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I guess I just like liking things

In real life, I’m a computer tech, and I’m constantly reminding users to save stuff to their network drive rather than to the local computer. The blank (or outraged) stares I get when I try to explain that we don’t back up the local hard drives are some of my least favorite looks. And, of course, I’m guilty of the same thing – I don’t always back my stuff up, either. The difference is, when I lose things, I know it’s my own stupid fault and don’t blame someone else.

Which is why it’s frustrating when there’s nothing I can do about it. Right now I’m playing three major games on an iPad, and they represent three different ways of saving info:

  • Ghostbusters: saves to the local device, doesn’t need Internet connection to be played
  • The Sims Freeplay: saves to the local device, but lets you create a save to the cloud that will last a week, useful if you’re changing devices, but will not work cross-platform from iOS to Android or back. Game needs to have Internet connectivity to be played.
  • The Simpsons Tapped Out: saves to the cloud all the time, needs Internet, can be played on different devices whenever because the info is saved to the cloud

Now, each of these has their strengths, but I’d argue there’s room for a fourth option: doesn’t need Internet to play, but saves could be done to the cloud. For as frustrating as it is when the servers aren’t working, the Tapped Out method seems to be the best second option (meaning it’s the best option since the option I want isn’t an option), since I can just log in on a different device and pick up where I left off.

Here’s why I’m voting for that last option: two things happened in my Ghostbusters game in the last couple of days. One, I finally saved up enough reactor cores to buy a premium character, but I was holding off so I could research which one I wanted to get. Two, there was an update released for the game, which had the unfortunate side effect of making my copy not work anymore.  So now, because I don’t have a save anywhere but on the local machine, I’m worried that I’m going to lose all those cores, the over $4 million I had saved up, and all of my leveling up progress. I’m trying not to freak out (because, hey, it’s just a game, right?), but I am sweating it a little.

I have an email in to tech support, and I’m hoping they’ll respond to me soon with a fix that saves all of my stuff. Honestly if it’s all lost, I don’t know if I’ll start the game over.  Too much time put in with nothing to show for it, you know?  And that’s got me thinking about other stuff, like my Mass Effect saves on my Xbox. If Zwordling Shepard were to disappear, I’d be heartbroken, and I’m not using that word facetiously.

But that’s the beauty of the digital age, right? Information is convenient but ephemeral. I buy physical CDs of music when buying digital would be so much more convenient because I figure if I lose all my hard drives, I can probably still find a CD player that will play my music.

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