How To Christmas: An Adult Gamer’s Guide to Requesting and Receiving Presents

How To Christmas: An Adult Gamer’s Guide to Requesting and Receiving Presents

Getting gifts for a gamer is hard, getting gifts as a gamer is even harder--here are a few tips we think will make your holiday experience better.

Christmas day has come and gone and as I look under the tree and see what people got me, I realize that–having to get gifts for a gamer–they never stood a chance.

Finding gifts for people is hard, but definitely the most rewarding part of the holiday season. But what do you get a person who plays video games all the time and has a full-time job to buy all the games they want? Enter this Christmas catch-22: You want something for Christmas, so you buy it for yourself anyway, so then there’s left for people to get you for the holidays, so you don’t get what you wanted for Christmas.

Games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Red Dead Redemption 2 came out a while ago and, as in the age of instant gratification, you purchased them at midnight or even preordered them months prior. There was no way that you, as an adult gamer, were going to find these in your stocking or under your tree (and if you did then you had to really sell that “this is so awesome” smile when you found it).

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

So what can be done to avoid this state of consumerist dread that befalls many older gaming aficionados, you might ask? Well here’s a few tips I’ve drummed up over the years to make receiving gifts the most pleasurable experience for all parties involved:

First, brace yourself–try not to go in with any expectations. A great way to do this is to keep a healthy backlog of games that have come out that you’d like to play but are too lazy (or out of funds) to purchase for yourself. Games like Battlefield V or Detroit: Become Human are great examples. Try and pick out some games you know will be discounted 50 percent or more by the holidays so that people who were only trying to spend $20-30 on you can. I’ve got no idea what that translates to in terms of non-American money but you get what I mean.

If you get a game like this for the holidays then you can be genuinely excited when you open it. It’s also not a bad idea to add some indies to your wish list like The Messenger or Celeste. Your loved ones might have a hard time finding these on the shelf at Target or Best Buy, but you’ll know someone put in a lot of effort if you do get them. And any amount of giftcard for the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam, or Nintendo eShop is always appreciated.

Next, try and have a wish list that you make exclusively as a holiday gifting guide–don’t put anything on here that you’ll be pressured into buying on a whim. Just fill the list with things like phone charging cables, controller charging docks, mouse pads and the like, and do not, no matter what you do, buy this stuff for yourself before other people do. There’s plenty of good gaming accessories out there that you can wish for all year round and don’t need to buy right away.


Another good idea is to try and give people more of an “idea” to go on, rather than a specific request. Tell people who you main in Smash or what your favorite movie franchise is. Our very own Travis Verbil is known for loving DK, so when his friends and family get him Donkey Kong pajamas, wired Switch controllers, plushies, or even a Nintendo Switch dock sock, he always has a smile on his face (my beautiful son). I’ve been getting Star Wars-themed nutcrackers for a few years now and I can’t complain. There are so many things that can be related to something you like that it can make almost any other gift relevant. They also don’t have to be released in 2018. Try putting some retro titles on your wish list and see what happens.

Finally, come to terms with the fact that someone is getting you a gift at all. You’ve made it. You’re living the consumerist dream. Acknowledging the idea that someone likes you enough to get you a gift is a win in and of itself, so congratulations!

Hopefully, you got what you wanted this year and if you didn’t remember these ideas when you start populating your wish lists for next year, or your birthday. You may be a gamer first, but you’re still a human being–you will use those movie theater gift cards and pajama pants, you probably just didn’t know you wanted them to begin with. Until next year, this has been the ghost of Christmas gaming–signing off.