I’ve just seen this while having a quick trawl round the Net – a video of two Americans queuing up for hours to buy a PlayStation 3, and then taking it outside where everyone is still queuing and smashing it up with a sledgehammer.
Obviously on one level this is complete idiocy. But I also have to confess that I think it makes a strong point about the mindless hype and materialism of the modern world. What on earth are people doing queuing up for 18 hours to buy a game machine that just a few days later they will be able to stroll into any shop and buy with no fuss whatsoever?
I suspect those queuing up don’t really know why they’re doing it either. Whichever way you look at it, it is completely non-sensical. Imagine trying to get those people to stand in the same place for over a day for anything else. Anything else.
Companies now go to enormous lengths to create this sense of hype, artificially restricting the number of products available, setting up dates, working with stores to build up a fake sense of timeliness. If you ever want to see the extent of fake hype, just look at where it is in company’s interests not to fake it – I’m talking about Amazon – which normally delivers these hype products to your home *at a cheaper price* before the fools queueing up getting their copy. I remember receiving a Harry Potter book in the post, reading a few chapters and then going out and passing a long queue of people outside a book shop waiting for their chance to get the book.
If even one person in the queue waiting for their PS3 while two kids were smashing one up in front of them suddenly gives their behaviour some thought, then that’s one more step away from the corporate madness that infects the US and is creeping its way over here to the UK.
Of course, this being America, the two people doing the smashing are trying to make a profit from their endeavour. The PS3 was bought through contributions at their Smashmyps3.com website. Not only did they get $114 more than they needed, but the site is plastered with Google Ads for – you’ve guessed it – PlayStation 3s. I wonder where that money will go…