Friday, January 28, 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Game Informer For Free

That we're still more than nine months away from the release of Skyrim is excruciating, but at least the good folks over at Game Informer have dedicated more or less the entire month of January to the cause.  They've posted about a dozen fascinating articles about the game, ranging from insights into its development process to previews of its mechanics--but naturally, with them being a business and all, there's plenty more content in the physical magazine, in its February 2011 issue.

I'm nowhere near as big a video gamer as I was ten years ago, and my days of subscribing to video game magazines are long over... but this is Skyrim we're talking about.  I decided I needed to own a copy of this issue.  There were disappointingly few places I could have bought it on the internet, with the exception of eBay, and after shipping, it would end up costing me more money to buy a used copy than just to find my own.

"Easy," you might say.  "Go to a bookstore."  That would be a fine idea but for living in Berkeley.  There's not exactly a Barnes and Noble down the street, and it's not like the hippies at the local independent bookstore carry a vast selection of video-gaming magazines.  BART is always an option--but then I'd be spending more on my trip than on the magazine--and I have friends with cars, but I like to save my begged-for rides for things that really count, like trips that involve forty pounds of dirt from Home Depot.

But, upon entering my apartment yesterday, I noticed something: the February 2011 issue of Game Informer sitting on the shelf below my building's mailboxes.  That shelf has come to be used for abandoning pieces of mail that belong to people no longer living in your apartment--and living in a student-heavy area, that happens quite a lot.  I checked the name on the label against the name on Apartment 2's mailbox, and it was way off.  Still, there's the vague thought of the phrase "federal crime" when you steal someone else's mail, and maybe there was a perfectly good explanation for why the magazine was outside its mailbox?

I didn't have to debate postal ethics for long, though.  I opened my own mailbox to find the exact same issue of Game Informer had magically shown up in my mailbox.  There is surely no Phillip Van Sant living in Apartment 12, and between shelving the magazine next to its twin or adopting it, the choice became easy.

Here's the thing, though: my apartment has never received an issue of Game Informer prior to January 27, 2011, and I've been leaving there for nearly a year and a half.  I assume Mr. Van Sant is a prior tenant, but I've never gotten any of his mail before now.  It seems downright bizarre that the first and only one that shows up happens to be the exact magazine I'm interested in.

I must have cashed in some seriously good karma for something.  And, to keep the cycle going, Mr. Van Sant, the magazine is yours if you want it.

Currently listening: Tartini, Concerto in D, as performed by Maurice Andre

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