It’s that time of the year again when everybody around the world starts to get ready for the visit of a red-cheeked jolly gentleman who has an alarming way of entering your home, but when he does, tends to leave a myriad of rather pleasant items for you to discover in the morning.
When you analyse the old Christmas traditions in a bit more detail, they do seem rather odd. Given Santa has not got much time to deliver people’s presents, scooting down the chimney is probably the most time consuming (and least hygenic) way of doing that, but hey ho, I suppose it is all part of the magic at Christmas and it is a time where the exceptional does become the norm.
At this time of year it is customary to see a lot of Christmas TV Specials and websites too are not immune, often decorating themselves in their Christmas livery and adding a few snowflakes dropping from the top of the screen for special effect. So I was thinking about Virtual Sports and how the designers could possibly jazz up their offerings for the festive season.
Here are some of the ideas that I came up with for a festive look for Virtual Sports.
Virtual Trotting becomes Virtual Sleighing
I think one of the easiest conversions to make with one particular Virtual Sport, would be to use arguably the least popular of Virtual Sports in the UK, Virtual Trotting (which is only carried by a small number of sites) and then give this a Christmas theme by changing it to Virtual Sleghing.
Instead of a carriage being pulled by two horses, what you could have instead is a number of sleighs, each being pulled by a selection of reindeer and the jockeys in each of the sleighs could all be dressed up in their Santa outfits (with their weight handicap shown by the increasing or decreasing size of the sack full of presents that they need to deliver).
You could then redecorate the track from your standard Trotting arena, into something a bit more suited to Christmas, such as an ice or snow track, complete with flickering houses adorned with fairy lights around the track. As the Santa’s go, they would also fling their presents into the houses as the sleighs wound their way around the track and of course, the fastest Santa would win.
Of course, you could have a little fun with the names of the jockey and trap too. You could have sleigh names that are named after famous carols, Little Donkey, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O come all Ye Faithful and suchlike, while the jockeys could be called a number of very bad Christmassy puns, such as Mary Christmas, Chris Tingle or Sandra Clause.
Add a few extra touches, like Christmas trees dotted around the track and the finish line adorned with fairy lights and I think you’d have a Virtual Sport variation that would be an absolute winner at Christmas time.
Virtual Football – Weather Conditions
I think a simple addition to the Virtual Football game would be to include some different weather conditions for the Virtual Sports being played on the site. With Christmas tending to be viewed as a time for colder, icy weather, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, then I think adding the element of snowfall and snow-covered pitches, complete with an orange ball, would be a nice touch.
You could even dress the players up in a range of Christmassy themed outfits. Goalkeepers wearing Santa hats rather than caps for examples, players dressed in their teams’ colours but in the outfits of elves.
You could even have matches between two teams such as North Pole United taking on the formidable Santa’s Grotto Rovers. Alternatively, you could have games between teams like Elferton taking on their rivals the Liver-Christmas-Pud-Lians.
Why not go a little further and replace the standard goals and have them decorated up instead like Christmas trees, with fairy lights across the top as the bar? The corner flags could also be decorated out in a similar way and of course, the referee would have to be Father Christmas, with a couple of snowmen perhaps as his assistant referees.
You could also work in other ways to work in Christmas related themes, such as when a player scores a goal, he runs and celebrates with the crowd and is hailed by receiving hundreds of presents thrown gently to him as a reward. Alternatively, if he misses a shot, then he is in receipt instead of a hail of snowballs.
Additionally, you could work some additional Christmas themes into the commentary, perhaps the commentator explaining why the teams are looking a little sluggish after having had a pre-match meal of Turkey, roast potatoes and Christmas pudding, washed down with a couple of bottles of decent wine.
Virtual Greyhounds becomes Virtual Last-Minute Christmas Shoppers
Part of the annual craziness of Christmas is that percentage of the population that, every year, decide to leave all their Christmas shopping to the last minute, which necessitates them making a trip to the shops on the busiest day of the year, generally becoming stressed as the day goes on before collapsing at home at 9pm, with their fingers crossed that they have managed to buy a gift for everyone on this list.
I think this would be a nice addition to make a seasonal Virtual Sport and you could use Virtual Greyhounds as the basis for this. Instead of the traps, you could have the start as the doors to a large department store and instead of dogs, you could have six different shoppers all waiting with different coloured and numbered bags, to race into the store once the doors open.
You’d then have a race between the shoppers as they race around the store, collecting their shopping on the way before racing through the tills at the end, which would be the finish line. You could have the shoppers dressed in an assortment of Christmas outfits and of course, the store would also be decorated with plenty of Christmas decorations to set the mood.
Add a suitable Christmas soundtrack as the race unfolds, and I think you’d have another winner on your hands.