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On February 26, 2011, the latest handheld revolution from Nintendo, the 3DS, released in Japan. America will receive this juicy new gadget 31 days hence, and I, for one, am trying to forget about it. 

I'm extremely excited about the 3DS. Ignoring my Twitter feed takes an amount of willpower that's akin to the restraint a teenaged girl would have to show if she were six feet from Justin Beiber's hair. When Nintendo unveiled the system last year at E3, I sat in front of my computer with my mouth agape, salivating over the prospects of its stereoscopic display. I prayed to my nondenominational god that we would see a holiday release in November 2010. When it became apparent the West would not receive the 3DS until early spring, the launch felt decades away.

And now we're in the last days of February. Consumers on the planet Earth have purchased the system for their very own private use (provided they live in Japan or don't mind the limitations of importation). New information is popping up everywhere: Curious eyes can find a nearly endless stream of unboxing videos, user-interface impressions, and high-resolution photos from every conceivable angle. With all the excitement, my heart tells me to salivate over the handheld marvel day in and day out. But my head tells me something different: Cool it. Don't oversaturate yourself.


The round-the-clock news cycle is my largest complaint with the info-gorging culture that modern society has cultivated. I still have a stack of magazines from 1992 to 1995: GamePro, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Diehard GameFan, etc. Every now and again, I leaf through the pages and try to remember what the announcement of new game or system felt like. I try to get a sense of the experience of playing something for the first time after having seen only a handful of screenshots. It brings back a sense of anticipation and wonder. I want to feel that way when I first turn on the 3DS.

I want  the simple details of the experience to surprise me: I want to delight in the logo on the start-up screen, the menu jingle, and how Nintendo worked the 3D effect into the user interface. Luckily, the 3D keeps some of this newness intact since YouTube clips can't duplicate the experience, but still…. It's not quite like it was before the Internet stampeded in and ruined everything.

My hope is to remain purposefully ignorant for as long as possible. I want my first hands-on experience to be special — not just a reminder of some video I saw online.

I want this guy to be me…sort of….

As one ages, it becomes harder and harder to drum up a semblance of childlike joy for anything. The 3DS' overall quality is immaterial. Right now, I feel a great anticipation for the unknown. That's what matters. In world where we can find out anything with the swipe of a finger or the tap of a key, merry ignorance is a precious commodity. I don't know how long I'll be able to avoid info about the 3DS, but sometimes, a man's got to try to feel like a kid again.

How do you feel about the 3DS (or any other product)? Do you ever look away in an effort to create a better initial experience? Or do you revel in glut of info waiting at your fingertips?


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