| | The scene Thursday outside of an Americatown, USA Best Buy. Photo by Matt McGee |

What a day it has been. November 17, 2006: the date that will go down in history as the moment the world lost its collective mind over a new video game console. I’m as excited as the next guy about the sweet new hardware coming out this weekend, but damn…

I pose a challenge: find me a major online media outlet—local, national or otherwise—that doesn’t have at least one mention of the insanity surrounding the Playstation 3 launch. With so many angles to choose from, it’s going to be tough: there’s the obvious low-hanging fruit in the unwashed hordes who, in forming ad-hoc shanty towns in parking lots around the country, sacrificed not only the $600 for the console and how ever much more for games and accessories, but also their dignity. But wait a minute, there’s also the heartwarming tale of said unwashed immediately regaining said dignity (and an obscene profit) after, upon returning home, foregoing the urge to shower just long enough flip their just-purchased console on eBay.

The list goes on: armed robberies of Gamestop stores, Ludacris-hosted parties for the NYC refugees at the Sony Store, riots at a California Best Buy, shameful enlistments of the homeless to wait in line, a man hospitalized after running into a light pole in a mad dash for his place in line (a full day before they even went on sale) and my personal favorite, a first-hand account on a forum of a man who, along with his fellow campers, was robbed at gunpoint outside of a New York mall by a man hoping to take advantage of some tired, delirious gamers that may or may not have $600 in cash in their wallets.

Stay tuned for a similar challenge on Sunday when we do it all over again with Nintendo’s Wii. Can’t wait! —John Mahoney