The gamer in your life has probably already given you an extensive list of the many video games he or she would love to find wrapped up in a gift box this holiday season.
But there's more to life than just video games. Or rather, what I mean to say is ... when it comes to giving gifts to gamers, I've been thinking outside the box.
What follows is a look at some fun, if not downright goofy game-themed toys, trinkets, odds and ends sure to put a smile on the face of the game enthusiast you know and love.
Portal 2 Aperture Laboratories Shower Curtain - $20, ThinkGeek
What gamer doesn't love the "Portal" games? More importantly, what gamer wouldn't appreciate a little something to help inspire them to belt out that beloved "Portal" tune "Still Alive" while showering in the morning?
You'll be happy to know that this "Portal 2"-themed shower curtain "contains less than 1% mercury" and is most likely not radioactive. Though, as the sales pitch suggests, you might want to consider wearing your lead underwear when you're behind this curtain ... just to be safe.
Speaking of neat-o "Portal"-themed gift ideas, check out these Portal bookends as well as this Portal 2 Cave Johnson Talking Portrait. In fact, here's a handy link to all of ThinkGeek's Portal-themed gift items.
iCade iPad Arcade Cabinet – $80, ThinkGeek
Know someone who'd enjoy playing some old-school Atari games on their new-school iPad ... but may not be too excited about the touch-screen interface? The iCade cabinet offers an eye-catching, retro-cool solution.
Download this Atari's Greatest Hits app, then simply slide the original iPad or iPad 2 into this desktop-sized cabinet and fire up retro hits like "Centipede," "Asteroid," "Missile Command," "Tempest" and loads of other old-school faves.
Meanwhile, for a slightly less expensive way to add joystick controls to your iPad games, check out the $18 Joystick-It iPad Arcade Stick.
Video game controller charms - $7, Etsy.com
Here's a surefire way to charm the girl (or boy) gamer in your life. These hand-made charms come in the shape of Sega Genesis, Wii, PlayStation, NES, Xbox 360 and Atari controllers. But the seller — Alia B. at Outpost8 — says she can custom make other controller charms as well.
iPWN! 4 Case - $18, Lootiful.com
Here's a little something for the Nintendo/Apple fanboy or fangirl in your life. The iPWN! 4 case transforms your iPhone into an old-school Game Boy – at least on the outside. Lootiful also offers a silicone model and is taking pre-orders for a case that turns your iPad into a giant Game Boy.
Meanwhile, you can find a couple of similar offerings over at Etsy. Check out this hand-sewn Game Boy-themed iPad case ($50).
Game controller soaps — prices vary, Etsy
Does someone you know spend too much time playing "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" and too little time taking care of, oh, personal hygiene? Well, here's the perfect gift (and not-so-subtle hint) for that particular gamer in your life.
Etsy seller DigitalSoaps offers a variety of scented soaps in the shape of various game controllers. There's the NES controller ($11) and the PlayStation 3 controller ($22) as well as soap in the shape of an Xbox 360 ($9).
And speaking of nifty controller-themed items on Etsy, check out these very cool controller ornaments ($30).
T-shirts, T-shirts, T-shirts - prices vary
Whether the gamer in your life adores "Minecraft," "Warcraft" or "Starcraft," you can't go wrong with a gift that lets them wear their love of gaming on their sleeve (literally).
Several websites offer a variety of gamer T-shirts and clothing items. Check out the "Minecraft" tees at Jinx.com, the 8-Bit Dynamic Life shirt at ThinkGeek, or the various video-game-themed tees at Splitreason, SharkRobot and Threadless.
FarmVille plush toys - $10, Best Buy
Speaking of game addictions, surely the "FarmVille" player in your life will love you for making their Facebook gaming habit just a little bit more tangible with these collectible "FarmVille" toys.
"FarmVille" creator Zynga has partnered with Best Buy to sell a series of eight plush farm animals. And the good news for the gamer you'll gift these trinkets to is that each plush animal unlocks an exclusive virtual animal within the Facebook game and comes with 10 Farm Cash to use in the game as well.
Angry Birds: Knock on Wood - $30, various retailers
Here's a painless way to ease the "Angry Birds" addict in your life away from playing the game on their smartphone or tablet ... and into playing it with you out here in the so-called real world.
That's right, the hit game app has been turned into an officially licensed board game complete with bird-flinging sling-shot, building blocks and tiny pig enemies to knock down. But no matter how hard you try, you won't be able to download this game. You'll find it at retailers such Amazon, Target or ToysRUs.
Pac Man Plush Hat - $30, ThinkGeek
It's cold outside. This hat is warm. This hat is awesome. This hat is also ... a little creepy. Surely, someone you know and love should have this hat.
For more holiday gift ideas for the gamer in your life, check out these stories:
- 5 great games for people who love a good story
- 5 great games for the art lover
- 5 great games to play with the whole family
- Black Friday games you've got to grab
Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.