Here is a question: being a geek, do you often find that your family is at a complete loss when trying to buy you presents? I know mine is. Every single year.
I mean, it’s not like it is hard to figure out what I like don’t you think? I like video games, I like electronic gadgets, I like pen and paper RPG and tabletop battle games. I like SF books, anime, manga and graphic novels. And it’s not like I don’t have a blog which essentially outlines all my likes and dislikes in each of these categories. I’m an open book – I should be easy to buy gifts for. But apparently I’m not. All this stuff I enjoy – all the stuff I live and breathe is so alien and incomprehensible to most of my family members that it is as if we existed in some parallel universes. I usually have to tell everyone exactly what I want to get – an in most cases I don’t even know what to ask for. I mean, if I really want something I usually get it for myself unless it is prohibitively expensive. And if I sort-of want something, and request it specifically, then it is no longer a surprise.
Is that your experience as well? Does your non-geeky close ones actually take the effort to ask around/research good gifts you may like? Or do they take the easier route of having you write down the exact thing you want for them, or resort to gift-card / generic clothing gift ideas. Or are you fortunate enough to be surrounded by like minded folks who will actually get you awesomely geeky gifts without even asking.
Not that I’m complaining of course. I’m actually thankful for having a caring family which would actually bother trying to get me something. I’m just noticing that a lot of people out there find gift shopping for geeks incredibly difficult for some odd reason.
Speaking of gifts, question number two: how much did you spend on Steam Holiday Sale this year? Honestly, I must admit that once I see prices of semi-recent, well reviewed video games drop down to single digits I find it very hard to resist buying them. Just this past few days I have seen all the Overlord games for $3, all the Hitman games for less than $10, all the Fear games and expansions for just as much, Batman: Arkham Asylum for like $8, KoTOR for like a buck… It’s crazy. You see how deeply they cut the prices on some of these games, and you start wandering how do they even make profit on these sales. But I’m sure they do, just judging from how many times I clicked that purchase button myself. I mean, I bought a bunch of games for myself, I got some last minute supplemental gifts for my brother.
We are sort of conditioned to think that a video game is worth about $40-60 regardless of when it was published. In most retail chains, games stay the same price for their entire sales lifetime, and then just disappear once they are no longer relevant. Other items deeply discounted, and dropped into bargain bins – but this almost never happens to software. Which I guess is why Valve holiday sales make all of us go berserk. There is just no other place right now where you could get 15-20 games for the prince of one.
Thank you Valve for making Christmas time awesome every year. I hope you will enjoy my money, cause I’m sure enjoying the games I bought.