For those geeks who consider board gaming their number one hobby, holiday gifts can be a minefield. Once someone is labeled as a hobby gamer, they become numb to the endless march of strange licensed Monopoly games thrown their way. But how can you blame the gift givers when the desirable games are so removed from mainstream consciousness? Strategy board games are a booming industry, but not one exactly at the peak of pop culture  they're not even stocked on the shelves at most stores.

If you're in the position of buying for a gamer friend (and you yourself are geeky enough to be reading MTV Geek) then you are that individuals's last hope to deliver the goods this holiday season. Read on, and I'll tell you exactly what is hot with the hardcore hobby gaming crowd this year.

Thematic Strategy Games:Game of Thrones andThe Walking Dead

Nothing is hotter than these two properties right now, making them both great themes for board games. It should be fairly easy to find out if your gamer friend is a fan, and If so, then these games will form the perfect intersection of geekdoms.

The Game of Thones board game is a timely choice, as the second edition just hit store shelves this week. In this new version, Fantasy Flight Games has completely re-done the graphic design as well as incorporating two existing expansions and some brand new content all in one box.

If your gift target is a big Walking Dead fan, then that poses a tough decision, albeit one that should not deter you. There are competing games published by Z-Man Games (based on the comic book, pictured above) and Cryptozoic Entertainment (based on the television show). Let your friend's preferred media format guide your choice.

Runners up: Discworld games (Ankh Morpork or Guards! Guards!), Penny Arcade the Card Game: Gamers vs. Evil


As I mentioned in my previous gift guide about buying gifts for the veteran hobby gamer, it can be quite hard to hunt down something they actually want. Sometimes, gamers make this process even harder by already owning everything under the sun!

If you are still set on buying them a gaming-related gift, then a fat wallet can always help. For high-rolling gift givers prepared to pony up some cash, here are some tips on how to surprise those that are least expecting it.

A Place to Game: Geek Chic Tables

What It Will Set You Back: Approximately $3,000, give or take a grand.

The Geek Chic Emissary, with inlaid Axis & Allies board

The pinnacle of gaming opulence. I challenge you to find any gamer who wouldn't drool all over themselves at the thought of owning one of these tables. Geek Chic handcrafts all of their products from black walnut, maple, or cherry wood, and includes a laundry list of small touches that make their tables the best around. The following is just a small sample: drawers with fold out surfaces and privacy screens, multi-layer surfaces that can include blown-up versions of your favorite game maps, and a rail system that lets you snap in cup holders and other accessories wherever you want them.


Admit it, board games and pen-and-paper RPGs are niche hobbies, yet this slight obscurity causes the ranks of their fandom to be filled with passionate people. So what's a player to do when the larger geek community fails to recognize the analog side of gaming? The only option is to take matters into their own hands.

The board game evangelist is a common sight, turning friends and family members into card-carrying, dice-toting gaming geeks. No time is he more active than during the holiday season, where a well thought out gift can easily spread the love of hobby gaming. However, a dud can solidify a permanent distaste for the hobby, so follow me and I'll provide the perfect gift ideas for the future gaming converts in your life.

The Potential Roleplayer: Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Box Set

The Mouse Guard RPG may be a simplified version of the Burning Wheel system, applied to a setting filled with small furry creatures, but don't call it a kid's game. Based on the comic series of the same name, the Mouse Guard RPG is a game that bucks the trend of most roleplaying games where success is typically measured in levels and loot.

Instead, Mouse Guard has meaningful character creation (where even the slightest background details directly tie into your character's stats) and you will be rewarded for playing your character according to a list of their beliefs and instincts.

This deluxe boxed set includes plenty of newbie-friendly tools, such as a rule book that coaches the player through running a game, and equipment and status cards that simplify the process of character management. This is the only game where I would feel comfortable telling a player who had absolutely zero roleplaying experience that they could run the game, making it the perfect gift for groups with no veteran guide.

Runners-up: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box, Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Roleplaying Game: The Essential Starter (Red Box)


Just because it's the holiday season that doesn't mean we can't still be geeks. We searched through the magical internet machine for 10 geeky holiday decorations and put this list together to help you decorate your home the way a geek should.

Yoda and Spock Tree Toppers
Nothing says nerd like like a Yoda or Spock tree-topper and ThinkGeek is the place to get one. Both versions plug into the tree lights for a soft glow and they will set you back about $40. Read More...

When you’re looking past stocking stuffers this holiday season, and really want to get someone something that says, “I do not care about money at all, but I care about you,” you’re going to want to start looking at the higher ticket items. You know, the ones the guy behind the counter needs a key to access. Here’s our list of some high-end comic book gifts you might want to consider this Holiday season… After you’re done nibbling on your caviar, and laughing at the unwashed masses on Occupy Wall Street, of course:

Just Under $50…

Astonishing X-Men Omnibus

Collecting the entirety of geek god Joss Whedon and artist John Cassaday’s new-classic run on the title, this book presents all the soap opera, all the action, and all the insanity you could want from an X-Men book, and all for (just) under $50.


Manga is tricky to give as a gift. If the person you're buying for already reads manga, they probably already own every book they want, while those who don't read it regularly have trouble getting past the stylized look and the right-to-left orientation. Fortunately, publishers are offering lots of extras this year, as well as a wide range of stories that appeal to many different types of readers.

So we will start this year's gift guide with manga you could give to almost anyone, and we will wind up with some gifts for the manga fan who has everything.

For the Disney fan…
Princess Knight, by Osamu Tezuka (2 volumes)


Let’s say you have a friend or family member who’s shown some interest in comic books, but are daunted by years of continuity, and hundreds of trades… Where to start them off on the right foot? Lucky you, we’ve broken down the best starter trades for new readers of all ages, by specific character, interest, and comics. Now it’s just up to you to get the books in their hands, and stand back as they ravage the rest of your library:

If They’re Interested in Batman…

Well, you could probably check out our upcoming list of perfect Batman trades for gifts, but if you want some simple suggestions to start off clean, we say go for the standards. Batman: Year One is a surprisingly simple and clean story, and as the movies are inspired by that book, it’s a good way to go. For something more modern, Scott Snyder’s recent run on Detective Comics, collected in the Black Mirror hardcover requires a little bit of explanation (“Wait, Bruce Wayne isn’t Batman? What now?”) but it’s worth it for the excellent story inside.

If They’re Interested in Spider-Man…



“Where does he get those wonderful toys?” That’s what everyone will be asking this Holiday season, and by “toys” they’ll mean “Batman Graphic Novels,” once you take a look at our list of the ten best books for the Dark Knight fan in your life. Kind of makes you wonder why they said “toys” in the first place, doesn’t it? Weird.

10. Batman: Hush

This is the big, loud, action movie version of Batman, written by Jeph Loeb, and drawn by Jim Lee. The premise is that someone is trying to take out Bruce Wayne, and with him, most of his Rogues Gallery. Interestingly? While doing a little research for this list, we found that most modern Batman readers started with this story. It’s not the most complicated thing you’ll ever read, but it is fun.

9. Batman: Gotham After Midnight


Whenever someone asks, “What should I give the woman in my life who doesn’t read comic books, but wants to get started?” And the answer is always, “Sandman!” But there are other options, aren’t there? Other comics that will sell a new reader or any gender (but, you know, specifically the ladies)? For sure, friends! And lucky you, here’s a list of 10 fabulous comic book gifts for members of the fairer sex that are more off the beaten path:

For The Woman Who Has Gotten Tired of Disney Movies…


Bill Wllingham’s long running, ongoing Vertigo series mixes fairy tale characters into real life New York for a heady mix of humor, adventure, and intrigue starring Snow White and a detective named Bigby Wolf (get it?)… It might sound like certain TV shows currently on the air, but trust us, it’s way better than they are.

For The Woman Who Likes The Horror…

Locke & Key


So you've got someone one your holiday list who you want to keep entertained for a few hours--maybe even in hi-def? Well, look no further than this lineup of 2011 TV on DVD and Blu-ray releases for a couple of ideas of what to get that special someone who's into the living dead, disavowed secret agents, drunk secret agents, and grimy, sci-fi adventure.


There are so many apps, games and accessories available for our iOS devices it's almost disgusting. To give everyone a hand picking out some cool gear and software for the Apple fanatic in their life this holiday season we decided to put together a list of 10 of our favorite iPhone and iPad games and accessories. Enjoy!

Apple Digital AV Adapter - iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch
We'll start with the basics. Watching TV shows and movies from iTunes and Netflix on the iPad can be great. But if you're not on the go why confine the entertainent to such a small screen? Apple's Digital AV Adapter lets you connect an HDMI cable to your iPhone 4, iPad and 4th Gen. iPod Touch so you can watch movies and even play games like Angry Birds on an HDTV! You can pick one up for $39 from the Apple Store, though you'll also need an HDMI cable -- Amazon usually has them for a good price. Read More...

2011 feels like a banner year for anime releases, both in terms of quality and quantity. Everyone is rushing to go hi-def with their catalog titles, breathing new life into stagnant releases, while some shows that were lost in the limbo in the wake of the collapse of some of the major distributors here in the U.S. are finally getting to see the light of day again.

So with so many options on the table for that anime fan on your list, what should you get? Well, here's this (hopefully) handy list of titles below targeting those very specific animated interests of that friend or loved one who might love a new or classic boxset waiting for them on Christmas day.

Ok so once again, it's that time year, time to sit down, relax with a bowl of popcorn and watch the Star Wars Holiday Special, OH YEAH! And while you're watching this painfully long, I mean EXHILARATING piece of art, you may have some down time to do some Internets shopping. And well, Woodsy has her favorite Star Wars items this year for you all to consider!!

1. PLUSH CHEWIE!! The big one! I fell in love with this 24" furry creature last February at the Toy Fair in NYC!! You can get it at NO, GET IT.

2. Hasbro's Darth Vader Ultimate FX Lightsaber. I wore this out Halloween weekend when I was classic Leia in the snow storm and it was awesome! It has really genuine lightsaber sound effects and the red is spot on. I thought I was the perfect Princess Leia ever until some punk kid's mother called me out, accusing me of having the wrong colored saber. I could only feel sorry for this kid for having such a critical mom. Get this at Read More...

The holiday season is upon us and that means it's time to start searching for that perfect gift. The gamer in your life would probably love some new gear and to make your annual shopping adventure a little easier we decided to put together a list of 10 awesome gaming accessories.

Boomchair Pulse
Every gamer needs a good chair for those late night gaming sessions and what could be better than a gaming chair with built in speakers, vibration feedback and wireless connectivity? For $140 the Boomchair Pulse delivers all of that and folds in half for storage. You can pick one up from – they also have 19 other chairs to choose from if red isn't your color. Read More...

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