A quick question for my readers

On Saturday afternoon, after a morning of rounding on the service’s patients and doing some odds and ends in the office and the lab, on the way home I stopped at the local Best Buy because I needed some blank DVDs. To my puzzlement, there were people lined up outside as though they were camping out for tickets for the most popular rock band in the world. There were sleeping bags, chairs, tents, and coolers. I had no clue what was going on. Then I saw this, and realized that it was the afternoon before the midnight launch of the Nintendo Wii.

Can someone explain to me why people would line up for days ahead of time for a midnight launch of a game console? I mean, I like this sort of stuff, and it’s not as though I haven’t done my share of youthful waiting to be first in line, although I certainly don’t do it anymore. Still, I remember back in 1982 (the days before the Internet allowed online ordering and when Ticketmaster was still a relatively new way to buy tickets) when my friends and I took turns in line waiting to buy tickets to see The Police in Ann Arbor. (We scored front row seats.) Even so, I would never have lined up for days ahead of time to get one of these game consoles right after the stores opened. I can wait until it goes on sale, weeks or months from now.

What is the attraction that drives people to go to such lengths?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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