My 8001050F Survival Strategy (Previously Unpublished)
This is a previous unpublished article originally written for another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.
WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.
A lot of my.. acquaintances… play World of Warcraft. I enjoy laughing at them on a regular basis. Whenever the servers go down for one of their regular 8 hour patches, it is like watching a river of crocodiles who have had acupuncture needles gouged into their eyes. Blindly and in agony they flap around snapping wildly, roaming the land (their living room) with no purpose until the servers come back online again. They have TV but they don’t want to watch it. They have porn but they don’t want to, erm, watch it. They have music but they don’t want to listen to it. They have girlfriends but they, no wait they don’t have girlfriends. They could go out, but well, I guess they’re unemployed so they don’t have any money. And where would they go? They are only familiar with Azeroth; they haven’t unlocked the town outside their actual front door yet, and to be honest, they’re probably KoS. If the Warcraft player’s character is from the Alliance, the real world is controlled by the Horde.
I’m a narcissist so I always enjoy laughing at these people’s expense, spewing out glib throwaway remarks like ‘get a life’ at them just to see if I can provoke them into a hissy fit. Yesterday, I had a hissy fit, and entered the land of hypocrisy.
Peter had already got on my nerves by telling me, no Katy, you cannot complete Star Ocean before Final Fantasy XIII comes out, instead you are going to write a review of White Knight Chronicles and then have two unfinished RPGs by 9th March instead of one finished. I stumbled out of bed on Monday morning after staying up til 7am trying to find a good place to stop in Star Ocean, poured myself a coffee, wiped the little crusties out of my sleepy eyes and popped the White Knight Chronicles disk into my PS3.
Fortunately I had read TSA while waiting for the coffee to brew and knew that impending doom may be on the cards. Sure enough, my shiny ever-faithful brother reported “sorry m8, you’re one of the 8,001,050 F*cked people”. Ah well, not to worry, I have my PSP, and I have to review Echoshift as well, I’ll just play that today.
But I don’t WANT to play that today. I’m waiting for my PSPgo AV cable in the mail so I can play it on my TV. I WANT to play on my PS3. And here is where the syndrome begins. I could’ve used my PSP, or my Wii, and well, technically I could’ve used my 360 but there are certain limits I try to adhere to when it comes to exercising the use of taste in my choice of entertainment (360 fanbois: if the 360 had died I would’ve made the same joke about the PS3; it’s called creative licence, relax). So I did what everyone else did: opened Sony’s twitter feed, the US blog, TSA comments, and hit F5 every 5 minutes, periodically pausing to twiddle my thumbs and smoke a cigarette.
My nurse came and said, why don’t you go outside and enjoy the sunshine. I had to contain my laughter. Everybody knows that sunshine does a gamer no favours at all, and what is this ‘outside’ you speak of? For me, outside is the path that runs directly from my house to Gamestop. It is used only as a shipping lane to bring overpriced pre-ordered games into my realm on the day of release, and otherwise should be avoided at all costs. Staying outside in the sun too long can cause you to forget how to operate a PS3 controller, this is scientifically proven. Plus I might meet someone and make a friend who wants to go out while I’m playing Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and then where would be? No, this whole ‘outside’ concept was no good at all, completely ridiculous and I dismissed it out of hand as any gamer worth her salt would. I mean, what would I say to my 100 closest PSN friends? “What? You went OUT?! Are you crazy?! Seriously, I’m disappointed in you, I expected better. Warm up some frozen pizza, grab a cola and start behaving like an adult.”
So I did what any bored person would do: surfed YouTube, the ultimate time sink for lonely people. The Hitler videos were quite hilarious and I’m sure we all saw Fat Rage Guy too. Not being exposed to sunlight since mommy left the hospital with me has made me a dab-hand at electronics, and I pondered ripping my PS3 to bits assuming I’d probably have to use the shipping lane to import a Slim today anyway. I had decided I would give them til 11am today to fix it. But, the guy who wrote the tutorial was an idiot – the battery is soldered onto its contacts, his solution – apparently in the absence of having the balls to use a soldering iron – was to tightly wind electrical tape round the battery holder after you’d replaced it. So you’ve never heard of fan vibration then? That’s gonna last for about ooh, 3 days. Then you’re gonna spend the Rest Of Your Life re-opening it to re-wind the tape every 3rd day. I can live without that.
I know this girl who lives in my town. Hot girl. Gamer geek. We’ve chatted on and off on MSN for a couple of years, but never met – the real world is too dangerous. She actually had the cheek to berate me for not being in the Just Cause 2 beta lately, I was like, what the hell? I’m not going to be pwned by another girl, that is my job. Damn other women who are in more betas than me. Damn them all to hell. Stop stealing my glory. Anyway, in a masterstroke of genius timing, she wrote to me yesterday and said, do you wanna meet at your house and play some games?
After my blood had reduced from boiling point to a mere simmer at my grave misfortune of not being able to entertain a young Norwegian girl in the manner of her choosing, I said “Ehm… yes… I’d LOVE to play (games) with you! Just.. ehm… it’s a little, err, inconvenient today. Can we take it tomorrow? I’m available anytime after midnight.” No way was I going to admit to her that I’d been 8001050Fucked, that would make me look foolish for not upgrading. As she went off to do other things I looked up, fist clenched waving it at the giant Sony in the sky. YOU made me lose a date, Sony. YOU WILL PAY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. If I don’t get laid with her because of a bug in a real-time clock, I’m gonna sue for, well, let’s say pain and suffering and unnecessary stress and trauma, that’s what the other guy is suing them for right, and it always worked for him!
I returned to my F5ing. Then my best friend calls, says he’s free, and for a moment I lost myself and said, “Great! Come and check out Heavy Rain, it’s awesome”. He came over but instead I was forced to sit through The Watchmen, a movie where Batman and a girl pulled straight from a JRPG fly around doing, stuff, oh I don’t know I was too busy looking at my phone to see how close it was to midnight.
When he arrived – and I swear this is completely true – I hovered in front of my PS3 with its stack of irresponsibly unboxed bluray games strewn over my coffee table, put both my arms out and shouted “Don’t come any closer. Do NOT put these games in the machine. Do NOT put SingStar in. I have 88% on that including the one for getting 9324 on Hard and getting a 4-star or higher rating on online media with at least 1000 ratings. If you even pick up the disk, I swear to God I will snap your neck with my thumb and forefinger. He laughed and said, “Well, Wipeout HD works”.
Wipeout HD?! What is this 2008? That’s like Gran Turismo 5 without the 4-year delay. Sure it gets the job done but come on! I know, right? What’s wrong with him!
At the stroke of exactly 0249 CET I checked TSA one more time before sheepishly trying to log back into PSN. It worked. Balloons and confetti flew around my room, fireworks went off outside and I fell on my knees in praise of Syscon for making a time-measuring device that works at least 364 days out of every 365. Those geniuses! I wished that someday I would be that good a software developer, but, I suck, so, I’ll probably just have to keep my job working on PlayStation Home*.
And with that, like many of you, I turned it off and went to bed. I’ll say that again just in case you missed it: I turned it off and went to bed. Why? Isn’t it obvious? Once it works again, you don’t need to check it, or use it, and your work is done. The trauma only comes when the thing you want to use doesn’t work, everyone knows this. Once it works again, you’re like… “meh, I’ll play with it later”.
This is a 100% entirely true story (except for the confetti and fireworks bit), of how I got through one of the most tedious 24 hours I’ve had in, ooh I don’t know, at least the last week. All my friends may now laugh at me as I have reduced myself to their level and succumbed to the “OMG THE SERVER IS DOWN MY LIFE IS OVER” syndrome typically exhibited unemployed 30-year olds on welfare still living at home with their parents. I better keep it on the down low, certainly wouldn’t want to post about it on the internet or I’ll never live down the shame.
How did you get through it?
* I don’t work on PlayStation Home – they said I was overqualified.