I’m not a big fan of video games. So when I saw the news reports of the PS3 stampedes, stabbings and shootings I thought, “how stupid, it’s just a video game.” Little did I know what was in store for me and my family this Christmas.
A couple of months ago, two of our programmers brought in a Wii console and 4 controllers. We all took turns playing Wii tennis during break. I was instantly hooked, thinking what a great family gift this would be.
Well, I should have acted right there and then and stopped at Best Buy on my way home. But no, I tend to procrastinate on such things and waited until 3 weeks before Christmas to begin my search. Yeah right! How naive I was. My first stop at Best Buy yielded empty shelves. The demo unit sat seductively in its glass case singing its siren song of beeps and cheers as Wiis played the same game of tennis that started me on this road of desire.
The sales guy at Best Buy laughed out loud when I asked if they had any in the back room. An older gentleman behind the electronics counter at K-Mart was bit more understanding. He explained that they never know when or how many of the consoles will arrive at any time. He wished me a hearty “good luck” and it began to sink in that this was going to be a struggle – a quest.
I made it my mission for family togetherness and harmony to have a Wii under the tree Christmas morning. I continued to stop at every store I could think of that may carry the coveted console over the next two weeks.
Unknown to me was that my son, Kyle, had the same idea. But, as I’m quickly learning, he is much smarter than I and more dedicated when it comes to acquiring electronic entertainment. He wanted the purchase to be a surprise for the family so I had no idea that we were pursuing the same “holy grail.”
He and his buddies checked every store and got the inside scoop from salespeople they knew. Turns out the local GameStop was getting a shipment on a certain Saturday. He spent the night before at a friend’s house and got up at 4:30am to stand in line. It was a brutal experience. He couldn’t pick up the change from his purchase due to the five hour wait in 20 degree weather in just a sweatshirt and jeans. He was stoked to have done what dad couldn’t, but keep it a secret? No way. Soon everyone in the family knew and it didn’t even get wrapped. We had to play – right now!
Unfortunately, after the first day of use, the WiiSports disc became scratched and unusable. We had planned to take the console to a Christmas eve get-together, but would not have a replacement disc until the 26th. Being ever resourceful, my son tracked down John, a friend of his sister’s ex-boyfriend who had a Wii and the disc we needed for the party. He was able to convince this friend of a friend to leave his house unlocked on Christmas eve to get the disc from his bedroom. He had to make a mad dash through the house to avoid the angry German Shepherd that John neglected to mention.
The Wii was an instant hit at the party and we’ve played every day since. I was actually glad to get back to work on Tuesday and rest my “Wii elbow” from all the tennis, golf and baseball we played.