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With the month of January comes a very special holiday, which all of us gamers have been expectantly holding our controllers for. After all the shopping and feasting of Christmas, the heavy drinking and all night partying of New Years, it’s finally time for the next big event, Winter-een-mas. While the weather is still cold enough to make you want to stay indoors for as long as possible, grab your controllers gamers, because during Winter-een-mas we celebrate video games and the people who play them!

Winter-een-mas was first featured in the online web comic (one of my personal favorites) Ctrl+Alt+Del (www.cad-comic.com). Tim Buckley the hilarious, creative and innovative mastermind behind Ctrl+Alt+Del, managed to make Winter-een-mas a widespread holiday. Now gamers all over the world sit down for seven days at the very end of January (25th – 31st) to celebrate what they love doing most. For most gamers the whole month of January becomes a sort of preparation for this exciting celebration, where new video games are purchased, events are scheduled and maybe even consoles or computers are bought. If you feel like giving a gift to an important individual in your life, feel free to although it is not at all necessary or the norm. The seven days of Winter-een-mas are as follows:

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Day 1: Adventure games (Blade Runner, Tales of Monkey Island): Portrayed by a man dressed as Indiana Jones.

Day 2: First Person Shooters (Quake, Counterstrike): Portrayed by a sleep deprived twenty-one year old.

Day 3: Fighting Games (Tekken, Soul Caliber): Portrayed by a martial artist with severe head injuries.

Day 4: Real Time Strategy (Warcraft, Starcraft): Portrayed by a large bearded man with a pocket protector inside a pocket protector.

Day 5: Racing Games (Forza, Need for Speed): Portrayed by an old fashioned racer holding a detached steering wheel.

Day 6: Role Playing Games (Dragon Age, Mass Effect): Portrayed by an elfish woman with hovering dice above her hand.

Day 7: Sports Games (Fifa, NHL): Portrayed by a middle aged man wearing a jersey and holding a beer bottle in each hand.

While Winter-een-mas is a celebration about video games and the people who play them, it is not limited to gamers. Anyone who enjoys the occasional video game, or even just wishing a fellow human being a Happy Winter-een-mas is qualified to celebrate this humble but important holiday. For us gamers however this whole month symbolizes what video games mean to us, which is an enjoyable, informational and even educational form of passing time. Therefore, try not to interrupt your son or daughter, friend or even enemy during the seven days of Winter-een-mas, rather pick up a controller or connect to their network and join them in a game or two of whatever they are playing. If you don’t play video games wish them a Happy Winter-een-mas and remember the one thing that gamers always need aimagesre the snacks that are too far away for them to reach while gaming.

For me video games are something I enjoy as much as films or good novels. Especially since now-a-days video games have plots that are complex, entertaining and strive to prove important points on different aspects in humanity (Red Dead Redemption), or even just a piece of fiction that has the potential of being an amazing film or novel (Alan Wake). The interactive aspect of video games allows a person to experience the same narrative over a longer period of time as well as permits the narrative to develop more topics and side stories than a two hour film. Video games also allow a person to experience things that would otherwise be impossible, be it visiting a place they’ve always wanted to visit, driving their favorite car or even placing themselves inside a warfare like scenario. The possibilities are endless!

Winter-een-mas has a website that has various events for those of you that would like to join them (www.wintereenmas.com) and it also has additional information for those of you who are further interested. Thanks for the read everybody, and Happy Winter-een-mas all around! Let the gaming commence!