With Halloween behind us, it's time to ask: is the 1st of November too early to put up Christmas lights? Is it a grim sign of ravenous consumerism, or a welcome respite from the watching the year die slowly and painfully in its final months? As I untangled my strings of LED lights this morning, I realised that PC gaming is the most Christmassy of gamings. The colourful LEDs people cram into their PC's every orifice and pore aren't just any decoration, they're Christmas lights. That's their purpose. It always has been. Christmas is year-round for PC gamers. So here it is: merry Christmas.
I'm on the side of "Christmas now, and possibly forever." The good part of autumn is almost over, and soon these radiant crinkly leaves will be nothing more than treacherous sludge waiting to trip and goop you. Sunset comes before I even punch out of work. By Thursday, days will be less than nine hours long, then eight, then seven. It's awful. The world is bad until at least March. "Bring on Christmas," I said today, not realising Christmas never ended for many PC gamers.
I've long thought that LED-laden hardware was a curse, an industry-wide conspiracy to make my inobtrusive black boxes and slabs into lifestyle accessories, ghastly centrepieces of my home. I thought it was tacky trash. Only now do I realise that these are created expressly to be Christmas decorations. They've always been Christmas decorations.
I now feel bad for all the years I've dismissed glowing gear. No, I don't want my computer to have a perspex window revealing all sorts of glowing fans and memory sticks. But do I want a little Christmas tree by my desk all year? Absolutely I do. In retrospect, I should have known that Razer's hallmark green LEDs symbolised an evergreen Christmas tree.
And I will confess I've been judgmental. I've thought it a waste of money at best, kewl d00d posturing at worst. But now every time I see someone with a glowing mouse or RAM cycling through the colours of the rainbow, I'll know they're a sweetheart who loves Christmas more than anything in the world. A very merry Christmas to you, you little darling.
I'm putting my Christmas lights up tonight while listening to Christmas music and drinking cocoa, and I urge you to as well. Or, just put your PC somewhere central. Erect your radiant tower, plug in your pulsating mouse and keyboard, wear your glowing headphones, crank your lumiscent microphone, perch atop your illuminated chair, and fill your RGB-backlit monitor with the most colourful game you can.
It's Christmastime. It always is. And you, reader dear, forever sit atop your own RGB tree as the prettiest Christmas angel.