The holiday season is kicking into high gear and with it, every store
you can imagine is trying to get their hands on all your hard earned
loot this year. With the economy sinking faster than the Titanic, funds
are tight for everyone, so what's a person to do? The quick and easy
answer is to remind your friends and family this is really a time for
good will, not necessarily phat lewtz. Rather than throwing your hands
up in despair at the thought of trying to get gifts for everyone, there
are other options and I'm here to give you the scoop on the best of

For me, and quite possibly over 90% of the population reading this,
finding the funds to get decent gifts for the loved ones in your life is proving
more difficult this year than in many past. Fortunately, most of my
friends are gamers, and since they're not too keen on spreading their
horizons, they happen to play the same games I do. What does this all
have to do with the price of tea in China? Instead of giving
them target="_blank">a
gift from the material world, they're all getting gifts of
virtual sense.

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The idea for this came from Akahn, my poor partner in crime that has
died with me in more games and on more occasions than even a Cray
supercomputer could keep track of, all in the name of getting that
super screenshot or juicy piece of information for the various articles
I've written over the years. Two years ago, we were all pretty broke
(why do I see a pattern forming here?) and rather than buying me a gift
from the local electronics store, he got me an awesome robe in
called Shandrel's Robe. To this day, it's the only legendary
piece of equipment my necromancer has.

Akahn realized back then that while we may not have a lot of money in
our neighborhood bank available for things aside from our ever growing
pile of bills, our online personas are in quite a different situation.
With that revelation, the floodgates opened and for two years, we've
gotten our friends in-game items. Even if you don't know an item they
actually need, why not send them some gold directly? Think of it as the
online version of a self created gift card. I'm willing to bet they'll
appreciate it far more than that crappy reindeer sweater you found in
the bargain bin.

Do you want to know what’s really amazing (or sick, depending
on how you view our mental stability) about this new tradition?
Everyone of our friends has absolutely loved it. To this day, that
first robe I got from Akahn is in my top ten list of all time favorite
gifts. Why? Because not only was it something I absolutely wanted, but
after almost two years, I’m still using it. How many gifts
can you say that about?

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Gift Cards!

For those friends and family that may not play any online games, why
not use the holiday as an opportunity to introduce them to the hobby?
Even though I've spent a fair amount of my time bashing href="" target="_blank">World
Warcraft over the years for more reasons than anyone cares to

about anymore, in this instance, it makes the perfect gift. Everyone,
and I do mean everyone, has heard of the game and seen the commercials
(William Shatner and Mr. T are my favorites). The game is extremely
easy to get started with and does more than enough hand holding in the
beginning to get them on their way, saving you four and a half hours on
the phone just trying to get Little Timmy or Grandpa Jones out of the
starting area.

Rather than bashing your forehead against a wall or having a
séance to try and figure out what gift to get, save yourself
some money and give the gift that keeps on giving. Gaming is a lifelong
passion for most of us. As such, you'll be hard pressed to find a more
fitting gift for the gamer in your life. Trust me, they’ll
thank you profusely!

If you do find yourself with a few dollars to spare this year though,
there are far
worse things you could do with it than making a donation
to the target="_blank">CME
Kids Holiday Donations Drive. This year, a number of
developers there have found themselves without a paycheck and as our
Editor-in-Chief, Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle said in href="" target="_blank">Monday’s
Loading…, it’s hard to think of a worse
time of
year to find yourself in this predicament. Your in game
loot won’t do them much good, but even a small donation could
make their children’s day.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016