I got my niece the comic Bone that got a fairly good rating from parents who didn't sound terrified at the idea their children would one day have to interact with the real world. So far, she's enjoyed it, though since she's six, it's fairly slow going with getting her still for long; she tends to associate reading with bedtime and while she loves reading at bedtime, she finds it slightly surreal to attempt at five in the afternoon.
It looks cute, though.
Okay, for gamers.
My mom loves The Legend of Zelda type games. She's good at them, and at pretty much any strategy/puzzle game. But she has this quirk that makes me kind of want to strangle her. If she thinks it's too complicated, she won't bother, which is how we lost her on Final Fantasy despite the fact the game might as well have said Jenn's Mom's Ideal Game.
Zelda always tricked her by looking simple at first, and by the time she was trading weapons and mapping tunnels on graph paper in three dimensions (One day ask me about our first Nintendo; five hours every Saturday and every Sunday, with me and my sisters with graph paper, pencils, maps and *color coding* monsters), she was a junkie, so--
I need a rec on a game that either looks simple at first and then once you get your two hits, it starts destroying your soul. I want the heroin of the gameworld that sucks you in. But preferably heroin that looks a lot like pixie dust.
If I could pull it off, I'd throw her at World of Warcraft so hard she'd see stars. She's one of those people that looks kind of mediocre and lousy and way too anal at first and seems to do nothing but wander over five screens for days and make obscure markings on paper, and then you wake up one day and your mother has like, moved eighty thousand levels ahead of you, found all the magic swords, and just finished killing the big monster without checking the user's guide, then blinks at you innocently and wanders off the play solitaire. And you look down at five notebooks, colored highlighers, three pencils, multicolored pens, and some kind of obscure altar to the god of video games and remmber, again, why you aren't supposed to bet a week of dishwashing.
*sighs* Birthdays for parents. Hard. Gah.
ETA: ACK! Sorry! We have currently Nintendo GameCube, Playstation 2, er, somewhere a Nintendo Gameboy, two PCs. She'd probably vaguely prefer PC, but for something good, I can get onto anything.