Newsweek’s Assistant Managing Editor Kathy Deveny recounts the story of fulfilling her 6-year-old daughter’s Christmas wish of delicious DS ownership via N’Gai Croal’s LevelUp page. It’s a heart-wrenching story full of surprise twists, big-budget special effects, and some of the most polite teenagers I’ve ever read about frequenting a game store.
“Jing was beyond thrilled. It was by far the most successful gift I had even gotten for my daughter; so successful, in fact, that I was a little sorry I had to give credit to Santa. In the early days of DS, Jing played Cooking Mama till her little fingers ached. She talked DS constantly. She slept next to the player while it charged.”
“An incredibly cool-looking kid in front of us–maybe 17–was dropping the F-bomb left and right. He looked down at my tiny child. Then he really shocked me: he apologized for his language and punched his friend for cussing. He asked Jing what she was getting. She proudly held up Super Mario; I braced myself for an insult. He actually cooed. ‘That’s a good one,’ he said.”
I only have two stories to tell about EB Games customers – one is about (stereotypical fringe-gaming kid) asking for (current year + 1 of popular sports franchise) and speculating about just who the shadowy spectre on the preview box represents (this is not the story of one or even a few hundred young men), and the other was when this incensed chick was screaming and cursing at the Guitar Hero controller before a frightened and confused crowd. And I’m engaged to the person in the second story, so it probably doesn’t count. But from that exhaustive pool of on-site research, I’ve never received the impression that EB was a Safe For Tiny Children establishment; at the very least, I would recommend you not attend a GTA release date with toddler in-tow.
All told, quite cute. Insightful, even. Note to developers targetting the 4-8 age group: less text, more big, colorful buttons. And plumbers.