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PS3 and the culture of impatience

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Sony PS3 on eBay

Judging by video games today, we have certainly come a long way. I remember my first video game. I must have been about 13 or 14 when we bought it at a tag sale. It was one of those consoles that you hooked up to the TV and it pretty much offered a crude black and white ping pong game that you could play against the console or an opponent sitting next to you. Plain joysticks slid two sticks up and down on the screen and a square ball bounced back and forth over a thick line bisecting the screen.

I played that game countless times against a wall or on occasion, my sister. I think that console is still somewhere in the bowels of the house where my parents still live. My fascination with that game, or any video games for that matter, is no longer there but I can understand the excitement a kid (or an adult) might have for video games today, but only to a point.

What amazes me the extent some people go to obtain a video game, a book, sports or concert tickets, or whatever these days. Are these items that important or that time-sensitive that require so much sacrifice? Perhaps I don't see the urgency the same way some people do. Take the PS3 as an example. Do people really need the console so bad that they are willing to camp out for days to be one of the first to have it?

We all know what will happen to these video games in a not too distant future. The novelty will wear off and eventually they will end up in the attic or some storage room, just like my old video game. Then most likely they will find their way to a landfill.

I was browsing eBay the other day and noticed a final bid of $15,000 for a PS3. Probably a bogus bid, but I think $3,000 was in line with how much a PS3 could fetch on eBay. To me, even the $600 retail price tag seemed outrageous. But then again, I guess I just don’t comprehend the exaggerated passion and zeal some people have for something as commonplace as a video game. I hope I never comprehend it.

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