November 15, 2001.
Walking out of the Compucentre store at St-Laurent shopping mall, a shiny day one XBOX under my arm, the other holding a bag with extra controllers, with copies of HALO and Fuzion Frenzy. $800 less in my account. Whew.
After hooking it up and booting it we got right into the games. First few minutes of Halo actually had me going “meh” another FPS. It was only until the Silent Cartographer that the depth of the game materialized to me.
My daughter and I played Fuzion Frenzy together. A lot. She loved it, and I loved the time we spent together with it.
My stack of Official XBOX Magazine kept getting higher every month, with demos and videos showing off the power of this box.
A year later I’m beta testing XBOX Live. I had played online before over modems (Ultima Online, for one) but never over broadband and with voice. Playing MotoGP with 5 or so other people and hearing them all scream and laugh as we all faceplant at the first turn was pure gold. I was sold.
My cousins and I starting meeting online regularly for sessions of Hockey or Halo 2. One of them was in posted in Belgium and we could catch up every weekend with voice while playing. Good times.
Ten years later I’m now beta testing the 360’s upcoming dashboard update. It will be way more social, way more interactive. I look forward to what the next ten years will bring.
Thanks to the XBOX team for sticking with it, when the world and the odds were against you early on. It’s a great service. I use it every day.
There are things you only realize with time, as experience, age, change of pace and a different point of view settle in your life.
Presently at 40, I am (finally) learning about myself again. At a younger age, my energies were often spent trying to "fit in”, even though most of my free time was spent in a basement with a Commodore 64 until university/college. This desire to fit in, these energies spent worrying about whether or not I will “make it” are now spent enjoying the things I now realize I enjoy and don’t have to apologize for it.
I enjoy the music I enjoy, I like the things I like. That’s who I am. I don’t need to pretend to like something to fit in or to get someone’s attention. Some figure this out early on, some later. I’m slow, so here I am. There’s a feeling of “settling in your comfortable shoes” and relaxing while living.