One Gamer's Launch Day
One Gamer's Launch Day
Editorial By: Telka
Wednesday November 14th, 2001-
I arrive to work at 5:00 a.m. It's on my mindâ€¦ tomorrow. Picking random favorite co-workers I pose the question, "Do you know what tomorrow is??" They of course look at me and go, "Yes Telka, are you excited?" I think this is a question that does not need to be answered. Obviously if I am running around asking with a grin on my face, I'm excited. In fact, I'm more enthralled about this than my birthday, or Christmas.
I finally get to leave about 2:30 p.m. after making my shopping list. I run about the store gathering what I think I'll need and checking my employee discount. This small box starts adding up with goodies beyond my bank account. Monster cables, Monster optic cord for 5.1 surround sound, extra controller and Halo (the only game I can really get right now). All these items with the system were about all I could afford at the moment - but there's no way I am going to play Halo without my surround sound and good cables.
I leave the store with the intent of going home and assessing what I need for my bag. Gameboy Advance - check. Halo novel - check. Hmmâ€¦ something to snack on and some water, those I'll need to go to the store for. I need to stop at the bank anyways so I'll do this all in one shot. So after returning from my run, I make my way for the shower and follow it with dinner. Now I'm off to bed at 7:00 p.m. - if I can even fall asleep!
Thursday November 15th, 2001-
Bzzzzzzt! My alarm goes off. It is 3:00 a.m. and I'm slightly sleepy, but ready for action. I do my routine of daily hygiene and then toss all my stuff on and scramble to the door. Open it up and it's pouring rain. Not sprinkling - POURING. I would say it was about 50 degrees at highest, so I was glad to have a shirt, hoodie, and a fleece coat over the top. I do a slight grumble and I get my large U of M stadium umbrella and make for my car.
By time I arrive, it's 3:55 a.m. and I actually find a seat on the bench outside my store. Most of the other there (about 10 or so) are huddled under the awning out of the rain. Some had been there as early as 9:30 p.m. and the others came after they had no luck at a Meijers or other 24 hour establishment. I brush some of the water off the seat and sit underneath my umbrella waiting. I converse with the gentleman next to me about how things are going to happen with the store and about the Xbox, relating little stories here and there. Other people join the conversation when finally two girls (who were not prepared for the weather by any means) got up and said, "F@!# this, I have to go to work." After they had left, I had asked what time they had been here since. A reply of 10:00 p.m. was posted. I then asked if they were buying the system for themselves or someone else. Apparently they had been in line for their boyfriends. At this point I was not surprised at the lack of loyalty. More Xboxes to go around then!
Somewhere around 6:00 a.m. the rain stopped, but it got slightly colder. I migrated to another spot, an extra chair someone had brought with them. I then disabled my umbrella and pulled out my Halo book and proceeded to read.
Many conversations occurred in a three hour span. Mostly about the Xbox, some about the Gamecube, and comments about previous consoles floated around. I finished my book and talked with some of the people I have helped previously in the store until about 9:00 a.m.
We lined up more organized with little numbered tickets (ironically, mine being number 15) and they were only going to let in only 10 people at a time. There were only about 60 people there when we opened at 10:00 a.m. and we had received 93 systems. So there was some extras (in fact, the last two didn't sell until I came back to work at 1:30 p.m.).
When I made my way in, all I had to do was go up to the counter and pick up my little box of goodies and my system. My co-workers laughed at me as I hugged the box. But after a little over a year and a half of waiting - it was finally mine. None of these people knew my excitement, in fact, I was the only person in my store to even get one that morning. But it was finally mine and I trotted off back to my car like a championship dog in an AKC tournament.
Getting it home, I carefully sliced open the seal and slid it out. I inspected it from top to bottom, even taking a moment to smell it. Now, I know it sounds crazy, but when you get a new car - it has that "smell". My Xbox had THAT smell. I laughed as I realized this, hugged it again, and then proceeded to place it in its special spot in my entertainment center. However, I was taunted by the fact that it did not have a normal optics spot in the back, so after researching I found that Monster had made a special one to connect unto the Monster cables. My Halo would have to wait until tonight to be heard in its glorious sound. I did take some time out to play it before I had to leave to go back to work (which only gave me a time span of two hours to play, dress for work, and eat). I'll save a Halo review for later! *winks*
I did go to work on time, eventually leaving at 10:00 p.m. I was tired as heck and made it home to hook up my optics for only a few minutes before realizing that my legs were going to give and my eyes burned from being up for so long. It had been a long, eventful day, and I was drained. Tomorrow, however, was a different story - a day off!
Telka's Halo Tip -
Now I am not going to leave without giving you a tip on Halo. It's fairly simple, but it might take some time. I am sure most of you have already played the game and might even be half way through. That's great, but before you bother to replay it - here is something you might want to consider: READ THE BOOK! The prequel, 'The Fall of Reach', is the best thing if you want to expand your understanding of the game. Where the book ends, the game picks up right afterwards, so you do not feel like you were tossed into the middle of something (which, technically you are when you start Halo). There are a lot of smaller underlying things you will understand (like why Captain Keyes carries a pipe, or what exactly Cortana is and who she was modeled after) just by taking the time out to read the book.
If you are into science fiction then the book will not be a problem, however, someone being introduced into the genre by this book alone may get a little lost with some of the more technical terms and situations used. Overall, it's not a complex read and like I emphasize - it's the prefect companion to the game.
Well, that's it from me. To all those who had received a system - Happy Gaming! To those still waiting, don't worry - your time will come too!