Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Night Dad and the Death of an Xbox

Skyrim is a video game five years in the making. You've never heard of it because it's a secret door behind a secret cabinet down a secret hallway in my mother's basement.  Which is where I'd be playing this game right now if I hadn't had the foresight to convince Lynette to marry me twelve years ago.  In 1999, I knew I would have to cultivate a romantic, fulfilling, engaging, loving relationship with a beautiful, caring, affectionate woman so that when the day came for me to enter the world of Skyrim I would not fear the fallout and retribution for spending all my free time slaying dragons and searching dungeons.  Unconditional love kicks ass!

Jokes, of course.  But seriously, Skyrim is probably one of the best video game experiences I have had in my moderate history of playing video games, which goes as far back as the Atari 2600. This one goes in my top five.   

So that's the set up for how awesome this game is.  On with the blog.

Friday, James stayed home because his day care was closed.  We took a trip to the local GameStop to purchase Skyrim.  Gave a fatherly nod to the other dude in line carrying a car seat which probably contained an infant child. (Gamer Dads have a secret nod. I can't explain it to you because it's secret.) Because my day mostly consisted of quelling James' various baby moods and exchanging fart noises on the floor, I did not have any time to play Skyrim. (By the way, every time you read the word Skyrim you should hear a dragon roar and dramatic music. Please scroll down to my previous post of the official trailer for a sample.)  

The next day, catastrophe.  I sneaked in a few moments of Skyrim early Saturday morning when suddenly my Xbox 360 froze.  FROZE!  As with the occurrence of most tragedies in my life I spent most of the day in denial.  I kept restarting the system only to have it freeze over and over again.  (Blowing into the Xbox did nothing!) Soon the realization came: My trusty, white Xbox (that I purchased at the launch of the console back in 2005) was a "brick."  Dead. Gone. Game over.

Lynette had plans to attend a baby shower Saturday night which meant I had no time to go out and buy a replacement Xbox.  Plus, who's got an extra $300 laying around for these types of emergencies?  Not me.  The world was darkening and closing in on me.  Sweat beads emerged on my brow.  My hands began trembling. 

I ran to the comfort of the internet for help and discovered several similar stories.  "Skyrim broke my Xbox!"  Apparently, my version of the Xbox 360 was too old to handle the power of Skyrim.  Like playing Lazer Tag with grandpa.

Later, after Lynette left for her party and I fed and bathed and got James to bed like a Dad Boss, I realized there was another Xbox in the house... Lynette's Xbox, which was hooked up to the TV in the bedroom.  It was Saturday night, Lynette was out, and James asleep... Skyrim began taunting me.  "JC, use Lynette's Xbox... She won't mind..."  Of course I had to risk breaking her Xbox if I inserted Skyrim into it.  It was a risk I was willing to take. 

Lynette's Xbox ran Skyrim like a dream.  I imagine this is how an NFL team feels after winning the Super Bowl.  It was certainly a victory for me.  I felt like THIS.

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