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Healing the colorblind


My boy sent me a link to the Colorware site while I was at work today, which I deemed thoughtful until I realized he's trying to get me fired. There's nothing offhandedly unusual about the site, until you click a few times to get a feel for it and then realize I've been doing this for seven hours. Perhaps a slight exaggeration. But the addictive potential should be evident by the fact that I have no desire or need to have any of my systems or their accessories painted. I have an unusual sentimentality toward my systems. Story: about three years ago, I decided on a bit of a whim to buy a GBA SP. The DS was still new enough that I didn't trust it was going to get a redeemable number of worthwhile games released, and the SP was cheaper. I desperately wanted a Classic NES SP, possibly one of the sweetest system variations ever created. But they were, as expected, quite elusive and I settled on a lightly used silver.

A few months later, my manager at the used video game store I was working at called to tell me someone had turned in an NES SP and she had hidden it in a drawer for me, knowing of my desperate search not long before. She would give me a nearly even trade for my silver, with maybe $5 on my part, as the NES version sold for much more. It was exactly what I'd wanted, whined about, and ran all over town for that same summer. And yet, I wasn't excited. When I went to work and held my possibly new SP, it didn't feel right. Not because there was anything wrong with the system, but because I was attached to my silver one. For no reason other than plain nostalgia, that it had gotten to me first—(if this NES SP wanted to come home with me so badly, where was it two months prior?)—and that I felt it was mine more than any other would be. How could I abandon it, the SP I liked very much, just as it was?

Probably more girly than any other facet of my attitude toward gaming. But absolutely true, and not just about the SP, but all of my consoles and handhelds.

And so. Other than the aqua skin on my DS, no variation or aesthetic addition has ever graced my systems. Yet this Colorware site has drawn me in and I can't stop customizing. $99 seems a bit steep for someone to paint your system—and the fact that they have black PS3 and white Wii as options is somewhat worrisome, is this in case they mess up and you request a clear all that will cost another $99?—but some of these colors are just plain cool. I think my favorite is "GoldRush" on the PS3 (shown above with "Blaze" trim), and that would probably be the one system that wouldn't break my nostalgic heart to alter. The 360 looks nice in "Wet" (shown left) and most pastel colors. But if you're the indecisive type, the Brainstorm tab at the bottom of each GUI will populate a random color scheme. (Though it seems to be the 'Uglify' button on the DS menu.)

Who cares what color their system is, right? Maybe we just never had enough reasons (colors) to care before.


There