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Suffer Through Black Friday From The Comfort Of Your Home

Black Friday is the time when people gather together en masse and trample one another for cheap towels. Some people say they enjoy the excitement and great deals that the day offers. I say those people are either lying or stupid. If you’re a masochist who isn’t able to hit the stores this year but desperately wants to replicate the experience, I’m here for you. Play these games in order, and you’ll get a taste of all that Black Friday has to offer.

Step 1: Plan your stupid day (XCOM)
If you’ve spent any time with Black Friday enthusiasts, you know that planning is part of the ritual. The Thursday paper is gutted on the kitchen table, and then people plot their strategies depending on store locations, crowd estimates, and traffic projections. While you aren’t gunning for a garbage-brand flatscreen in XCOM, planning is a big part of Firaxis’ tactical-strategy game. And just like Black Friday, the best possible plans will fall apart with heart-breaking consequences.

Step 2: Leave your family behind (World of Warcraft)
As you know, Black Friday is bleeding into Thanksgiving. Stores are opening on the holiday to give people a chance to get an early start on their shopping. Of course, that leaves the people who actually want to spend the day with their families in a bad (and lonely) position. If you can’t bail on your loved ones in real life, why not join a raid in WoW? Be sure to drop out at a critically important moment, too. You never know when there will ever be another two-for-one deal on hand soap.

Step 3: Wait (Netflix)
If you want to stand any chance of getting those sweet $4 Blu-rays of the second season of Weeds, you’re going to have to wait in line. As it turns out, waiting in line is boring. So is trying to launch the Xbox 360’s Netflix app. Until that gets addressed (it won’t), it’s the next best thing to freezing your face off with a bunch of other creeps.

Step 4: Get in there (Dead Rising)
Fact: Most of Black Friday’s crushing incidents happen when the store gates open. Again, you never know when there will ever be another two-for-one deal on hand soap. It’s an exciting, lung-squishing good time. No game can accurately recreate that magical moment, but we can come close. Have a family member sit on your chest and abdomen while you play the opening moments of Dead Rising, when the zombies first crash through the doors and into the Willamette Parkview Mall.

Step 5: Get your loot (Call of Duty)
Getting through the doors is just the first step. Once (if?) you worm your way through the entrance, you’ve got to run over to where the items are. There are going to be plenty of people interested in the same things. While it’s not likely that the ensuing fracas will end in gunfire, Call of Duty’s multiplayer provides a close approximation of the same thrilling feelings. When a care package drops, sprint to the landing spot and attempt to hold your ground. Pretend the crate contains discounted towels or a knock-off Pillow Pet. Try to survive.

Step 6: Haul ass to the next store (Crazy Taxi)
Quick! You got your stack of 2 GB SD memory cards! You’ve made it through the checkout counter! You’ve saved more than $14 for a mere 8 hours of your time! Now rush over to the next store and do it all over again! Other people are ahead of you, so GO GO GO!!

Step 7: Think about what you did (Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor)
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor doesn’t really have anything to do with Black Friday. Maybe it will be on sale for $.50? At any rate, it is a terrible game, and it will make you feel hollow inside for having played it. Now that I think of it, perhaps it does have something in common with Black Friday after all. It’s a holiday miracle!

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