A Holiday Gift Guide for Gamer Chicks (Written by One)
First rule of thumb when shopping for that special girl gamer: Don't call her a "girl gamer." There's nothing female gamers hate more than labels, unless they're the ones attached to clothes. Contrary to popular belief, some girls play all the same games that guys do. We don't all need Nintendogz or My Little Pony: Pinkie Pie's Party to be happy. Whether male or female, all gamers fall into either the casual category or the hardcore camp. This list caters to both. Think of it as all your favorite games, only accessorized.
I'll admit. There are girls who will choose the cotton candy pink PlayStation 3 controller over the standard black, but for some of us, that shade of pink makes us want to vomit. One fact remains: We love to accessorize, and that means collecting different colored controllers for our consoles. This sense of style and individualization is perfect for when we invite friends over to play. If all else fails, decorate a drab controller with bright, colorful stickers. If you can find video game ones, then you're set.
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Above all, girls want this game for one reason: Nathan Drake is a hunk. Okay, half kidding here. The cinematic story, the enthralling gameplay, and the big blockbuster action entice us most, but we really want to see Drake save the day and look good doing it. Remember that part in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark when Jones' young female student draws "love" and "you" on her eyelids? Well, let's just say Nathan Drake doesn't just resemble Indiana in the treasure-hunting department alone.
Oh, and Link (check him out in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword) qualifies as a cute substitute if you can't get your hands on Drake. Because we all want to get our hands on Drake.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
What, you didn't expect this one? You think your custom character is too macho for girls to handle? I've got news for you. Skyrim is a fantasy RPG. Girls love fantasy books. They really, really love dragons, and guess what Skyrim has loads of? If you guessed griffins, then you need to brush up on your current events.
Not every girl wants to hang out with Edward or Jacob after dark, you know.
We're naming a lot of big hitters here, but they're all listed for a reason. So why Rayman Origins? Simple. Girls love cute games, and we love stylish, colorful games perhaps most of all. This retelling of Rayman and friends brims with vibrancy and spectacle. It's cheerful dash of music and synchronized activity will perk up any gamer, and the ability to save friends by releasing them from bubbles makes it an excellent choice for playing with friends of varying skill levels. Not every girl needs a helping hand, but if you're trying to convince your shy girlfriend to try a game, turn her on to something more friendly than headshots.
Nintendo 3DS Cosmo Black with Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The reasoning behind this selection reiterates what I was saying about colored controllers. Girls love a little personalization. A console is no more exempt than a controller. This embossed, special edition 3DS will make the girl in your life feel like a princess, and not just because you spent $200 on it.
If all you can find is the Super Mario 3D Land bundle, that's a fine gift, too. Mario in a Tanooki suit is adorable, although PETA doesn't think so.
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva DVD
Who doesn't like a diva? And, according to some guys, what girl isn't one? Regardless of whether you know a drama queen who happens to follow the Professor Layton games, this new anime movie is sure to make her smile. Now all you need is to wrap up a complete set of Studio Ghibli films and she'll love you forever.
Anything on Etsy
If you haven't shopped there, Etsy.com is one of the best online places to scout for handcrafted or vintage one-of-a-kind items. The sellers are incredibly helpful and agreeable, and I've never had a problem contacting them about an order (the website makes it easy). To search for video game gifts she'll love, just plug in "video game" and select "All Items" from the drop-down list. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Video game designs on jewelry are often more wearable than video game designs on clothes. This way you don't have to worry about finding geeky shirts that actually flatter her figure. Get her a fun necklace, bracelet, or earrings instead. She can wear them out or around the house depending on how comfortable she is with the fashion statement, and if they don't go with her outfit, taking them off is quick and painless. If you're getting her earrings, just make sure you know whether her ears are actually pierced before you buy her a pair.
Stuffed animals are another fabulous option for any girl. What's cuter than her favorite video game character turned soft and lovable? If for some reason you don't know her most beloved characters, just ask for a few names. She won't know what you're planning.
Etsy.com has a wealth of unique products, so use your imagination and search away. Many sellers take custom or personalized requests, and remember what I said about the importance of personalization.
A note before you buy
Whatever you decide to get that girl in your life who, yes, plays games, remember to choose with respect. Not every girl likes everything to be pink, needs a sexy outfit to please you, or wants a "baby" game to play on her DS Lite like the half dozen female celebrities in those terrible Nintendo commercials. Imagine this scenario: Every day, girls go into GameStops and actually know what they're looking for. Wow!