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Sunday  December 17  10:38 PM EST

Dreamcastless Search for Hope

By Brian Briggs

San Jose, CA - It won't be a merry Christmas for many of the recently unemployed technology workers in Silicon Valley.  Most will have to get by with Mocha Lattes every other day and many may soon be facing the reality of life without their Dreamcasts.

"Last year I tossed my spare change into the buckets for the Salvation Army.  This year I have to save every penny just so I can hold onto my Dreamcast," said one recent dot goner.

Many of the newly unemployed have had to make the unsavory choice between a PlayStation 2 or a Dreamcast and give up the dream of owning both.  More discomforting rumors tell of the jobless selling their old PlayStations just so they can afford a new Dreamcast game.

Wherefore art thou, Dreamcast?There have also been reports that Silicon Valley pawn shops have stopped taking Dreamcasts for fear that they won't be able to unload their bulging inventories.   One shop owner said he had 35 consoles already and 20 copies of Seaman.

"One guy I know sold his Dreamcast to pay for gas for his Porsche.  Now he just wanders around his living room at night, mumbling incoherently.  It's really sad to see.  I mean that guy is somebody's son," said Carrie Hirot.

On the brighter side two local charities have been reaching out to the Dreamcastless community.  Dreamcasts for Humanity builds Dreamcasts from discarded parts dug out of trash bins at various semiconductor manufacturers and uses volunteer labor from local workers.  "I was Dreamcastless for 4 months, and when Dreamcasts for Humanity built me a new one, I was in tears.  The caring of my fellow man was overwhelming."

Another group, CastAways, has set up game rooms throughout the valley so that if only for one night a week the Dreamcastless have a place to play.  "It's really a rewarding experience to see these people get a nice cold Mountain Dew and a game of Sonic Adventure 2.  To know I'm a part of this makes me feel warm inside," said one volunteer.

One Dreamcastless person at the CastAways group wrote a poem about his experiences:

No dot com
No Dreamcast, gone
Silent staring TV on.

No job pay
No games to play
Wherefore art thou CastAways?

Oh, dark night,
Oh, colors bright,
Sonic bring me nearer light.

Oh, dark soul,
Oh, game control,
Seaman speak and make me whole.

Oh, fun day
What can I say?
You complete me CastAways.

Please remember these people as you play Skies of Arcadia this holiday season.

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