It’s been ten years since the midnight I liberated a chair from the Pentagon City food court and parked myself in front of the Electronics Boutique.
For the Sega Dreamcast.
A revolutionary console at the time, it had the unfortunate timing of being released within a year of the PlayStation 2’s North American release. It really heralded the dawn of Online Connectivity. It shipped with a modem and I eventually upgraded mine to an Ethernet module. Now it’s hard to imagine a modern console without an online component.
But there I was, lined up in a food court with about a hundred or so other people. Then midnight came and the line was processed entirely within a couple of hours. I came away with the Dreamcast itself, a copy of Soul Calibur and the Sonic game, a Visual Memory Unit and a second controller for Soul Calibur. I have some fond, fond memories of Soul Calibur.
Sonic, not so much.
Waiting in line for midnight launch of a a new piece of hardware was just one of those things I did when I was in my mid twenties. Now, it’s not something I’d do again, like sleeping on the street for the release of a movie.
With video games, I feel like I’m not that crazy, although there are friends of mine who will disagree. These are the same friends who, thankfully have not scheduled an intervention.
Sometimes, when I look at the receipts from those days, I wish they had.