Game Ranter Banter: Christmas Memories & The Gamer's Year
For many, Christmas morning brings with it plenty of memories, especially for gamers. Nothing compares to the excitement of seeing that big box under the tree, pondering what it could be and then opening it to find that video game system you had always hoped for. Unless your parents bought you an N-Gage.
This week, we at Game Rant have decided to share some of our Christmas memories, while one writer details why he thinks this was truly a year for gamers. So grab a glass of Egg Nog and join us for Game Ranter Banter: Holiday Edition.
Deck The Halls With Games (by Jeff Schille)
Christmas and video games. The two just seem to go together, don't they? Looking back, particularly over my adult life, many of my favorite Christmas memories involve games.
The first year I spent Christmas with my wife's family, Street Fighter 2 Special Champion Edition on the Genesis and Sewer Shark (!) on the Sega CD kept everyone entertained (there may have been rum involved). Years later, my brother-in-law and I spent the earliest hours of Christmas day, light guns in hand, blasting zombies in House of the Dead 2 for Dreamcast. It seemed the least appropriate game at the worst possible time, and somehow it was all the more fun for it. The Christmas of the first Rock Band certainly stands out, too -- my whole family kept playing and playing until the wee hours of the night, instantly and totally dedicated to our virtual band. It was amazing and sort of beautiful.
But of course, it's not just the games, it's who you play them with. Christmas often gives gamers the chance to share with friends and relatives who don't normally play video games. There are a ton of great games out this season, but with the right company, even the worst games (I did admit to playing Sewer Shark) can make some of the best memories.
A Great Year For Gamers (by Trung Bui)
2011 has seen a lot of wonderful contributions to the interactive medium we love. Huge titles kept us busy this year: Gears of War 3, Batman: Arkham City, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and Modern Warfare 3. Sequels all, but great games nonetheless. Cycles like the one seen this year emphasize how the video game industry is growing immensely. It has already solidified itself as one of the largest entertainment mediums the world has ever seen and games have infiltrated their way into the commonplace of human interaction.
Of course, with the furtherance of gaming technology, the marvel of video games can only grow. Big name developers will release more impressive titles and perhaps even more exciting, indie developers will create more games that challenge our notion of mainstream gaming and innovation, providing something truly original.
Gamers will remember 2011 fondly and can only anticipate what the future brings, which can be nothing short of greatness as the rate the industry is blooming.
Christmas Memories (by Matt Rowland)
Once I had passed on from Transformers and G.I. Joe to more “sophisticated” toys, the NES was right in the middle of all of it, and that Christmas morning 1988, I finally graduated to that special club we fourth graders had for those lucky enough to have the “Nintendo Entertainment System Now You’re Playing With Power” (what I called it when I first asked for one).
We didn’t have a whole lot when I was a kid, and for a few years, the only three games I had were Super Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, and Millipede. I never thought of myself as underprivileged or lacking, because I thought that simply having an NES was enough. By 1991, I was in seventh grade and my NES collection had grown modestly, but for a seventh grader, if you didn’t have more than twenty games, you weren’t cool (and the super cool kids had a Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo by this time). I wasn’t cool; beyond my original three games, my collection grew by only two games every Christmas.
My parents must have sensed the impending doom I must have felt (or perhaps they were completely oblivious and just got lucky). Seventh grade was hard enough without having to battle the home entertainment system peer pressure. Come Christmas morning 1991, I spied two wrapped presents in the shape of NES games. I saved them for last. I opened the first, and it was 1942 (NOT 1943). I faked a smile. I begrudgingly opened the second, and I immediately forgave my parents for the 1942 snafu. It was Tecmo Super Bowl.
I was the only kid that I knew who received that game for Christmas; it had only been released a few weeks prior, and I have no idea how they got a copy of it. But in a way, it put me back on a level playing field with the kids who had more games than I did.
Thanks Mom and Dad. And Merry Christmas to everyone out there.
Christmas Classics (Rob Keyes)
Before the idea of sleeping in topped my things to do list of the holiday season, I, like many children, woke up in the wee hours of the night to attempt to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus doing his thing. My even younger brother and I would go downstairs at 4am to see what he had left us - assuming of course, we had been good boys that year - but we couldn't touch until the parents awakened.
To occupy those impatient hours, there was only one thing to do: Super Mario Bros. on the SNES. Every year there was something gaming related on our Christmas wishlists and as we hoped to get the N64, some game or some other console, it was side-scroller Mario who spent those early Christmas mornings with us.
This day and age, it's the PS3 and Xbox 360, perhaps even a little Minecraft on the laptop that we spend time on, but the tradition holds. I'm going home for Christmas today... and I'm bringing an extra controller.
A Christmas Poem (by Anthony Taormina)
It was Christmas Eve night and all through the houseNot a person was stirring, not even a mouseBut there in the background could be heard quite faintlyThe voice of a crazy robot named Wheatley.The presents were wrapped, all tucked in their placeBut the gamer was still going, a big smile on his face.Still the day was a nearing, leaving new games in its wakeFrom Batman to Zelda to an adventurer named Drake.And so it’s with a big heart that we wanted to sayTo you and all Ranters, a Happy Holiday.
And that concludes the Game Ranter Banter for this Year. We want to thank those of you kept reading through 2011 and wish you all a safe and happy holidays, because whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanzaa or any other holiday, we're all gamers, and at the end of the year we all succumb to the urge to say really corny things like I just did.
Christmas Wheatley from Harry101.