Monday, December 03, 2007

More Holiday Observations


I don’t get out much. K, she works “in the community,” so her exposure to people, contemporary developments, retail, and other things, is greater than mine. I have an office job, where I spend the great amount of my time in close proximity to my desk, which accounts for a great amount of my life, at least 40 hours a week, usually more. While I do the family grocery shopping, I attack that process with the same aggression and surgical precision I apply to most all other things in my life. I don’t browse – I map out the layout of the store, organize my list accordingly, and do not deviate. I don’t window shop – I use the Internet, precisely because I can do it whenever I want, or at my desk, if necessary. I read about “real life.” I hear about it on NPR. I listen to its music. However, I choose not to interact with it very much.

So imagine my surprise, or alternatively, my consternation, at being plopped down into the middle of a local Best Buy store Sunday afternoon. Where I discovered the real-life fun of virtual guitar playing, known commonly as Guitar Hero ©. Rock on!

Aside from the fact that I had to wait patiently in line for the under 13 crowd to relinquish their grimy hold on the guitar at one of the playstations to the rear of the store, I have to admit that I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

And it wasn’t just the time spent with guitar in hand.

As I walked into the store past the computer section, I noticed one of the game centers, where there were two young men with long, frizzy hair and flannel shirts commandeering the guitar/drum/karaoke station. These guys were at the station when I arrived, held court in it the entirety of my visit, and were still firmly ensconced when I left the store. These guys were a riot – grunge circa 1992, likely owners of every single album Pearl Jam ever put out (with strong opinions on what the “true” greatest hits should have been), lifesize posters of Cobain adorning their bedrooms, with the last car in Topeka, Kansas to use regular gasoline parked in the Best Buy lot. These guys air-riffed, drummed and wailed their hearts out, as if the rest of the population: Best Buy, 50,000 were not sharing their space. I tried to organize people to stand on the other side of the machine and jump up and down with their hands in the “I love you” formation, crowd-swim, or hold up lighters, but the real Topeka is just as boring as I remembered it.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I have found myself in that EXACT situation! Everytime we (Boyfriend and I) go to Best Buy he is entranced by Guitar Hero and the game displayed with the WII. They entire world disappears and he is the only 28 year old on the planet. I was so anti-gamer until the advent of Guitar Hero and WII. For said boyfriend, I found myself waiting in line with about 500 crazies waiting to purchase a WII from Santapaws. About three hours into the wait and one black eye later(I was standing between two women who had differing opinions on everything), I remembered why I shop online and only online. :) However once firmly planted and locked in the safety of my home, I remembered what possessed me to go out into the community. On Christmas morning his little face will shine like he is the only one on earth who owns one of the coveted WII's, and it will all be worth it...