My wife figured out what to get the geek who has everything this year.  An XBOX 360! 

I can remember the first computer game I ever played, Telengard for the Commodore64.  It was primitive by todays standards.  When you "moved" your player, the player stayed in the middle of the screen and the map was redrawn around you.  Then several years later I started playing DOOM.  This was a great first-person shooter with the ability to play another person via modem (tricky but doable) or via a null modem cable.  I used to play a Deathmatch with a  neighbor every Friday night for about 4-5 hours.  We lived in two doors apart in townhouses and I had a null modem cable that ran from my third floor bedroom to his basement across our yards.  Then came DOOM II.  The next big game to come along was Duke Nukem 3D.  We used to get together and play networked Deathmatches with DUKE.  Then I stopped gaming.  Not sure why.  It just happened. 

I bought DOOM 3 last summer and tried to capture the old magic but it was no use.  After spending 10-12 hours in front of a computer at work, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer to play a game.  The XBOX 360 has brought the magic back.  I now sit in a comfortable chair, play the game on a 43" HDTV with 5.1 channel surround sound instead of a 17" monitor and two plastic speakers.  With an XBOX Live account I can play against my friends (or strangers) via the Internet.  The quality of the games is amazing.  I am currently spending time with HALO2, Ghost Recon, and Gears of War (oh yea and sometimes my family LOL).  The graphics are beautiful, the action is fast and the controllers don't hurt my hands like a mouse and keyboard do.  I have not had a chance to play any an opponent over the Internet yet but I hope to this weekend.

Although I was not sure if I would enjoy playing games again I can now tell you I am hooked!  Gaming is now something I look forward to as a way to relax.  Of couse during the game I'm all tense and sweaty from the adrenalin rush of fighting for my life while being chased by mutants from space or enemy soldiers but when the game is over I do finally relax...