Awesome Christmas Gifts for Gamers
Deck the Halls with Dice and Zombies
This year is the most fun I've had Christmas shopping in a very long time. My sons are now teenagers and share my love of all things video-game related. We spend mother-son afternoons at the arcade where we battle to (virtual) death for the honor of having our initials displayed on the screen with other top scoring gamers. When we're home, we watch television shows based on graphic novels. We've researched the history of video gaming and used the information to learn how to create a Powerpoint presentation for home schooling.
You see, I've been hooked on video games since my parents brought home an Atari back in the mid-eighties. Objectives like eating all the pellets before running into a ghost and successfully maneuvering a pixelated frog across a street of rush hour traffic soon gave way to a greater challenge...one that lies ahead and downwards. Adventures in Zork led to Dungeons and Dragons, and then other MMORPGs, like the Iron Realms game Achaea. This year my boys picked a couple of their favorite games and the bulk of their gifts are themed accordingly. I'm having a blast, and here are some of the fun things I've found:
My youngest son developed a fascination with zombies several months ago. We've incorporated it into both math and science lessons, cooked each family member an individual brain-shaped meatloaf, and watched every episode of The Walking Dead multiple times. It's no wonder he picked zombies as his Christmas theme. Since he's only thirteen, and because I'm a bit over-protective, I've taken care to research the items before impulse buying. Here are a few of the things he'll find under the tree.
- Zombie Dice! - Eat your way through the brains of victims while avoiding shotgun blasts. We're a big fan of playing games while waiting for our food in restaurants, and I can just see us now playing Zombie Dice in our favorite Italian restaurant.
- The Walking Dead - That's right, the graphic novel that inspired the popular AMC series. While the television show has its share of grown-up scenes, the comic goes into a lot more detail. My son will have to settle for the first issue for now, and buy the rest in a couple of years -- with his own money.
- Zombie Survival Poster - I'm sure this guide to surviving a zombie attack will look great alongside other things hanging on my teenage son's bedroom wall -- like a hubcap he found in the woods behind our house, his dad's junior firefighter helmet, and a fireman's axe he bought cheap at the local flea market.
Back to the Future
My older son is into all things from the 80's, so it's no shocker that one of his favorite movies is Back to the Future. Whenever they're aired on cable we spend an entire day watching them back to back. He plays the game for hours at a time! He knows trivia about both the movie and the actors. Learning that my grandfather suffered from Parkinson's gave him new respect for Michael J. Fox and the actor's efforts to raise awareness about the disease. A search for Back to the Future themed gifts yielded pleasant results, including these treasures.
- Back to the Future Card Game - I found this gem at a local comic book and gaming store, but it's also available from . I can't wait to see the look on his face when he opens it. I'm not even sure he knows this item exists! Amazon
- Flux Capacitor T-shirt - He'll be the envy of his fellow Back to the Future fans when he leaves the house wearing this. And after all, without the flux capacitor the DeLorean isn't budging an inch, much less travelling through the space time continuum.
- OUTATIME License Plate - Every family road trip has my oldest searching for a car with this vanity plate. Imagine his surprise when he opens this up on Christmas morning! This movie replica is sure to join the other plates in his collection that border the space next to his bedroom door.
Thanks to a friend and fellow artist introducing me to this amusing webshow, I'm now a huge fan of The Guild. After watching the fifth and final season, I hungered for more and began collecting the graphic novels. When time came to make out my Christmas list, these Guild-inspired items topped the list.
- Critical Hit LED Flashing D20 Die - In our family, dice aren't just used for gaming. They are also used for home school math games, for replacement pieces in board games, and for making major, life-altering decisions. This true random die flashes upon rolling up a critical hit. How fun is that?
- Geeky T-Shirt - Despite that pink is my favorite color, I love this shade of blue. And even more, I love that "I'm only here because my server is down." is printed across the chest. Because the shirt is 100% cotton and likely to shrink a little upon being washed and dried the first time, I suggest ordering one size larger, just in case.
- Cyber Clean - I take my netbook everywhere, and while it's not ideal for gaming, it does the job. All that usage means plenty of crumbs and dust in the keyboard. And because I am owned by a Golden Retriever, that means a puppy's worth of dog hair gets in there, too.Cyber Clean is a re-usable, non-toxic, biodegradable putty that pulls even the most minuscule crumbs from between the keys.
If you're a gamer, what's on your list this year? And if you're shopping for a gamer, what do you plan to buy for them? Thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear your comments. Merry Christmas!