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Geek Gifts that Don’t Suck

So every year around this time, websites like ours try to help readers like you figure out what the heck to get your loved ones for the holidays.  And, let’s be honest here, most of those lists suck.  Gift giving is extremely personal, so how is a random stranger on the Internet supposed to know what your best friend wants for Christmas? And geekdom, especially, is so varied from person to person, that it’s difficult to know where to begin when buying a gift for the geek in your life.  As such, the following is not only a list of suggested gifts, but also some tips and tricks (I refuse to use the word “hacks”) that may help you find the perfect gift for your lovable Geek.

For the PC Gamer: Steam giftcard (varies)

Honestly, unless your Geek has specifically told you that he or she wants a certain game for Christmas, it’s probably best to go with a giftcard. Steam is your PC gaming headquarters and they have regular sales, so your Geek will be able to browse at his or her leisure to find games to play. Gamers can be difficult to buy for. For example, my father likes first person shooters, but only single-player games set in a war zone that don’t have many side missions. While yes, my father is particularly picky, I think it’s wise to assume that you don’t know for sure what games your Geek will like (if you did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article right now). In short, take the safe road here and get your Geek a giftcard.

For the Console Gamer: Fallout 4 ($59.88)

Photo courtesy of Bethesda Softworks LLC

Photo courtesy of Bethesda Softworks LLC

If by some miracle, your Geek has not yet purchased Fallout 4, then this is probably the way to go. The Internet practically blew up when this game was announced, and, chances are, your Geek was excited for it too. However, much of what I said above still holds true here. If your Geek hasn’t said anything about Fallout, then I would reserve caution and either purchase a game that he or she has expressed interest in, or avoid a getting a game all together. Another idea is to take a look at your Geek’s system – could she or he use a new controller?

For the Social Geek: Exploding Kittens ($20.00)

We’re all a little twisted, as shown by the popularity of the game Cards Against Humanity. If your Geek is a social creature, he or she may like a new game to play at parties. Exploding Kittens is the most-backed project in Kickstarter history and features graphics from the Oatmeal. This is a cat version of Russian Roulette and, if the Internet is any indication, we all REALLY like cats. For the, ahem, more mature Geek, there’s also a NSFW version.

For the Book Lover: A Hardcover Version of Their Favorite Novel (varies)

The key to getting a book for a book lover is knowing whether he or she prefers fiction or nonfiction. For a fiction fan, perhaps try Planetfall which PCU reviewed earlier this year. For a nonfiction fan, try How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, a wonderfully approachable book about how the father of modern economics also thought a lot about the constructs of happiness. If your Geek dreams about having a library at home one day, perhaps you can help start his or her collection with a hardcover copy of a favorite novel, or any classic novel that he or she enjoys. Many books can be found in hardcover, gorgeously bound and ready for a library shelf. It may take some extra Internet sleuthing, but your Geek will definitely appreciate the gift.

For the Comic Book Lover: Probably not comics


Comic book fans are often collectors as well, and, chances are, you’ll have no idea what your comic book-loving Geek already owns. While it might be a nice idea to try to find a classic comic book to add to your Geek’s collection, vintage comic books can be very expensive and will likely be outside your price range. My best advice is to look for presents from sites like Think Geek and Etsy. Try to get your Geek something he or she will actually use. That SHIELD logo t-shirt? Sure. Batman terry cloth shorts? Probably not a good idea. The one time I would suggest buying comic books for a comic book-lover is if your Geek only reads comic books from the big labels, like DC Comics or Marvel. The smaller, indie comic book labels put out some incredible stories that are worth checking out.  Need a place to start? Check out some reviews from PCU’s Review Brew to see what your Geek might enjoy, or ask the clerks at your local comic book store!

For the Cosplayer: Giftcards!

If your Geek is a cosplayer, he or she mostly likely has big plans and a small budget. Cosplay is not for the faint of heart, nor is it cheap. Get your cosplaying Geek a gift card to Amazon, Home Depot or Lowe’s, JoAnn Fabrics, Michael’s, or any other type of crafting or DYI store near you. If your Geek makes his or her own costumes, offer to be a lackey for the day. Throw on a movie or Netflix, grab some snacks, and spend an afternoon helping your Geek work his or her magic. You’ll learn a lot about the world of cosplay and I’m sure your Geek will appreciate the extra hand.

Still not sure what to get? In case you haven’t heard, there’s a big movie coming out in theaters tomorrow. I think it’s called Star Wars. There’s a TON of merchandise out there for this movie, so, if your Geek has a lightsaber in his or her Facebook profile picture and tickets to see the film this weekend, a Star Wars related gift is probably a good bet. If you’re looking for something extra special, and have some money to burn, how about the original, unedited Star Wars trilogy on DVD?

Hopefully you’ve found some useful information in this article. I leave you with one final piece of gift-giving advice for the future. Download a notepad app on your phone, create a note titled “Gifts,” and write down the names of the people to whom you typically give presents. Then, over the course of 2016, every time you see something your potential recipient would like, or you hear them talk about something they want, write that item down next to their name. Once the holidays roll around again, you’ll already have a few ideas for the people on your gift list. I’ve found that this greatly reduces my stress levels and makes holiday shopping far more enjoyable, so hopefully it does the same for you.

Did I miss something in this article? Does this list suck like most other gift lists? Let me know in the comments below!

About ajennimills (40 Articles)
Ashley was raised on sci-fi television shows and movies, the Adam West version of Batman, and all those marvelous 90s Nickelodeon cartoons. She’s a Jersey girl and an avid Philadelphia sports fan, but has never once thrown batteries at a baseball player, or snowballs at Santa Claus. Ashley is also a triathlete, marathon runner, hiker, and occasional dog walker, mostly so she doesn't have to watch what she eats.

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