HAGERSTOWN, MD—Local resident Tom Fletcher announced Wednesday that he has made all the necessary arrangements and cleared his entire schedule so that he can spend a quiet, uninterrupted weekend reconnecting with his Xbox 360.
Fletcher admitted to reporters that he's been neglecting the console for the past six months, but said he hopes the two-day, three-night living room getaway will go a long way toward reviving the tight bond he once had with his Xbox.
"It's going to be really nice," the 33-year-old structural engineer said of the upcoming weekend. "No phone calls, no e-mails, no distractions whatsoever. Just me and my Xbox 360. I'll probably even open up a few nice bottles of Arizona Iced Tea for the occasion."
"Hopefully it'll be like it was in the beginning when everything was fresh and new and fun," he added. "When starting a new game didn't feel like a chore, like work."
Fletcher said he plans to ease into the weekend with a little bit of Madden, which he hopes will then lead to a long and passionate night of game playing. Fletcher also told reporters that rather than get up early the next morning, he will most likely sleep in, make some breakfast, and spend the whole day just lying around with his Xbox.
"After months of talking about it, I'm finally going to start Fallout 3," Fletcher said. "That's how committed I am to this thing."
Claiming that the special weekend comes at a critical moment in his four-year relationship with the gaming system, Fletcher said his Xbox barely seems like a part of his life these days: He rarely acknowledges the console when he gets home from work, and "wouldn't even notice it" if it weren't right next to the television set.
Sometimes, Fletcher said, he looks at the Xbox just sitting there, un-played, and feels guilty for not even wanting to touch it anymore.
"I hate to say it, but sometimes I'll sneak into a GameStop and start fooling around with a PlayStation 3," Fletcher said. "God. Why would I do that when I have a perfectly good Xbox 360 at home? What's wrong with me?"
According to Fletcher, his decision to put everything aside and focus on making the Xbox his No. 1 priority again came late last week when he suddenly realized he could no longer remember how many games he had or even what their names were.
"Look, I love my Xbox, I really do. We've had a lot of great times together," he said. "But life got in the way, you know? Suddenly you have more responsibilities at work, or you're just too tired, or your wife needs help with the kids, and the things that really matter fall by the wayside. Well, now it's time to make things right."
Fletcher told reporters he is ready to put in the effort to make this weekend special, acknowledging that his own actions are what brought the troubled relationship to this point.
While he's looking forward to the weekend, and remained confident he and the Mass Effect game he started six months ago can pick up where they left off, Fletcher admitted that there's always a chance they won't be able to recapture the old magic.
"Yes, there's a possibility—no matter how slim—that I'll hold that controller in my hands, and it just won't feel right anymore," Fletcher said. "Who knows? Maybe I'll realize I'm just not ready for this kind of commitment. Whatever happens, though, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Together."