Gamers Take Advantage Of Three-Day Weekend

The three-day weekend was important to a lot of gamers. Last Tuesday, Modern Warfare 3 was released, and on Friday, the latest Skyrim came out. That meant that gamers had the whole three-day weekend to play their new games, and they didn't have to play hooky from school or work.

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GUY RAZ, HOST:

A lot of video-gamers had to drag themselves back into the real world today after a big weekend in front of their screens. Sales broke record last week as two new games hit the stores. The new version of "Call of Duty" sold six million copies. That's a game that falls in the category known as first-person shooters. And fantasy role-playing fans bought three million copies of the new version of "Elder Scrolls." It's called "Skyrim."

Beth Accomando of member station KPBS reports.

BETH ACCOMANDO, BYLINE: My 18-year-old son, Tony Weidinger, spent the last three days fighting infinite dragons, and this morning he sounded wiped out.

TONY WEIDINGER: Picked up "Elder Scrolls: Skyrim" on Friday at about one in the morning and I've been playing all weekend. It's now 5:30 Monday morning and I've played about 20 hours.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC THEME, "ELDER SCROLLS: SKYRIM")

ACCOMANDO: "Skyrim is the fifth installment in the fantasy role-playing game the "Elder Scrolls." Players fight all sorts of magical and monstrous enemies, including plenty of dragons. The prospect of such an adventure had my son all revved up last Thursday night, as he went to wait in line for the game.

WEIDINGER: We got there at 10, so we figured that we'd at least get a good position in line. We did, we were like fifth, sixth. Come home, set up two TVs, two systems of two different games and played them until our bodies give out or we have to leave.

ACCOMANDO: That was a typical plan of attack for the most of the people waiting in line at the GameStop in the San Diego suburbs. Like my son and his friend, David Patruso(ph), was planning to dedicate his weekend to "Skyrim."

DAVID PATRUSO: Oh, for a game like this, you should more or less just say goodbye to your life now - your wife, kids, job, bills - bye.

KYRA MORALES(PH): I'm going to play like 24 hours and then drink a Mountain Dew to keep me up.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

KYRA MORALES: And then play another 24 hours.

ACCOMANDO: Kyra Morales was one of the few female gamers in line. But everyone was excited about the rare opportunity of picking up a new release on a Friday before a three-day weekend, with nothing to distract them from going home and immediately playing their new game.

"Modern Warfare Three," on the other hand, came out at 12:01 AM on Tuesday, said 17-year-old Cameron Martin. And a lot of the gamers had to choose between sleeping, school and blowing people away online.

CAMERON MARTIN: I hear a lot of students came down with "Modern Warfare-itis" Tuesday.

ACCOMANDO: The attendance office at Cameron's school couldn't verify a spike in absenteeism, but they laughed and said they would start paying more attention to the gaming release schedule. Teachers reported a lot of bleary-eyed students who could barely drag themselves to class on Tuesday, after late-night sessions of "Modern Warfare Three."

(SOUNDBITE OF "MODERN WARFARE THREE")

ACCOMANDO: So if your kid or coworker was a little slow today or couldn't quite focus, "Skyrim" or "Modern Warfare Three" might be the culprit.

For NPR News, I'm Beth Accomando.

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