Pure Opinion: Kicking and Screaming, I’m Going Digital Because Charlie Bit My Games

Ouch. Charlie bit me! We all remember that cracking video that got us all giggling at baby cannibalism. I’ve since acquired my very own Charlie, and while I can take the little nipper biting me at every opportunity (it’s a phase, apparently) what I can’t take is the damage to my precious little games.

No, I’m not joking around. This is serious. This is an issue that has only really become an issue in the last couple of months. Charlie has gained enough EXP that he upgraded from crawling to walking, and with his newfound abilities, he’s unlocking chests (my bloody game cases!).

I’ve never been a fan of going digital. My PS3 and Xbox 360 games were mostly discs, aside from the odd deal here and there, plus the freebies from PlayStation Plus. Going digital never really appealed to me. What if the game’s shit? I can’t just ask Sony or Microsoft for a refund because a game is bollocks. I’d be stuck with a game that I’ll never play. A disc version, however, can be sold on to some unknowing mug on eBay, or even returned to the store I bought it from. Unfortunately for me, that’s no longer an option. Thanks, Charlie.

As any other parent with an unruly child will know, kids will get everywhere. If they really want something, they’re going to get it. I used to have my games stacked on the floor beside the TV stand, but once Charlie upgraded from doing a mongy shuffle on his belly to sprinting on all fours, they had to go. So I put them on my desk. A little cluttered, sure, but at least they’re out of his reach. Nuh-uh.

Charlie levelled up again and gained the power of walking, which meant he could stand and reach up to my desk. So I pushed them further away. Ha! Fooled you, child beast!

Not so!

I was making his lunch a couple of weeks ago, and when I returned to the living room he was sat on my desk, Halo: The Master Chief Collection in hand (and mouth) waving at me. R.I.P, Master Chief. You were a shamble of a release, but I loved you anyway. But now he’s gone. Charlie had bitten right into the disc and cracked it. As a responsible parent that believes children need to be disciplined to learn that their actions have consequences, Charlie is pre-grounded and won’t be getting pocket money until he’s 35. As a parent, it’s these little victories that keep the whiskey in the cupboard a little longer.

I work a lot. I work at home, I work at my day-job, and sometimes I work around the country. That means I’m leaving my precious little bundle of games alone with my child and partner. She doesn’t care. She doesn’t share the same passion as I do. She thinks they’re just silly distractions and that I should take her out to dinner dates more often. No. If I’m taking her out to dinner, who’s going to save the world/damsel in distress/score mad goals on FIFA?

I recently returned home from a week away with work, and when I walked through the door I just knew something wasn’t right. I started walking through the rooms in silence, looking for clues of my partner’s misdeeds. I couldn’t find anything, at least not without being obvious.¬†She left her phone unattended that night while she bathed The Child of Doom, so I looked on her phone. What I saw almost made me cry. After all these years, how could she? How could she? HOW COULD SHE?!?!

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little prick...
Hey, Dad, I learned how to river dance!

Yes, she’d let the little terror use my games as his personal bouncy castle/play mat/sleeping area. And why was she taking pictures of it? There’s another picture where he’s stood on the TV stand with my PS Move controllers in his hands, presumably trying to smash my cherished telly. Unfortunately he’s bollock naked in that image, so I can’t really share it, but it’s not something any gamer wants to see anyway. It’s too horrific for our kind.

The final straw came this week. Charlie had once again levelled up and gained the knowledge of pressing buttons on game consoles. He’s always known how to turn the Xbox One one and off, thanks to the big arse light on the front, but he’s struggled with the PS4, until now. These days he chooses what disc goes in the drive. He also chooses which way it goes in, and he doesn’t give a damn if it’s a DVD, CD, PC games, Xbox One disc, or even a bit of sliced cheese – they’re all PS4 games to him. When I went to play Farpoint the other night and needed to take a disc out from the PS4, I was moved to bowel-emptying dramatics. A disc came out. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. No big deal, though I don’t remember putting it in there. I grab the disc and feel something on the underneath. Slowly, I raise the disc up and turn it around. Fuck.

Chocolate pudding, yogurt, and what smelled suspiciously like Charlie shite were caked onto the underneath of the disc. What does the Lady of Harding House do when I’m not here?! It was during the short walk from the living room to the front garden that I realised what I needed to do. I sat down on the grass and pulled my cigarettes out.

I need a way to keep my games safe.

I still had the Uncharted 4 disc in my hand.

I need to make them completely child proof.

I lit my last smoke and put the empty carton on the ground.

I need to know that they’ll still be there when I get home from work.

I lit the cigarette carton with my lighter and placed Uncharted 4 on the burning fire and watched moody Nathan Drake melt in front of me.

I need to go digital.

I’ve never understood why some people say that they’ll only buy their games digitally, but now when somebody asks me why I’m ditching the discs, I’ll point them to this page.

At the end of the day, you have two options: Go digital or double make sure that she’s taking that bloody pill. Learn from my mistakes, young gamers, and then you won’t be sat at your desk like I am, weeping as people bid on your precious games on eBay.

*Disclaimer: Despite my digs at the kid in this piece, I do love him dearly and do not bear any ill-will. He’s still pre-grounded, sure, but the main point of this daft article was to have a bit of a giggle. If you don’t get it, wait until you have kids…

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