Christmas is a time for giving, yes, but it's also a time for receiving. Which is more important. And while we know what we want for Christmas, we wondered: what do the big names of the video game industry want?
Wondering got us to asking, so we asked around. And people like Ken Levine, Sid Meier, Gabe Newell, David Jaffe and Aaron Greenberg were kind enough to provide us with answers. Some wanted world peace. Others money. One wants to hear less Wham. Not sure Santa's the right person to be asking that of.
Anyway, without further ado, here's what some of the video game industries biggest names (and, uh...us) hope to find under the Christmas tree come December 25.
Pete Hines, Bethesda
"I'd like to see the USA make it to the semifinals of the World Cup, or Wake Forest make it to the Final Four. Or both. And I'd like enough time to get through the pile of new games I need to play and haven't gotten to yet. And money. And world peace. But mostly money."
Gabe Newell, Valve
"I decided I needed a hobby, so I started teaching myself how to be a machinist. I've got a CNC mill, surface grinder, heat treat furnace, and lots of other devices designed to launch various body parts across my garage at high velocity while on fire. Once you start going down this path, it makes putting together a Christmas list pretty easy as there's a near infinite amount of stuff that you can convince yourself you need. For example a year ago I'd never heard of Harvey Tool's 270 degree undercutting end mill (#23204-C3), and now I can't imagine how I'll be able to make it through Christmas day if I don't get it in my stocking. Band-Aids would also be nice..."
Sid Meier, Firaxis
"A Rickenbacker guitar! Playing and composing music is my second most favorite thing to do – next to making games of course! I've wanted one of these guitars for a while – hope Santa is reading this article."
Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft
"The Wire box set. Because you can never have too much knowledge about the how the game is played."
Hideki Kamiya, Platinum Games
"I would like lots of cute girlfriends for Christmas because I don't really have any cute girlfriends right now."
Todd Howard, Bethesda
"I'd like more time to sit in my basement and play video games. I don't know that I've been nice enough to my family to deserve that though, because I'm usually in my basement playing video games."
David Jaffe, EatSleepPlay
"As an agnostic who celebrates BOTH Christmas and Chanukah, my wish list includes: tickets to the Jay-Z concert at Staples center in March (I THINK my ex is getting them for me, but don't tell her I know, cool?!?), a fantastic time with friends and family over the holiday, for the spirit of God/the Universe/whatever you choose to call it to continue to flow thru me and the amazing team at Eat Sleep Play so we can provide fans a great deal of joy and happiness in the new year; great jobs for all my gaming colleagues who are out of work right now; and finally and most importantly: health, understanding, love, and much peace to us all, especially to those who are suffering. Much love, ya'll! Have a great holiday!"
Ken Levine, 2K Boston
"I'd like to get a working internet connection, Comcast! My guildmates need me! And damnit, I've been good enough to deserve a trip to the Scarlet Monastery."
Randy Pitchford, Gearbox
"All I want for the holidays is for single vendor DRM to die and be replaced by a global/universal identity and credential system that is loved and adopted by all. If that can happen, I guess it would also be cool to get one of those Taun Taun sleeping bags :)"
Frank O'Connor, 343 Studios
"Is it too much to ask Santa for a 50 inch Samsung LED TV? It's not because of the picture so much as it's the absolute, wafer-thin flatness of it. I have already been cheated, by life, out of a flying car. I just want a TV that looks like it would melt in your mouth. And then I could watch a documentary about world peace on it."
Ben Judd, Capcom
"If I could get anything for Christmas it would be a reduction in the amount of times I had to hear "Last Christmas" by Wham! in the various convenience stores, department stores, even the local pork cutlet shop. All of those not living in Japan, thank your lucky stars you this song doesn't have nearly the exposure in your country as it does in Japan. I have a very high threshold for pain... I even didn't mind Hanson. But hearing this song more than 100 times in a single 30 day span can break any man. Any man."
Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, Microsoft
"I need Bioshock 2 to be worthy of the first game. I need it to be great! Can't start next year with a broken heart."
Atsushi Inaba, Platinum Games
"I'd like a deserted island, surrounded by emerald green seas. I think even if I really shouldn't, having an island would make me feel like taking a vacation."
Luke Plunkett, Kotaku
"What do I want, readers? I want the complete Battlestar Galactica collection on Blu-Ray. I'll probably end up with something else, since that's so damn expensive, but we're talking about what I want here, not what I think I'll get."
Brian Ashcraft, Kotaku
"A weaker Japanese yen — way weaker. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD PLEASE!"
Stephen Totilo, Kotaku
"I want all my comics to magically turn into trade paperbacks, my old cassette tapes to suddenly be on my iPod and all my video games accessible from harddrives instead of discs. And I want all of that to be indestructible and always accessible, please? Oh, and more time to read would be nice."
Michael Fahey, Kotaku
"I want to know how to read and speak Japanese for Christmas. It would be lovely if this was something you could receive in a box with a neatly-wrapped bow around it. See, I've imported Final Fantasy XIII, and while I am to the point where I can make out a word in katakana if you give me a few minutes, I am relatively sure that won't do in this situation. Other than suddenly having knowledge of a language that takes years to learn, my list mainly consists of harder-to-find games. Bust-A-Groove for the PlayStation (I own a Japanese copy I can't play in anything,) and Thousand Arms. I would kill for a nice copy of Thousand Arms, probably my favorite RPG on the PlayStation. I suppose killing isn't in keeping with the season. I'd...hug an orphan for a nice copy of Thousand Arms."
Amanda Glasser, Kotaku
"Well, since I didn't get The Hangover on DVD for Hanukkah, I'd like that for Christmas, as well as Family Guy's Something Something Dark Side. The holidays are usually a real drag at my house and I'm forbidden to play video games because it's not 'spending time with the family,' so I'll need funny stuff like this to watch while the family is in the same room with me.
"Also, I'm still holding out for that pony."
Owen Good, Kotaku
More than anything I want a conference championship in either football or men's basketball for North Carolina State University. That's all. Not a Final Four. I don't even care about the Orange Bowl. Just a fucking Atlantic Coast Conference championship, which I've won a thousand times on my Xbox 360 in NCAA Football and Basketball, but which my school hasn't seen in real life since Jim Valvano and Bo Rein. Both coaches died young, and tragically. My wish doesn't really have much to do with games, unfortunately. But you asked, and when I honestly think of something that would make me happier than I have ever been in years, if only for a day, that is it.