Christmas and Hanukkah are both over, which means folks are probably still cleaning their homes and fridges of all the festivities. (I know I am.) But before you go back to playing with your new goodies, though, Kotaku has a question for you, dear reader: what was your fave gift ever?
This can be anything gaming-related from any year, so don’t limit yourself to just 2023. For example, my fave gift was an Xbox 360, but to explain why, I need to do a story time. So, pull up a chair, grab your coffee—or festive drink of choice—and relax while I speak about my late grandma and Christmas 2006.
Read More: I Miss Smashing Gears Of War In One Weekend With My Bestie
I’ve always had consoles growing up, but they were hand-me-downs from much-older siblings. I was occasionally the little one with the controller unplugged while my sister played games like Jak and Daxter and Super Mario Bros. 3. Eventually, as my sister—the only other gamer in the household—aged and birthed kids, she’d pass her unused consoles onto me. But I wanted something all my own. So, when Microsoft took the E3 stage in mid-May 2005 to speak at length about the Xbox 360, I was totally enamored. This small white box, with its simple controller and eclectic selection of games, was a must-have for me. Unfortunately, it was just a bit out of budget for my grandma, who couldn’t care less about video games. I begged her to no avail, resigning myself to the thought that, if I did even better in school, then there would be no way she could deny me of my spoils. I was right.
Fast-forward a year to December 2006 and, if I remember correctly, the Xbox 360 had just dropped in price by maybe $50-$100. “Perfect timing,” I thought, “she has to get it now.” So, I wrote out a Christmas list with just three things on it: an Xbox 360, an additional controller, and a copy of the third-person shooter Gears of War. I even included pricing to make shopping as budget-friendly and as simple as possible. My grandma played it off, dismissing my list as frivolous and expensive.
When Christmas Day came, my bestie and I, dejected by the thought of no games, were shook to find exactly what I had asked for under the plastic-and-steel Christmas tree. We should’ve been called Twin Jokers with how our smiles reached from ear-to-ear. “Ecstatic” doesn’t even begin to explain the feeling. My bestie and I ripped through the boxes, grabbed the console and game and controller, bolted to my room, closed the door, hooked everything up, and beat Gears of War multiple times in one weekend. It was the best gaming gift I ever got, one that set me on the course to where I am now.
My grandma’s no longer with me. She passed away on July, 13, 2022 at 3:33 a.m. PT. An angel number, so they say. I’m eternally grateful for her because without her, I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be here.
So, Kotaku readers, what was your fave gaming-related gift? Do you have a story to go with it, too? Let’s do a little show and tell in the comments.