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Rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram snags two golds at European Games

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Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram took home two gold and two silver medals at the European Games over the weekend, adding more hardware to an already impressive haul ahead of next year’s probable Olympic run.

Linoy won gold in the balls and clubs competitions and silver in ribbons and  Women’s Individual Multiple Competition on Saturday and Sunday, snagging Israel’s only medals thus far in the Minsk games.

The 20-year-old Rishon Lezion native has become a favorite to medal at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan.

Ashram has racked up an impressive series of victories in recent competitions, winning two golds and a bronze at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in August, setting a world record in the clubs event.

A month later, she finished second in the world championships, the best ever performance by an Israeli.

לינוי אשרם זוכה בזהב, משחקי אירופה במינסק

עשתה זאת ????אחרי מדליית הכסף ההיסטורית אמש בקרב-רב, היום לינוי אשרם (הפועל ראשון לציון) זוכה במדליית זהב ???? בגמר הכדור במינסק עם 22.5 נק׳, לאחר שגברה על קטרין טסבה הבולגריה ועל דינה אברינה מרוסיה!בואו נהנה מהתרגיל שהביא לה את הזהב???? ברכות ללינוי ולמאמנות לנה קופילנקו ואיילת זיסמן, גאים בכן!

פורסם על ידי ‏איגוד ההתעמלות בישראל Israel Gymnastics‏ ב- יום ראשון, 23 ביוני 2019

Earlier this year, she won three gold medals at the Grand Prix Marbella in Spain, scooping up top honors in the hoop, clubs, and ribbons competitions.

Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram with her silver medal at the European Union of Gymnastics championships held in Minsk, Belarus, June 23, 2019. (Courtesy, Israel Gymnastics Federation)

More than 4,000 athletes from 50 countries are competing in the Second European Games that opened on Friday and conclude on June 30. As of Sunday, Russia is leading the medals standings with 35 in total including 18 golds. Israel is currently in eighth place with Linoy’s two golds and two silvers, but is hoping to take home several more in judo and other sports.

Israel is represented by 39 athletes who are competing in 10 different sports: cycling, boxing, badminton, judo, wrestling, rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics, gymnastics, shooting and archery. The Israel Olympic Committee said it is using the European Games as an Olympic qualifier for several sports.

The Olympic Committee said it was expected to come away from Minsk with at least 5-7 medals. Ashram alone has moved Israel more than half way to that goal.



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The Holy Trinity of Gaming Commits to New Loot Box Disclosure Policies

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At a Federal Trade Commission public panel regarding micro transactions in video games, the Entertainment Software Association that the three largest console platform holders, those being Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo, have voluntarily agreed to a policy change regarding loot boxes. While ESA’s Michael Warnecke broadly defended the concept of loot boxes, he also stated that any new games or game updates from now on would need to disclose the rarity of the various drops included in their loot boxes.

“Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have indicated to the ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games that are developed for their platform,” Warnecke said. “Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features, and it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items in games available on their platforms.”

Warnecke also stated that many publishers and members of the ESA have committed to a similar concept at the publisher level of game development. This voluntary disclosure of drop rates for loot boxes will put console games on the same playing field as mobile disclosure requirements. According to the ESA, some of the publishers that have agreed to this voluntary change include Bethesda, Bandai Namco, Electronic Arts, Bungie, Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Nintendo, Wizards of the Coast and Warner Bros. The disclosures are rumored to be coming by the end of 2020, with other members of the ESA taking the voluntary change into consideration.

“This approach would also be compatible with the Apple and Google approach on the mobile platform. We believe that, taken together, this provides a comprehensive approach to ensuring that consumers get the information they need so they can make informed purchasing decisions when it comes to paid loot boxes.”

What does this mean for loot boxes in the long haul? Might it make them more acceptable and palatable to your average gamer? After all, the policy doesn’t actually change anything in regards to your likelihood of getting something good out of a loot box: it just tells you how unlikely you actually are in relation to how much money you spend.

Still, it will probably curve the impulsiveness of many gamers in buying loot boxes if they are told straight up what their chances of getting good rewards are. Whether or not this will have so severe of an effect on loot box sales that game companies have to take new money making measures can only be speculated at, but it seems unlikely. After all, people love to gamble, and people that love games enjoy it just as much, if not more so than your average person.

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