231: Are You Happy Now?

Rob Zacny

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Jun 23, 2008
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Are You Happy Now?

Christmas can be a bittersweet time of year for a PC gamer. If your hardware is up to snuff, you have a feast of games to choose from. But what if your system clocks in just below the requirements for the hottest new game? Rob Zacny takes us back to 1997, when a new computer stood between him and Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.

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Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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That is such a sweet tale. Its really cool how it all worked out, even despite that tirade which had ensued. A true Christmas!

I am glad it worked out in the end! Thank you for sharing it with us!
 

Eagle Est1986

That One Guy
Nov 21, 2007
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Aw, that's great. Such a good Christmas story. I'm sure most of us have felt like that once or twice.
I've learnt though, that as you get older, it's much more about the giving, about creating the situations that you described. Watching my niece open up her presents on Christmas morning a few years ago was magical, I can only hope that I get to see the same results from my God-son this year.
 

Teh_Doomage

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Jan 11, 2009
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That is a great story, I've had similar in my family, just kinda hits close to home.

*wipes a single tear*
 

Clemenstation

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Dec 9, 2008
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Most excellent. I can identify! Christmas was pretty much the only time I got a game each year when I was a kid, so I had to choose carefully.

The year I picked Prince of Persia, only to realize it didn't work (very well) with our computer setup was devastating. I freaked right the fuck out. "Christmas is ruined," and a wide assortment of bitter hyperbole. Eventually I realized that I was sounding a bit obsessed and accepted my fate, and a few months later a new computron appeared. Presto!

At the time, I was convinced that the lesson learned was that you should act like nothing bothers you, and your level-headed indifference will be rewarded when the problem is magically fixed by Forces On High.
 

ryukage_sama

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Mar 12, 2009
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That was a great story.
It reminds me that we often get better than we deserve, while the opposite is true for many others.
We ought to try to be better deserving of what we have, and to be more giving than other people deserve.
 

Byrn Stuff

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Nov 16, 2009
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This was such an excellent story.

I really love that about The Escapist, that I can get thoughts and opinions on gaming in addition to wonderful tales about it. :)
 

Jon Etheridge

Appsro Animation
Apr 28, 2009
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Good article. I think we can relate to doing dumb things as a kid. I once got really upset over a couple of presents under the tree. I only had two gifts but the number wasn't the issue. The issue was the 'shape' of the gift. They were shaped like clothes boxes. You know the ones I'm talking about. The large rectangular one that was sure to contain the green and red sweater you're only going to wear once.

All I wanted that year was the Splinter action figure from the Ninja Turtle series. I overreacted towards my parents and made a complete jackass out of myself. Upon opening the gift not only was Splinter in there, but there beside him were April O'Neil and Shredder. Needless to say I felt like a douche.

I think as kids we're spoiled by being born into a place with readily available food and shelter. (not everyone in this world can say that) Having these two things handed to us so easily puts our focus on thing that are ultimately trivial. I feel like it's only later in life that we start to realize what really matters.
 

Woodsey

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Aug 9, 2009
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I remember when I got my first PC (on Christmas too). Before I'd been confined to only playing on Saturday's when I went to my Dad's.

I don't think I'd even asked for one (expecting a "no" and nothing more if I'd of asked I think, or maybe it was just too fantastic an idea to even consider having one of my own. I remember when I was opening it I was so sure of what it was, but (being filmed) I was hesitant to even say that it was a computer when my Dad kept asking me.

He then hinted that I'd be able to unplug his and put mine in when I came over so that I could use it when I was at his (but not when I was at my Mum's for the rest of the week) because they didn't have another monitor. Only for him to say that if I could find one "laying around" then perhaps I could use that.

Of course, there was one wrapped up in the cupboard.
 

Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
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Apr 1, 2009
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I never had a thing like this with a comp, my dad was head of the computer department at ut for awhile so for the most part we always had a decent machine. But I did have something kinda like this with the original gameboy.

I was so sure I wasnt getting that since I thought I failed my report card, I didnt think that very long since it was pointed out to my by my mom that this wasnt the case but for some reason that stuck, my folks told me they wouldnt get it for me unless I passed but even after it being pointed out that I had, I still thought I wouldnt get it and during xmas morning that seemed to be the case. They did the same thing as the parents in the story, kept it for last, had it hidden behind things and in packaging that I wouldnt notice so I was stunned when I got it. I cant say I did the whole yelling at them thing about it, I might have but if I did I dont remember it. Still that was an awsome xmas.

Kids are supposed to be spoiled, they are supposed to want everything, its a part of being younge, thats what xmas is really about these days, spoiling the kids and suprising them. Im not suprised that he remembers throwing the tantrum (which is still an important part of growing up) but Ill bet the main thing his parents remember is him opening the gift.
 

Chipperz

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Apr 27, 2009
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My first real gaming present after the Mega Drive was made a little bit less of a surprise by my mum telling me she couldn't remember what I wanted, so she gave me the cash and made me go out and buy it. That's pretty much been the tradition since then, though :p

That story was oddly beautiful, and I can certainly relate to it. I remember spending large ammounts of my pocket money on gaming magazines so I could just look at pictures of games I could never have, I remember saving up for a whole year to buy a Game Gear, hell, I remember buying strategy guides for games that I couldn't hope to own, just to know more about them.

Christ, thank God for Wikipedia...
 

zamble

We are GOLDEN!
Sep 28, 2009
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Excellent article. I specially liked when your father, acknowledging this is your hobby, tells you how you should enjo it even when you can't participate on that, or else it's not really your hobby. I liked this because nowadays I probably feel like you did at that time, I read and watch about all games I would love to play, but don't, not because of an obsolete piece of hardware or not enough money to buy another one, but because of lack of time. But I felt like that when I was a teenager and had a crappy computer, too, so I can imagine your hapiness when you got that gift. A brief moment when you have the illusion that you'll play all those games you were salivating upon... that's a magic moment, for sure.
 

vxicepickxv

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Sep 28, 2008
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Was the person that received the gift the same as the one who asked about it.
 

Theissen

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Jan 8, 2008
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I sort of had a similar experience, except the other way around.

I had a burning wish for my own computer for my confirmation. And on the gift table, I see this desktop computer-sized gift, and I was just so happy!

It turns out to be a basket for clothes. Imagine my disappointment. I was really in a bad mood for some time. It was a cruel thing to do against someone that age!

And they did it on purpose, too. Evil, I say!
 

Obrien Xp

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Sep 27, 2009
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I wish my parents were supportive of my gaming, at least they're tolerant. My dad will still watch me sometimes and talk about his Commadore 64. Oh, how things have advanced.

Wonderful story, if it were my parents, I wouldn't have been allowed any electronics for the rest of the year.