If you're reading this right now, then chances are that you're a gamer or that you know a gamer. With the holidays coming up, you might already be thinking about what to buy them. But what if that gamer (or yourself) owns every console, peripheral, game, or accessory known to man? Then you're stuck with either getting them a novelty item or a gift card, both of which are boring.
But don't give up hope just yet, because there are a ton of places out there where you can pick up geeky, nerdy, game-y items that would make any controller junkie's eye light up with glee. Just because it doesn't say Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo on it doesn't mean that it's still not something every gamer craves. We're going to break it down by suggested sites to frequent, and we'll highlight some of our favorite items.
And if you've been jonsing for some Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals from our very own G4 Store then be sure to check out Attack of the Blog! for some killer discounts on DVDs, t-shirts and hoodies. Prepare to save some serious percentage!
Read on for our Holiday Non-Game Gift Guide For Gamers, then print this out and submit it as your wish list, or use it as a handy shopping list.
When you talk about video game related clothing, J!NX has to be at the top of your list. They make top-quality game items that aren't just the title of the game you love. Instead, they go deep inside to find a reference to an obscure unit, or simply create something that references a game, like their awesome "Reload" zombie t-shirt. They also have a premium line of clothing that doesn't scream "I'M A GAMER," yet still retains that geeky coolness. With multiple articles of clothing, from jackets for men to panties for women, they've got something for every gamer on your list. Here are a few of our favorites:
- "Magic Missiles Kill People" Hoodie: Say it loud and say it proud. Old school D&D meeting 8-bit gaming in this awesome hoodie that features a wizard shooting some fireballs. On the back, near the waist, it states "Guns don't kill people. Magic Missiles do." Nerdy. Awesome.
- Wil Wheaton "Meeps" Shirt: Wil Wheaton came up with the concept for this shirt, and If you've ever played Carcassonne, then you know what "meeple," are. They're the little wooden "followers" in the game, and have since become synonymous with German-style board games. Meeple + Peeps = Meeps.
- Crusader Button-down Shirt: It says "classy" and "nerdy" at the same time, while also being slightly dressed up. Well, as dressed up as I like to get, anyhow.
If you're a gamer/nerd/geek who hasn't heard of ThinkGeek yet, then let me enlighten you. ThinkGeek is probably one of the most amazing stores on the planet. It's as if every geek mentor you ever had created a store just to sell bizarre, wacky, useful, and extremely nerd-tastic items. You'll find stuff here that you can't locate anywhere else, and it's also a repository of terrific gift ideas, not just for gamers, but for everyone on your list. If you set aside a few minutes to explore their store, you'll find that easily turns into an hour. Word of warning: shopping here will cause you to buy things for yourself.
- Critical Hit LED D20s: Mega nerdy. These D20s light up like hellfire whenever you roll a 20, which as every good pen and paper RPG player knows is a critical hit. When that crucial moment comes up and you want to know if your axe does enough damage to slay the orc, imagine how much more exciting it would be with a red D20 roll. BAM.
- Electronic Rock Guitar Shirt: Forget about Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and every other rhythm game that has been birthed from the failed garage band bin of video game developers. Instead, you can wear this shirt and rock yourself silly. It's air guitar, with real music! Turn waiting in line at the DMV into your own personal concert.
- Ice Invaders: When you can bring your love of gaming to the cocktail hour without trailing a power cable, then you've done something really special. That's why these Space Invaders-themed ice cubes turn any drink into an effort to save the planet. Sadly, there's no home base mega-ice chunk, but I can forgive that.
Attract Mode (which is a reference to the old "standby" demo mode that arcade games would go into when they weren't being played) bills itself as a video game culture shop, and they have a lot of fun items that will please any gamer on your list. From posters to chiptunes to apparel, they cover some of the more esoteric corners of the game square.
- Joystick Notebook: There may come a time in the future when we have all lost the ability to write anything down by hand, instead only living by keypads and keyboards, but until that moment comes, we have the power of paper. This notebook makes your offline writing all the more enjoyable with an old-school joystick on both sides. Loud and proud.
- Arcade Coat Hooks: These awesome coat hooks are made in the UK using genuine arcade parts, and I can't think of any cooler way to hang up a coat, jacket, or your little brother by his underwear. There's even a multiplayer button embedded on the rack, telling everyone that this rack is meant to be shared.
- Law of the West 1984 Print: Craig D. Adams, or superbrothers as he is professionally known, designs some pretty amazing artwork that takes chunky pixelwork to the extreme. He's behind the design of the incredibly ambitious (and great-looking) game Sword & Sworcery EP that we saw at Fantastic Fest, so you'll want to nab a print now while it's affordable and then sell it later to pick up that yacht you've had your eye on.
Yes, geeks can be extreme. Have you ever seen any of those MLG guys play a match of StarCraft? It's enough to make your eyeballs burst. So there's no reason not to shop with your extreme geek in mind.
- Destruct 3 Board Game: Yes, I know I said this was the Non-Game Gift Guide for Gamers, but does a board game really count? It should, especially when that game consists of destroying your opponents' creations. Using a catapult, a ramp, or a pendulum (which I call the demolition ball), you try and knock down what they're building, while trying to build one of your own.
- Perplexus: Again with the non-gaming games, right? But this is no ordinary game. In fact, this game will frustrate, fascinate, and educate you. The first time I picked this up, I didn't put it down for an hour, and I still wasn't anywhere close to solving the internal maze. Try it yourself, but be warned.
- Carpet Skates: At some point, you're going to have to stand up and leave your computer/console/handheld/significant other and eat or go to the bathroom. Chances are that walking will have you encountering carpet. Why not make it fun with Carpet Skates? I am so getting these for the G4 office hallways.
Awesome graphic designs and a wicked sense of humor. What more could you want in a t-shirt?
- Name Suppression: How long did you think Mario could hop down into the sewers and eat hallucinogenic mushrooms and wage war against an entire, mythical kingdom without getting caught? Here he is in the act of having his mug shot taken, but his real face has been digitized to protect his identity.
- Living Room Legend: Video games just want you to believe that you're a rock god. First they gave you a guitar. Then a microphone. Add drums and a keyboard, and you're practically on tour. Sooner or later, you have to take things to the next level. This shirt shows you how.
- Airdrop: You've probably never thought about where all of those Tetris pieces come from, right? They just continually rain down from the sky, waiting on you to slot them into place. Well, now that mystery has been solved, thanks to this tee.
There are video game related t-shirts, and then there are Nerdy Shirts. These people take geek and turn it up to 11. It's not enough to just make a passing reference to Galaga. They have to go the distance and give you a double-fighter t-shirt that says, "You complete me." These shirts actually make it cool to be nerdy.
- ABXY Shirt: Remember your Super Nintendo? It definitely remembers you. Wear your love for that console proudly on your chest. If people have no clue what it is, and they ask about it, just tell them you're some newfangled superhero. They can deal with it.
- Halo Teabag Shirt: Who invented the first teabag in video games? That person will be cursed and revered until the end of time. It's now rampant in plenty of titles, but it still just feels so right (and so wrong) in Halo. Class things up a bit by wearing your love of teabagging, rather than doing it.
- Zelda Triforce Belt Buckle: If only Link had one of these, he could have easily carried the Triforce around at crotch level should any sort of an emergency pop up. Plus, having it attached to your belt cuts out all of that tedious questing and adventuring. Belly up to the bar with one of these on, and no one will mess with you.
Because sometimes you do just want that incredibly dorky t-shirt, and you don't care who makes fun of you behind your back. If you want to wear your Picard vs. Kirk shirt, there shouldn't be any shame in wearing it out of the house. In fact, there is no shame. Just be prepared for lots and lots of ridicule.
- Create Your Own Warcraft Character Shirt: If you or someone you know has a character embedded on the Horde or Alliance sides of the struggle in World of Warcraft, then you need to create a custom shirt. SwagDog takes your character and embeds your class logo and player name on the shirt, identifying to everyone that you spend a lot of time clicking mice.