Monday, September 12, 2011

The wonders of Xbox Live account creation

(I wrote this in the summer of 2010, so Halo 3 is long gone for me, as well as the account I made. Just FYI.)

So, I play Halo a bunch, mainly Halo 3 multiplayer, though I haven't been playing very much recently. You see, Halo and I have an off and on relationship. Sometimes it will entertain me and keep me happy for a couple months, then other times, it bores me. Now is one of the latter times. Turning on my console and actually having to try against my opponents, while my teammates are either beating their controllers to death with hammers or trying to eat them, is not my idea of fun.

You paid for a subscription to stand still and lose constantly... Cool!

I was taking a break from Halo for awhile, and decided to buy Team Fortress 2 for a friend so we could play that sexy ass game together. Sadly I realized too late that my computer is a useless bucket of asscrack and has randomly decided not to run the game properly anymore, despite running it flawlessly only days ago, so I can't play with him until I fix this fucking garbage for the ninth time (I've been counting). But for my generosity, my friend paid me back with a subscription for a three month account on xbox live. I can't game on the PC for awhile so I said, "Fuck it, might as well play Halo." So here I am making a new account.

Getting a new account on xbox live is wonderful. Instead of actually having to concentrate somewhat and strain my genius brain while I'm playing, I can fire up my xbox anytime I want and play against people who have no idea what they're doing. Actually it's less "playing against" and more along the lines of a complete ass kicking. Mowing down an entire team is a great stress reliever. There's something disquietingly satisfying about completely outclassing someone and ruining their day online. I don't get a lot of opportunities to be cool.

The only problem is actually getting there. At least it was today. I've never had any problems with account creation until today. Microsoft lead me into a false sense of security, then struck with increasingly bizarre and creepy methods.

My gamertag is available, but isn't...
First I check to see if the gamertag I want is taken. I go to the xbox website and Bungie, do a search, nothing comes up. Excellent. I begin making my account. First, you need an e-mail address to sign up for xbox live. I made one prior to this stage, so I was well prepared. I typed it in, thinking of all the extremely loud, stupid children I would soon have ready access to slap around (which would be worrisome on a medium besides the xbox), but was told my e-mail address was invalid. No spelling mistakes, nothing wrong with my password, but my credentials were invalid. What the fuck does that mean? Is my name and birth date unacceptable or something? Granted, I sign up for just about everything as Antonio Banderas, so I guess that could raise some questions.

I shrugged it off, made a new e-mail account and started making the account again. Having now put the previous incident behind me, I was punching in my account anxiously. It worked, and it was now time for me to join xbox live. "Cannot create windows live ID." That message was more confusing than a woman giving birth to a bucket of icecream. I cannot create a windows live ID, when I just punched a valid one in? What the balls is this?

So I made a third e-mail account, this time imagining putting an axe through my television if this one didn't work. Magically it worked, after I somehow managed to make THE EXACT SAME E-MAIL ADDRESS. How does that even make sense? Whatever, I'm getting the account, it doesn't matter. I type in my desired gamertag, only to see this message: "The gamertag you have chosen is already in use on xbox live."

Now you're just being a dick, Microsoft. You too, Bungie. You bastards must have lied to me over your website, then you paid someone to make my account during your absurd account creation process. Thankfully you're all bitches and are unaware that the lower case "L" looks exactly the same as a capital "i", so I was still able to get my gamertag, more or less. Suck it, losers.

Invalid existence and code
I could stomach the multiple invalid e-mail addresses, then things just started getting weird. Remember earlier when I jokingly asked if my age and name were unacceptable? Turns out that was actually a valid question, and Microsoft's reply was, "Haha, fuck you." So I just finish punching in my gamertag, and for some reason I'm asked to supply my age again. I type it in and was promptly rejected by xbox live for having an invalid age. I'm not even kidding. Invalid age. How can that be? 21 isn't an invalid age, it's a real number. I'm certain I'm old enough to join xbox live when there's 12 year old children who can join. I decided to type my date of birth in again, the exact same way, and it worked.

My xbox accepting the validity of my age coincided with the arrival of the icecream man driving slowly down my street. I dared not look out the window for fear of seeing a giant serpent driving a little yellow buggy, staring back at me with red, empty eyes. Ok, so my xbox is haunted. Whatever, I've made peace with that, I'm still getting my account, goddamnit. At long last I begin punching in the subscription code, which is a tedious 25 characters long.

"This code is invalid."

Xbox is kind enough to delete the code when it fails, so I had to type it in again just to see if I made any errors, only to have it flash the invalid message again. What happened afterwards is a matter with the proper authorities, but it's possible that I might have strangled several children to death and committed arson. It's a little blurry.

I eventually did get the account to work, which meant I had to go through the entire subscription process again. What was really creepy is that everytime I repeated the process, I was given a completely different starting screen each time. It made no sense. Then when I finally did punch in the code, I was taken to another screen and had to give more of my information to xbox, some of which was frighteningly personal. Stuff like my name and age. Again. You motherfuckers, Microsoft.

Oh, and the problem with the code was the very last digit. A "B" that looked exactly like an 8. So not only did Microsoft creep the ever-loving shit out of me, but kind of made me hate myself. I say "kind of" because the subscription codes are always so fucking small and the font looks like if I tried to write with my left hand after leaving it in the freezer for several hours. But it's all over now, and now I'm going to play the shit out of Halo. If you decide to play on xbox live and get your shit handed to you by "i iove Sushi", I say you send that person hateful messages, because I have no idea who that is. The type of person who delights in making your online experience miserable and humiliating, that's terrible.