Did you know that this was a thing? There is a Star Wars X Box system that looks like R2D2 and C3PO? Why was I not alerted to this months ago? You know how I feel about Star Wars! I thought we were friends.
I do not understand people who love to play video games. So sue me. I have tried to love them but after the Atari craze of the 80s ended, I was out. River Raid is arguably the best game ever made. EVER. Give me a joystick any day. Why do they always have to make things better, newer and faster?
Let me tell you who does NOT share my opinion of game systems: most young boys. And older boys. And grown boys. And several girls. And some women. This is obvious based on the walls and walls of systems and games available at every electronic and big box store that I have ever been in.
Even as young as my boys are they are absolutely drawn to this fascinating world. Their dad plays X Box once every blue moon. His system is six years old if that tells you anything. Obviously he is not as into it as some.
All it took was my boys sitting down and watching him play his football game one day and they were hooked. Did I mention that they have never even played REAL football? They also hate watching football on tv (they are still young.) Yet they like to watch if it’s….a game? Hmmm.
So before I realized it, I was standing in Toys R Us at the video game section. My seven-year old asked for a game for his birthday. We walked down the walls and walls of games. My eyes were actually crossing. There were SOOOOO many games to choose from. He zeroed in on a Plants and Zombies game that he was familiar with. I continued to scan the wall. And there it was. X Box Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Gasp.
They have the most awesome movie ever in the form of a video game? That you can sit and enjoy for hours? My boys must have this game. So I bought it. And the Plants and Zombies game because he kept insisting that it was HIS birthday. Whatever. He didn’t know awesome when he saw it.
So when we got home they tore the wrapper off of the sub par game that my son had chosen and began to play. They played that for about 10 minutes. Then they looked over at the much cooler game, just lying there on the table. They wanted to give it a try. Well I GUESS I could let them play. Even though they had snubbed the best game ever. They began to play. Then they fell in love.
For the next several weeks they played this game ever moment when they were allowed game time. They became obsessed. I never played because as I expressed earlier I am not a gamer. Even with such an amazing game. I did like to watch them play though.
They would talk to me about how much it mirrored the movies. They knew way more about the movies than even I did from playing that game. I was oddly satisfied. They were all about Star Wars. All was well with the world.
Then it happened. One day my son came running to me with a look of sheer terror on his face. He was white as a ghost. What was it? Was someone hurt? Had he seen a ghost? Had he set his room on fire? Was child services here? Then he said those horrible words: The X Box has stopped working.
It took a minute for me to process the gravity of his statement. Frozen? What did he mean frozen? How can Star Wars play just be suspended? I raced to fix the problem with my limited (okay non-existent) electronics knowledge. There was a red ring on the front of the unit where there was normally a green one. What did this mean? I did the only thing that I knew could work. I unplugged the unit. I looked at him. He looked at me. He said “Is it fixed?” I said “I don’t know.” There was only one way to find out. I plugged it back in.
We waited for the system to reboot. We stood there watching as if we were holding the winning lottery ticket and all we needed was this machine to confirm that we were bazillionaires. Suddenly, the red ring appeared again. Epic fail. That is why I do not try to fix things.
I grabbed my iPad and googled “Why is there a red ring on my 6-year-old X Box console.” Then google broke the news to me. It was referred to as the “red ring of death”. Considering the age of the unit and how extremely out of warranty it was, the red ring of death means step into the here and the now. It was time to buy a new console. Wow. I did not see that coming. My outdated equipment had just….given up. It had nothing left to give. Right as my kids had fallen in love.
I broke the news to him. I might as well have told him that there was no Santa. He was crushed. Now what? He said we had to go get a new system. But if I raced out and bought him a new game system the very day that it tore up, what does that teach him about life? Nothing. If my car tears up, I have to spend days of waiting and large amounts of my money to get it repaired. No, if I simply hand him a new game system, that does not teach him anything. I only have a limited number of years to teach my kids important lessons.
I told him that an X Box system is very expensive and required a lot of money. It was not something that I could just run out and replace. We needed to figure out a way to work towards a goal of replacing the system. I asked him to think about it and see what he came up with.
Then something beautiful happened. Later he asked me to accompany him to his room. He had been going through his toys and had picked out several. They were stacked in a corner of his room. He told me that he wanted me to help him sell the toys and use the money to go towards a new system. He was willing to give up some of the things that he loved in order to get something that he really wanted. He was willing to sacrifice. I was impressed.
He had also recruited his siblings to produce some things that they could part with as well, as they enjoyed the game too. All four of my children were offering up things that we could sell, in order to make some money. Not only were they taking action but they were also working as a team. Now how often does THAT happen?
Oh sorry I was trying to recall another instance where that happened. Never. That happens never.
In one day my kids have already earned $130 dollars. Now that is a long way from the amount needed for the X Box system that they want. But we still have toys listed on sites for sale and they are still working on other ideas to make money. I am very proud of them all.
As a mother it is my job to teach them life lessons. Life will never hand you anything. It takes planning, execution and hard work. As a parent my first inclination is to provide my children with anything that I possibly can. I want them to be happy. Beyond happy. But that only sets them up for disappoint later in life when people and life are not able to live up to their unrealistic expectations.
My kids are working toward a common goal. How much sweeter will that game system be when they actually helped earn it? I am very proud of my little gamers. I may not understand their love of X Box but I can certainly get behind a cause that they are so passionate about.
And Star Wars is totally worth it all. May the force be with you.