Gifts for Gamers 2017 - I Asked 300 Gamers What They Wanted

Gifts for Gamers 2017 - I Asked 300 Gamers What They Wanted

Until just a few years ago I hated Christmas, birthdays and other opportunities for other people to give me presents and gifts. They didn't have a clue what a gamer really wanted but they knew I was one, so they were like "Oh, he likes electronics, so let's buy him a CD case". That was a year ago, mind you. Or when I got a cheap optical mouse that didn't work on any mousepad. Or that one birthday when I was gifted a spare charger for my iPad that wasn't compatible, since it was for Android tablets.

What I mean to say is that while we're all grateful for all gifts and presents, if you really want to make your gamer boyfriend, or your gamer son, or your gamer dad genuinely happy, let me help you. 

Why? Because apart from the fact that I've been a gamer all my life, I asked 300 gamers to share their top gamer gifts they'd like to get for a birthday, Christmas or just because. The result is a data-built, statistically significant wishlist of top gamer gifts, built by gamers!

Plus, I'll provide explanation analysis, my personal recommendation + top 3 items for each category with simple buyer's advice, so you don't need to be a gamer to understand the purchase. I love making it easy for you <3


300 Gamers TOP 3 Gift Wishlist (Complete data with graphs and charts)

If you're not interested in reading the whole guide or you want to browse through the raw data with all the graphs, numbers, percentages, bells and whistles, here's the Excel Sheet covering everything. If you'd like to access it, you will be asked to like or tweet this guide after clicking here. If you do, you'll receive a direct link to the sheet.


WAIT! How do I thank you for your work? Do you take bribes, donations, camels or anything?

Thanks mate!

Each gift mentioned here is being sold by Amazon. They are the biggest and most trusted e-commerce store, so I didn't bother about recommending you anywhere else.

If you want to thank me, add the gift you're thinking of buying to your Amazon cart, even if you're not going to buy it immediately.

Why? Because I get rewarded by a small percentage from every purchase if it's made in 24 hours. But, if you add the product to your cart, we get another 90 days to seal the deal!

This would be the best way to thank me for a good advice and I'll cherish your persona in my heart forever. Think of it like buying me a cup of coffee or a beer :)

Alternatively, you can check out our awesome gaming T-shirts and hoodies! Each purchase goes to making this site bigger and better.


So. What Do Gamers Really Want?

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First, let me tell you something about the sample size and the process of data gathering.

247 respondents were from US, others from Europe. All men, asked to fill out the survey either on Facebook, Reddit or in-game, world of Warcraft and Overwatch. Each of them had to fill out top 3 items they would love to be gifted. I crunched the data, put the items in their respective categories and this is the result.

I would like to get more responses in following days, but 300 people is already a significant sample size in order to see what gamers really want. If you're an US-based reader, this data should represent your geographical location perfectly.

If the data is an inclination of anything, we can safely assume that gamers:

1) Love to get electronic peripherals (monitors, keyboards, mice, headsets)

2) Are hugely interested in virtual reality

3) Are aware of their health issues (which is kinda surprising considering the neckbeard stereotype) - because there are specific gamer related problems, like carpal tunnel syndrome, eyesight problems and autoimmune diseases

With that out of the way, let's check the most popular category.


PRO TIP: If you're a gamer reading this, share the guide with your GF or your family to raise chances of getting a gift that you'll love.


I have sorted the categories by descending order - most popular first, the least popular last. Here are navigation buttons for jumping straight into the category that interests you. 


Gamers do love them peripherals

Which peripherals were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

Gaming monitors

Gaming monitors rule this category and for good reason. A gaming monitor capable of outputting big FPS is the biggest advantage a gamer can get, but don't take my word for it, take the word of every professional player in the world (not a single pro plays on anything else than a 144Hz monitor) or the word of another gamer, like MMZephyr.


P1040481.JPG

"I had three monitors before, all 17 inches or less with 60 Hz refresh rate. One day, when I did a LAN party with my coworkers I tried a 24 inch monitor with 144 Hz refresh rate and realized the huge difference it made. It was a tournament style LAN party and I won easily, just like that - so I immediately went home and did some research. I decided on the Asus VG248QE because it was one of the cheapest 24" 144hz monitors. Before, I had been stuck at 2800 SR with a 50/50 win rate. I'm now at 3100+ and even when I lose, I tend to be the top player on my team. It makes a huge difference if you have a computer that can put out a consistent 120+ fps."

-MMZephyr


The reason why gaming monitors are the most wanted item is that for the advantage they provide there is a high financial cost included and such they are often not affordable for the gamer by himself - and that's where you come in!

What you need to know

There are only two types of monitors. 144 Hz and better "gaming" monitors and non-gaming monitors. A gaming monitor is the strongest weapon in the arsenal of a gamer - it outputs graphical info more clearly, faster, crisper and provides almost an unfair competitive advantage in every game the gamer is playing. 

Each month, more than 600 000 Google searches on "best gaming monitor" or "best 144 Hz monitor" are made, because every gamer worth a damn needs one. Good news is they aren't THAT expensive and while you might find some monitors that would create a Grand Canyon - sized hole in your wallet, there are more affordable alternatives on the market that provide same benefits as the $200 more expensive ones.

For a gaming monitor to output the promised 144Hz, you will need to set it up with a DVI or a Display cable - it doesn't work through HDMI cable - so make sure you get one bundled or buy one.

TOP3 Wishlist Picks

Which gaming monitors were picked the most?

% of appearance in wishlists

BEST MONITOR IN THE WORLD

BenQ Zowie XL 2430

around $289

  • more than 972 sold
  • used by more than 70% of pro gamers
  • average review of 4.6 / 5

INSANE PRICE:VALUE RATIO

ASUS VG248QE

around $239

  • more than 1916 sold
  • Amazon gaming monitor bestseller
  • average review of 4.6 / 5

EFFICIENT AND AFFORDABLE

ACER GN276HL

around $275

  • more than 760 sold
  • 68% power savings
  • Full HD with Gsync
  • average review of  4.2 / 5

A BUDGET CHOICE

AOC G2460PF

around $199

  • more than 350 sold
  • cheapest gaming monitor you can buy
  • average review of 4.3 / 5

Gaming mice

Combining a gaming monitor with a gaming mouse is the easiest, quickest and best a gamer can do to win more, better and faster. It's the ultimate advantage all professional players exploit.

You just can't outplay someone using a professional gaming mouse with an Acer mouse that had been bundled with a laptop. If you put two gamers of a same skill level against each other, 100% of times the one with a better mouse and monitor will win.

Good news is that gaming mice aren't expensive, at least when compared to monitors - and they provide almost the same amount of advantage & happiness when unboxed.


MORE READING: How to make the best website of 2017 in the cheapest and laziest way possible (I created this one in 4 hours and $30 with no coding or designer training)


What you need to know

A good gaming mouse feels right in your hands, doesn't slip, doesn't stop tracking your movements when you make them too fast. A good gaming mouse has quality buttons with nice clicks, slides smoothly and above all - is precise. With a good mouse you're able to adjust DPI and sensitivity to levels you're most comfortable with.

Here are some points you should be familiar with:

  • Given the unique designs of gaming mice, be sure the chosen design fits comfortably into gamer's hand. If not, return the mouse and get another.
  • Ask the gamer whether he uses programmable buttons. If yes, pay extra attention to specs - you don't want to buy a mouse without them.
  • DPI means Dot Per Inch and more is usually, but not always better. Don't get caught up in marketing bullshit.
  • There is no real difference between laser and optical sensors in high-end models, really. Don't listen to tech freaks who just want to rob you of all your money.
  • Don't skimp on a gaming mouse - it's not THAT expensive and a $20 mouse will be useless in the gamer's journey of being a winner.

TOP3 Wishlist Picks

Which gaming mice were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

WORLD'S MOST POPULAR

Razer Deathadder Chroma

250 HOURS WIRELESS AND EPIC DESIGN

Logitech G602

ERGONOMIC & AMBIDEXTROUS

ZOWIE ZA (11 - 13)


razer 1.jpg

- more than 4460 sales
- #1 Amazon bestseller
- available in many designs

logitech.jpg

- more than 1792 sales
- 250 h of battery life
- 11 programmable macro buttons

zowie 3.jpg

- perfect for unusual hand sizes and types
- highly precise sensor
- CTS prevention

Gaming keyboards

If your budget doesn't allow for a gaming monitor or the gamer already has one and a gaming mouse is also not an option, a good gaming keyboard is always a good choice.

A good keyboard will lessen the impact on the gamer's fingers, enabling him to use less force when typing or gaming. This results in much lesser chance of developing joint issues and of course the infamous carpal tunnel syndrome.

What you need to know

There are 2 types of keyboards - mechanical (gaming) and silicone membrane-based or scissor switch keyboards (non-gaming).

Mechanical ones are superior in every aspect except noise. The point in question are the switches which keyboards use on their key presses - mechanical switches like Cherry MX Black or Cherry MX Red are very satisfying to use, produce less strain on your joints, are much more durable and minimize typos when compared to their membrane counterparts.

If you're interested in knowing much much more about the topic, check this old-but-gold guide on mechanical keyboards from Das Keyboard.

All in all, you want to get your gamer a mechanical keyboard. It's much better investment than a membrane keyboard, but if you don't have the budget for one, there are some nice alternatives that come close to being mechanical - level, even if they're membrane keyboards. I will include one as a bonus.

Let's have a look, shall we?

Top 3 Wishlist Picks

Which gaming keyboards were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

WORLD'S BEST KEYBOARD

Razer BlackWidow Chroma

  • #1 Amazon Bestseller
  • 16.8 million color options
  • 80 million keystrokes with 2-year warranty

FASTEST AND MOST DURABLE

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Rapidfire

  • Aircraft-grade frame
  • Detachable soft-touch wrist rest
  • Corsair’s fastest mechanical keyboard

HARD-CORE GAMING SPECIALIZATION

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth 2016

  • 80 million keystrokes a 2-year warranty
  • Noise-cancelling switches
  • 10 key rollover

Gaming headsets

Headsets are important. Not because they cover our ears while we play so some funky lemur king can't make his nest in them, but because they enable us to hear what's happening in the game while cancelling out the outside world. And let me tell ya, there are very few more calming experiences like shutting the imaginary door of the world behind my back and succumb to the call of a virtual one.

A good headset provides exactly this - noise cancelling while outputting superior audio that helps the gamer find his enemies and dispose of them. Or to find his friends and help them. Or timely hearing that exploding green Minecraft thingy thanks to which I stopped playing that game after a few hours.

What you need to know

Firstly you need to know which platform are you considering buying a headset for. Some headsets only work on PCs, some only on PS4 and so on, so be on your toes.

Secondly, we gamers play games for long hours. That means comfort of the headset is of utmost importance. A non-gamer will never understand the ear pain after a long session with badly fitting headset...and good for him. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Then there goes durability and sound quality. There is no way to test it except using it, so pay attention to reviews of other people, best on Amazon.

Finally, don't forget to buy headphones that have a microphone, since virtually every game these days is played with voice comms. 

TOP 3 Wishlist Picks

Which gaming headsets were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

MOST COMFORTABLE SWEDISH BESTSELLER

Kingston HyperX Cloud

  • Recommended by most elite gaming organizations
  • Extremely comfortable and lightweight with memory foam + Velour ear pads

NOISE CANCELLING MONSTER FOR PC & PS4

Kingston HyperX Cloud II

  • Noise and echo cancelling via Inline Sound Card
  • Memory foam ear pads with extra set of Velour ear pads and detachable microphone

LIGHTWEIGHT WITH 7.1 SURROUND SOUND

Logitech G430

  • Dolby 7.1 surround sound
  • Lightweight and fully customizable frame
  • Soft sport cloth earcups with 90-degree swivel for max.comfort

Gaming controllers

Which gaming controllers were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

The thing about controllers is that the answer to a question of "which controller to buy" almost solely depends on what platform is the gamer playing on.

For consoles there are dedicated console controllers and for PC, Xbox controllers ruled the world until the Steam controller entered the market - and it still hasn't dislodged the Xbox controller from the throne. Xbox controllers are manufactured by Microsoft and thus are compatible BOTH with Xbox One consoles and PCs.

All of this means that you'll have much easier time deciding which controller to buy.

Xbox One console: Xbox One controller

Playstation 4 console: PS4 controller

PC 

My honest opinion? Just go with the one you like the most or has the best price right now. There are no real differences between them I can vouch for. Tried each one of them and all felt the same to me in the end.


Virtual Reality Is The BIGGEST THING TO HAPPEN IN GAMING FOR LAST 100 YEARS

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Yep. You heard me. As a gamer I can't possibly be interested in anything else and numbers in my survey prove it - this is exactly the reason why we play games in first place - we want to create our own reality!

If you're interested in astonishing the gamer of your choice and winning his affections until he dies, you should get him a virtual reality system. Virtual reality really is the biggest thing to happen to gaming in last 100 years and it's getting bigger, better and more awesome.

The experience of being in VR can't be compared to anything we know, simply because it's an experience we as a civilization could only experience in lucid dreams. If you haven't tried it, it's really difficult to explain, but suffice to say that each and every person who tried virtual reality was completely awed and unable to forget it. Just imagine that you're able to gift a whole new reality to a person who loves spending time in alternate realities now...it doesn't get better than that.

When I first tried HTC Vive I forgot to eat and drink for 8 straight hours. Don't let your gamer try it alone, he might die of starvation! Joking of course. He might die of thirst first.

If you have a PC that can handle a virtual reality system or a Playstation 4, there is not a better purchase you can make this year.

What you need to know

VR systems are not standalone - they need to be hooked up to some kind of processor. Right now we have 3 options:

  • PC - best, most expensive (HTC Vive and Oculus Rift)
  • Playstation 4 - a bit less expensive, bit "worse"
  • Samsung phones and tablets - much cheaper, but lighter experience on mobile
  • Android and iOS - cheapest, worst experience, also mobile

On PC you are getting the most awesome experience, but you also need a PC that can handle it. Chances are that if you haven't upgraded your rig for a while, you won't be able to enjoy it. 

Minimum PC requirements for Vive and Rift

  • Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or better.
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 or AMD FX 8350 or greater.
  • RAM: 4GB or more.
  • Video port: HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, or better.
  • USB port: 1 USB 2.0 or faster port.
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer.

Fortunately, there is a company that makes unbelievably cheap VR ready PCs - other computers with the similar setups start at $200 higher price range. I still don't know how do they do it, but it's here - and the fact this PC is a #1 Amazon bestseller with hundreds of orders has to stand for something, right?

As you'll see later in the PC category, gamers know a good deal when they see it and the CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR is already a top wishlist pick there. I guess they wouldn't want their families buying them thousands dollars worth computers when there's an affordable and good quality alternative ready. I would act quickly though, I heard they go quickly out of stock.

Which one to choose?

Which VR systems were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

For PC, there are 2 biggest and best systems on the market: HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. But I strongly recommend buying HTC Vive and I'll tell you why.

  1. With HTC Vive you can walk around, look around, move and be totally immersed - with Oculus you just sit or stand there.
  2. HTC Vive comes bundled with 2 motion controllers, Oculus comes only with an Xbox controller.
  3. HTC Vive is more comfortable for those who need to wear glasses than Oculus is.
  4. HTC Vive pushes for an open system, while Oculus Rift wants to block you from using any programs and apps it doesn't deem "okay".
  5. Oculus Rift owners have been caught lying and deceiving their consumers many times while behaving like total assholes.
  6. I own HTC Vive and it's the best purchase I've ever made. 

If you happen to own a Playstation 4 console or are planning on buying one, I would strongly recommend checking out Playstation VR. It's going to be much cheaper for you than buying a new, superstrong PC that can handle VR and Sony has a good track record of keeping up with latest technology. If somebody is going to make console VR happen, it will be them.

Samsung Gear VR has been getting some strong reviews, but as you can probably tell, it's only for Samsung phones and tablets owners. But - getting a compatible Samsung device + a Gear VR might be much cheaper than buying a Vive / Oculus / PS4 VR. 

TOP 3 VIRTUAL REALITY SYSTEMS

BEST VR EXPERIENCE

HTC Vive

  • Room-scale VR, which allows you to physically move around objects in the virtual space
  • Wireless controllers designed just for VR

FOR PS4 OWNERS

Playstation VR

  • 5.7” OLED 1080p display running at up to 120 frames per second
  • Plug and Play - no difficult setup with Playstation 4

FOR SAMSUNG OWNERS

Gear VR

  • Turns a Samsung smartphone into a completely portable and wireless virtual reality machine
  • Accelerometer, gyrometer, proximity

And something for the sad, non-samsung, non-VR-ready-PC and non-PS4 owners (works on most iOS and Android phones)


PCs will always prevail!

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The problem with PCs is that you either have to build them from scratch or buy a pre-built one. The first option is much better, but I'm no good at building them, so I won't be recommending that.

I'd rather show you top 3 pre-built PCs that gamers picked as they go-to gifts this year. I'm quite looking forward to it, because my oh my, do I have a deal for you!

What you need to know

PC is only as strong as its weakest part. Now the most important parts of a good gaming computer apart from peripheral such as monitors and mice are:

  • processor (CPU)
  • graphic card (GPU)
  • operational memory (RAM)
  • SSD disk for shorter loading times

Pay close attention to people who want to floor you with big sounding numbers like "128 million megabyte Internet transmission rate", those are usually full of crap.

Top3 Wishlist Picks

Which PCs were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

Here comes the deal I've been telling you about and I'd mentioned it already in the VR section before:

There is one PC manufacturer who produces VR ready gaming PCs for about $200 cheaper than his competition, while retaining massive customer satisfaction and hundreds of positive Amazon reviews. Gamers aren't stupid and want a good deal when they see it - they know that the better the deal is, the bigger chances they'll be gifted.

You guessed it, it's the CyberpowerPC brand you can see as the top 1 wishlist pick with more than 41% of gamers wanting it - which came out of nowhere this year. Their VR ready PC subtly named CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8020A Gaming Desktop is at the time of writing this guide sitting on whopping 4.7 / 5 Amazon rating which is completely ridiculous (in a good way) for a pre-built PC.

Here are its specs:

  • Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Hard Drive: 1024 GB SATA III 7200 RPM
  • Graphics Coprocessor: AMD Radeon
  • Video Card Description: Radeon RX 480
  • Graphics Card Ram Size: 4096 MB
  • Number of USB 2.0 Ports: 4
  • Number of USB 3.0 Ports: 6

It's price generally fluctuates around $700, which is an unbelievably good deal for a gaming PC that also meets the requirements for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. If you want to hear more assurances, check out this awesome Youtube sales guy who would sell just about anything if he wasn't so tragicomic.

What about the others from the wishlist?

I honestly think that you shouldn't even be looking at something else than the cybermegaepicpowagamerhaxxorhanjoedgelord PC (I'm a very price:value ratio guy) but okay, I guess I can write something about the other 2 contenders. 

It was actually a pretty close battle, due to the fact that there were many other brands and PCs that appeared in the wishlist. There obviously isn't (apart from the cybapowaPC) a general gamer consensus on what the best and most wanted PC on the market is right now and so we ended up with these two by a bit of luck. 

Acer Predator

Acer Predator AG3-710-UR53 actually looks pretty rad, like an alien. I'm not sure if I'd like to have an alien on my desk or near my feet (that's a dangerous spot even for an alien). but I guess it depends on what kind of an alien it is. 

This alien is also pretty strong, boasting almost the same specs as CyberpowerPC, but with 1 processor instead of 4 and even 100Hz less CPU speed. And it's 60 bucks more expensive. Well, I guess the gamers who put the Predator on the list didn't know about his red competitor, or maybe they liked the otherworldly design.

Lenovo Y900

The last top 3 challenger is nobody else than Lenovo Y900. This powerhouse comes with a big, huge and tremendous bang - albeit with a significant buck, too. This is an excellent gaming PC, if you can live with the price. Maybe you could build yourself a better one for a better price, sure, but here you don't need to endure the driver / OS / everything installation hassle. 

It's very quiet, will run everything on highest details smooth as butter, crisp as diamond + the case and wiring are standard Lenovo - smartly placed, sturdy, accessible with no tools. The keyboard and mouse combo are a pretty nice touch, too. Lenovo Y900 will last for a several years of the games' highest demands.

Consoles are still getting some love

Yes, I wrote "popoulation". Just checking if you're paying attention. Click here for direct link to Excel with data.

If the gamer you're looking a gift for is a "PC master race" gamer, a console might not be for him - but me personally? I love having both PC and a console. There are titles that aren't available on a PC and you don't ever need to upgrade your console to keep playing the newest games, which is a sound investment strategy. Consoles are "set and forget", no need to buy a new graphic card, processor or what have you for several long years.

Xbox One and Playstation 4 are the two biggest consoles on the market. You can't go wrong with them as a gift and the only other thing you need is a TV or a monitor to hook them up to. The other way to look at consoles is from the standpoint of handheld consoles, which are these days focusing on younger markets, but are still a big hit even with the "hard-core" gamers, Monster Hunter fans for example.

Either way, I strongly recommend going for a bundle. There is nothing worse than unboxing a console and not having anything to play on it yet!

Which one to buy?

Which consoles were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

First thing I would do if I were you: I'd ask the gamer which console he likes better. Just ask him on his opinion which console is better and he will gladly tell you without suspecting you're planning to get him one! :)

Let us talk about Xbox One vs Playstation 4 first. There really isn't much difference between them except one getting some exclusive games the other isn't, but even this difference is getting slowly washed away. 

One notable thing to mention though is that PS4 has developed its own virtual reality hardware, while XBOX hasn't and relies on you buying Oculus Rift, which I don't really like nor recommend. If you want to get hyped and taste the future, check out Playstation VR and decide with that knowledge.

But let's say we want to take a closer look at their offerings during this season. 

XBOX One Battlefield 1 bundle comes with with the newest installment of Battlefield series, which has been getting rave reviews all over the world. If your gamer loves Battlefield games, you can't do better than this. A small warning though - he'll probably ignore you for a few days.

Playstation 4 Uncharted bundle comes with one of the best exclusive adventure games ever released: Uncharted. If your gamer isn't much of a shooter but more of an RPG / adventure guy, Uncharted will make him happier than Battlefield. And if he's interested in virtual reality, the PS4 is now even a better option.

The handheld war seems to be a win for Nintendo. Sony doesn't support PS Vita much anymore and in my opinion it's letting it slowly die. On the other hand, Nintendo is producing more content and new versions than ever, plus a new console is on its way, so it's safe to say that the 3DS is a much better bet, at least until Nintendo Switch comes along.

Nintendo New 3DS XL Special Edition: Lime Green with Super Mario World pre-installed is an Amazon exclusive and looks really really good. If I have ever seen a gift package, this is it.

Smartphone is always a safe bet. Everybody loves to get a smartphone...or a tablet.

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See the title? I got nothing more to say. It's self-explanatory! I don't think there is a gamer on this planet who would reject a gift of portable electronics and radio-magnetic waves - and that's why smartphones and tablets round up the TOP 5 gift rankings. Let's see who's a top dog on the market according to our gamer friends.

Which smartphones and tablets were picked the most?

% of wishlist category

Smartphones

Umm..do I have to explain the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus picks here? Everybody who isn't an Androidhead wants the new iPhone. Can't go wrong with it if the gifted person is an Apple fan. And even Android users like to convert, they just don't admit it.

Google Pixel! Now that's an interesting piece of hardware! It's Google's attempt to make its own iPhone and according to critics and users of the phone, they managed to do it. It's expensive, but the only negative reviews this phone gets is from people who can't afford it and troll the review sections.

Tablets

Welcome again to the annual exhibition fight between Samsung and Apple! The Android avatar Samsung Galaxy Tab A with his customizable 7 inch sword tries to slice his opponent, the incarnation of Saint Steve's Apple also called iPad Pro into two halves, but he deflects the strike with its perfect ecosystem and once again, there is no clear winner nor loser.

If you like Android and customization, go for Samsung Galaxy, if you like design and iOS ecosystem, go for iPad. It's that simple, really.

17% of gamers feel like their health should be improved 

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When I asked my 300 gamer friends what would they like to get for their birthdays or Christmas, I wasn't expecting this in their answers - it rocked me to my core and left a bit sad.

About 17% of them included "better health" in their lists.

When I asked some of them what they meant specifically the next day I already knew what they'll tell me - I myself had battled a number of gamer-specific diseases and illnesses which would have been avoided if only I took better care of myself. Here's a list of gadgets and supplements aimed at countering the most common gamer health problems.

Eyesight

Gamers sit next to a monitor for long times, watching the same set of patterns again and again, attacked by blue light, not taking breaks, etc, and the results can be nasty. The top 3 eyesight problems that gamers encounter pretty commonly are:

  1. Digital eyestrain and retina damage due to blue light exposure
  2. Eye muscle fatigue
  3. CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome)

There are small differences between the three, but the shared symptoms include eyestrain, blurred vision, headache, dry eyes, neck/back aches, light sensitivity, double vision and can result in permanent damage such as macular degeneration.

Best prevention measures include taking breaks, eye-drops for dry eye syndrome and eyesight protection such as gaming glasses.

If you want to prevent eyesight damage from gaming, I strongly recommend supplying the gamer with a combo consisting of quality gaming glasses and Amazon's choice eye drops, because let's face it - gamers don't take breaks.

Sources: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Gamma Ray 003 Gaming Glasses

Autoimmune Diseases

While the scientists still aren't completely sure how autoimmune diseases work and how to treat them, majority of medical attention is now focused on the fact that people who are affected are mostly victims of a bad lifestyle, eating junk food and not getting enough sunshine - developing a syndrome called leaky gut.

Sounds like gamers if you ask me! And I know what I'm talking about because I have been fighting autoimmune diseases and I am winning.

I won't go into details (that's for another guide and time), but basics for healing an autoimmune disease are:

  • stop eating food that irritates your stomach lining (gluten, milk, processed food, yeast, alcohol)
  • start taking high quality probiotics every morning
  • start eating fermented foods every day
  • start taking digestive enzymes (one or two capsules at the beginning of each meal) to ensure that foods are fully digested, preventing partially digested foods particles and proteins from damaging your gut wall
  • supplement anti-inflammatory agents and mainly L-glutamine, which is critical for healing the gut
  • use quercetin to lower the allergic reactions of your body

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other posture - related problems

CTS is one of the most common problems professional gamers, coders and writers face. They are overworking their wrists every day, doing damage to their median nerve and if they're not careful, this develops to a full-fledged CTS. 

Symptoms consist of tingling sensations, feeling /sensory loss in fingers I-III (thumb, point and middle finger), weakness and atrophy of thumb's muscles. Nasty.

Treatment? Glucocorticosteroids injections or having a surgery - and it's still not possible to regain full functionality after CTS develops.

CTS and other problems like neck pain and back pain are closely connected to bad posture. If you sit wrong, if you place your hands wrong all the time, if your mouse damages your wrist - you're basically asking for it.

Good news is you can prevent that from happening with 5 proven ways to prevent wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sources: Szczeklik's Internal Medicine 2015, Interventions for the primary prevention of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome

You say that gamers don't read?

I'm a hopeless bookworm. Since I was born I have probably read more than 1000 different books (which is not that surprising when you take into account the fact I could read before starting school).

People think that gamers don't read. They think gamers just play videogames and don't give a slightest shit about anything else.

THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE.

Gamers do read and they read a lot. Fans of RPG and adventure genres need to read in order to advance in their games. FPS gamers read guides and analysis of gameplay. RTS gamers can discuss strategies for week straight on forums which requires a lot of reading.

Which ebook readers were picked most?

% of wishlist category

If you combine gamer's love for technology with his love for reading, you get a Kindle. This e-book reader is one of the most popular inventions of last 10 years and millions of people enjoy its features every day. 

It enables you to read books that you can buy cheaper than hardcover ones while commuting, waiting somewhere or at home.

If gamers didn't read, Kindle wouldn't appear on my gamers' friends wishlists. 

Plus, if your gamer or whoever it is you're considering buying a gift for is a fantasy fan, I have some treats for you - fantasy books recommendations, best of the best.

If the gamer is a really big bookworm, consider signing him up for Kindle Unlimited - it's like All You Can Eat for books and audiobooks ($9.99 / month) and first 30 days are free.


Happiness-inducing PC accessories for smaller budgets

If you're looking to make your gamer happy, but don't have access to big budget items, there's not a single reason to worry. We gamers are quite a content bunch and it's very easy to make us jump with joy with smallest gadgets.

Let's have a look at some of the low-cost "other"  items my 300 gamer friends put in their wishlists.

 

Smartphone power bank

Do you know which smartphone notification a gamer dreads the most? 

Low battery.

There isn't anything else in the world that makes us more annoyed - we want to keep browsing and gaming on the bus, damn it! Why can't there be charging stations, like, everywhere? It's 21st century for God's sake!

Easily remedied with a quality powerbank. No more frantic searches for outlets and picking train seats by an outlet accessibility. Simple, cheap, effective, high-impact.

USB Hub

USB hubs are favorites of laptop-owners. The reason is that the laptops are very limited in their USB port numbers. If these ports are close to each other and God forbid your mouse or a cooler has a wide connector, you won't be able to use them both at the same time. Which is, understandably, quite a pickle.

USB hubs are cheap and solve those problems instantly. 

If the gamer is all wireless, they are useless though and many PCs have enough USB ports so they're not needed either, but if he plays on a laptop, USB hub is priceless.

Gaming mouse pad

Does your gamer have a good gaming mouse already? Do you want to surprise him with a nice gift, but a mouse is out of your budget?

There is a perfect solution and it's called a gaming mouse pad. 

A good mouse pad is completely necessary for a professional gamer - even the best gaming mice don't work much without it.

Remember - the bigger the mouse pad, the better results in gaming (because you can lower your mouse sensitivity, which increases precision in games).


And that's it! If you think I missed something or have any questions, just shoot me an email!

Happy holidays, Christmas and birthdays with your gamers :)

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