In response to "Are You Happy Now?" from The Escapist Forum: Most excellent. I can identify! Christmas was pretty much the only time I got a game each year when I was a kid, so I had to choose carefully.
The year I picked Prince of Persia, only to realize it didn't work (very well) with our computer setup was devastating. I freaked right the fuck out. "Christmas is ruined," and a wide assortment of bitter hyperbole. Eventually I realized that I was sounding a bit obsessed and accepted my fate, and a few months later a new computron appeared. Presto!
At the time, I was convinced that the lesson learned was that you should act like nothing bothers you, and your level-headed indifference will be rewarded when the problem is magically fixed by Forces On High.
Good article. I think we can relate to doing dumb things as a kid. I once got really upset over a couple of presents under the tree. I only had two gifts but the number wasn't the issue. The issue was the 'shape' of the gift. They were shaped like clothes boxes. You know the ones I'm talking about. The large rectangular one that was sure to contain the green and red sweater you're only going to wear once.
All I wanted that year was the Splinter action figure from the Ninja Turtle series. I overreacted towards my parents and made a complete jackass out of myself. Upon opening the gift not only was Splinter in there, but there beside him were April O'Neil and Shredder. Needless to say I felt like a douche.
I think as kids we're spoiled by being born into a place with readily available food and shelter. (not everyone in this world can say that) Having these two things handed to us so easily puts our focus on thing that are ultimately trivial. I feel like it's only later in life that we start to realize what really matters.
In response to "Christmas in South Africa" from The Escapist Forum: Haha, I loved the familiarity of this article. It's really great to read about a summertime, South African Christmas instead of those weird foreign snowy Christmases for a change.
A friend of mine still has his old imitation-console, the "Golden China TV Game" or something. The sound's gone, but we still play Contra, Ice Climber and all the rest on it sometimes.
Of course, most of my Christmas memories are from the early-2000s, but, despite everything, not much has changed. Not even the crime, unfortunately.