I don’t often go to midnight game releases, but when I do I meet some strange people.
It was late March. The game: Bioshock Infinite. I hadn’t originally planned to go to the midnight release because two words: midnight release. I am an old man and waiting until midnight for anything is asking a bit much. However, my mother was in town and agreed to watch the little one so my wife and I could go. We don’t get to go out much these days, so when I offered to take my wife on the whirling maelstrom of happy adventure that was Bioshock Infinite Midnight Release, she couldn’t help but say yes.
Most of it was fairly standard. Wait in line. Get your number. But that “wait in line” part can be packed with some entertaining stuff.
For instance, while we were all camped outside an old black woman drove up in a minivan. She was inquiring as to what game we were waiting for. “Luigi’s Mansion?” she asked. “Nope,” we all said in unison. She still pestered us all about Luigi’s Mansion for a good ten to fifteen minutes. Keep in mind, this was around ten or eleven o’clock at night. I got to thinking… what’s the deal with this woman and her obsession with Luigi? Furthermore, what strangled path of her life led her to this moment? She’d probably been waiting for this moment for months. I can imagine her out on the hunt. She’d probably stopped in every store. “You got ‘Luigi’s Mansion?’” she would ask. “No ma’am, this is McDonald’s.”
And why Luigi? Why not Mario? I can only imagine the talk at her hair salon. Yapping to her friends:
“You know that Mario – he a chump. He be all getting’ that girl from Bowser and she be goin’ right back. E’erbody know she humpin’ Bowser. How you gon’ go, ‘Ooh, Mario save me! I got captured again!’ See, now Luigi don’t get played like that. He a real man. And he got two jobs! Two! He a plumber and a ghostbuster! What Mario do? Get played like a little punk, that’s what he do.”
We also got to chat with, among others, a Pokemon fangirl and an inordinate number of cross-eyed gentlemen. I am not making that up. One in particular I had nicknamed “The Fuhrer.” He was a short guy dressed all in black. He had chains and silver military paraphernalia pinned to his shirt. Epulets, iron crosses, and whatever that bird is people plaster on something when they want it to look vaguely Nazi-ish. The works. He blathered on about Rammstein and getting bombed at Oktoberfest. And Germany. Oh, how he loved Germany.
His little girlfriend was dressed in black as well, but she had more of a goth/steampunk sort of vibe and was actually kind of sweet. She seemed a lot more normal. I couldn’t tell if she was actually into all the dressing up or just humoring her boyfriend. I’m pretty sure she’s different when she’s not with her SS soldier of a man. She’s probably just wearing a t-shirt and jeans… and comparing insurance rates and checking on how her stocks are doing. It was a very interesting evening and they did seem like nice people. However, it was a little hard not to be scared. I did not want to end up in some creepy couple’s sex dungeon without even getting Bioshock Infinite.
The evening came to an end. We all trudged home, Bioshocks in hand and immersed ourselves in a world of intrigue and adventure. Ha ha! I’m just kidding. We went home and installed discs, installed updates, and redeemed codes. Then we went to bed with the desperate hope that everything would be installed and downloaded by morning so we could actually play the game.