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The usual gamer suspects line up for Grand Theft Auto release

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The usual gamer  suspects line up  for Grand Theft  Auto release

Fans of the Grand Theft Auto franchise formed a line that wrapped around the building late Monday night, waiting to obtain their copy of GTA V. The video game’s early release kicked off the industr...

RYAN BALBUENA/The Bulletin/


POSTED September 17, 2013 11:19 p.m.

A motorcycle revved its engine, spun its tire and exited the Game Stop parking lot, leaving behind only a cloud of smoke.

“Now that’s GTA!” yelled a gentleman, one of about 150 who stood in line Monday evening for the midnight release of Grand Theft Auto V.

Save for a brief parking lot sweep by  Manteca Police and the squeal of a rubber tire, the highly-anticipated debut of Grand Theft Auto was calm and orderly.

Those looking for mayhem and mischief had to wait until they got home to play the latest and most expensive installment of the GTA series.

The scene outside the Game Stop on Historical Plaza Way was one of civility and commerce.

Droves of people turned up to obtain their copy of the video game. The line featured an eclectic group of teenagers and young adults, many of whom have waited five years for the next chapter.

A few high school students wished aloud they had sick days, and it appears they fought temptation to go the way of Ferris Bueller.

You remember Ferris’ fool-proof plan, right? Lick the palms, fake a cough, and when the parents have left you in solitude to battle the “bug,” you dive head-first into your next adventure. For many, that meant running wild on the streets of  Los Santos, GTA V’s open-world fictional backdrop based on the city of Los Angeles.

Worry not, administrators at East Union, Manteca and Sierra high schools reported no significant dip in attendance, though one said video games are without a doubt the No. 1 culprit in student fatigue.

Game Stop and Rockstar Games weren’t the only companies turning a profit Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

In a sign of forward-thinking, Game Stop’s management forged a deal with a local pizza restaurant, selling slices to those in line. 

Call it Crowd Management 101.

To keep frustration at bay and to help pass the time, Game Stop turned to Straw Hat Pizza, which has already agreed to work Game Stop’s next release party in October.

Homecoming
on the road

Sierra High is going in a different direction with its upcoming Homecoming festivities.

The Timberwolves will hit the streets for a celebration of school that begins Monday and stretches into the weekend.

The theme this year will take students down familiar roadways and streets, each one setting the mood for that particular day’s events.

For instance, tie-dye clothing will be hip and groovy  on Monday for “Haight-Ashbury Street” day.

Tuesday is “Great America Road,” which calls for a celebration of country. The day will be washed in red, white and blue colors, and the lunchtime activity is America’s favorite Fourth of July tradition – a hot dog eating contest.

Wednesday “Hollywood Boulevard” invades the campus. Students are encouraged to dress as tacky tourists and celebrities. That night, Sierra will host its annual Powderpuff games and its Homecoming King and Queen will be announced.

Thursday is “Disney Avenue” and Friday brings everyone back home with “Thomas Street,” the school’s physical address.

A Homecoming rally Friday afternoon will drum up excitement for the football game, floats and parade later that night.

The fun continues into the weekend. Sierra High will induct its third Hall of Fame class on Sunday during a ceremony at Chez Shari, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The class includes the 1995 boys cross country team, the 1998 girls soccer team and retired teacher Ed Almaas.

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