GUEST POST: A Gamer’s Wife’s Christmas

Hey, there, Misties! This is Alana from What We Do All Day. I’m taking over here for a day to give a new perspective on the gaming lifestyle, and by new, I mean one that is the source of thousands of stereotypical jokes per hour, but re-imagined as a Christmas theme: being a Gamer Widow.

My husband is a gamer, and I don’t mean he throws on Halo with his buddies on Saturday afternoons. I mean it is his all consuming hobby, his only interest (okay, one or two exceptions. He did manage to get married, after all) and his one true love in this world. Me? I could take it or leave it. I liked Donkey Kong Country 2. Whatevs.

As much as I will never understand the kind of passion that will drive a man to study the history of Resident Evil to the point that he can talk for four hours totally uninterrupted about the differences between each entry in the series (and does, to his very polite wife), he too will never understand why my eyes glaze over somewhere around hour two and a half, but over the years we’ve achieved a fine balance where I listen and he talks but not quite so much as he’d like to. I’ve gleaned enough information to successfully infiltrate any group of nerds, anywhere. “Final Fantasy XIII? Oh yeah, people complained about it a lot, but I thought the graphical accomplishment alone was worth the price. It was way more linear that the last one, but for the most part I didn’t mind. It just doesn’t feel like Final Fantasy without the towns, though.” I have never played a Final Fantasy game for more than 15 minutes.

What does this have to do with Christmas? Well, Christmas fucks up our fine balance. You saw yesterday’s post, about what not to buy gamers? It turns out that in my partner’s estimated opinion, what you SHOULD get gamers is their damn games, damnit.

And damnit, I am sick of buying these damn games. It’s so boring, just to pick something off a list. That’s why, this year, I decided to leave the list to Santa and do something different. I won’t say what I actually chose, in case he reads this, but these are the ideas I ran through as I searched for something that both appealed to his insane case of nerditis, and to my desire to get him a Big Boy gift that didn’t involve giant enemy crabs (that’s right there was a very funny reference that I wouldn’t get if it weren’t for him obsessively filling me in on game lore, so you can thank him for that).

1. Etsy’s entire Geekery section. Go there and search “Nintendo” and see what you find. Some of it is terrible, but some of it is really well crafted decor pieces and custom art along a video game theme. We already have some throw pillows with question marks (Mario) and a cutting board with pacman carved into it, both from Etsy sellers.

2. Wall art. This one you should use sparingly, because wrinkled posters for Call of Duty can and do make you look like a surly teenager when you have guests, but you can still have nice, gaming-themed art. You can pick a favourite game, preferably a retro-one, since vintage adds class somehow, and then cut the poster into six pieces and frame them side by side for a neat effect, or have a series of retro print ads mounted and arrange them asymmetrically on the wall. There are also wall decals that make your bathroom look like a level of Mario, if that’s your jam.

3. Ebay’s collectible section. One year I got my gamer a Japanese art book from his favourite game, Parasite Eve 2. We still have it, and it has been much perused. It works as a talking piece on the coffee table, too. There are also figurines, if you’re willing to spend enough to get well-made ones. We also have a plush Prinny, also obtained from Ebay. We have some obscure anime merchandise too, but that’s not relevent to this post. Just go to the section and search for a beloved game, and you are sure to turn up something cool.

Even though I’m relying entirely on online databases to spit up something sufficiently neat to appease my gaming geek at Christmas, he invariably thinks I’m some kind of gift giving genious because I’ve gotten him something at once personal and totally unheard of. It’s an awesome trick, really.

Oh, and because Misties know that this blog loves gender equality and so do I, I will point out that these all apply to spending Christmas with lady gamers as well. I’m just writing from my own perspective, as the apathetic partner in the gaming relationship.

Happy holiday hunting!

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