'Tis the season, to be broke.

You can’t hide it. The twinkle in your eye. Your twitching hands. Your newly polished controllers. Your totally cleared out social calendar. Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – the Steam Winter Sale, or, as I like to call it, the Season of Gamer Giving (to yourself).

But who knew that the most wonderful time came with such baggage? Where virtual lives are prioritised, human lives suffer. No sleeping in heavenly peace for you – rather, you’re due a severe bout of Steam-induced insomnia and an increased addiction to caffeine. The real question is – are you prepared? (Don’t worry, it’s totally worth it. I think.)

1. Living off Noodles for the month of December

Of course, the most obvious (and most ironic) sacrifice you make when indulging in Steam’s winter sale is the one your wallet/purse/drawstring sack in the back of your sock drawer makes. Slashed prices equal much heavier baskets, as you justify spending the entire savings your grandma left you in one, fell swoop.

Bye, Christmas bonus. Bye, rent. Bye, December getaway. Bye, visions of being a responsible adult, who makes adult decisions and would never spend their adult earnings on such things. Bye, fortnightly grocery shop that enables you to lead a well-balanced and healthy human lifestyle – hello, instead, to bulk-bought ramen and that banana peel you just found under your bed, growing mould since ‘99. Mmm. Diseases.

2. Foregoing everybody’s Christmas presents in favour of games, neatly severing ties with many of your nearest and dearest

Along with the inability to take care of yourself due to frittered-away finances, you may find yourself without a gift, card or even a cursory hug to share this Christmas, being without money and also irreversibly deformed from having stayed, curled, in exactly the same position for three weeks since the dawn of the sale.

It’s okay – human relationships naturally change and evolve with time anyway, but the games in your Steam library (along with diamonds, which are notably less good) are forever. Or, at least, until the great digital apocalypse of the future inevitably occurs, and we are all enslaved or murdered by robots.

3. Your bed becoming a disgusting bacteria-pit from which you cannot extract yourself

Or sofa, or beanbag, or hammock, or wherever your game station is – so are you. And you haven’t moved from there in, like, a long time. Unchanged duvet cover. Cheese stains over everything. Neglected toothbrush, eyeing you woefully from the counter. Plastic bottle in which you pass liquids (okay, if you’ve gotten this bad, you need an intervention. Go to a spa or something. Put. The. Controller. Down.)

On the plus side, your breeding ground for bacteria could also be a great breeding ground for creativity. Try lowering your pillowcase out of the window to pick up the occasional takeout (which your concerned housemate has likely bought on your behalf as they watch you, slowly losing sanity, from the safety of their far cleaner bedroom). You could also use your neglected wrapping paper reels, naively bought last October, for switching on the kettle from a distance (though actually making tea is an entirely different issue, possibly another duty for your aforementioned ‘concerned housemate’).

So what if you’re living like a glorified hermit? You are an innovative genius, too.

4. Losing the ability to speak like a functioning human being

Because without speaking to people for months on end, your ability to speak is likely to hurrrr de fluh gurr graa perr.

5. Totally forgetting about the New Year

What? New Year happened? You were meant to be back at work three days ago. Oops.

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