So, your son or daughter is a gamer. Maybe you have more than one and you want to get them something they would enjoy relating to their hobby. Well, you came to the right place! Gaming has long been a passion for many individuals including myself. I've been playing video games since I was 6 or 7. Looking back on those times, though, I can't call myself a gamer. Video games were just part of my life every now and then. The Internet was nowhere like what it is today. Nintendo's SNES was where I spent most of my time.
Anyways! Let's get right into this. Kids can be picky on what they want. Especially young gamers. Because of that I have created a list as well as some opinions on why or why not to buy such items unless specifically being asked for them.
1. Game Guides:
There are a lot of game guides out there, pretty much for every game. Some are even called "official" guides. They're often pretty expensive and large. To be honest, your kids probably don't want these. They have YouTube and those guides are often extremely simple to follow and best of all, FREE. If your child plans on building a collection it might be a worthy addition. Other than that, only consider them if your child asks or hints at wanting them.
2. Obscure games:
There are some games out there that look like fun on the box, they may even say "Voted Best New Game Of The Year" listed by some unknown website. It turns out that some of these games aren't even remotely popular. There was a game I had received as a gift called Fracture. The game looked fun and played pretty enjoyably, but when I tried to play with people online. There were only one or two people total. It wasn't even like the game was super old at the time either, it just wasn't sold well by the company.
BUT, if you child already has all of the other games they want, it might be a decent surprise to get some random game. When I recieved my first Xbox 360 on Christmas years ago I had never heard of BioShock. Trust me, that game is not obscure in the slightest, but at the time it was to me! It turns out now, that BioShock is my all-time favorite game and franchise to this day. So obscure games whether widely obscure or individually obscure have the possibility of being great!
3. Video Game expansions... WITHOUT THE BASE GAME:
Sorry, that may come off rude, but it happens to be one that is very common. Some games have expansions. That means it's an extra piece of the game that came out a few years later from the original. Often being an online game. World of Warcraft for example. Make sure to ask your kids or make sure you know that they have the required base game before buying an expansion. The game box should also have a note saying, "requires base game to play" - check for it and save yourself some time and extra money down the road!
4. Third-party hardware:
You may be thinking you could save a few bucks buying a third-party controller. You'll soon find out it's one of the worse purchases you may have made. Yes, it may look cool and your child may use it for a week because of the LED lights, but you'll soon find out that you have to go out and buy another one because the first one has stopped working. It's inevitable that the person using one of these controllers will be any guest that your child may have over. Giving him/her a potentially major advantage.
Now I'm not saying that every single third-party hardware device is bad. There are plenty of decent quality manufacturers. That being said, it's on you to read some reviews on these things before picking them up. Amazon.com is a really good place to read reviews. They often have some of the more honest reviews you will see, for the most part.
I'll update this list as I think of things that you might want to reconsider. Let us know what else you think deserves to be on the list in the comments below!