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Subject: Giving the gift of games: Is it okay? rss

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Scott
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Well I've been wondering a lot about something during this Christmas season. I have people that like to play boardgames with me but it's not necessarily their favorite hobby or thing to do in the world. Do you think it's kind of tacky to give these people games for Christmas?

To me, it seems perhaps a tad selfish. If I know that there is probably somthing that these people would enjoy more, it would be quite out of the spirit of the season to give them something that I might enjoy more than they. If they were hardcore gamers I could see it and I truly believe that giving a game to a thoughtful family or couple couple can be a pretty decent gift. However, not everyone enjoys boardgames at all and many people only enjoy them on rare occasions and that's okay. Many of my friends and family have hobbies I could care less about.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm all about encouraging the growth of our hobby. But where do we draw the line? Christmas is a time for unmotivated and unselfish giving. Shouldn't I be giving gifts to people that I know they want and would need?

Any thoughts on this subject?
 
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Matthew Fisk
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I warn all those that get gifts from me:

I play boardgames and that is what I give for gifts. Take it or leave it. I DO do a lot of research however before I do this. I really don't find many people that dont like SOME sort of game. Some people prefer party games, others don't mind light games, others are willing to play medium to heavy weight.

Usually they always have a hobby I can find a game for regardless - be they a trekkie or are single and been looking for a husband (plenty of fun you can have with that one).

Any way you look at it though - they are going to get a game. It is what I am, it is a gift from me that reflects me to them... so there it is.

I don't buy them however and then go over asking to play the game. If I gift it most likely I already own it.
 
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Louise Holden
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I have great trouble finding things that people want and need these days. I'd rather buy them what I know is a decent boardgame than end up getting them a popcorn maker or box of chocolates.

Having said that I don't buy games for people who don't play them. About half my presents are games, mainly for the nephews/niece but for some in-laws as well, as well as for husband and son.

 
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Bruce McElroy
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Why not just give them something you know they will like and toss in the game. You can even make a joke about it. Say you found it under you Tree but the Tag says.


To: The Person and your name
From: Santa
 
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SBODog wrote:
Why not just give them something you know they will like and toss in the game. You can even make a joke about it. Say you found it under you Tree but the Tag says.


To: The Person and your name
From: Santa


Excellent suggestion. Worth repeating.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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I aim to give people something I think they'd like, not something I think I'd like, and not something I think they should like. It's one thing to give a music lover a CD of a band they don't know but you think they'd like, or a book lover a novel they haven't heard of but you suspect might be up their alley, but if they don't play games, why give them a game?
 
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Jeff Coon
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My dad loves baseball, but he's not a big reader. There are a couple of books on baseball that I'm pretty sure he would enjoy if he gave them a chance, but I know reading isn't his thing. I'd much rather get him something I know he'll use, rather than something I think he should like.

It's the same with games. My mom & sister will play games when I'm home for the holidays, but that's about the only time. If I gave them games, they would play them with me and have a good time, but they'd never play them without me. So why give them as a gift? I'd rather get my mom a set of earrings that she'll enjoy all the time. I think earrings are pretty silly, but I know they'll make her happy, which is what giving gifts is about.

YMMV.
 
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Brian A
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Legomancer wrote:
I aim to give people something I think they'd like, not something I think I'd like,


My experience is the opposite. I have amazing success giving people things I would like to have myself. My best presents have been things I later bought for myself.
 
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Scott
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Legomancer wrote:
I aim to give people something I think they'd like, not something I think I'd like, and not something I think they should like. It's one thing to give a music lover a CD of a band they don't know but you think they'd like, or a book lover a novel they haven't heard of but you suspect might be up their alley, but if they don't play games, why give them a game?


I'm with you 100%; very well said.
 
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Brent Mair
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I'm in the same situation. I have family members that game a bit with friends, probably around once a week, but I still find myself feeling guilty that I am giving them games. My wife and I searched for other options but we decided that I could do pretty well at picking out a game they would like and play with others.

So that is the plan. I've given them games before and they appeared to like them. So we'll try again.
 
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Hmmmm. I guess it depends on the person getting the gift.

This year I'm giving games to two people, while the other folks get the usual crap, generally cheap red wine that they're too plebian to be insulted by.

The people getting games are the ones who have shown uncommon enthusiasm for them, e.g. my uncle who insisted on playing four games of Carc in a row then bought his own copy.
 
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Chris Bailey
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I give games to relatives and friends because they like them and play them. While my wife plays games occasionally and loves Settlers of Catan, I would never give her a game as a gift. She would pretty much see right through that and her feelings would be hurt to think I didn't put any thought into buying her something SHE wanted.
 
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Terry Bailey Sr.
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It is ok if you send me one too.

Terry Bailey Sr.
 
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David G.
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These days, I pretty much buy myself what I really want. My Christmas lists are pretty sparse, because if it was something under $50, I've probably already purchased it.

That said, I'd much rather someone take a chance and get me something that I may not have known I wanted over a "sure thing" that I probably would have purchased soon anyway. At that point the gift is more about finding something new than the monetary value. Sure, people buy you CDs all the time, and usually they strike out. But when someone turns you onto music you never knew you'd like, it's a gift that transends it's price sticker.

So, the game you buy them may bomb, which is frustrating. But better to take a chance on something they may end up really loving then a Blockbuster gift card or a bottle of wine.
 
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Matthew Fisk
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Legomancer wrote:
I aim to give people something I think they'd like, not something I think I'd like, and not something I think they should like. It's one thing to give a music lover a CD of a band they don't know but you think they'd like, or a book lover a novel they haven't heard of but you suspect might be up their alley, but if they don't play games, why give them a game?



Some of the best gifts I have ever gotten are extensions of the personality of the person that gave it to me. It is because it CAME from them that I like it. What are some of the best things I have gotten?

** A HUGE lump of coal (from a grumpy friend of mine who gave no excuses for his personality)
** An Asprin Center like you find in filling stations (from a pharmacist buddy)
** A Lava Lamp - from a buddy that is always referred to as a hippy.
** A "Stud" kit (with an action figure of James T. Kirk and a "How to dance the macarea video tape) from a buddy that was so socially inept he knew it. But decided to have fun with it.

Are they things I would have chosen? Not on your life, but it is because of who they came from that I have all four of them still proudly displayed in various areas of my house while all the CDs and practical things have long been boxed or thrown away.

It is the off the wall stuff that I appreciate - the stuff that so speaks of the giver that I cannot help but laugh as I open the box and see what it is.

They may never play the game I give them, but the laugh they get as they open it - knowing who it came from - will be with them long after the toaster is history...

I am sure it can work both ways, and yes there are certainly a couple of people I don't do this with. But I have never had someone upset with me because I gave with a twist of my own personality.
 
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Robin
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I have asked myself this same question. My problem is that I am such a freak in comparison to the rest of my family that they kind of expect something a little. . . out there.

I do think that games should be personalized to someone's taste but also gifts should reflect the gift giver. My two sisters are the most difficult people to please and I know some of the gifts I've given them were completely off. One of my sisters recieved a game this year. She may never play it but it will stay in her closet and who knows . . . maybe it will rain and she will have no choice. Seriously though, she is very big into having family time so maybe she will play the Carcassonne game. Or it will go in a closet of stuff she only puts out when I come over.
 
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Dane Peacock
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Two years ago, I had my sister's name for Christmas. Everyone knows that I give games. She hates games. Well, she says that she hates games, but she doesn't know it. She won't even try them. She warned me not to give her a game. I made her a deal that if I did not give her a game, that she would give me a game the next year.

So, I got her a couple of ratchets or ladles or whatever those things are that are NOT games, and last year she got me Camelot Legends.

That turned out to be a sweet deal.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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I try to get people things they wouldn't buy for themselves but will enjoy. This argues against getting them stuff in their own area of expertise (unless you are willing or able to afford something they couldn't/wouldn't spend the money on) because if they want it, odds are they probably already have it. And if they don't have it, odds are they don't want it. They'll know about the cool new stuff in the areas that interest them long before I will.

On the other hand, if someone is casually but consistently interested in something I know lots about (e.g. games or cooking), then that's a great opportunity for gift-giving because I can spare them the effort of finding the hidden gems.

As a recipient, I'd rather receive a gift that involves something I'm curious about but haven't really pursued than something I'm already engaged in doing fairly seriously.
 
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Greg Hinkle
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I've been feeling the same way lately.

I placed a sizable order on ThoughtHammer back on the day that they donated all of their profits to Katria relief, planning on giving the gifts as Christmas presents. Some I've already given: I got Gulo Gulo and Apples to Apples for my sister-in-law and her family, but first I made sure to get her hooked on Apples to Apples. But I also ordered Reef Encounter (not released yet, will ship when TH gets it) "for my wife". Well she SAID it looked interesting. But really, that's not a gift for her, it's a gift for me.

So I'll keep it and we'll play it, but I'll probably leave it in shrink for a while. I went and bought her a bunch of stuff that she actually WANTED and can USE though.

But the extended family has grown to expect Games-from-Greg, and I think they're okay with that. But I'm only giving games to the ones that I think will appreciate it and play them. (Other people are getting Homestar Runner DVDs, because anyone 25 to 40 should be enjoying the crap out of those.)

But this leaves me with a surplus of games that I was GOING to give as gifts, but then realized that it's just me getting games because I'm a freaking addict. This includes: Reef Encounter, Citadels Expansion, Rumis, Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper and Time's Up! (I suppose I could lump recent acquisitions of Santiago, Primordial Soup and Elfenland in what that group as well.)

Long story longer, it's fine to give gifts if you know the recipients will play them, or if they're expecting YOU to pick out good games that you think they'll like. (Because some of those people like games, but they just don't know what they'll like - and it's up to YOU to show them.)

Game on, gaming gamers. Spread the fever, as long as they wont roll their eyes at you.
 
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Denise Lavely
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Mostly, I don't buy presents for adults except for my husband, my family usually just exchanges cookies and such. But I give games to all the kids I know, and they LOVE it. Some of the parents have told me that some of the kids are already speculating about what games they are getting from me this year! They very much look forward to it, and frankly at this point if I got them something else they'd be heartbroken. So no advice on adults, but for the kids in your life, this is definitely the way to go.
 
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Jesse Acosta
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Remember the 'Bunny Suit' Ralphie got in Christmas Story? You don't want to be the one giving the ridiculous 'bunny suit'. I know Id rather get things I really want, rather than what someone thinks I should want.
 
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What makes a gift a great gift? My favorite gifts to receive are the ones that:

1. I would never think of getting for myself.
2. Are genuinely useful/fun gifts that I'm glad to have in my life.

You're in a unique position, amongst your relatives/non-gamer friends, to give a boardgame for a gift that fits both these criteria. Because you have knowledge both of their personalities and of what boardgames fit those types of personalities, you can play Mr. Matchmaker better than anyone else--set them up on dates that will have repercussions on their entire lives. Continuing the dating analogy, you should also realize, however, when your relatives/friends are asexual hermits that do not need a match. In such a case, you will have to use other avenues to tickle their fancy.

 
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David Voderberg
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Can you give the gift of a game. Heck yeah!



I say give a gift that shows you thought of them, but it's from you.


I bring games in for the gift exchange at work...one guy still has the LotR Collectable Minis at his desk. We still talk about it, and it's a nice little ice breaker.


in my opinion, Games are like Sake, there is something to enjoy in every helping, if you cannot find something it shows a deeply troubled soul.


 
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