A combination of pandemic-driven shortages and the planet’s increasingly gruesome fascination with crypto-mining means it’s hard getting your hands on a new graphics card at the moment. And if you were wondering just how hard, look at this lineup — and resulting crush of humanity — outside a Micro Centre store in Dallas.
The video below, captured by PrestonALewis, goes for 50 minutes, but you’ll only really be interested in the first five or so, where we see a huge crowd form in the store’s parking lot, before staff emerge to tell everybody that only one card per household can be purchased.
“Is there going to be enough for all of us?”
Then, when the doors open (at around 3:55), all hell breaks loose.
That is not very safe! Hopefully other stores, and this one going forwards, can work out something a little more conducive to public safety than having a heaving mass huddle in a parking lot before breaking into a sprint then smashing into one another. I dunno, maybe this is my British heritage shining through, but some kind of…line?
The past 12 months have been hell for PC gamers trying to upgrade their system, as a global shortage of silicon chips has impacted GPU production. And then, when cards are finding their way to market, they’re being snapped up by crypto-miners, who need the advanced processing power to continue mining their fantasy money.
This isn’t just making it hard to get your hands on a card, but it’s driving the price of available cards through the roof, so any cards that aren’t being bought by miners or gamers are being pounced on by resellers, who are trying to sell the cards on marketplaces for double and even triple their rrp.
What really sucks is that the silicon chip shortage isn’t expected to end anytime soon, nor will the delusion of crypto-mining, so there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for anyone who just wants to pay retail price and play some nicer-looking games.