Merry Christmas, I got you a bunch of stuff.
I couldn't figure out how to blog chocolate, so I got you a bunch of entertainment suggestions you can play/read/watch just about anywhere. You can use them to escape your family and/or stop your mind from wandering back to real life during the holiday season. Enjoy.
Games To Save A Boring Christmas
Is the only game you got from Santa a copy of Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge? Here are some great games I played this year that you can download on whatever system ya got and be playing before the day is done (assuming your internet bandwidth is not hogged by a different 4K fireplace streaming in every room.)
Mini Metro is a game where you make metro lines to try to serve a growing population. Think of it as a really really simple SimCity but it’s actually nothing like that. See the top image for one of my creations.
Opus Magnum is one for the programmers. You build machines to combine and rip apart molecules to create whatever the puzzle requires. Then you can optimize your machine’s speed and size. There’s a terrible story to go along with it, but ignore that and stick to the puzzles.
Lastly, Firewatch is definitely my game of the year. Worth every cent of the full $20 price, you play a dude who goes out into the forest for the summer to be alone and watch it burn or not. Then stuff happens and it's like 'woah'. If not for animals and my crippling fear of isolation, I would totally do this in real life.
And of course, I always play a nice cheery game of This War Of Mine over the holiday break. It’s a game in which you try to survive wartime in a city cut off by the enemy. It’s depressing enough to make you damn grateful for even the worst of holidays.
Some Stuff To Read
If you’re looking for a great sci-fi novel series, check out The Three-Body Problem series. It has amazing science fiction concepts with a narrative that’s a little tricky to follow because it’s a Chinese translation and all the names are Chinese but it doesn’t matter because you’re there for the concepts not the people. I read the 2nd book, The Dark Forest, this year and it was more mind-blowing than the first.
If you’re more on the creepy, voyeuristic side and want to read about real peoples’ lives, here are two pieces from the New York Times, a longer one about various couples who’ve tried open marriages, and a shorter one about how much money actual wealthy couples spend. Both fascinating looks into lifestyles I’m a million miles away from. (I heart frugal monogamy?)
Lastly, here's a little blog post about gift-giving expectations that’s so spot on I could have written it myself except I not right that good.
Something To Watch
YouTube? I’ve been slowly getting more into YouTube this year. Mighty Car Mods is a great channel for people who like cars and Aussie accents; Dave2D does tech reviews in a very soothing tone; and Vox’s new Borders series is great for people who like geography and lines, and far more interesting than a series about country borders should be.
Netflix? Here are some things you can watch: get creeped out with dark serial killer FBI stuff in Mindhunter; watch The Good Place because everyone should; or watch iZombie if you like light cop/drama shows but don’t like zombie shows because iZombie isn't really about zombies.
Or you can continue binging Friends like everyone else.
That’s it! Hope you found something you liked in this pile of crap I dumped at your feet. I wouldn’t be surprised if not though because I only got you things that I wanted.