I’ll be honest, I am feeling very Bah Humbug this year. I’m in no mood to spend money on people, and most people aren’t really fans of getting shitty art as gifts unless they’re Davjo and it’s a picture of a Snivy. I know it’s the ought that counts but my art isn’t really of gift-giving quality. That being said, I’m doing my best to be Christmassy, so here’s some nice gift-giving tips for this year!
Why this year, you ask? Well, since the last time I did an article like this, things have changed. For example, gift wrap over in Team Fortress 2 can only really be used for gifting items that are tradeable anyway and now it’s not really much good for anything aside from signing items. There’s always the Giftapult, which is now craftable, but since that gives random items to random people, it’s not exactly… helpful.
Of course, the majority of those gifts still apply. If you know someone who really, really wants a Botkiller Medi Gun or three, or perhaps Drawful 2, then sure, get those gifts. Gifting people keys is also amusing and it’s definitely 100% not your fault when they open a crate and get a $0.05 Strange Bonesaw. And despite what I said literally two paragraphs ago, art is a perfectly good gift for those on a budget.
These days though, Steam’s getting very… tight when it comes to trading. Heavens forbid you don’t have use the Steam Authenticator, otherwise you’ll be waiting forever to trade gifts. The Mann Co. Store makes things even more awkward because everything you buy in it can’t be traded for 7 days, meaning you need to prepare your gift purchases in advance. The same applies to the Steam Market.
Luckily, Steam isn’t the only place you can get games. Recently I’ve been browsing GOG.com, which apparently (legally) based in Nicosia, the country I happen to live in. I doubt there’s actually an office there, but perhaps one day I’ll find out and go visit them. Anyway, the GREAT thing about GOG.com is that all their games are DRM-free, meaning that you can buy games and send them as gifts to other people who may or may not have a Steam account. Their library isn’t as gigantic as Steam’s, but their games are generally of greater quality. More importantly, older games on GOG.com tend to work better – for example, Saints Row 2 on GOG.com isn’t as buggy, and I of the Dragon is far, far superior to its Steam version.
But in my opinion, the best video game gift these days is a Humble Bundle… uh, bundle. You might not want to spend $30 on the $30 for 30 games bundle they’re doing this Christmas, but the whole point of Humble Bundle is that everyone wins – indie game developers get their games known, a couple of charities get some donations, Humble Bundle make a small cut and you get a ton of games for heavily discounted prices. Unlike GOG.com, many of the games purchased on Humble Bundle come as Steam codes, but you can still send a Humble Bundle as a gift via email, so those who don’t have the required accounts can make them when they get their gifts.
Or you could be all bah humbug and wait until Boxing Day, when everything’s on sale for cheap. Really, I don’t know why people bother any more.