You know what they say about gifts, right? It's the thought that counts. If you really want to impress a gamer on your list with how thoughtful you are, you need to buy him/her a book, not a game. Chances are, a hardcore gamer already has whatever games he or she wants, but a book says, "You're smart. You read. And you like games."
Below, please find G4's picks for the best videogame books for holiday season 2011.
SUPER Iam8bit: This coffee-table book features more than 80 artists remixing their retro gaming fantasies, employing paint, sculpture and more to create works of fine art inspired by the '80s arcade and console scene. This is a great book to have lying around. Girls will like you more if you own this book.
Ready Player One: This novel is so steeped in gamer-culture, it's like a gamer-teabag... but the good kind. I'm not even sure if that makes sense, but I am sure you should read this book. It's 1980s sci-fi influence and pop-culture awareness make it the perfect read for the gamer on your holiday list. Author Ernest Cline is amazing.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Prima Official Game Guide: I wish the actual world had a strategy guide as complete as Prima's guide to Skyrim. This book contains over 700 pages of detailed maps, quests info, crafting info, and all the information you could ever need for an extended stay in Tamariel. In a word: Amazing.
And here's an also-ran that the more intellectual gamer on your list might enjoy:
How To Do Things With Video Games: Ian Bogost takes a deep look at what games are, how they work, and why they matter. This is the book to get the gamer who uses words like "paradigm" and has a subscription to The New Yorker.