I like to look cool. Obviously I’m not alone in this, but living in New York and taking the much-derided (for its “hipness”) L train makes this a more pressing issue for me than most. Many of our dear readers no doubt plop into their clunky cars, polluted with fast food wrappers and other etc’s, and drive to and from work more or less anonymously. I, on the other hand get jabbed with stares by confidence-sapping girls who are far too pretty, rich, and successful to ever want to talk to me for more than an instant. Still, I like to pretend.
So when I received my shiny-black Nintendo DS for Xmas, my thoughts quickly turned to “how cool am I going to look using this on the subway?” In fact I’d say this was the second thing that came to mind, right after “why didn’t I get any fucking games?!” After a few weeks of experiencing firsthand what I had only imagined on that beautiful anniversary of Jesus’ birth, I feel like I can relate some worldly wisdom to our patient readers.
The first thing I noticed is that I am the only person on the subway who has a DS. This doesn’t really bode well for its future coolness, since from what everybody tells me (annoyingly, I might add); New York is “the trendsetter city.” Millions of suckers have spent three times as much money on an iPod rather than buying a similarly-featured mp3 player. I’m told this is partially due to the fact that New Yorkers took to them so quickly, and continue to pin them to themselves for all to see. While they must see it as a badge proclaiming their coolness, to me it’s more like a sign that says “rob me.”
Being the only guy with a DS has its advantages, though, especially in the artist-drenched part of Brooklyn where I live. Thanks to the emphasis on the stylus, pretty girls who read literature might be convinced that I’m using some super high-tech sketchpad or something, and am some fancy artist from the 21st century. At least that’s what I like to think. And for the video-game illiterate, I’m doing something marginally mysterious. Unfortunately people who know nothing about games probably don’t ever want to know something about them.
For those who do know something about games, well… who knows. What I do know is that the only guys playing handhelds are using PSPs and from what I can tell they are normally playing FPSs or Madden. These are usually large men in puffy jackets who spread their legs wide when they sit down, forcing me to shove my knees uncomfortably close to each other. They are probably not impressed at how adorable my Nintendogs puppy is.
Earlier I tried to make a joke about getting robbed. Robbery, however, is no joke (man I really want to make some McGruff the Nintendog “joke”/transition here). One major problem with using your DS on the subway – as I see it – is that as soon as the dude says “stand clear of the closing doors,” Snatchy McSnatcherton can grab your DS out of your hand and rush out just before the doors close. Unlike a PSP, which requires you to clutch your device with as many fingers as possible, the DS is best enjoyed lazily (and barely) holding on with your bad hand, making it easy for Mr. McSnatcherton to, ya know, snatch it. You will then look helpless and foolish wielding a worthless stylus that until recently had been very important in your
So there you have it. If you want girls who will never talk to you to think you’re cool than a DS might be a good bet. It is also fun. That’s actually a better reason. If you want large men in puffy jackets to like you… try craigslist. I, for one, find it very important that people I’ll never know think that I’m doing something interesting. Which might be why I live in New York.