While people may associate Christmas with friends, family, and good cheer, for me Christmas has always been about the video games. As a child I tended to only get new games as Christmas or birthday gifts, so twice a year I would be twitching with excitement at the thought of receiving Golden Axe, ESWAT, or Sonic the Hedgehog.
This may seem strange some of you reading now, but it’s important to remember that as a child I had no independent income. This is due to the fact that I spent a large portion of my childhood in a part of Scotland called ‘Fife’, where the local currency is passive aggressiveness. As a native Glasweigian, I tend to be more aggressive than anything else.
These days, I’m living in Glasgow, and making a decent living in the public sector, scowling at emails to a standard that would make the taxpayer weep with pride. However, even now, Christmas is still all about the games, and each year I give games to friends, relatives, pets, and awkward LinkedIn contacts as a way to say:
“I am fantastic at choosing gifts. I found you a game specifically tailored to your tastes and needs. You bought me socks. I like socks, but I am clearly better at this than you.”
Make no mistake dear reader, I am fucking fantastic at getting games as gifts. It’s a talent like no other, and it makes me think I might actually be psychic.
However, I understand that you may not be so fortunate, and so I have decided to share my wisdom with you, as you fret over genres, platforms, and making your own collection look tasteful.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Scott Tumilty method of buying games for people for Christmas and other occasions.
1: Break into their home
Going on the assumption that you lack my awe inspiring insight into the human mind as far as gaming choices go, it is incredibly important that you study the game collection of your intended gift-receiver in excruciating detail.
There is nothing more awkward than giving someone a game that they already own.
That awful moment when you lock eyes, they mumble something about already having it, and you share the forbidden knowledge that you simply don’t love that person as much as they had hoped, can crush the souls of men and women alike.
You may think that night time presents the perfect opportunity to break into the gift-receiver’s home, however given that it is the festive season, there is a chance that they’ll be out shopping, or drinking, or both. With that in mind, make absolutely sure that you break into their house in broad daylight.
I would always advise the back door. That’s the one that gives you a real sense of a person, not the mask they present to the world. If you’re unsure on how to pick locks, get two paper clips, and mime along to Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 as she’s attempting to escape the asylum.
2: Blowdart the animals
Behind the smile of every hamster, lies the heart of a killer.
You absolutely need to blowdart the little fucker before he tears you to atoms, and the gift-receiver returns home to find him sitting in a pool of your blood like in Dexter.
Don’t worry about levels of sedative. In a best case scenario, everyone loves sleeping animals. In a worst case scenario, the death of a beloved family pet will be a welcome distraction from how shit your gift is. It’s basically a win-win situation.
Curly straws are not practical for this purpose. Stop by a fast food emporium with a drive through window, and make sure to order a full meal. Ordering just a drink, or asking for extra straws will arouse suspicion, and you simply cannot afford that, not at this early stage.
3: DO NOT USE THE TOILET
Let’s be honest with each other. Real talk. You and me.
You need my help because you don’t really know, or love the person you’re buying a game for, do you?
You don’t know what games they already have, and I’m betting you don’t even know what kind of games they like. You’re a fucking monster, simply going through the motions of society’s expectations, waiting for that final chain to rust, freeing you from the torment of common morality. You’re such a fucking prick.
With this said, it’s also fair to assume that you don’t know if your gift-receiver counts individual sheets of toilet paper.
This may seem like a trivial, maybe even farcical non-issue, but your lack of this kind of in depth personal knowledge is the reason you need my help, so I’ll be giving the directions motherfucker.
One single bumwipe unaccounted for could be the difference between freedom, and a lifetime behind bars, so it is absolutely imperative that you do not use the toilets.
In an emergency situation, relieve yourself in a potted plant. In, not around.
Also, you should probably then carry the potted plant with you at all times. This is a serious business folks, there’s no room for error.
4: Steal their game collection
Quickly, and quietly, put every single game they own into your Sports Direct bag for life.
You’ll need to put down your potted plant first. Make sure you bring it into the games-holding room first, as an unattended toilet plant may attract the spirits of the recently deceased, who may build a nest out of leaves and human waste in order to begin their unearthly howling.
Make sure every game is placed into the bag. If they tend to only download games as opposed to visiting the rotting, emaciated body of the retail temple, make sure to take their PC and consoles too.
When leaving, it is important to leave your potted plant exactly as you found it. Human waste can be retrieved using a Tesco bag for life (which is of sturdy yet lightweight construction) and the straw you used earlier to sedate the animals.
5: Mail it back to them, piece by piece
I already know what you’re thinking. You want to send the gift-receiver their favourite, most beloved game first. You want them to know that you mean business, that you’re to be taken seriously, and that you’re not here to fuck about.
Resist this urge. You can easily send this message without losing your trump card.
If you immediately send the gift-receiver their most beloved game, they may be so relieved and overjoyed that they cease to care about the rest of their collection, rendering it useless to you.
Think of the stolen games as a treasured child of a wealthy family. If you’re a visual thinker, it may help you to arrange the games into the shape of a child.
If the gift-receiver’s favourite game could be considered the heart of the collection, then ideally you wish to send back a game that’s not essential, but of enough worth to send the message that you’re not to be taken lightly.
In other words, you need to send the equivalent of the left pinky finger. I’d suggest something like ‘Enslaved: Journey to the West’.
Congratulations dear reader. You are now fully equipped with the knowledge you require in order to navigate the treacherous festive seas that surround the idyllic island of perfect gift giving. There may be monsters in these waters, but I believe in you.