It’s that time of year again. I was recently in Hawaii on my Honeymoon, and while the 80 degree weather with sunshine, beaches, and daiquiris was really a nice respite from my usual Ohio winter I have to admit that by the end of the trip both my new wife and I were missing the snow and normal Holiday spirit that we’d grown up with. Well now I’m back in the Midwestern atmosphere, I’m driving to work each day, I’m wearing my scarf and praying my ears don’t freeze off on my walk to the office. I know I could wear earmuffs, but I’m a man dammit.
I missed the snow. Literally and figuratively. While we were gone our area was hit with one of the worst snowstorms in years, and it actually made us a little homesick. We were in paradise, swimming with turtles and climbing Mount Haleakala, but we kept drifting to thoughts of Cleveland and snow-covered streets. There must seriously be something wrong with us, I thought. But really, all this bout of insanity did was remind me that Christmas is right around the corner and the infamous Holi-daze is about to set in.
You know what the Holidaze is. It’s the way, if you celebrate anything at all during this time of year, even Festivus, how time passes by so quickly and slowly all at once. When it’s over you’re not sure how it happened, and while it’s happening you’re sure you never want it to end. In a way, it’s a lot like making love or watching Jon Hamm on Mad Men (I swear that’s my last obsessive Jon Hamm joke).
You’re probably wondering by now just where I’m headed with this. “Bill, this is MMORPG.com. Don’t you feel like chatting about MMORPGs at all?” you ask? And I promise, I’m getting there.
The Holidays and it’s somehow magically entrancing time of year fit in perfectly with MMOs. Every single game I frequent will be hosting some form of winter-festival event. It’s honestly one of my favorite things about these games. The smart developers find a way to shoehorn in our wordly traditions to their games. I know that sounds like a bad thing to some, as MMOs might be their form of escapism, but I absolutely adore the fact that I can visit Santa in a place like Ironforge. I love that games suddenly have your mailbox spammed with gifts from the NPCs, or that towns are decorated with tacky lights and trees.
The Holiday season for me begins with Halloween. I’m the kind of guy that’s out on his porch making kids who look a little too old for trick-or-treating sing Christmas carols to get their candy. I absolutely love this time of year. My wife and I had our lights up and shining brightly in our neighbor’s bedroom window before Thanksgiving. Trust me, if you knew this old crone, you’d smile at the thought of her glaucoma-ridden eyes feeling blinded every time she tries to go to sleep. Our tree is cut down freshly the weekend of Thanksgiving, and I don’t feel bad about admitting that it’s often too “full” for our family room and too tall for the 8’ ceiling. In a lot of ways, I’m Clark Griswold and I’m proud of that.
That same fervor for the Christmas spirit carries over into my MMO-playing. I’m usually the first guy in my guild to run around and complete the holiday-themed quests. I still remember decimating the population of buzzards in Westfall for their eggs the first year Christmas came to Azeroth. Blizzard, appropriately named for this time of year, is probably the company that manages to make the Holidays feel most appropriate if only because their game is such a light-hearted affair to begin with.
But that’s neither here nor there. The point of this article, while probably a little more sentimental than it needs to be, is that during this time of year I’m calling for us all here at MMORPG to try a ceasefire in our ever-present war of words.
That’s right. I don’t think I’m being a cynic when I say it’s probably a hopeless case to even suggest such a thing, but in the spirit of peace and goodwill towards men (not to mention plenty of Christmas Ale and eggnog) I think we should try. From now until December 26th, I’m asking that all forum-residents put a kibosh on the fighting. I’m asking that we chill out and don’t take opinions too personally for ten little days. I’m asking that for just a short period of time, we all act like we like each other and understand where each one of us is coming from in our point of view.
The funny thing is, I know that this plea will go largely un-read. I’m expecting this whole article to go largely unread because it doesn’t really talk about one specific game or another in either a positive or negative light. We like controversy here. We comment on it, argue about it, and feed upon the entrails of each and every topic that strikes a chord with us. And so, I’ll leave you with one last nonsensical and entirely off-base and unfelt prediction before we see if this little experiment has even the slightest chance of being successful. Let’s see if anyone reads the whole article, or they just read this last sentence and go off into a tizzy. If you did read this article, please wish me a Happy/Merry/Joyful “Whatever You Celebrate” and go back to your normal argumentative conversation on the 26th. Cheers to you all.
Here it is: Every game that’s coming out in 2011 will suck. Merry Christmas.