So you have a geek in your life. Someone whose eyes light up whenever anyone mentions an obscure comic book no one else has heard of. Or maybe videogame cheats send them reeling? You want to encourage your loved ones’ geekiness, but how do you attain this without insider know-how? Look no further!
Here are some geek proof and appropriate solutions for the holiday shopping season.
For the Gamers
This might seem like a no brainer: buy a game. But there are so many types of games and platforms—and then you have no way of knowing what your homegrown gamer has in his/her play sights next. Is it an RPG, a FPS? Or the newest MMORPG? If those acronyms themselves are trepidation inducing, then look no further.
Ask. There is no shame in asking what game your geek wants for Christmas, and don’t let that fool you into thinking you can’t personalize it. Did they ask for the New Star Wars Battlefront? Why not add in some Star Wars memorabilia? Was it the new Tomb Raider installment? Why not channel your inner archaeologist and add a bottle of Crystal Skull Vodka and/or a couple of adventure themed movies? (The Indiana Jones Trilogy comes to mind. And yes, you read me right. There were only ever three Indy movies). Remember, just because they know what they’re getting doesn’t mean you can’t add some personalized surprises.
Gift certificates are your friend. But not just any gift certificates. Know what console your geek plays on. Is it a PlayStation? Go for a Sony PlayStation gift certificate for their online game store. Same goes for Windows Xbox. Are they an App gamer? iTunes is your friend (more on iTunes in a moment). Knowing what system we play on is thanks enough.
For the Book Lovers
The most obvious one here is to find out what book/ebook they are pining for this holiday season and buy it. But with Kindle and other assorted ebook readers, it’s sometimes hard to tell which your Geek may have read already. Never fear. You have options!
Comic Book Subscriptions. Shopping for a comic book fanatic? A way to say you love them and their geeky obsession for graphic novels is to pick them up a 1-year subscription to their favorite series. Don’t know their favorite comic series or know they already have a subscription? Comixology and Marvel Unlimited are fantastic options to give them an unlimited selection.
Audible Membership. Does your book lover have a long commute? I suggest a membership to the biggest online retailer of audiobooks out there.
Amazon/Kobo/Barnes & Noble/Chapters/iTunes Gift Certificates. Think these are impersonal? Not a chance. For the geeky book lover, these are a glorious excuse to spend money on their passion. Books. Or Games. Or Music… seriously, we love these kinds of gifts. At no other time of year do I have the excuse to unapologetically blow $100 on books. We don’t think you copped out. On the contrary. We love you more than ever because you know us so, so, well.
For the Geeky Culture Junkie
How do you know your geek is a culture junkie? Sure they’re a fan of games and SFF books, but the Geeky Culture addict loves a mix of just about everything it’s hard to put down what they identify with most. But throw them an obscure Star Trek: The Original Series trivia question (Star Trek: TOS, if you’d been wondering what that acronym is) and they’ll likely be the first person with an answer. With the geek culture junkie you are probably safe with an Amazon or iTunes gift certificate, but you have another, much more entertaining option. The geek culture junkie is almost certainly into geek memorabilia.
Memorabilia. The only trick here is you need the right memorabilia. Star Trek? Star Wars? Battlestar Galactica? Dr. Who? Game of Thrones? And once you’ve identified their love, what kind of memorabilia do you shoot for? Do they binge watch Netflix reruns? Then a director’s cut series might be up their alley. Do they collect figurines? Easily found collectibles galore are found on EBay and Amazon. Maybe they like to wear their geekdom? An R2D2 or C3PO knit hat from Etsy is an option (I’m thinking of some of these for myself), along with T-Shirts and sweatshirts. One video game company, BioWare, even makes an entire clothing line for gaming geek fanatics.
There is, however, an underexplored option you can exploit here for extreme geek culture points (depending on how well you know your Geek). The life-sized cutout. Not only do they make great rec room talking pieces, but us geeks love to take them to work. There was a commander Warf dressed in a lab coat for years on one of our research floors at the University of British Columbia. Did anyone complain? No. The other labs retaliated with Data and Jean Luc Picard cutouts until we had the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation dressed in lab coats looking down on the unsuspecting med students in the promenade below. Life-sized cut outs bring geeks together like no other item out there. To find them check out local memorabilia stores, EBay, Amazon, as well as your local Craigslist.
Whether you gift your geek with gift certificates, memorabilia, or videogames one thing is for certain—the greatest gift of all is accepting their geekdom!