Hey, Cape Breton. Remember last month? Remember the golden Autumn sun beaming down on the amber leaves as they gently hung from their branches oh, so delicately, creating a golden canopy of radiant life above us? Well lets all take a moment to cherish that memory. Love that memory.
Because everything's dead now.
Yes, Cape Breton, we stand on the unsettling precipice of a cold and dark Winter. The trees have shed their mottled Autumn coats and are now gothic husks of their former selves. The honeyed leaves becoming a wet sheet of mud covering the ground before the snow falls. The sky above will soon fuse together into one singular, oppressively gray cloud, that somehow finds a way to get dark by 3pm. Be prepared, because for the next 5 months Cape Breton's collective psyche is about to sit too long, be too dark, and start splitting at the seams waiting for the distant, fabled month of April to save us from the darkness. Curse the human inability to hibernate!
You mean I get to sleep for 6 months AND lose weight! Sign me up!
And don't tell me you're going to spend your Winter snow-shoeing. I snow-shoe in the summer, except I don't need the goofy shoes, and I call it walking. And I don't want to bad mouth skiing, because it's the fastest you can really go on your own two feet, but it's mostly just standing and letting gravity do all the work. The only thing breaking a sweat on the hill is the ski-lift. There's a reason people don't play basketball in giant refrigerators. Being cold does not make things better. It makes things colder.
Wow! It's like regular walking, except less comfortable and more difficult!
But before you take your UV lamp out of storage and overdose on vitamin D supplements, I'm here to let you know about three new local businesses working hard to give Cape Breton some much needed recreational opportunities during these dark months of seasonal affective disorder. Here is:
So am I lassoing the businesses, or herding them in some way...? My own metaphor is confusing me.
To those who are on the outside of the hobby, gaming can be mighty perplexing. What does PvP stand for anyways? Puppies violating Plants? Pedantic volatile Paleontologists? Picturesque visceral Pneumonia? Well, for those of you who came up with those really, really stupid combinations of words, it actually means Player vs. Player, and if I can't spend this hellish winter sleeping in cave, you better believe a dungeon with the hardware rivaling NASA is the next best thing. And hardware this dungeon has. Take a look at this fire-breathing cubic jellyfish of gaming justice.
It has the sexy bio-luminescence of a deep-sea predator, and the work ethic of an extremely determined donkey.
I've built every computer I've ever owned from the motherboard up, but I understand those whose eyes glaze over when they hear about terabyte solid state drives and GTX 960 video cards, so let me put these electron wielding blocks of power into terms everyone can understand.
This is your computer.
This is a PvP Gamers Dungeon computer.
This is your computer.
This is a PvP Gamers Dungeon computer.
I could do this all day, but let me just say that if you're looking for a frame rate as smooth as butter, and the most solid fiber connection on Cape Breton Island, the PvP Dungeon is where you want to be. The Dungeon also has lines of PS4's and XBox One's if you don't belong to the PC Master Race.
"We looketh down upon all those who doth not install their own RAM."
I'm going to show my age on this one, but the current state of gaming is really missing something. When I was growing up with my brothers playing Mario Kart, there was satisfaction in laughing in your opponents face after a well placed red turtle shell. Gaming was close quarters. Harassing your opponents on the other side of the world through a headset just doesn't have the same satisfaction as seeing a face get visibly frustrated with you. Especially when you figure out your opponent is a 12 year old in New Mexico with the vocabulary of a YouTube comment section. Sure, we got our controllers tangled up and you could smell each other, but it was communal. Every hobby needs a community, and The PvP Dungeon is trying to build it, so go say hi to Todd. He's a super nice guy.
For those who actually want to use their legs this Winter, we have a much more physically active form of simulated violence with our second business. It's almost Christmas time, which means at some point, you're probably going to want to shoot a family member in the face. Well now you can, with none of that pesky litigation or police stand-offs afterwards! Game On Laser Tag allows you the opportunity to shoot your dearest friends and relatives with concentrated beams of light and see the disappointment in their eyes as they realize your epic urban warfare prowess. Also, the new Star Wars is coming out, so shooting lasers at each other is about to be all the rage.
Feel like this guy...
as you look like this guy!
No offence to whoever that is in the picture above. You look great, dude, but 4 guns? Are you going to shoot me with MORE lasers? Also, this place opened up a couple of months ago on Keltic Drive, right across from Breton Brewery. I'm not suggesting you take advantage of their proximity. I'm just saying...
On a personal note, I recently took part in Game On Laser Tag's Halloween Zombie Tag. I shambled about the play area as two teams popped lasers into my brain pan, at which point I would crumple to the floor like a proper zombie should. I woke up with bruises all over me, because being a zombie is hard. I wonder if they'll do any Christmas themed events? I've always wanted to shoot an elf.
I'm the zombie with the bottled water, because hydration is important.
So if you want to get some much needed exercise this Winter AND shoot all your loved ones, Game On has the wicked, light spewing hardware you need.
Hey, remember when we used to take pictures of ourselves doing things, like visiting Disney World or opening Christmas presents? It was great and served the purpose of preserving precious memories for future reflection. Now we only take pictures of ourselves taking pictures of ourselves, because we're vapid and our memories suck. It's ok though, because Retakes and Revelry Amusement Photography has recently opened up on Charlotte Street to take photos of completely fictional memories that never happened! It is the perfect place to take a date to create a memorable experience that never occurred!
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
"Doesn't it make you nostalgic for the good ole' days of child labor?"
"Luke, I am your father!"
"I know Dad, and my name's Seamus, you jerkface."
Nothing makes the ladies swoon like murder!
"I'm going to name him Pincer McClampsalot!"
"No more pet lobsters Carl!"
And here is the truly great thing about Retakes and Revelry. Being a miner, a soldier, sword-fighting your dad, and arguing on a lobster boat are all horrible situations, but they also make for great photo opportunities. Retakes and Revelry allows you to take the pictures, without going through the traumatizing emotional experiences that these scenes depict.
The props alone are worth the visit to this place. It's like a photography studio had a baby with a The Museum of Cape Breton. Retakes and Revelry has a boat on the second floor, two full size cannons, and an eerily accurate mine shaft replica. It will give you all of the miner cred with none of the blacklung!
You could also go there to get your Family Christmas Cards!
And take a picture 100% less horrifying than this one.
So in these dark days of Winter, when you feel your legs start to atrophy, and your sanity being tested by claustrophobia and annoying relatives, give one of these new local businesses a visit. They will sure appreciate it, and so will your mental state.