Welcome to the second gift guide in the Ultimate Gift Guide series for geeks! This time I’m introducing you to buying gifts for gamer geeks. If you missed the introduction post here’s a reminder of what a gandom geek is:
Gamer Geeks are very similar to fandom geeks except their passion is for all things games. There are also four distinct categories of game geeks:
- Video Game Geeks – Gamers who play games using a PC, mobile device, or console.
- Board Game Geeks – Forget board games such as Monopoly and Cludo; we’re talking epic sagas, and games filled with imagination and challenges.
- Card Game Geeks – Trading cards and deck building games are what these geeks live for; Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh are some of the largest.
- Role Playing Game (RPG) Geeks – When we’re talking role playing in a geeky way we don’t mean those work activities or bedroom hi-jinks. Role playing is a creative and social hobby where people get together, create characters and play them in a fictional world while another member of the group leads them.
In the Ultimate Guides introduction we discussed how to identify your geek, and now it’s time to get to the fun part; shopping!
This aim of this guide is to introduce you to a variety of online stores that offer some fantastic products for gamer geeks. I’ll be highlighting some of my favourite products and I’ll also be providing you with links to some additional gift guides for geeks. By the end of this article you will be confidently armed with a wealth of information to go forth and buy an amazing present for the gamer in your life!
Now that you’ve worked out that your geek is a gamer the next important thing to do is to find out which device they use if they are a video game player. This is especially important if you are going to get them a new game (I would suggest using their wish list so you do not buy one they already have) or a gift card (see below for details). There are multiple different devices now and if you don’t know which one they use then the chances of you purchasing something they can’t use is high. If in doubt; don’t buy an actual game. I’ll be giving you lots of information and links for products that aren’t actual video games.
While you can gloss over knowing exactly what device they play on for video game players, you do need to know what games they play. This goes for all types of gamers whether they play video, board, card or roleplaying games. You’ve probably heard of a few video (Mario, Zelda), board (Monopoly, Cludo), and card (Magic the Gathering, Pokemon) games, however, role playing games are a little different. They go by what are known as gaming systems and some of the most well known include Dungeon and Dragons, Pathfinder and Vampire: The Masquerade. Depending on how well known or obscure the game your roleplaying geek likes you may or may not find many products related to it. Instead you may be better going for some generic roleplaying gifts which I’ll be discussing.
As for the other types of gamers you do need to find out which games they play and then you can tailor your gift hunting appropriately to gifts for those games. It would also help to google the game itself and find out the company that developed it. Armed with the developer’s name can help you identify products and you may find that they have a store on their own website too. For example, Blizzard Entertainment has a large online store for its games.
Handmade gifts are not only an amazing, and beautiful way to show someone you care for them, they’re also unique. In the gaming world handmade items are especially precious to us because they are created by fellow fans who share the same passion we do. It is very hard to find gaming items in stores sometimes and that means there is a thriving market for handmade gaming products online.
I could dedicate an entire series of guides just to what is available on some of these sites so I have chosen instead to provide a list of sites and let you browse them at your own discretion.
Etsy is handmade heaven and you may find yourself losing several hours browsing there, so if you’re short on time go in with a plan. You can find literally everything there including things you haven’t even considered. It is also an international site so you have access to creators from all over the globe. Etsy is especially great for finding gifts for roleplayers as their is a great market for dice, and related accessories such as bags.
Another great handmade site that has a vast range of handmade goods for sale by creators.
Folksy is the British etsy, so to speak; it’s described as the “the home of British craft”. They have some fantastic items available that you probably won’t find anywhere else.
Similar to handmade gifts are online stores where artists sell prints of their artwork and designs. These unique designs can then be bought as prints, stickers or printed on a range of products such as t-shirts, notebooks and even clocks! This can lead to you finding the quirky gift for just the right person.
Like the handmade sites above there are numerous incredible items and artists listed, so here are some sites to get you started:
Products designed by independent artists that are then printed and manufactured on quality products. Each artist decides which products they want their design featured on, so not every design can be placed on a mug, for example. The variety of products, especially when it comes to clothing, makes this a great option for gifts as there is something for everyone’s style.
If you’re looking for quality design and fine art then Society6 is the place to go. There’s graceful typography, detailed art depicting characters and everything in between – and they’re available on every product imaginable. There’s apparel, furniture, home decor, art prints, stationery and my personal favourite – bags. Finding decent geeky bags isn’t easy and here is an entire site full of beautiful designs.
As the name suggests Teefury focuses on apparel, namely t-shirts, tank tops and hoodies. They have a wide range of designs created by individual designers, which they’ve also grouped into specific collections to help you find exactly what you’re looking for – something really useful for gift hunting!
Qwertee has a different setup than the other sites on this list. Designs are only up for a limited time so you have to be quick to get your hands on the ones you want. The great thing about this is that it means there’s always something new and fresh, and you get some incredible gaming designs. It is a t-shirt only site catering for adults.
As well as having prints available to sell many artists also offer custom commissions. A commission is when you pay an artist to create a piece of work specifically for you based on your instructions. I’ve both been the recipient and the giver of a commissioned piece of art and I can tell you that it is the most cherished gift I have ever been given and also the most wonderful experience of gift giving. It is a very personal gift and one filled with love.
This is an especially brilliant gift idea for roleplayers as it gives them a physical representation of their character. However, tread with caution here as being able to complete this gift requires you to have access to their character details. Therefore, it is not an appropriate gift for someone you are not close with.
Never ask or expect an artist to work for free or for exposure – this is extremely rude and unfair. Each artist will have their own set of guidelines and information so always be sure to read through those carefully before applying for a commission.
You can find artists online through hashtags such as #commissionsopen on twitter and instagram but for the purpose of this guide I’ve also put together a pinterest board where you can find some artists offering fantasy, sci-fi and fanart commissions for the holidays!
A subscription box is a box of products that gets delivered each month, and you can choose to sign up for a subscription for 1 month, 3 months or more. Subscription boxes make fantastic gifts for geeks because they include a range of different products, often exclusive ones for a great price. Most boxes offer a variety of products so these are idea if you’re not sure what fandoms your geek likes. You can either choose to order an actual box or buy them a subscription/gift card which they can then choose to use when they wish.
Here are my recommendations for some great boxes:
- Humble Bundle – The Humble Bundle is a monthly digital video game subscription that contains $100+ of games just for $12. It is a fantastic way to get great games for low prices and even better it’s for charity!
- Loot Crate – The International Loot Crate and probably one of the most well know, Loot Crate has over 25 options available now. There is something for everyone.
- WootBox – Another site that offers a geeky subscription service as well as speciality one off boxes in their shop.
- ZBox – ZBoz is a subscriptin box offered by the UK store Zavvi and offers a standar box, special boxes and a ‘Threads’ box which is a box consisting of a book/comic book and a t-shirt.
- ColThat – ColThat is a trading card subscription site that lets you order a monthly subscription of booster packs for your chosen trading card. This is a great idea for a gift if you know what card game your gamer is playing.
- The Retro Gaming Box – A subscription box offering classic gaming titles each month.
- Board Game Crate – A subscription box dedicated to delivering award winning board games every month.
- Dungeon in a Box – A roleplaying experience in a box; a dungeon crawl that includes a map, minitures, adventure book and everything else to create a thrilling night of adventure.
- RPG Crate – A roleplayers treasure trove of products, this subscription box has a bit of everything in it with high quality products from suppliers such as the popular Wyrmwood Gaming.
There aren’t many geeky shops that have stores in the real world, so the best place to shop for your geek is online if there isn’t a small local store that you know about. If there is a local store don’t be afraid to go in and ask for help finding that perfect gift; like me they’re there to help and will be happy to share their geeky knowledge with you 🙂
This list is a mixture of UK and US stores.
One of the first places to get high quality gaming apparel online Jinx.com is still going strong and has a fantastic range of clothing for men and women. They work with several gaming companies to create unique designs that capture the essence of each game. From Blizzard Entertainment giants World of Warcraft and Overwatch, to Minecraft and the Witcher, they cover a lot of video games. We’ve ordered from them several times in the past and have always been happy with the superb quality of their products.
Don’t forget to use my discount code justgeekingby_870 to save 10% per order!
Most of the the geeky apparel you find tends to be limited to t-shirts and occasionally hoodies. Wild Bangarang has completely broken down those walls with their amazing collections of leggings, dresses and now office wear. They have a range of geeky wear, however, it’s their gaming collections that put them on this list. They’ve got some great World of Warcraft and Overwatch collections, but more importantly they have a fantastic Warhammer collection too which you don’t often see.
Insert Coin Clothing is a video game apparel site that has a diverse range of games of all ages. From retro mega drive titles to the Game of the year winner 2018, God of War. You’re sure to find something epic here for your gamer.
The Game Collection offers a full range of video games for every device and platform available and as well as a nice selection of official merchandise and apparel.
Fun Stock Retro is a great place to shop for gamers who love retro games, offering a range of retro consoles and arcade games and merchandise.
With such a fantastic range of products and games available, this is a brilliant place to shop for the gamer in your life. Search by game/theme, product type or their handy stocking fillers category to find that gift in a flash.
For the more sophisticated and stylish gamers in your life, Gamertee is filled with exquisitely designed goods for a range of gamers and fantasy lovers. Roleplaying and table top fans will especially love the class t-shirts like this gorgeous druid one, but I can see these also being a favourite with some video game players too.
They have a fantastic art section and impressive stationery collection with some gorgeous leather notebooks, however, I was immediately drawn to the Apothecary section. I wasn’t disappointed and this CHARISMA +1 Beard Elixir and Comb Set instantly jumped out to me. This would make a great gift for a roleplayed bearded gent who will get a chuckle from the name and idea of the set.
Geek and Sundry is an online entertainment company that hosts channels that stream geeky and gaming entertainment, such as Critical Role and Tabletop I mentioned in the guide introduction post. Their shop has some gaming products including merchandise for Tabletop and Spellslingers, a Magic the Gathering show.
Critical Role has it’s own store separate from Geek and Sundry. It has a US and UK store, although the UK store currently only has 2 products (art books) listed. Products available in the US store include apparel, art books, collectables and accessories for this dungeon and dragons role playing channel.
If you’re looking for a gift for a board game, tabletop or roleplaying geek then dice are usually a sure bet. They’re like magpies when it comes to dice and once they get started collecting them there is no stopping – I’m not that sort of gamer and I want to start collecting them, they’re that pretty!
We’re not talking plain white and black dice. As you can see at the Dice Shop Online they come in every colour and material imaginable; just like this Jade Opalescence Blue & Purple 7 Dice Polyset.
Then of course, your gamer needs somewhere to keep all those dice they’ve been collecting so dice bags are another thing that always comes in handy. Another good idea for a gift is this folding dice tray, helping your gamer keep their beautiful dice nice and safe in one place.
Magic Madhouse is the place to go for your Trading Card gamer gift needs. Unless you’ve been given a precise list of which booster packs to buy I’d stay away from buying actual cards. There are still gifts you can buy for trading card gamers and you’ll find plenty at Magic Madhouse. They’ve got a great selection of Funko Pop figures from Games and then there is the accessories section featuring storage boxes, folders, card sleeves, playmats and more. These might not seem very exciting, but to someone with a large card collection they’re invaluable. It’s like getting an artist a new set of pencils – they’ll always use them.
The point of these guides are to help guide you to find gifts and that is why I’ve not heavily suggested my own gift ideas. I also wanted to provide you with some variety and alternate opinions so here are a selection of fabulous gift guides to give you some inspiration:
- Gifts for Gamers – This guide from Rapid Reviews has some ingenious ideas for gamers that will help you add a personal touch to your gifts.
- Great Board Games for Stocking Stuffers – You can grab some great game recommendations from this guide by Michelle of A Geek Girl’s Guide, perfect for slipping that little extra something into your gamer’s stocking!
- Geek Native Christmas Gift Guide – Andrew of Geek Native has a fabulous selection of gifts just perfect for the roleplaying and board game geeks on your list.
- Role Play Gift ideas – GetDigital’s gift idea list has something for everyone that loves to role play.
Wait a sec, she said don’t buy gift cards?! Well, I kind of did. I said don’t default to gift cards. Gift cards work slightly differently for video games due to the move from hard copies to digital copies. This means that buying the right gift card for a video game player can be one of the best gifts you can get. They can save the online credit up for a sale, using it to buy more games for less, use it to buy game time, or use it to buy virtual items.
This list is divided into gift cards for online credit and store gift cards.
Online Credit Gift Cards
Store Gift Cards
Some of the places I’ve already mentioned have gift card options, but here’s a quick and easy list for you:
If you’re still well and truly stuck for ideas for the geek in your life or want some advice then let me know! Either leave me a comment or drop me message on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
Image Credits: Unsplash.