I should have a formed opinion on GDC (that it's a mini E3 at this point and that they could just scratch the C out of that acronym and add a S for Showcase) and write about what this year will be all about based on these last weeks exciting news. That sparkle never ignited a flame in me. Instead I'm starting to feel overwhelmed with game news and debates to the left of me and canons to the right of me. This year started off with two great AAA titles (DMC4 and Burnout Paradise) and following last years crescendo of games I've finally found time to sink my teeth in Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament 3, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Project Gotham Racing 4 and many others that I want to play more of.
What I am starting to feel however is a contempt for the common consensus that is being perpetuated throughout the gaming community about PC gaming. I have taken it upon myself to start supporting my favorite platform more than I have in past, not just from buying games but to actively preach about it to friends and E-tards (thanks Jack) on the internet. I am not alone
and I feel obligated to thank everyone here at Destructoid who also have taken it upon themselves to start setting the record straight for what PC gaming actually means for the consumer.
However, this is both a case of preaching to the choir and arguments falling on deaf ears, as this community hardly stretches outside the realm of hardcore gamers, who either have already picked a side and chosen to stay with it. That term I just said, "picked a side" sounds awful, by the way. When did this become a war? Is co-modification actually a good future after all?
What bothers me about the current state of mind in the gaming community regarding PC gaming is that it also involves that strongest proponents of the platform. Listening to my favorite podcast this week, 97.5 The Brodeo a.k.a. GFW Radio, and watching the latest 1UP Show, and hearing all the talk about PC gaming from GDC, I found that it all came down to smaller indie-games as the future and savior of the platform. That bothers me.
There is a lot of talk about the PC these days and we are seeing a lot more attention to it, now that the next-generation consoles are the current-generation consoles, and thats a good thing. What bothers me is that the talk always involve indie games and casual games. The fact that UT3 and Crysis were two commercial disasters on the platform is the indication that the platform is dead and that those AAA titles with amazing graphics fit better on a console, are arguments that bothers me.
Microsoft's keynote at GDC mentioned nothing
about PC gaming. Absolutely NOTHING
(hey, say it again)! That, in conjunction with the enthusiast press, is turning the PC into an casual gaming platform that "you and your whole family can just pick up Peggle on and try and beat each other's scores, yeah!" That bothers me. A lot. (I must pay homage to Sins of a Solar Empire to break loose the chains and pushing PC gaming even in this day and age, strategy games will play a huge role for the future of the platform)
So, to sum up what bothers me, if you haven't noticed, is the direction the mindset of PC gaming is headed. Not just from developers and consumers, but from the actual enthusiasts themselves. They play into this notion and are desperate to save their platform, just as much as I am, that they forget what the system is capable of and what platform RPG's, FPS's and racing games first emerged on.
Take a look at the history of videogame consoles. In what direction is their technology heading in? They are essentially turning into PC's. That's why we are seeing this paradigm shift in consensus of what a platform is capable of and on what platform a certain genre of game belongs on. To me, casual games and arcade games are preferred on a console, whereas graphically impressive and intelligent game experiences are best played on a PC. I can tweak the settings to my liking, I can chose to play with a controller or mouse and keyboard, I can hook up my PC to a 50" plasma or LCD TV if I want and I can alt-tab out to check my mail and stocks just before a boss battle if I want (not to mention the ridiculous amount of porn available to me from the get-go).
I do acknowledge the hassles of owning a PC and having it as a gaming machine. If you wanna be on top, it's gonna cost you. But if you wanna be able to squeeze out the amount of graphical power like the 360 or PS3, expect to land at a lower price point compared to buying either one of those consoles. You buy peace of mind with a console (for the most part). You know it'll work and what the game will look like on your screen. No driver hassles and no crashes. But if you want to play games in higher resolutions and more optimizing capabilities, the PC has more to offer (if you didn't know, not one current-gen console game runs in 1080p).
All anyone can do is buy games for the platform they enjoy to play on the most. But know your options and educate yourself. The internet is a good place for education, but it is also the best place for indoctrination. Get out there, make an informed decision and support the platform you
want to play your games on. Don't contribute to diminishing other platforms and turning them into something they're not. That goes for meaningless bloggers, for the enthusiast press and for the developers, publishers and manufactures.
And please, stop flaming other peoples choice of gaming experience.
War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing... read