The location I attended this event was at Westbury, NY, on Long Island. The only other NY location was upstate, which kind of surprised me, but that's okay. As I said earlier, when I had called they told me there was a line
. This surprised and confused me, and even more so when I entered the store at around 1pm and I saw a huge cluster of people around the customer service area, as well as 2 huge TVs setup with Wiis on display.
I promptly asked someone about the Wii Event, and they said that the huge line was for it, so I figured, huh, alright, and went in back of the line. I saw a table setup with a pad of paper for Raffle entries and I filled one out. It looked like this:
I at least appreciate this part:
I stood on the line, although I was rather confused because people were holding Wii peripherals... I asked the guy at the table about the Event, and he told me there was a Raffle. And that was about all he really knew apparently. He was asking just about anyone on the line if they were interested in joining the raffle (including men, remember this for later)
. I waited on the line until my boyfriend came to join me after parking the car, and was confused as to what was going on as well. We found someone else to ask them
about the event, and he told us to talk to either the Nintendo Rep or the “Dressed up Lady” by the TVs setup with the Wiis, which was a much more open area that wasn't filled with people.
Apparently the line was for buying
Wiis, not the actual “event” line. So basically
the employees were not properly educated on what's going on in the store today? Hmm, mayhaps.
So I find the Lady, and I honestly never heard/caught her name, so she will be known as Lady for the rest of this. She greeted us warmly, and was obviously filled to the brim with caffeine, because I don't know how she kept up with her peppiness the whole three hours, I gotta give her credit for that. She asked me if I was here for the event, I said “Yes!!” and was promptly given a flower and a candle. Lawl. How
cute/girly is that?
The Wii setup was like this, you can see the Candles and Flowers that were given out, here:
I asked if there would be any kind of tournaments or anything, and they pointed out the Wiis, one set up with Wii Sports, and the other set up with Carnival Games and mentioned playing them, so I felt kind of excited, maybe something interesting would be going on.
I basically commandeered a chair near a side table that had papers on it. Papers included an ESRB ratings brochure stack, two large stacks of coupons which I read were for “Event participants”, and some event papers that obviously were theirs that included how to setup their demo, etc.
They gave out small Dasani waters from a mini fridge in the corner to people on the line and playing the Wii games. There were also small bowls on the tables that were filled with various Lindt chocolate truffles, but they were wiped out pretty quick every time. Lady handed out flowers and candles to every woman she saw and approached them about joining the Raffle. I must have not been there in time for the first Raffle at 1pm, but was there for the 1:30, which was a $100 Spafinder gift card
. Lady handled the Raffling, but always had another random Best Buy employee pick out the name from the bag.
I pretty much sat down and watched some kids and Moms play the Wii and got pretty bored after awhile. My boyfriend was rather bored and went to rest in the car and get a snack from the hot dog stand outside at some point. The Nintendo Rep guy, his name was Dereck, and was pretty cool. He helped people put on the Wii straps and taught them how to play the games, and helped the kids pick other games and pretty much answered people's questions that had to do with the Wii/it's games/etc.
This reminds me... There was a Casualty!
Oh god. This was fantastic and I had a super front row seat to it. There was this young boy, probably like 11 or something, and he was playing the Skeeball. But he wasn't just playing it, he was PULVERISING it, the way he was “throwing” the balls! Like using drastic movements to play, which he totally
didn't need to be so enthusiastic. But it kind of amused me, so I didn't say anything, and Dereck didn't say anything to him either.
But this older woman came over to ask Dereck a question about a game she bought at home and didn't understand why she couldn't get it to play Multiplayer? I honestly didn't hear which game it was, but when the guy asked her if the game box specifically said two or more players, she pretty much had a hesitated “Yes”. Nontheless, the young kid was in front of her, she in front of me, and the kid totally threw his arm back and KNOCKED HER IN SIDE OF THE HEAD.
It was so bad - it was epic.
I felt pretty bad for her though, and we all asked if she was okay, and the kid apologized and moved over, but she said she was alright. Just had a headache now.
Anyway, I pretty much spent my time sitting there watching kids play. I could've gotten a turn, but they were so cute and I didn't wanna take a turn away from them. And I've played these games before anyway, so better off giving others a try.
But as I sat by the table and just watched everything, people would just go up to the tables and pick up a candle, a flower, or go by the table next to me and just grab a page of coupons from the stack (not even saying “excuse me” or anything which annoyed me because people were practically breathing on me getting their fucking lame coupons) and would head off to do something else or leave. Rudeness, much? But it wasn't that bad a move I guess, since I never
saw either of the people in charge hand out the coupons at all or place the ESRB ratings brochures in a more noticeable spot. I think they could have gone on the big table with the TVs setup – it was filled with Wii promo DVDs. I did see a Mom grab one of them though, so yay for less ignorance.
I pulled out my DS to pass the time waiting for the next few raffles. I eventually approached Dereck and asked him some questions to figure out the point of all this
. When I asked him who came up with the event, he pretty much said it was just a collaboration between Best Buy and Nintendo, which they do every now and then when new Wii shipments come in. He said the last one was two months prior and was an “Intro to Wii” sort of event. When I asked him who were they targeting for this event, he honestly said they were targetting the event towards Moms specifically.
Anyone was welcome to try out the Wii, play the games, and they wouldn't be turned away, although the event itself was geared towards Moms. We then chatted about gaming related stuff before he had to go do some other things.
With this in mind, I could better understand how the event was handled and figure they did meet their target audience – there were a LOT of women there with their kids or family who entered the Raffles, and heck, they
won. But it was also really annoying since they hunted down whoever they could, that if they weren't there in the store when the Raffle was drawn, they eventually had to pick out 3 or 4 names per time until we found someone actually there
. It made it very annoying and drew out our patience.
At the Raffle around 2:30 pm (the last raffle before this was really late for some random reason also, I have no idea), they had picked out a man called Victor who had won the Spafinder card. She said he could take it home and give it to his wife, but a group of women got kind of pissy and pointed out the prizes were for women only. Lady had to go through her long list of official rules to find out that yes, you had to be a woman to win the prize. Unfortunately Victor had to forfeit the card and another woman won it, but this kind of annoyed me because it was earlier Best Buy employees that were handing out the raffle papers to everyone
and promoting it.
After that happened, a group of employees actually filtered through ALL tickets and took out every guy name in there. There was still quite a large amount of tickets in the bag, but that didn't surprise me since they hunted down people all day
After the 3pm Raffle, I finally noticed something amazing – another girl playing a Nintendo DS! And it was pink... like mine! I finally found those real life gamers I always hear about. ;( We chatted during the rest of the event, sharing our own game related thoughts/experiences and making jokes, and obviously making the last hour a little more interesting. My boyfriend came back sometime around then and we talked about WoW, FFXII, and other random things. Definitely happy to have found someone else who was interested in the event because it was gaming related.
They gave out a Spafinder $100 gift card every raffle, including the times with the GPS unit and the Wii. (They saved the Wii for last of course, and it took about 5 draws to find someone there. None of us would even give them a chance to announce the name on the store loudspeaker to find them – everyone just wanted it finished, and wanted someone actually interested enough to stand there
. If there was no cry of glee someone in the crowd promptly yelled out NEXT!)
I made sure to let people who I spoke to know that I found out of the event from Dtoid, and also brought some Dtoid love to the event by taping the logo on my bag:
Unfortunately nobody I spoke to heard of it, but hopefully got them curious enough to check it out.
Anyhow. Overall? They met the target audience they were aiming for: Mothers.
Plenty of women with their kids or by themselves, or their girlfriends were there. They were definitely playing the Wii or watching their kids play it. The prizes and everything handed out were very girly – even the GPS unit was pink. The only remotely gaming related item was the Wii, and of course anyone would have wanted that. I'm very curious to see if anyone else had gone to one in their location because I wonder if most locations were the same, or at least similar in setup and gifts. So I look forward to seeing that within the next few days.
Was it worth it? Eh, yes and no.
I would have liked to win the Wii most of all, of course, but I would have been happy with a spa gift certificate. Unfortunately I only left with a Lindt truffle that Lady had found at the end and offered it to me. I also would have liked a more actual gaming related event. But
, I got to meet some cool new people I wouldn't have found otherwise and I think that made it worth it in the end.