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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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The sheepish veteran of internet wars

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If you recall, a few months ago, I was in a right old tizzy about Microsoft's Xbox One. At the time of E3, it truly seemed like Microsoft was ushering in a new age of draconian DRM, assuming their true throne next to the devil as the dark lords of the gaming industry. I was livid. I ranted, raved, traded in my Xbox 360 toward a pre-order of the PS4 and swore to uphold the virtues of actual game ownership and fight these servants to Big Brother. 'Games should belong to those that buy them!' I declared vehemently, waving my torch and pitchfork and declaring war upon Redmond's resident evil.

As it turns out, less than a few days after I wrote my article, Microsoft recanted their position on their always-on, DRM-riddled stance and adopted a more traditional means of game ownership. I crossed my arms and scoffed. They weren't going to win me back that easily, for I had been spurned, and I had run into the warm embrace of Sony's arms. The Playstation's master was my master now. Microsoft's silver tongue spouting gold-covered words could never sway my dedication to my new cause, nor could it make me forget how they attempted to crush us underfoot with their means to control ownership.

Time went by, and as I've spoken of in another article, I actually ended up cancelling my PS4 pre-order in favor of picking up a Wii U. I'd grown tired of fighting the console wars that I'd sworn I'd never let myself be drawn into. I just wanted a console right now to play games, have fun, and most importantly, to play 'Wind Waker HD.' I stepped back from my initial rage and looked at the bigger picture: I loved gaming, and if I really thought about it, being a wronged and indignant consumer is just too bloody exhausting.

So let's bring this full circle: yesterday, I was watching the news from launch events for the Xbox One, seeing the excitement from news sites and fans reporting in on how awesome their new consoles were. Full reviews of the systems on Polygon, Ars Technica and various other tech sites were glowing with positive reviews and new hope for the next generation of consoles.

And all I could think was, 'Man, I really wish I had an Xbox One.'

I know that there's not a very good launch library right now, but I truly thought that this would be the first generation of consoles that I owned at launch. Again, logically, I know that neither the PS4 nor the Xbox One will full hit their stride until a year or so down the road. But I could have been an early adopter for the first time in my still-relatively-young life. That feeling of being one of the first was stolen due to the fact that I couldn't make up my mind on what side of a non-existent war I wanted to be on, got tired of fighting said fictional battle and settled for something that wasn't quite what I was looking for.

I guess the entire point of this is that the internet as a whole is easy to rile, quick to anger and quick to forget, and while I always made fun of it in the past, I actually fell for it this time. I had already forgotten the 'wrongs' that Microsoft had supposedly brought upon me, and more than likely, it was because I had gotten angry for absolutely no reason at all.

So the next time the internet hivemind decides to wage a holy war, I think I'm going to sit it out and actually take a good look at the entire situation before I get swept along with the crowd.

Aaron Waite does have his favorite torch and pitchfork behind glass, just in case.


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