So like a lot of you out there, I spent time with my family today. A nice big meal involving a lot of family favorites and a lot of time together; my grandmother cooks goose every year, and if you've never had goose before I suggest you try it at least once. It tastes--and looks--oddly like roast beef, though there is commonly not a lot of meat on the bird. It's not at all like turkey, where there's tons of meat, but it has an unusual taste to it that is strangely like beef. Anyway, there was plenty of good food--I'm still kind of full and dinner was nearly seven hours ago--and plenty of laughs around the table. But since it's never too early to get ready for next year, I figured it'd be a good time to take a look at what would make a fine gamer Christmas, for next year, or for just the year around.
1. Hardware / software. There are plenty of opportunities in this particular field for making a gamer's season bright. This is pretty obvious, really, but it still needs to be mentioned. Whether it's that new system--an Xbox, a PlayStation
, a Wii or the newest version of same--or an improved PC, hardware is commonly welcome. Additionally, hardware without software--the games required--means that the hardware is just a pricey paperweight. Whether it's a full game, or a set of credits for one of the online delivery vectors like Xbox Live Arcade
or Steam, those games that make a system worthwhile are a great place to start looking.
2. The peripherals. While we all understand the basics of gaming, consider all those other little factors that go into the successful gaming experience. It's not just a game and a game system in an empty room with a gamer. Consider the comfy chair. Try playing a game standing up for any length of time. It's not easy. Even when it has to be so, like with Kinect, there's a limit. Consider the sound system, or the screen used to display the images, or even the easy access to snacks. All of these things add up to make a worthwhile gaming experience, and all make great things for the gamer in your life.
3. Respect. While this particular point has been gaining in recent years--when the average age of a Call of Duty
player is 29 as some studies reveal, it's hard not to see gains there--for a lot of people, gaming is an activity for children. Its enthusiasts are stunted adults, man-children, "basement dwellers" in a large portion of popular culture. They're often blamed for violence, especially when school shootings come around. But gamers are everywhere. Gamers hold jobs in many different fields. Gamers have families. Gamers are real people, and they should be treated accordingly. A bit of respect for the gaming community, now that would make for a fine holiday treat.
So with that, go out and give your gamer of choice a hug today. Wish him--or in many cases her--a happy holiday season, a rich and happy new year, or just a good run taking down the Thalmor, the Combine, or any of a hundred other enemies that a gamer might find.
Oh, and bring some Fritos. Maybe something to drink, too. Sprite, maybe; we're not picky. We'll have a controller waiting for you.