People have different feelings when it comes to gift cards - some love them, some hate them. The majority of people that I know love them because it allows the recipient to get exactly what they want, or at least contribute to the cost. There are people that don't like gift cards and the main reason is that they feel they are a thoughtless gift, and to be honest, I can see that point (the expression on little Jimmy's face when he opens a gift to find a gift card certainly isn't going to be the same as if it were a game itself).
With that in mind, gamers can be one of the toughest groups of people to buy for; you may not know exactly what types of games a person likes, and if you do know that you might not know what games they already own. It makes it tough to give. If you've been looking for just the perfect gift for a special gamer its time to stop putting it off and just buy a gift card. Face it, the holiday is literally here. Another point to consider is that a lot of major retailers carry plenty of games and accessories (like Target, Walmart, Blockbuster and Best Buy) in addition to video game specific stores. You can also get platform specific cards, like a Microsoft Points card for gamers with an Xbox 360, and so-forth.
Having a passion to play and keeping a collection of video games is not cheap. Toss away the notion that gift cards are thoughtless - they might be exactly what your friend or loved one needs this year.