The season is upon us

new games are in sight

some games look ominous

others ready to take flight

but when gaming at a Christmas

what do you do

ignore your family?

Get them involved too?

You get the game you’ve wanted

or the console of limited stock

is the new gift is it flaunted?

or is it hidden back in the Christmas sock?

Either way Respawning is here

to talk through my guide with holiday cheer

so take just a minute hot chocolate in hand

as I talk you through my gaming Christmas land

OK hi,hopefully that reads like a Christmas style poem…I worked really hard on it, I didn’t make it up in ten minutes, nope not me.

Have you ever received a video game for Christmas? Or a new console, a game related item…what do you do when this happens, do you unwrap and play straight away or do you hold of and scratch at your arm like an addict itching for their next fix out of politeness? Have you ever been given the wrong item and had to Feign joy and surprise at the gifts you despise over mulled wine?

Well I have and I’m gonna tell you some of my experiences and how I handle it now I am 35 years old.

My earliest memory of being given a game related present for Christmas is (and I’m sure there’s earlier like PlayStation 1 and n64 but I just cant remember anything specific) getting an original Xbox. Me and my little brother got given this console and it came with a couple of games but only one I can actually remember is Worms 3D, not a great game but perfect for us at the time. Id like to preface here that my family isn’t and never has been well off but my parents worked damn hard and we (their 4 kids) have never wanted for anything with Mum being the biggest bargain hunter there is, scoping out second-hand shops, car boots and just generally knowing dodgy people…I love them so much…so when me and my brother got this Xbox it wasn’t brand new neither where the games but that didn’t matter because we had an Xbox and Worms 3D was on it a game we didn’t know existed but from a franchise we loved ( we had it n PlayStation and N64). We must’ve got the console the year of release or the following year so that would put me at 15/16 years old and once we got this console the rest of Christmas was history, it was the last present of the night we had a “buffet” to pick at so food was done and the music went on (my dad hated video game noise but loved watching the games….sonic is his favourite) usually what ever my dad got so The Rolling Stones and me and Will would play this exciting new console on the humongous controllers that came with it. Then it became our mission to get as many games as we could.

After that every year I would get a game or something related to gaming, a lamp here, a poster there, a game I didn’t want at all…what do you do there? Well you suck it up you act excited you give the hugs and you say thank you…then you play that mother fucker! Even if you didn’t want it you should play it, you never know you might find a game that you didn’t know was perfect for you, this happened to me with with Pikmin. Pikmin is a cute puzzle game where you control tiny little sproutlings that aid a little space man fix his ship…I got this game because mum thought it looked cute and sounded like something I would enjoy (after talking to the man in the shop) At the time I was Game cube obsessed so she nailed that really. I didn’t want the game it had been out for a couple of years and never peaked my interest beside who it was created by. I gave mum that hug I was still living at home and when the last present where done I grabbed the little black box hooked it up to the TV, put my dads new CD on and started to play this tough puzzler…and fell in love almost instantly with everything about it…safe to say my mum knows me quite well hahaha…on the other hand if you don’t like that game leave it for a few months or say you have it already and trade it for something else I guess but be polite about it…its thought that counts.

My latest experiences with console have come out of my current relationship, Ive been with my Girlfriend for 8.5 years at this point and she never fails to get me the best Christmas present…Penn & Teller tickets, Download Festival tickets, a Switch with Links Awakening, an Xbox One Series X (that one was nuts she picked it up Christmas eve) all of those presents she’s got me I’ve never wanted her to buy for me nor do I expect her to do so, to do that is rude and sets you up for disappointment…don’t get me wrong I hint its something I want but I always make a point to clarify I will buy one when I’ve got the money together. So when she gave me the switch I was shocked, I didn’t expect it in the slightest it blew me away and it quickly became my favourite console…hell the first Bear’s Den I did I talk about the Switch and pretty much every one there after too. An added bonus was Nina had got me Link’s Awakening too, this was the game that made me desperate for a switch, it was a game that I had played on the Gameboy so much as a kid and Nina had too so she was excited to see it action too…the year I got it I was itching to play but as before I waited…sort of…immediately I put the console on charge then I after gifts where given and Christmas TV was on I picked it up and started my set up then whilst I was doing that Nina paid for my NSO subscription too…I could’ve cried hahaha. Then once everyone settled into wind down full of food mode I started playing the game two days later I finished it…then I started it all over again.

Then finally I got the Series X….this was crazy unexpected as getting one of these consoles was like getting rocking horse shit, fucking impossible due to the world closing down…but there it was under the tree wrapped up the night before. The box was the right size I was eyeing it up all day and in my head I was like that could be an Xbox but naaah that’s £500 and you cant get one so quashed that thought and thought its a new pair of boots….then I opened it…I was gob smacked, like didn’t know what to say except “Oh my God thank you…How?” only to be told that Nina picked it up at 8AM Christmas eve (she worked nights so was awake for any console alerts). Then she and her aunt told me to set it up….didn’t even argue I sprung up ripped the Xbox one out and started the set up immediately…the console was however faulty but I didn’t find that out until the next evening…i didn’t play games on it at Christmas I just played a 10 hour video of a fire place.

Basically what I’m saying with all this babble is that when you get game stuff at Christmas be happy, your family and friends wont know exactly what you like so be happy they at least knew you have the interest. Play those games but don’t be rude wait until everyone is done handing out gifts at the very least…but probably wait until after dinner…I was lucky getting these things I try and spoil my family as much as I can…like the year I got the switch I gave Nina a PSVR with like 8 games and the wands. But as I said I’m lucky This whole article may come across as me just bragging and it’s not meant to be, I;m just thankful to have people in my life that love me, they could’ve got me a switch keyring and I would’ve been happy. We shouldn’t forget that there are people out there that are not so lucky and if you wish to help them in any way, donate, find out tif there’s a food drive in your local area and offer a hand, any thing along those lines can help.

Christmas is a time of giving and receiving, no one should feel obligated to give more than they can afford if all anyone can give is a card with a nice note in side give that person a hug and offer a mince pie or some other tasty treat…nothing is better than a hug and food at Christmas

Anyway have a great Holiday season, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and for what ever you do at this time of year don’t forget to be nice to each other.