The year was 1995. The groundbreaking gaming console PlayStation had just made its way into my home thanks to months of allowance savings and a lot of begging. It changed my life! I spent hours with my friends staring at a screen, drinking Jolt Cola, and developing carpal tunnel in my thumbs from desperately pressing buttons.
Now, over two decades later, video games are far more than just child’s play — they are a multi-billion dollar industry. What makes video games so great are their shared experiences. It’s about knowing that at this very moment, though you are physically by yourself, you are in fact, not alone.
This is perhaps the biggest reason that video games, according to TheGamer.com, pulled in nearly $1.6 billion in June of 2020 alone. On top of that, Engadget.com states that 2020 was “the biggest year in gaming in a decade.”
If you’re not currently familiar with Fortnite, Animal Crossing, or Minecraft, you may feel like you’re on the outside looking in on the biggest trend in entertainment the world has ever seen. When I think about the film and television industry and its ability to connect us to each other, it’s clear that gaming is following the same trajectory.
Movies used to be only available in theaters. It was the reason for a night out with others. As technology advanced, the ability to bring that experience into the home became more appealing with people purchasing large televisions and creating home theaters in their living rooms and basements. Now, gamers, just like movie-goers before them, have come home from the arcades and made a place for themselves in their bedrooms, living rooms, and basements around the world, meeting with friends virtually by the millions!
Great Gifts for Gamers
Whether you’re a player yourself or just an ally, you can be an expert in showing gamers how much you care about their experiences. There are accessories, much like home theaters, that make gaming much more engaging, comfortable and exciting, so we’re going to run down a list of amazing gifts for the gamers in your life.
The Gamer’s Throne:
Gamers clock hours at a time in front of their PCs, PlayStations, and Nintendos, which can wreak havoc on your back, neck, and arms. Here are a couple great gamer chairs that will not only excite the gamer in your life but could also help their physical health in the long run.
RIMIKING offers an affordable, comfortable and technologically advanced gaming chair. Complete with customizable sizing, cushy neck support, and lumbar massage, this gaming chair makes for one of many excellent gifts for gamers and is available for under $200.
If you have a smaller budget but still want the gamer in your life to be as comfy as possible, try the Everlasting Comfort Office Chair Cushion. This memory foam pad will ensure your player has their posterior protected for hours on end.
Enhancing a Gamer’s Illusion of Reality:
Games like Call Of Duty or Fortnite feature sound effects that bring the user inside the game. Thanks to devices like the Woojer Vest, which retails around $400, the sound effects heard while playing can become actually impactful in a brand new way. The vest will rumble and shake to correspond with actual gameplay to make the player feel as though you’re actually on the battlefield or in the huddle!
If you like the idea of the Woojer Vest but don’t have as high of a budget, we suggest you try the KorFX Gaming Vest which comes in at around $135. This vest gives you a similar experience as the Woojer but at a more affordable price. However, this vest is smaller than its counterpart, so it won’t give the same amount of haptic feedback. Still, either vest makes for an exciting addition to any gamer’s gear.
The Sound of Camaraderie:
To be a good teammate, you need to be a great communicator. While home theater systems can boast loud sound effects that can be heard ‘round the neighborhood, gamers usually prefer the sound of their favorite games to be just for them. A superb pair of headphones are a key component in not only experiencing the audio of your favorite games, but they can help to connect you to members of your team so you can better complete your objectives and win the match.
The Razer BlackShark V2 Headset is a great headset for gamers that features THX 7.1 Surround Sound, a detachable microphone, and noise cancellation. Considering all of its incredible features, The Razer BlackShark V2 is affordable considering all the features it offers for $160.
If your gamer is just getting started or doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, the RUNMUS Gaming Headset provides premium-quality sound, soft ear pads, and anti-static noise cancellation. Plus, this headset won’t set you back very much, as it’s priced at around $35.
Sharing Your Game With The World
With the emergence of platforms like YouTube Live and Twitch, gamers have been broadcasting their games over the internet. These aren’t simply videos of their games recorded and shared, but rather a live broadcast of themselves actively playing the games in real-time while they interact with an audience!
In order to do this, gamers use green screen technology to place their image on the screen while they play on their PCs, Xboxes, and PlayStations. Viewers can watch their best friends or favorite celebrities play their consoles while seeing their reactions and expressions, all of which bring them closer to each other.
If you’re looking for gifts for streamers just starting out, they’ll need a green screen to accomplish their dreams of being the next video game influencer. I recommend the Emart Green Screen, which allows for portability and ease of use for under $200. Simply place behind your chair, extend the screen, and turn your room into a marvel of modern technology.
For those who don’t have space for a home studio but want to join the streaming revolution, the Webaround Big Shot Gen 2 is affordable at $75 and simply attaches to your existing game chair. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, and fits in a suitcase so you can even take your show on the road.
Tips on Being A Game Ambassador:
However, you want to help your loved ones get inside their games, keep this in mind: gamers are very particular, and may have suitable alternatives to the gifts you want to get them. So, we suggest you ask some key questions before buying gifts for gamers.
Are they Nintendo Switch or Wii players? Do they Livestream or prefer to be undetectable?
Do they buy their games or rent them with companies like Gamefly?
Don’t be afraid to ask them what they like to game with. You may be a “Newb” (someone who’s brand new to video games), but if you show them you care about their experience, you will quickly become part of the fastest-growing community in the world!
I can still feel the pain in my thumbs and dryness in my eyes from over 25 years ago. They will forever be a part of me. My mother, who had the foresight to see the future of video games, went the extra mile to make sure I was comfortable and capable of finishing any game I started. Her gifts helped create a safe place to fall in love with gaming. Thanks to her I have enjoyed a lifetime of fun and friendship. When you get the right gamer gifts for your loved ones, you too can create those opportunities for your own friends and family.