Being single is an excellent excuse to spend every spare moment you have indulging in your taste for gaming, but tack on 'mother' after 'single' and the opportunities to get your game on dwindle appreciatively. Here are a few gift ideas to help a single mom get her gaming groove back.
A large portion of being a busy single mom is spent being a mom. Relieve her of that burden for a few hours and she reverts to being single, and it's game time! Just mock up some coupons in Print Shop good for a few hours of child-free gaming.
Note: Giving these coupons means you must actually commit to spending supervisory time with this woman's child; otherwise you're just the jerk that gifted her a piece of meaningless paper.
I recommend iTunes gift cards as gifts quite a bit, hoping someone close to me will finally get the hint. The iTunes app store is filled to the brim with inexpensive bite-sized games perfect for a quick hit while waiting to pick your child up from soccer practice, day care, or prison.
($15 and up.)
Who says gaming and children don't mix? If she's got a child old enough to appreciate the subtle nuance of Sesame Street, then she's got the perfect present right here. She can team up with her son or daughter for hours of wiggle about in front of Muppets fun, and by the time they're done her offspring should be plumb tuckered out, which is always a good thing. Maybe they won't end up in prison after all.
You purchase it for her imagining she'll use it for games like Dance Central or Your Shape Fitness (or Once Upon a Monster, see above). She uses it to shout voice commands during rounds of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Everybody wins.
($150, plus the price of an Xbox 360 if she doesn't have one already.)
You wouldn't want her to interrupt her child's sleep with the sounds of gunfire from the living room, would you? At least that's the reason you tell her you got her one of the SteelSeries 7 series of gaming headsets (they've got Xbox 360, PC, and iOS models). The real reason is the blissful silence she'll experience while wearing them, a brief respite from demands for juice, cookies, college money, or bail.
($130, plus shipping.)
A busy single mom doesn't have time to sit at her computer desk all day playing Bejeweled 3, World of Warcraft, or Modern Warfare 3. She needs to exude an air of professionalism while being able to keep one eye on her child or children at all times, and to me that screams gaming laptop. Now we're not talking something extravagant here. If she's just playing Cafe World on Facebook a $500 Best Buy special will certainly do the trick. And if she's playing Battlefield 3 or Deus Ex: Human Revolution try to get her something a little more understanted than a giant glowing alien head. The Origin EON 17-S I reviewed earlier this year with its utilitarian black outer shell is what I'm thinking here.
(Anywhere from $600 to $3,000, depending on configuration.)