Serious play

For most, the prospect of spending days off from work sleeping on the sidewalk isn't ideal. But for Rich Norwood, who spent days camped outside of Best Buy at Crossgates Mall waiting for the highly anticipated release of the PlayStation 3 game console, it would hopefully be worth it.

I took some paid holiday time off, said Norwood, 26, an employee at Latham International.

Norwood said he enjoys the experience and had done similar things in the past.

"I did it on Black Friday before," he said. "I did it for the Xbox 360."

Norwood showed up on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 9:45 a.m. and found himself first in line. The PlayStation 3 was to be released on Friday at 8 a.m. All he, and those who joined him, could do was wait.

"Everybody's got games, they're playing poker, TVs, DVD players, laptops," said Norwood on Wednesday, of the 35 or so gamers who were gathered.

Some of the people waiting in line huddled in tents, some of which were purchased hastily at Dick's Sporting Goods after rain threatened while others sat in one of the many camping chairs that were bunched together next to, but not blocking, the Best Buy entrance.

A Best Buy manager said neither the store, nor the mall, was responsible for the people camped out in line and had asked them only to follow a few simple rules, including no open fires.

Additionally, they were not allowed to drink alcohol and had been asked to use the restrooms inside the mall and not the bushes in the parking lot, said Norwood.

Penelope Austin, a Best Buy spokeswoman, said that the company had no policy in regards to the campers.

"We don't have a problem with it," she said.

Sleeping outside of the mall wasn't without its drawbacks, said Norwood. For instance, despite the blankets, he said, sleeping on the sidewalk could get cold.

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