Do Gamers Really Want Gift Cards?

Illustration for article titled Do Gamers Really Want Gift Cards?

Gamers are sure to find all kinds of gaming goods under the tree this holiday season. But some, however, may only find a bunch of plastic gift cards.


I stumbled across this article the other day about how gift cards can be a thoughtful and acceptable and not just "last minute gift" ideas. This applied specifically to gamers, as the writer claims it can be difficult to shop for someone who wants video games.

"Gamers can be one of the toughest groups of people to buy for; you may not know exactly what types of games a person likes, and if you do know that you might not know what games they already own. It makes it tough to give. If you've been looking for just the perfect gift for a special gamer its time to stop putting it off and just buy a gift card."

As Bill Lumbergh would say, "I'm gonna have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you there."

I think gift cards are possibly the worst gift idea for gamers, simply because there's no way for you to enjoy playing your new games on Christmas morning. You have to wait until the next day and who knows if the store your gift card(s) are good for even have the game(s) you want! You may end up waiting weeks — like I did for a DS — before shelves are restocked.

Yeah, PSN/XBLA/Wii points cards are fine because I can buy those online at any time, but for retail packaged games, either just give me money (so I can buy the games anywhere), or simply ask me what I want beforehand. Hell, I'll even accept lesser, crappier games than no games at all, like when Bart received Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge instead of Bonestorm in episode 139 of the Simpsons.

So do you guys hope to find many gift cards this holiday?

Gift Cards - Not Just 'Last Minute Gifts' for Gamers



I disagree that Gift Cards are more "personal".. I think they are the farthest from it.

It says.. "Hey.. I don't know enough about you or feel like putting the effort into finding out what you want/have/dont like on my own.. cause I'm lazy and I'm just going to take the easy way out.."

If I am going to buy someone a gift, I want to actually buy them something they want. NOT something they need.. like a new clock or underwear or some dumb shit. And half the fun would be thinking of what to get them. Do I ask their friends for tips? Do I, god-for-bid, COMMUNICATE with the person and try to learn something? Do I go on the internet and research products?

Stuff like that.. For example.. If someone were to be buying me a game.. Just go into my room and look at the whole shelf full of games.. Dont buy something thats already there.. Then.. Be aware of me mentioning any games coming out soon. Dont take the obvious route and listen for keywords the week before Christmas.. thats just me asking for it.. theres no surprise. Listen a month or two ahead of time. Ask my friends.. Is this game good? Would you play it? Would he like it? Did he plan on getting it?

Crap like that. Basicly, as everyone here has pretty much pointed out, Christmas is no longer about the "thought" going into the gift. Its just.. "Give me this thing on this day.."

Unfortunately, thats exactly how most of my Christmas's have been. Then it gets to the point where I just get things within a 2 month period around Christmas and just call it a Christmas gift..

If someone were to actually surprise me? It would be a Christmas to remember.. I'd say.. "Wow.. how did you know I wanted this? How did you figure it out?"