Daily Elysium : Wait, I Thought PC Gaming Was Dead.
I like cliches. They make good fodder when making fun of stuff. And, if there's one thing I never tire of it's making fun of stuff. If there are two things I never tire of, then the second one is driving the wrong way in racing games, but trendily, I digress.
For a good generation or two I've been hearing all about how PC gaming was on the way out. I'm not sure whether there are some people who just want this to happen - perhaps they own stock? - or if they just string gaming key words together until a parsable sentence is formed. Either way, I reject the claim that PC gaming has ever suffered more than a troublesome sniffle, or an annoying hacking cough at the very worst, much less a terminal illness. It seems to me that the foundation for this argument has never evolved beyond basic, barely literate, flamebait cliches - also ripe ground for making fun - mingled with regular expletives and a self-certainty of psychic clairvoyance that makes Dione Warwick look positively sheepish. It strikes me that to say PC gaming is dead is merely uninformed bandwagon hopping, and I've seen the people riding that wagon. You don't want to be on it.The other thing I really like is how wrong these people are proven to be time and again.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'll be completely honest with you about the following. What you're about to either read or ignore is a self-serving affirmation of all things PC gaming. It is a metaphorical nose-thumbing at anyone who's ever said the platform was dead, and is neither meant as a sensitive discussion of the merits of console gaming, nor is it particularly analytical. It takes sweeping assumptions, puts them forth as facts, and welcomes you to kiss its Gluteus Maximus if you don't care for it.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let me clue you in to a little secret that I've learned about the gaming industry. I'm not even going to charge you for it. That's just how tight we are, you and I. You ready?
People get over excited about new stuff.
Wow! That was pretty amazing wasn't it? I mean, I could've taken that kind of psychologically complex secret and sold it to a pharmaceutical company where they'd have used it to extract precious fanboy essence from rabid gamers to breed super-loyal soldiers that could might promptly conquer Delaware and perhaps even Rhode Island. But no, I trusted you with this knowledge. See, I told you we were tight!
Armed with this knowledge one can quickly see that PCs are not, relatively speaking, a new concept for gaming. In fact, there are some gamers who, remarkably, can not recall a time when man did not have a computer upon which to play. Such are the grim medieval ages of the middle twentieth century where the only fun to be had was listening to radio dramas while your father smoked a pipe and oppressed women. And we all know the fate that befell radio dramas, thus the antique concept of PC gaming is certain to follow.
Sure, console gaming isn't a particularly fresh idea either, but consoles do one thing that PCs don't. They reinvent themselves every few years in a single leap of technology that sends most gamers into orgasmic convulsions of anticipation, while the PC wanders piecemeal, as if with a cane and a canon of boring stories about vaccuum tubes, toward incremental complexity. So, while the Gamecube and the NES are both technically consoles, the difference between the two is not only a quantum leap of technology, but the lineage can be traced specifically: NES to SNES to N64 to Gamecube. The evolution from the PC upon which I played Ultima VII and the one upon which I play Battlefield 1942 is a wandering trail of a hard drive here, a processor there, and a video card just over the hill and around the corner.
It is much easier, having played the Playstation for a quarter of a decade, to get excited about the Playstation 2, than it is to stir up much of a ruckus about a 5% increase in processor performance each month or so. So, every few years the gaming throng salivates over the technical jump between console generations, as the PC quietly matches in its regular march of consistency.
But, it's all about the games, right? Well, I'm swift to agree, and the cycle makes sense here too. I'd be surprised if, with new consoles released, game developers didn't turn their resources heavy on the new systems and the glut of customers. Which means for a year or two the consoles have a slight lead in terms of general interest, but I live for those magical middle years before the next slew of tv-top games have been announced, when the current generation ridiculously feels long in the tooth, when the PC is the superior technological platform and all this nonsense about dead PC gaming evaporates. This is such a year, and it's no surprise that the PC is where the best games of this year are being developed.
You're welcome to argue the subjectivity of that last sentence, or even tell me that I'm biased. I don't mind, because I'll sit here and smile at my certainty that you're wrong and I'm right.
I don't need to tell you how many fantastic games are coming out for the PC this year. You already know. I just want you to remember two years down the road, when people are getting into fistfights over which multinational conglomerate's chipset is superior for rendering rehashed platformers and you're inclined to talk about how reliable old PC gaming is in its twilight, that you're only digging yourself a grave of idiocy which I will later be happy to push you into.