A quick question for my readers

On Saturday afternoon, after a morning of rounding on the service’s patients and doing some odds and ends in the office and the lab, on the way home I stopped at the local Best Buy because I needed some blank DVDs. To my puzzlement, there were people lined up outside as though they were camping out for tickets for the most popular rock band in the world. There were sleeping bags, chairs, tents, and coolers. I had no clue what was going on. Then I saw this, and realized that it was the afternoon before the midnight launch of the Nintendo Wii.

Can someone explain to me why people would line up for days ahead of time for a midnight launch of a game console? I mean, I like this sort of stuff, and it’s not as though I haven’t done my share of youthful waiting to be first in line, although I certainly don’t do it anymore. Still, I remember back in 1982 (the days before the Internet allowed online ordering and when Ticketmaster was still a relatively new way to buy tickets) when my friends and I took turns in line waiting to buy tickets to see The Police in Ann Arbor. (We scored front row seats.) Even so, I would never have lined up for days ahead of time to get one of these game consoles right after the stores opened. I can wait until it goes on sale, weeks or months from now.

What is the attraction that drives people to go to such lengths?