absolutely crucial to get goalie right in soccer DFS. So we have a lot of things to talk about with goalie.

Can you stack against your goalies? Let’s talk about these heavy favorites. Which ones have the most upside? This is probably my favorite part of the entire conversation, so enjoy. (lightning striking) Number one, does their price see a significant increase when they’re the heavy favorites, and what are the benefits overall outside of like getting the wing?

Because I would assume it’s not gonna see as many shots as well. – Correct, that is the issue with the goal tender. So the heavy favorite goal tender is the most expensive goal tender every single (drowned out by lightning) And the biggest dog goal tender is the lowest priced goal tender almost every (slurring). Occasionally there will be a screw up in pricing on goal tender.

And then that goal tender will be in a situation where everyone plays him that really knows what they’re doing because it’s such an egregious mispricing. So it’s a situation where you sort of have pay attention, because if it happens it happens. But, so high priced goal tender is the most expensive. The pros are you’re more expected to get a win, and you’re more expected to get a clean sheet with a high priced goal tender. If you have a team that gives up a couple shots as well that’s an even bigger benefit.

The downside is that if this goal tender gives up one or two goals you’re generally screwed. Whereas if you pay a big time underdog goalie and he gives up two or three goals you could still net a very solid game. The biggest ceiling is always gonna be the cheap goal tender every time. Because the cheap goal tender has bouts for 30 to 40 points.

The other goal tender does not have that. The good team’s goal tender generally is like, realistic cap is like 14 if it’s a big mismatch. Realistic cap is like 14. For example the best example is the last day of the regular season, Man United was like a two goal favorite. So Cardiff’s goal tender was the second cheapest goal tender on the slate. They didn’t give up, if they don’t give up a goal, that goal tender’s been nuts every time, doesn’t matter.

So that goal tender had ten saves, a shut out, and a win. So that goalie had 30 points. He was the highest paying player on the entire slate, including all the players outside. And he was 3600, which is bottom 10 players on the entire slate, in terms of cheapness. – Oh, wow.

– So the low priced goalie always has the upside and to me always has a better floor. That said, their floor isn’t projectable because if their clinical finishing, if they score six goals on eight shots you’re gonna get a bad game. But you generally are hoping that they take a lot of shots because if they’re a good team the entire game is played in their box. And you’re expecting quite a few saves. So it’s all about them not scoring at a very good clip. And you just always assume they’re not going to score at an obnoxious clip without the with the exception of a couple teams that are just very clinical and they just pass the ball into the net so if they don’t have an open shot, they don’t take it.

But there are teams, good example is a team like Man United. They have Paul Pogba. Paul Pogba likes to shoot no matter what. So you can expect a bunch of egregious shots from outside the box that are very high percentage saves.

The Land Of Whispers Korea

North Korea is sometimes called the land of whispers; people don’t say things out in the open. They generally whisper to each other and then quickly walk away! It’s one of the most secretive places on Earth, it’s one of the most isolated countries on Earth, and as a visitor you much experience the same reality! You’re never shown the whole picture; you’re never told the whole story! All you get are blurry shadows; all you get are quiet whispers!

And it’s up to you to figure out what is honesty and what is fear, what is truth and what are lies, and what’s reality and what’s complete and pure propaganda. One of my friends had gone to North Korea and she was very shaken up by her experience. North Korea was crazy!

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It was one of probably one of the most exotic places I’ve ever been in my life and it completely changed the way I think about the world. It changed the way I think about governments, it changed the way I think about society, it just changed the way I think about how people can live their lives. I was fascinated! I wanted to know more. So, I went online, I tried to find more information about North Korea, but there isn’t a whole lot of fresh material out there. What I found was generally western produced, one-sided and quite often – it seemed simply uneducated.

In October 2000, the president sends his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, to Pyongyang, for direct talks with Kim Jong Il. I went having been briefed on what kind of a weirdo he was. From our own people, he was portrayed as reclusive-like, with many girlfriends and watching porno movies and basically a very weird kind of person that you had no idea what he was going to be like. I had always been interested in the Soviet times, in propaganda art and architecture and simply in mysterious, out of the way places. So, I wanted to go. But I did not want to go as a typical tourist. I wanted to do something meaningful. After exchanging a bunch of emails with the company running tours to North Korea I was given a rare permission to bring my camera and to film video. I was to shoot a very small travel promo for the company and I was allowed to use the rest of my footage to put together a project of my own.

Most people seem to think that travel to Korea is impossible, or at least very difficult, but the truth is that it’s actually very easy! All I had to do is email a copy of my passport to the company and they took care of everything else from there. The downside of it is that you have to travel with a group. Unfortunately, it’s the only feasible way to enter North Korea.

Well, that’s what I had to do. My trip begun in Viet Nam, in one of my favorite cities, in my beautiful, thousand-year old Ha Noi. From here, I took an overnight train to Nanning and then later Beijing, in China.

We’re going up there! … up, over there, somewhere… I can’t see. …he’s actually filming, not taking a picture. Finally, I was ready to board my train to Pyongyang. At the station I met my western tour leader.

Are we picking up this mic? The wind’s not gonna be a problem, is it? I got on my train, everybody’s excited because we’re going to North Korea and then the train moves and suddenly, panic breaks out. And I look out the window and it turns out a man was left on the platform. Now, had this been a foreign tourist – well, it’s his fault for missing the train, he’s gonna have to catch the next one.

But being a Korean man, I can’t help but wonder, what’s gonna happen to this guy when this train actually arrives in Pyongyang and he’s not on it. It’s dramatic. Later that night I got to talk to another Korean man and he told me that the guy had left all his things on the train.

The guy seemed to think that his brother, as he called him, was gonna go to the North Korean embassy in Beijing and was gonna get help from them. You know, I think he will either take a flight or he will take the express train. I asked him – is your brother going to get in trouble?

Is he gonna get punished? He’ll be ok… I hope so. The guy told me: “well, he’s not gonna get punished; he’s gonna get criticized.” Now, what does ‘criticized’ mean?!

We’re going to North Korea! This is ‘Moranbong Band’. It’s the new band that apparently Kim Jong Un hand-picked. …picture – no problem! …uh, my friend!

The border crossing, it’s basically a river. On one side it’s China, on the other side it’s Korea. On the Chinese side you see commercialism, you see tall buildings, you see some advertising and then you cross the river to the Korean side and there’s some people wandering around the river there’s… there’s nothing there really.

And then the train pulls up to the customs office, I guess, to some kind of a building and the excitement died down pretty quickly because for the next three hours nothing really happened. And, after a pretty typical luggage check, the train slowly moved again and I was in the DPRK. Country 33. North Korea. It’s the evening, I arrived in Pyongyang and I get to meet my tour guides.

Long live the glorious workers party of Korea! Long live the great leader, comrade Kim Jong Un! President Kim Il Sung and dear leader Kim Jong Il will always be with us!

…and then, in front you can see the… Party Foundation monument… …you’re not cold? …a little cold! I went up to the tour guides, I introduced myself. They didn’t want to be friendly.

They wanted no interaction. Instead, they presented me with a number of rules to abide by when visiting their country. …in our country you have to do this, in our country you cannot do this. 1. NO FOOTAGE OF KOREAN COMRADES In their country, I am not allowed to take video, I am not allowed to take pictures of the local people, because they will be angry with me and I will get in trouble. 2. RESPECT THE PRESS In their country, if I read a newspaper which has a picture of Kim Jong Il, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un – I am not allowed to fold that newspaper in half; I am not allowed to crumble it, I am not allowed to disrespect it in absolutely any way. And by the way – every single newspaper has pictures of their dear leaders over every single page. 3.

When photographing any statues or any monuments of the dear leaders, you always have to shoot them from a low angle point of view, you always have to shoot the whole image. You shouldn’t cut off the shoulder, you shouldn’t cut off the shoes, you shouldn’t cut off anything at all. Now did I abide by all of those rules? Well, within reason. I really feel that I had done enough not to truthfully offend anybody, yet to stay true to myself. I was to stay at the Yanggakdo Hotel and I was told that Yanggakdo means “the horned sheep island”.

So I suppose, I was staying at the “horned sheep island” hotel. The Yanggakdo is a 50 storey building with a revolving restaurant on top; it’s located on a small, isolated island in the middle of Pyongyang. I was put on floor 26 – all the floors below 26, all the floors above 26, they’re completely empty! All the lights are turned off, there’s nobody there, the restaurant on top – empty! There’s a casino down in the basement, there’s some karaoke rooms, there’s apparently a spa, a swimming pool, several different restaurants – nobody there. Completely empty!

…sorry, no picture! And, one more thing. At the Yanggakdo hotel, floor number 5 is missing. There’s no access to floor number 4 or floor number 6 either.

What is on those floors? Nobody knows! The next morning I got up pretty early and I headed up to the airport for my flight up to Mt. Paektu, which is the mythical birthplace of the dear leader comrade Kim Jong Il. Air Koryo, the North Korean national airline, is infamous for apparently being the worst airline in the world. The flight was really nothing special, but then again – I flied American before, I flied United before – they suck!

Air Koryo was not worse. It wasn’t better, but it also wasn’t worse. And, they had no extra luggage fees. From the base of Mt. Paektu, where the bus parking was to the top, where you could see the iconic “Heaven Lake” it was actually quite a bit of a trek. Everybody went at their own pace and well – I separated from the tour guides.

Once I got to the top, I set up a timelapse shot over the lake. But, suddenly this angry Korean guy shows up and he demands that I move my camera, apparently it’s in his way. Well, I bought myself some three minutes trying to reason with him but eventually I had to cut it short. I walked away, I asked somebody for a picture and out of nowhere, left and right, everybody wants to take pictures together.

And before I knew it, the grumpy guy shows up! He pushes everybody aside and now he insists on taking a picture together as well. Then the tour guides showed up and it was pretty much the end of local interaction. From Mt. Paektu, I head over to the Secret Camp. This is the historic place where our great leader Kim Jong Il was born and spent his childhood.

That picture shows our president Kim Il Sung and then the mother Kim Jong Suk and then our great leader Kim Jong Il, at the age of one year old. And then, you can see over there, the “Jong Il” peak. “Jong Il” is the name of our great leader “Kim Jong Il”, just “Jong Il”, so we call that one “Jong Il” peak.

Half the things, half the places, have been named after the dear leaders! …that area is a very mysterious area! There are mountains named after the dear leaders, there are trees named after the dear leaders, there’s a flower named after the dear leader in Korea! …that is a poem written by our president Kim Il Sung. and then, that is a signature of our president Kim Il Sung. …let’s go!

According to old documents, Kim Jong Il was actually born in Russia, however in Korea, the story involves double rainbows and talking birds. Throughout my whole visit there, I really could not help but wonder, how are all those people gonna feel when one day they find out the truth? Since the beginning of the trip, I have been waiting for some kind of local experience.

I was stuck on a train and I was thinking: “well, when I get to Pyongyang, the trip is finally gonna start” Then I arrive in Pyongyang and well, I’m stuck in the hotel. The next morning I’m thinking “that’s when things are gonna happen”, but no! I get ushered to a bus, I get put on a plane and I am constantly sheltered! That’s the point when I figure out that this local experience – well, it’s simply not gonna come. But, I walk up to Mr. Moe and I ask him: “Mr. Moe, can you tell me a little bit about your life?” – no.

“Ms. Selma, can you tell me a little bit about your government?” – absolutely not. And at that point I come to my second realization that those two, they’re not really tour guides! They’re simply propaganda speakers, they’re there to escort me from one place to another, to give it the impression of a well rounded trip, when in fact – they can’t wait for me to just leave.

As my final attempt I walked up to Mr. Jim and I asked “Mr. Jim, can you tell me anything about your Juche ideology?” And to my great surprise, he actually really lit up! He was very happy that I asked! His answer did not make a whole lot of sense.

A lot of their propaganda, a lot of their ideology does not make a whole lot of sense to me, and if I had to guess, most Koreans probably can’t follow it either. And without pushing, I asked him “Well, do you really believe that this ideology translates to the people?” “Do you really think that all Koreans can accomplish anything they dream of?”

He simply didn’t have an answer for me. And by that point we were back at the bus and our conversation kind of ended. The hotel that evening really reminded me of Stanley Kubrick’s “Shining”. It was deserted, it was in the middle of nowhere and it felt as if nobody has been there in ages.

And I really wondered, do the staff of this hotel, do they come to work every day, even when there’s no tourists and do they still pretend that it’s business as usual? Then I got to my room and I turned on the TV. I had the TV running for that evening. I wanted a local experience and I very much got one… I was sitting in this crappy hotel room, with no hot water, with old, stinky carpets, with black and white images and revolutionary music blasting from the TV and I simply felt transported to some strange, other reality.

If this is the western luxury that you show off to foreigners, what kind of conditions do the locals actually live in? That evening was spent drinking blueberry wine in the hotel’s hallway. What I found more interesting, though, was the cute waitress and the fact that she was completely mesmerized by the touch screen on another tourist’s tablet. She spent most of the evening playing ‘Angry Birds’ until suddenly Mr. Moe showed up.

He sent the poor girl away and… he started playing the game himself. On July 4th, 1976, dear leader Kim Jong Il came here and set the place where we can build this monument. All the Korean people call the president Kim Il Sung as the tiger of the mountains.

So we have to build this monument as a very young aspect of the president Kim Il Sung. After learning all about the height, weight and density of the dear leader’s statue and visiting a museum dedicated to… the dear leaders, I headed up to the airport for my flight to Chongjin.

If there’s one image that stuck with me from Chongjin, it has to be the factories. This is the main city for the heavy industry. There are many metal complexes and many chemical complexes here.

And also there are many military bases. Every time when we open the factory the two leaders came here. Not to support the military base, but only to improve the people’s lives. The two leaders visited here more than fifty times.

Under the warm guidance of the president Kim Il Sung and dear leader Kim Jong Il this city has become a modern city. After some 6 hour journey I was taken to the apparent highlight of the modern city Chongjin, the Fisherman’s Club. It was basically a gated building with a karaoke room, with a pool table, with beer and… with very little else.

I was told that I had about three hours to kill there. After this, what’s on the schedule? Yeah, I think, quickly finish this beer, then go to the hotel quickly, check in, shower and drink at the hotel – it’s better. I was not allowed to wander, but I could go out to the courtyard. And it turns out that the foreigners’ presence sparked quite a bit of interest from the local people, especially from the kids. Many of the children, they came up, they poked their faces through the gates, they tried to see better and I waved to some of them, some of them smiled, some of them got shy and understandingly so they were very curious – after all, they may have never seen foreigners before.

With the street blocked off by fences I tried to shoot some images through the cracks with a longer lens, but within seconds – Selma showed up. She was more angry than ever before and she claimed that the locals came to her and that they told on me; She claimed that they were very angry with me and basically, I’m in big trouble. I walked into my room, I looked through the window and I got quite excited! I could actually see the life of the local Koreans from much closer than at any other point since the start of the trip. Later I was told that with no other hotels in town the tour guides had no choice but to bring foreigners to the very center, to a place surrounded by locals.

But after my earlier encounter with Selma, now I feel quite paranoid and I keep wondering, even without the tour guides around, will the locals see me? Will they genuinely tell on me? and will I really get in trouble for filming? Although feeling a bit stiff, the dinner performance from the waitresses was a nice accent to end the day. Their guitar was missing strings, it was completely out of tune, but they made up for it with their smiles.

After dinner, Jim came up to me and he asked me if I was satisfied with his earlier answer about the Juche ideology. It was pretty obvious he wanted to talk more. I told him a bit about my travels. I told him what I knew about South Korea.

Suddenly I’m getting nervous looks from the western tour leader, he wants me to shut my mouth, but well, I kind of ignored him and I told Jim that I didn’t think North Korea was a really happy place for its people. Maybe I went too far, but Jim listened. Later I also asked him – if the DPRK considers North & South Korea as one country, why would the North bomb the southern Yeonpyeong Island, why would they risk hurting their own brothers? Shells raining down on the island of Yeongpyeong marking the first artillery strike on South Korean soil in more than half a century.

As the plumes of smoke billowed from the tiny island community, Seoul lifted the state of military readiness to its highest level short of war. Firing in response to the hail of some 200 shells from the North, South Korea scrambled F16 fighters to the scene. The exchange lasted about an hour. Up to 70 houses and other structures were set alight by North Korean artillery shells forcing residents to evacuate to underground bunkers. Jim told me it was a distortion by the western media.

He told me it was a retaliation attack and that it targeted only a military base on the southern island. I did some research later on and well, he wasn’t exactly wrong. Suddenly Moe stormed in, he accused me of being a two-faced spy and an undercover journalist. I asked him to share his honest thoughts but unfortunately he wasn’t willing to do that. Should the South Korean puppet group dare intrude into the territorial waters of the DPRK even one hundredth of a millimeter, the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will continue taking merciless military counteractions against it.

The truth is, you do have to be a bit two-faced in North Korea. In my eyes, so many things are so twisted, straight wrong and terribly evil, however for most people, whether it’s genuine or as a result of heavy indoctrination, they really believe all of it to be true. So even feeling so much anger towards their leaders, I recognize that only by respecting what they believe in, can I expect them to open up to me. Then… the power cut out.

In the morning I visited another monument to – surprise, surprise… the president Kim Il Sung. Somebody asked: “well, with all the problems that your country is facing, why do the leaders waste money and resources, why do they put up statues to themselves. President Kim Il Sung and dear leader Kim Jong Il receive the best things only for the people, not for themselves. I mean – good life and… good health, best things. The great leaders are completely selfless, they only care about the people.

Kim Il Sung was a shy man, he didn’t want the statue! But the people begged him so much that he finally agreed. The statue used to be hollow, but apparently the people felt that it wasn’t a strong enough expression of love. Why did they decide to fill the inside and make it solid? More spectacular.

More important. At 4-5 year old those children were much better than most adult professionals I had seen. …and it was just the beginning. By that time in the trip I worked out my best strategy for filming. I had to stay as far away as possible from Moe and Selma and I tried to hang around Mr. Jim, who was really quite friendly and supportive.

On the way back to Pyongyang, perhaps to further discourage my filming, Moe announced that he will never bring another tourist to the area. He then started bragging about harassing other visitors with cameras. One day I organized an undercover journalist. Me and my driver broke the journalist’s camera. He always opened the window, always taking pictures… Then, ok, I promised with the driver: “if I touch your shoulder, please stop the bus very suddenly.” … so I, pssh!

And then the journalist dropped their camera on the road. I liked it. Later on, he decided to sing for the group.

Today is a national holiday. This is a very significant day when the dear leader Kim Jong Il started the Songun policy. Songun means “Army first” policy. To celebrate the Songun holiday I had lunch at one of the most unique restaurants in North Korea, its only fast food joint. Deserted and possibly the only place in the world without Coca-Cola it was otherwise pretty typical Afterwards I headed to the bowling alley, where after some encouragement from the western tour leader, Moe finally agreed to give me an audio bit to the camera.

Normal people, every people: workers, students, even the old people for the exercise come here to play the ball. Walking back to the bus I noticed a grocery store. Nothing special, except – all the shelves are empty and the fruit on display is made from plastic. Apparently, it’s decoration.

And – I’m not allowed to film. Then came yet another 70s film set. A massive health and spa center equipped with a surreal, Jetsons-style barber shop. Gloria, oh dear!

I can’t let her see me looking like this! Distracted, I wandered away and I spent a half hour exploring the hallways of this several storey building before catching up with the tour guides by the olympic-size swimming pool, built for the people by the gracious leaders of the DPRK. As a little treat, I was taken for a ride on the Pyongyang metro, including some stations not usually open to visitors. I stuck to my strategy of hanging around Jim and trying to avoid the other guides. What I didn’t consider is that by doing so I may actually get Jim in trouble.

Before the day’s highlight I took a stop at the Mass Dance, a celebration for the Songun holiday. Jim had told me even more about Korean culture and he agreed to give me an on-camera interview about his country and about the performance I was to see that evening. But only seconds later, I’m getting on the bus and Jim suddenly gets pulled away. He’s told that he’s needed somewhere else and I’m told that he’s not gonna be with the group this evening. Whether a coincidence or a planned intervention at the hands of the senior guides, I can only speculate.

But by this point in the trip even the most paranoid scenario seems eerily possible. That evening I was to experience the Guinness World Record winning North Korean dance & acrobatics extravaganza and the key highlight for most visitors – the Arirang Games. What the Arirang performance lacked in resources they certainly made up in creativity and a huge number of performers. Twenty thousand showing the backdrop.

And eighty thousand performers. Eighty thousand people in the performance? wow!

Twenty thousand for the backdrop. In total, all together, one hundred thousand people will join there. Before reaching Wonson I stopped by a collective farm in the region. One thousand three people are living in this farm and out of them eight hundred people are engaged in this farm.

I was no longer surprised when the farm looked nothing like any other ones I saw on the way. President Kim Il Sung teaches us we are not allowed to work by our own hands, we have to use the machines. From the bus earlier I saw many destroyed crops, but here the fields looked perfectly green and healthy. I wasn’t sure if this excursion had any tourism value at all and I found it quite difficult to believe that this farm was a typical one.

I did, however, learn the story behind why number 3 is the lucky number in Korea. President Kim Il Sung asked the officers: “can you guess, how many persimmons are in this tree?” The officers said – 500 persimmons are in this tree. At that time, president Kim Il Sung laughed.

“Why you said only 500?” President Kim Il Sung said “Eight Hundred” So after the president Kim Il Sung left, all the farmers took off the persimmons from this tree and then counted how many persimmons are in this tree. Exactly either hundred and three persimmons are in this tree. So the Korean people think number 3 is lucky. Like in western countries – lucky number 7. Koreans think number 3 is lucky number.

So… eight hundred and then three. Three means three lucky ones. After visiting a local school which thankfully was much more subtle than Chongjin I continued on to the beach town of Wonson. I love traveling to unknown, to undeveloped spots yet in this case I really hope that I can come back and see this city thriving and the people’s lives improving.

Tourism could make that happen, but only if the restrictions on the people were lifted. I tried to get a shot of a fisherman at sunset and Moe pushed me too far. I told him what I thought of his constant hostility, I told him what I thought of his constant harassment and I told him that my friendliness could only go so far unless it’s returned. After all, we had agreed I’d be filming.

We had agreed that I’m filming parts of the video for them! Moe and Selma talked with each other in Korean, they were clearly uncomfortable, they were clearly embarrassed and well, I wasn’t two-faced anymore. But, that certainly escalated the tension between us and now I wondered if I’m gonna be restricted even more. I’m not sure how, but within ten minutes Moe’s attitude changed completely. He suddenly became friendly, he invited everybody for seafood on the pier and for the first time since the beginning of the trip he was nice, he was open. In a subtle way, he also told me that allowing me to film may carry heavy consequences for him.

I tried to imagine myself in his situation and I tried to understand. After a morning game of beach volleyball – “DPRK vs. the imperialists” my Korean experience was slowly coming to an end. After lunch at the nearby Ulim waterfall, I got back on the bus and found another tourist explaining the concept of ‘YouTube’ to Jim and Selma. He then showed them one of the most popular videos online which he pre-recorded beforehand.

Jim wanted more and on the way back to Pyongyang he asked me for my MP3 player and the first thing he noticed was that the player was made in Korea. I was a little concerned that I hurt his pride but he wasn’t hurt… I think it was just another seed that got planted somewhere in his mind. (…we all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine…) Jim listened to my player for the entire ride back to Pyongyang.

He got scared when he put on a random Rammstein song, but otherwise – he liked John Lennon. (…imagine all the people living live in peace…) And I realized the North Koreans have never heard of the Beatles, they have never heard electronic music, they do not know ‘Gangnam Style’. They’ve never heard of the Dalai Lama and they don’t know Shakespeare. They have no idea what modern cities such as Tokyo, such as Dubai or even Hong Kong look like. He also spent about two hours playing with what in my eyes is the absolutely most primitive drawing application and it really touched me when I got home and I turned on my player and… …and I saw this.

WELCOME TO DPRK! HAVE A GOOD TIME DURING YOUR STAY! SEE YOU AGAIN!

In the afternoon I filmed my final interview with the western tour leader. It’s good to exchange ideas, exchange feelings and emotions with people. Everybody learns about each other and that helps. Don’t make him laugh, come on! There was just one more mystery I felt I had to solve before leaving Korea: the fifth floor of the Yanggakdo. Throughout the trip I overheard that floor 5 is where the Korean guides stay under heavy surveillance to make sure that they don’t get corrupt by western ideas.

I noticed many Koreans getting on the elevator at floor 7, so I decided to go down to 7 and try to take the stairs to floor 5. While uncovering this mystery would serve as great closure to my film, sadly – I failed. Just as I got to the staircase this Korean guy shows up and he wasn’t gonna let me through.

Instead of a confrontation, this time I decided to walk away. I guess that will give me one more reason to visit the DPRK again. I never saw China as a free country more than the day I returned to Beijing from North Korea. I could cross the street without asking for permission, I could buy whatever I wanted, nobody seemed to care about my camera. Well, at least it seemed free until I looked up at the screen above.

Before going to Korea, I expected the tour to show me how perfect and ideal their country is, I wanted the tour guides to indoctrinate me, to show me what a paradise Korea is because I wanted to understand them better and I wanted to understand what they are taught. Instead – questions were not appreciated and answers were not given. The North Korean threat is in my view quite strongly overplayed, I don’t think they’re nearly as threatening as they are made out to be.

They’re not really a rogue state, they’re a very threatened state, they feel very threatened by the United States having war games every year with the South Koreans and Japan. I think what they really want is to have… …to have a peace agreement, which goes back to the armistice and erases that with a peace treaty and some reassurances from the United States and from western countries in general that they’re not going to be attacked. It’s a very difficult country to live in, the citizens have a terrible time, but it’s made worse, it’s exacerbated by the embargo against them.

I’m still unsure if visiting Korea was ethically right or not. People will tell you that money from tourism supports further abuses by the regime, but then again, does every single person really know what their tax money is used for in their home countries. And what’s hard to comprehend is that North Korea is as far away from capitalism as humanly possible. I have no doubt that have desires, that if given the chance they’d love to buy things, they’d love to have things, but – there is nothing to buy! There’s no concept of supply and demand, people do not earn real salaries, they earn rations in jobs they’re assigned to.

The Koreans – they’re no different than other people in the world! What is different is that somewhere in their modern history things went terribly wrong. The more they’re threatened the more they’re like a porcupine, they’ll put their quills out. When the South Koreans send up a 3 stage missile, when the Japanese do as they often do, is this regarded as provocative action? It’s dual-use technology, just like the North Koreans.

It seems that North Korea is the country that cops the flak every time and if we were only less suspicious, if we could have some kind of… much more relaxed approach, much more intelligent, careful approach towards North Korea, I think that we’d find that those quills would go down, as they have in the past, demonstrated, they might become more cooperative. While Korea mostly gets negative attention, it’s important to note that the people actually accomplished some pretty impressive feats! Pyongyang is quite futuristic! It’s a future as imagined in the 70s, but it’s unspoiled by neons, by LCD screens, by Starbucks logos.

Arirang didn’t use LCD screens. They had low resolution projectors, cheap LED effects and they had twenty thousand performers flipping colored cards to form an image. And I thought – wow – if they can pull off a show like this with no technology, what could they do if they did have the resources of the west? I think if it only opened up a bit, North Korea could easily become one of the leading economies of the world.

There’d be cheap, hardworking labor. There’d be a market for nearly any industry. The lives of the Koreans could improve. The country would develop rapidly. The sad downside is – if Korea does open up, will the people feel transported into the future? Will they be ready for the modern world having never used a computer before, having no reference point in terms of modern culture, music, film; having never heard of Wikipedia, iPhones, or Google and for most Koreans, having never met a foreigner before.

All I know is if Korea does open up, I’ll do my best to be there the very next day to experience it firsthand. President Kim Il Sung teaches us our golden targets for our party is to build our country great, prosperous and powerful. a nation like heaven.

What NOT to do in LAS VEGAS

Good morning Tangerineys from Las Vegas, Nevada. We are normally living in Mexico, specifically in the state of Quintana Roo but we made a quick trip to Vegas to have some fun. And while we’re here, we are going to tell you some mistakes that you should not make in Vegas, all of which we’ve made ourselves in the many many trips that we have made in this fun yet dangerous City. The first thing, you just flew into Vegas and you’re in the airport, you want to start gambling because there’s slot machines all over, just skip those, they’re the worst odds in the city and go get to your hotel where you want to be.

Then you’re gonna head out the main doors and what will you see… A bunch of taxis. What have we learned from traveling to many many countries across the world, Taxi drivers are some of the most scammy people you’ll ever encounter. What do they want?

Your money, that’s all they want. They don’t have your best interest in mind. So instead, walk right past those, cross this bridge right here to the passenger pickup area so you can use the app Anyride.

If you want to get a taxi from the airport to the strip, you might be paying 30 or 40 dollars, whereas an Uber or a Lyft is 10 to 12 dollars. Before finding Anyride, we were always opening Uber and we were opening Lyft to try to find the cheapest one. Well, this app saves you a ton of time because it shows both of them right there, it applies any discounts you might have and you can book it right from the app. One of my biggest mistakes in Vegas is wearing the cute shoes, not the comfy shoes. Or what I did this time is… Should we go down this way? Yeah.

What I did this time was wear new shoes, new boots, thinking like these will be more comfortable than the shoes I have… Wrong! I have blisters all over my feet now from various shoes that I brought. So, make sure to wear the most comfy shoes you have and break them in because the strip is huge and there’s tons of walking to be done. Yeah, even if you’re taking taxis, or Ubers, or Lyft, or whatever, you’re still going to be doing a lot of walking. Even just from your hotel room to the Uber/Lyft pickup area, you could be walking like 15, 20 minutes just to get there.

So, comfy shoes are a must. The next big mistake you should not make is counting on winning. The last time we were in Vegas we made these mistakes (in our videos) by sort of accidentally sensationalizing gambling.

Really we won a of couple small jackpots, we were just super excited about it. But the reality is, you’re probably going to come home with less cash in your pocket than you came with. It’s really easy to get in this gamblers mindset of “I’m due for a win” or “oh, I’m on a huge winning streak”. Set limits and know when to walk away. So, let’s say you want to lose no more than $300 and you’re here for three days.

Well, you might want to set a limit of $100 maximum losses per day and also know when to walk away if you’re winning. So, don’t count on winning because the casinos are good at getting your money. Gamble responsibly is what we’re trying to say. The next big mistake that you’re definitely going to want to avoid is forgetting that you’re in the desert. And it’s pretty easy to do this because you’ve got all these huge hotels around, all with their own plants and decor, so it doesn’t really feel like a desert.

If anything, it’s like an oasis in the desert, but it’s still the desert. So, it’s really easy to get sunburned while you’re out and walking around, it’s super easy to get dehydrated because you’re sweating a lot and likely drinking a lot, so don’t forget you’re in the desert. Put your sunscreen on, drink lots of water throughout the day and even maybe drink some electrolytes as well because it’s very easy to get dehydrated. Oh yeah, that’s an easy one to forget. Yeah.

When you get to Vegas, there’s going to be tons of great food and lots of free drinks. So, the next big mistake you need to avoid is eating too much and drinking too much. In Vegas, you’ve all these great awesome filled-with-food buffets and the mentality can sometimes be like “eat as much as you possibly can to get your money’s worth”.

Sometimes? Always. Pretty much always, yes.

But, when you eat too much, then the next few hours are going to be spent in so much discomfort, so it kind of ruins part of the day. The other thing is, just about every drink you can possibly buy comes in the biggest size container you can imagine – in various shapes and sizes. But you’re going to be compelled to drink the whole thing. And yet again, you may end up in a sticky situation where you’re freaking plastered and that ruins like part of the day.

So, you have to be careful about you know, over indulging in any of these things because it’s pretty darn easy to do when you’re in Vegas. Yeah, especially when there’s tons of free drinks and that’s the next big mistake is buying your own drinks when you can get them free while you’re gambling. And you might think that you have to be betting big or something, no you can be – literally be playing slowly on penny slots and you’ll still get unlimited free drinks in any casino. As long as you’re consistently gambling. But obviously these drinks are free so you need to tip your cocktail waitress, if you want her to come back that is, and because it’s the right thing to do, there free drinks, come on.

When you are not in Vegas, you need to play free pokies where you can win real money in this simple game.

Yeah, so, at least a dollar a drink. So, for free drinks you’re going to get in casinos, the general rule is: The nicer the casino, the better the alcohol, the higher quality drinks you’re going to get comped while you’re playing. Our favorite places to play are the Wynn, Cosmopolitan, and Cromwell because we get high quality alcohol for free.

You might be noticing that I’m carrying around this sweater with me while walking around, it is not cold outside at all but it can be cold inside the casinos. So, another big mistake you can make, besides walking backwards with the camera, is to not Bring at least a light sweater so you can put it on in the casinos because they can be a tit nippley [Laughter]. They can be a tad cold.

[Laughter] Though some people will say that this is a good thing and that you can get lots of free stuff but personally we don’t think it’s worth it at all and that is getting sucked into timeshare deals. Well, how are you going to know it’s a timeshare? They’re typically going to ask, “hHey, are you guys married?” or “Are you here on your honeymoon?” They’re also gonna ask how old you are.

How long you’re in town. All those are questions that it’s going to be a timeshare sales person trying to get you to go to their thing and offering you free show tickets, free dinner, or something like that. And if you think it’s worth the time.

They could say it’s an hour or two, it’s probably likely five hours or there abouts. If you think it’s worth spending part of your trip to do that, by all means go ahead. But in our opinion, if you have a short trip, you’re gonna be wasting basically half the day to end up getting a show or a few buffet passes. Is it really worth it? Instead of trying to save money by going to a timeshare presentation, we recommend playing the Wynn and MyVegas apps. For example, this trip, we’re staying at the Wynn for four nights, it would have been $2,400 to get this room for those four nights because it’s a really expensive time, there’s a popular conference in town.

So this is our first time staying at the Wynn hotel. We’re gonna give you a little tour of our room and let you know what we think. So you walk in here, there’s this gigantic mirror, we have a closet and two super luxurious robes inside here, like really silky with kind of like this towel material on the inside, safe, and we got a room for some reason with two queen beds. Beds are very very comfortable with soft bedding and everything. Pretty huge windows, there’s a desk, dresser, and chairs. But here’s the interesting thing, as you see Jordan running laps right now, there’s all this floor space, like it’s super empty in the middle of the room as if there could have been like a couch and a coffee table or something but there’s just as all this empty space in here.

Jordan, how many square feet is this? 650. So, pretty big selling point for the Wynn that the rooms are huge but it’s like almost… What the heck is the point the room being this big? There’s like nothing, the space is totally wasted in here. I think your typical hotel room is 300 or 350 square feet. Oh, and there is the bathroom as well, but as far as this middle area, it’s like…

I don’t know if you were thinking “oh, it’s a great gigantic big room” there’s a lot of it that’s not used. But this bathroom I think is really cool, a little vanity area to do makeup and stuff, two sinks, a bathtub, and shower. Really nice shower and like massaging head with the water. Do I think this is worth it? I like the Wynn Hotel, I like gambling here, the drinks are really nice when you’re gambling and everything. We’re just about to go check out the pool but I don’t think it’s that much more special than some other hotels we’ve stayed out on the strip for less money.

Yeah, but I mean, there’s a huge conference going on, so it’s not usually six hundred dollars a night, usually it’s around two hundred a night. Still though, would you pay the $200 a night versus another hotel? No I’d stay Cosmopolitan.

Yeah. For the same price. Absolutely! I mean – and so, I think it’s cool we use the Wynn app to get these nights for free, but as far as other hotels that are comparably priced, I just don’t know that there’s anything special.

And something super interesting, we got in here and there was someone else’s freaking clothes in like a drawer, so I was like “Uh, should we be worried about the cleanliness in here?” I don’t know. They seemed pretty embarrassed about it. Yeah. And oh, I forgot about this… Hey Alexa, close the shades.

OK. Alexa, set the temperature to 76. Alexa, turn off the lights. OK. So there’s also that [Laughs]. Yeah, that’s pretty cool [Laughs]. And with MyVegas, we get lots of free and discounted shows, free buffets, buy-one-get-one buffets, all kinds of stuff like that.

And we did a whole video on saving money, getting comps, getting free rooms. So, we’re going to link to that… Here. Another mistake you’re gonna want to try and avoid is over planning while you’re in Vegas or just not leaving enough time, like buffer time in between your activities: like meeting up with friends for brunch, going to a buffet, trying to get across the strip to go to a show, or whatever it is. Things tend to take way longer in Vegas than you think they’re going to take. Even getting from your room to your Uber downstairs is going to take wildly longer than you expect.

So, if you’re gonna plan a bunch of stuff, leave enough time in between. So, we’re here for four days this time and all we have planned this entire time is two shows, just because there’s so much to see and do here. Even if you have nothing planned, you will not get bored.

Another big mistake is not signing up for the casino loyalty programs. Even if you don’t gamble, just signing up for them gets you a 10% discount at most of the shops in most casinos. So, do that, there’s often a promotion for free play or free shows based on a certain amount of play. Now what else can they get you? Well, so, signing up, even if you’re not a big gambler, we did this at Cosmo (Cosmopolitan hotel). I didn’t have an account, signed up for a loyalty card, and we played for a few hours during the day at like 20-cent machines.

Yeah. And you would think that isn’t enough to do anything for you but in actuality, a few months later I got offers for complimentary nights. Two complimentary nights on certain days that they had. So, even that little bit of play, which by the way, we were also getting free drinks during that time, we still got free room offers. So, that’s the type of thing that can happen from these loyalty programs.

You look at the cost for those nights, they’re like minimum around $200. I’ve seen them as high as $800, probably even higher than that. They are luxury rooms and Cosmo is my favorite hotel on the strip. Yes so, that’s probably just an introductory offer though, that’s not something you’re going to get repeatedly. So, some casinos will do that as well.

Like they’ll offer you better offers than you would get for that amount of play, just to try to get you to come back to the casino and gamble there. But still, don’t miss out on it by not signing up for these loyalty programs. Hi, I’m a bird! Bahhh!! Before you go, please drop us a comment and let us know what big mistakes you have made Especially in Las Vegas on the strip and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to see more videos that we have about our life in Mexico and travels all over the world. Including our other Vegas videos.

So we’re gonna link those on the end screen. Please give this video a Thumbs Up, Like it if you liked it, and one last thing… [Bell Rings] This is always so awkward to do in public… GONG that bell so you get notified when we put out our new videos… And we will see you soon! [Music]