As Earth's videogaming minions pushed Grand Theft Auto IV into their Xbox 360s and PSTriples, I set Nirvana's harmonically indeterminate milestone album Nevermind playing, and loaded up Team Fortress 2.
Now, it's not that I don't enjoy running over prostitutes with stolen vehicles -- it was a popular pastime back when I lived near Manchester -- but I'd much rather strategically place a dozen highly explosive payloads across a bridge and watch the overweight man with a minigun splatter into 10 pieces of lummox meat.
I relate to the excitement millions felt over the release of GTA IV, because I felt it when Half Life 2, Lost Odyssey and Final Fantasy VIII hit Britain's shelves. But, and call me the anti-gamer if you want, I just can't get excited over Rockstar's landmark 2008 release. I appreciate the game completely and firmly believe it sets new benchmarks for gaming. Yet I'm just not bothered about playing it, and I don't think I'm alone.
I remember when I told my girlfriend that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was to be switched on this year, and how particle physicists around the world would be eagerly anticipating the first glimpse of the Higgs boson. Her response was something along the lines of, "That's nice. Tea?" It's not that she didn't appreciate the enormity of the pending discovery after I explained its importance; she simply didn't care.
That's basically how I feel about GTA IV. It's ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting, Daily Mail reader-aggravating. But I'll be on Xbox Live, setting fire to spies, and repeatedly suppressing the urge to go out and buy the sodding thing to shut everyone up.