We all have one, whether flamboyantly proud of it or tucked away in a quiet corner somewhere, we all have an avid gamer in one of our circles.
He’s either the shy younger brother or cousin, or the work-mate who never stops talking about how cool his elf is now that it levelled –up (you’re never sure whether the elf is a girl or a boy so you’ve resolved the matter by treating it as an animal and calling it, it– which insults them greatly).
Most gamers will only be into very few things in their life which does not involve the RPG game they’re playing, so when their birthday comes along, you’re always at odds with what to get them.
Last year, in a fit of last-minute panic, you got them a voucher from your closest clothes-shop, thinking they’d just get something they need. Everyone needs clothes, right? Later on, you find out they gave it as a gift to someone else because they just couldn’t be bothered.
Rule number one: Never get them something which does not enhance their gaming experience in one way or another. You learnt that the hard way – which is why we’re here today, to hand over a few ideas we think the gamer in your life will love you for. Unless they already have a crush on you, in which case, you’re better off with the voucher.
Bring Back The Oldies
For the older gamer, the guy who reminisces about Sonic, Super Mario and the likes, why not get him something to look fondly on and to remember his glory gaming days?
Some nifty ideas could include a USB Nintendo controller so he can play Super Mario, while having the familiar joystick in hand.
Gamers LOVE coffee, so why not get him a themed mug with his favourite character? It’s a definite win.
Decals have a way of sprucing up any bare space, like fridge doors, laptops or empty walls. A small search will show you an endless list of fun decals you can buy and which are themed according to game and character.
Bonus: For the gamer on the go who is constantly fiddling with something, there are mobile phone covers which embed some sort of game, like the classic little silver ball stuck in a labyrinth.
Or, why not help him turn his iPad into a portable arcade cabinet? Fun, guaranteed.
Unleash His Inner Geek
So you want to go one step up and really let his gaming spirit go lose? If he loves first person shooters, why not get him a personalised nerf gun? It’s super easy to spray paint one and have their initials labelled on top.
We suggest you also buy one for yourself – those guns promise hours of fun and it’s not cool when someone is just shooting at you and you can only retaliate by telling him to stop, or throwing something which could potentially hurt more than a foam bullet.
If that just doesn’t cut it, there are some really geeky but awesome props you can buy, like an assassin’s creed hidden blade (blunt, naturally), or a wall –mounted sword from their favourite movie turned video-game.
Some of these relics can fetch quite a penny but their prices increase with time, so think of it as an investment.
If you’re going for something alternative, why not send the gamer in your life to a once in a lifetime gaming experience? And no, we’re not talking about a day out at the movies to watch the latest Assassin’s Creed movie which they will obviously hate, but an actual trip to a world-renown gaming venue.
You probably don’t know if you’re not that into gaming, but there are a number of events and establishments around the world which celebrate gaming in all its many forms.
From Chicago, to London, to Tokyo, there’s something wherever you are in the world! There’s festivals, bars, arcades and video game stores which are famous worldwide.
Your gamer friend probably mentioned one or another but you didn’t realise because you tend to switch off when he goes on a gaming rant. Bad friend.
Comfort Is King
For the gamer who spends hours at his desk, especially on marathon days, there is nothing in the world more annoying than something not being as comfortable as could be.
All the gamers I know have attempted to personalise their space to make it as comfortable as they could but there is no harm in getting something ready made which would substantially improve the experience.
How about a gaming chair, complete with speaker, headphone jack, volume control, wireless audio transmission AND an “ergonomic design for full back support” (which seemed to be added as an after-thought in the description).
If the price tag is a bit too much, perhaps you can check out anti-fatigue gaming glasses. They promise to block out the blue-light from screens (the one which makes your eyes tear up if exposed to at a stretch) whilst reducing the glare. They will be forever in your debt.
Most obvious but also most underrated gift: a gamer will NEVER say no to a new video game, so you can start your quest by looking into what he’s eyeing on the shelves at the moment.
Many gamers go mad for accessories, consoles, head gear, VR, anything which enhances the game they love to play the most.
You can try the basics first, with mouse-pads specifically designed for precision gaming, to keyboards with extra gaming features and gaming mice (yes, you did not know but these things exist).
For the guy or gal who has all this already and on whom you wouldn’t mind splurging, level up with the best VR sets around. A fair word of warning, they could cost anything from $50, to $500 so consider your budget before committing to anything.
Consider also Game Captures, which allow your gamer friend to capture the action of the game at up to 60 frames per second, so that he can relive it (read: show off) with his other gaming friends. Oh, and check what console they’re playing on. You might wish to upgrade that one or help finance it.
There are a gazillion ways to show you appreciate the gamer in your life and some of them could also involve you having fun along with them. So try not to be so glum about their next birthday this year and try thinking outside the gaming box (pun intended).
Listen out to anything they’re saying which might help you gather some intel before you make your purchase.
Our next advice: get help from other gamers before you make purchases which cost a lot of money. They will be able to tell you honestly whether what you’re buying is actually pretty cool, or whether it’s a five-year-old technology being dressed up as new to suit the price tag. Hey, they could also give you some suggestions!
Armed with these tips, we’re sure you’re going to be the Tomb Raider or the next Prince of Persia, oozing savvy confidence, on the quest to getting the perfect gaming gift. Just don’t leave it till the last minute. A voucher to your local spa – despite its many health benefits – just won’t cut it this time.