It’s Christmas Eve, the magical night before the “business” of unwrapping gifts from loved ones begins. Paper and ribbons glow beneath the lights of the tree and eager gamers gaze at them in wonder as they ponder what they’ll receive this year.
Games are a gift every single day of the year. They have the power to transport us to new locations and give us the opportunity to become someone new. We do things in games we couldn’t do in the real world. Games can entertain, teach, make us laugh, give us strength, provide an escape and many, many other things. Every game is unique as is every gamer’s experience within them.
Beyond the surface, however, lies more. The true gift of gaming is delving beneath the wrapping paper and each person’s unique experience with them. When we stop to think about more than just the pixels on the screen or the sometimes breathless thrills games provide, we begin to see the long chain of gifts we’ve been given. Think about it: Every developer possesses a unique talent that no one else has in quite the same measure. Each of them touches the games they work on with their particular skill set, a gift each gives to those who will experience their work.
Coders build the framework in a language most of us can’t begin to comprehend. Artists paint masterpieces for our eyes. Level designers tuck treasures away in hard-to-find locations simply to give eager searchers that thrill of discovery. Sound engineers give us the opportunity to close our eyes and “see” the world. Producers and directors weave the pieces together into a cohesive whole. One game is more than a single present. It is the sum total of the gifts of hundreds of individuals who’ve banded together to offer up their best in the hopes that it entertains and delights its audience. How well it succeeds is, of course, up to each individual, but the inescapable fact is that every single game is more than it appears.
So, this holiday season, enjoy your gifts — all of them!