It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

by: kiara

It's that time of year. The weather gets colder. The air is cool and crisp.
Peace and goodwill towards man fills every heart.

Until you walk into a store. Christmas is a retailer's fondest dream.
Commercialism and materialism run rampant. Ads screaming at consumers to hurry
and finish their shopping can be found everywhere. Fist fights and near
homocidal encounters happen over sale racks.

Amongst the ads on television, are a ton of jewelry commercials. They're all
about the same thing. Get your woman jewelry. Get her diamonds. Get her gold.
Fastest way to her heart or her bed or her whatever, is to get her something

I hate these ads.

I hate them with a particular purple passion. They portray women as simple
minded, gold digging, materialistic creatures. No better than magpies. Obssessed
with shinie things. It sends a really bad message.

Not all women like jewelry. Some of us are gamers. I know that I'd rather
have new games for Christmas than a random piece of sparkly that I won't wear
all the time. Vanguard is coming out, Gods and Heroes is coming out. A copy of
each of those and some subscription time would be far more effective at making
me happy than, ya know, a pair of earrings.

Think about it! There's a LOT more fun to be had out of gaming in general and
MMOs in particular than there is in a piece of cold metal on my hand. For the
money a guy can spend on a pair of diamond earrings, he can buy a woman a year's
worth of gaming time.

Beyond that though, when did we become such a material society? When did it
stop being about caring and togetherness and more about how many toys you can
get? There used to be a time when we made gifts for people. Heck, I still do now
and then.

I mean think about it. The PS3 (while a totally awesome toy) came out and
people are getting shot. Half the people in my city who were camping out for
these things didn't even want them for themselves. They wanted to EBay them.

People don't even play games for the enjoyment of it anymore. There are
people who make their entire living off of playing the game for real world
money. They farm and sell gold and plat or they get paid money to level people's

How is that fun?

Isn't that what the holidays are about? Fun with family and friends? Being
close and showing each other you care?

It always has been in my mind. And, call me silly, but gaming is much the
same for me. It's a chance to leave the everyday mundane cares of the world
behind for a few hours and spend time with the people who have become my virtual
family and close friends. They don't replace the people I know and am close to
in real life, but they are an extension.

We play for the joy of the game. The thrill of discovery. The fun of being
together and trading stories and jokes.

The same holds true for Christmas. It's always been about being together and
having some fun. Showing people you care with thoughtful presents. Purchased or
homemade. It was about quality not quantity. Something from the heart.

I know it's ridiculous to compare a MMO with Christmas. But I see a lot of
parallels. So when I see things like plat ads or commercials for expensive but
inherently meaningless items, I get a little cranky. I think it tarnishes the
beauty of these things.

Not your usual commentary on gameplay and graphics, I know. But definitely a
little food for thought this holiday season. We could all stand to focus a
little more on the important things in life than the material things. Our
friends and the good times we share may be a little more fleeting than the hunk
of metal with the shiny rock, but they'll keep you a lot warmer on the cold
winter nights.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.