The Top 9 Holiday Gifts for Gamers that Got Returned Yesterday
Christmas, for gamers, is one of the most magical times of the year. Starting with Black Friday and not ending until the last present is opened, the holiday season is rich with opportunities for gamers. From new console releases like this year’s Wii U to fall hits like Halo 4 and Black Ops II, video games are at their most profitable once Thanksgiving comes and goes.
But for every child who wakes up on Christmas morning to find the brand new game they’ve been craving, many others wake up to the bitter taste of disappointment. It’s a serious issue plaguing gamers these days, an issue known as Bad Game Gift Buying, and it’s one we here at Topless Robot would like to address with you.
Many times it’s inadvertent. A parent or grandparent not understanding what their child truly wants. Sometimes it could be financial; why buy the game for $59.99 when there is one “just like it” on the budget shelf for only $5? And sadly, sometimes it’s just plain stupidity that drives the purchase from the Island of Misfit Games. But the fact is, many children (and adults alike) woke up on Christmas morning feeling left out by Santa and unloved by their parents (or spouses), thanks to BGGB.
Black Friday, as chaotic as it is, pales in comparison to December 26th. The presents have been opened, the relatives have overstayed their welcome, and the masochists of society venture out, often as early as they did a little over a month ago, to return all of the unwanted, unappreciated, and the crappiest gifts they received. The following is a list of gifts which, if you gave to someone, most likely had them standing in a return line – if they can even return them at all. Don’t make these mistakes a second time!
9. Strategy Guides.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to cheating/getting hints in gaming. One camp sees them as a tool; a means to an end when it comes to completing or getting better in a game. The other side sees them as a sacrilege, the nuclear option or a weapon of last resort. But in the modern era of the Interwebz, the need to pay for such information is long past.
Websites like GameFaqs and many others have detailed walkthroughs, cheat codes and hints that rival those found in the expensive strategy guides. Why buy a game for sixty bucks just to follow that up with a strategy guide purchase for another $15-20, whose sole purpose is to take the challenge and perhaps even the fun out of the game? Why spend money when you could just Google it?
Unless your gamer obsesses over his or her game to the point where they like to study thecraft, then expect a request for a gift slip for this one.
8. Any PC Game.
You might be thinking, “What was wrong with buying someone a PC game?” Absolutely nothing; some of the best games on the market are in fact PC exclusives. The problem with giving the gift of a PC game is the headache and sometimes the expenditure that goes into getting that damned game to work.
So you bought your nephew Diablo III for Christmas. Little Timmy cackled in glee as he cracked over the box, popped the DVD into his computer and installed it. Upon launch, though, the game immediately crashed. Apparently he’ll need to upgrade his video drivers to get the game to run. After the drivers were installed, he fired it up and it crashed again. Turns out he doesn’t have enough memory. A trip to the Best Buy and $80 fixes that. Then he fired the game up again and it was virtually unplayable; it seems that his video card, while supported, will only allow him to play in the lowest detail possible. Now little Timmy wants a new video card at $100-300, and as Timmy’s Mom drives to the store yet again video card shopping, she silently curses you for buying the game.
There are just too many factors involved with buying someone a PC game to consider. Between software updates, hardware updates and plain old incompatibility, you could be opening up a can of sandworms the likes of which even God has never seen. Expect Little Timmy’s Mom to buy your kid a drum set next year; she’ll be plotting the purchase as she stands in line to spend more money.