How well do members of the Giant Bomb community communicate their gaming habits to their family/parents? We'll see in this poll!
I thought of this poll when remembering back in the day a parent buys a game for a gift and it ends up being solitaire or something that I didn't want. Are we better at showing what we like and don't like to our folks these days?
Well, the best I can expect from my parents at this age is a phone call or a nice dinner out, but when I was a kid I usually rented the games I wanted enough times they'd noticed I basically bought the game anyway if only I had more patience, and they never went shopping for gifts without a list I'd written out. I'd say it was far more likely I was surprised by something, whether an item I wanted or not, than was just disappointed that the family budget didn't have room for one of the items on my list (as far back as I can remember, I would number my lists in terms of priority, but sometimes they preferred going quantity over the thing I asked most for, in case I wound up not enjoying that thing as much as I thought I would).
My mom has always been good about either gauging my intentions or - later in my youth when I smartened up and gave her an ordered list of the things I wanted most to least - she was gracious enough to follow it closely. So, yeah. I trusted her.
The only year that came close was when she got me a PS2 bundle and no additional games, thinking I would be satisfied with ATV Offroad Fury 2 until the next saved-up-allowance game purchase. This was untrue, but I legitimately don't remember asking for any particular game, just the nebulous concept of "A PS2!" so I can't really blame her there. Besides, I was renting games the next week, so it all worked out.
My parents don't know much about games, but I feel like they would get me the exact game, so 100%, since they would ask beforehand for the possible exact titles (multiple, but only buy 1 to keep me surprised) and would probably ask me to get them some pics of the covers on their phone.
Mom was a lil hit and miss from time to time. But overall she mostly got good stuff. It did help that I really liked Ratchet and Jak, so that's like 8 christmases covered with names she could recognize. :P
But yeah they stopped buying me game when I was like, 11. So I've just done my own game shopping since.
I voted for zero, because at this point in my life, if my mom says this to me I have no idea what I'm getting. I get every game I want as soon as it's available these days. There's no way she could get me a game I'm interested in that I don't already have.
As a kid, I just gave ordered lists for xmas. That's just how we've always done it-- no margin of error. If left to their own devices? Probably about 20%
Even when I was really young I was very specific about the stuff I put on my Christmas list, often providing a description of it. When I started using a computer and the internet to make the list I would make sure to have an image of anything on my list when possible to help. Any time that my parents got something from my list they always got it right. I didn't start getting games until I got a Gameboy advanced and even then it wasn't until 2002 that I was putting them on my list. At this point I'm having a hard time convincing them to not get me anything.
Bless my parents hearts they tried to pick out games and stuff for me as a kid. But they only got it right like 2 times when i didn't make a very very detailed list showing the box art carefully clipped out of a jc penny or sears catalog, that also showed the system it was for and the price all nicely stapled onto my list.
I remember the Christmas when my parents got my brother and I a Gamecube. We already knew in November and we spent that time heavily implying how cool we thought games like Luigi's Mansion looked. ON Christmas we were disappointed to find some fucking Nickelodeon themed mini game collection.
When I was 9 my mom bought me a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas. I had no idea what it even was or why I should be excited for it. It was 1986, and the NES was just released nationwide in September. It's probably not an exageration to say it changed my life. I don't have an answer to the poll.
The last time in my life my mum bought me a game she bought the er 'classic' Brute Force for Xbox. I didn't even have an Xbox at the time. I felt awful telling her this.
Thing is, she has always been reasonably into games - she used to play Theme Hospital back on the ps1 all the time - just not enought to want to buy me any or know which ones to buy once I was old enough to buy my own.
Never been a problem because the game I want is almost on my list. It's more been a case of getting a game and the realising I wanted something else slightly more.
I did have an instance where my girlfriend got me Enslaved but the guy at the store put fucking Eragon in the case instead. That sucked but we got it on return a couple of days later.
Back when my parents still bought me games for Christmas (instead of exciting adult things like clothing or money) I tended to ask for and receive specifics, including my mom straight up double-checking "this is what you want, right?" a couple of times throughout the years.
My parents don't know the first thing about gaming and don't take any interest. We do lists in our family, but I'm pretty sure that if they had to get me a game blind, my mum knows that I'd be totally fine if she got me FIFA or Madden for Christmas, and my dad would definitely get me Madden. Being into a sport makes it easier, I suppose.
I'm mostly just asking for money this year, just dropped £1,500 on a new gaming PC.
Closest thing to me getting a game that I wanted was when an uncle got me an NES when I was a kid.
My mom would never get me a video game for Christmas and on the off chance she did get me a game, it's whatever was in the bargain bin at JC Penny. Sometimes, I'd luck out and get something like Blaster Master. Mostly it was games like Friday the 13th.
When I was older, my dad would take me to Comp USA so I'd come home with things I wanted. Stunt Island, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Wing Commander 3.
My girlfriend won't buy me games, video or board as I get what I want as it comes out. But she'll put together awesome game related packages for me. Her mom has gotten me Steam cards and probably wondered what exactly a game about Steam would be like...
I chose 100% because back when I was young and had no money of my own my mom was on point with the games. Always got me the good ones, even without needing to ask.
Now that I'm older, parents buying me a game wouldn't factor into anything ever. So props to my mom for when I was a child, hell ya mom.
I said 90% because there's always a chance of error, but my mom has a pretty solid track record despite not being a game person. I'm sure Santa lists helped, but she also just paid attention to what we watched and played.
She tried to find a copy of Silent Bomber on PS1 one year. While she never found it, she didn't let the store clerks convince her I had actually meant Silent Hill (or Silent Scope, or Bomberman, etc). Its a minor thing, but having personally been on the clerk end of "parents horribly misinterpreting game titles" I'm kind of amazed she didn't have that issue for my obscure Japanese PS1 game. She also got me a Virtual Boy (on steep discount) and somehow managed to get the only good game for it (Wario Land).
My parents hate games, as does the majority of my family, and they think that, on some level, I'm a bad person for liking them. That having been said, there's absolutely no chance whatsoever they would get me a game I would like. They probably wouldn't get me a game to begin with, but if they did, they would probably just choose at random some game from the litany of shovelware garbage for a console I don't even own.
When it came to games, I'd always write down what my brother and I wanted. It made it easier on my parents. "This is the name of the game, This is the system we have. Just bring this to the Best Buy employee and they'll help you."
I remember one year, I think it was 2000 when Red Alert 2 came out. I knew that the game came with a four-CD collection of the music of the Command and Conquer series. I opened the CD collection first and my mom tried to play it off like that's what she thought I had wanted or it had been the only thing available (I forget what she said exactly). Needless to say, the next gift I opened was the one shaped like a PC game box, and it had Red Alert 2 in it.
She'd probably cut out the middle man and give me a gift card or cash to put towards a game to avoid any mistakes. I think she'd do alright on her own, though... she only plays Diner Dash style games, but she's picked up a lot through osmosis. Where I think she'd get lost is figuring out what I would actually want, what I don't already own, etc.
I haven't actually received a game for Christmas in almost twenty years, though, haha. But when I was a kid, surprisingly both my mom and grandparents were pretty good with game selections despite clearly not being in their element. I'll still never figure out how my anti-games-that-aren't-the-two-or-three-he-actually-likes grandfather homed in on Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition in 1997 in the middle of a game-laden computer show (without me ever mentioning that Duke 3D was my obsession for the past year), but he absolutely nailed it.
On the opposite end, my mom did end up buying me... I think it was Rollcage... which, and I don't blame her one bit for this, required a 3D accelerator. Any teens reading this, know that 3D accelerators (video cards) were still a new thing, and the vast majority of games would still run without one. I think Rollcage was one of the first to demand an accelerator full stop. But yeah, that box taunted me for a couple years. I've still never played Rollcage. I should, just to see.
I remember the year the Xbox 360 came out, I snooped through my parent's closet and saw a copy of the Xbox version of the Harry Potter Quidditch game so I was convinced I was getting an Xbox 360 or at least an Xbox. Come Christmas, I open my gifts only to find out my mom bought me the game thinking it was for the computer and there was no console. It was a letdown, but I got to trade the game with some classmates after the break so it worked out.
When I was a kid, I managed to get myself to the mall and snag the last copy of Captain America and the Avengers for the Genesis.
My mother found me playing it with a friend and got angry. Come to find out, we bought a copy that was supposed to be on hold for her. So I paid for and played my Christmas gift about a month early.
More recently, my wife got me a haul of games before we had kids. I'm not going to remember all of them, but it included Resident Evil 4 and Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube and Beyond Good and Evil and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on the Xbox.
Another year, when we were dating ('99? '00?), my wife imported Virtual Pro Wrestling 2 on the N64 for me. I've played a bunch of that game with my kids in recent years...
My earliest gaming Christmas gift memory is far less rosey than the homeruns above. My grandparents got me a copy of ET for the 2600. I played it a bunch, but was more mystified by it than anything else. I think I knew it was bad, but it was fascinating, too.
@notnert427: you have selected POWER DRIVE!!!!!
My mom was nearly always on point with me when it came to games but I 90% informed her of what I wanted anyway. There was the year I got a Game Gear out of the blue along with a couple games (Sonic and that golden axe game I recall); still very much appreciated the hell out of it.
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