what do you want

10 Gamers on the Gifts They Want for the Holidays

Finding the perfect holiday gift can be maddening (is this the color they’d want? Is it something they already have? Is it so last year?), but really, once you have a sense of a person’s taste, it’s not impossible. This season, we’ll be talking to members of various tribes to find out exactly what to get that college student, or serious home cook, or Star Wars fanatic in your life. Think of it as a window into their brain trust — or, at least, a very helpful starting point. For our latest installment, we found ten gamers to tell us what they want for the holidays, from wireless earbuds to vintage-ish Tamagotchis.

20th Anniversary Tamagotchi Device
$20 at Amazon

“I had a chance to play around with the new, super-tiny rereleased Tamagotchi virtual pets at New York Comic Con, and its simple charm gave me a lot of nostalgia of owning one of those devices back in middle school. I think I still have an Angel Tamagotchi lying around in my apartment, but the brightly-colored mini ones have a lot of retro style.” — Amanda Cosmos, QA lead at Dots

Super Mario Odyssey — Nintendo Switch
$60 at Amazon

“The Mario Odyssey Switch is a perfect gift for nostalgia’s sake alone. We peaked early, when Super Mario 64 was at the top of everyone’s holiday wish lists, and Mario’s return brings us right back to fighting with our siblings over who got to jump into the castle paintings next (not to mention that the Switch is still cool, and we should get our own instead of demanding to borrow our one very annoyed friend’s own every week).” — Emily Sheehan and Claire Manganiello, creative team at Mother New York

Rowkin Bit Stereo: True Wireless Earbuds
$90 at Amazon

“Unlike the Apple AirPods, most people won’t notice you’re wearing Rowkin earbuds at all, and you’ll no longer accidentally rip your headphones out of your ears every single morning while frantically scrambling around for your MetroCard. They may be the earbuds that make a functioning adult out of you.” — Sheehan and Manganiello

What Remains of Edith Finch — Xbox One
$20 at Amazon

“When I started playing this game, I thought I had it figured out after the first 15 minutes. I was completely wrong. The game took a completely unexpected turn early on, and from there on out, it continued to surprise and delight. Seemingly effortlessly, Edith Finch deals with some very powerful themes, driving them with an incredible marriage of story, dialogue, imagery, and kinetics. The game reminded me that perhaps we can form the shape of our future out of more than just the contours of our past.” — Ryan Cash, co-founder of Snowman and co-creator of Alto’s Adventure

Apple AirPods
$160 at Target

“In a subtle but powerful way, I’ve actually found that Apple’s AirPods have changed the way I experience mobile gaming. In the past, I’d very rarely play games with headphones. As an audiophile, I’d only take them out under the perfect circumstances: if I was sitting at home, free of distractions, with dedicated time to spare. Cut to owning AirPods. Sure, they’re ultimately just wireless headphones. But it’s little flourishes like the case acting as a charger, the effort spent to reduce syncing speed, and automatic pausing as you remove them from your ear that make using them not just easy, but joyful. That consideration for making the mundane magical has led me to use headphones more often each day — listening to more podcasts, more music, and best of all, experiencing games with the quality of sound their developers intended.” — Cash

Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K With High-Sensitivity GPS and GLONASS Receiver
$236 at Amazon

“This mid-priced, top-rated GPS unit is easy to use, lightweight, and is perfect for all outdoor geocaching (and archaeological!) action. It comes preloaded with topographic data, so you know your exact elevation.” — Sarah Parcak, TED Prize winner and creator of GlobalXplorer

Talkie by Toymail: Hank a Dino
$60 at Amazon

“Connectivity is a constant at this point, but we all feel guilt around screen time. Toymail is a means by which adults can communicate with kids and have shared connectivity time. And the stuffed animals are really cute.” — Matt Harrigan, co-founder and managing director, Grand Central Tech

Little Nightmares — PlayStation 4 Complete Edition
$20 at Amazon

“I love horror games, and this one’s art and gameplay seem particularly interesting. It just came out this year, too.” — Laura Gatti, technical artist at Dots

Nintendo Switch — Gray Joy-Con
$299 at Amazon

“It’s the perfect device for playing games on the go. Not only does it easily dock to your television, there are lots of great new games on it, such as Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For those who are looking for something really versatile and social, it’s a perfect device.” — Jamin Warren, founder and CEO of Kill Screen

Google Daydream View — VR Headset (Slate)
$45 at Amazon

“I’ve been surprised at how quickly mobile VR has advanced over the last couple years, and the Google Daydream View is a great upgrade if you’re an Android user looking to make the jump to one of Google’s new phones. It’s only $99, and unlike the more traditional black plastic design, a soft fabric cover might be a better fit for your personal style.” — Warren

Sonos Play:1 Compact Wireless Speaker for Streaming Music
$149 (25 percent off) at Amazon

“We have a couple Sonos speakers at the office and we love them. The new Alexa integration for Sonos is a nice touch, but specifically, you can play some old-time adventure games from the early days of the PC, such as Zork. There’s a big opportunity to play games with voice commands, so I hope to see more in the future.” — Warren

You can buy the Sonos Play:1 on the Sonos website, too.

Prynt Pocket Instant Photo Printer for iPhone
$150 at Amazon

“I’m also always on the lookout for gadgets and accessories that allow me to capture moments with my friends and family in new and fun ways. For all the holiday parties this season, I’ve got my eye on the Prynt Pocket, a portable photo printer that allows you to instantly print pictures from Facebook, Instagram, and your phone. I also love that there’s an option to add video inside your photo, taking the photo experience to a whole new level.” — Michelle David, lead designer at Zynga for Words With Friends

Super Nintendo Entertainment System SNES Classic Edition
$149 at Walmart

“There’s a chance you may have to head to eBay for this one, as it’s been sold out at most retail and online locations. It’s a miniature Super Nintendo with 21 classic games already installed and ready to play … and yes, it does have the original Mario Kart.” — Justine Ezarik, iJustine

Mophie Wireless Charging Base
$60 at Apple

“The newest iPhones (and most Android phones) have wireless charging capabilities. This is the one that I have been using since I got my new iPhone, and I absolutely love it.” — Ezarik

SSE DJI Spark Portable Mini Drone Quadcopter Starters Bundle (Alpine White)
$399 at Amazon

“The Spark is my favorite tiny, portable drone. It’s perfect for anyone who has never had a drone before. It can take off and land from the palm of your hand, and you can even fly it right from your iPhone without a controller.” — Ezarik

NHL 18 — PlayStation 4
$30 at Amazon

“One of the coolest games out there is NHL 18. I love wearing my Vesey Rangers jersey, and the graphics are the sickest. Skating is so cool.” — Cassidy Berger, fourth-grade student

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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10 Gamers on the Gifts They Want for the Holidays