Bloggy Xmas – Day 24: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
I’m honored to have the privilege to not only take place in such a wonderful communal event but also to be the penultimate post in this years perfectly planned event. Thank you to Syl for organizing all of this and all the other helpers and participants who made it come to life.
Games truly are the greatest gift. Yes, okay, everyone would like to get a new car or a top-of-the-line computer, but pause for a moment with me. Expensive gifts, while pleasant to receive, almost always are gifts that cause you to do things by yourself. That new tablet might be rippin’ good fun, but a game – well. Now we’ve got gift that will keep on giving.
You see, dear reader, games bring us together; games are a center around which we build a community. Even the root of the word, the ga-, is the same root as in gather or the –gamy word stem that means marriage, another unification. Games provide a reason, which in the past we never really needed, to come over and spend time together, to overcome the cultural predilection to isolation. In a culture that’s becoming more and more technologically distant due to what one researcher calls technoference, games can tear down those barriers to – or assimilate them into – a communal activity.
When you give a game to someone, you’re not just giving them a thing, but you’re giving them an future of experiences, as well. Think of all the fun you’ve had with others while playing games. Think of the laughs you’ve had or the deeply engaging tactical discussions. Think of the shared fun. That’s what games give.
Giving a friend a game that’s not entirely single-player, whether it’s a co-op game on the computer or a board or card game is not just a declaration of friendship – the gift itself – but an implied promise to play with them in the future. Giving a friend a game is also making a date to play it.
Many of my favorite games were gifts; my wife bought me Boss Monster for my birthday this past year, and just since then, we’ve had many rounds of hilarity and fun building our dungeons and collecting the souls of adventurers. I bought my buddy 7 Days to Die, and we’ve laughed a lot since then, too, though often because of the many hilarious mishaps we’ve run into, like him sledgehammering me in the face during a zombie horde attack because he twitch reacted to my presence rather than taking moment to check if it was me or a monster.
So while it’s likely too late this holiday season to buy a game as a gift, consider it as your next gift. It might not be as flashy as a piece of technology or as impressive as a new vehicle (to be fair, this “car as a gift” thing has never happened to me, but I was trying to think of something that implied cost and sacrifice), but giving a game shows the impressiveness of your bond and has the flash of your future friendship.
Games, then, truly are the gift that keep on giving. They give the game itself, the promise of future game days, and all the brilliant experiences the giver and recipient share in that future. So give a game next time you can, and reap all the benefits!
Now go forth and play!
Stubborn (game giver)