The lights are on
The holiday season is always bittersweet. On one hand, most of
us have a string of days off from work or school. On the other hand, we're
expected to spend that time with our families instead of playing video games. Fear
not! Here's a list of ten ways you can sneak away from the relatives and get in
This article was originally posted on December 24, 2012, but the advice is still just as priceless today as it was then!
Excuse #10: "I'm just
testing to make sure it works."
What could possibly be worse than opening a shiny new game on Christmas morning only
to find out that it's broken? No one would want their child/sibling/parent/whoever to suffer such disappointment. Before
you wrap that exciting new game up, explain to the powers that be that you should
really pop it into your console and play the first couple of hours just to make
sure it works.
Excuse #9: A Visit From
If you're a gaming parent, Christmas Eve can be the perfect time to get in
some digital entertainment after the children go to bed – as long as you plan
ahead. Keep a string of bells beside you as you play; if a sleepy little intruder
does barge in on your late night gaming marathon, just give them a jingle, open
your eyes real wide, and ask, "Is that Santa?" They'll spend the rest of the
night staring at the chimney while you play into the early morning hours. God
bless the gullibility of children.
Excuse #8: "I don't
want to be rude..."
Most people would consider it rude to play video games when the relatives are
over – but isn't refraining from playing them even ruder?
This mind-blowing excuse turns the etiquette argument on its
head. Consider the facts: a loved one went out of their way to buy you a video
game that they know you'll love – wouldn't it be inconsiderate to simply set it
aside in the pile of other opened presents and pretend it doesn't even
exist until everyone goes home? You always have to immediately try on the ugly
sweater your aunt buys you in order to spare her feelings; the same rule should
apply for games.
Excuse #7: "Think of
Here's another classic excuse that hinges on playing the part of the
selfless relative. The rambunctious nature of little children often means that
they get a free pass to do as they please at family gatherings – as long as
they're not torturing the dog or breaking stuff, no one really cares. Secretly
ask your nieces/nephews/younger siblings/random neighborhood kids if they want
to play video games – if they say yes, you're pretty much obligated to play
with them. Remember, you're not secluding yourself from the other adults to
selfishly play video games; you're being the considerate guardian who's
entertaining the children.
Excuse #6: An Answer
Smartphones have been a boon for stealth gaming; no one can see what you're
doing on your private screen, and there's a wealth of valid excuses for why
your eyes might be glued to your mobile device. Use that to your advantage
during family gatherings by volunteering to answer any questions your relatives
may or may not have by "looking it up on your phone."
Who invented tinsel?
How long should you cook yams? What the hell are yams? After playing a
game for five minutes, reply to your waiting family member that the answer is yes.
If it's not a yes or no question, just say the results are inconclusive. If
someone questions why your phone is making video game noises while you're
supposedly looking up answers, just say it's a state-of-the-art device like the
handheld computer Al had in Quantum Leap.
Coming Up Next: Five more incredibly stupid ideas...
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.