All the Video Game Consoles I’ve Ever Owned in Chronological Order, Pt. 4 of 4


A four-part series in which Leigh Alexander chronicles every video game console she has every played (1, 2, 3).


Did not own an original Xbox in an act of ‘gamer protest’ or something. Felt offended by Microsoft’s entry into the console marketplace, as I had been indoctrinated into PlayStation brand loyalty [via JRPGs from Japan]. It wasn’t merely an issue of brand loyalty, however. Felt the Xbox was an ugly brand, possibly very masculine, bro-oriented, arriving on the scene under the banner of Halo which I thought was pretty alienating in every conceivable way.

The world of Halo seemed impenetrable; feel like Master Chief, with his reflective yellow face visor and impassive armored frame, was a distant figure, lots of green guys in like sci-fi armor shooting each other, 14 year old boys going online to ‘teabag’ each other. For myself as a lifetime consumer of video games, it was like I had been in school for a long time pursuing something relevant to me and then one day Xbox came up to me with a copy of Halo in his hand and said ‘hey bro want to join the wrestling club, our uniforms are black and neon green, we drink Bawls energy drinks and eat Doritos from those special plastic can things so that we can pour them into our mouth with one hand without interrupting our gaming and ‘get our fuel on’ while we listen to System of a Down.’

I was like ‘no thx mane, just going to go level up my anime elves in a religious dungeon, possibly going to summon a randomly-chosen absurd-looking  battle creature loosely based around real-world mythology’.

Xbox was like ‘whoa ok well just let me know if you want to play team deathmatch,’ and then he called me a lot of sexist names alternating with inappropriate and awkward overtures and made fun of my abilities because that was what happened to females attempting to play Xbox Live at the time.

I went ‘this console is going to fucking tank’, I was totally wrong, felt irrelevant in my medium for the first time.