It's no big news that video games are a major, mainstream entertainment force, racking up more than $7 billion in U.S. software and hardware sales last year. Still, it's unusual when pretty much everyone in the industry, as well as the general public, all get behind the same game.
Last year, it was the free-roaming RPG Oblivion. This year, it's the underwater action/adventure BioShock, combining influences from Ayn Rand to Jules Verne. Collecting a spate of rare perfect scores since its release earlier this week, BioShock is a curious commercial hit that's neither a sequel nor a movie tie-in.
Of course, not everyone is having as much fun with the game as we are. A story rapidly making its way across the interwebs today tells the tale of a poor soul whose computer was, for lack of a better term, BioShocked by the game.
A gamer named "Epiphyte," on the message boards of game site NeoGAF, posted his story complete with photos. It reads, in part: "I got the demo downloaded, updated to the latest drivers, and settled down to play the BioShock demo...I was about 15 minutes into it, having very much enjoyed what I had seen so far...when suddenly BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM. It sounds as though a string of firecrackers has been detonated in my computer case, as well as each BOOM being punctuated with a bright blue flash coming through the case window."
Of course, this wasn't some sort of advanced DirectX10 audio/visual effect, it was the guy's computer frying itself. He continues: "I try to leap out of my chair, and finally ripping the power cord from the wall." The photographic evidence clearly shows some seriously melted components.
Epiphyte's conclusion says it all: "The game was so face-meltingly awesome it blew up my computer." Although some user comments seemed to think that his over-the-hill, 350-watt power supply might have played a role as well.