Nina Ballard Hughett | The Southwest Times
Mrs. Nina Ballard Hughett, 94, passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, at Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, Matthews,
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Though creative nonfiction has been around since Montaigne, St. Augustine, and Seneca, we?ve only just begun to ask how this genre works, why it functions the way it does, and where its borders reside. But for each question we ask, another five or ten questions roil to the surface. And each of these questions, it seems, requires a more convoluted series of answers. What?s more, the questions students of creative nonfiction are drawn to during class discussions, the ones they argue the longest and loudest, are the same ideas debated by their professors in the hallways and at the corner bar. In this collection, sixteen essential contemporary creative nonfiction writers reflect on whatever far, dark edge of the genre they find themselves most drawn to. The result is this fascinating anthology that wonders at the historical and contemporary borderlands between fiction and nonfiction; the illusion of time on the page; the mythology of memory; poetry, process, and the use of received forms; the impact of technology on our writerly lives; immersive research and the power of witness; a chronology and collage; and what we write and why we write. Contributors: Nancer Ballard, H. Lee Barnes, Kim Barnes, Mary Clearman Blew, Joy Castro, Robin Hemley, Judith Kitchen, Brenda Miller, Ander Monson, Dinty W. Moore, Sean Prentiss, Lia Purpura, Erik Reece, Jonathan Rovner, Bob Shacochis, and Joe Wilkins.
One was clean-cut, with hypnotic green eyes, the other more rakish, with a British accent slightly muted from the time he’d spent in LA. Trevor Martin and Tom Cassell had rocketed to fame as teens by streaming themselves playing video games and... Cassell, whose videos are seen by his 10 million followers, had his own clothing line. Fans would line up to meet them at conventions, and their endorsements were enough to make or break new games. They were about to move into a new multibillion-dollar world that had virtually no regulation — a burgeoning Wild West of gambling centered on a game they’d spent countless hours playing online, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The first-person-shooter game pits terrorists against counterterrorists and was played by an average of 342,000 people at once in 2016. Its biggest tournaments, such as the ELeague Major scheduled for Jan. 22-29 in Atlanta, can have million-dollar prize pools and as many as 27 million streaming viewers. An estimated 26 million copies of the $15 game have been downloaded since its debut four years ago, helping make its manufacturer, Valve, the world’s leading distributor of PC titles. While other titles such as Call of Duty offer similar gameplay, one distinctive feature has helped fuel Counter-Strike’s growth: collectible items in the game called “skins. ” Although they don’t improve anyone’s chances of winning, the skins cover weapons in distinctive patterns that make players more identifiable when they stream on services like Twitch. Users can buy, sell and trade the skins, and those used by pros become hotly demanded. Valve controls the skins market. Every few months, it releases an update to Counter-Strike with new designs. It decides how many of each skin get produced and pockets a 15 percent fee every time one gets bought or sold on its official marketplace, called Steam. Valve even offers stock tickers that monitor the skins’ constantly shifting values. But Valve also leaves a door open into the programming of its virtual world, one that allows skins to move out of Steam and into a murky constellation of gambling websites, where they’re used as currency. Some $5 billion was wagered in skins in 2016, according to research by the firms Eilers & Krejcik Gaming and Narus Advisors. While about 40 percent of them are bet on esports matches and tournaments, says Chris Grove, who authored a study for the companies, roughly $3 billion worth flows to a darker corner of the internet — one populated by fly-by-night websites that... Here, the games are simple, the action is fast and new sites open as soon as others close. Plenty of adults visit these sites, but with virtually no age restrictions, kids are also able to gamble their skins — often bought with a parent’s credit card — on slots, dice, coin flips or roulette spins. At least one site even has pro sports betting. None of this could happen without Valve, a privately held company run by its charismatic co-founder, Gabe Newell. The billionaire, who according to Forbes owns more than 50 percent of the company, has watched his personal wealth rocket to $4. 1 billion, due in part to Counter-Strike’s success. As they sipped cocktails in the Hollywood Hills that day in 2015, Martin and Cassell decided that as long as the casino was open, they would get their cut. COUNTER-STRIKE SHOOK up the world of first-person-shooter games when it was introduced in 2000. Unlike other war titles made for PCs, it emphasized a striking realism. Its designers slowed the game’s pace so the conflicts had more tension. And it emphasized teamwork, allowing players to become skilled at working together. In its earliest form, Counter-Strike limited gamers to a menu of nine weapons and a handful of maps. But as fans began suggesting improvements and game technology advanced, Valve added rocket launchers and grenades and more elaborate plots. Counter-Strike became the company’s most visible title as well as the anchor for Steam, which opened in 2003. A decade after its introduction, though, what was once novel had become commonplace in a crowd of first-person-shooter games.
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Brenda Ballard - IMDb
Brenda Ballard, Actress: Cellular. Brenda Ballard is an actress, known for Cellular (2004), The Last Big Attraction (1999) and The Story Lady (1991).
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