Saturday, January 11, 2014

I am not a gamer

That's right. The last game I got really into must have been either Loderunner, Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego, or Castle Wolfenstein on the Apple II my dad put together with the local homebrew computer club. I did play PacMan and Donkey Kong with friends on their Atari. And then there were a couple of years in the desert, until we purchased a Wii console and own a dozen of Wii games. Though let's be honest, a Wii console is not a real gaming console. It is a social-make-a-fool-of-yourself system. We love it. We love to dance in the living room or pretend we are the best at making jump shots.

Tonight my son and I decided it was time to get a real game. A new Playstation or Xbox One is still on our shopping list, after we first upgrade our tube television. We decided to get the latest SimCity on our Mac. I was eager to finally see what a new game looks like since the pixel days of my Apple II.


My purchasing experience was not a great one. As the dad with the credit card, I started the purchase. Before I could purchase it, I had to create my own EA gaming account. I understand that vendors want to hook you into their world and I proceeded to create an EA Origin account. BIG MISTAKE! SINGLE MISTAKE of the night which would send us down a path of over and hour of download hell.

Fast forward several download cycles (initial product download, update app download, update data download), it turns out that we aren't downloading a game to be played at home. In today's world, you purchase a license to play on the specific Origin account. When later on my son created his child account linked to my account, we learned that the product code was already in use. Chat support gave up after awhile and pointed me to a phone support page. A lovely girl explained me on the phone that I should have created the child account first and then everything would have been honky-dory. The game would have then ended up in my son's gaming account. Thus we uninstalled the game, got the license transferred to my son's account and started the download cycle again: initial product download 1% .. 5% ... 60% ... 100%. Update app download 1% ... 17% ... 43% ... 87% ... 100%.  Data update download 1% ... 24% ... 69% ...

The days of Castle Wolfenstein were so much easier. Playing the game will be for tomorrow as the download is still going on.

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