Category Archives: Video Games

MakeSandcastlesNotWar – Two Years Later

Ladies and gentlemen… today is a VERY special day.  No, it is not about PI day nor will it be six days until Spring (but THAT’S exciting too!).  Today is… wait for it while you hold my beer…
THE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF MAKESANDCASTLESNOTWAR!            `Image result for Surprise crowd gif

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I…just…WOW.  Two years.  It already has been TWO years full of PR nightmares, TV criss-crosses, business WINS, Netflix/TV binge-watching reviews, philosophical journeys and many other crazy shenanigans.  We’ve dived into some intriguing ideas as well as some of the most twisted PR stories that would affect audiences for years to come.  While some businesses crossed the line, others formulated a unique product or service to offer.

Just think that we have covered a span of these topics in just TWO YEARS.  My mind is still boggling even as I type this two-year anniversary post.  After being away on vacation for a few days this past weekend, it’s finally time to celebrate this special day.

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So last year we dived back into the first blog post topic about Jonathan Blow’s The Witness.  Ironically enough, it was a blizzard outside (like the one that is currently happening now!) and it was the perfect day to celebrate.  It was already a year since MakeSandcastlesNotWar was created, so we entered the time warp (*Swoosh*) to see how it all started.  This was a fantastic voyage of nostalgia about a dreamy puzzle adventure game.

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But for today’s anniversary, things are about to get weird…and I mean, REALLY WEIRD.  This will be a post like no other.  Today isn’t just an ordinary nostalgic post looking back in time.  We are in the midst of a…BLOGCEPTION.

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We’ve finally done it folks – a blogception has occurred on MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  There has been some strange topics popping up here and there, but this is where things will get really bizarre.

It’s about time I explain – a blogception is when a blog post is written up about a previous blog post relating to a post that was written before.  The blogception consists of only one post, BUT it becomes tethered to other similar posts from history.  There are two or more subjects happening at once, but yet they still become connected to construct a concrete story.  With all of these subjects floating around at once, your mind can’t fully grasp around the mere fact that it actually WORKS.

Hold on folks, because things are about to start…NOW.


March 14th, 2017 – it was the day we were exploring a post about the first video game topic about The Witness.  There was so much to celebrate that day – more followers, increasing number of views, many widespread topics stemming from major categories, and even other surprises that were in stores.  I had to kick off the celebration by introducing the story of how this blog came to be.


After studying PR in Salem State University, I was enthusiastic to continue my blog work.  I truly enjoyed the writing work I completed, so I took it upon myself to build this magnificent creation that would become MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  This sandcastle would become filled with various content – reviews, criss-crosses, PR nightmares, philosophical journeys, field trips.  Every new topic was a new adventure into another world.  Even when diving back into a familiar subject, there was always a new gem waiting to be discovered.


And if you’re wondering…YES, there were still more topics to discuss from The Witness.  Months (even YEARS) after playing The Witness, I found so many aspects I enjoyed about it.  From the challenging gameplay to the philosophical wisdom from the audio logs, The Witness offered so much as a puzzle adventure video game.  It was these strings of posts that would lead up to the blogception that we have discovered today.

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Here we are folks – a year later after traveling back into time to discuss the first post the year before.  It’s truly a mesmerizing and glory idea to behold.  This blogception has truly given a sense of how far things have come.  What was once a small experiment on writing about some of my favorite things has blossomed into a fully-grown entertainment PR blog.  Two years later and I still gain the satisfaction of writing about more incredible ideas.

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What makes this even better is that the adventures still continue.  We still have SO much to discover in this thriving and chaotic world of entertainment PR.  There’s always another philosophical journey to write about or some TV criss-cross waiting to be found.  Who knows, there may be another flourishing business that starts sinking due to a PR nightmare.

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Times have truly changed since creating this blog post; what hasn’t changed is the initial ambition for discovering new and exciting ideas.  Whether we go forward or backward, we’re always connected one way or another.

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Writing this blog has truly been a blessing.  It has been a crazy journey since launching onto the WordPress platform.  Two years later and I still enjoy writing posts each day.

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Two years later…and the journey still continues.  What new adventures awaits us?  Who will we discover in the next TV criss-cross? Where will the next PR nightmare happen?

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For now, we can just remember this one thing… Make Sandcastles, Not War.


4/20-Friendly Entertaining Activities!

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As legal cannabis continues to sweep the nation, there is a growing demand for combining cannabis with entertaining activities.  Many trending activities are utilizing cannabis as a means to draw in more audiences for their business.  Yoga studios are allowing for open consumption before the class starts and cafes are being built to create a friendly social atmosphere for their guests.  Whatever the service may be, companies are jumping in on the 4/20 bandwagon in order to drive their businesses further.

Besides the typical yoga studio or paint night event, what other activities could benefit from open cannabis use?

Well here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I’ve compiled some interesting ideas on certain activities that would go hand-in-hand with open cannabis consumption.  Here are some fun and entertaining activities that would make for a successful business practice:


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Bowling is a casual and fun sport that anyone can get into.  The simple game of knocking pins down by rolling balls each frame is the perfect activity for your family and friends.  Consuming some cannabis during your bowling session will make the game much more fun.  Even if you are landing gutter balls each frame, you will be too busy having fun to even care about your low score.  Guests should definitely have the freedom to smoke a BOWL before going up to BOWL.

          Video Arcades

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It’s no secret that cannabis makes some people better at video games, so why not put that idea to the test with video arcades.  There’s nothing more fun that going to a room full of arcade games.  You may (or may not) be better at Galaga after consuming cannabis, but you will be surrounded by other 4/20 gamers nearby.  Open cannabis consumption would definitely work at an arcade place.


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If you want to enjoy a much shorter game of golf, than mini-golf is definitely the better alternative.  Pitter and putter your way through 18 holes full of crazy obstacles.  Whether it be the windmill or the loop-de-loop, you can always have fun playing a round of mini-golf.  Cannabis consumption would make for an even more relaxing game of mini golf, especially if it is held outdoors.

          Escape Room

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Escape room is the hottest activity that is spreading all across the nation.  Many rooms feature themes such as escaping a prison or a Harry Potter-esque dungeon.  These escape rooms can be tricky, so a bowl of cannabis could give you that creative boost to solve the puzzle.  Even if you don’t end up ‘escaping the room’ before the time limit, you and your group will still have a blast.  The escape room is definitely another fun activity that would go great with some cannabis.

          Laser Tag

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Our final activity on the count down is laser tag.  Laser tag – a full half-hour of running around shooting people with laser guns in order to rack up as much points as they can.  This may seem like more for kids, but adults can definitely get in on this action as well.  Consuming some cannabis won’t make you the next American laser tag soldier, but it will make the competition that much more entertaining.  Better yet, the whole experience will feel like something out of a video game!

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And with that, five fun-filled activities that would benefit from open cannabis consumption.  Your audience will certainly have a much more entertaining experience by adding cannabis to the mix.  Whether you are knocking those pins down or trying to escape that room with your group, it certainly won’t hurt to consume some cannabis during these activities.

If any business is looking to provide an entertaining activity for their audiences, they should consider allowing for open cannabis consumption as well.

DIY Gaming with Nintendo Labo!

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Nintendo has really been on top of their game lately.  The Nintendo Switch has been selling like hot cakes since releasing last March.  The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sold millions of copies since being released with the Nintendo Switch and Super Mario Odyssey helped boost more sales than ever.

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When it comes to video game popularity, Nintendo always seem to triumph over its competitors.  The company combines old-school nostalgic characters (Mario, Donkey Kong) with new home console systems.  It’s this strategy that captures all audiences into the Nintendo community.  Their games were made so that anyone can pick up the controller and play through the game.  These games are catered more towards casual-fun gamers in the world.

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In fact, this strategy of utilizing nostalgia into the mix is rubbing off of other ideas.  Nintendo will be launching a special gaming accessory this Spring that includes a material that many children played with for years.  That material happens to be…cardboard.

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You heard me right people – Nintendo’s next idea coming to America involves cardboard!  Nintendo is releasing the Nintendo Labo, a combination of the Nintendo Switch with DIY cardboard creations.  The Nintendo Labo will release on April 20th, 2018 (4/20 Day!).

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This new system provides cardboard cutouts that you assemble together.  Two sets of kits will be released in the Spring — the variety kit and the robot kit.  The variety kit includes items that you can assemble together to create two RC cars, a house, a motorbike, a fishing rod, and even a piano.  You can also get the robot kit that you accumulate together to create a cool robot suit!

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Here’s how the product works – you start with the pieces of cardboard you put together.  Once your creation is complete, you add the Nintendo Switch console to power it up.  While you are playing, you can even discover new ways to play each time.  You can even customize your creations with color, stickers, paint, or other original ideas.  The sky is the limits as to how you design your cardboard cutouts!

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The idea is absolutely brilliant!  I used to play with cardboard boxes as a kid, so this definitely gets me nostalgic about my childhood days.  Kids all around are definitely going to enjoy this new concept from Nintendo.

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In a marketing sense, Nintendo really took their strategy to a different level.  Nintendo has always provided a sense of nostalgia in their products and this idea really works.  Before the digital age, kids would have fun with cardboard boxes.  Using their own imagination, kids would create various scenarios with the products around them.

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Back when I was a kid, we never had iPads or smart phones to plays.  We only had our imagination to amuse ourselves.  Kids took cardboard and imagined they were in a pirate ship or driving a bus.

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That’s the selling point that makes the Nintendo Labo so intriguing – it captures the child’s imagination and molds it with the newer toys they are playing.  By mixing a nostalgic idea (imagination with cardboard) with a new product (the Nintendo Switch), Nintendo created something that every kid would enjoy.  Nintendo fans all across the nation will be excited for the hype that is the Nintendo Labo.

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It’ll be a little while until Nintendo Labo is released, but it’s definitely something excited to look forward to this year.  Hopefully Nintendo will design more cardboard cutouts so that players can play other games as well.

Look out for the Nintendo Labo releasing on April 20th!


MakeSandcastlesNotWar’s Top Posts of 2017!

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Welcome back readers!  It’s time for a special post on this cold Saturday afternoon.  After blogging for another year (yes, ANOTHER year has gone by!), it’s time to reminisce on the most popular stories here on MakeSandcastlesNotWar.

These choices were based on the total amount of views cumulated over the months.  Some stories showcased amazing things that happened on TV while others discussed PR miracles that happened this year.  Let’s take another road down memory lane to look at the top 10 popular stories within MakeSandcastlesNotWar on 2017.

Now it’s on to the final results:

#10 – Bong Appetit’s Toasted Touchdown

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The season premiere of Bong Appetit scored many touchdowns – cannabis-infused appetizers, intriguing education on CTE, and some NFL players stopping by for some food.  But the best part of the episode?  That ridiculously huge pipe the guests smoked after dinner.

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Bong Appetit always goes above and beyond the amount of weed they use for the show and this episode definitely proved it.  This was just one of many highlights of the show.

#9 – Weedmaps Billboard Display on Revere Beach


What first started out as hidden gem near the Wonderland Station in Revere became a string of posts showcasing these billboard displays from Weedmaps.  Weedmaps advertisements were seen all around Boston – Revere, Lynn, Saugus, and even Salem had billboard displays advertising the cannabis company.  Recreational dispensaries haven’t opened in Massachusetts yet, but Weedmaps is already been advertised around the area.

This is just the beginning of many cannabis advertisements that will be flying around Boston in the future!

#8 – 90’s Console War: Sega’s Mini Mega Drive VS. Nintendo’s NES Classic Mini

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Here’s an oldie, but goodie – the 90’s Console War between Sega and Nintendo!  Last year I talked about two video game companies (Sega and Nintendo) releasing their newest consoles for the Christmas season.  Sega was releasing their Mini Mega Drive while Nintendo was releasing the NES Classic Mini.  Two nostalgic 90s gaming machines were going to be featured as a gift idea for Christmas season.

I don’t know which console ended up selling the most, but they made for excellent gift ideas.  As a nostalgic gamer myself, I’d definitely pick up the NES Classic Mini system.  It’d definitely be worth having all of those classic titles under one console.

#7 – AHS Teases New Elephant Monster!

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You can’t have a great American Horror Story chapter without a monster and this year’s season definitely delivered.  Ryan Murphy tweeted a drawing of an elephant monster on May 5th that had hollowed-out eyes and a red, sinister grin.  It wasn’t until months later that the elephant monster turned out to be Ally’s girlfriend Ivy.  The elephant costume was Ivy’s costume that she wore when she joined Kai’s cult.

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Revealing the new monster was shocking and finding out that the monster was Ivy was just as surprising.  You never know what twister monster will pop up next on American Horror Story!

#6 – RIP Ringling Brothers Circus: 1871-2017

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The most popular PR nightmare looked at dealt with the Ringling Brothers Circus closing down.  After mounting pressure, low sales, and a damaging reputation, the Ringling Brothers Circus put on their last show in May.  They have been around for over 140 years and now their entertainment reign has come to an end.

Here’s to the Ringling Brothers Circus for entertaining millions of families all across the country!

#5 – Eataly Boston, Ciao Bella!


Field trips are always popular for MakeSandcastlesNotWar readers and this trip to Eataly Boston made it to #5 of our countdown.  When I heard about an Eataly coming to Boylston Street in Boston, I knew I had to check this out.  I entered the Italian restaurant/market and gazed at the amount of pasta, wine, beers, cheese, sauces, and many other utensils for making Italian dishes.  It was so fascinating looking at all of this delicious Italian food to cook at home.

Eataly Boston was a great trip and I look forward to many other field trips next year.

#4 – Girl… The Fabulous Laganja Estranja Got Some Dank Weed!


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Another Bong Appetit post made it on the countdown.  This post chronicled a special guest on season one episode six titled ‘Marijuana Murder Mystery’ named Laganja Estranja.  Laganja Estranja was a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race and happens to be a popular advocate for the cannabis culture in California.  She appeared in the murder mystery episode alongside other guests and…GIRL, did she smoke some fabulous weed!

It’s things like Laganja Estranja smoking some fine weed on TV that make Bong Appetit such an incredible show to watch.  Cannabis is widely used by people of all colors of the rainbow!

#3 – Supernatural: XXX Edition

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After months of binge-watching Supernatural, I became thoroughly convinced that America needs a homoerotic porno version of this show.  The subtle gay jokes are dropped in almost every episode (I finished season 11 and STILL found more jokes as the episodes go on).  Something like Supernatural XXX would satisfy a lot of fans of the series.  Dean and Castiel’s bromance could even be the center story of the film!

#2 – Paparazzi Art

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Earlier last year, I became fascinated with these magazines about the lives of celebrities.  Celebrities from all across the entertainment spectrum were featured in magazines like US Weekly or People.  It was fascinating how people became obsessed with these ideas of fame.  Even I was interested in the lives of Paris Hilton or Bam Margera while I was in high school.

Even though I don’t know most of these people personally, I still found joy in reading about what they were are up to.  This ‘paparazzi art’ was the center of this post that made it to #2 of the countdown.

#1 – My CBD Experience at The Hempest

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Our #1 post of this year was My CBD Experience at The Hempest.  A few weeks before cannabis was made legal in Massachusetts, I discussed the CBD oil I found over at The Hempest in Boston.  This CBD oil contained the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol, found in cannabis.  It was a combination of a field trip and science lesson about CBD.  More than a year after the trip, many people still found interest in reading about this cannabinoid.

And that’s all for this year’s hottest post of 2017!  A new year is approaching, with tons of exciting new materials coming your way.  Happy New Year to you all and stay tuned for what’s in store next year!


Hottest Video Games for Christmas 2017!

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Video games were always on my Christmas list as a kid.  There was always one (or usually more!) games I really wanted every year.  Other than new video games, I even asked Santa for new video game consoles once in a while.  The Super Nintendo was the first gaming console I got for Christmas back in 1994.  After receiving that first video game console, the rest was history.

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I’ve outgrown Christmas lists 23 years later, but video games continue to a hot item for the holidays.  With many new home gaming consoles to choose from (as well as Steam’s ever-growing digital library), the number of video game titles to add to your list is ENDLESS.

But thankfully enough, MakeSandcastlesNotWar is here to showcase some notable title to add for your Christmas list.  Here are some of the hottest titles to ask for Santa this year:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was released alongside with the Nintendo Switch back in early March.  This new staple of The Legend of Zelda series follows Link after he awakens from a 100-year slumber.  A mysterious voice guides him to defeat Calamity Ganon before he destroys Hyrule Kingdom.  Legend of Zelda fans should definitely add The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to their Christmas list.


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Indie games are still making waves in the video game industry and Cuphead certainly proves it.  Cuphead takes players through a series of bosses to pay off a debt to the devil.  Players wander through this 1930s rubber hose style of cartoon animation (think old Walt Disney Animation cartoons with LSD!).  This vivid, yet challenging game will keep you playing for me.  Be sure to add Cuphead to your indie game library this Christmas.

Super Mario Odyssey

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Mario is out with another one of his games this year with Super Mario Odyssey.  Join Mario on the newest 3D platform-adventure game where you save Princess Peach from marrying Bowser.  Players can enjoy using Cappy, a spirit that possesses Mario’s hat and allows him to take control of characters and objects.  Make sure you add Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch to check out Mario’s latest adventure!

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix

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Kingdom Hearts fans will have to wait until next year for the third chapter of the franchise, but they can relieve the previous chapters with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix for the PS4.  Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix combines six different Kingdom Hearts titles with updated HD graphics.  These games showcase the story leading up to the third title where Sora, Donald, Goofy, and others must thwart Master Xehanort’s plan of igniting a second Keyblade War.  Add this Kingdom Hearts bundle if you can’t wait until the third chapter of the series.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

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Mario and Rabbids may seem like two different franchises, but the two actually mix well together.  Nintendo and Ubisoft combined their franchised characters for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle.  You play through a turn-based tactical role-playing adventure where Mario and his friends (Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess Peach) battle against the hoard of Rabbids invading the Kingdom.  If you’re looking for a wackier game from the Mario series, then Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is definitely a game to add for your list.

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That’s some of the many hot gaming titles to check out for Christmas this year.  If you’ve been a good boy/girl this year, then you’ll definitely earn your desired games from Santa Claus.  Happy Gaming!