Stolen from Penny Arcade:
"Trying to associate Microsoft with "fun" is like trying to associate Satan with aromatherapy. "
The article I stole it from goes on to talk about how it's amazing they've managed any success with the Xbox in the gaming world because of their business-like, pie-chart weilding image.
When I first got back to PA, I resolved to get myself a computer and an xbox and slowly regain all those things that I'd lost in Seattle. It was out of anger and loss and a sense of desperation that I would be poor and never able to get back up to that level of leisure. So shortly after I had a cruddy computer system purchased second hand out of the back of a van (yes I'm serious) I took my 3rd or 4th paycheck and purchased my own xbox.
I didn't have a lot of games, but I ~do~ have fond memories of staying up late playing Halo, and BloodRayne in god mode with gratuitous dismemberment on. I remember getting my best bud Emily utterly hooked on it. She played it through until she won, at which point I let her accomplishment stand and put the game to bed. This from a girl who, up until that time, had not owned a gaming system. To say I was impressed was an understatement. She pwned the hell out of that thing and I still smile when I think about how many times she tenaciously went after that final boss.
There were many nights of staying up to play through Halo by myself on the easy level. There was fumbling around with the online Halo multi-player that tended to end with a boyfriend-at-the-time perched on the couch next to me watching everything I did and screaming about how everyone else was hacking or cheating or being a douchebag by going for the grenade launcher. (Oh, isn't vicarious living just wonderful???) But it got played, and it got played a lot.I excitedly awaited the arrival of Halo 2 for it, because of how much I'd loved Halo 2 and how it had gotten me back in to the FPS genre after a break of some 6-7 years. My previous experience had been imminent and satisfying shotgun rebuttal in Quake and nothing had brought me that level of joy until Halo presented itself to me.
I played Tetris endlessly on it as is my idiom. It allowed me to slip back in to the days of being crouched in the basement fighting through Jurassic Park on the Sega, and Super Mario Bros. 3 on our Nintendo.
Shortly after I bought it I acquired a video game called World of WarCraft and have sunk heavily back in to my identity as computer gamer. The Xbox languished a bit. The last time we REALLY spent any time together I still lived outside of Harrisburg and had wicked insomnia. At 4 am I pulled out a prized copy of Psychonauts I had been trying to find time and energy to play, and barreled through it for 3 hours until the alarm went off and it was time to go to work. I don't think I touched it once after that, and that was over 2 years ago. It's upstairs in the spare bedroom with the yoga equipment and every implement of painting known to mankind. I keep having these illusions that one day my time will open up and I'll be able to sit down and finish playing through psychonauts or mAlice or any other number of games I never got to start or finish.
Wendy, the newer 360, sits downstairs offering up such loveliness as Bioshock, Too Human, Mass Effect...all these great, epic, beautifully rendered games The other day I even downloaded Ecco the Dolphin from online.
I still have to keep the old box, though. There's songs I burned on to the hard drive for it, to listen to randomly. It has multiple saved games that I just can't transfer over to the 360. There's no true emulator and some of them won't even play.
So for now it crouches, black and ridged, next to my big TV and my CDs and the aforementioned yoga gear. The reason it was hard to reach me on the phone for 2 years while I was raiding in Molten Core is the direct result of having that machine.
I guess I owe it for helping me refind a long-abandoned part of my identity.