Everyone has that one person on their holiday to-give list, that one individual for whom a collector's edition or store-bought goody is just not good enough. This is someone with gaming ingrained in their DNA, who lives and breathes Final Fantasy or BioShock and cobbled together a makeshift Dragonborn costume last Halloween. This individual loves to attend conventions and won't be caught dead at one without sporting their nerdiest regalia. So what you do you buy them?
You buy them something no one else has. Or rather, something unique and custom-made that very few people will think to look for. That's when you forgo companies' official online stores and sift through the depths of Etsy, the fringes of DeviantArt and Cosplay.com, for that one special thing that special, nerdy someone will love.
If this is someone you're really willing to dip into your paycheck for, custom-made costumes, jewelry and even prop weapons could be the way to go. That way, the next time they strut through a convention with that Keyblade or knitted Songbird plush, proudly wearing their Link tunic or Mass Effect earrings or what have you, they'll be sure to think of you.
Hylian Shield backpack
The Hero of Time never left home without his shield. But how in Hyrule did he fit so much stuff into one little bag? Kill two birds with one stone and make your giftee the envy of this entire playground with this backpack modeled after Link's famous gear. This sturdy, hand-sewn backpack has enough space to fit books and folders and includes an inside pocket for smaller items. Creator Ivana von Pepolina sells a handful of other gaming-themed bags on her Etsy shop, including cross-body satchels modeled after Question Mark blocks, the Deku Shield, the Spoils Bag from Wind Waker and Portal's Companion Cube.
Nathan Drake's leather holster
Leathersmith David Vigil is known for his handmade replicas of leather goods featured in Naughty Dog's games, such as this gun holster worn by the half-tucking treasure hunter himself in the Uncharted games. Pick one up for the cosplayer on your list, or this Last of Us replica backpack for someone you know who just needs to carry things. The 25-year-old propmaker is currently raising funds for medical treatment against stage 2 pancreatic cancer, so this kind of purchase comes with double the holiday spirit.
Katamari Damacy bracelet
Failure. Sorrow. Shame. Things you will feel if you give a cruddy gift. If your intended receiver loves the Katamari Damacy games, or just gets a kick out of all those King of All Cosmos videos on YouTube, this gorgeous glass and acrylic-beaded bracelet by Michelle Steranko is the way to go. Steranko also makes a number of video game necklaces and earrings featuring Mario baddies like Lakitu, Bloopers and Paragoombas. She does custom work, too; if you're interested in procuring a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece for someone this holiday, shoot a message to her business ShineGet through Facebook.
Stuff to Use and Look At
video game soap
That's right. Soap. Someone in your life is dirty enough that this will work as a gift. Through Etsy, Digital Soaps sells a plethora of scrubbing bubbly bars themed around all sorts of geekery, including these replica game cartridges. Lather up with a copy of Earthbound or the Game Boy version of Tetris, complete with its own case. Alternatively, give that special someone on your list an excuse to rub down with a DualShock 3, an Xbox 360 controller or a Pokeball. Or, you know, bacon. Because nothing goes with video games like bacon.
Octodad Crochet doll
Because it's adorable, that's why. For the fan of Young Horses' octopus-trying-to-pass-as-a-human simulator, this adorable little doll is the perfect pal to prop up on their pillows. Or you could get it for your indie-loving games journalist friend as a comforting, cute reminder of the industry in which they live and breathe, a friendly face to sit beside their computer monitor as they wade through the crannies of the internet. Etsy shop CMBandSons also makes tiny crochet Bob-ombs and Pokeballs, too.
Journey art prints
At least one person on your gift list sobbed like a little baby after playing thatgamecompany's Journey. Now you can make them cry every time they get out of bed or walk into their living room with these gorgeous Journey art prints by artist Tiffany H. Hang the Ancestors next to their bed or relive the sandstorm with these paintings that bring last year's award-winning downloadable adventure to life in swirling, glossy color.
BioShock Infinite Vigor perfume
Technically this is a wearable item as well, but you could dab these scents just about anywhere you need a fresh whiff. Cain Fusil's perfumes inspired by Vigors from BioShock Infinite include Possession, Devil's Kiss and Undertow. Rapture's Adam, Eve and Plasmids are also available, as well as a general Vigor scent and one for Columbia's Salts. You could also pick up a few samples of Resident Evil-inspired perfumes, including ones themed around Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy.