Friday, December 01, 2006

Dual Screens, double the dorkiness

Last weekend I purchased the Nintendo DS, my first game system in 14 years. I popped in the game cartridge and had flashbacks of the days when I spent all my time with my equally nerdy friends playing video games and reading comic books.

And I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t more of a chick magnet.

While I unwrapped my DS, I was surrounded by a roomful of people watching a friend play the latest iteration of Grand Theft Auto on the PS2. While everyone else was shouting out advice on how to chase down a pimp or gun down passing whores, I played math and verbal games on Brain Age.

It occurred to me that I’m not the neo-punk cool nerd type that plays first-person shooters on the next-gen game consoles. No, I’m the non-threatening old-school nerd that no one would ever confuse as cool.

That’s okay. I’m not the only one. Nintendo is definitely seeking out a different audience for their game systems than Sony or Microsoft. A few nights ago I caught a commercial for an XBox 360 game, (I’m guessing) Gears of War, wherein a live-action actor in a futuristic Aliens-esque soldier outfit runs around in post-Apocalyptic ruins and shoots at a half-cyborg dog and its master, an alien soldier. Nice.

Then I saw a commercial for the Nintendo Wii, featuring a suburban living room with the parents and kids playing sports-themed games with the new interactive controller. The focus was definitely more on the family cheering each other on rather than how many pixels were on the textures of the video game characters.

I enjoyed the bloody games such as CounterStrike or Diablo but I know that I’d rather be leveling up in the rerelease of Final Fantasy III (or IV or V or VII which are all on my wish list).

So you won’t be seeing me sitting outside of a BestBuy for three days waiting for a $600 PS3. Though, in retrospect, those guys were pretty smart since they could turn around and sell it on eBay for a few grand. I heard the highest offer has been $20,000!

I’ll be enjoying my DS through the cold of winter and on those holiday travels, but I hope that it doesn’t keep me from enjoying the non-virtual things in life, like wandering around the city with my camera or swinging a golf club at Chelsea Piers or just having a few drinks over a pool game.

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