Adventures Abroad: The Lengths We Go to Game

Playing Rock Band in Azeroth - I wonder what region code that is.

I have a confession to make.

I haven’t been completely forthcoming with my beloved audience lately. Perhaps because it hasn’t been entirely relevant to my purposes on this blog — but that’s now changed.

You see, I am currently about a week away from moving halfway across the world, from my current home in North Carolina to a new and exciting adventure in southern Germany. As I write this, in fact, my room is barren and empty. Earlier today, the moving company finished their job of packing us up and taking everything away — some to be stored for a while, some for an air shipment and some for a sea shipment.

This all still sounds a little weird, and looks even stranger written out for the world to see. But I’ve grown used to the idea. And I’d like to think that my husband and I will use our time wisely while in Germany and travel around Europe as much as humanly possible. But I also am aware that the winter is coming, and travel certainly won’t be an option for every weekend. Like always, I suspect that gaming will continue to be an integral aspect of our lives abroad.

But not without a hefty effort against a number of factors that make gaming a lot more complicated than usual.

First, there’s the different electricity standards. After all, what good is it to have a gaming computer if it won’t even run properly in Germany? That one was easy – dual voltage power supplies only require a simple switch of a button to run properly. There’s still the issue of the plug – either find a new one that conforms to plug standards in Deutschland, or plug it into an adapter.

But what of our gaming consoles? Do we want to go through the hassle of buying special adapters for each the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii? What about for charging our portable systems? Well, we certainly could get special cords for each. But thankfully, we probably won’t need to with the help of a couple of giant-ass (and quite heavy) 1000W and 2000W transformers purchased for the move.

As for the issue of whether our North American consoles will even hook up properly to a European tv? I’ve heard success stories from friends who already are abroad, but I’ve also read online confessions of others who have had a difficult time with that issue. We’re bringing our own tv, also to plug into the transformer, on which we plan to run our gaming systems. Disaster averted.

If we’re lucky, we can even use the tv as… /gasp… an actual tv, too. Thanks to a nifty PAL to NTSC video converter that I’m dying to try out. Oh, the lengths we go for our entertainment.

The larger issue that I foresee, at least from this side of the ocean, will be getting around region codes without modding our systems. The Wii, especially, is supposedly disastrously region-specific. The Xbox leaves region coding up to the game publisher, while the PS3 is supposed to be region free for PS3 games, but not necessarily for PS1 and PS2 games, nor for DVDs or Blu-rays.

The point here is that when we’re tempted by that hot next upcoming title, obtaining it won’t always be as simple as running to the friendly neighborhood Game Stop. More planning and care will need to be taken, and browsing through the store won’t necessarily be a good idea if I’m in a spontaneous kind of mood.

I’m also a bit worried about playing my US-realm-based WoW toons from abroad, and what kind of lag I’ll experience. Only time will tell, I suppose. Will I be forced to roll my Troll druid and Goblin characters on European realms? Perhaps. Not the end of the world, but I am incredibly weary of the idea of leaving my loving guild.

Anyhow, much still remains to be discovered in this life adventure, but all will be revealed soon enough. I’m optimistic that it’ll work out fine, with a little bit of effort thrown into the mix. In the meantime, WoW is patching on my laptop, and I have more questing to complete.

Now, if only I could get Hulu to work while in Germany…


  1. Good luck in the move, and I hope everything works out the way we all would want.

    My brother was stationed in Germany, I can’t remember where, for about 3 years. He absolutely loved it. Winters are amazing there I hear from him.

    At least you have WoW until then.

  2. Also, DVDs are usually regional, so you may be forced to change between regions depending on where you bought the film, but that should only be a minor annoyance.
    I recently had to move -last Saturday in fact- since I’m now at University living a good 180 miles away from my parents. I haven’t really had a chance for it to sink in since I’ve been doing stuff all week as part of Freshers’ week, and I only got around to unpacking the stuff I decided to bring with me today. I’d only moved once before, but since I was moving with my family it wasn’t as exciting, but the experience wasn’t too bad.
    I hope the move isn’t too stressful, and it all goes well. And hey, maybe if you take a trip to England, and more specifically Newcastle we can say hi!

    -BTW, I think you’re going to have to get used to living without Hulu. Oh, and enjoy our slightly later release dates. =P

  3. I’ve moved 11 times so far. Agreed, it isn’t pleasant initially, but once the boxes are unpacked it starts feeling like home. Theres also a period of ‘where is everything?’, both in the home and local shops etc, and sorting out the old and new bills is also a pain. but all worth it in the end.

    Good luck, and I hope all goes according to plan.

  4. Well I sure hope that you good luck moving, I’ve never moved in my life, but I’ll bet it be fun!

    Annnd I can say I moved too! haha…phew

  5. Well losing one of my favorite bloggers is NOT an option! When I was a young army brat, we were stationed in Germany for a couple years. I remember most all the tv was in german so I traded comics for fun on the base ( /shows age) ,way before internet and Pong was THE video game hahaha.

    Well enjoy your adventure and keep in touch. P.S. Is this a permanent move?

  6. @Davie261

    I can’t speak for Pixiestixy officially, and this is just speculation.

    I’m not sure if it’s a permanent move, but we won’t be losing her totally. Once she gets her interwebz running again, we shall see her lovely point of views and bantering of how games have turned to the worse while in exile, shortly.

  7. Germany actually ain’t that bad :P although you might have to get used to the bad economy there the terrible weather at some times and the big problem that a load of dutch people are like a rock throw away.. You’ll be fine :) already a big welcome to the EU you’ll love it! :)

  8. Thanks for all the comments :) I may be somewhat scarce throughout the move, but will be back in full force on Lore Hound soon. I may even have a few things saved up that will get posted in the meantime…

  9. im a military brat( dad was in the navy all growing up) so ive moved more times than i can count. Ive lived in a few contries but the one that sticks out the most was Japan. the actual move itself was a pain but after all was said and done its an amazing once in a lifetime experience that sadly most folks do not get to live. i wish you the best in your european endevors!

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