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;