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BECKY SHER | Hype GameCube goes cordless



Published: Wed, August 7, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



So, you've discovered the cord on your video-game controller is just a few inches too short. In a terrifying turn of events, you are unable to reach the fridge and play your fave game at the same time. Nintendo feels your pain. In an effort to save gamers everywhere from the torture of pausing the game to get a snack or answer the phone, the company has come up with WaveBird -- a wireless controller for its GameCube system.

The battery-operated device lets you control all your favorite characters from as far as 20 feet away from the tube. (Now whether you can actually see the screen from that distance is up to you ... and your optometrist.) The WaveBird uses radio frequency signals to transmit, so the controller will even work under your bedspread, or behind a wall. (We're not sure what good that does you, but still, it's pretty cool.) And don't worry -- the WaveBird is the same size as a standard GameCube controller, so you don't have to spend lots of time getting used to a new setup. WaveBird sells for $35 wherever you buy gaming equipment.

Do-it-yourself style

Admit it -- you'd rather go to school naked than wear a pair of jeans that actually looks ... gasp! ... new. It's OK, you're not the only one. That's why American Eagle Outfitters has introduced 10 in-store Customization Stations, where you can use tools and stencils to make your back-to-school wardrobe totally unique.

The stations -- open throughout August -- feature military-inspired number and letter stencils, distressing tools and plenty of help from AE employees, who will give you pointers on how to get that new pair of jeans to look just so. (Unfortunately, they probably can't help you explain to Mom and Dad why you just spent 50 bucks on a pair of jeans and then beat them to death with distressing tools. Now is the time to educate the 'rents in the particulars of the "vintage" look.)

We're sorry to report that American Eagle isn't opening Customization Stations in all of its stores. Only lucky shoppers at these malls will get in on the experience: West Side Pavilion, Los Angeles; Valley Fair, Santa Clara, Calif.; Cambridgeside Galleria, Cambridge, Mass.; Garden State Plaza, Paramus, N.J.; Easton Town Center, Columbus, Ohio; Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Va.; Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn.; Oakbrook Mall, Oakbrook, Ill.; San Francisco Shopping Centre, San Francisco; and Ross Park Mall, Pittsburgh.

If you're not one of the lucky ones, get some tips on customizing denim at http://www.getcrafty.com/read/craft/features/denim/index.html.

XBecky Sher writes Hype for Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. You can write to her at bsher@krtinfo.com.




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