For as long as I can remember I have been a gamer, and for the last four generations of video game systems my platform of choice has been the Sony PlayStation brand. I have owned two of each of the original PlayStation, PS2, PS3, and PSP. I also own a PS4 and a PSVita. There has just always been a comfort and familiarity for me, and I am very resistant to change. I have been a Sony fanboy by the purest definition.
For almost the entire lifespan of the original Xbox and Xbox 360, I had no interest in even trying to game on the Microsoft platforms. Had no draw to the Halos, or the Gears of War. I don’t care for fantasy games, so Fable wasn’t even on my radar. The only game that I had even a passing interest in was the Forza series, but Gran Turismo has always been all the racing sim I ever needed. Sure the Xbox 360’s online component was superior to what was available on the PlayStation 3, but I’ve always prefered single player gaming and didn’t tend to play too much online multiplayer. The fact that I had stayed with the PlayStation brand also meant that I had associated myself with other gamers who gamed on my prefered platform, so the shortcomings of the PSN weren’t nearly as obvious to me.
Two years ago things started to make a shift for me though. At that time I joined the staff at JoypadAndMe and began contributing content and participating in podcasts. I was no longer an idle gamer who was playing video games for purely recreational purposes. I was now attempting to share my opinion and knowledge about video games and the industry that surrounds them. I started to realize that in order to do that in a fair and unbiased way, I would need to become comfortable and familiar with all of the major players. It was close enough to the end of the life cycle of the PS3 and 360 that it seemed a waste to retroactively jump on that bandwagon though, so I waited.
2013 was a HUGE year. Never before had the console wars manifested in such a head-to-head, blow-for-blow battle culminating in the release of the two major consoles within a week of each other. It was nothing short of epic. When the time came to place my pre-order and start the saving for the launch day release, I went with what was familiar and safe to me…the PlayStation 4. Despite its highly publicized, and often entertaining missteps along the way, the Xbox One is still a very powerful and capable gaming platform with a lot of appealing and intriguing features. I would love to own both, but with my wife and I getting ready to move and become full time university students without regular jobs, there was no way I could muster nearly $1,000 to be able to purchase both systems at launch.
I know that was long winded, but it was important backstory for what comes next.
One day at work I had an epiphany. “I wonder if know enough people who would be willing to loan me $10 so that I can purchase an Xbox One.” I would only need 50 people to help, and with over 160 Facebook friends and 250 followers on Twitter, I think there are probably 50 of them who would feel comfortable parting with $10 to help me out. I had settled on $10 because it’s a small enough amount that I believed that people could part with it without thinking about it too much, but large enough that it wouldn’t take too many people to get onboard to reach the goal. I asked around for people’s opinions on the idea and I got a lot of giggles and more than a couple, “If you find 49 other people to contribute, I’ll be your 50th.” That was a positive enough experience that I started to think of a way to try to make it happen.
I have friends and family spread literally all over the world, and I would need to have a way for these people to contribute, and even keep track of my progress toward my goal. A crowdfunding website would be the perfect venue for this venture. One of my friends on Google+ had posted a couple of campaigns created on a site called www.gofundme.com, and that seemed a perfect place to set up shop.
As of this writing I am mere hours away from having my campaign online for a week. In that time I have raised $130 toward my goal, which is amazing! The reactions that I have witnessed online have been mostly positive. I’ve gotten everything from, “I can’t believe that you’ve actually gotten that much,” to, “If you can get the internet to buy you an Xbox, more power to you.” I originally didn’t, and still don’t have any intention of soliciting random strangers to contribute. This has morphed into a social experiment to see if I can get 50 people who care enough to help me get an Xbox One. I also switch back and forth between calling it a donation and a loan. The site sees it as a donation, but if one of my contributors were to come to me down the road and say, “Remember that $10 I gave you for your Xbox One…,” I would feel obligated to pay it back.
JoypadAndMe has always had a bias toward the PlayStation platform as all of the staff primarily game on those systems. We have been looking for people to join the site to help cover the Xbox, but have yet to get anybody on board (ED. not for lack of trying either!). This will obviously benefit myself, but I also feel that it will be a huge boon to the website to have a staff member who owns and is familiar with the Microsoft console.
If you would like to monitor my progress, or even make a contribution of your own (any amount, large or small, would help and be VERY appreciated), you can follow this link:
I intend to post regular updates on the progress of the campaign, and look forward to writing about Microsoft’s new console on the site and talking about it on the podcasts when it gets fully funded. As I said on episode 43 of the JAMcast, if somehow Microsoft were to decide to provide me with a console, I will donate every dime that I have raised so far to the Children’s Miracle Network via Extra Life.
I’d also like your feedback. Please feel free to comment below or shoot me a tweet @NMReign on Twitter and let me know what you think.