Under the Geek Tree 2022

As our kids get older, finding Christmas presents for them gets more challenging. At 19 and 16, there are fewer and few toys that they want, so it’s more a question of gift cards and clothes. That said, this year, we surprised them when a PlayStation 5 appeared under the Geek Tree.

We talked about getting a PS5 for two years, first when Spider-man: Miles Morales came out in 2020, then again when Horizon: Forbidden West came out in 2021. In both cases, actually finding a PS5 was difficult, and – since both games could be played on the PS4 – we didn’t upgrade.

This year, availability was better, so … we splurged and got the PS5 God of War edition. We spent Christmas Eve transferring data from the old console to the new and downloading games. So far, it’s definitely worth the upgrade. Miles and Horizon look significantly better on the PS5, and everything runs far more smoothly.

Other items appearing under the Geek Tree:

  • LEGO The Mandalorian’s N-1 Starfighter – Mando’s new ship is a sleek gray update to the now-classic silver and yellow Naboo starfighter.
  • LEGO Dagobah Jedi Training Diorama – My first-ever LEGO diorama recreates Luke Skywalker’s training with Yoda. It’s going to look awesome in my office.
  • ALIEN RPG: Heart of Darkness – A boxed set adventure that concludes the trilogy that began with Chariot of the Gods in the ALIEN RPG starter set and continued with the Destroyer of Worlds boxed set. Have a played any ALIEN games yet? No. Am I loving reading them? Yes!
  • Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos – The Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook about a large university dedicated to instructing students in the arcane arts draws obvious comparisons to Harry Potter and Hogwarts, which is a big reason why I asked for it for Christmas. I’ve only read a few pages, but I like the upbeat, dynamic tone, which includes students being assigned advisors with diametrically opposed viewpoints because the students, not the advisors, are supported to figure out the right course of action for themselves.
  • Robocop and Robocop 2 – I’m on a big cyberpunk jag right now, and I was surprised to realize I didn’t already own these movies. Thankfully, my parents got them for me.
  • Machine by Elizabeth Bear – the second White Space novel.
  • Eversion by Alastair Reynolds – A time travel novel by one of my favorite authors.

Meanwhile, the Geek Tree saw a few new upgrades. This Star Wars tree added five new ornaments:

I’m curious to see if this year’s releases mean they’re finally wrapping up the Star Wars: A New Hope series of ornaments (of which there have been two – the first focused around starships and starfighters, the second focused on characters).

In non-Star Wars ornaments, I was gifted with Neo from The Matrix (who will appear on next year’s Menagerie Geek Tree, which will feature all the ornaments not from Star Wars or Star Trek). I also received the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds version of the Starship Enterprise (which is a beautiful ship, and easily one of my favorite Enterprises) as well as the Dr. Leonard McCoy – Storyteller ornament, which extends (and maybe concludes?) the “Mirror, Mirror” collection.

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