Fortunately I have other interests, and my girlfriend and I spend a good amount of the afternoon in the bookstore. I read the new issue of Edge, but then spend the next hour or so browsing through the fiction section before deciding on The Cloud Atlas. The girlfriend and I go our separate ways, and I arrive home around 5:00 to an empty apartment. This is a rare treat; usually my roommate and his girlfriend are home watching TV in a late afternoon stupor. I connect the Wii and put on Super Mario Galaxy for only the second time since I have bought it. This takes some effort as I actually keep the Wii hidden behind the TV. The reason for this is that without fail, if someone sees or finds out I own a Wii, he wants to play it. This is an invitation for awkwardness because when they inevitably ask me what other games I have besides Wii Sports, I rattle off a list that doesn't include any other multiplayer mini-game collections, and I have to explain why my games are not fun to play in the way Wii Sports is. When and how I got a Wii are also typical questions. Again, my answer becomes an exercise in elimination as I tell them I got it at Target last year, leaving out the words November and opening day. Early on in my Wii ownership I also had to explain why paperclips were sticking out of the back of the system. The blank stares I received when I lamented that the lack of official component cables necessitated homemade ones, were painful. But with no one to distract me this evening, I hop to it so to speak, until at 7:00 and 15 stars later hunger gets the best of me. I sit down to some leftover fried rice and dumplings with my book before I get ready for the night. Videogames totally washed from my mind, I look forward to meeting my friend at a lounge on the lower east side for what should be some excellent DJ sets.
It's a great night; eclecticism dominates as the DJ's produce set after set of obscure '70s dance and pop music. I sit in the company of a creative director for a boutique label, a copywriter and my friend, a media planner like myself. The conversation and the drinks are all over the place: from music to martinis to relationships and finally, Pabst Blue Ribbon. It is a stereotypical night in NYC's lower east side. It comes to a close several hours later back at my friend's place in Williamsburg. It's 4:00 a.m., and the light beer is flowing steadily. I am about to call for a cab home when a woman in our party says to my friend, "Hey John, we should play some Guitar Hero. Anyone else down?" My usual reservations, apparently alcohol's favorite target, are thrown to the wayside as I leap forward to grab the plastic Gibson and allow, just this once, a videogame to have a place in my social life.
Tomohiko Endo is a freelance contributor to The Escapist.