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"We Hold the World Ransom For....FOUR...BILLION...STUDS...."

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"We Hold the World Ransom For....FOUR...BILLION...STUDS...."

We have a Nintendo Wii. Some of you know that already...Dave got it as a graduation gift last summer when he finished his PhD. But of course the kids have all-but-taken-over it with some of their games.

From 2008 06 13 DavePhDDefenseWii

As a family we have a great time playing games on the Wii. We have a modest selection of games, most of which are family-friendly...the grownups can have just as much fun with Boom Blox as with Rayman's Raving Rabbids.

Before our move from NC to NE last summer, after Jacob had a such a great time playing on his friend Daniel's Wii last spring, we let Jacob take his own money and choose a game. He chose Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Last summer we were outright worried about Jacob, he seemed obsessed with the game, and it wasn't till he started school in August that his attention was diverted enough that we didn't have to seek outside help. All he wanted to do was play Lego Star Wars, and he didn't seem very happy with the world otherwise. I think it was his way of coping with the move. It wasn't easy for him.

During the school year, the boys are only allowed to play Wii on weekends and holidays, and we're usually pretty busy on weekends and holidays, so it wasn't often at all. I think that helped Jacob come off this "I'm only happy when I play video games" phase.

Fast forward a year, and Jacob is still working on that same Lego Star Wars game! Unlike last summer, Jacob isn't obsessed with it, but he still enjoys completing one or two tasks at a time that would eventually lead him to "finishing" the game: earning 160 gold bricks and all the cool bonuses. He doesn't fuss anymore when we tell him he has to stop playing to do other things.

As of this morning, Jacob was at about 140 gold bricks, and was about 85% finished with the entire game. This has been about 300 hours worth of play time over the past year (the game tracks this for you, aren't they kind?)

Timmy decided he wanted to start his own game. On occasion he'd play with Jacob, you can bring up a 2nd player to "help out" with tasks, and when Jacob was in a patient mood, he'd let Timmy participate. This week Timmy was delving into his own game, and he's about 5% through with lots of help from the rest of the family. Timmy isn't bad, he just misses some of the finer points.

Then the unthinkable happened this morning: Timmy started another game today and accidentally saved it over Jacob's 85% worth of work! I was sitting right there next to him advising him NOT to save it in the game-save space that Jacob already occupied, and he did it anyway.

Jacob's year of hard work is now gone. I checked online: once it's gone, it's gone.

Every single character: gone.
Every single spaceship: gone.
Every single minikit: gone.
Every single Power Brick: gone.

(Did you realize that the video game tops out at 4 billion studs? You can't get any more than that.)

All he had left to do were the Bounty Hunter missions and a couple of the bonuses.

While there's part of me who is thinking "It's only a game...", to a 6 1/2 year old, this is going to be a HUGE deal! Jacob comes home from camp in an hour and I know there will be tears flowing, angry language and (if I'm not careful) punches flying. I'm dreading this like you wouldn't believe --

I had called Dave in a panic, he and I discussed a punishment for Timmy -- while it was indeed an accident, Timmy didn't listen to Mommy when she was helping him. He's been on a somewhat stubborn "I can do it myself" phase, and hopefully today he's learned that sometimes he should listen to the grownups.

Timmy's punishment: he won't be playing Wii until Jacob has caught up. Jacob will not take anywhere near 300 hours to get back to where he was, thanks to cheat codes and completion guide websites that we can access to help us remember how to complete all the tasks. But it'll probably still be several weeks.

If I had backed up the saved games, there might have been hope, but I honestly didn't give thought to doing such a thing till now.

Lesson learned: for those of you with Nintendo Wiis, use that SD card slot on the console to SAVE YOUR WORK! You can back up your games. Just follow the instructions here, where this parent had a similar incident 1 1/2 years ago with Super Mario Galaxy.

If you're wondering what that title means, just hit play here:

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