Although the electronic games of my youth have since evolved into something different, one thing has remained the same: savvy marketers continue to cash in on the popularity of electronic games through non-electronic merchandise. In addition, Internet storefronts allow innovative individuals to create and market their own electronic game-related products. The breadth of available items (and the oddity of said items) has grown exponentially.
As a tween in the 1980s, I owned various Pac-Man themed objects. I had the Pac-Man bed sheets and pillowcases and an assortment of Pac-Man character pillows, hats, and t-shirts. And yes, I more than occasionally ate Pac-Man cereal.
Sadly, I no longer own any of these items, let alone remember how or when I parted ways with them. Fortunately, NCHEG not only collects games and consoles, but it also acquires artifacts related to electronic game culture, and as a result I can more easily reminisce about my childhood. Some of my favorite objects in our collection remind me of the holiday season: the Pac-Man board game, Pac-Man keychain, and of course the Pac-Man Halloween costume. We don’t have Pac-Man cereal boxes in the collection, but we do have a box for Super Mario Brothers cereal.
If you truly want to impress the gamer in your family or circle of friends, forego the games and get them something from the following list of holiday geek gifts courtesy of the CHEGheads:
- Electronic Game Tree Ornaments – How can you possibly invite your gamer friends over during the holidays without having a game controller or vintage arcade game ornament hanging from your tree? And don’t forget to trim the tree with Mario Mushrooms.
- Electronic Game Underwear – Yes. Seriously, and not just for kids. Wal-Mart, Target, and other major retailers are carrying popular game title-branded underwear, such as Halo, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero, to keep you warm this winter.
- Electronic Game Bling – Perhaps a simple ID bracelet to identify yourself as the individual who rocked the high score on Ms. Pac-Man. Or for those looking for a little more street cred, you can don a Playstation 18k solid white gold pendant covered with black diamonds.
- Electronic Game Soap – After a long day (or night) of gaming you need to feel refreshed, but you might not be able to let go of the game controller. Well, here’s your solution: Nintendo Wii Remote replica soap. Get nice and lathered while practicing your tennis backhand in the shower. For those with other platform preferences, you can also get the Mountain Dew scented Nintendo NES controller soap or the grapefruit-jasmine scented Xbox 360 controller soap.
- Electronic Game Wallpaper – A great way to decorate. Make your walls into your favorite platformer environment with these vinyl wall decals, which when your spouse or roommate doesn’t share your redecorating taste, can easily removed.
These are just a few examples of odd gifts available in the broader worldwide marketplace of electronic-game-related artifacts today. On behalf of the NCHEG staff, I welcome any of these as institutional gifts, as well. I can verify that we’ve all been very good this year. Of course, I also welcome each of you to share your own thoughts on gamer gift oddities as you come across them. Meanwhile, I hope you all have a happy holiday and get the gamer gifts that are on your lists!