PAT NEAL: My Christmas wish list

Call it the magic of the season or the true Christmas spirit. It’s time once again for my Christmas wish list.

It’s not my intention to use valuable print space for a plea for consumer goods, electronics or cash.

This isn’t about me. It’s an opportunity to help our fellow man, our community and our country as a whole.

Christmas has become more than just a story about Santa and eight tiny reindeer.

It’s an economic engine that determines the geo-political health of our great nation.

In other words, the more we spend on Christmas, blowing dough we don’t have, buying things we don’t need, for people we don’t like, who won’t remember, the better off we will all be in the long run.

Do your part and buy me a present — and I’m not talking socks and underwear this Christmas.

I’ll just take a page from the Black Friday playbook and take them back the day after Christmas and exchange them for I really want, video games.

It’s become an American Christmas tradition for the whole family to gather around the Christmas tree to thrill and delight at the latest video games.

Here are a few of my favorites that will help me celebrate the joy of the season, if you, the dear reader(s), would just cough up the cash.

Christmas Massacre is a video game inspired by the snuff game Manhunt. It’s a fun-filled, shoot-em-up slaughter, with plenty of gore and violence, where our hero is commanded by an evil Christmas tree to go on a murder rampage, flamethrowing rooms full of nuns and children.

Nothing says joy of the Christmas season like zombies. The video game Project Zomboid has you surviving hunger and illness, evading hordes of deadly zombies while you loot buildings to survive.

Spoiler alert, it’s a matter of when, not if, you will die.

Tired of those pesky zombies taking over your Christmas? The bad guys in Resident Evil are a much more intelligent adversary.

These are parasite-infected humans that can use weapons and communicate that you must weaken with a flashlight first, in order to kill them with firearms. Enjoy.

Looking for a more traditional video game? I am.

Lies of P is a charming re-telling of the story of Pinocchio, with a twist. Here Pinocchio is in a decaying, diseased city full of monsters and crazy people, looking for his creator Gepetto, who might be able to stop a puppet rebellion using a variety of gadgets including that old standby, a flamethrower.

Christmas has always been about the traditions of the season.

From the trimming of the tree to the hanging of the Christmas sock, to the exchange of gifts with loved ones, these treasured traditions create memories that can pass from one generation to another.

To these time-honored Christmas traditions, we can add one more — Grand Theft Auto.

GTA is one of the most successful entertainment products worldwide with 190 million units sold and more than $8.5 billion in revenue.

GTA has a something for everyone.

It’s a violent, R-rated romp through America’s cities where you can let your imagination and nightmares run wild as you assume the identities of a variety of modern urban role models, be they bank robber, drug dealer, gun runner, prostitute or just a plain gangster. GTA is a carnival of crime, destruction and violence that you might have to watch the TV news to see otherwise.

All of which begs the question. Are video games a matter of art imitating life? Or life imitating art? Who cares?

They sure beat socks and underwear. Merry Christmas.


Pat Neal is a Hoh River fishing and rafting guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.

He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via

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