I've been asked by the management to share a little bit about myself before dumping you straight into the swirling vortex of vitriolic (stole that word from Ely) bile that is my outlook on life, games, the games that people play and the people who play the games that people play, etc.
But first I'd like to thank the team at GWJ for giving me this chance to soil the front page with my rambling drivel. And I hope that the case of scotch I sent over goes down real smooth. [/finger gun]
Now then, about me; I'm originally from Texas, but I've lived all over. I currently live in Boston, where I run a small unit of elite vigilante terrorists out of my basement. (Okay, that's not really true. But damn! That'd be cool woodnit?) In a former life I was the Head Writer and Producer of The Screen Savers on TechTV (The Leo and Patrick version, not the crappy ones). I've also contributed to the odd website now and again. I've also seen Wayne Brady naked (but that's another story).
But my true passion is gaming. Gaming and women"…. My TWO true passions are gaming, women and a fanatical devotion to booze"… My THREE true passions are"… (Get on with it. –ed.)
"… anyway. Thank you for tuning in, and I hope that y'all will find what I have to say at least a little bit interesting.
I mean, I think that if you don't you can all go to hell, but they told me to pretend to care. So there! Happy Certis? I can be considerate when I freakin' feel like it! Don't make that face at me! I'll take away your wubby!
(And now the article. –ed.)
I've found that how one characterizes the Holiday season says a great deal about that person. Not in any "What Your Boyfriend's Sheets Say About Him" kind of way, but in more of a "This is What Matters to Me" kind of way.
For example, most of the talk on this and other gaming forums for the past two months has been about the avalanche of new releases that are sitting in stores, taunting us, challenging us to spend our money in wise and responsible ways (like on rent, food, heating oil, etc.) rather than on the pleasure of taking them home. What this says about us is that we are big fans of games, which would seem to be obvious.
Others I speak with prattle on about things like eggnog, ginger cookies and caroling at Grandma's house. Granted, I enjoy these things too, but not as much as gaming. Therein lies the rub: at what point this holiday season should we, as gamers, be reasonably expected to lay down our controllers and join in the holiday cheer?
If our mothers and significant others are to be believed, we should have stopped playing games ten years ago and devoted our lives entirely to hanging Christmas lights from the third story windows and setting off on week-long caroling adventures until no living man, woman or child could rest without a sugar plum dancing in their head.
And yet the voice inside our heads (the same one which claims that wearing two sweaters and a hat indoors for the entire winter is a small price to pay in exchange for the Limited Collector's Edition of every game ever created) urges us to go all Scrooge on the whole damn season and tell the family to cram their figgy pudding where the sun don't shine.
Clearly a happy medium must be found.
Allow me to make the following suggestion: starting the first week of the season, devote one entire evening to your family and/or friends. Make popcorn strings, drink mulled cider and laugh about memories past "… whatever. Then, as the season progresses, expand this time for holiday cheer to include one extra evening per week. Whichever major holiday you celebrate, the goal should be to eventually wind up with one whole week devoted to expressing your love for your fellow men (not like that, sicko) and sharing that love with those who are closest to you.
Don't hang up yet.
After the holiday passes you may then feel free to tell everyone to go to hell and spend the next eighty-nine hours straight playing whichever of your ten thousand recently neglected games bests suits your mood. That is, if you still want to.
Some of you may discover that you've been missing a whole level of human interaction. You may find that people, not games, provide warmth, understanding and meaning to your lives and therefore decide to try not playing for a while longer just to see what kind of spiritual and intellectual enlightenment may come your way.
And after those two or three people log off, the rest of us can then resume blowing each other to tiny little bits.