Winter-een-mas is a funny old festival. While most in the World are busy recovering from the gluttonous excesses of Christmas the peculiar sub-genre of humanity who self-identify as ‘gamers’ are gearing up for another round of festivities (and at this juncture spare a thought for our American gaming colleagues – they have had to endure Thanksgiving in November as well!). The difference here is that Winter-een-mas is specifically for them – for you, probably, if you are reading this. Instead of having to concentrate on extraneous concepts such as ‘family’, ‘work’ and, indeed, ‘life’ during Winter-een-mas gamers are instead free to pursue the universal truth, the only pastime with any inherent meaning in this modern world – gaming.
On the off-chance that you have been living under a Virtual Boy for the last few years allow me to remind you of the basics; Winter-een-mas is a winter festival which runs from the 25th to 31st of January, although traditionally the whole of the month of January is considered to be Winter-een-mas season. The festival is both a celebration of video games and the people who play them, and expressions of gaming culture are welcomed whole-heartedly by the gaming community during the holiday season (except for cosplay – most of us still find that a little disconcerting). While there is no onus on individuals to spread the gaming word during Winter-een-mas modern convention certainly expects that the more moral gamer will spend at least part of the season considering the plight of those unlucky enough to be unable to game during Winter-een-mas and it is hoped that they will take some small step to try to help those individuals.
Throughout the main festival period each day represents a specific gaming genre and has its own spirit, a manifestation of the pure essence of that genre if you will. These are all as follows:
|January 25th||Adventure||Indiana Jones style Adventurer|
|January 26th||FPS||Sleep-deprived gamer|
|January 27th||Fighting||Punch drunk martial artist|
|January 28th||RTS||Bearded male|
|January 29th||Racing||Driver with old fashioned helmet|
|January 30th||RPG||Female Elf, a vixen|
|January 31st||Sport||Middle aged guy with beer|
While the modern interpretation of the festival was introduced to the world in 2003 by Tim Buckley of CAD, it takes only a little extrapolation to see the clear links back to the Panhellenic Games of ancient Greece (you can trust me on this, I used to be an archaeologist). The main differences between the ancient and modern flavour of gaming festivals are that modern gamers usually wear clothes and most gaming is performed while stationary. Of course, the advent of modern motion-controlled gaming and the natural evolution of the Truth or Lie franchise could mean that fairly soon the participants of Winter-een-mas could be experiencing ancient thrills just like their ancestors did. We at The Digital Fix look forward to this occurrence, especially if it coincides with any Kinect 2 video-capture functionality that Microsoft may be experimenting with.
On a more serious note, made up as the whole shenanigans may be, it’s a good opportunity to spend some time doing what you love doing the most. Over the week we will be presenting our games of Winter-een-mas 2012 following the genre guidelines above and generally enjoying ourselves. Most importantly we are featuring Child's Play in our very own charity drive. It’s really one of those scenarios where every teeny tiny bit of money you can come up with can make a real difference, and not only would we appreciate any donation you can afford but I’m sure the kids stuck in the hospitals without games would too.