Holiday Gift Guide: Steam

Holiday Gift Guide: Steam

I am addicted to my computer, I do everything with it!  I love gaming on PCs because there are tens of thousands of titles to choose from, but all of that can make it hard to find one good game for someone you love.  Where do you begin? What do you need to know?  Are you starting to hyperventilate?  OK, calm down, I am here to help!

When it comes to PC gamers, you have two major types, hardcore, and casual.  Depending on your loved one’s type, we need to address different things.  Casual games run on a variety of machines, and don’t normally require a blazing fast super-beast.  Hardcore games are typically titles that push a computer’s processing limits, offering graphics that often supersede current home consoles.  Does your loved one like casual games?  Then you should head over HERE, and read Lindsey’s Casual Gaming Gift Guide!

Alright, still with me?  Good, let’s move on!


The first thing you need to know before even attempting to select a game for someone, is what kind of system do they use.  Lucky for you, I can help, without glazing your eyes. 🙂  To know what kind of games to get, you can find this system info in a few easy clicks. 

First, to know the CPU and RAM, go to “My Computer” (or “Computer” in the Start Menu), right click and select “Properties”.  This should bring up an easy to read box with the CPU speed and type, as well as how much RAM the computer has, WRITE THIS DOWN.

Now you just need to find out what kind of Graphics Card they are running.  No worries, for this is simple too!  Right click on the desktop and select “Screen Resolution”(Windows 7), or “Properties” (Win XP, you will have to navigate to the Display Resolution tab).  Once the Display Resolution window is up, click on the “Advanced Settings” link.  POOF!  It should display a box with the GPU Series!  Don’t get too excited, you still have to write this down!(of course, you can always ask them for this info, but why spoil the surprise)

Now that you know what kind of system they are using, you can easily find software that can run on their machine.  Every game will have a System Requirements section written on the package, or displayed at the bottom of the store page on Steam.  CPU and RAM are easy enough to compare, but what about these numbers for a graphics card?  A quick Google search for the series number can tell you the card specs.  Don’t bother trying to decipher the tech jargon, just look for the Direct X number.  For most newer titles, you are going to want a card that can do DX 9 or higher, preferably at least DX 10.

If that last paragraph just glazed your eyes over, but you have to buy a game online, just email me (, and I will help you figure it out.  ^_^

I usually think of PC gaming as a mature audience, so please check the ratings if you are buying for your children.  These titles should be fine for older teenagers, but read reviews or watch gameplay videos on YouTube.  It’s up to you to decide what is right for your kids!

Now, with that out of the way, on to my selections!  


Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Penumbra

If you have a loved one that appreciates a good scare flick, then these games are perfect! In my opinion, these are some of the scariest games I have ever played.  From a first-person perspective, players use real-time physics to manipulate the environment to solve numerous puzzles, finding clues, and unraveling the horrible events that took place.  These are for the true fans of horror!  Amnesia was just released in September for $19.99, or for the same price, you can score the entire Penumbra saga!  Either way, they are sure to be happy with this one! 



If you haven’t seen anything about Blur, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!?

In all seriousness though, Blur is one hell of a great racing experience!  Photo-realistic environments, over 55 licensed vehicles, advanced damaging effects, power-ups, wow, Wow, WOW!  Still not convinced?  Read Chris’s review HERE!


Other Ideas

If you are still having trouble figuring out the perfect PC gamer gift, try checking their Steam Wish List to see what they really want!  Steam also offers a huge assortment of games for under $10.  Browse HERE, and save some money!  Or check Steam for sales, they are sure to have good deals for the holidays!

I hope my guide has been helpful, if you need any help figuring out what to get, or if it will work, just contact me and I will do my best to sort things out! ^_^

<happy holidays!>

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