About Customers, Collectors and Waiting for Game-Day

Last night, as I was going to bed, I found myself thinking about the days that were left until the release of Microsoft’s Kinect device (six, at time of writing). Not, in itself, an odd thought. But it came with a thrill of excitement, and a sense of anticipation. It made me think of children counting moments until Christmas morn, or lovers counting minutes until they see each other again. It was a happy thought. Yet, as I was drifting off, it was joined by a second thought: “I want it now”, it said. And to the excitement, was now added lots of impatience… this got me thinking.

Please be Halo: Reach, please be Halo: Reach

When I was young and my Megadrive was old, there came a day when I was working in the family business (mainly selling paintings). A couple with their young son had been in the gallery for a few minutes, and they approached me to ask about the price of a painting in the window. They sounded slightly bored, but I duly answered the query and provided a little information about the artist. A mutter about the price being “More than they wanted to spend”, was offered in reply and off they set, in search of cups of coffee. My father (an experienced salesman and my personal hero), had witnessed some of this, and came over to offer some comfort.

“I take it they weren’t interested?’ he said.

“No,” I replied with absolute certainty, “they will be back after coffee to buy the painting.”

Surprised, he asked how I could be so certain. “You know when I see a new game I really want?” I said. “My eyes light up. And their eyes light up just like that when they see the painting.” Needless to say, they bought the painting some forty minutes later.

We’ve all been there. We can pretend we’ve grown out of it. We can complain that games don’t grab us the way they did when we were young. But when that title is getting close to launch day, who among us hasn’t stared longingly at previews and noticed that time moves slower the closer it gets? And our eyes light up, even as we lament the time we have to wait, before it’s out.

There is such a thing as being too excited

A child (and not a few adults) looks forward to the opening of gifts on Christmas Day. A sports fan looks forward to the ‘Big Game’. Couples look forward to romantic occasions, and we… we look forward to the next great title, the sequel to our favourite series, that shiny, new console and that must-have peripheral. All of it makes me think, is the very impatience that drives us so mad, the same thing that delights us when our prize is finally in our hands? Before the game has been opened, when the cellophane stills holds the disc in thrall, some titles (different games for different gamers) have already brought joy and excitement and smiles aplenty. Perhaps, for gamers, impatience is a virtue.

I’ve seen collectors, of all sorts of things, go to amazing lengths to acquire that special something for their collection. No distance is too far to travel, no hurdle too steep to overcome. And it’s in this spirit, that I will be standing in the rain (it will definitely rain) waiting for a store to open at midnight, later this week. It’s a first for me. But I want to feel that thrill of watching the clock and rubbing my frozen hands together. I want to feel impatient. And it’s definitely not because my girlfriend tells me I have to. Almost definitely not.


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3 responses to “About Customers, Collectors and Waiting for Game-Day”

  1. Simon avatar
    Simon

    It’s true, I still get that child-like excitement.

    Not for Kinect, mind.

  2. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I get more excited about getting a new console more than a game. I love than excitement about opening Christmas presents still. Going to sleep on Christmas Eve and waking early on Christmas Day wondering if it’s too early to open presents yet. 🙂 I haven’t yet tried Kinect but as I don’t play the Wii I can’t get excited for it.

  3. Duncan avatar

    I’m with Rook here – games (rarely) fill me with Christmas-like excitement. New consoles on the other hand have me bouncing off the walls!

    ‘cept Kinect… that I was just curious about. So far: Sonic Free Riders is good & it’s shiny. 🙂

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