Christmas, as Kate McCallister once put it, is the season of perpetual hope. And indeed, the majority of us are probably hoping we’ll be unwrapping a bunch of delightful gifts under the tree on Christmas day.
It’s the thought that counts, right? Wrong.
Unfortunately, if you are guilty of buying any of the items below, the recipient of your gift may flip any tables in the vicinity from pure rage. Here are seven things not to buy this Christmas, presented in both video and written formats.
1. Christmas Tinner
Evaluated by Daily Mail to be a disgusting, nine-tiered hodgepodge of scrambled egg, turkey and potatoes, stuffed brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce topped off with a Christmas pudding, the Christmas Tinner sounds like a digestive nightmare. Consume at your own peril.
2. A game for the incorrect console
Imagine the frustration of receiving a PS4 exclusive like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy when you actually own an Xbox One. Or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe when your preferred gaming system is a PC. Or Skyrim when you own a New Nintendo 2DS XL. Well, you never know about that last one.
3. An outdated casual game. Or one with potential for microtransactions.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with casual games, the interests of many gamers go beyond party titles like Just Dance or SingStar. Similarly, if a game links its multiplayer progression system with loot boxes, those who don’t pay up will suffer a huge competitive disadvantage. Originally, EA had fitted Star Wars Battlefront II with microtransactions, a decision which cost them dearly. In response to consumer backlash the company has suspended in-game purchases.
4. Games which don’t align with your interests or skill level
Here’s a nice hypothetical. Say you’re passionately in love with point and click games, and hardly anything outside that genre grabs your interest. Your aptitude for platformers, FPS games and MOBAs is nonexistent. Yet despite knowing these facts, your friend decides to give you Overwatch because “it’d be so fun to play together”. Let’s call out manipulation when we see it, folks.
5. Novelty merchandise
I suspect this one is entirely dependent on the person. Some of us enjoy celebrating our geekiness with things like Funko Pop! Vinyls or wicked keychains, but they’re not for everyone. So if the sight of these PlayStation boxers below makes you cringe, you now have a get out of jail free card.
6. Dodgy bundles from auction sites
Sometimes, the products listed in places like eBay or Amazon can have downright misleading descriptions. Scammers are everywhere, so just be sure to read the fine print before realising your beautiful, reasonably priced console is in fact a colour photograph rip-off.
7. Game-related pranks
Depending on your personality, buying somebody a fake console, video game, or collectible they’ve been really hanging out for is one of the cruellest, most unspeakable things mankind could conceive, or a hilarious April Fools-worthy joke. Our advice: don’t do it.
While you’re here, make sure to check out our nifty gift guide—which has much better ideas on what to buy the gamer in your life.
Or if you’re after more disastrous gift ideas, don’t miss our top 10 worst games of 2017.