Tuesday, June 5, 2001

Geek Pilgrimage

Saturday was my NOVA meeting, and the usual suspects were there. But for a change of pace, instead of going off to get something to eat during the meeting, we gave in to our geek natures, and five of us, Alan, Tom, James, Chris and me, piled into a car and drove from Tigard down to Wilsonville, to visit Fry's Electronics Superstore [ECHO, Echo, echo!].

Tom wanted to look at stereo hardware. He resisted the temptation to buy gleaming metal, but ended up buying a bunch of anime DVDs. Alan bought an upgrade for his Adobe Premiere software. I don't think Chris or James ended up buying anything. I bought a copy of Final Fantasy VII, since it's been sitting on the Playstation game racks at $13.95 for the last two times I've visited, and I couldn't stand it anymore .

I haven't done more than stumble through the first few minutes of the game without reading any manuals or having played any of the previous games (Kelly was very helpful there, cheering my fumbling attempts to squash bad guys with magic while getting overwhelmed with strange menus and such). But I've come to realize that the game must tell you how much time it takes to complete it. Why? Because everybody I've ever met who played it tells me to the hour how long it took them. "I played FF7 over the weekend and it took me 40 hours to finish." Not, "it took a whole weekend", not "it took a long time", but "it took me 40 hours."

This was reinforced after the meeting when I went with the crowd to Carrow's to have a late night snack. After eating, I was paying my bill and telling Alan that it was probably too late to break open the game and play with it. The waitress at the register said "you're playing Final Fantasy VII?"

I was kind of embarrassed, since the game's been out for some time (VIII and IX are out, X is coming soon and XI is in planning). "Yeah, I just bought a PS2 and I'm getting back into games after a few years..."

"I played FF7, and it took me 56 hours!"

"Really? At the rate I'll be playing, I'll take six months to finish."

"That's how long it took me!"

Suddenly I didn't feel so embarrassed .

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