Friday, October 17, 2008

I used to think Halo was a cooking game series. Why else would the main character be named Master Chef?

I did something probably unwise today. So unwise that it can be justifiably called Unwise. I bought a new X-Box 360. I had one of these devices back in Someplace Else, but lost it to my brother in the moving settlement. So I had a half-dozen games, and no game player. This made me sad. Additionally, since I can't get colour on my PS2 (long story), I don't really have anything to watch my DVDs on. And fallout 3 and fable 2 are coming out in a few weeks. And if I'm planning to do a dissertation on video games, I should probably have a system capable of playing them.
All good reasons. But there were three compelling reasons not to do it:
  • Time. I sunk a LOT of time into my X-box, especially during the first year of my MA. I clocked in over 200 hours on Oblivion alone. Little things--school work, my job, a social life--tend to quietly get up and leave when the X-box is in the room.
  • Distance. I tend to get all my video junk from EB games, on account of their one-year warranty on games and systems. The nearest EB games from my apartment is 7 k away, which meant a 14 k trip all around. And when you're carrying a heavy X-box back with you on your bicycle, that's reason to pause for thought.
  • Money. The other two reasons don't really count; I've gone great distances for stupider reasons, my work gets done one way or the other, and... well, a social life has to exist in the first place in order to be neglected. The main factor for me was justifying the $400 (with warranty) price tag. As a near desolate grad student, I'm on a budget. I've got a bit of a nest egg, but no way it's going to last all four years. I've been looking for ways to supplement the income (I should mention that for the benefit of my professors and any others who will eventually read this that I am entirely appreciative of the money the fine University of __________ supplies its students and would not in any way want to appear ungrateful. Please continue sending me money.). Actually, it's one of the reasons I finally went through with an application to SSHRC; while it wouldn't increase my total university earnings, it would free up some time to get a part time job. But for that, I'd have to get a SSHRC in the first place, which is all kinds of unlikely. Worst case scenario, I guess I can just get a roommate; there's a lot of problems that an extra $350 a month can solve.
Wow, that third one just sort of took over there, huh? I guess I'm more concerned about finances than I thought. I guess it's because this is the furthest I've ever been from my parental safety net; there's no one here to save me from the consequences of stupid financial decisions.
Like, say, buying an X-box 360.

...Of course, all that's pretty easy to ignore when you've spent the last five straight hours guiding Lego Indiana Jones through the Temple of Constructable Doom. "Red and black blocks arranged in such a manner as to look like snakes! Why did it have to be red and black blocks arranged in such a manner as to look like snakes!"

Later days.


Anonymous said...

ooo new xbox! now just think of the inevitable fun of rrod and how that'll fit in with the time and distance factors

Peter_Applebaulm said...

Why no Wii? I'm told it ameliorates the time-hogging, anti-social guilt with a dose of cardiovascularly hyper-aerobic self-improvement.

Person of Consequence said...

Well, I already had the half-dozen X-box games. Additionally, the Wii's being aggressively marketed towards the casual gamer, and I'm way too much of a video game elitist to associate with commoners.

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