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5 Things Gamers Can Do During the Holiday Shopping Rush

by: David Sanchez ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Can't buy new games because others might get them for you this holiday season? What can you do in the meantime?

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    Curing Holiday Boredom

    Gaming During the Holidays Gamers do one of two things during the holidays: They hold off on buying video games and wait to see if they get what they asked for on their wish lists; or they buy the games they want when they want to and get clothes, gift cards, or other gifts. What can you do if you opt to put your game buying on hold as you wait for your family and friends to get you God of War III or Super Mario Galaxy 2? What ailments can cure the boredom that results from not playing video games that are brand new for a few weeks?

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    Play an RPG

    A good RPG can consume countless hours of your time. 

    If you really feel like being busy until the gift-giving festivities begin, then you might want to invest in an RPG. Just tell the people who shop for your presents that you’ll be making one minor purchase, and that it won’t greatly affect the wish list you wrote for them. RPGs are known for being lengthy affairs that can last anywhere between 20 to 40 hours or more. Start playing an RPG close to the holidays and chances are you’ll still be playing it when the day comes where you have to swap presents with your loved ones.

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    Play Downloadable Games

    Games like Limbo are just begging for you to download and play them. 

    These days it’s impossible to rule out digital holidays when it comes to Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas. The fact of the matter is that people enjoy surprising one another by sending games through their favorite consoles. However, if you know for a fact that the people shopping for you are going to give you physical copies of games, there’s nothing stopping you from downloading some Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, or WiiWare games. With titles such as Cave Story, Super Meat Boy, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy.

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    Buy Some Older Games

    If you haven't played this game, then what are you waiting for? 

    Most of the time, people buy games for others that were released that same year. If you’re eagerly awaiting Metroid: Other M, Call of Duty: Black Ops, or Heavy Rain this year, then now’s your chance to catch up on some older games you may have missed. Head over to your local games retailer and pick up games like Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, Viva Pinata, or Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy. You can’t go wrong with those, and it’s likely your family and friends won’t be looking for them anyway.

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    Do a Little Freeware Gaming

    Spelunky is free and totally awesome. Just because a game is free doesn’t mean it’s bad. There are a number of phenomenal freeware games worth your time, and to be quite honest, some of these would make excellent additions to Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and WiiWare. Fancy Pants Adventures instantly comes to mind when talking about free indie games. There’s also Ikachan by the iconic Studio Pixel. The list goes on and on. So if you’re not playing video games because you’re awaiting some of the latest releases this holiday season, or if your budget is limited because you’re being kind enough to buy all of your loved ones presents, you should definitely check out some online indie games.

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    Get to Work on Your Backlog of Unplayed Games

    Behind that door is a hauntingly high number of unplayed games. 

    We’ve all done it. There are times when we see a game at our favorite games retailer and instinctively pick it up. Maybe we heard it was a good game from a friend or read a positive review. Perhaps we were interested in it and bought it at a time when we were already engulfed in another title. Regardless of your reasoning, if you’re a gamer, chances are you have a backlog of games that have yet to be played. So what are you waiting for? Now’s your chance to dig up that copy of Indigo Prophecy, Katamari Damacy, or Max Payne. Your backlog is certain to keep you busy until you get to open your presents.

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    Things Gamers Can Do During the Holidays

    Gamers love playing video games, so it’s unfair to expect them not to play anything while loved ones shop frantically for presents during the holiday season. So if you’re refraining from buying some of 2010’s hottest games because you know someone in your family or circle of friends is getting them for you, there are many different things you can do. Play an indie game, download something fun, buy an older game, spend your time with an RPG, or finally get to work on that backlog of unplayed games.