Christmas and Hanukkah are both over, which means people are probably still cleaning out their homes and refrigerators from all the festivities. (I know I am.) But before you go back to playing with your new gifts, Kotaku has a question for you, dear reader: what was your favorite gift?
It can be any gaming-related year, so don’t limit yourself to 2023. For example, my favorite gift was an Xbox 360, but to explain why, I have to do a story time. So sit back, grab your coffee – or your festive drink of choice – and relax while I talk about my late grandmother and Christmas 2006.
Learn more: I miss smashing Weapons of war In a weekend with my best friend
I always had consoles growing up, but they were heirlooms from much older siblings. I was sometimes the little one with the controller unplugged while my sister played games like Jack and Daxter And Super Mario Bros. 3. Eventually, as my sister – the only other gamer in the house – aged and born with children, she would pass down her unused consoles to me. But I wanted something of my own. So when Microsoft took the stage at E3 in mid-May 2005 to talk at length about the Xbox 360, I was totally wowed. This little white box, with its simple controller and eclectic selection of games, was a must-have for me. Unfortunately, it was just a little out of budget for my grandmother, who didn’t care about video games at all. I pleaded with her in vain, resigning myself to the idea that if I did even better at school, there was no way she could deprive me of my loot. I was right.
Fast forward a year to December 2006, and as I recall, the price of the Xbox 360 had just dropped by maybe $50-$100. “This is perfect timing,” I thought, “she must get it now.” So I wrote a Christmas list with just three things: an Xbox 360, an extra controller, and a copy of the third-person shooter. Weapons of war. I’ve even included prices to make shopping as cheap and simple as possible. My grandmother played along, deeming my list frivolous and expensive.
When Christmas Day arrived, my best friend and I, depressed about not playing, were shaken to find exactly what I had asked for under the plastic and steel Christmas tree. We should have been called Twin Jokers with the way our smiles stretched from ear to ear. “Ecstatic” doesn’t even begin to explain the feeling. My best friend and I went through the boxes, grabbed the console, game and controller, rushed to my room, closed the door, plugged everything in and beat Weapons of war several times in one weekend. It’s the best gaming gift I’ve ever received, the one that put me on the right path to get to where I am now.
My grandmother is no longer with me. She died on July 13, 2022 at 3:33 a.m. PT. An angelic number, So they say. I am forever grateful to her because without her, I would not be me. I will not be there.
SO, Kotaku Readers, what has been your favorite gaming gift? Do you also have a story to go with it? Let’s put on a little show and tell about it in the comments.
Gn En tech