Leveling Up: How to Master the Game of Life... Reviewed!

Before I get started, shout out to Page Two Books for supplying a review copy of Leveling Up!

The Read: Leveling Up isn't a book you're expected to sit down and just... read. This book is all about using your love of gaming in order to help you apply that passion to your life in the real world.

By the way, Eric Siu is a well-known World of Warcraft + Everquest champion who's doing his thing in business. In this book he opened up on how he started off as a major slacker with no idea of what his future would hold. All he knew is that he had a love for gaming and he put his all into it before realizing that he could use that hunger... elsewhere. 

Today, he has a weekly podcast also called Leveling Up, a podcast called Marketing School, marketing... agency, a company called ClickFlow, and he's also an author (duh of the day). He has some other things tucked in there to keep him busy also, but... if it's true that he started off as a slacker (teetering on the line of flunking out of school) before taking this path... Eric leveled up in a big way.

I applaud that because even though I love love love gaming, I can't dump every waking moment in a game... and neither can you or life would fall apart elsewhere. This is why a certain episode of the Blu + You Podcast was done last year (check it out below... after the review). 

Leveling Up, replaces chapters with levels to keep you in a gamer's state of mind. There are a total of 15 levels for you to take on, unlocking one after another + a bonus if you pay attention. The book is laid out in an easy-to-read format that starts off with a bang... brought to you by Howard Marks, the founder of... Activision.

Smart way to open things up, but outside of the opening fireworks... I'm going to let you know whether Eric Siu's book is actually practical or not.

The Flow: Each level of the book is structured around a certain topic, like level 1's "Newbie Struggles", where Eric opens up about himself and his struggles as a noob. He talks about challenges in education, food, love, competition, his parents, and so on. What I appreciate about this... is the fact that it takes him from a potential pedestal that the reader may place him on and brings Eric down to the level the reader may be on. This helps with the journey because he's been there and done that at each level.

Outside of Level 1, you have the following levels:

Level 2: Your Mission

Level 3: Mindset

Level 4: Get Reading

Level 5: Routines

Level 6: Apprentice Mentality

Level 7: Grit

Level 8: Alchemy

Level 9: Teamwork

Level 10: Medications

Level 11: Focus

Level 12: Endurance

Level 13: Thievery

Level 14: Repetition

Level 15: Playing the Game of Life

+ Acknowledgments & the... Tomb of Knowledge

This book flows well. Even if a quest doesn't feel like the next step following a previous quest, the flow is smooth and it feels like the levels are building blocks as you prepare for... Level 15.

The Practicality: Like other levels, you wrap level 1 up with a... quest. It helps you begin a healthy habit when it comes to something other than gaming. It doesn't just leave it there, it gives you a quest deadline also. Level 1's quest has a 1 week deadline, which helps to get the ball rolling and dishes out a dose of time management in a sense (because you're made aware of the clock... if you take the book seriously). 

This quest can be accomplished with ease, even for the people who don't believe in themselves.

You aren't just feeling around in the dark with the quests either, you're given examples of what to do in order to get the job done via the quest challenges.

Tip: Use a digital and/or paper calendar. I'd even go as far as recommending that you set up a day-by-day reminder in order to make sure that you don't forget the commitment you made to your quest.

Speaking of feeling around in the dark, don't feel overwhelmed when it comes to this book. Eric asks you questions and explains those questions to help you come out of your shell as far as recognizing your purpose... even if it you don't think its possible. You may find that you're trying to pour more into an answer than you need to... because you were made aware of something that you can take the reigns of.

You're going to get that positive talk that a good friend would give in a certain level... in order to put you up on game. You know the friend that knows your potential, but you may not listen to them because... they may be in your position? He takes that and goes into greater detail while challenges you to write down things like strengths and weaknesses to create something you can use as an annual upgrade checklist (to an extent). It's interesting, and... I think it's practical (for real for real) if you aren't stubborn.

There are some levels in there that will present more of a challenge than others, like the Dive Deep quest... but it gives you the breakdown. You just have to be willing to keep chugging along with it and rely on your calendar (in my opinion) because it will be like an assistant reminding you to make it do what it do... in the name of your quest.

I presented as much as I could without giving up the guy's book in greater detail, and it's safe to say that... you will level up if you apply this book and take it seriously. Don't skip levels to avoid doing something (even the arguments and counter-arguments) because it has its benefits.

So if you're questioning where your life is going, this type of book could help you get a clearer perspective. Parents could even get a book like this for teens because if they're knocking on the door of adulthood, it doesn't hurt to prepare.

The Price: Pricewise... Leveling Up: How to Master the Game of Life, comes in at $19.99... which is a solid price for this self-help book. It's practical, and you can get the ball rolling immediately. You aren't just learning the ropes of getting your life together on a small scale, Eric is actually breaking down some highly useful information that those of you with business aspirations can use from the ground floor to that climb to management and... even owner.

The Read 5

The Flow 5

The Practicality 5

The Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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Gaming becomes harmful when...

Top Audiences Last Week | 02.25.2021


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Hong Kong
United Kingdom

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First look: Xencelabs Pen Tablet

We had the honor of being invited to a tech reveal... and I had to share the first look at Xencelabs first pen tablet. Shout out to the artists out there.

Xencelabs Technologies Limited is comprised of professionals that have worked in the industry for quite some time, we're talking veterans from Wacom, Autodesk, and other companies.

What I appreciated first and foremost was the fact that they didn't just bring a tablet to market, they wanted to reach out and make sure that they were bringing the right tablet to the market to be competitive. They sought feedback from professional artists in the industry to find out their yays and nays when it comes to pen tablets... and ultimately created the tablet you see here.

The second thing that caught my attention during the presentation... was the battery icon I saw not only for the Xencelabs Quick Keys remote but also for the Xencelabs Pen Tablet. I know it was the duh of the day, but I had to raise my hand and double-check to see if the tablet was wireless... and it is. You can use it while connected to the cord also (second duh), but the ability to move around freely is awesome. YAY!

I could see this being utilized by someone at a meeting to present different concepts, drawing from a distance while using a larger screen, or someone like myself who would move to a different part of the desk or something to get a bit more comfortable (I can even PC hop without unhooking wires. Also, the cords can get in the way at times with hardwired tablets, even if they're in a non-intrusive area of the tablet. If you want to shift those tablets... you can end up with a snag or something, but you can move this tablet around freely and hold it if you desire to do so.

I don't want to put words in their mouth, even if they confirmed questions to a degree but... this is their initial tablet as the company continues to blossom. According to Xencelabs there will be more to come down the road (most likely a screened tablet), but as veterans in the industry... they wanted to come in with a bang (as far as their new company and product is concerned). 

That bang comes in the form of the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle:

Yes it comes with a pen and tablet... but it also comes with:

A nice full-sized pen case packed with Nibs (10) + the Nib Extracting Ring

A second pen (one thin pen, and a 3-button pen for 2D + 3D work)

8192 Pressure Levels + 60 degree (both pens)

A dongle to get your wireless drawing on

A Glove Medium (which I'd just use the one I have if that's too small, but... it's free)

A Tablet Sleeve

A Xencelabs Quick Keys device

I'm not giving praise just to give praise... but just like with bundles for games, this is how you make an impression. It's a new company comprised of veterans going into an industry with plenty of options (some of which they were part of), and they decided to take the extra mile to stand out. I think that curve at the bottom of the tablet is going to feel nice, but I can't say whether it is or not... yet. As soon as we get the opportunity to review one, you will know about it.

Check out the available Xencelab options and... game on!

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First 30: Tetris Effect Connected

It's crazy, I never thought twice about playing Tetris... but this game is fun.
The biggest hook for me are all the extras they put on it with the sfx + music
that react to your actions in-game. Multiplayer adds to the replay value.

Eyeing the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Tablet!

I don't normally recommend tablets, and I can't say that I'm recommending this tablet to everyone... but if you're an artist this may be the tablet for you (or someone looking for a good competitor to the Surface Go 2).

You know how pricey the Microsoft Surface tablets can be, not to mention iPads, so to come across a solid one at a reasonable price... I just had to present the one I've been eyeing. The reason why I'm more so being specific about who I'm presenting this to... is because a lot of artists are in the market for drawing tablets.

Having a drawing tablet that connects to your PC is great, but not all artists want to connect to a desktop and have their tablet stuck at the desk or they don't wish to drag around a laptop to draw on a connectable tablet (like I do in rare cases).

There are artists who seek a solid tablet with the ability to draw, and it may come at the cost of lacking some of the pressure sensitivity of drawing tablets that are exclusively made for artists... or in a price range to where artists were in mind via the creative design, but there are solid options that actually measure up.

That's where the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Tablet comes into play. These tablets start at $499.99, but... the best option is only $599.99 unless you use coupon code "P11FORPROS" to save $100.00 (on either option)! So technically you can get the model with the lowest specs for $400 and the best for $500.

This is a similar price range for some of the corded tablets... but it's not just a screen that requires input from an outside source. This isn't a diss to drawing tablets, I own a few (i.e. Wacom Cintiq)... but that doesn't mean I don't want to get up and just go (wherever... whenever) with a single unit for drawing.

The Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Tablet comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G Octa-Core Processor (8x Kyro 470 CPU, up to 2.2 GHz). I would've liked to see an upgradable option for to get reach at least 3GHz, but I could like with a 2.2 GHz for my target uses.

Android 10 OS (I wonder if this will be upgradable to 12)

11.5" WQXGA (2560 x 1600) OLED, touchscreen, 350 nits display

Dolby Vision

Quad JBL speakers tuned by Dolby Atmos 

TUV Rheinland Certified (for eye comfort)

4 to 6GB uMCP soldered memory (which shouldn't have to be IMO)

128 GB Hard drive (they should totally have an upgradable SSD option)

Finger Print Scan + Facial Recognition

Bluetooth 5.0

Camera specs:

- Front: 8MP RGB + 8MP IR & RGB Fixed Focus

- Rear: 13MP Auto Focus + 5MP Fixed Focus

Wi-Fi 802.11AC (2 x 2)

Battery allegedly runs for 15 hours on a full charge

One Year Warranty

The specs you see here are under the hood of a 5.8mm/.23in thin lightweight aluminum-alloy unibody design rocking rocking a dual-tone finish + four-sided 6.9mm/.27in narrow bezel display. This delivers enough drawing space for me... as far as a portable drawing tablet goes, and that brings me to the pressure levels fellow artists were waiting to hear about.

The Lenovo Precision Pen 2 delivers 4,096 levels of pressure and tilt detection drawing (same as the Surface Pen). Bamboo Paper + Squid apps are preloaded, though I'd probably hit the appstore to get my hands on Sketchbook ASAP.

The lower to mid cost models don't include a pen or a keyboard, while the best model has both... along with the best specs. There isn't much of a stretch between the models, but... with the coupon code you're getting the best model and the bundle for $100 more.

The closest option I can compare this to would be the Surface Go 2 10.5" starting at $399.99, but... we're talking 1920 x 1280 (220 PPI) resolution on the Go 2 vs 11.5" 2560 x 1600 OLED on the P11 Pro. 

You do get an SSD on this one but for the price you only get 64GB and 4GB of RAM. Like the P11 Pro, you do not get the pen or keyboard with the cheapest model of the Surface Go 2. You don't get the Microsoft Complete Protection Plan with your surface, and plans range from $99 (2 years) to $189.00 (for 4 years).

After adding in the 2 year protection on the Surface + bumping the specs up to 8GB RAM w/ 128SSD + Surface Go Type Cover - English + Surface Pen... we're talking $788.97! So while I won't this is good or bad, right or wrong... the P11 Pro get's my attention more so because it delivers without breaking the bank. By the way, shout out to Lenovo for simply spelling out... that the Precision Pen is a compatible accessory.

Speaking of Microsoft, the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Tablet... comes equipped with Microsoft Office apps with reviewers seem to appreciate in combination with the laptop-class keyboard. So there you have it, that's why I'm eyeing this tablet... I don't want a bare minimum served up to have a product released at a lower price tag. I want a damn good deal... and think this is going to do it for me.

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Mask Up Mondays: Muse Dash - Heart-Pounding Flight

Once I get through the easy mode of Muse Dash, I'm cranking up the difficulty setting.

Have a great Monday... and may it extend to the rest of the week. Mask up, keep the drama at a minimum, and game on! If you want more information on how to increase the good vibes in your life, check out the latest episode of the Blu + You Podcast below!

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Balan Wonderland


Balan Wonderland


Top Audiences Last Week | 02.18.21 + Nintendo Direct!


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Hong Kong
United Kingdom

United Arab Emirates, Argentina, and... Israel came close!