Monday, November 2, 2009

Holiday Gaming

Tis the season... or so they say. With the holidays fast approaching I was determined to be the first to get this out into internet land before other, more widely-read blogs, beat me to it. So let's get this party started!

In the past, several game makers would create little one-shot adventures in the spirit of the holiday season. That's great but its getting kinda cheesy, having to go save Santa every year. If you want to give your game a holiday feel, no need bringing in the props (Santa, reigndeer, baby Jesus...). If you want to run a memorable, one-shot, seasonal/holiday game, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. During the holidays, most people spend the majority of the time with family. Now, if most of your family are gamers, you've got it a lot better than most of us in gamer nation. The ugly truth is, most of them are not. If you're going to be gaming with family, most RPG's are not going to be your best bet.
  2. With that said, a lot of families will play games when they all get together for the holidays, but they're playing Uno, or Yahtzee, or maybe Monopoly which, yes, all three are "games" by definition, but when we talk about gaming, our definition is much more refined (to say the least). Point is, you may already be "gaming," that doesn't mean you can't suggest something a little more... involved (for lack of a better word). I wouldn't suggest an RPG, but there are a lot of excellent, little-known board games that would be great for your get-togethers.
  3. Of course, if you're able to game with your friends during Christmas and you're feeling a bit sentimental, you may want to "Christmas-it-up" a little bit. As I've mentioned above, the "go save Santa," or "help the kids get their toys," sort of thing can be done, but its really cheesy and I'd avoid it for the most part. (However, there are still some creative ways of doing this that work, but that's a bit more advanced -- try these ideas first!)

I'd say the best way to do a holiday game is to give the game the spirit of the holiday (weather, decorations, seasonal smells, or anything else you can think of to give it that feel), but without the cheese (an old elf who gives hand-made toys to the children of Yon Village every year has fallen ill -- what will we do??? is not going to work well). Let's take a page from one of the best Christmas movies of all time, Die Hard. Does the movie really have anything to do with Christmas at all? Yes, but only minimally. The reason that it worked so well is because they left the holiday as the backdrop; it was not the real focus of the story. To sum it up, give your game that holiday feel, but leave the Grinch for the kids. ;)

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1 comment:

  1. Hey! What's wrong with Uno? =p

    I'll take any gaming I can get, even if it's Uno.