In case you've not heard of "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock," stop the nearest teenage guy--but make sure you have a half hour so you can listen to him rave about how cool it is.
It's a video game--selling frantically--in which you get to be a member of a rock band--Metallica, the Beastie Boys, or others. The game comes with a plastic guitar, with buttons in place of strings. If you can keep up, the music comes blasting at you. Miss your chords, and there's something lacking.
Which leads to the following tale of online woe:
A man, who describes himself as k_lid from the Toronto area, says he moved heaven and earth to find the game as a Christmas present for his 15-year-old son Isaac. By sheer luck, he found it--right before he found his son smoking marijuana out back of the house with two friends.
Out the door went the friends--and as punishment, k_lid posted his son's still-unopened copy of Guitar Hero on eBay.
"I am now finding it hard to justify rewarding him with this gift after he so greatly disappointed me," he wrote. "I know smoking a joint isn’t the end of the world, but if you can convince me that he deserves the gift, then I will end the auction. You will have to be very convincing. I am an elementary school teacher and I know that rewarding bad behavior is just asking for more of the same...."
And so began a phenomenon. The posting, according the eBay's counter, got more than 75,000 hits, and 42 bids--jumping from $50 to $100 to $150 to--take a breath--$9,100.01 before the aution closed last week. The high bidder was Australian. PC World points out that outlandish bids often come from people interested in the publicity.
"The auction has been getting somewhat out of hand, to say the least," wrote k_lid in a followup post. He says he gave his son the option of ending the bidding, but Isaac decided it would be "stupid" to cancel.
"I am not: “sadistic”, “publicly humiliating my son”, “power-hungry”...or any similarly bad things - especially when it comes to my son," he wrote. "Think of the auction as me “joshing him”, as friends often do, in addition to letting him know that he seriously disappointed me." (Read the full posting HERE.)
Does the punishment fit the crime? A lot of people clearly have strong opinions.