You heard me, Winter-een-mas is upon us. For those of you that do not know what Winter-een-mas is the explanation is simple. It is a 1 week long celebration from January 25th - 31st of all that is gaming. The holiday was invented in the comic Ctrl+Alt+Del. With its creation so where created the Spirits of Gaming. The Spirit of Action and Adventure, the Spirit of FPS, the Spirit of Fighters, the RTS Spirit, the Racing Spirit, the RPG Vixen and lastly the Sports Spirit (all introduced here). Since the creation of this pixel laden week it has started to take on a life of its own. So much the creator has started to let people do their own thing with it and not push it near as much as when he setup this site. Now many of you may wonder why should you care about Winter-een-mas (which probably could have used a better name honestly), beyond an great excuse to play video games for a week straight as a celebration.
First of all video games have come a long way socially in the past years. No longer is being a gamer about sitting along in a dark room with a controller in your hand. Now gaming has become a social activity. Even single player games allow a player to stay in contact with friends playing other games. At all times you keep a fellowship of other people that have like interests. Most significant holidays the world over involve spending times with friends and family. Gaming exemplifies this in a manner that few outside our circles understand. You are not just spending time with your friends from work or school. You are spending time with people you have met from Denver, LA, New York, Australia, England, Japan and Germany. There is very few ways that you are able to bring people together for any length of time that all come from such different geographical locations. Video games have made this possible.
Second by playing games you are doing more then just sitting their passively (which is what outsiders may believe). You are constantly thinking on what you must do next. In puzzle games we are having to think constantly about what must be done to move on. Do we have to shot the eye, then push the block followed by dodging the trap? In FPS's we are constantly paying attention to our surroundings less we get shot from around the corner. In RPG's we are maximizing where we place our points for maximum output on what we want our characters to do. There are many types of games with many types of strategy in them. But the main point of all this is that we are always thinking, we are not just staring into a screen.
Lastly, we all love a little competition. How much better are you then your friends? Are you able to defeat the final boss on hard? Gaming is either teamwork to defeat what alone would be impossible to do, or to try and prove yourself the best in the round. Either way a spirit of competition moves us forward and keeps us coming back. This is then moved into the real world where we try our best to stay on our toes in our job or school. We do not want to be shown up by others in what we know we can do just as well or better. Healthy competition can help a long way in a person self esteem as well.
So there you have it. Fellowship, competition, and thought. They drive us as gamers, and as people in our standard day to day lives. By celebrating Winter-een-mas you are celebrating what it is to be alive. So Grab a controller or fire up a game on the PC, for Winter-een-mas is upon us. Play well, play hard, and GAME ON!