This article originally appeared in PC Gamer UK 234.
Welcome to the PC Gamer gift guide! A guide to gifts for gamers who PC. What's that? You don't know any of these 'PC' gamers? Why, that's no problem! The gifts are for you.
So let's get on with it. Either send this link to someone who could feasibly end up buying you a Christmas present, or bring your own credit card and click away! Please note, our prices were accurate at the time of publishing but the internet being the fickle place that it is, they are subject to changes. Just click the link for the most up to date UK and US prices.
Here's a way to make your gaming ever so slightly better, while slightly alarming your neighbours. Install these lights behind your monitor and they'll project the shade of light on screen across the back wall, turning your gaming room into a laser disco. At night, your gaming room window will look like the coolest/loneliest room on the street. Result.
So, you're born to the forbidden union of the queen of Minos and the white bull of Poseidon, the king to imprisons you in a vast labyrinth, and you cannot get a Wi-Fi signal. You need the Cisco E3200 – a dual-band wireless-N router that'll give you much better transfer rates and signal strength than the generic one your service provider gives you.
Battlefield 3 is out now, and if you haven't upgraded to play it you probably should. Spend your credit limit on a liquid cooled GeForce 580. This PNY card comes pre-overclocked. What's the benefit of liquid cooling? You get to say: “Yeah, my PC is liquid cooled. Bitches.” And they run a bit quieter.
Craig used to swear by the R.A.T.7 mouse – all the dials and gears mean you can adjust the shape to fi t your hand, and the weight to your exact muscular definition. Craig's dead (to us) now, yet the R.A.T.7 remains. Now there's a recommendation.
This foam pick doesn't have the heft to damage anything, but it does mean you can bash your office and only get escorted off the premises for looking like a mental.
The safety of your bottom is important to us. If you cannot sit, you cannot play. So, treat your sweet cheeks by sinking them into this ridiculously oversized cushion. You can plump it up into a kind of beanbag, or lay it out flat like a bed. It's a sloucher's paradise. Wipe-clean, too. Which is... nice.
Unless you only play 2D platformers or have fewer than two working eyes, get this. LG's flicker-free, 23” 3D screen is only £245, and the glasses aren't made of paper anymore.
You know the problem. You're ambling down the street, listening to something terrible, when someone asks what you're listening to. You need to change the song, quick, but it's bloody cold outside and you're wearing gloves. You flail at your screen with mittened hand-shovels, but it's too late. They already hate you. Your only solution is these woolly touchscreen-tapping wonders.
Wake up by a) screaming Noooooooooo! then by b) depressing Darth's helmet to activate his snooze function. These clocks act like giant oversized Lego minifigs with similar limb articulation. Try posing them in exciting dioramas. Or not. It's an alarm clock, ffs. What do you want, blood?
Wireless mice suck because the battery runs down, reminding you of the transience of life and your own mortality. But wired mice suck because of the wire. The only solution is a mouse that is both wired and wireless at the same time. The Mamba doesn't need a wire to be a responsive gaming mouse, but you can plug it in to use it via USB, charging its battery while you're at it.
Make cooking fun! Obviously it will never, ever be as much fun as eating, but this colourful chopping board will definitely elevate making dinner above the washing up. Its cheery, retro design will remind you of a happier time, when your friends all had Nintendos and you spent hours in the playground berating them for not having more technologically aware parents.
£210 is a lot for a PC gaming peripheral, but cheap for a Ferrari – and free if someone buys it for you. It's a licensed steering wheel and pedal combo, built into one solid unit. That must be at least 80-93% of an actual car. And on PC, of course, racing games currently look better than reality, so that adds up to a 230% authentic experience. Science.
Whisper it, but we actually really like the iPad. Mainly because it means we can pretend to be toting a tricorder, but also because there are some great little games on it, including an excellent port of Plants Vs Zombies. Plus, if you're adamantly opposed to cutting down trees, you can subscribe to our magazine via the iOS newsstand. Android lovers, don't feel left out. Search for PC Gamer Zinio, and you'll get a cross-platform, Android and Windows 7 version of the mag, too. A true wonder of the age.
It's a storage box for media files, a hard-drive with a low power processor attached. Drop all of your home movies/ gentleman's viewing material/entirely legal music selection onto it, and you can stream it to all the devices in your house without having to leave your PC on.
You know those pretty shells you hold up to your ear and you can hear the sea? These are like them, except you hold them up to your ear and you can hear the sound of whatever you've plugged them into. Cons: We couldn't find a turtle anywhere.
Webcams used to be fuzzy novelties barely useful for videoconferencing with the secret council of the undying, but these days you can get a supersharp one like this for a bargainous fi fty quid. Look good, vlog, and drink the blood of the innocent.
Gifts for a PC gamer… tough one. I guess you could get them a new PC. For around £1000 you get one about as powerful as it makes sense to buy, with an overclocked Core i7 processor, 1GB GeForce GTX 560Ti graphics card, 8GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD for the quick stuff, and a 2TB hard drive for the rest.
Reenact that scene in Empire Strikes Back with this excellent ice-cube 'discussion piece'. Slide the tray into the freezer, shut the door and have a little cry. Later, rendezvous on Tatooine/the garden for further adventures/deliciously cold cocktails.
The Hydra's an odd one. It's a more accurate, more hardcore take on the Wii remote – a waggle wand that can sense not just motion, but position in space too. The waggle wands also function as a joypad that's been split down the middle. Result.
The word 'microphone' doesn't really make sense in this case. Blue's Snowball Microphone is neither micro nor a phone, preferring instead to capture your voice and record it in super-high quality. But it will make you feel like Elvis (or is that just us?)
Baconnaise is bacon-flavoured mayonnaise, and (stop being sick back there) Tim said it's delicious. Then he fell over and clutched his chest while his eyes went all big and goggly. Try some! No go on, it's, erm, nice.
Listen, friend. We work really hard at this, and what do you do? You don't even commit to buying our magazine every month. You swan in and out of Tesco, buying it based on what's on the cover. You make me sick. Stop being a lightweight and make a commitment to supporting the most passionate, hilarious and best-looking mag team in the world. And you get to save a bunch of cash on the cover price.
Modern mobiles are practically portable PCs, able to hook into your World of Warcraft auctions, Battlefield clan logs, and Minecraft Facebook pages. This Android phone from Samsung is especially beautiful, with a dual core processor and newfangled AMOLED screen that's easily better than an iPhone.