**Guest post by William**
I have always been something of a video game geek, but I have also been something of a late adopter to the technology. I am generally at least one step behind the latest thing, and if I do “bite the bullet” and decide to get whatever the top model is, it is almost a certainty that the company is about to replace that model with something new, almost immediately.
I am now looking at getting a Nintendo DS Lite. I have a daily commute of 1½ to 2½ hours each way, and I can only spend so much time reading or doing crosswords. I like the portable aspect of it, the ability to play games in short intervals if need be, and I have no desire to watch movies on a very small screen, which is the selling point of the DS-L’s closest rival, the PSP. I can also share it with my kids when I’m not using it, since they are video game fans as well.
In late November, I had pretty much reached the decision to buy. There was even a bundle package that came with a game I was interested in (Legend of Zelda – Phantom Hourglass) and a special gold-coloured version of the DS-L itself. By the time I made it to the store in early December, however, they were sold out of the bundle. “We’re getting more, soon” they told me, and I believed them. I decided to just buy one of the regular DS-L systems. “We’re out of those too,” was the response.
Still no DS-L units on the shelves.
Major retail chains would advertise the DS-L for that weekend’s sale, and I would either call or visit them as soon as they opened. “We haven’t gotten the shipment yet, so call back later.”
The Zelda bundle? “Oh, that was just a limited edition release, you’ll never see those again.” What about eBay? “Buy-It-Now price: $225US”
I finally got one store to issue a rain-check to sell me a DS-L at the advertised price, if/when they get them in. “Try in mid-February.”
It turns out there is a shortage everywhere, which is ridiculous: This is technology that has been available for at least two years at this point (four, if you count the DS itself), and Nintendo still can’t make enough of them to keep up with the demand?
Why do I bother? Well, there’s the “addiction” thing again: I have actually started buying games. I’ve seen deals on new games, deals on used . . . heck, I even bid on several on eBay this weekend! (2 successfully)
I’m even considering buying a couple of DS-L units that have different things wrong with them, and building one good one out of the pieces.
7aki just laughs at my obsession. Bob has suggested that it would be a disaster if I ever actually buy one. His rationale? This gives me a reason to get up each morning, and something to strive for, a goal. If I actually buy the DS-L, then what will be my purpose?
Bob also thinks I should get an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 instead, at 4 or 5 times the cost, since they are more grown-up options. Of course, carrying the TV and power generator with me on the bus is the main obstacle to that plan, since this is supposed to be for commuting purposes.
And the worst of it? There is a stigma attached with being so fascinated with “children’s games”. I suppose I could take up smoking or gambling, so that my obsessions were more adult . . .