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Leave Thy Console Behind August 22, 2007

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Up and Away, Video Games.

Some time ago, I decided to leave my Wii behind in the Philippines rather than take it along again on my return to New York. As much as I’m sure to miss it in the next four months, I think I could use as few distractions as possible in the push to wrap up the last of my coursework. Besides, I can’t help but fret over the wear and tear it inevitably gets subjected to on each such trip, especially since my Wii’s been around the world one and a half times already.

Whatever the reason, it’s shaping up to be a good decision in light of new airline security regulations in the US that’ve made it a bit tougher to go lugging around such things while traveling. Now, passengers with video game consoles in their handcarried baggage have to take these out for security processing, just like laptops.

Obviously this is no big deal for those who pack accordingly or decide to transport their consoles in their checked baggage instead. All the same, it does make travelling that much more of a hassle for console-carrying gamers (and I’m already convinced that the US — rightly or wrongly — is out to make travel as unpleasant as possible, what with all the regulations that have been put into place after 9/11).

Personally, I’ve never been comfortable packing either valuables or electronics in checked baggage. One never knows how carefully these are handled once checked in, notwithstanding the possibility of the same being misplaced. More, coming from the Philippines, I maintain a healthy skepticism towards the integrity airport personnel (especially customs officials), hence my preference for carrying the more important stuff along with me.

So much like everyone else, it looks like I’ll have to think twice in the future about transporting a console should the opportunity ever present itself. Fortunately, the new regulations don’t as yet apply to handhelds such as the Nintendo DS and the PSP. But one can’t help but worry that it’s only a matter of time.



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