So….. I’m a fucking idiot, me! For loads of reasons, admittedly, but most recently because, despite being obsessed with Fallout 4, and despite having sunk many, many hours into the game – slowly, painstakingly conquering the wasteland, leveling up, and building settlements – I didn’t even bother to take the 10 seconds necessary to back up my save file; cloudularly or hard-driveularly.

Unamused+vault+boy_7b71a7_5150636Not once did I think ‘D’ya know how you’re on Save No. 500 because you don’t want to lose 20 minutes of work if there’s a powercut, yeah!? Well wouldn’t it be a good idea to back up that save file from time-to-time, just in case something happens and you lose many, many hours?’. Not once did it even cross my slow, empty mind. Essentially, like a big, stupid moron, I’d stood in front of Fate, waggled my ass in her face, and practically begged her to kick it, and, because she’s a cruel mistress, she did. Big Time.

Because you see, this morning I got a call to say my house had been burgled, and as the dust settled it became apparent that the thieving little fuckers had helped themselves to my PS4, my Xbox One, and get this…. most of my bastard games. At first I thought this was just about as bad as things could get, until slowly, grimly a little nagging voice in my head started whispering the words ‘What about your save files, eh, James, what about them!?’ and after about an hour (see again; I’m a fucking idiot) it hit me…..


Games can be replaced, the consoles themselves can be replaced, but because I’ve never really bothered about uploading or backing up my save files, all the progress I’ve made – in every game I’ve played – has now vanished. Gone. Fucked the fuck off. Disappeared forever. Most recently, that represents 150 + hours of Fallout 4, some pretty awesome weapons, settlements, perks, 42+ level-ups, etc, etc. Add on GTA5 and AC: Black Flag and you can double that; 300 hours of progress, plenty more guns, level-ups, vehicles, etc, etc. gone. Forever.

PS4 Thief. See what I did there?

Basically, other than the trophy stuff attached to my profiles (which hopefully I won’t have to delete because I was still logged in with them – I’m waiting on Sony getting back to me about that) the last two years of my gaming life have just vanished, and I’m having real trouble processing that. I can deal with losing the progress in linear, level-based games – even ones with New Game + – but it’s the open world games, the ones I’ve invested hours of time and effort into, that I’m gutted about. These were virtual worlds I’d come to know and love, which I’d had a part in building or shaping, and they don’t exist anymore – or, more accurately, I can’t access them again. Yes, that’s because I’m a fucking idiot, but being a fucking idiot doesn’t preclude me from feeling bereft.

And rationally I know that this isn’t the end of the real world, but emotionally I’m finding it hard not to grieve for many of my favourite virtual worlds; worlds that have now ended. I can buy the games again, sure, and those worlds will be ready for rebuilding, but they’ll likely never exist in the way they do on the hard drive some dick’s currently trying to offload for a fraction of its value; real and sentimental.

friday-the-13th-death-screen-NESAt some point, I’ll probably elaborate on the attachment we feel to our virtual worlds – once I’m done grieving and processing and shit, obviously – but for now, if you’re one of the two people who reads this blog, please (for the love of all that’s Holy) heed this warning and BACK UP YOUR FUCKING SAVE FILES. Seriously, do it now. I’m aware that I’m an outlier when it comes to stupidity, but if you’re just a tad lazy, or forgetful, or just don’t think about this stuff as often as you should, let me be your cautionary tale.

Take it from me, being a 34 year old man grieving over some pixels and 1s and 0s isn’t a great look, and it feels even worse, so you really, really don’t want to be in my position. And you don’t want to be in my position because, to quote Bart Simpson, it both sucks and blows!