As I wake up to a thick blanket of snow that I'm too ill to venture out in, and curse the skies for their endlessly cruel mockery, I do spare a thought for the Australians. In fact, a good half of the planet lives under the hegemony of the romanticised "white Christmas", as their Peanuts cartoons and idyllic snowglobes contradict the lovely sunny day outside. This plight is also seemingly recognised by Team Fortress 2, which has just released an updated entitled, Australian Christmas.
I think what I like best about Valve is their complete lack of interest in researching anything to do with the various nationalities they depict in their games. Relying instead on imagination and misheard archetypes, they create not a stereotype, but a faintly insulting lunatic version of reality. Such it is that the Australian Christmas update features mutilated reindeer, child abduction and festive crates. Except, only sort of.
This really is bizarre. So the revealed new feature is, of course, a Medieval Mode. It's a "Controlle Pointe" map in an ancient Scottish castle. OF COURSE IT IS. That's the only thing that makes sense. Why are they in 10th century Scotlandshire? The Soldier angered a magician. So you're playing with medieval weapons.
There's also these festive crates, opened with festive keys, for whatever it is that TF2 is now, which apparently is something slightly closer to Barbie's Occasionally Violent Dreamhouse than the FPS I once played.
And, er, nothing whatsoever that I can see that has anything to do with Australia nor a sunny Christmas. So 86 that opening claim - the Australian sunshiney seasonal plight remains ignored.