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Writer. Gamer. Adopted Mountain Man. I write about games, mental health, the great outdoors, and the odd piece of fiction. @PeterCacek on Twitter.

It’s cold. It’s snowing. It’s the perfect time for a hike.

Photo by Riccardo Chiarini on Unsplash

After weeks spent inside, hiding away from the world and the escalating events of 2020, I needed to get out. I needed to hike. But it was cold and windy, and everything was buried under a foot of snow. …

A desperate escape for a desperate man

Image public domain, courtesy of The British Library, modified from original.

Three days spent running. Three days through the accursed valley, struggling through a blizzard, trying to stave off starvation and frostbite, while his side bled. The Hunter’s arrow had cut deep, and no matter how hard he tried to staunch the flow, the wound would not close. …

How this simple game about stacking blocks has grown, changed, and adapted to each new generation

My earliest memories of gaming come from the NES version of Tetris. As one of the first games I ever played, the sights and sounds that came with it are forever engrained in my mind. …

It’s hard admitting that a career path isn’t right for you, especially when you’ve pursued it for so long

Photo by Jornada Produtora on Unsplash

When I first started as a professional brewer, I thought I knew exactly where my life was going. It was a dream of mine for years to take my joy of homebrewing and transform it into a career. …

After so many ups and downs, it’s still an uphill battle for this ancestor of modern gaming

I miss arcades. The dimly-lit rooms and flashing lights of the cabinets. The pungent aroma of dust, sweat, and nacho cheese wafting through the air. The cacophonous riot of a hundred different cabinets trumpeting their siren’s call, willing me to drop a quarter into their recesses.

These were our sanctuaries…

A strange profession requires equally strange people

Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

For years, there was nothing more I wanted to do than brew beer. I got my first taste of the practice when I took a homebrewing class with a couple of friends. From there, the spark was lit and my path was clear. …

Long lines, harsh weather, and the fear of missing out. But above it all: comradery.

It’s seven at night. Winter is slowly creeping in, and daylight savings forced the sun to set long ago. A biting wind blows, and it’s threatening to snow. Only five more hours until midnight.

How an indie game uses tried and true mechanics to promote mental health

Ibegin each day with the same routine. …

How much we value our time with a game plays a large role in the likelihood we’ll spend money on it

It’s been a month since the launch of Genshin Impact. Like many, I was drawn in by the expansive world, the blatant comparisons to Breath of the Wild, and the idea that maybe this game could redefine what it meant to be free-to-play.

In that short time, I managed to…

With so many elements at odds with one another, this game still managed to stick with me after four years

I rarely ever preorder a game. I’ve been burned before, having fallen prey in my younger years to the Gamestop clerk warnings that if I didn’t pre-order right then and there, I probably wouldn’t get a copy on release day. …

Peter Cacek

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