The lines began forming days before the new game systems from PlayStation and Nintendo, this season's hot holiday items, went on sale.
For game players, it was the most anticipated moment in years.
For game manufacturers, it was a taste of the billions in profits they would make this decade.
In some cases, those lines turned to violent mobs, providing one man in Florida yet another sign that American culture is going straight to hell.
"The violence, and the mayhem that we saw in those lines, I think, is somewhat indicative of the mentality," Jack Thompson said.
In a world of make-believe battles, Thompson considers himself a real warrior.
The conservative Christian lawyer says he is on a mission to protect children from evil in the form of popular games like "Grand Theft Auto."
To him, these games are not entertainment, they are murder simulators.
"Here you're literally stomping someone into the pavement, and you can stomp them until there is a pool of blood in the street of the person you just killed," Thompson said.
"It normalizes that behavior. It makes it appear to be pleasurable to see that gore, so you're desensitized to the gore," he said. "You're kicking, punching, ultimately shooting, cutting the heads off people with a machete. People you don't know and don't have a motive to be violent against."
If Thompson has one defining personality trait, it is moral certitude.
With the odds stacked against him, he perseveres with relentless lawsuits and lobbying against some of the biggest guns in the field.
"I've rattled some cages, and they've rattled me," Thompson said. "They've come after me. They've repeatedly tried to end my legal career. Some people have intentionally incited people to kill me, threatened to kill me."
Though most of the games Thompson rails against are rated "mature," it is perfectly legal to sell them to children.
Thompson once videotaped his 10-year-old son buying the top-selling and infamously violent "Grand Theft Auto" to encourage a major retailer to check IDs.
And when it comes to Rockstar Games, the company behind some of the most mature titles, he is hardly coy.
"Oh, I'm out to shut down Rockstar," Thompson said. "They're run by a bunch of sociopaths, and they're a one-company crime wave."
This conflict pits one man against some of the most powerful law firms in corporate entertainment.
Ironically, Thompson's crusade has made him an object of scorn among the children he is so eager to protect -- the players of hard-core games.
Kids who wear "I Hate Jack Thompson" T-shirts can trade blows with his likeness that they can create as a character within a new version of the long-running game series "Mortal Kombat."
The Thompson-inspired character employs a fighting style called "legalese."
"I kick away at people in my Brooks Bros. suit," Thompson said.
The volleys Thompson has tossed against video game companies are just the latest in a long and controversial career.
Thompson began his war on impropriety 20 years ago, with a fight against a raunchy morning deejay in Miami.
Janet Reno was the district attorney at the time, and when she declined to prosecute the deejay or his station, Thompson ran against her for her office -- and made a stunning accusation.