Some call me cheap; I say I'm DIY-enabled. Occasionally I pay for it, like the time my motorcycle nearly combusted after I “fixed” the headlight. Maybe I should have consulted YouTube. Or not. Recently, the voice chat on my Xbox crapped out, so I searched for helpful tutorials. What I found? Videos of charmless children all the way down. The top results redefined uselessness. Make sure the jack on my Apple EarPods is plugged in. Turn the Xbox on and off. Have your parents buy you a PlayStation 4. (Listen, punk, I was playing Fortnite when it was still called Unreal Tournament.) One kid even recommended this: “OK, hold the volume button up for three seconds, then the volume button down for three seconds, then hold the middle for 30 seconds.” Barely comprehensible, and no better than '90s-era voodoo advice to fix Nintendo 64 cartridges by blowing on them. My last threads of hope frayed and unraveled as video upon video of baby-faced charlatans instructed me to “warm up” my microphone. Nobody warms up Apple products these days! Where were my fellow mature gamers? The adults who speak my language? Have they been algorithmically deprioritized on this increasingly infantilized platform? Or scared off it entirely? Finally, I turned on my Xbox and did as I was told, pressing the EarPods' volume up for three seconds, then down for three seconds, then holding the middle—whatever that means—for 30 seconds. Yeah, didn't work. Thirty-six seconds of my life I'm never getting back. The console didn't even catch fire.
This article appears in the February issue. Subscribe now.