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Video Games Gift Guide: Presents For All Budgets

Happy Black Friday, everyone! It’s America’s One True Holiday, where we spend, spend, spend and beat each other senseless for microwaves and half price copies of Battlefield 4. The greatest country in the world: where we trample each other literally the day after being thankful for what we have. You couldn’t write irony like this. But I have to remember, my job is not to judge, so I’ll be your toxic enabler, your video game Walter White for this lovely holiday season. This our most sacred day: Black Friday.

I’ve decided to put together a little video game Gift Guide 2013 for what I think are most interesting games and hardware for the holiday season. I hope you find that special something that make that ungrateful brat finally call you “Mom” or “Dad”:


1. Big Spender: Playstation 4 or Xbox One

gift guide 2013

Yes, for those of you with enough recycled beers cans or blood plasma donated, you could pick up a Playstation 4 or an Xbox One for the holiday season. I’m sure you’ll have fun with it for about three months and then it will be the black box you occasionally dust off for shits and giggles, or at least until spring 2014, when all the interesting games are coming out.

Deciding on which box to buy should really come down to how much you want to spend, and if you care that much about cable TV on your gaming system. PS4 is $400, but with no cable integration, and XBox One is $500, all about the TV. The launch games are big snore, but that’s to be expected. Don’t forget to add in the cost of those fun online services, too. Your surly teenager will acknowledge your existence with a slight gruff sound when they lazily tear off the wrapping. Don’t worry, you’re a good parent. Even though you’re an emotional wasteland and a mindless corporate zombie, which is always a great role model for an informed citizenry, you buy them the right stuff. It’s the thought that counts.

Or you could get them a WiiU. HA. You want them to like you, right?


2. Origin Sales

gift guide 2013

That’s right. EA’s digital platform Origin is actually have a fucking sale for once. And I realized I bought Battlefield 4 three weeks ago for full price, when I could have actually got it for a smoking low price of $29.99. I am actually starting to like Origin as the service grows, but their lack of sales is, frankly, disturbing. I should have waited. I am an idiot and deserve all your shame/derision/thrown bottles for my impatience. The good thing about Origin is that they offer sales on both their digital downloads and physical media for about the same amount. Here’s a brief rundown of their best deals for both digital and physical media:


3. Steam Sales

gift guide 2013

No big shocker here. Steam has a special Thanksgiving sale where they’ll basically hoover all your money up. Here’s the front page. They have a rotating list of Daily Deals, which change every 24 hours, and “Flash Sales”, which have short time periods (but steeper discounts). The sale is happening from 11/27  to 12/3, so check back regularly.

Also, Steam regularly has a Christmas-time mega sale where basically every PC game you could ever want is something like $3. This is how I got 310 games in my Steam library and I have only played half of them. The good thing is I will never lose any of these games and they will never get scratched or broken. They’re mine. Forever. Sadly, Steam doesn’t sell disc-based media, but there’s a billion other outlets for PC physical media. If you’re digital heavy, this is your home base, your Shangri-La for all things PC. Except anything that EA puts out.

HEY LISTEN: If you’re looking to be smart, and save the most, wait until a game you want is either a Daily Deal or a Flash Sale. If it’s not, wait until the last day of the sale to purchase it. Games on Steam are never discounted more than Daily Deals or Flash Sales, so it pays to be patient. Don’t be me.


3. Video Game Apparel

gift guide 2013

No, these are not special gaming clothes to soak up Hot Pocket grease or special underwear to “interface” with your Love Plus character. These are clothes for people who enjoy games but also occasionally get dressed and go outside. There’s a lot of “sites” that claim to have gaming-inspired clothes, but they tend to run the gambit from obscure Dragon Quest jokes about “dying in battles what’s that mean” to OMFG I LOVE MARIO in big neon letters (looking at you, ThinkGeek). These are my favorite sites that sell clothing for your naked self:

They also sell things like totes bags for your hipster Mac or fuzzy socks with Triforces on them called Argyrule. There’s lots of fun stuff for the people you pretend to care about, or actually do care about. Just be warned, make sure you know the player you’re buying for. If you are over 65, enlist a member of your family that is 1/3rd your age for assistance.


The world is sometimes a dark and uncaring place. Happy Holidays. I know you think I’m going to have some life affirming message about the holidays, and if I did, it would be this: games bring us together. Play some multiplayer or a board game with your family and friends for fuck’s sake. Play some Cards Against Humanity with your bewildered and disgusted relatives and enjoy the thrill having to explain what “smegma” is to Nana.

Happy Black Friday everyone. May you all get what you deserve.

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The Author

Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte

Carl Wilhoyte is the Video Games Editor of a class warrior poet who writes about all things video games. He's sure everything is not under control and is not going to be okay. For a good time, follow his angry rants and smart thoughts on Twitter: @carlwilhoyte.