Every year the holidays are a struggle for those looking to buy gifts for the gamers in their lives. After all, gamers tend to be very specific about what they enjoy and it can be risky trying to introduce them to new things. Lucky for all of us, here is a list of great gaming gift ideas.
Support a Gaming Charity
Maybe the gamer(s) in your life are also into helping others. You can give to these charities in their name(s).
AbleGamers: AbleGamers aims to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through video games, including developing unique controllers for those with mobility impairments, grants for equipment, and general raising of awareness around the diversity of game players. They advocate for features in video games, such as settings for colorblind players or flexible keybinding, to ensure that everybody has access to games.
Take This: Take This is a mental health-focused charity for gamers, aiming to raise awareness around depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns in the community. They provide resources for gamers and game developers, including quiet rooms with trained psychologists at major conventions like PAX, where the crowds can sometimes be overwhelming. Take This aims to destigmatize mental illness in the community and provide support for those who need it.
Buy Them Stuff
Legends of Localization: This series chronicles the evolution of several translated and localized games. We often take for granted that the titles we played as kids were the same across cultures, but as anybody who knows anything about Sailor Moon’s kissing cousins can attest, it’s not quite that simple. These books are both gorgeous and informative, the perfect gift for the gaming historian in your life. I mean me. Please buy me these books.
Embed With Games: There are so many incredible-lookig gaming books, but this is one I’ve been dying to read forever. Cara Ellison traveled around the world to learn about game development across cultures and great distances, painting a unique picture of how games come to life. It’s the perfect mixture of technical information and personal essays, and I would also like you to purchase this book for me. Thank you.
Dread: Dread is easily one of my favorite tabletop games for its simplicity. All you need is a Jenga tower, a couple of friends, and some paper. Based on suspense (you’ll use that Jenga tower to determine if an action fails or succeeds, so the longer the game goes on, the more tense you get), Dread encourages cooperative storytelling and an exploration of weakness, teamwork, and sacrifice for the sake of a good narrative. It’s incredibly easy to pick up and play, even if you’ve never played a tabletop game before.
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.