November 14, 2006 - Welcome to IGN's weekly countdown of the exceptional, fascinating, and absurd: something we like to call Top 10 Tuesday. Every week we'll feature the top ten games, characters, fashion statements or whatever else we can think of that in some way relates to gaming and its history. And just because it's called Top 10 Tuesday doesn't mean it's always going to be a list of the best -- we like to razz on stuff as much as praising it. From counting down the best consoles ever to revealing the worst use of fish heads in a videogame, this is where it's at.
This is a week that has been long prophesied in the gaming heavens. Not one, but two consoles are being released within 48 hours of each other. By next Sunday, thousands of gamers across the land will be playing the latest that Sony and Nintendo has to offer, just in time for Thanksgiving. However, what if you weren't one of the lucky ones to get a pre-order in? You might have to resort to camping out in front of your closest game, electronic or toy store to get your hands on the new systems.
Today's Top 10 is dedicated to those parking lot die-hards who will wait, rain or shine, day and night for their favorite system. You've decided to give up work, sleep, and shelter for your love of gaming, and for that, we salute you. So we thought we'd put together the ten items you should bring with you to make waiting in the launch line much easier. As you know, camping out in front of a store isn't a sprint, it's a marathon, and we're trying to help you cross that finish line with a system and a limited amount of body funk.
10) Folding Chair
Why sit down on the cold concrete when you can pass the time in a comfortable chair? Bringing a folding chair is essential for any long line, because who wants to have sore feet from standing all day? Sit back, take a load off, and watch the rest of the world pass by. Plus, many of these chairs have extra padding and cup holders to keep your back relaxed and your beverage steady.
9) Rolling Ice Chest
Everyone is going to need some kind of refreshment now and then while they're waiting in the line, and a rolling ice chest definitely suits that need. Throw in some ice and a couple six packs of your favorite beverage, and you'll be good to go for at least a day, provided you leave the top down. What's more, a lot of these are coming with pockets or extra storage, so you can pack some food with you.
Sure, some kids may swear by them as a security device, but blankets are key, especially with temperatures starting to dip during November. Don't focus on the electric blanket variety; instead, go for something thick and warm to keep out the cold and protect you from the elements. Sure, you may look homeless when you break it out, but at least you'll have something warm to wrap around you.
7) Portable Space Heater
Want to make a lot of new friends? Make sure that you bring a portable space heater with you on the cold nights. Some of these will heat up to a thousand square feet for up to twelve hours. Plus, you don't necessarily need to rely on cords, since some of them run on kerosene. Hell, you may get people jumping out of line to warm up, which only works in your favor!
You can only listen to other people in the line ramble on about their favorite game or why a system sucks for so long before you go crazy. Thankfully, you can pack a ton of songs on an iPod, grab a pair of headphones and drown out their blathering to your favorite tunes. If you happen to have a Video iPod, you're even better off, with the option to watch TV shows and movies of the tiny screen.
5) Portable Gaming System
Hey, you're waiting in line for a console from either Sony or Nintendo, right? You might as well get your game on while you're passing the time! Bringing a PSP or a DS is a great way to make time fly. Even better, you can play with the other people in line thanks to the wireless connections from each handheld.
4) A Deck of Cards
Every electrical device that you bring with you will inevitably run out of juice. How are you going to keep yourself entertained? Forget books...a deck of cards is where it's at. Grab a few of your linemates and break out a little Texas Hold'em to pass the time. Hey, how else are you going to get the money to pay for all of the accessories and games you want for launch day?
After a day or two of waiting, you're bound to get hungry for something. That's why you need to bring snacks with you to keep your strength up. Whether it's cheese puffs, licorice or potato chips, you can never have enough snacks to keep you full while you wait for those doors to open. Pace yourself and you'll even have some left over to enjoy on the ride home.
2) Portable Bathroom
Face it -- you will have to use the restroom at some point while you're waiting in line. But can you actually trust the strangers around you to hold your place? Of course not! They'll probably sell your system on EBay if you leave to find a toilet! The solution: a portable john. You should be set for the long haul; too bad for the suckers that lose their place in line because nature calls...
1) Cell Phone
THE essential piece of equipment for any launch line. Call into work and tell them a family member died. Call school and say you have bubonic plague. The cell phone lets you make excuses for not being responsible to other things during the wait. It also lets you call family members to let them know if you're on the news or when you run out of supplies. Finally, if you happen to have the phone number for the nearest pizza delivery place, you're the king or queen of the line.