Friday, November 17, 2006

Video game craziness

While some of my peers in the soldier-in-Iraq-with-a-blog business cover hard-hitting news stories like the shift of power on Capital Hill, I tend to favor less publicized yet just as worthy subjects. Today's post is a perfect example.

Video games are something that everyone in almost any walk of life is familiar with. The younger generation has grown up with Nintendo, Sega and Sony PlayStation. The older generation had Atari and other ancient forms of pixelated pleasure. Even the oldest of folks have had their lives touched by video games - maybe by walking the aisles at your local Best Buy trying to pick up that hot new title your grandchildren have on their Christmas wish list. Well, with another holiday season upon us, video games are once again a hot commodity. This holiday season is seeing an unusually high amount of video game lust, thanks to the launch of two new gaming systems - the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. I've seen a few articles on the national scene covering the legions of dedicated fans of both systems literally camping out in front of their local electronics retailers in hopes of getting their pasty white hands on these hot new gaming systems. The Nintendo system is looking to have larger launch numbers of their system (meaning more Wiis will be produced and available for purchase) thus making them desirable, but not quite as frighteningly desirable as the PlayStation 3. Camping out in front of the local Best Buy or Wal-Mart for a new gaming system is nothing new. However, I think the dedication, shortage of PS3's available (which has sometimes led to violence) and passion displayed by some fans is unprecedented. A man in Connecticut was actually shot while waiting in line for his own PS3. I read this article today in the Lincoln Journal-Star about local Lincolnites who are camping out at Best Buy for the new system, and couldn't help but chuckle after reading this paragraph.

Back a few tents, 43-year-old Chris Wear was crossing fingers. He had not realized until 10:30 Wednesday night that people were already camped outside of Best Buy.“I was like, ‘Oh crap,’” he said. “I threw everything in the vehicle and ran out the house.”He arrived 36th in line. The rumor was that Best Buy had only 34 systems to sell, but that six more might be arriving Thursday night.

Wow. In most cases you would hope that a 43-year-old man would be doing other, more important things than camping out in front of the local electronics store for a gaming system - say maybe working for a living to support his family, or something like that. I would like to think that he is showing this dedication in order to suprise his children with an unexpected Christmas score, but I get the impression this is more likely the sad story of a man with nothing more exciting in his life than the launch of a new PlayStation. My only hope is that 20 years from now you all won't be reading my name in the Journal-Star as some crazed fan waitin for the latest and greatest technology.

Note: I don't know the aformentioned Chris Wear, so Chris if you read this understand I'm not trying to poke fun or question your priorities. I'm just trying to make a point and write a compelling story.

3 comments:

Beans said...

Have you played Kane's game yet, Black Hawk Down? AWESOME. I spent most of my day today playing it.

Nicki Picky said...

I have a Super Nintendo on my Christmas list...that's how awesome I am...who needs a PS3...old school games are so much better!

Sack said...

Hammer,
You aren't the only one covering this release. Drudge had at least 5 articles on his website on the PS3, the most of any topic. So you are in good company.