Once a week, my husband and I like to go out and have “date night.” Although I’m not sure about the weekly frequency, I’m pretty sure the idea of “date night” is pretty standard for married couples. Honestly, I don’t know. We aren’t friends with a lot of married couples because we don’t know a lot of married people in our age group (~40+) who play video games. We have a lot of young friends who play games, but very few of them are married.
Anyway, this past Saturday, we had our date night. First, we tried out a restaurant that we hadn’t tried before. Every year, food critics and residents vote for their favorite restaurants on Oahu and the winners are announced at the ‘Ilima Awards. They also print a big magazine that gets inserted into the Sunday newspaper, so I pulled that out and started looking through it. I decided that it would be pretty great to try every restaurant in there that we hadn’t already been to. So, I highlighted every restaurant we hadn’t been to and we chose La Tour Cafe. We both chose something from the specials menu. I had a porchetta sandwich with ‘nalo greens (Hawaii’s version of mesclun greens) while my husband had a chicken and lime pizza. It was inexpensive and delicious. The location was rather high energy, which tends to stress me out a little, but the staff was really friendly.
Our next stop for the evening was Gamestop. Now before you give me a hard time about supporting them by giving them my business, I want to explain a few things. First of all, I REALLY HATE Gamestop. A LOT. I worked as an assistant store manager at one of their locations for three years and never in my life have I ever had a job that made me feel as worthless as Gamestop made me feel. In addition, my husband worked as the manager of one of this region’s highest grossing stores for eleven years, but once they went public and the focus changed from customer service to reservations and magazine subscriptions, his determination to remain customer-focused made him a target and he was pushed out of the company after a total of 16 years of service. So if anyone completely understands what a den of villainy that company is, it’s us.
So why do we still shop there? There are a few reasons. First, there are no small or local retailers that sell video games here. Our other choices are places like Target, Walmart, Kmart, and BestBuy. And if you’re into video games, you’re best bet is to shop at a specialty retailer that focuses on them. You never know which games those other retailers will carry and it’s rare that they’ll have the collector’s editions and stuff like that. Second, I want my game on the day it comes out and I like going to midnight launch events. Part of what it means to be a gamer for me is to participate in these kinds of things. If I order my games online, I have to wait for them to get shipped to my house and shipping to Hawaii SUCKS. Plus I don’t get to have that experience of waiting in line late at night with a bunch of other people who are as passionate about video games as I am. And finally (and maybe most importantly), I love talking to other people about games. Mixed in with the robots who only know how to push reservations for upcoming games and stupid magazine subscriptions are some gamers who REALLY LOVE THE GAMES. I love going into the store and talking to the guys about what I’m playing, what they’re playing, and what they’re excited about. There is nothing better than talking to other gamers about games. The excitement in their voices, their body language, the energy in the room… It’s like a drug. Gaming is not some sterile, anti-social activity for me. I’m friends with some of them on Facebook, XBOX Live, and PSN. They know how I feel about Gamestop as a corporation, but they also know that I LOVE games.
So this visit, I was putting down more money toward my XBOX One. (I’ve been putting down money every paycheck toward the One and the PS4 so that I’ll have them paid off by launch day.) We chatted about FFXIV:ARR and I remembered that there’s some limited special edition of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles coming out for the PS3 on February 25th. So I reserved that, as well. I had also come with the intention of reserving one launch title each for the XBOX One and the PS4. However…
I don’t think there’s a single game on EITHER of those lists that excites me. Watch Dogs was supposed to be a launch title, but that got pushed back until March of next year. I don’t play first person shooter games because they make me seasick. I HATE HATE HATE sports. And games like Assassin’s Creed and Injustice are just not my thing. Their controls are far too unforgiving. There are no RPG’s, or hack and slashers. It’s sad, but the most interesting things on this list for me are Just Dance 2014 and Zumba Fitness: World Party. How sad is that? I actually don’t know if I like Zumba or not. I’ve never tried it. I just like the idea of exercise that’s similar to dancing. I don’t get nearly as much exercise as I should.
Just to clarify, there are games on those lists with release dates that correspond to the launch of the systems, but since they don’t have the “SD” or “street date” next to them, their dates aren’t confirmed. So there’s one more possibility: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. But what system would I get it for? Maybe PS4 since I’ll most likely buy the paid content of the Killer Instinct game that’s releasing for the XBOX One. (I think that’s a launch title, anyway…)
Things weren’t that much better years ago when I bought the PS3. At launch I bought Marvel: Avengers Alliance and my husband bought Resistance: Fall of Man. On the 360, we didn’t buy ANYTHING. We just bought the system and then waited for the games. Kind of makes you wonder why I do this, doesn’t it? I used to feel like a loser or something because I always buy systems on launch day, but there’s something fun and exciting about it for me. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a thrill. I just love it.
Finally, our last stop for the evening on date night was Gecko Books. This is where we buy our comics. We hadn’t been in a month, so our pull stack had gotten rather large. We spent just over $50! As always, the comic haul will come in a separate post. After that, we went home and played games until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. To me, that was a perfect date night. Good food, talking about video games, and comics. Does it get any better than that? I don’t think so.