How to lose a girlfriend in 10 minutes…
by Adam Miller
It wasn’t until we were actually sitting in the Gamestop parking lot that my girlfriend realized that I was serious about going to the Fallout 3 midnight release party.
The day before, I received a voicemail from “Amy,” a Gamestop employee, inviting me to the event. On the phone Amy sounded pretty chipper: “Come celebrate with us!” In my experience, there are few people who sound like Amy at Gamestop. Heck there are very few people who sound as chipper as Amy at Disneyworld.
Still, the novelty of the thing stuck with me right up to the big night. In my defense, I told my girlfriend repeatedly and explicitly that I was going to the event, but that she could get a ride if she didn’t mind stopping by Gamestop for a half-hour before midnight. She really underestimated this whole Camp Academy thing I do. Oops.
But this prologue merely brings us to the event itself which is worth some meditation. This midnight release party is unique in that it is no doubt the most anti-social “party” ever conceived. Firstly, everyone (about 20 people) attending is wearing black. They are all almost uniformly brunette with some form of facial hair. They are all white with the exception of one Asian college student and one middle-aged African American man. They are all male, with the exception of a mom who gave her son a ride to the party and presumably had to purchase the game for him (Fallout 3 is rated M and therefore customers must be 17 years or older to buy a copy).
Then there was the Gamestop staff. This included an elderly man who looked utterly nonplussed the entire night. How on earth he got into the video game retail business is beyond me. But even more out of place—and explicitly bored—was the blonde girl assisting the older man. She spent most of her time leaning against the counter with her arms crossed, yawning. Could it be the Amy of the voicemail? I’ll never know.
There was almost no communication except for the elderly man to tell those who had ordered the Collector’s Edition of the game to get their copies first. At one point two guys started playing demo versions of the Nintendo DS handheld gaming system. There were two of the systems set up and I thought that perhaps the two were playing together. Then I could at least cite a form of mediated interaction. But no, one of the gentleman walked away while the other continued mashing buttons independently.
And then it was midnight. The old man and “Amy” handed out copies of the game and everyone left the party to go home and play Fallout 3, alone, into the wee hours of the morning. Well, everyone except me that is. I still had my girlfriend waiting in the car. She refused to let me play that night. Instead we had to talk about our day or something like that.
And we didn’t even have sex!
P.S. Fallout 3 totally rockz0rz!!!