4. Ugly Christmas Sweater
Ugly Christmas sweaters have somehow become a thing, despite the fact that nobody has un-ironically worn a Christmas sweater since the Reagan administration. But don't let that stop you from failing to grasp the concept of irony and fashion with this Nintendo Light Up Sweater Vest, which came into existence when an NES gained sentience and fucked a Christmas village.
Or maybe you'd prefer the Yoda Christmas sweater, because Yoda is a character that is not known for being associated with Christmas, and dressing him up like he does is therefore comedic. Or how about Batman and Superman? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Reindeer threesome? That last one doesn't really have anything to do with nerd culture, aside from being indicative of the sense of what can generously be called humor that the worst nerds enjoy. Again, someone has to actually be doing the thing you're mocking in order for it to be funny. Otherwise you're just the asshole who showed up to a party wearing an animal orgy.
3. Anime Mousepads
If geekdom were a high school, anime would be that one kid who kept getting in trouble for masturbating in class and trying to setup a camera in the girl's locker room. It's an unfair reputation, but mousepads with boobs aren't helping. Buying one is how you tell the world that you've never spoken to an actual woman, and gifting one is how you tell your friend that you think he's going to die alone.
It doesn't help that there are dozens of different erotic mousepads, and that on most of them the girls look embarrassed to be there. There are mousepads where the girls are completely topless, like this Tifa Lockheart mousepad for Final Fantasy VII fans who always wanted to feel their favourite character's nipples while she looks at you in profound disappointment. Or rest your wrist on the semen coated ass of a character from Tiger and Bunny, a sci-fi anime series noted for its strong character design and excellent use of CGI, not the fuckability of its leads. "Give a huge surprise to your friends" indeed - the surprise gift of introducing them to the lonely world of sexual deviancy.
"This is demeaning us both."
If that's not perverted enough for you there's always an anime cat with tits, or one of the many mousepads featuring underage girls for the sex offender in training. They enforce pretty much every awful stereotype about nerds imaginable, and are horribly misogynistic to boot, so naturally they're tagged as potential Christmas gifts. It's good that people who use their mousepads to masturbate have friends, I guess.
You'd think all 1769 results wouldn't be sexual. You'd be wrong.
2. Bitcoin Miner
Bitcoins are what you get when you want to use real money to buy fake money to buy drugs and child pornography. Bitcoin miners are what you get when you want to use a lot of real money to maybe get a lot of fake money, if people with even more real money than you don't beat you to earning all the fake money first.
I'm not going to explain precisely how bitcoins work, because I don't have the requisite computer science degree and you don't have the requisite lack of better things to read about. But bitcoin miners basically allow you to earn bitcoins by solving complex math problems, assuming your bitcoin miner doesn't catch fire and explode from all the heat it's generating. They can cost anywhere from less than one hundred bucks to over three grand, giving people of all financial backgrounds the chance to sink real money into a highly speculative bubble currency with no intrinsic value.
It's easy to see how this could end up under a nerd's Christmas tree, because it's a high-tech Internet innovation that's been all over the news, and may or may not be the start of a financial revolution depending on how many libertarian bumper stickers the person you ask has. But think about the logic of giving people real currency in exchange for a device that lets you earn a pretend currency that apparently isn't valuable enough to be worth those people just keeping their devices and earning the fake currency for themselves. I don't want to start a debate on bitcoins, because they're an interesting idea and could very well end up being useful, but maybe let them sort out the kinks before you give the gift of something that might end up being worth less than Monopoly money.
1. Phone Fingers
Do you use your phone a lot? Are your hands constantly slathered in grease? Do you enjoy looking like an idiot? Then you might be the luckily recipient of Phone Fingers, the gloves that helps people who haven't heard of screen cleaning and basic hygiene avoid smudging their phone.
Phone Fingers come in several styles, including Ugly, Uglier and BDSM. "Even Paris likes them," we're told, although it's not clear if they're referring to Paris Hilton or Paris, France, which is unfortunate because that would shift my opinion dramatically. If I were living my life like Paris Hilton I would have been written out of a lucrative will and been the star of a terrible sex tape, but the entire population of a cultural capital can't be wrong.
The original name of "finger condoms" did poorly in focus groups.
If you need to protect your smartphone but don't enjoy looking like an extra in a porn parody of THX 1138 you can get the "essential accessory for your touch screen advice" known as "mittens." They guard against smudges, and as a bonus they keep your fingers warm. Holy shit, how has nobody thought of something like that before?
The company that sells Phone Fingers also sells screen guards, which seems like a tacit admission that even they think their products are ridiculous. But if you want to perpetuate stereotypes about nerds having no sense of fashion and are also under the impression that your geeky friends don't have hands that work like those of normal people, consider your Christmas shopping done.
Previously by Mark Hill: