Extra Scenario: Funeral for a Friend
I am a Playstation fangirl. I have been ever since Resident Evil stopped gracing Nintendo’s systems. That brief period between the N64 and the Gamecube was enough to do it. Since I first got my Playstation One, I’ve been fortunate enough to own every single Sony console since. My profile picture for most online accounts is of my Xbox Live avatar (sleeping, not posing for a traditional MySpace pic) only because the Playstation Home avatar looks…fucking stupid.
Many of my friends and colleagues also own Sony consoles, specifically a Playstation 3. We often comment and joke about how our original backwards compatible systems are still kicking in their old age, even though there have been numerous refreshes of the console, mostly for aesthetic reasons. I’d always laugh and knock on imaginary wood, because I knew that someday I would have to face the inevitable – my backwards compatible fat PS3 was going to go belly up.
You know how this turns out.
I used almost a whole paycheque to buy the last 80gb backwards compatible model bundled with Metal Gear Solid 4. I remember first getting it. It sat in the box in the trunk of my car while I was at work. I kept looking out at my car and freaking out, thinking about how much money I spent on something that I wasn’t even playing. I was almost too afraid to take it out of the box – it was the most expensive toy I had ever purchased, but once I did it became a staple of my entertainment centre. I jury-rigged a little setup in my room when I got home – my computer monitor with no sound and my old stereo. It wasn’t the best setup, but my mind was still blown.
The PS3 brought me my first real online multiplayer experience, too. I’m going to forget the whole Resident Evil: Outbreak experience and remember it for what it wasn’t. I’d just started my first set of what would become a year of midnight shifts and when I wasn’t working, I’d find myself up all night with nothing to do. I started playing Metal Gear Online with a bunch of strangers and going to town on them. That was before MGO went insane with add-ons and updates that pretty much crippled it. But I still played it for about a year, almost every night I wasn’t working.
It was free and welcoming as each gamer was spreading their online multiplayer wings for the first time. While I was playing those online matches it was the first time someone ever told me that I was good at a game by another gamer’s standards, because up to that point I basically thought I sucked. It was a wonderful compliment and it contrasts greatly from what a lot of other women say about their first online experience. Probably because the other players didn’t know I was a woman.
Overall, this contrasted greatly with the rest of my life. I was working two jobs, trying to maintain some semblance of a social life (and failing miserably) and suffering from a bit of a depression from my brother’s passing. I found myself alone, a lot. Through everything though, the PS3 was my outlet. I remember I was playing the original Dead Space while my parents were moving our stuff out of our family home of 16 years and my boss called to tell me I was fired for something that wasn’t even really my fault. I wept for a while and then went right back to playing Dead Space. Good old creepy Dead Space.
I still found myself staying up late nights playing video games and the PS3 was always ready to accommodate. And even though I still played my other consoles, the PS3 was always my go-to.
Fast forward a few years later. I live on my own, dropped right into the real world. The PS3 is still the centre of my entertainment system. I still work nights and still find myself alone for long stretches. Normal people would be on Facebook (open in a separate tab right now, actually) and going out to bars and watching cable TV, but I’m not having any of that. My antisocial tendencies and overall broke-ness make the PS3 the old tried and true. Cable television is expensive and the PS3 has Netflix and YouTube and streaming abilities – and for the rest, there are…other means.
I was getting ready to stream some Venture Bros from my PC to the PS3 when visuals on the screen clipped and froze. I figured it was just a problem with the connection, as had happened before. I attempted to exit the video application, but then everything froze. The controller wasn’t responding, even the unit itself wasn’t responsive. I turned off the console by flicking the power switch at the back and then turned it back on.
The console’s fan powered on – a little flicker of life promptly extinguished by a quick yellow flash and then a flashing red light.
I refused to believe what was happening was real. It couldn’t be!
In a panic, I attempted to restart the system again and again, hoping for some kind of sign. Anything to tell me that my beloved companion was still in there. The same yellow flash of light told me what deep down I already knew.
It was gone.
Big deal, right? The Playstation 4′s launch is right around the corner and the Playstation 4 is set to be the biggest, best Playstation console in history. I wish I could say it was that easy, I really do.
The death of my console is a sad closing to a large chapter in my life. That period where I didn’t need to worry about the ever-increasing costs of living (fuck insurance rates with a capital F, right angles and all) and the painful lesson that while I am still fortunate enough to have nice things, I will be perpetually broke. Where I didn’t have to dedicate every waking hour to work, trying to keep up a healthy lifestyle and a clean living space and still trying to find time to do other things that I actually enjoy. That time where all of the things that I used to love doing were still things I could do.
I might pick up a new console, but it just won’t hold the same magic as my old one. It would always be Maria to my Mary – it will always be a cruel reminder that nothing gold can stay.
At least I got my Resident Evil: Revelations copy out of it. Still felt like ripping the gold watch off of a dead guy though.