You Won't See Me Coming

They nearly got me this time, with the pre-ordering thing.

Sometime around January, Bioware started sending me email (I registered with them, because I love them as a company and don’t mind them marketing to me) about Jade Empire. They told me how that there would be a “Limited Edition,” and somehow managed to imply, without actually saying, that if I wanted the Limited Edition, I would need to pre-order through them. I came within a few minutes of doing it before my higher snark-functions regained full potency. “That’s stupid,” I told myself. “There has never been a videogame in the history of the universe where pre-ordering has served any purpose but to allow a vendor to draw interest on your money instead of you. Abide. The day the game is released, you’ll be able to walk into any Wal-Mart or Target and buy it with no difficulty.”

Of course, the snarky-me was correct. Yesterday I walked to The Exchange and bought it with no problems.

My transaction was very simple. It went something like this:

ME: “Hi, do you have the Jade Empire Limited Edition?”

THEM: “Yeah. $50, please.”

ME: “OK.”

THEM: “Have a nice day.”

My friend Nat forgot the Rule and went to the evil Electronics Boutique up the block. He told me about what buying the game was like. My (poetically licensed) vision of his transaction looks like this:

NAT: “Hi, do you have the Jade Empire Limited Edition?”

EB: “Did you pre-order it?”

NAT: “No.”

EB: “You really should have pre-ordered it.”

NAT: “…”

EB: “But yeah, we have it, here it is.”

NAT: “Thanks. Here’s my money.”

EB: “You’re really going to like it. Would you like a strategy guide with that?”

NAT: “No, thanks. Please take my money now.”

EB: “The strategy guide rocks. It will really help you get past the plot twist.”

NAT: “I don’t want it.”

EB: “It’s wicked! You’re walking along with your ally, when all of a sudden it turns out that Lan Di, the man who assassinated your father, is actually…”


EB: “OK, OK, jeez, some people. Would you like a CD cleaning kit with that?”

NAT: [Dies of pulmonary edema]

The upshot of all this is that we will have a Jade Empire review sometime soon, and Electronics Boutique Delenda Est.