Christmas Gift Guide: The Gamer Girl
Time for the second of my Christmas Gift Guides! Today we look at gifts for the Gamer Girl. Some of these gifts would of course also work for guys, but at least half of these are definitely more aimed at female gamers. If you want to check out my first gift guide, it’s for the Fantasy Reader.
The main things to keep in mind when buying gifts for a gamer is the following:
- What console does she play on? An obvious one, but worth repeating for completion’s sake.
- What games does she already have? Check out her bookcase/box/benno/floorspace-around-her-console to find out what games she already owns. Or if you don’t have access to that, friend her on whatever console she owns network, and take a look at the games she’s played (not going in specifics here, cause it does depend on whether she uses Xbox Live or PSN). If she uses raptr.com, you’re in luck; if she’s set it up right, you can easily see which games she has, what achivements she’s gotten and how many hours she’s played (here’s my raptr profile).
- What games are her favourite? If you don’t know, try looking at the amount of achievements/trophies she’s gotten in the games. It’s not always a good indicator of which game is her favourite, but it will tell you a bit about how many hours she might have put into them. Again if she’s uses raptr, take a good look at what games she’s played the most.
Let’s start with the obvious one. Gamer girls of course will want more games to dedicate their lives to. If you have no idea what game she wants, keep the three things from above in mind: what console, what games does she already have and which ones are her favourites. Try to pick a game from the same genre of games she already has; does she like first-person shooters, role-playing games (RPGs), racing games? Are they all fantasy based, or sci-fi based, or set in the modern day world? Don’t just pick a game in a shop cause the cover looks pretty or cause it looks similar to another game; google it and check out the reviews to see if it’s any good (Wikipedia tends to do nice overviews of how a game was received).
Also take the price of the game into account. There are certain games that I would never get for myself when they were full price, but that I wouldn’t mind trying out when they got cheaper. Besides that take a look at older games; I prefer playing a good game from 5 years ago, then playing a crappy game made this year.
Here are a couple of games that I enjoyed playing this year, but of course as I’ve said above it all depends on what your gamer girl likes. If you’re really stuck, feel free to email me or tweet me and I’ll see if I can help.
The next step would be looking at the official stores of your gamer girl’s favourite games. There are a lot of game studios that do great tie-in merchandise, like t-shirts, hoodies and accessories: the Valve store (Portal, Half-Life, Team Fortress, Left 3 Dead), the Bioware store (Mass Effect, Dragon Age), the Ubisoft store (Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell), the Halo store, they all have some great products.
I love for instance this N7 Hoody from the Bioware Store and this plush Companion Cube from the Valve store (anything Portal related will make me happy though).
I love showing which games I love by wearing cute necklaces and earrings! There are a ton of awesome designs out there, covering most of the current popular games. You’ll of course need to know what the favourite games are of your gamer girl, but if you do, jewelry will make a great present.
My favourite etsy store for necklaces is Land of Rapture. They do a lof of different cameo necklaces, with designs from Assassin’s Creed (I’ve got the one below), Portal, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Half Life and Dragon Age. They also do custom designs, so if you have an idea message them and they should be able to make it!
Another etsy store I like is The 17th Bit. I’ve got my eye on the Companion Cube necklace from Portal pictured below, but they also do various cute rings.
Also take a look at the ThinkGeek Jewelry section. My current favourite there is the charm bracelet (you can buy each charm separately though). I love the little bling mushroom and the cute companion cube:
These awesome custom painted heels are from etsy store magicbeanbuyer. The left pair is $115, the right pair is $75, but this doesn’t include the cost of the actual shoe (you need to send a pair for them to paint).
Besides the official merchandise stores, there are a couple of t-shirt companies out there that do great game designs too. Check out the following stores, they all have a great selection: J!nx, Insert Coin, Split Reason, Nerdy Shirts, ThinkGeek and Threadless.
Who doesn’t want a controller in their favourite colours? If you’re confident enough in cracking gadgets open and messing around with them, just head on over to ebay to find all the parts in the right colours. I first heard about changing the buttons of your controller on explodedsoda’s blog (check out her blog posts about her custom PS3 controller and her custom Xbox controller) and have been dying to try it out for myself.
If you’re not that handy with gadgets or just don’t want to be bothered doing it yourself, there are a couple of companies out there that will do it for you. Evil Controllers has their own controller creator where you can specify the colours for each part, with a wide range of different colours and materials, and they also have a section with already fully themed and modded controllers. ControllerModz is a UK based company that provides a wide range of custom modded controllers and also allows you to send your own controller for modding to them.
When I came across GeekChicCosmetics I just knew I had to include it here. They do various ranges of eyeshadows and lipsticks, all inspired by games, movies and TV shows. There’s a Portal range with eyeshadows like Portal blue, Portal orange and Companion Cube pink. Or the Mass Effect one with Element Zero blue, Archangel sage (I would have chosen a dark blue to represent Archangel though) and N7 red. My favourite is the Babylon 5 one; all those colours look so shiny!
This one is sadly not an option for Christmas, cause it takes too long to be shipped. I still wanted to include it here though: hand painted bras! There are a couple of Etsy shops that I could find that do them: SceeneShoes (the bra on the bottom left), RainbowKidShop (the bra on the bottom right) and HeartMyGeek
So what else can you think of for a gamer girl?