Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Oh god no... NO!

The Red Ring of Death;
O, Texas Repair Center!
You're our only hope.

It happened. Grandma's XBox 360, "The Beast", gave her The Ring of Doom; The Three Red Lights; The Texas Eyeball; The Major Nelson Stare.. and this time, there was no cooling off period or power supply reconnection solution. This time, we had to leave it to the professionals.

To say it made Grandma depressed is an understatement.

Grandma is bummed.

Grandma is down.

Grandma is on edge.

It happened sometime in the past couple weeks; she fired up The Beast to play some BoomBoomRocket or 3D Ulta Golf. Rather than giving her an error message or at least booting up the dashboard to toy with her into thinking there was some chance; some possibility of human wrongdoing; something she could fix, it gave the three red lights and a black screen, whirring quietly in it's own way of saying "please.....HELP ME!" The power supply light was green. We ran through all the troubleshooting measures we knew, but she did what had to be done.

She e-mailed Evan in a panic.

Evan has acted as Grandma's "guy" at Edelman; he's the guy that happily exchanged e-mails with Grandma about the release of new XBLA games. He has even sent her the codes for full versions of games he thought she'd enjoy. Now, Grandma needed a guy who solves problems. She needed "The Wolf", and he was happy to be Grandma's Harvey Keitel.

Grandma knew she had to be very careful about all this. The Beast was a gift from MTV, afterall. She couldn't afford the 360 when they were released so MTV with Edelman and Microsoft made it happen; beating her to the punch on that first week of January 2006. Grandma wasn't like the other customers that send in their 360's for repair and if anything, she considered her case to be less special because it was a gift rather than a purchase.

I remember her reaction when Alex and the crew of the G-Hole gave it to her as a surprise tour of the TRL set. I remember us hooking it up back in the hotel room, setting up the dashboard for the first time and playing Kameo and Hexic HD. I remember it not quite fitting in the box for the plane ride home, and watching her and Jeff cross Times Square with the The Beast loosely boxed inside at a time when people were still being shot over the system.

And that was the birth of The Beast.

But! There is still hope. Evan sprung into action for her and begun the process of getting the poor thing repaired.

Someone from Microsoft called her right away to explain how this would all go down. Grandma at least feels as though she's in good hands. Everyone has seemed sympathetic and helpful.

She's been casually exploring Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the PS3 as a second runthrough; so she played and she waited. She constantly checked the front porch for the empty UPS Box sent from the Texas repair center for a few days before it finally came; and uninteresting thing with two foam inserts, instructions, and some packing tape. She removed the harddrive, checked for games, unplugged it all, and sent The Beast on its way.

And now she waits.

It's not all bad news, thankfully. Jennifer from Sony sent Grandma Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters and LocoRoco for her PSP and SingStar Pop for the PS2. So right now Grandma is playing Oblivion on the PS3 and Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters for the PSP while I'm playing LocoRoco on the PSP and Civ IV on the PC. The kids "play" SingStar a lot and seem to really like it, but I have some theories on the karaoke nature of that game for another post, and Grandma has LOTS to say about Ratchet and Clank.

Thanks again, Jennifer! You're always very cool to Grandma.

Now that I've finally figured out the basics of how to set up a chain of routers to avoid conflicting IP Addresses, she can finally use the VC more often on her Wii, and there's LOTS to talk about there as well.

On the PS3 front, she downloaded a couple classics: Jumping Flash and Crash Bandicoot and we started on the Easy pack for GoSudoku! which has only proved like Brain Age that once again, we suck at Sudoku, but we can't stop PLAYING for some reason.

Also! Grandma gave her opinion about the potential senior Wii owner reaction to Manhunt II's summer Wii release in this month's EGM (out now) that I think you'll agree with :)

Grandma is playing much so there is much to talk about. And soon!

When she gets The Beast back from repair, there will be even more.

Thanks for being patient with us;

Game on!


  • At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Mreechan said…

    My condolences on the illness of The Beast. A sick/dead system is always sad. Our PS2 died last year, but it was luckily right before my birthday, so we went only a few weeks without. Hopefully they get your 360 healthy again soon!

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Iván R. González said…

    Im sorry... Damn, you cant trust in a Xbox 360. Each hour of gameplay can be the last one.

  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger Christian said…

    OUCH. Sorry to hear that. Everytime I hear about someone else's 360 crapping out it makes me wonder just when mine might give up the ghost.

  • At 1:24 PM, Blogger Valke said…

    Ugh, my condolences on untimely (at least for now)demise of the beast. First time I ever went to play a 360 a friend of mine brought it over and Boom, ring of doom. Use the time to catch up on some more neglected games and hope to hear the good news of its return soon.

  • At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Kyle said…

    I hope your 360 is ok. I have Oblivion of course right now and I'm very addicted to it. I also have Crash Bandicoot, I didn't buy it on the PS3 though, I actually have it for the PS1. I hear a lot of 360's are crashing now though. I hope that never happens to my PS3. One of my PS2's died on my once, but it couldn't get repaired for some reason so I had to buy another one. I was lucky to because then they were preparing the new skinny PS2 and they got rid of the regulars. They only had one left at EBgames and it was discounted to like $100 I think.

  • At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Maybe someone from Microsoft will read this and give OGHC an Elite for publicity. She deserves it in my opinion. Anyway, I can't wait to hear what Granny's sentimental Virtual Console picks are!

  • At 2:33 PM, Blogger pi! said…

    I know i'll be quite angry if my computer would do this :/

  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger Zodiak said…

    yeouch, another 360 bites the dust. I swear they are going this month. We got a fresh new 360 at my place of work and within a few days it gets redeye =(

    Well nows the time for an elite if grandma was looking to buy one. But I doubt you'd have the money for it, but I'm sure you have most of the accessories for the original 360. Come on Mircosoft, give grandma a new 360!

  • At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Jackie said…

    This is exactly what Im afraid of!!! I need to buy the new external hard drive so in case my 360 gets fried all my stuff will be saved.

    Has Grandma tried Shrek 3 yet for xbox360? Its fantastic! I love it!!!

  • At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh im sorry, good lucky dealing with Microsoft and their shitty customer service. GoNintendo owner has had a ton of trouble getting them to send him a new one...I wish you luck!!


  • At 1:29 AM, Anonymous Blue said…

    Eep! My condolences on the wounding of your 360. I have high hopes for it coming home to you guys safe and sound, though - sounds like it's in very good hands ::smile:: Best of luck to its speedy recovery, and may excellent gaming come to OGHC and the St. Hilare clan in the interim (and always!) Must run, but hugs to you guys, take care & be well, and GAME ON!


  • At 2:57 PM, Anonymous briggs said…

    Sorry to hear about this. My 360 has never had any problems, but now I am kind of worried. By the way, what is grandma's gamerscore? I have always wondered about this, though it might be largely irrelevant.

  • At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OGHC's current gamerscore is 10577.

    (Mine, Michael Spencer, is only 8762.)

  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    how's grandma doing without the xbox? any word from texas on the prognosis?

  • At 4:48 PM, Blogger Marie said…

    Yikes! I hope they can fix it. I know that's what been holding me back for so long from buying a 360 or a Wii. I'd really hate for them to crash on me. That and you know, lack of funds to actually buy them, haha.

  • At 11:38 AM, Anonymous faith said…

    I don't play the games, but I have had a few friends who this has happened to, and you have my condolences...they had similar reactions to yours (and rocking back and forth, sucking their thumbs etc.)

  • At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just saw OGHC back online, and exchanged some messages with her. Hopefully there'll be a newspost about the whole experience up here soon. :-)

  • At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    you are the gradma of my dreams...my grandma knows only to make pies...!!!!!!!


    Billy GR_13

  • At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    HAHA it broke!!

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  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger jamie said…

    Unlucky about your xbox 360 I had to sent my xbox back to the shop four times and sent it away to mircosoft once due to it breaking my games I hope you get it back soon take care and GAME ON!

  • At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the same thing happened to my 360 and I used the towell trick to temporarily fix it, i'm still waiting for the empty box

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