Polygon Gift Guide: Books, art and movies
Physical games can make for expensive gifts, and there is usually a high risk of duplication. Gift codes for online services lack imagination and deny you the pleasure of watching a pal or loved one unwrap the present.
So, for the game-lover in your life, there's the alternative option of game-related media from the world of books, art and movies.
There's a lot of junk out there seeking to cash in on popular franchises, but you can also find quirky and interesting things that satisfy individual tastes. We've made a few suggestions that we think fit that criteria, but please feel free to add your comments with gift ideas.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA
A New York Times bestseller this year, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is a gorgeous 274-page chronological account of the The Legend of Zelda universe. Published by Dark Horse Comics in North America in conjunction with Nintendo, it features concept art and the official history of the world of Hyrule.
Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game that Changed Everything
The inspiring and exciting tale behind one of the biggest games ever made is being heavily promoted this holiday season and is a keenly priced stocking filler.
THEORY OF FUN FOR GAME DESIGN
Raph Koster's decade-old guide to the principles underlying games was reissued this year, and is a must for anyone interested in the subject. Learned and accessible, it examines the core elements video games share with other forms of entertainment and asks what makes a game fun to play.
HOW TO DRAW POKEMON
Parents seeking to drag their offspring away from the pleasures of screen-based entertainment can use this handy art guide to tease out the crayons and exercise a little creativity. This is not a new book, but with Pokemon back in vogue, it's as relevant as ever.
THE ART OF BIOSHOCK INFINITE
The Art of BioShock Infinite shows off one of the year's most lovely and thought-provoking games, offering a look at its world and characters across 184 pages. Ken Levine, creative director of BioShock Infinite, penned the book's introduction.
THE ART OF THE LAST OF US
If your gift recipient is happy to wallow in the visual language of global plague and apocalypse The Art of The Last of Us offers character design as well as environment and concept art from Naughty Dog's PlayStation 3 exclusive.
REALITY IS BROKEN
Jane McGonigal, the guru of gamification, promotes the idea that games can be powerful forces for positive change in the world. Her book looks at how games can fix global issues like poverty and climate change. If you order directly from her, she'll include a personal author's message.
Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia
Mega Man, Resident Evil and Street Fighter are among the franchises detailed in this illustrated library of Capcom games and characters, offering notes, bios, insights and stats on almost 200 characters from the Japanese company.
JOURNEY ART PRINTS
Earlier this year, art dealer Cook and Becker began offering limited edition prints of thatgamecompany's Journey with a price tag of around $200 each. Each of the prints are numbered and signed by creative director Jenova Chen and art director Matt Nava and come with dated and signed Certificate of Authenticity.
The influence of Japanese woodblock printing on video game character designs from that country are being celebrated with this collection of Ukiyo-e Heroes. The unusual and striking prints are the work of illustrator Jed Henry and craftsman David Bull.
ATTRACT MODE CONSOLE CAT
For the kitsch lover, a print that incorporates feline style with the golden age of consoles. Attract Mode features various artists riffing on games culture and is always worth a browse.
INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE SPECIAL EDITION
So yes, Indie Game: The Movie was released in 2012 and it's on Netflix and everyone you know has seen it. But here's the Special Edition, including a 300+ minute anthology collection of completely new material housed in a Special Edition Box Set with artwork by Edmund 'Meat Boy' McMillen.
MINECRAFT: THE STORY OF MOJANG
Released free online earlier this year, it's also available as a traditional DVD set, for any Minecraft nutters in your circle. This package includes bonus material including an extra Notch interview and a feature on how 4J Studios ported the game.
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