Perfect Gifts for Gamers
Dec 19, 2006 16:05:55

It's a season of giving, right? Make sure you give your gamer friends and family things that really matter! It sure is nice living in this century because we can avoid the mall altogether. The post office is no better (I stood in line forever there yesterday) but with the magic of the internet you don't even have to deal with shipping, just have your generous offering shipped directly to your guildmates, static party members and loved ones. I dug around on Amazon to see what kind of cool gamer gear is available. In fact, I pretty much just pirated the VirginWorlds wish list for this sweet list of loot. Phat loot day is just around the corner, so be sure to pimp out your gaming buddies with the best this year. Or you can just drool over all this stuff like I do. (FYI, VirginWorlds is not an Amazon Affiliate (yet) ... I'm linking this stuff because it's cool and we all want it, nothing more.)

Indeed it was a slow year for Massive Online releases, but there are a few worth noting that may need a look-see.

Auto Assault
Sure it is the least popular MMO of all time, but it really isn't that bad. If you like going fast and blowing stuff up, it might be worth a shot. Net Devil is hard at work adding content and I've heard it isn't quite so barren now that they combined all 4 servers into one.

Dungeons and Dragons Online
It isn't exactly a massive world, but the scripted dungeon adventures are very solid and fun to play, especially if you traverse this game with a static party of friends. Pickup groups tend to end up grinding the same missions over and over with little real adventure or exploration. Much like a single player D&D game, there isn't much replay value, but the first time around is fun.

Guild Wars Factions
Considered the weakest of the three Guild Wars titles, but still a must-have for fans of Arena Net's no-fee sorta-MMO. Pretty graphics and smooth gameplay are the calling cards of the Guild Wars titles.

Guild Wars Nightfall
Nightfall is getting great reviews. It seems Arena Net has another hit on their hands. This new set of content is said to be much more challenging than the previous two. Newbies beware.

Vanguard Saga of Heroes (preorder)
Looks like Sigil's project is finally leaving beta in early 2007. Preorder boxes are on the shelves now and the game is looking more and more content complete every day. This title is targeted at stubborn PvE fans who want a game to settle into for the long haul, ala EverQuest and Ultima Online.

World Of Warcraft Expansion: Burning Crusade (preorder)
The when it's ready date is supposedly just around the corner. You'll get a new continent of mobs to slay as well as another 10 levels. There are plenty of naysayers, but come on, it's Blizzard. They don't seem to know the meaning of the word failure.

Tabula Rasa
Ha! I couldn't believe this preorder when I saw it. I expect you'll be seeing a $50 credit from Amazon before you see this box on your doorstep, but if you're extremely brave and want an action-shooter-MMO (read: Auto Assault on Foot) this is your title. Just make sure you have a ton of patience because this won't be shipping any time soon.

Everquest II: Echoes of Faydwer
The best expansion ever. This expansion has put new life in EQ2. If you like the idea of a slightly deeper game, with all the polish and beauty of WoW, do NOT miss this expansion. The great thing is, if you haven't bought EQ2 before you're in luck. This box contains all of the expansions and the core game. What a deal.

Game Cards - Can't go wrong here ... except with that Tabula Rasa one.
World of Warcraft 60 Day Pre-Paid Time Card
30 Day SOE PC GameCard
Auto Assault Game Time Card
Lineage 2: The Chaotic Chronicle Subscription Card
City of Villains 60 Day Game Time Card
Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach 60 Day Pre-Paid Time Card
Tabula Rasa Time Card

It isn't all about the games. The gear is key too. This stuff will set you back a few car payments or more, but it is worth all the thanks you'll receive when you give these gifts. Just try to resist keeping it for yourself, that wouldn't be quite as generous.

Logitech G15
This keyboard is just plain cool. I only use the macro features and special keys once in a while, but the cool black surface and backlit keys are worth it all by themselves. There is a slightly less expensive one that doesn't have the LCD screen built in. I would have picked up that one instead, but it only recently became available. Everyone needs this keyboard.

Logitech G5 Laser Mouse (has a cord)
Logitech G7 Laser Mouse (wireless)
These two gems are the slickest gaming mice out there. You can get some more expensive ones with pro-gamer names printed on them, but you won't be disappointed by these non-signature series models from Logitech. If you're still worried about wireless latency and batteries in your mice there is a wired version as well as the wireless one. They look great next to the G15 too.

Dell 30" Widescreen LCD
If you're going to go widescreen, go all out.

Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express Graphics Card
And, if you're going to go widescreen you better have a video card that can handle it. For the Dell monitor listed above you better not have anything less powerful than this video card. And if your gamer friends and family are worth it you can always get a ...

GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB PCI-Express 768-P2-N831 Graphics Card
Top of the line (at least until all the other DX10 cards start appearing.) The reviews on this card are excellent. You have to shell out big for it now, but you'll (or whoever you gift it to, yeah right) be gaming in style for quite awhile. There are many models of this card of course.

Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core QX6700 Extreme
The sweet video cards help, but you still need a nice processor (Quad-core will have to do). I'm normally an AMD guy, but these chips are supposedly the shiznit right now. Might want to liquid cool this sucker though. I bet it gets pretty warm.

Kingston 2GB KIT 400MHZ DDR PC3200
The more RAM the better and I've always had good luck with the Kingston stuff.

eVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard 122-CK-NF68-AR
And of course you'll need something to plug all those devices into. This seems to be the one you'd want. It is SLI capable so theoretically you could buy two of those 8800's. The graphical intensity might kill a mortal. Be careful.

Falcon Northwest Fragbook
Regular PC's aren't very portable. Perhaps your friend needs a killer laptop. The FragBook qualifies. Just try not to drool on it.

theBoom Quiet Home Office Noise Cancelling Computer Headset
Supposedly this the sweetest headset ever. At this price, it had better be.

Plantronics DSP-500 Digitally-Enhanced USB Gaming/Multimedia Stereo Headset
For a more reasonably priced USB gaming headset this one serves very well. This is also the one I use to record 75% of the VirginWorlds podcasts. Seems to work just fine and it is comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time.

Educational Material for Gamers
For most of us, just playing games isn't enough. We need to know how they work too. And we really want to know why the studios make some of the decisions they do. Read all of these and you'll be a well educated MMORPG student. Better yet, make your entire guild read them.

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games: The People, the Addiction and the Playing Experience

Business & Legal Primer for Game Development

Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games

Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture

Massively Multiplayer Games For Dummies

Designing Virtual Worlds

MMO Evolution

Massively Multiplayer Game Development

Massively Multiplayer Game Development 2

Massive Magazine Subscription
Sometimes you're unavoidably away from the computer. This is what I like to have by my side when that happens. I'm not a huge fan of print magazines, but Massive magazine has actually impressed the heck out of me. Smart writing, good articles, and excellent layout and art.

Other 'Loots'
The basics are covered. Now you need to look out for the convenience and health of the gift-worthy gamers in your life.

Apple 8 GB iPod Nano Black
Never leave home without the entire VirginWorlds podcast library! It won't fit on a 2GB Nano and those regular iPod are too darn big. This one will suit any podcast listener nicely.

Apple 1 GB iPod Shuffle Metal
Nano too big? Well, you can still put a ton of MMO podcasts on this one gig device. If you hate iPods, check out the iAudio U2 (I use it to record the mobile podcasts and listen to music) and U3 (the new version from iAudio).

Shure E5c Sound Isolating Earphones
Scott Johnson sounds cooler, Ryan Verniere sounds crazier, Lady Sinaea sounds cuter and hopefully I sound better too if you listen to your favorite podcasts on these babies. They're spendy, but rumor has it they are the best of the best, unless you want to go really fricking nuts with something like...

Shure E500PTH Sound Isolating Earphones
There is no way I'd spend this much on something I'm going to slam in my car door every-other day. But if you have the money, the audiophile on your gift list will worpship you forever.

Jobo Giga Vu Pro Evolution 120 GB Multimedia Photo Storage System
I hate it when I run into some friends and don't have any way to show them screen shots of my cool new armor or the raid boss I downed. Surely you all feel the same. This will solve the problem forever. If there's room you could always put some pics of your dog or kids on there too.

USB 2.0 Busdrive 32GB Pro 2 Ver
I've always wanted to spend a couple grand on something I'll lose instantly or put through the wash.

Imeron IGS350 Intensor LX Gaming Chair
If you think having a speaker near your crotch is important to your gaming experience... well, here ya go!

All in One Ergonomic Computer Workstation
Want the perfect gaming cocoon? Buy this and wrap it in gauze. Climb inside, load up an MMO and stay there forever. Ah crap, what happens if you get hungry?

Koolatron Designer Fridge
Solution! Put this next to your ergo-cocoon and you'll only need to leave for bio reasons. Of course there are solutions for that too.

Bowflex Ultimate 2 Gym
Bowflex Series 7 Treadmill
Alright, you've all gamed long enough. Get some exercise. Won't everyone be shocked when you show up at the next fan faire looking like Brad Pitt? Yes. Get with the program. They say 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week is enough. Sure would be nice if they were able to combine this with the ergo station.

1.20ct. 14K. White Gold Certified Princess Cut Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring
And finally, for the guys. Your gaming days are numbered if you don't get this gift for someone. Pony up the cash and it'll buy you a few more raids per month, at least for a few years. There are cheaper models, but their performance suffers by comparison. Plus, she's worth it.

Submitted by Brent on Dec 19, 2006 16:05:55 CST (comments: 8)


'/drool' by darrenl
Submitted on 2006-12-19 17:42:45 CST
Wow...thats quite a list of loot. So, Brent, what should I expect in the mail from you this year ;)

'No AGP Joy?' by Wilhelm2451
Submitted on 2006-12-19 19:23:51 CST
I wish you could have put the x1950 card that ATI has promised us poor AGP bound gamers on the list, but it won't be out until next year. Ah well....

'koolatron' by Brent
Submitted on 2006-12-19 19:23:58 CST
I think Darren needs a Koolatron. What say you? Heheheh.

'AGP' by Brent
Submitted on 2006-12-19 19:25:26 CST
Tell me about it. I had the same problem. Need a new card (got it) but didn't want to upgrade the mobo just yet....

'Autoassualt least popular?' by Celestian
Submitted on 2006-12-19 19:37:17 CST
Seriously, I can't imagine that after DD0. I'd like to officially say that I disagree =)

DD0 is the least popular and worst game of 2006 and dammit I love D&D!

Oh well, cheers!

'LOL' by darrenl
Submitted on 2006-12-19 21:15:33 CST
Koolatron...good one Brent....

....I'll take it!


'Terrific gift' by Dundee
Submitted on 2006-12-20 02:35:43 CST
Those games made me think how cool a very free gift (free in terms of money, expensive in terms of time) a person with highspeed internet, a dvd burner and lots of coffee could meke:

All the games (those and more) with 14-day free trials,and such, in a mighty collection of DVDs with links to the trial reg' key pages (I wonder if that's technically piracy even though certainly the game companies would like for about a million people to do it?).

Even checking the games out for a few minutes each would be a cool gaming weekend...

Well, "nerdy" more than "cool", but you know what I mean.

'Headphones...' by Kami
Submitted on 2007-01-06 05:27:49 CST
Shure Headphones? Dude, for gaming its gotta be Logitech, or if you have the cash, a USB Medusa 5.1 headset. In terms of everyday use, some Sony MDR-EX71SL or a similar in ear headphone can be a cheap and cheerful solution.

For the more Audiophilic amongst us, my best bet would be some sennheiser HD 485 or a similar model. sennheiser have always been winners in my book..

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