Years ago, if I was holiday shopping for a gamer, the choice was little more than NES or PC, followed by which title should I buy. But this holiday season?
Well, even a die-hard geek could get confused by the sheer volume of gamer and geek gadgetry. So, let's take a look and see what we're faced with.
Yeah, the console game scene used to be so easy.
Something new for the NES or a Playstation game - if your recipient had been especially lucky to have gotten an original PS when most were still hitting reset to re-enter the Konami code above.
But now you have to know your geek gamer much better.
He or she may be a PS3 gamer into playing online. Perhaps a fan of sports on the 360 or betting a dollar on who out-bowls who when the kids are done being Rock Band SuperStars on the Wii.
Or maybe your friends are like some of mine who prefer vinyl to a CD and proudly boast, "Enduro is still the Sh**" when asked about gaming and what console they prefer in researching this article.
So, while the Atari 2600 may be a throwback, the truth is your gamer could be a NES, SNES, GameCube, Wii, PS, PS2, PSIII, xBox, or 360 kinda person - who wholly ignores those oft maligned mythical consoles of yore - Sega, Coleco, Intellivision, er, NEO GEO???
So what can you do?
Hey, maybe the PC will offer some solace, because at least a PC is a PC is a PC, right? And besides, how many games could one have for a PC?
Oh my, this is bad.
Gone are the days of Solitaire and Minesweeper, and now acronyms like FPS, MMOPRG are bandied about in the parlance of our times.
I mean, where is the Oregon Trail to point the way when you need a clear path to PC gamer goodies?
Come to think of it, that trail was played on some early Apple something or another if I remember computer class correctly.
So in addition to the simple games on the PC, we have multiplayer, role playing, shooters, and GTA to EA Sports.
Remember, if it's a game, it can probably be played on some sort of PC or Mac or mobile device.
And mobile, yes, Apple appears to have played a large role in chasing the Prince of Persia to theaters while "snake" died without a whisper.
And if the phones aren't enough to add to the PC and console, you also can check out other small portables like the PSP. It is certainly beyond a GameBoy, but not quite a "Touch" of any sort.
And frankly, the story gets really muddy here as the different systems, models, OSs, browsers, and more make trying to buy for a Touch gamer an exercise in futility.
So, wait until next year when things get a bit more mature and your geeky gamer has a Tegra 2 powered tablet blazing frames at a speed faster than what an Ivy League Tech Team with an overclocked rig could have done in the days when I first stumbled into my addiction with a taste of Age of Empires.
Addiction that meets a Cataclysm.
The WoW expansion is how we game with strangers today. (Well, except my Enduro pal, he still plays Connect Four on AOL Games :p)
Really, there are so many choices and changes that even geeks get over-gadgetted.
So, in an age rushing ahead, I'm looking back, because the true meaning of the holidays isn't in the shiny pretty lights, (though they help at times). I'm going to win hearts and amaze geek minds with the new fangled tech of...
... wait for it...
LOL, <_3 and="and" as="as" kids="kids" lolz="lolz" p="p" say...="say..." the="the">
But not any book, one specific book...
Yes, a gamer girl's geeky gadgety GOO-Goo-GAH-Gahhhh...
The book might not be a hit with new-gen kids, but I can almost guarantee the final product will be.
Picture your shiny brand new, one of a kind, sleek and snazzy EXCLUSIVE arcade machine gleaming and radiating as you remember the Asteroids, Galaga, Space Invaders or Dragons Lair of your youth.
And guess how the kids will beam seeing what mommy and daddy took the time to make for them (when not having fun themselves) that not one single other kid they know has: a 500 game arcade machine loaded with quad joysticks and a roller ball.
So there you have it folks - a 2600 pick in a Tegra 2 world!