I remember watching an interview with William Gibson in which he talked about the 1992 L.A. Riots and the Digital Divide. He remarked that while many stores were looted, it was notable that a store that had laptop computers in their window display went untouched; he looters simply saw no value in them, whether for themselves or as things they could “fence”.
Looking at tech devices that people are stealing is a pretty good indicator of their mainstream appeal. Had the riots taken place today, the laptops would probably be among the first things taken by the looters. Here in Toronto, GPS navigation systems have replaced car stereos as the must-steal items.
As for console games, Rock Band has now been established as the most in-demand game, if you’re using theft as your yardstick of tech popularity. A truck carrying more than 1,000 copies of the XBox 360 the game — which includes a guitar, drum and mic controller — was hijacked in Long beach, California last weekend.
According to the L.A. Times article on the theft, “Thieves are increasingly targeting the nearly $260 billion of goods that move through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports each year, especially targeting high-priced electronics shipped from Chinese factories.”
Meanwhile, we Canadians still have to wait — Rock Band’s Canadian release date has been delayed until the 17th.