I thought that along with my photos of opening the new PS4, I would share with you a wonderful story my buddy relayed to me about a great feel good moment while waiting in line for his PlayStation 4 (I don’t have any stories of my own to relate – I didn’t wait in line for the midnight release). Consider it two good things crammed into one article.
My friends and I have always had a love/hate relationship with midnight releases, especially for console machines. We had a bad experience waiting for the Wii on Black Friday, and we had an awesome party time waiting for the PlayStation 3. Various games – such as Fable 3, Black Flag and Call of Duty II to name a few – had decent release parties, although we waited in the cold for four hours and one of us got so sick he couldn’t play his game for a few days. I’ve been of the opinion that waiting until the next day to pick up your pre-order is the best policy. The idea of pre-ordering things to be able to pick them up later is a relief.
I work nights now, so I have to live vicariously through my friends who are still a) single and b) young who are willing to sit in line for 12 hours for a new game/system. One of my friends and his friends stood in line outside Best Buy last night to pick up their pre-ordered PS4. They were so excited to tell me about it the next day that the story ended up being about not the system itself, but a totally generous moment involving gamers and children (two of my favorite kind of people).
They arrived at noon on Thursday to stake out their place in line. There were already seven people there, with sleeping bags and a portable space heater. A news crew came by around five to capture some footage about the PS4 release and the crazy young people who sit around in the cold waiting for one. By nine, there was a line around the end of the building. Directly behind my friends was a man and his six year-old. The kid was clutching an envelope of money he had saved to pay for his pre-ordered PS4. He was excited, but his dad kept him in line and calm, all with the threat they would leave the line and go home if he didn’t patiently stand there and be polite. They could tell it was the kid’s first time in line for any game related thing, so they talked to him a lot.
They learned how he had saved every penny and dime from helping clean up leaves and taking out peoples’ trash. Doing basically every chore and neighborhood job he could to get enough money to pick up his PlayStation. The downside was that he didn’t have enough money to get a game to go with it, and really wanted Knack. His dad suggested maybe around tax refund time (and not Christmas, which broke my buddy’s heart) they could get one game for it. That meant three months of having a PS4 but nothing to play on it! It triggered a bout of the feels with all the generous gamers in line.
So my friend and his friends got to talking about it, text messaging other friends, and they managed to scrape up $78 in one and five dollar bills. They had a girlfriend run around to all the friends who had pledged a few bucks, collect the money and then bring it over. When the doors opened, they had a friend grab two games – Knack and a reservation for FIFA 14 when they had more copies – and give them to the kid while they were both checking out. The Best Buy employees standing there were very moved, so they took his picture and wanted to put it up in the employee room or something like that. It made everyone in line who was aware of what was going on feel good, despite having just spent 6 to 12 hours in line in the freezing cold.
The point of me telling you about that entire scenario is that this is why I like most gamers. I’ve been a part of Child’s Play since Day One, helping the Omaha’s Children’s Hospital unload games, donating money and advertising in my writing every year. And why I played games in Iron Man mode on the Internet for two years running. You guys rock – generosity seems to be over-flowing when it comes to supporting young gamers or people in need.
It always makes me proud to be a gamer. If you are one of these people who give with no reward and no media publicity or Kotaku praise, then you should feel good about yourself. The Big Holiday comes earlier every year – having the Holiday spirit appear at the same time is the best midnight release to happen all year.
Nathan is a 40-ish year-old gamer, father and programmer. His hobbies are board games, video games and watching his son. He wrote for http://www.ironmanmode.com/ for the years of 2012 and 2013 to make money for Child's Play. He has been basically playing games since the 1980's in one form or another. His very first favorite video game was actually an arcade game called Dig Dug. He has played every generation of video game console (including the Magnavox Odyssey)