Rant Central #14: Leo Laporte, stop talking about gaming, PLEASE!

Disclaimer: Leo Laporte diehards, I realize he’s building the Ultimate Gaming PC, so don’t even bother bringing that up.  That’s beside the point. 😉

I don’t mean to disparage anyone, especially when the wolf pack that follows Leo Laporte would be very happy to eat me for lunch, but when it comes to the topic of videogames Leo needs to not even bother. The misinformed sludge that comes out of his mouth every time he tries to speak about games time after time confirms that he’s just plain out of touch.

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Rant Central # 5.5: A royal Microsoft Screwing

As posted up by bs angel of Hawtymcbloggy, this impromptu Rant Central is going toward the folks up in Redmond Washington, or should it go to the repair center down in Texas. Does it matter? Nope, because what I have read is despicable in the lowest way possible. This really isn’t any kind of rant. This is just here to spread the word of this atrocity. Yes, there are bigger things going on in the world, but this can’t go unnoticed and should be seen by as many people as possible. In stead of coming up with something witty to say about the following I’ll just let you have it if you haven’t already come across this. In the comments of this post over at Hawtymcbloggy, Bungie’s “lukem’s” has expressed concern believing that there is something that can be done to right this situation somehow:

  • 61. lukems | February 28, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    This is really unfortunate. I’m sure there’s something we can do. BS Angel, shoot me a note.

Hopefully there is something that can be done, because my heart just about sunk into the ground after reading this. Here’s the entire post by bs angel.

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved video games. This boy bought an Xbox 360. Two years later it broke. The boy had no choice but to send it in for repairs. It was then that Microsoft decided to screw him over. A very big bend on over so we can give you the royal treatment sort of screwing. This is his story.

A passionate gamer by the name of Nathaniel purchased an Xbox 360 at launch. After working reliably for over two years, his faithful console companion finally kicked the bucket. It was then that he faced a major quandary. Should he send it in for repairs or attempt to fix it himself? The obvious answer would be send it in for repairs but Nathaniel’s 360 was not like yours and mine. Oh no, it was special. “Was” being the key word.

xbox 360 bottom

Nathaniel’s Xbox 360 was his trusty traveling companion. Throughout their joint adventures, Nathaniel acquired several signatures from notable members of the gaming community, all collected directly upon his console with permanent marker. Signatures from several members of the Rooster Teeth Productions staff shared space with signatures from members of the Xbox 360 team and also staff from Bungie Studios. He even had custom artwork by Rooster Teeth Comics artist and Halo fan artist Luke McKay on it.

This console adorned with things representing very special memories held great sentimental value to Nathaniel as you can imagine. Not even taking into account that it had monetary value as well, it was simply a console that he adored. That is why shipping it off to the repair center was not the easiest choice to make. But between that and trying to repair it himself, it was the better option. Taking it apart would have voided the warranty so if his attempts at fixing it had been unsuccessful, he would have been screwed. Unfortunately he still got screwed, but he didn’t know that would happen at this point.

xbox 360 top

Obviously concerned about his prized console’s case, he called Xbox support to discuss the possibility of getting a different 360 sent back to him and the importance that he get the same exact console and case back. He was assured his console would get repaired and they would ship the same console back to him. They gave him a reference number for the call and that was that.

Nathaniel carefully packaged his beloved 360 into the coffin, including this letter :

To whom it may concern:

Enclosed in this package you will find one Xbox 360 console, serial number 610537654806. I pre-ordered this machine months before the Xbox 360 launched, and I’ve been a proud owner ever since it arrived. Although the original warranty for my machine has expired some time ago, I still keep the sales receipt and original retail box.

I have taken this unit along with me on some of my travels over the past two years, and during that time I have acquired a number of signatures from notable members of the gaming community.

Among those signatures are several members of the Rooster Teeth Productions staff, certain members of the Xbox 360 team, and some of the staff from Bungie Studios. Those signatures are also joined by custom artwork by Rooster Teeth Comics artist and Halo fan artist Luke McKay. This console represents some special memories—of which I am quite fond—from the past two years of my life. As you can imagine, this particular unit has a great deal of sentimental value to me and is quite possibly of reasonable monetary value as well.

I am well aware that in many cases new replacement units have been returned to those who have sent their consoles for repairs. I would be displeased if this were to happen to me. When I put in the service request for my unit, the agent that took my call assured me that the same unit I have sent to you would be shipped back to me. If you must send a different unit back, please put my original case on the replacement unit. Having put the above information forward, it is logical to conclude that I would be most disappointed should I receive a different console with a plain white case in return.

Please take care in handling the case, as despite the fact that the ink is permanent and has had plenty of time to set, the possibility yet remains that it may be smudged.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

So he called beforehand and was told he would receive his exact console back. He also included a letter just to cover all his bases. I bet you think you know what happens next. If you were to guess that Microsoft sent him a different plain white console back, you would be wrong.

They sent him his Xbox 360 back. The front serial number and the back serial number match up exactly. So what is the problem then? Someone at the repair center took the time to clean his console case. Despite the fact that the repairs that needed to be done were inside the console, someone wiped down the outside of the case. Wiped it down so well in fact that all of the signatures and artwork are completely gone. All that is left are some smudges and the unmistakable purple-ish hue of diluted permanent ink.

not so clean case

Permanent marker does not rub off that easily. Someone put a lot of work into making sure they erased all of the rich history that was built up on that console. There were not scribbles all over it, there were signatures. And pictures. Is there any way you could see a picture of Master Chief and think it wasn’t there on purpose? I am at a loss to understand how an employee looked at that console and thought it would be a good idea to scrub off everything on it.

Despite the fact that Nathaniel called beforehand and got assurances that everything would be ok, despite the fact that he included a very detailed and clear letter with his console, despite the fact that it was no fault of his own that his console broke in the first place, Nathaniel is just another gamer to get screwed over by Microsoft in a rather unique way. My brain simply can’t understand how an error of this magnitude happened. I do hope they take the time to make this right. But what are the chances of that, right?

Rant Central #5: but here’s my problem

Videogame reviews have one thing in common. They always eventually degenerate into four little words: but here’s my problem. Whether or not I call it a pet peeve or not, this has gotten to the point of being light years beyond the ordinary pet peeve. No matter how great a game is supposed to be, it’s nothing more than “but, here’s my problem”.

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Rant Central #4: Racism and Xbox Live

I’ve written about this before, and not to my surprise, I continue to receive responses about this epidemic issue to this day. It was talked about briefly on the first Major Nelson podcast of ’08, but obviously it hasn’t gone away or worse yet, it won’t ever go away.

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Rant Central #3: COD 4 vs. Halo 3: Hypocrisy ground zero

During this crazy time of the year for the gaming industry, now that all of the big games of last year are out, there’s bound to be controversy over which game is best. In this case, Call of Duty 4 vs. Halo 3. While this is in no way a review of the games, it’s most definitely a review of the hypocritical gamers out there who make rash decisions based on the hype upon of which each and every game gets or fails to get. Live Activity charts are abuzz with chatter over the two games. Which one is best? Let me see…..

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Rant Central #2: Demo injustice

Level 2 loaded…..

Console demo’s. What a novelty! Once banned to the unholy land of the official magazine of your console choosing, comes the almighty demo to that of which is now known as “the nextgen”. PC gamers all quiver to how behind the times console only gamers are to the party that started over ten years ago, but one thing is for certain, a “good” demo will most definitely help your game. Need I say a “bad” demo will destroy your chances as at success in one fellow swoop as if you killed everyone’s family who come away with no interest in your game.

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Rant Central #1: Innovation: “It’s a trap”

Dark green center RantC CS

”I want innovation, I want innovation”. No you don’t! You say you do, but when something new is attempted you say it’s not the same as before. Latest case in point is Burnout Paradise. Burnout fans get over yourself, that is if you want the same game again, and again, and again.

I love games, you love games. We all want them to be better with each and every release, so why do so many of us not like it when a series does what we often cry out for every time. Innovation is the word, right? Look at the game that came before, see what’s different, then any differences are suppose to determine whether or not you should buy this “new” game. Look at poor ole Tim Schafer. You can’t tell me that he’s not about ready to bust some caps in some gamers asses for his less than stellar selling Psychonauts. It’s only the most unique game to release in the last five f’ing years that has what everyone wants, as in familiar platforming, but tanks due to supreme hypocrisy. Tim should get a pass if he where to ever crack and turn into a crazed hitchhiker who’s only victims are hypocritical gamers.

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