You Ungrateful Little Ba*****!

It happens to us all every so often. A relative, or friend, or friend of a relative, or relative of a friend, or summat along those lines asks you to help them ‘set up’ their new console.

On this occasion it was actually a proper profile and gamertag for a new Xbox Live Gold account for their 10-year old son. They’d done the important things like setting up parental controls and all that kind of stuff but not being interested in gaming at all, they had no real concept of gamerscore, gamertag multi-player access or any of that other COOL stuff which we like Live for.

Jump… JUMP! There, the star!! Gettit!

Their poor kid had the default Gamertag which the system had generated – something like “ImportSynergy759” or crap like that – so that was the first thing I changed. He’s been using the profile itself for a while and has amassed a few achievements so he wanted to keep those in place, obviously, but was totally confused about being ‘online’.

Does this mean I can’t play on my own?” was the first question. Which on reflection is actually quite reasonable from someone who doesn’t know, when you think about it.

Do I have to play with other people?” was another. I was immediately able to relate my personal experiences which is that I rarely play in online multi but that it’s nice to have the option to be able to.

What else does it do?” Now, this was the one which led to my thought processes leading to this post. I started to take our young recruit through the other aspects of Live only to have the current stock phrase (did we have these stock responses when we were that age?) levelled at anything I showed.

That’s a bit boring!

GAH! Do you have any concept of how cool this actually is? Do you have any idea of what life was like BEFORE this magic, and it is magic, was available to use all for a few shekels per month? Do you have any clue of the truly awesome technologies that there are underneath all of this stuff?

Of course the answer is no. Okay, he was being a bit of a scrote and I let him know this by ‘leaving him to it’ and walking out. But, here’s the thing, the generation gap is shrinking.

We’re used to having a generational gap of around twenty years and using that as our measure of change. We talk about our parent’s generation and our grandparent’s generation. Now though, we’re seeing technological generations being measured in less than ten years – in some cases as low as five – and today’s kids have no memory of a time before broadband internet, before touch-screen smartphones and before 3rd generation consoles. Now I know that to some of our readership and even to some of my colleagues here at Ready Up I actually fall into the ‘my parents’ generation’ bucket but the times, they ARE a-changing and they’re changing at pace. I work and live with technology and very much enjoy sitting on the leading, and sometimes bleeding, edge. But the perspective that I have over what we see now versus what I first saw when my eyes were opened to gaming at home, through Defender on the BBC Micro, is significant and I’m very pleased I have it.

How many tech-generations ago?

I’m always stunned at the possibilities which open up year on year and month on month through the technologies we see, Kinect, Move, Thunderbolt, high-speed broadband and everything else which comes along. It’d be nice to be able to transplant some of that perspective into today’s tech-generation but I’ve a feeling that it’d simply be “a bit boring”.

Little Ba*****s!






2 responses to “You Ungrateful Little Ba*****!”

  1. Pete avatar

    heh heh, I’m kinda with the little Ba***** whilst xbox live is very cool (as is any online gaming) I do feel that it does get a little tiresome, sure, playing online with other people is very cool, but campers, racists, and just general tw**s ruin the whole thing. I have also found that Xbox live seems to be getting a little bloated and runs at a snails pace comparred to how it ran a couple or three years ago. The reliability of connections to games seems to be poor too these days – or is that just lazy developers with crappy servers? I don’t know. I can pretty much make a round of teas waiting to connect to a black-ops game these days…

  2. Matt Hunter avatar
    Matt Hunter

    I’m only 26 and also remember the days before ‘Live’ and freely accessible Broadband. The day I joined Live for the first time, my games took on a whole new look and virtually became new games with whole new possibilities. It seems inplausible to think of a world without it now.
    I was talking to my 12yr old cousin the other day about when we didn’t have mobile phones and our gaming consoles were in 16bit. He simply couldn’t comprehend it. I got him playing the old TOCA games and while he enjoyed the racing the first comment was ‘doesn’t look very real does it?’. Arrggghhh!!! I remember when TOCA 2 came out, got it as a launch game and I remember being blown away by the ‘realistic looks’. My brain simply couldn’t comprehend his reaction but then I think he felt the same about mine.
    It is very true the technological generationa gap is shrinking, there’s stuff coming out that my cousin knows all about that even I struggle to get my head around initially.
    Sometimes that world of 16bit gaming, no mobiles and actually having your gaming buddies in the same room as you seems quite inviting…

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