Whether you celebrate Christmas, Festivus, or Saturnalia, you may well have scored some videogame-related loot last month. Maybe your workplace Secret Santa delivered and you got a mousepad you’ll actually get some use out of? Maybe some blessed soul bought whatever game was at the top of your wishlist? Maybe a distant relative sent a wad of cash in a card and you just bought it yourself? Maybe somebody gave you a new GPU, in which case can I be adopted by your family please?
Did you get any gaming presents last year?
Here are our answers, plus some from our forum.
Chris Livingston, Features Producer: No. But I did get a new Yeti mug which I consider to be 100% a gaming and productivity accessory because I need coffee to function and I need that coffee to remain hot and Yeti mugs keep that caffeinated fuel hot for ages. Seriously, I dash through my first cup of coffee but nurse my second, and even if I leave it untouched for hours it’s still nice and hot. It’s a really good mug.
Robin Valentine, Print Editor: I never really ask for gaming presents from friends or family these days. I get food and socks and stuff instead. This year, though, I decided to get myself something—an Xbox Elite Series 2 controller. I’ve always been a real nerd about controllers, and I’ve wanted an Elite for a long time, but it’s always felt too expensive to justify. Well, after everything that’s happened in the last couple of years, I’m done having to justify things to myself. I deserve all the overpriced pieces of plastic I want, thank you.
I love it so far, too—it feels properly luxurious in my hands, and I do think it’s a genuine upgrade to my gaming. Certainly it’s an improvement over my old Xbox One controller’s loose d-pad and spongy bumpers.
Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: I was gifted this set of gaming coasters for Christmas, which I have to admit are not exactly my aesthetic. But it was a nice thought! And they’re decent coasters with cork backs, which means I’ll probably break them out next time I have more than a few people over and need to protect every wooden surface in the house.
I gave some gaming gifts this year that I’m happy about, though. My partner’s younger cousins all game, so I gave one Hitman 3, one the unlikely but winning combo of Baba Is You and Final Fantasy 9, and one some Riot Points to grab a snazzy outfit or gunbuddy or whatever the kids are into in Valorant these days. Dress to impress!
Katie Wickens, Hardware Writer: I finally got my hands on a Sneki Snek head pillow which I’d been craving for ages. Anything to make my demon chair a little more comfortable when I feel the need to rip and tear. Since Razer ignored my emails asking for a review model, I finally caved. I put it on my Christmas list and my partner got it for me, because he’s also a gamer and he gets the struggles. Oh, and technically I got an RTX 3060 as an early Christmas present, even though my partner paid for it about 10 months ago… and I have to pay him back, sadly. So maybe it doesn’t count.
Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: This year my partner gifted me the Steelseries Apex 7 keyboard I’d had my eye on. I was ready to downsize after six years on a keyboard with 22 macro keys—which I rarely used—so I opted for the tenkeyless version. Another relative got wrangled into getting me a matching mouse. I’ll admit I’ve made fun of the cheese grater mouse design in the past, but it’s the only white Steelseries mouse at the moment and I appreciate the commitment to consistency. The texture isn’t weird while I’m using it, thankfully, but my fear of eventual hand goo in those holes remains. I even spent an hour in my Steelseries app setting up colors and effects for both while on holiday, so I’m feeling pretty good about the desk aesthetic for this year.
Fraser Brown, Online Editor: I’m notoriously difficult to get presents for, apparently, but at least when I was younger something gaming-related was usually going to be a win. Not so, now. Actual games are out, since there’s a big risk of getting me something I already have. And the stuff I need, like a new GPU, is far too expensive for me to feel comfortable receiving as a gift. This year people mostly got me stuff for the dog, which is much more practical.
Nat Clayton, Features Producer: I’m not sure my family ever knows what to get me, so it was mostly just socks and jammies as per. My brother did cruelly get me a copy of the board game Pandemic, which I expect to be able to play without harrowing undertones in roughly five to 15 years. Like Chris, however, I consider coffee a crucial piece of gaming equipment, so I treated myself to a solid kilo of grind from a local roaster.
Andy Chalk, NA News Lead: I’m too old to get “fun” gifts anymore, although my recently-turned-legal-drinking-age nephew made a point of buying me a bunch of beer, which was lovely. I thought about buying myself some new gear instead—I’ve had an urge for a new keyboard for a while now—but I’m not too eager to drop a few hundred bucks on one without being able to try it first, so after hemming and hawing over various product listings and reviews, I gave up on that idea. I don’t really need anything else, I guess, and I couldn’t work up the energy for consumerism for its own sake, so… maybe next year?
Morgan Park, Staff Writer: Our friend group played a lot of Overwatch this year, so when Secret Santa came around, my friend Ian truly delivered. This… um, pronounced mouse pad with built-in wrist rest was actually a gift for my partner who mains Mercy. For some reason it has not become her preferred mouse pad for Overwatch, but it has been nice to occasionally glance at it awkwardly collecting dust on a table and laugh. I tried it out for a few minutes and found the wrist rest soft, yet ironically restrictive. Most FPS players use lower mouse sensitivity for precision, but resting my wrist between the squishy cheeks made it hard to move it at all. 12/10 gift, 3/10 mouse pad.
DXCHASE: I got a Nintendo Game Boy mug that, when something heated is added to the cup, it changes the screen of the Game Boy to Super Mario, so it looks like it goes from off to on, pretty neat.
McStabStab: I got a new mechanical keyboard with cherry blue switches. I had a cherry blue “equivalent” keyboard at home but it just wasn’t the same. Now I have my old keyboard at the office and my new one with the good switches at home.
Thank god I have my own office otherwise I’d drive my coworkers crazy with the clicky-clacky!
ZedClampet: I got a Steam gift card from my wife, and my dad gave me the traditional card with cash. It’s always nice to get a boost during the Steam Winter Sale.
Krud: Thanks to a certain virus making the rounds, our Christmas has actually been delayed to this weekend, so I’m not sure what all I’m getting. That said, I have already been gifted two new [to me] board games [Imhotep and Forbidden Island], a set of heavy metal dice [not Led Zeppelin-themed or anything, just literally heavy and made of metal], and a Quest-a-Day RPG calendar. Nothing PC-related, however.
Edit to add: Really, once computer games went primarily to digital download format, the number of games-as-gifts dropped significantly for me, mostly because too many non-gamer people (aka most people I’d get presents from except my wife) don’t seem to understand how game cards work, even though they understand Amazon and Google Play well enough.
Withywarlock: Not for Christmas, but my girlfriend got me some Call of Duty: Warzone socks as part of our first anniversary. A nice topper to our week away in Bristol. Not gonna lie, those are the comfiest socks I’ve ever worn in my life.