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Monday, April 04, 2005

McReadie In Spending Money Shock

I'm not all that great at spending money on things. I worry about whether or not I should or shouldn't buy something, whether it's a justifiable purchase, whether I really want it or would just like it, etc etc. And if you think this sounds like an obsessive thought pattern, I and the mental health dudes would tend to agree with you.

I'd intended to buy myself a little reward for managing the whole Getting-on-a-Plane thing (by the way, Fizzwhizz and Hypatia, thanks for your kind congratulations on that front, and sorry not to have said that sooner - I've been crap at replying to comments lately, but they are always appreciated) but didn't really get round to it. I'd contemplated buying a Nintendo DS, but of course got into a whole debate about whether it was a justified purchase.

I decided on Thursday to buy one. Then I decided not to. Then I decided to. Then I decided not to. Then I realised that if I traded in stacks of old video games, I could get money off my purchase and thereby feel less guilty. So that is what I did. Managed to get the console and two games for £105. And even managed to enjoy my first day with it rather than experiencing the usual guilt about a new purchase.

Anyway, I must say I am taken with it. The touch screen is very cool, and there's already innovative use of the two screens. I can only imagine that as time wears on, developers will get even more interesting ideas as to how to use the capabilities of the system. And - who'd have thought it? - I'm along for the ride.


  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Hypatia said…

    Woo-YAY for the Nintendo DS! It's definitely a reward you deserve. I played on my brother's dinky little two-screen machine on the train to Cambridge and thought it was amazing. It took me ages before I started referring to the top screen as well as the bottom screen, but once I did the game was even better. I'm a bit dubious about the contact-other-players function though: what are your thoughts on that?

  • At 2:19 PM, Blogger McReadie said…

    Ha ha - glad to hear that someone else has been seduced by the new Nintendo...

    It is an adaptation, isn't it, with the two screens, and the touch screen? It really does feel like a new kind of console. I'd laughed when Nintendo said it wasn't a replacement for the Gameboy (yeah, right!) but now I have one, I sort of see what they mean. It is a different breed...

    I have briefly played a two player game via the wireless function (at a Game store!) and was very impressed. If nothing else, I'm delighted that Nintendo are no longer running the "both players must have the game to play two player" con. Always thought it was a damn cheek.

    And the Pictochat function looks like fun, even though I haven't been able to use it cos I don't know anyone else with a DS as yet...

    I was half hoping that someone next door might have a DS, and that I could chat to them :)

    But of course therein lies a bit of a concerning aspect - being able to use the DS for virtually anonymous communication. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to envisage kids using the technology to bully other kids... Sigh.

    So are you gonna buy one now, Hypatia? :) I'm hoping to convert my brother to the cause. He's traditionally been the Nintendo Trailblazer of the family, but on this one I'm ahead... His birthday's in a few days' time, though, so my supremacy may not last long :)

  • At 12:53 PM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    Well, ahem, fascinatingly I have just spent a week working on a Nintendo magazine, so I feel qualified to comment even though I've neither seen nor held a DS yet. from what I gather, though, I think the 'contact other players' thing is basically a) something for the kids, like the next generation of text messaging and b) has possibilities along the lines of different things happening in your game when someone else with a DS gets onto your bus - in a whodunnit game, or a monster-hunting game, for example, the clues that they've found could affect the way your game plot unfolds.
    And don't forget that there's already 100s of 1000s of people playing multi-player games over the interweb from desktop PCs, so the idea of a global community of people all bashing buttons to make Mario and his mates drive little cars round a race track is bound to appeal to some.
    (PS if you're wondering what games to buy, according to the reviews I was subbing, Meteos is wicked. Also the one with the musical plankton looks brilliant.)

  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger Alcuin Bramerton said…

    On the subject of spending money, a traditional Norfolk koan may assist:

    A man with a well-worn cowboy hat
    Has more money than he needs.

    He fills his pockets with ten pound notes
    And goes out into the street shouting,
    "Free money, free money.
    Get your free money here."

    It is snowing heavily
    But a number of people are interested
    And an orderly queue forms
    By the postbox on the corner.

    Not everyone wants ten pounds.
    Some people only want five pounds.
    So he accepts change.

    And, for good measure,
    He puts a couple of ten pound notes
    Into the postbox,
    Just in case the postman
    Feels the need for a little free money
    While he is working.

    A small boy comes along
    And says that he doesn't want ten pounds;
    He only wants two pounds
    For a large bar
    Of Fat Munchie's triple chocolate
    With a soft almond and praline filling.

    He is given a ten pound note,
    Goes to the sweetshop,
    And brings the man
    Eight pounds change
    And a piece of his chocolate bar.

    The following Saturday,
    The man with the well-worn cowboy hat
    Wins the national lottery.

    But no-one knows.
    And he says nothing.

    More may be encountered:

  • At 4:12 PM, Blogger McReadie said…

    Fizwhizz - a week on a Nintendo mag! Wow! Sad Gamer Geek McReadie would have loved that! Did you enjoy it?

    I shall heed your expert advice on games, and hunt down the two you mention...

  • At 6:14 PM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    Yeah it was fun. I got paid to write sarky comments instead of standfirsts. And the office was stuffed to the rafters with sexy blokes. Yay!!


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