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Saving data: do not remove memory card
Posted on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 01:02:02 PST

Let’s get right down to the nitty gritty; memory cards are amazing. They have the ability to store hours and hours of game play and fun having magic onto a one inch by two inch card. I have two memory cards for my PS2 and I can’t even tell you how many hundreds of hours of memories, hard work, procrastination, days off, frustration, and eventual victory are stored on them. Not only do they hold so much of my gaming experiences on them, but they also transport those memories instantly from one place to another. Do you want to show your friend all the awesome secrets you've found in a game? Take the card, put it in your pocket, go to his house, put it in the console, and wham bam thank you ma’am, your version of the game is right there.

Don’t get me wrong, not all things memory card related are clean and perfect. There is a dark, seedy underbelly to the memory card world. This world is filled with anger, frustration, and countless punched walls. If you have ever come across the words “corrupt” and “data” then I think you already know what I’m talking about. I have encountered this horror several times and let me tell you, it was not a pretty sight.

Let’s travel back in time, shall we? The time: freshman year of high school. The place: my friend’s house for his birthday party. I come over to his house with my copy of Gran Turismo 3 with my trusty memory card securely snapped into place in the provided memory card holder of the video game box (very handy for transportation). I am about halfway through the game with countless hours logged behind the wheel of many ultra awesome cars that have been pain-stakingly purchased, tuned, and raced to perfection. Before we can load up the game, my friend decides he wants to rent some movies and so we head out to our local video rental merchant to waste some money. After we get back to his house we decide to play some GT3. I turn to my friend and say, “Friend, would you like to see something stupid crazy? I will show you the vastest collection of the most pimped out beauties that the digital automobile world has to offer.” My friend responds with “Friend, nothing would make me happier than to see and, if you are feeling so generous, to possibly test drive the products of hours upon hours of hard work and dedication that you have put into this fine video game.” We head over to his PS2 and something is amiss; my memory card has already been placed snug as a bug in a rug into the console and GT3 sits in the CD tray. I apprehensively start up the game and wait. The world goes black... my game file has been erased. Gone, simply gone, like some kind of unwanted kitten tossed out with the weekend trash. Astonishment is the only thing that I feel, pure disbelief at the loss I have just incurred. Once those feelings wear off, rage begins to boil just below the surface of my skin. I wont get into the details of what happened next, but it turns out that my friend’s other friends tried to play my game while we were gone and accidently deleted my save file. Retards. Well after the shock wore off I decided that I must make the most of a horrible situation, I couldn't let those bastards defeat me.  I loaded up the game, buy myself a car, hit the track, and start all over from the beginning.

Here's another, shorter story for you kids at home, this one a little more recent. The game: Test Drive Unlimited. The platform: Playstation 2. The fun level of the game: -4.5. I enjoy racing games of all sorts, but this one is just bad. It’s like they took the Xbox 360 version of the game, removed all the fun parts, and then defecated in a box and shipped that out. But I digress, I had played the game for hours, to the point where I had hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy some of the best cars in the game. This time playing was not a fun time, this was a duty I bestowed upon myself, a goal that no one really wants to achieve, but must for some odd, yet utterly manly reason. The clock hits 5 am and I finally buy myself a nice car. I turn off the game and promise that I will take full advantage of my purchase the next day. The next day comes, I load up the game, and the save game data is corrupted. Frustration. Rage. Defeat. I eject the game and place it in its box. I haven’t picked up that game since.

Why does this happen? I don’t know, but it ain’t fun at all. Memory cards can bring about the deepest feelings of joy, but also launch you into the deepest, darkest pits of depression. They are a magical bunch, those memory cards, but they are a dying breed. With the new consoles come hundreds of giggle-bite hard drives with enough space to download whole games. The art of the memory card is all but dead. Maybe with hard drives will come a time with less corrupted data, maybe we will never have to hear new stories like those I have shared with you today. Maybe, but then again what’s the fun with that? It comes with the territory, like playing Russian roulette. If you lose your saved game, the only thing you can do is start it up again and go on another magical, mystical journey into the realm of digital game land.

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