Celebrating your birthday with your friends and family is so 2010. These days, everything happens online, whether it's on the social network of your choice, or in the virtual world of the MMO you’re currently playing. Since I’ve never even used Snapchat, I think it’s better if I stay clear of the social networks part, and focus just on birthdays and MMOs.
Since most people only celebrate a birthday once a year, it’s usually quite a big deal (pro tip: following several different calendars will allow you to celebrate your birthday two, three, or even four times a year!). While games can give you little gifts or offer special promotions on your birthday, like a little extra gold or even a free loot crate or something, I think that’s not nearly enough to mark such an important occasion.
Here are a few more things games (and gamers) should do to help you celebrate in style.
Well, maybe not all of it, but wouldn’t it be cool if all the players celebrating their birthday received a special item letting the entire community know it’s their special day? Something like the Party Hat of Importance - a magical hat that grants a character a slight boost in all stats over the course of an entire day. Or maybe The Gift That Keeps on Giving - a weapon that deals damage over time. These items would disappear the very next day, but for the entirety of their birthday, players would feel a little more awesome.
Now that you have your cool new party gear, it’s time to go out there and test it. What better way to do this than by going on a special birthday raid? I wish all MMORPGs had a secret in-game dungeon that’s only accessible when one of the members of the raiding party is celebrating their birthday, but it’s more likely that your gaming buddies arrange a special raiding marathon for you. I can’t think of many better ways to spend a birthday than with friends, slaying monsters, collecting epic loot, and having the time of your life.
Speaking of collecting loot, wouldn’t it be cool if during your birthday raid, while wearing your birthday suit (the special gear you got, not your actual birthday suit), every chest you found took on the shape of a birthday present? I’m not saying that the game should start giving you gifts left and right (though that would be cool too), just that chests should LOOK like wrapped boxes, and all dropped items should have a cute little bow on them. That way you’ll feel like every item is a gift just for you, because you’re special.
While MMORTS games could also equip your hero with snazzy birthday gear and turn all chests into wrapped gifts, they could also do a little more - like turning your entire base into one giant birthday party! A temporary skin can cover your buildings with streamers and confetti, and instead of Gold, Ore, and Lumber, your Resources are now Cake, Balloons, and Ice Cream. Now, when someone raids your Base, they run off with a few cartloads of Cake; after all, it’s not a birthday party without guests eating all your food and leaving a giant mess behind, right?
Everybody loves clowns! Their colorful makeup, that not at all evil looking grin, and those wide, unblinking eyes that stare right into your soul in order to uncover all of your darkest fears. What great, delightful fun! Because absolutely no one is terrified of these nightmares in silly shoes, I suggest that online strategy games dress all your Units up as clowns! It’s a great way to cheer up anyone celebrating their birthday, and has the added effect of striking mortal fear into the hearts of their enemies.
If all MMORPGs and MMORTSs started implementing these ideas, celebrating your birthday in your favorite online virtual world would be a blast. Free stuff, cool gear, and never-ending nightmares about clowns… all that’s left is to wish you a happy birthday!