My published work.


As many of you already know, historically my experience with GAME is not very positive. This is mainly due to me being a thrifty gamer and GAME prices are just too high in these uncertain times, not to mention that their sales tactics can be too aggressive for my liking and in general, their customer assistance is more than a little over bearing.

Despite all this, I was a little saddened to hear to all too familiar headlines of the GAME Group announcing that they are expecting to have average, year-end net debt of up to £70 million and could even end up missing its EBITDA (‘earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization’) covenants set by lenders, when they are tested on February 27th. The big newspaper headlines will send shockwaves throughout the industry because the lenders could take action against the group for breaching the terms of its loans. In reality, this probably won’t happen, but it was still enough for their shares to take a massive dive after the revenue warning.

Although it was a very poor Christmas for the chain, with sales down 17.6% in the eight weeks to January 7th, Online sales over the holiday period actually increased 3.9%, with annual takings climbing and half a million new customers also signed up to the GAME loyalty programme.

Gamers rushed to buy latest releases such as Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and FIFA 12, but consumers cut expenditure on other games that didn’t sell as well as expected, along with peripherals and hardware.

Can PS Vita save the Game Group?

GAME is being squeezed by online competitors and supermarkets who can offer top titles at more affordable prices. However, retail analysts note that next-generation console launches expected in 2013 will provide a much-needed future boost. All eyes will be on the highly anticipated PlayStation Vita, which launches on 22nd of February, and the Nintendo Wii U later in the year.

Although the future of other stores on the high street, such as HMV, also look very uncertain, I think that GAME and Gamestation will be fine for the immediate future. However, in order to survive they need to follow Clint Eastwood’s advice in the film Heartbreak Ridge, which is simply “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome” as the gaming industry starts to move into the digital distribution era.

If the future consists of no HMV, GAME or Gamestation you could be left with the unsavoury feeling of CEX and the infamous Grainger Games to choose from, so even critics such as myself, should be very careful what you wish for.

The current economic climate is starting to bite and these kind of stories become the norm as people look at ways of cutting the costs. This usually starts with a quick look on the internet rather than costly trip to yet another faceless shopping centre.

Although I will fight against ‘clone town’ Britain, where diversity remains on the endangered list, a ghost town Britain would be so much worse. There is a great risk that the humble high streets across the land have become outdated and neglected. We seldom take the time to think about the real social and economic worth to our communities that are disappearing before our eyes, in this time of constant change.

In my day we used to queue up at a shop at midnight to buy a game…

As for gamers, our world will continue to change too, along with how we purchase our games. Maybe one day, we will look back with great nostalgia of how we used to visit a game store full of like-minded souls, talking about games or even playing them inside the store, before a friendly face tells you about all the games that are due out later in the year. You may even reminisce about how they remembered you every time you visited and the lengthy discussions that ensued.

I hope this is not the case and experiences like these can be passed onto another generation of gamers, but there is a wind of change in the air. Tales such as these will be left for you to bore your children with instead, which in many ways is quite sad.

Who am I to criticise, though, I am more guilty than you all, as I post the cheapest online deals to buy games on a daily basis, but I hope you understand the sentiments behind this particular message and my final word on the matter is that I hope both GAME and Gamestation have a presence on our high streets for a few more years to come.


There have been many reports over the last few years about Gaming Addiction, and we have written countless articles about it, dismissing the all too familiar headlines as ‘lazy journalism’ in an age where people look to blame everything but their own personal responsibility.

However, as the world of advertising changes and an increasing amount of games roll out subscription based gaming, companies are looking at ways of keeping you all gaming for as long as possible using, what some might describe, as sinister methods.

In the modern world people are no longer listening to advertisers and their traditional methods have ceased to work, as the great general public turn away from TV. Even if they do watch, they will probably fast forward the adverts. Commercial radio is struggling, spam filters stop e-mail ads, junk snail mail goes straight in the bin, a quick sign up to the telephone preference scheme stops cold callers, and the print media that is essentially run on advertising space is dying a slow death.

With all this in mind, maybe it is of no surprise that the marketing buzzword of 2011 was ‘Gamification’ which, according to Wikipedia, is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and engage users.

There are many books on the subject appearing, such as Game-Based Marketing, which claims to inspire customer loyalty through rewards, challenges, and contests. Game-Based Marketing unlocks the design secrets of mega-successful games like Zynga’s Farmville, World of Warcraft, Bejeweled and Project Runway to give you the power to create winning game-like experiences on your site/apps.

The most obvious example of gamification would be the mayor status feature in Four Square, where you are rewarded for checking into certain locations by businesses. Nike+ has allowed the company to build a huge and active fan base. For example, over 800,000 runners logged on and signed up when Nike sponsored a 10K race simultaneously across 25 cities.

Marketing companies are quickly learning that by deconstructing how we respond to fun and being rewarded that they might be able to change the potential customer’s behaviour to increase both sales and loyalty. Creepy right?

This is only the beginning, as an article on cracked.com demonstrated how companies are trying to get you addicted to games. The article refers to John Hopson, a game researcher for Microsoft Game Studio, with a doctorate in behavioural and brain sciences. Hopson is quoted as saying “Each contingency is an arrangement of time, activity, and reward, and there are an infinite number of ways these elements can be combined to produce the pattern of activity you want from your players”.

His theories are based around the work of BF Skinner, who discovered that you can control behaviour by training subjects with simple stimulus and reward. I like to think that we are all different to the experiments with lab rats and mice many years ago, but the similarities are remarkably similar.

Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage. (more…)

Are Shorter Games Better?

You could argue that gaming is like waiting for a bus. You spend the baron wasteland of the summer months patiently hoping for a decent release to appear on the horizon and just when you start to lose hope, loads arrive together at the same time. Within a two month period we have had Arkham City, Skyrim, Gear of War 3, Forza 4, FIFA 12, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: MW3 and Rage all vying for our attention. Even though it is said the average gamer is now around 34, not many people can afford to spend over £300 in the run up to Christmas in the current climate, or even have the time available to fully enjoy the experience offered by some of these games.

With this is mind, it appears that gaming is becoming a double-edged sword where we pay £40 for a game that lasts 6-8 hours and then trade in the following week for the next must have title. Does this cheapen the experience and simply add gaming to the disposable culture heap of the 21st century, where we lust for something only to bore of it very quickly, and move onto something else?

I thought it would be interesting to look into the case for and against short game lengths.

In many ways we have now come full circle, as gaming actually began life with short playtimes in arcades all over the world, with titles that were designed to get all of the loose change out of your pocket at a rapid rate. A quick visit to some of the classic arcade titles available on XBLA or PSN illustrates this. As soon as games moved from cartridges onto discs, developers rushed to cram as much information as they could in order to have the biggest and best game.

8 hours of quality over quantity?

However in 2011, the audience is a little more sophisticated and a less forgiving about games that are padded out for the sake of it and quality now takes precedence over quantity. This can only be a good thing, after all, six hours of pure ‘wow’ has go to be better than twenty-five of ‘meh’, hasn’t it? (more…)

Interview: Barney Harwood

Barney Harwood is an English television presenter and actor, probably best known for his work with CBBC, on shows such as Blue Peter and Prank Patrol, while also helping compose the theme tunes and incidental music for the latter and one of his other shows, Bear Behaving Badly.

Barney is also a very keen gamer, so after meeting him at the BAFTA video game awards, we tracked him down, to find out more about his love of gaming.

Q. Where did your love affair with gaming begin?

“When I was about 9 years old, I was bought a commodore 64 with two games. Booty and Paperboy! I have a problem-solving brain that likes puzzles and so started with platform ‘find the key to unlock the next level’ stuff and progressed from there!”

Q. The best thing about coming from Blackpool is?

“Having an appreciation for a well cooked chip! They simply can’t do it down south! They use alien potatoes that don’t like to be crispy on the outside and soft in the middle! The best thing about coming from Blackpool is being able to go home to the best chippy I know!”


“FIFA every time! It’s like the Canon vs Nikon debate, though, once you choose one, you stick with it!”

Q. What’s your console of choice?

“PS3! The only reason I would own an Xbox is for Halo (this is, in fact, why I own an Xbox).”

Barney keeping it real with Top Trumps.

Q. What do you think of the PSN hacking debacle?

“It’s the world we live in! People are always gonna find a way of hacking into a system that uses credit cards! I feel sorry for Sony actually!” (more…)

Was a hummer of dwarves, babes and condoms at the GMAS an accident?

As many of you are aware, I often tweet about the latest gaming bargains so that you never have to pay £39.99 for a game ever again, and I do so under the Twitter hashtag of#NeilsDeals. When posting these deals, I often come across a little-known indie store with big ideas called Grainger Games. Although they were founded in Newcastle back in 1997, they only hit the headlines a few years ago when they announced plans to increase to 80 stores and employ staff made redundant by Gamestation.

I was intrigued to learn how their ambitions were once again clear for all to see when they were revealed as the lead sponsor of the Games Media Awards (or their more affectionate title, “The GMAs”). As the winners are voted for by members of the media and industry PR, and also attended by 350 guests (including nearly 200 members of the media), this was an excellent opportunity for Grainger Games to get closer to the games media. What could possibly go wrong?How would you plan to make the most of such an event? What would be discussed in the countless brainstorming meetings to ensure the big night was a success? (more…)

Assertiveness Against Lazy Game Characters

I am an easy-going, affable guy, but there comes a time in every man’s life, where he has to be more assertive to avoid people taking advantage of his kind nature. Just lately, for these reasons my love of gaming has been put to the test. The aspect of escapism is what has always drawn me in and, of course, we all love to be the hero, but it seems to me, however, that the other characters in games are, to put it bluntly, not carrying their weight. I’m not going to take it anymore!

My love affair with the Marmite zombie adventure game Dead Island was a fairly brief one, when I took offence to several of the characters being more dead and lifeless than the zombies themselves.

For a few moments, try to imagine being trapped on the island of Banoi for real. Every step you take ends up with hundreds of zombies attacking you, but you stumble on a gang of survivors and suddenly you have the feeling that if we all work together, maybe everyone could actually get out of this mess alive.

With this in mind, what would you do in your hour of need when the new friends that are your only hope for survival, suddenly started making you their glorified errand boy?

Hank wants spark plugs, Mike sends you off for gas, Jack sends you off for medical supplies and Jeanine would like you to get her necklace she forgot in her bungalow. All the while, they all sit safe and have a nice chat about the good old days. I can’t speak for you all, but I would be telling Jeanine as politely as possible to piss off as there was more important shit going down on this cursed island than her crappy necklace.

We are going to stay here because its safe, but can you fetch us lots of stuff?

As for the rest of them, they can get off their fat asses and give me a hand fetching supplies rather than sending me on a one way trip to palookaville. I bite my tongue and carry on regardless, because it’s just a game, right?

Enter Mike, an Iraq war veteran pumped up and excitable, which may have been down to taking a little too many steroids like our old friend Brucie Kibbutz in Grand Theft Auto, but he also seems to be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. Why? Because he won’t shut up about the smell of dead bodies and wants to watch them burn, so sends me on a mission to get some gasoline.

I go out there all on my own, fighting off zombie hordes to get the required gasoline, whilst the so-called tough guy stays at base camp. Even the survivors at the petrol station do nothing but hide whilse I risk life and limb to fill up the containers. Against all the odds I make it back alive and Mike says to me “You took your fuckin time!”

At this point I ejected the CD from my console and shouted at the screen. “Took my time, Mr Tough guy Iraq war veteran? You sat there on your steroid ridden cowardly ass and that’s all you got to say?” This is where my vacation on Dead Island ended and I don’t care what happened to any of the slackers on that damn island.

A few weeks have passed and I rediscovered my gaming mojo when picking up RAGE from id Software. I quickly forgave the all-too familiar formula of futuristic adventures which must contain words such as “ark” and “cryogenics”, as I was being rescued by Dan Hagar. Dan, the founder of the Hagar settlement, is voiced by John Goodman, which quickly brought back very fond memories of Walter Sobchak in the film The Big Lebowski.

My patience was about to be tested once again because Dan was simply going to send me on several suicide missions on my lonesome, while he relaxes with a glass of whiskey in a dirty glass. “Here we go again” I thought, as more people started asking me to find buggy parts. I had to take a break at this point, and although I will return to the Wasteland, I will need to recharge my patience again first.

The growing trend in games seems to involve a gang of redundant characters sitting down and telling you to jump through hoops fetching them stuff. I don’t mind doing my bit, but the very least they can do, is accompany me on the journey and watch my back along the way. Traditionally gaming characters have not been much use and have opted to stand by your side shooting at nothing, but at least they are trying, god bless them.

If this kind of lazy behaviour was to occur in real-life and people were to ask you to fight fifty bad guys on your own just to collect trivial items for them, while they sit down with their feet up, what would you say? You would obviously ask “what exactly are you going to be doing whilst I risk my ass?”, so why do it in a game?

Am I over reacting or does anyone else get frustrated at lazy gaming characters?

When Online Smack Talk Ends With A Man’s Hands Around Your Throat

Once again, gaming was the talk of the town for the wrong reasons a few weeks ago, thanks to headlines such as “Gamer throttles schoolboy over online war game” spread over the internet. The usual suspects at the Daily Mail reported the story in which a 46-year-old man was playing Call of Duty all day and suddenly lost it when a 13-year-old boy goaded him over his online death in the game. The man went to the nearby house where the boy was playing, walked into the front room and grabbed him around the throat with both hands.

Behind the sensationalist headline, we once again find there is more to this story than the headline originally led their readers to believe. We quickly learned that we were actually dealing with a 46-year-old unemployed father of three with mental issues, who was also a loosely connected friend of the thirteen year old boy’s family and the incident was over a game with an 18 certification.

When looking at the facts of the story, it’s not hard to see that a game such as Call of Duty is not to blame here. Once again, the growing number of social issues that the media prefer to brush under the carpet are caused by evil games, because its easier than tackling the real problems.

Much more interesting though, were the results of a new study that showed that teens were non-bothered by vulgar slurs online. Most realise that everything is said in the name of banter and that deep down, everyone knows they don’t really mean it. That’s according to an Associated Press-MTV poll of young people between 14 and 24.

The article said “Most say they feel more comfortable with slurs online because people are just trying to be funny or cool. Fifty-four percent of young people think it’s okay to use discriminatory language within their circle of friends because people know we don’t mean it.”  In short, it’s become an accepted part of people’s experience online.

It is quite strange to think that there are two worlds out there. You have the real one, where you are unable to you use offensive language as you’ll be perceived as having the character of an uneducated scumbag, and then this alternate world, which serves as a virtual wild west where anything goes. You can say whatever you want, which although you know is wrong, is equally quite liberating.

Of course, there is a seriously dark and sinister side to this online bullying, it’s a growing problem that needs to be taken very seriously. We all know that bullying should never be trivialised or mocked, but this two-sided life in the 21st century is nothing short of fascinating and showcases the hypocrisy of the modern world.

Jay and Silent Bob will hunt down trolls…

Finally, if you are one of the internet tough guys that spends their time online abusing anyone and everyone that they come across, one of those hiding behind the anonymity of your PC because it makes you feel a little better about yourself, helping you forget the fact your life is actually going nowhere. If you are one of these people, then may I remind you of the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? A movie where the titular duo spend their royalty money on airplane tickets, solely to track down everybody on the internet who expressed negative opinions about them so they could kick their asses.

“It’s just a dumb movie!” I hear you shouting at me. Maybe that’s what the 13-year-old thought, shortly before finding a mans hands around his throat. So, next time you find yourself feeling brave and reckless online, maybe you should have a quick think on what might happen…


Most of you reading this will already have the much-anticipated Eurogamer Expo firmly stamped in your calendar, but this year, high street store GAME has decided to get in on the act by putting on a show of their own: GAMEfest 2011 at the NEC in Birmingham. The event was exclusive for GAME Reward Card holders and is conveniently tagged on to their annual conference, allowing them to dip their toes into the event market.

The timing of the event has caused criticism from some publishers who feel torn between a new event from the UK’s biggest games retailer, and an established consumer show.

One affected publisher anonymously told MCV recently that “with just three days to move from one site to the other, many are unimpressed by the expected costs”. Eurogamer chief, Rupert Loman, told MCV he was “disappointed GAME is attempting to split the market”.

The reality is, there is room for both events and publishers should cease complaining about their overwhelming success, and realise that gamers exist outside of London town. The figures speak for themselves as last year, over 20,000 people attended the Eurogamer Expo in London and it was so successful they have doubled in size this year. The GAMEfest event has been attended by over 30,000 GAME customers and there are already plans to expand on this next year, after being taken by surprise at its success.

To put things into perspective in 2011, where the exhibition and event market has been struggling, over 70,000 people will have attended a gaming event in the UK in ten days. Gaming is now a mainstream entertainment medium and games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 will have opening weekends to rival the majority of Hollywood blockbuster movies. The world is slowly waking up to this.

GAMEfest had something special up its sleeve in the form of an exclusive showing from Activision; this was the first time UK Gamers were able to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 before its release in November. Considering the only other people to have played MW3 were at the CoD XP event in L.A along with Kanye West a few weeks ago, this is quite a coup for GAMEfest.

Upon entering the gaming hub for a presentation of MW3 by Activision, I sat down and was tweeting during a truly cringe-worthy Turtle Beach advert, I was tapped on the shoulder and told to turn my phone off. This seemed a bit of overkill, considering the majority of people have already seen this footage from E3 online anyway.

No phones allowed in the hub…

However, you cannot deny that the footage, showing you surfacing from the depths of the ocean and climbing on to a Russian submarine to witness the New York skyline ablaze (complete with the Freedom Tower in the distance), is nothing short of epic. If that doesn’t grab you, then a battle on the London Underground will make you admit that this shit actually looks good. Hey, the Daily Mail would probably be outraged but that is a foregone conclusion.

With my own fingers and thumbs I was able to play the Survival Spec Ops mode, which, I am sure you are aware, involves fending off assaults from increasingly difficult waves of enemies. I was paired with a member of the Activision team, who I must admit performed better than I did, as my accuracy rating could use a little work. The levels France and Dome were typical Modern Warfare but, with the TurtleBeach cans turned right up to eleven, it was very hard not to be won over.

Before playing Battlefield, you have to get past these guys.

When originally arriving at GAMEfest, I was expecting Battlefield to blow CoD out of the water, but after playing through the Battlefield 3 single-player mission, Operation Guillotine, which is a somewhat generic, night-based mission set on the outskirts of Tehran, I was left feeling a little underwhelmed. (more…)


When Activision originally announced their new Call of Duty Elite premium subscription package for £34.99 or $49.99 a year (or included in Modern Warfare 3‘s top-end Hardened Edition), I originally responded with “What a bloody rip off” and walked away thinking that once again, Activision were milking their cash cow for all it’s worth. They seem intent on squeezing every last drop from the world’s best selling game, whilst fleecing gamers in the process. Once I had time to calm down and look under the bonnet to see exactly what was on offer, I hate to admit that actually the deal could actually end up saving you money if MW3 is your weapon of choice.

A quick look at the FAQ reveals the following: “The annual subscription to Call of Duty Elite is an all-inclusive membership, and that means you get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 downloadable content, including all of the MW3 map packs and more as part of your premium membership. No need to buy additional DLC.”

Previous Call of Duty games released, on average, four map packs during their life cycle. If you are the kind of CoD Fan that would buy all of these maps, the Elite Package would actually be considerably better value than buying them separately throughout the year.

There is certainly a bittersweet pill to swallow here, as the Elite members will get their hands a new batch of content every month first, rather than waiting for the usual quarterly release of multiplayer maps, extra spec ops missions and new game modes. This means that non subscribers could end up of the pace and playing catch-up, which in effect could be seen as forcing them to subscribe to get the most out of the game.

Value for money or pointless willy waving?

Personally, I am of the belief that Activision are marketing the Elite Premium subscription all wrong. Nobody gives a rat’s ass about gold clan tags, premium theatre, groups, Elite TV and various other willy waving statistic boards. The majority of people are unaware that you actually receive all MW3 DLC, which will be around twenty items and released monthly so you will always have something new in the game. If you don’t like the game, then this will never appeal to you, but for a Call of Duty regular; this is genuinely a good deal.

Although Elite Premium and EA Sports Season tickets are receiving growing criticism by offering their own services, they are arguably better value than paying Microsoft £40 Xbox Live for a marketplace to buy more things. Especially considering that if you were only ever playing FIFA online on your Xbox, which uses EA’s own servers, you have to ask: “What am I paying Microsoft for?”

The world is caught in the middle of a financial crisis and everyone, more than ever before, is having to watch what they spend. If you are one of the gamers out there who have paid  £40 to Microsoft for Xbox Live, £40 for a game and then £35 for an exclusive club, then you have just blown £115 to play one game on a console. How many people can actually afford to do this? As people begin to get more thrifty, you can see on many gaming forums that there is a growing voice of people calling Activision greedy, as they are tired of playing the same game each year.

Franchise down… Repeat, we have a franchise down.

Even hardcore CoD fans seem to be getting more excited about the release of Battlefield 3, and maybe it’s not about CoD refusing to change or even the fact Battlefield 3 has Jet Fighters; but people are simply getting tired of Activision’s greed and are starting to make a stand.

So as the haters begin to defect from CoD, the irony is that they could quite easily end up spending more anyway, as they will have to pay for individual map packs for Battlefield over a year. Gamers will never win, and maybe that’s what attracts us all; the constant challenge and thrill of the chase.

That said, if your life is not complete without CoD MW3 and all of the map packs for the next 12 months, then the Elite premium subscription package is officially a good deal, and don’t let anyone tell you different.


Over the last few years, supermarkets have received criticism for selling big title games like Call of Duty and FIFA at a loss, knowing that they will end up recouping the money quickly. They did this with the thinking that the average customer will probably spend more in store anyway, so on paper it’s a cunning yet shrewd move.

However, maybe gamers were too frugal and simply brought the game and nothing else, because supermarkets don’t seem to be offering the same tempting deals any more.

There is a new sheriff is in town, though, and he answers to the name GameStop. This tough hombre seems to be adopting a very familiar tactic (I’ll stop this western thing now, shall I?).

Although not hugely popular here in the UK at the moment, GameStop have been around since 1984 and are the world’s largest video-game and entertainment software retailer with 6,500 retail stores worldwide. They seem to be aggressively moving into the UK online market, which can only further affect troubled stores like GAME, who have been closing stores at an alarming rate.

For those of you that have missed out on the recent deals, last week the retailer hit the headlines when it reduced current UK No.1, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, to just £20.97 for a limited period. They followed up with Driver: San Francisco for just £21.97, after tweeting the deal and advising that it would last for one hour.

Online shoppers will be more than aware of this interesting sales strategy, which comes through the medium of social networking sites such as Twitter. They can sell the most popular games at a loss, which will guarantee high levels of traffic to their website and new customer sign-ups, which would most likely be much cheaper and more effective than any big advertising and marketing campaigns.

Make no mistake though; no consumer website is actually your friend and will never operate with only your best interests at heart. It is worth remembering that GameStop also recently admitted to removing coupons from the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The coupons would have entitled buyers to sample a free copy of the title on streaming service OnLive, but Gamestop removed them as they are launching their own game streaming service in 2012. It would not be a giant leap of faith to see the importance of gathering customers information to prepare for such an event, and what better way to do this than to offer cheap games?

Deus Ex: HR for £20.97, but what’s the catch?

In under a week they have massively discounted two of the biggest games this year and when asked by Tweeters about the deals, they replied with “There’s more to come!”. I have a feeling that we will be seeing lots more gaming bargains heading our way this year, but at what cost?

As a gamer and a man that appreciates the concept of value, the allure of a gaming bargain often proves too great to resist, but it’s also very important to remember that stores selling games at a loss are doing this to destroy the competition. When your local friendly independent store has gone, you can guarantee that the bargains will no longer exist, so in the long game do you actually save any money?

I am of the belief that gamers are quite a savvy bunch and their favourite pastime prevents them from being played by marketing teams. They play the game well, which is why supermarkets have retreated a little from the price war.

You all know the risks involved. You know that you are being offered games at a steal in the hope of you signing up and becoming a loyal customer, just so they can reap the rewards in the near future. We have all played through enough story arcs to know that misguided loyalty or blind faith will kill you faster than any bullet, but we’re also wise enough to know if you play the game right you can bag yourself a true bargain.

What are your thoughts on this kind of sales strategy? Let us know how you feel about GameStop by commenting below.