Spreading cheer one virtual tree at a time
Ah, Christmas. A time of Santa hats, snow, fancy decorations, pretty lights, and ornately wrapped presents. Sure, the “True spirit of Christmas” is about being with your family, love for our fellow man, peace on Earth, and all that good stuff…but let’s not kid ourselves: the aesthetics definitely help too.
Those aesthetics aren’t restricted to the real world alone, many video games have special holiday events to get you in the festive mood. Popular games like Overwatch and Fortnite have special Christmas skins with all the reds and greens you could ever want. Other titles take it a lot further. In Animal Crossing you can celebrate almost any major holiday with all of your adorable animal pals, right from the comfort of your own village. You’ll even get special visitors!
To me personally though, the holiday events that stood out the most were actually completely different from what you’d expect. In particular, they were less about a big event and more about clever little secrets (Easter eggs, if you will) you could only see on a particular holiday.
My most vivid memory is about Calendar Man, who you’ll find imprisoned in Batman: Arkham City. If you talk to him on any of the days he has marked, he’ll tell you a fun uplifting little story… about a murder he committed on that particular holiday. These range from the obvious Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day to the feast day of St. Roch, patron saint of dogs (that would be August 16th, obviously). I set up special alerts in my phone to remind me of every day I could talk to Calendar Man, and after 12 months I was finally rewarded with the achievement “Storyteller”.
In a similar but significantly lighter vein, Double Fine’s Costume Quest also gave you a special achievement for playing the game on a specific date. However, this wasn’t on Halloween as one might expect. No, the appropriately titled “‘Tisn’t the Season” achievement unlocks simply by playing this game that is completely centered around Halloween… on Christmas day.
Be they Christmas, Halloween, or any other holiday, in-game holiday events are always a good time. So what are your favorite in-game holiday events? Do you make a point of visiting your little Animal Crossing village just in time for Toy Day? Do you gather your guild to partake in the festivities of your MMO of choice? Play Cave Story+ with all Christmas sprites on? Sneak up on some Holiday Hoarders in Hitman? Are you the only person in the world who liked Mei’s Snowball Offensive?
This month’s Bloggers Wanted theme is “Tis the season”, and we want to hear all about how you celebrate the holidays in video games when you’re not too busy opening presents and avoiding having to sit next to that one cousin nobody likes. Grab some hot cocoa, put on your ugliest sweater, plant yourself next to the fireplace, and head on over to the community blogs to get started! Title your blog “Tis the Season: [Your title here]” and when you’re done remember to add “Bloggers Wanted” to the tags at the bottom!