It's not that we don't love the family, friends and extended acquaintances that join us for Thanksgiving. We're talking about some of the most significant people in our lives who've been there to help us in moments when nobody else could or would. But, dammit, how much time do we have to spend with these people before they get the hint that that there are video games to be played with all of this precious free time afforded to us by Thanksgiving. This is why you need us. These are the best times to get some video game time in over Thanksgiving.
Just Before Dinner is Served
Intuitively you'd think the hours just before you're sitting down to dinner would be the absolute worst time to settle in for a few rounds of Domination in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. But no we go against the grain around here for a reason. The hours just before Thanksgiving dinner are actually what the entire holiday is about. It's the time when everybody is just arriving and catching up on time lost and family gossip. These are the moments when everybody is at their happiest and the bonding is at its broadest and strongest. It's before your Uncle Lou has gotten drunk/insulted your mom/fondled the wrong relative/all of the above. You can get away from all of this because everybody will be preoccupied with each other to the point where nobody is even thinking about you. If your lady is the one during the cooking, she'll have plenty of help at this point and won't be harping on you to do all of the menial tasks she lined up for you. This is what children and her relative are for. Disappear into a distant video gaming space and watch how long you blast fools on Xbox Live before anybody notices you're missing let alone starts looking for you.
During the Last Football Game
The Lions and Cowboys used to own Turkey day all to themselves. Those Thanksgiving showcases and divisional matchups are how we got to know Brett Favre and Randy Moss so well over the years. With the third game being added, folks on the West Coast get the nice dinner time distraction. Last year's game was the Harbaugh Bowl with the 49ers taking on the Ravens in a perfectly prescribed storyline for the holiday. This year it's the Patriots and Jets battling in what surely seemed like a marquee matchup back in the spring when this schedule was made. Now that the Jets are a media trainwreck, even by New York City media trainwreck standards, there's just not much heat here anymore. Unless Tim Tebow is going to start at QB dressed like a pilgrim, you'll likely be burned out by football by the time this game rolls around. Depending on the ratio of sports fans at your Thanksgiving table, this is the perfect time to disappear into a game of video game football. Madden NFL 13 will see awfully timely and you can either get the sports fans at your house to gather around while you whoop up on somebody online or the snobby "sports haters" will turn their noses up at you and dismiss you from their presence. Either way, take this for the gift that it is.
After the Fight
No, not the UFC fight you've still got on your DVR. I'm talking about the only-at-Thanksgiving argument that's sure to happen right after the cranberry sauce and just before the pie. When I was growing up we called this Brandy o'clock. Point is, somebody is going to insult somebody about something that happened at some distant point in the past and childhood wounds don't let water flow under any bridges. An audience of loved ones and relatives is an irresistible stage for that special kind of emotional superstorm. If you're smart or detached or drunk enough to not be a part of it this year, you will have your opening at some point during Thanksgiving Day. Don't look this gift horse in the mouth. Hell, instigate the family argument if you have to. Three minutes after dropping a juicy "Mom, I thought you said she only does that because Cousin Suzy isn't really her daughter?" you can be in your inner sanctum knocking out another episode of Spartan Ops in Halo 4.
So please enjoy your Thanksgiving and the Turkey-induced excitement that comes with it. Bust most of all, don't forget to get your game on with no shame. That's how we roll around here.