A Steamy Christmas Tradition

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Christmas may, in fact, be my favorite holiday. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about and rating holidays, but even though I enjoy the hell out of Halloween, I get really excited each year around December. The decorations, the music (to a degree), the “cold” weather we get in Florida, the general cheery goodness. And so I don’t mind going all out when it comes to gift-giving. Part of this has lately, in the last two or three years, included browsing through the Steam wishlists of friends and picking out an item they’ll hopefully love playing. Steam’s holiday sales make this almost impossible to resist.

But it’s a different Steam-related tradition I want to talk about here. My family lives close by, just a few exits down the highway, and for the last couple of years it has become a routine that we – my girlfriend and I – pack the dogs, presents, Christmas dinner contributions, and overnight bags into the car when she comes home from work on the 24th, and spend the night at my mother’s house, so we’re already there when the wrapping paper starts flying the next morning. Here’s the rub: my family is an early-to-bed kind of family, while I am not; each year, I’m stuck in bed on the 24th, the only one in the household still awake, and looking for some way to pass the time. This is where Steam and my laptop have proven to come in handy!

Since I’m always hopelessly behind on my ever-growing Steam backlog, this quiet time when I can’t sleep for excitement is perfect for installing a new game from my queue and getting stuck right in. One year it’s Limbo I load up, the next I complete my journey through Machinarium in the early morning hours as Santa’s making his rounds across the globe.

This year, I’ve decided on something a little less conventional, at least when compared to my above-mentioned track record. As I’m writing, notorious horror thriller Amnesia: The Dark Descent is downloading and installing. Meaning that as soon as this post is up, I’ll be delving into a game that I’ve managed to dodge out of fear for a few years now. I have headphones ready to go, so I don’t wake up the entire household – though I might manage to do that regardless, if Amnesia‘s scare factor is anything near what I’ve heard.

And there you have it. My Christmas tradition is about to take a turn for the macabre and frightening, and it may be a sleepless night for reasons other than anxious preening over presents under the Christmas tree. Lo, a pop-up Steam message notifies me that the installation is complete. I must away, Amnesia is beckoning…

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