What Are Santa’s Favorite Video Games?

Here at TheGamer, we strive to keep you informed of the current gaming culture, whether covering the historical impact of Gamergate or alerting you to Geoff Keighley’s latest gaffes at The Game Awards. However, we’re closing out this year with a story we didn’t think was possible. After dozens of emails, and a strict negotiation with his literary agent, we’re proud to publish a guest column by one of the world’s most significant cultural figures.

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Every December 24, Santa Claus and his reindeer take to the skies to deliver presents to children worldwide (and grown-up children at heart). It’s an intense operation that takes all year to plan. But what does Christmas’s hardest working man enjoy doing on his time off? Playing video games, of course! And in this exclusive feature, Santa shares his favorites.

Roblox

A Roblox character pops corn kernels from a cast iron skillet in Popcorn Simulator.

Ho-ho-hello there, readers! I loved learning about your favorite video games in your letters this year. Now, it’s a pleasure to share the titles that make my downtime merry and bright with all of you. But who wants to hear this old geezer’s preamble? Let’s jump in, shall we?

This may surprise you, tiny tots, but you’re not the only ones who send letters to the North Pole. On the contrary, your caregivers send me letters as well. And they often come with many, many questions. However, the question I get the most is, “What is Roblox?

Now, I wouldn’t be much help to your guardians if I didn’t investigate the matter. So, I downloaded Roblox to see what the hubbub was all about. And I admit I was somewhat confused at first. Why play with digital off-brand Legos in the age of masterpieces like Elden Ring, Baldur’s Gate 3, or Tears Of The Kingdom? It all seemed like a step backward.

But then I remembered what my good pal Rudolph always tells me, “Don’t judge a nose by its glow!” And boy, is he right. You can do so much in Roblox. My little Roblox Santa character opened a diner, ran a gem-mining factory, and glided off a fifty-story building in a matter of hours! It’s a fascinating exercise of the imagination. And I’m tickled red and green when I see all the lovely creations uploaded to the platform daily by gamers like you.

Don’t forget boys, girls, and non-binary kiddos: Santa sees and hears everything you do on Roblox. I may even be playing with you right now! So, remember to be kind to your fellow players, so everyone can have a fun and festive time.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator: Flying Over A Tropical Cityscape

I’m sure you noticed that gaming is bound to my work as tightly as a ribbon on a gift box. After all, my team and I must keep our fingers on the pulse of all the newest toys, games, and nifty little knick-knacks. But did you know that Santa also plays video games to improve his technical skills?

My yearly globe-trot is no easy task, especially on one of the busiest travel days of the year. So, I can never be too prepared for that frosty flight. Thankfully, the gifted developers at Microsoft have created one of my most valuable holiday tools, the Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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Every afternoon, I set aside an hour to practice my piloting. And with the power of Bing Maps and Microsoft Azure’s AI technology, I can fly with the confidence that I’m traversing the most accurate representation of our little blue dot possible! Oh – and what about those realistic physics and weather? They’re a miracle if I ever saw one! And I’ve seen one first hand on 34th street.

“But how is flying a magic sleigh like controlling an aircraft?” You ask. Believe it or not, they’re more similar than you think. No one is above the laws of air traffic control, including yours truly. However, if any of the bigwigs at Microsoft are listening, may I request some quality-of-life improvements? An authentic hot cocoa dispenser and RFS (Reindeer Feeding System) would be much appreciated!

Waku Waku Sweets

Lime, Puffee, and a colorful cast of characters bake all sorts of desserts in Waku Waku Sweets.

Speaking of my special night in the skies, nothing makes me happier than enjoying the splendiferous cookies and milk your families prepare for me every Christmas Eve. Whether it’s homemade chocolate chip cookies or Oreos straight from the box, you all make my yearly trip around the globe magically delicious! (By the way, Little Lucy’s grandmother, if you’re reading this, what do you put in your famous oatmeal cookies that make them melt in your mouth? I must know your recipe!)

Still, and I cannot stress this enough, children, sweets are delightful in moderation. But too many sweets can make you very ill. Did you know I have a magical endocrinologist that measures my sugar levels every Christmas morning? Diabetes is no laughing matter. Therefore, I’m only allowed to eat cookies once per year. I bake for Mrs. C the rest of the year and live vicariously through her.

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Another way I stave off my dastardly cookie cravings is by playing this charming little Nintendo Switch game called Waku Waku Sweets. It’s about a young woman named Lime who follows her dream to spread joy to others through the magic of pastries. With the help of her mentor, Chiffon, a team of handsome young bakers, and a fairy named Puffee, Lime bakes her way to the top!

I absolutely adore Waku Waku Sweets, especially after a long day of meetings with my Elfen supervisors. There are hundreds of recipes, including strawberry cookies, matcha cookies, and my favorite: chocolate cookies…mmmmmmmmmmm…

Goodness me. My apologies. I got distracted dreaming about cookies.

Anywho, Waku Waku Sweets also keeps this jolly fellow jiggling with its Joy-Con motion controls. There’s nothing like some sweet exercise to keep me in tip-top shape!

Mortal Kombat 1

Mileena using her first Fatility and biting into Baraka's head in Mortal Kombat 1.

I must confess, dear children: even Santa, the jolliest man this side of the Peppermint Forest, gets the blues. Sometimes, I get so angry I think I might burst into snowflakes. It’s okay to feel these big feelings. After all, you can’t make room for the Jellybean Jollies if you hold too tight to the Coal-fire Crankies. But you need a safe outlet to feel those big, scary feelings without hurting yourself or someone else.

So, what does Santa do to relax after a rock-candy hard day? Why, I play Mortal Kombat, that’s what! This is a game we grown-ups like to play when we really, really, really want to punch something but can’t. Instead, we use our imaginations and pretend to be carnivorous vixens named Mileena who slurp up their enemies’ brains like Egg Nog.

Hello, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and legal guardians! Mortal Kombat 1 is rated M for ages 17+. If you’re looking for a fun, age-appropriate fighting game for your young pugilist, why not try Street Fighter 6 (rated T for Teen) instead? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (rated E 10+) is another safe choice.

The Mrs. and I especially enjoyed playing MK1’s story campaign. It’s a mind-bending reboot of the original timeline that takes everything you knew about Mortal Kombat and turns it on its head (which happens to be ripped out with the spine – oh, my…)!

And did you know Vincent Rodriguez III, from the television program Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, plays the new young Raiden? Oh, I love that joyous musical show and how it destigmatizes mental health! (Which reminds me…Happy Hannukah, Rachel Bloom! Chag Sameach!)

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