Monday, 27 April 2009

the ultimate purpose of a blog

The reason we all have blogs is because we're all very boring and no one gives a shit about anything we say on a level higher than a handful of people.

The world owes us, we feel, we're worth something, we think and we all want our voices heard, however similar they may be to the next man and the result is this massive internet drone of shit with a couple of exceptions from people who are sometimes actually quite interesting.

And this is a games blog, brought about because the only thing relating to games that is AS SHIT as MOST GAMES ARE is FUCKING GAMES JOURNALISM which is sort of like finding a loved one has died trying erotic asphyxiation. It's like they were trying to have a good time but it went so fucking wrong that they died. And now you have to deal with the fact that you saw your dad's erect penis and he was dead at the time because of something he decided to do.

The point of all this is that a blog, typically, is a tool of the powerless - the majority of which say nothing, to no one. And this one is about games, so here is a story about how I screwed myself over, Microsoft kicked me when I was down and how I was unable to do anything about it.

The E74 error. It's been running amok in our 360s, ruining everyone's fun, since (basically) time immemorial. Mine got it and I dealt with it in the worst way possible.

To get the fucking thing repaired I was going to have to pay £80. This is utter bullshit because the E74 is a hardware problem. Meaning Microsoft made the fucking problem in the first place and wanted me to pay for it. So fuck that ridiculous bullshit, right?

I did want any man's man would have done and tried to fix the fucking thing my fucking self.

Which obviously didn't fucking work and now every time I turn that poor xbox on it sounds like it's going to castrate me via explosion.

There's a side story here about my friend, Kris Bradley, coming up with a plan to get me a free Xbox. At the time Coke were running a competition: you drink coke, you get points, enough points = 360. He had like 550 points out of the 600 needed for a 360 and was just going to give it to me, because he's a hero.

I bottle it. I couldn't accept that gift. It felt like too much. The day I call him to tell him I ordered a new 360 he tells me this little sob story about how Coca Cola ran out of 360s and said not to worry, they'd be getting more in stock. The day before the competition is supposed to end Kris has enough points for the 360 and calls up to claim the prize, only to find out the competition was taken down a day early and there were no new 360s anyway. To him the fact I ordered a new one is a massive relief.

So yes, I just said fuck it and upgraded to an elite, 80% of the point of which is that they have massive external hard drives but since I didn't want a hard drive it was basically a waste of money and I hate myself.

So recently Microsoft recognised they'd just fucked up with the E74 error (again: hardware fault) and extended the warranty and set about paying people back for those £80 repairs.

Three times now I have phoned up explaining in tones as masculine and unpleading and somehow almost Scottish about the unfairness of having to pay that £80 to fix Microsoft's error. About how I only opened my 360 because of their inability to recognise the fault as something so major and it would be ludicrous and awful of them to not accept my 360 for free repair, even though it is now technically tampered.

They've not only said no but that they wouldn't even repair it if i paid them.

It's all a matter of policy, it was explained to me. It goes through some scanner which reads the warranty sticker inside the xbox is damaged and it gets sent back with either the message "tampered" or probably just a shit in a box.

So there's nothing I can do about this? I ask.

Nothing, comes the reply.

And presumably no one higher up I can talk to who will help me?

No, there is no one who can help you.

And the phone line connection was actually incredibly bad, so the voice was muffled, crackly and distant which accentuated the bleak and lonely message the technical support line supervisor delivered to an almost unbearable level. Seriously, emotional stuff.

Anyway, this Serious Bullshit only really came about after I bought Silent Hill 2: Inner Fears. I tried to play it on my 360 and it didn't work and it turns out it's because it isn't backwards compatible. Presumably this is some other basic xbox 360 knowledge everyone but me has, along with, obviously, don't open your 360 like a fucking moron.

It turns out that all xbox original titles have to be updated and patched before they run on 360s. For the European version of the game Microsoft just haven't done this and there is no way of finding out if they ever will. So us European's have to play the game on our xbox originals. Which I don't have.

No, they've only done the American version and supposedly they've done a really shit job.

It was whilst I was looking for the backwards compatibility information that I found out about that E74 recall/refund bullshit. If they'd already updated Silent Hill 2: Inner Fears I never would have known.

And that's the real tragedy here. So here it is, an unheard FUCK YOU, MICROSOFT. The impotent cry delivered in it's rightful format: a blog. About games.

Not the moral: give money to charity.

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