I always assumed the peer pressure to have the coolest toys on the block was a phenomenon confined to the ages between 4 and 16. But I'm finding now more than ever that not having a next generation gaming console is excluding me from real-life social events. Quite often I'll hear two of my friends recounting a Halo game they had last night, or how they can't believe they beat those German teenagers 5 to 2 in Super Smash Brothers Melee. Not only can I not participate in their digital games... I don't even know what the fuck they're talking about. And I don't make a lot of money, so buying one of these fancy "fun machines" isn't really an option for me. Plus I feel like I shouldn't have to miss out on in-person social interaction because my gaming system doesn't output to an HD TV. But the negative effects of my last-gen gaming situation are really starting to build up. Last week a friend of mine lugged all of his Rock Band instruments over to my apartment and we had a very awkward moment when I told him I don't have an XBox 360. It honestly kind of ruined the night. His tone with me implied he was not only disappointed in the situation, but disappointed in me as a person. I am a GROWN ADULT and not having wireless controllers has stopped people from coming over to my place to hang out. I want to say this is happening because I have nerdy friends, but the sad part is that deep down I honestly feel uncool. I've never really gotten into playing video games, but to be honest with you I've seriously been considering buying a PS3 with my $600 Government Rebate check. No, no, you know what? Forget those guys. I'm going to play Crash Bandicoot on PS1, masturbate, and fall asleep in a puddle of my own tears.
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