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Amazon

11 Brilliant Gifts for the Gamer in Your Life

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Amazon

Tis the season to raid castles, avoid ghosts, build worlds, and save the princess. Treat that special someone who enjoys the occasional escape from reality to these 11 gifts.

1. MINECRAFT THINK GEEK WALL TORCH; $15

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Officially licensed by the makers of the widely popular game Minecraft, this battery-powered collectible is a working lamp that can be stationed on a desk or hang on a wall, just like the real deal. Non-crafters may think it’s strange, but your gamer will love the semi-obscure reference.

Find it: Amazon


2. CAPPER GUN BOTTLE OPENER; $20

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Vintage gamers often reflect fondly on the days of tethered controllers and specialty accessories like the NES Zapper. The iconic beam gun has been modeled into a handy bottle opener for the now-legal duck hunters and button mashers by the folks at Ink Whiskey, who made a range of game-related products.

Find it: Ink Whiskey


3. NES CARTRIDGE FLASK; $20

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These Nintendo game cartridge-shaped flasks were made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign. Present your loved one with a vintage, parody product that's as functional as it is funny. It's also a great ice breaker at parties.

Find it: Ink Whiskey


4. XBOX LIVE 12-MONTH GOLD MEMBERSHIP; $45

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Even after your giftee owns a game, they will need a way to play with others. Get them situated for an entire year of uninterrupted online play with this membership to the gaming community. Bonus: They'll also get discounts on games in the Xbox store.

Find it: Amazon


5. GAMEBOY COFFEE MUG; $15


Give your favorite gamer their fill of nostalgia with this handmade, ceramic mug. The detailed kitchenware is also available in other themes, including The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, and Pokemon.

Find it: Etsy


6. GETTING GAMERS: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF VIDEO GAMES AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE PEOPLE WHO PLAY THEM; $28 



Everyone likes to read about their own subculture. Help your giftee dig into the ‘whos’ and ‘whys’ of their hobby with this 320-page deep dive into the world of gaming.

Find it: Amazon


7. PLAYSTATION 4 1TB CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 3 BUNDLE; $530

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Call of Duty Black Ops 3 was the “biggest entertainment launch of 2015” with over $550 million in sales in three days. Splurge on this terabyte of harddrive space and cool limited edition console.

Find it: Amazon


8. HALO MASTER CHIEF HELMET; $136

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It’s not the Swarovski crystal-encrusted custom charity piece that recently sold for $34,000, but these PVC masks with LED lights are still pretty cool. The listing says that it will fit most adult and kid heads, so Halo fans big and small can cosplay as the popular character.

Find it: Amazon


9. SPACE INVADERS CUTTING BOARD; $125

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Very few games are as iconic as Space Invaders. Boost the cred of your friend’s kitchen with this custom cutting board, handcrafted from walnut and hard maple, wood glue, mineral oil, and beeswax. The seller makes other game-related wood pieces, including Megaman boards and Zelda coasters.

Find it: Etsy


10. ZEISS VR ONE VIRTUAL REALITY HEADSET; $120

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The future is augmented reality and 3D gaming. There are already hundreds of VR apps and games in the App Store and the Google Play store, and as the technology advances there will be tons more, so do your buddy a favor and get them in on the ground floor this holiday season.

Find it: B&H Photo Video


11. DIY GAMER KIT; $98

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Gaming and coding often go hand-in-hand with techies. When normal store-bought games are not enough, introduce them to the world of DIY gaming with this kit. It comes soldered or unsoldered, so it’s on you to know just how much of the physical labor your friend can handle.

Find it: Tech Will Save Us

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Big Questions
Why Do Baseball Managers Wear Uniforms?
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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Basketball and hockey coaches wear business suits on the sidelines. Football coaches wear team-branded shirts and jackets and often ill-fitting pleated khakis. Why are baseball managers the only guys who wear the same outfit as their players?

According to John Thorn, the official historian of Major League Baseball since 2011, it goes back to the earliest days of the game. Back then, the person known as the manager was the business manager: the guy who kept the books in order and the road trips on schedule. Meanwhile, the guy we call the manager today, the one who arranges the roster and decides when to pull a pitcher, was known as the captain. In addition to managing the team on the field, he was usually also on the team as a player. For many years, the “manager” wore a player’s uniform simply because he was a player. There were also a few captains who didn’t play for the team and stuck to making decisions in the dugout, and they usually wore suits.

With the passing of time, it became less common for the captain to play, and on most teams they took on strictly managerial roles. Instead of suits proliferating throughout America’s dugouts, though, non-playing captains largely hung on to the tradition of wearing a player's uniform. By the early to mid 20th century, wearing the uniform was the norm for managers, with a few notable exceptions. The Philadelphia Athletics’s Connie Mack and the Brooklyn Dodgers’s Burt Shotton continued to wear suits and ties to games long after it fell out of favor (though Shotton sometimes liked to layer a team jacket on top of his street clothes). Once those two retired, it’s been uniforms as far as the eye can see.

The adherence to the uniform among managers in the second half of the 20th century leads some people to think that MLB mandates it, but a look through the official major league rules [PDF] doesn’t turn up much on a manager’s dress. Rule 1.11(a) (1) says that “All players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in color, trim and style, and all players’ uniforms shall include minimal six-inch numbers on their backs" and rule 2.00 states that a coach is a "team member in uniform appointed by the manager to perform such duties as the manager may designate, such as but not limited to acting as base coach."

While Rule 2.00 gives a rundown of the manager’s role and some rules that apply to them, it doesn’t specify that they’re uniformed. Further down, Rule 3.15 says that "No person shall be allowed on the playing field during a game except players and coaches in uniform, managers, news photographers authorized by the home team, umpires, officers of the law in uniform and watchmen or other employees of the home club." Again, nothing about the managers being uniformed.

All that said, Rule 2.00 defines the bench or dugout as “the seating facilities reserved for players, substitutes and other team members in uniform when they are not actively engaged on the playing field," and makes no exceptions for managers or anyone else. While the managers’ duds are never addressed anywhere else, this definition does seem to necessitate, in a roundabout way, that managers wear a uniform—at least if they want to have access to the dugout. And, really, where else would they sit?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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This Just In
Mattel Unveils New Uno Edition for Colorblind Players
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Mattel

On the heels of International Colorblind Awareness Day, Mattel, which owns Uno, announced it would be unveiling a colorblind-friendly edition of the 46-year-old card game.

The updated deck is a collaboration with ColorADD, a global organization for colorblind accessibility and education. In place of its original color-dependent design, this new Uno will feature a small symbol next to each card's number that corresponds with its intended primary color.

As The Verge points out, Mattel is not actually the first to invent a card game for those with colorblindness. But this inclusive move is still pivotal: According to Fast Co. Design, Uno is currently the most popular noncollectible card game in the world. And with access being extended to the 350 million people globally and 13 million Americans who are colorblind, the game's popularity is sure to grow.

Mattel unveils color-friendly Uno deck
Mattel

[h/t: The Verge

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