Fathers’ Day Gift Ideas
By Chad Benoist
Its that time of year again when dad jokes, Hawaiian shirts, and grills emerge to announce the start of summer, but also the arrival of Fathers' Day. A single question that several ask themselves every year, along with my wife and children, is what does a father want for the day that celebrates the man or men of the house? Our generation is the first to emerge as not only fathers, but also life long gamers. This expands the possibilities past the traditional tie, coffee mug, or new BBQ tongs. So here is a list of gifts to give a father figure in your life or if you just really need to drop a suggestion to those who may be buying for you.
Lego Star Wars - The Skywalker Sage - If you ever feel like you aren't the best parent, at least you didn't cut your son's, at least we hope not. Few things scream "I am your father" than battling through the main 9 episodes with your little padawans. Lego Star Wars games have always been know for their humor and easy playability making this a very family friendly game. Best yet this is not a remake, but a new game from the ground up so there will be new challenges ahead for everyone. May the NDads, I mean force be with you. (Switch, PS, Xbox, and PC)
Stardew Valley - If you have not had the opportunity to play this gem of a farming-life sim, now is a great opportunity. The game centers around you growing tired of corporate life and moving to a small quit community where you take over the family farm your grandfather started. Talk about continuing a legacy. In the town there are twelve single residents for you to mingle and develop relationships with. Once established you can marry and digital children of your own. Don't worry, you don't have to fork out for allowances. Single or Multiplayer. (Switch, Xbox, PS, PC, and mobile)
Power Wash Simulator by Skyhook Games- Admit it, at some point you wrote your name on the sidewalk with a pressure washer, haven't you? Now you and your little helpers can clean to your hearts content as you clean everything from houses, sidewalks, and even monster trucks. A casual mode allows you to clean to just destress and have fun or a business mode where you can create a cleaning empire. You can either go it alone or with up to five others players. Lets wash away that boredom. (Xbox, PC, and soon for PS)
Lawn Mowing Simulator - What does a guy do if the lawn is already mowed and you just need to scratch that lawn mowing itch? Jump into the virtual world and mow virtual grass of course! Choose between real life and licensed mower brands such as Toro and STIGA. The game offers a sandbox mode if you just want to veg out and relax or build a business from the bottom up. Don't let the rain or the cost of a zero turn mower keep you from laying down those perfect stripes. (Xbox, PS, and PC)
Super Mario Party - One of the few games that will either bring your family together or start a fight. If you have never played a Mario Party game before this is a good starting point. Pick your favorite Mario Bros charter and play on four different game boards, each very different and interactive. The rules are simple for even younger players to learn, and there are tons of mini-games to add variety and adds to re-playability. Each player only needs a single joy-con to play, which you can swipe from another Switch or pick up a second pair at your favorite retailer. Just make sure those straps are around the smaller players wrist. (Switch)
Pokémon Series (Sword & Shield, Diamond & Peral, Let's Go Pikachu & Eevee, Arceus) - This was the series that honestly started my children down the path of video games. In the 25 years Pokémon has existed, untold numbers of children have grown up collecting, training, and battling their way to become a regions champion. One of the rare games that everyone from 4 to 104 can enjoy. Simple gameplay ensures that younger players are not left out and battles along with finishing your Pokédex allows older players to still enjoy the game. Trading and battles also give you the opportunity to play and interact with your own children. Then one day you too can have the pride that I did the first time one of my children swept me without mercy in the arena. (Switch)
Retro Consoles and Games - In recent years video game collecting has brought the nostalgia of childhood back to many of us. Even the smallest of towns now have a retro video game store, even if there isn't one nearby, the internet has opened the possibility of re-discovering the games you played as a child. It also gives you the opportunity to share the games you loved as a child with your own children.
Merchandise - Video games have hit an all-time high with nearly everyone. With the popularity of Mario and games such as Animal Crossing, you would hard pressed to not find a t-shirt or desk decoration of your favorite game. Stores such as Target and Box Lunch consistently stock clothing and other items to decorate your man-cave or yourself.
In-honor of Dad - A unique idea that my family has started was sparked out of my own sadness. My father passed away seven years ago and every year still brings back memories. While my father never picked up a controller in his life he did play Duck-Hunt and Hogan's Alley with me. If you no longer have your father in your life due to them passing you can still honor him by purchasing a gift for another father. Rather that person is a mentor to you, or someone who is a father-to-be. One of the best parts of being a father is honestly making others happy. This can give you an opportunity to pass along the happiness just as your father would have passed along happiness to you.
At the end of the day we are going to be happy with whatever our kids give us. It doesn't matter if it's a Pokémon game or a picture of what you think could be a Pikachu. It is always the small things that make being a Dad worth being a Dad. Hopefully this list can help yourself or your family if you needed ideas this year. From a group of Dads who love video games to you, Happy Fathers' Day and happy gaming.
Author BIO - Chad is a Father of three and stated he is "a lucky husband". He has played video games since Christmas at age five. When not playing games he enjoys reading, gardening in real life, among other things.
Thanks, Chad, for your contributions and for this article!