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Photo Courtesy Nick Miller

My wake-up call

Last October, I attended my annual doctor’s appointment checkup and my doctor gave me some bad news. My blood pressure was way too high for someone my age, and if I were to continue my current path with my diet, I would develop diabetes.

She told me I had to lose at least 20 lbs and prescribed blood pressure medication to counteract the effects of my obesity. At 23 years old, I was on something that I primarily associated with the elderly.

Up until this point, I was in denial about putting enough work in for personal health. I figured…

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Source: Activision Publishing Inc.

A return to tradition

Call of Duty as a franchise is something I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with. The first game I played in the series was Black Ops 2, one of the highest-rated titles in the franchise, and with good reason.

I played Black Ops 2 on my PlayStation 3 so much I actually got to Prestige 2 before my attention was completely diverted when I finally got a copy of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. …

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More of the same story

Whenever I fire up any edition of the latest reboot of the Tomb Raider series, I’m reminded of the exploits of George and Harold from the children’s paperback series Captain Underpants. George and Harold, much like Lara Croft and her best friend, Jonah, get caught up in some crazy adventure and quickly find themselves in over their heads.

“OH, NO!” screamed Harold.
“HERE WE GO AGAIN!” screamed George.

This time, Lara and Jonah are on the trail of a Latin American artifact, the Dagger of Chak Chel, which is the key to another artifact, the Silver Box of Ix Chel…

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A “No Frills” Throwback

My relationship with racing games is a complex thing. The first real racing game I was exposed to as a child was Gran Turismo 5 on the PlayStation 2. I thoroughly enjoyed ATV: Offroad Fury and Burnout on the PS2, Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii and DS, Midnight Club: Los Angeles on the PS3, Grand Theft Auto V on the PS4, and, most recently, the Need for Speed series on PS4.

As you can probably tell by the list, there’s a wide variety of racing games I’ve played, each with its own quirks and features that make it fun…

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A Refreshing Change of Pace

Long-time readers of my blog know my affinity for GTA Online. At the time of writing, I’m Rank 473 in the 3rd top-selling game of all time.

I’ve dealt in Special Cargo crates, stolen and resold Import/Export vehicles, operated all of the Biker update businesses, ran an underground military bunker that manufactured weapons, owned over 80 vehicles, and even purchased a $10 million yacht in the game (here’s how I did it.)

But the problem I always ran into in GTA Online was the Heist system. …

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What Happened?

Cyberpunk 2077 was released just a little over a week ago, and current-gen console consumers like myself are justifiably ticked over the launch. CD Projekt Red, the developers, gave limited access to current-gen console versions of the game and opted to advertise the Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC versions.

Console players have been subjected to frame rate drops, numerous bugs, and blurry textures that sometimes never load. On the Cyberpunk subreddit, there’s a thread detailing all the glaring flaws the game has.

Given the extremely limited access to next-gen consoles or lacking the funds to build a high-end PC…

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Image Source:

E-commerce, Retail, and Health Concerns

Black Friday 2020, without a doubt, was very different from last year’s annual post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping tradition.

This year, consumers spent an estimated $9 billion on retail websites on Black Friday, a 22% increase from last year’s $7.4 billion. Foot traffic to retail stores dropped by a whopping 52% compared with last year, easily justifiable considering social distancing protocols would be difficult to abide by in large crowds.

For the first time, major electronics retailers like Best Buy and GameStop closed their doors on Thanksgiving to reopen on Black Friday. According to AP News, the most popular items that saw…

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Talion and his Uruk army assault a fortress.

“The Hobbits The Hobbits The Hobbits The Hobbits to Isengard to Isengard”

If you haven’t heard of The Lord of the Rings by now, you’ve probably lived under a rock. The brilliantly-written book series by J. R. R. Tolkien (with whom I happen to share a birthday) was translated into film by Peter Jackson in the early 2000s and grossed nearly $3 billion, not counting for the subsequent Hobbit series, DVD releases, and merchandise.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to the wildly successful Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, following the tale of the ranger Talion in his quest to avenge his family’s death and kill Sauron. Shadow of Mordor’s…

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A promotional image for Watch Dogs: Legion.

“You got a license for that phone?”

Watch Dogs: Legion marks the third installment of what I refer to as the “magic-wand-phone stealth/action/adventure” game series. The first game follows the story of Aiden Pierce, a rogue hacker trying to take down a gang that killed his niece. From there, we get Watch Dogs 2, which upends the dark nature of the first game in favor of something a bit more comical, whimsical, and lighthearted.

You play as Marcus Holloway, another rogue hacker who was framed by the ever-present CTOS system for a crime he didn’t commit, and proceed to hack the world with the techy hacker equivalent…

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Edward Kenway spots a Mayan temple to raid.

A Pirate’s Life for Me

When I turned 17 back in 2014, I rushed out to buy as many of the current Assassin’s Creed games as I could with my birthday money and newly acquired ability to purchase games rated M for Mature (17+.) I played through all of the games leading up to Ubisoft’s latest release, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, and was excited for a new twist on the long-established gaming franchise.

It surpassed my expectations the first time I played it, and I found myself coming back to it in later years, going through the storyline at least once every other year. Up…

Nick Miller

University of Cincinnati MBA Candidate, 2021 • Digital Marketer • Writer • Audience Growth Hacker • Gaming Aficionado • Miami University Class of 2020

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