By: Andrea Eldridge.
Id wager that just about everyone has a video game lover on their holiday list this year. From the armchair commando hunting down fellow players on Xbox live to the dedicated World of Warcraft dwarf, gaming has become a recreation activity for at least one or two members of most American households. As one of the few holdouts in my family that is not active in this virtual community, it can be challenging to find the perfect gift for the gamers in my life. After much polling and research, here are my suggestions to please just about any gamer, no game strategy guide book required.
Apparently the path to gaming nirvana for most console (Xbox, PS3, etc) and PC gamers is paved with discarded sub-par audio equipment. To truly immerse in the game, without disturbing the rest of your house (or neighbors, for that matter), a gamer is constantly searching for a great pair of headphones. One of the very best Christmas game gifts is a great pair of headphones. As a devoted WoW player, Heather (Nerd researcher) has tried out her fair share of headphones and settled on the Turtle Beach Ear Force X11 ( $60) which works with both PC and Xbox. While not wireless, the sound quality is constantly reviewed as outstanding and their lightweight design allows for hours of comfortable game play. Players that want to ditch the wires and hear every stealth footstep approaching from behind them in 7.1 surround sound may be happier with the pricier Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 (available at Amazon for $140). They are heavier and some users complain that there is occasional audio breakup (likely due to WiFi router interference). They also require two AAA batteries, which heavy gamers will blow through quickly. However, you won’92t find a better wireless headset for under $150, at least according to the wealth of rave reviews.
Like Netflix for console gamers, GameFLY offers over 8,000 games for Xbox, PS3, Wii, PSP and more, delivered to your door with no late fees. For less than the cost of a typical new release, you can gift the gamer in your life three months of two games out at a time (which will run you about $50) so they can try out all the games on their wish list without shelling out $60 or so per game. Gift certificates are available in one, two, three, six, or twelve month increments, and plans can be for one or two games out at a time. Games in a member’92s queue are automatically shipped out upon receipt of a returned game, so you can gift a constant supply of new games without having to puzzle over whether they’92d prefer Assassin’92s Creed Revelations or Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Instead of heading to the store for the must-have game, expansion pack, or strategy guide on your PC gamer’92s list, consider gifting through Steam Powerd. Gift recipients must have an active Steam account, but if you suggest that they create a free account online and set up a ’93wishlist’94, you won’92t be left guessing which version of Call of Duty they want. Over 1,100 games and expansion packs are available for instant download and once installed Steam will keep them up to date with automatic patch and game updates, all with no monthly fee. Games purchased through Steam never expire and can be downloaded as often as needed to any computer with an internet connection. Members can take advantage of pre-release discounts, free play weekends, and a network of other gamers in the Steam community that they can group with, set up tournaments, or just strategize about how to overcome that nasty boss battle.
Links to all my holiday gift recommendations can be found at www.nerdsecret.com. If you’92re still struggling to narrow down the perfect gift for your gamer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The sea of gamers that surrounds us has a virtually never-ending wish list of gamer delights for any platform.