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Cheap stylus gifts that aren't really styli

Eric Caoili

Gaming sites are inundated with holiday gift guides at the end of the year, listing the best and most popular games that everyone pretty much already has (or knows about). Well, we're not going in for that this year. Our gift guide will help you find the best gifts in categories the other sites won't cover -- because we just made them up.

My secret addiction -- the one that has me wearing only long-sleeved shirts and brushing my teeth before coming home, all to hide its telling signs -- is stylus collecting. I can't get enough of these pen-shaped bits of plastic; I'm cuckoo for them, you could say. Every time I make a Play Asia purchase or collect a preorder bonus, I feel like I've lost another part of me, another vital fragment I'll never have again. I don't know what it feels like to be alive anymore.

I've long moved on from conventional styli, using anything I can get my anxious, shaking hands on, the crazier the better. How else do you think I managed to put together this gift guide for alternative styli? Thumb styli, extendable styli, styli with colorful mascots on them -- you name it, I've tried every single one of them, and they don't do a damn thing for me anymore. Forget about those nonsense accessories and read on for my NSFW roundup of styli presents that will change your life ... for the worse. Joys be thine, suckas.

Q-tips cotton swabs
I've noticed a disturbing trend lately at my local movie theatre. The past couple times I've driven over to see a film, I've spotted at least one discarded Q-tip in the parking lot. What kind of person just leaves a used Q-tip in a public area like that? What if someone were to trip and accidentally land face-first on it? And why not clean your ears out at home instead of waiting until two minutes before you go in to see Beowulf?! Also, Beowulf is a horrible movie -- was it really worth cleaning your ears for?

Uh, anyway, here are three reasons why a Q-tip makes for a great stylus:

  1. The soft cotton at the end ensures that it won't scratch up the DS's touchscreen
  2. Because of its revolutionary dual-tipped design, either side of the stick can be used
  3. You can buy a pack of 500 Q-tips for only $4.50, give one to your friend as a gift, then keep the rest for yourself

Jackhammer Jesus (NSFW)

No need for a lengthy back story on why I have one of these; let's just move on to the four reasons why you should consider this potential stylus as a gift:
  1. If you pay an extra dollar, you can get one that glows in the dark
  2. Left on your coffee table, Jackhammer Jesus makes for an interesting conversation piece
  3. It can be used to scare away bloodthirsty vampires
  4. It can be used to attract sexy vampires
Conversely, four reasons why you shouldn't give this to anyone as a present:
  1. Priced at $60, it isn't actually cheap at all
  2. A girthy, silicone dildo isn't an effective stylus
  3. It is offensive to everyone
  4. Jesus died for your sins

Golf tee
I needed a tame follow-up to Jackhammer Jesus, so here you go. Unlike all of the other suggestions in my guide, this one actually seems sensible. Just don't expect to score with any vampire girls using golf tees as a substitute stylus.

Protip: You can also use the plastic spikes from the peg games that decorate every table at Cracker Barrel. They're pretty much the same thing as golf tees, except you can arrange them by color on a peg board while you sip some sweet tea and wait for your dinner.

Monster in my Pocket
NES cart

Hey, remember Konami's Monster in My Pocket, based on the miniature monster figures of the same name? It was a pretty decent co-op brawler back in the day, but you can use it now as a not-so-decent stylus! Just pop the NES game out of its black sleeve and use one of the cartridge's corners with your DS to tap and gesture all you want. The best part? With the cart's four corners, it's like having four styli in one package!

A cat

Eight more

Not satisfied with any of those genius stylus solutions? Maybe one of these eight additional suggestions is what you're looking for. I know that they helped me out when I was hard up for cash and needed something to ease the jitters for just a little bit.
  1. Dulled toothpick
  2. Your elbow
  3. Chair leg
  4. Joe*
  5. Cursed monkey paw
  6. Capri Sun straw
  7. Tire pressure gauge
  8. Plastic trim on the end of a shoelace

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