The video game bug has never bitten me, although my sons are involved to some very limited extent. Well, limited for men. Which means they play for several hours sometimes, when they can get away with it. My daughters and I, and probably most women, don't even know the names of the current games.
Still, even allowing for male foolishness and sports/game/competition addiction, the current Playstation3 hysteria (pun intended) seems extreme. Waiting on line for DAYS? Shootings, stabbings, beatings, robbery, over a video game?
My immediate and brutally practical reaction was to wish that everyone involved could just starve to death waiting, or punch and kick each other into sterility in machismo duels for possession of the machines. That would be the Darwin part if only, hopefully, these idiots managed to make away with themselves and each other before they reproduce.
Then I reconsidered. A friend, very highly placed in the military service of a free and prosperous - but I repeat myself - country, believes that some credit for the astonishing performance of today's fighters goes to childhood gaming. Reflexes, eye-hand coordination, strategic thinking, all that. Practiced endlessly from very early in life.
So okay. Urban warriors, proving their strength, daring and patience on line at Best Buy. Victors in the eternal contest to get the status goods and impress the girls. Future defenders of liberty. Or smart investors looking to trade a day or two of time for a good profit. If Sony didn't want their machines to become currency in the Christmas loot extortion sweepstakes, they should have made enough to meet the demand.
Besides, women are not immune to the gottahaveits. We'll save for months for Manolo Blahniks. We'd rather have a weekend at La Costa than world peace, if no one knew it was us that sold out. We lust for expensive food processors when we eat take-out five nights a week. We insist on four wheel drive SUV's that we know will never leave the pavement. And the same women who'd rather die than stand on line for a video game will cheat their friends and consort with their enemies if that's what it takes to get junior into the right school.
Where he'll learn that his life is not worth living without a Playstation3. Perhaps humanity is doomed, after all.