January 29 2008

Computer Gamers

Computer GamerComputer gaming enthusiasts are an interesting lot.

Case in point was a comment I found on this post on Engadget about how people are still flocking to Windows XP, even though time is running out. One commenter mentions how he’s skipped Vista as he prefers a more stable OS to work with. He then received the following reply from another poster that said “Let me know how that works out for you when all games require DX10 in the next year or two.”

The original poster came back and stated that he doesn’t game on his computer, and there was no reply, so I imagine the issue is dead. Still, this is a common attitude I run into all over the web from computer gamers that they simply can’t comprehend how anyone can be satisfied with a computer that is anything below a top end gaming rig.

I’ve played my fair share of computer games back “in the day”: Master of Orion II, Civilization 1, 2, and 3, several Star Wars games, I loved the Mechwarrior series and so on. What stopped me was a combination of things, but namely my unwillingness to purchase a new video card every time I turned around. The games constantly expect you to be upgrading and upgrading to keep up with them, and, I’m sorry, but I’m not made of money. Mind you, this was several years ago, and from what I know of the current crop of games, it’s only gotten worse.

VRAs I’ve gotten older (ugh), I prefer the simplicity of console gaming. Sure I have to buy a new console every few years, but when I buy a game for a specific system, I know it’s going to work. I’m not going to put it in, fire it up and be told I need a more powerful video card… or more RAM… or a new sound card… you get the picture.  I just prefer the ease of enjoyment that a console gives me over finding out I can’t buy a game because I don’t have the WillyWooly 256X Video Card with the Slushee attachment in my PC.

So, I have nothing against computer gamers, knock yourselves out, have a ball and enjoy it if that’s your hobby, but why is their this attitude that those of us who don’t are somehow lesser? I have had many conversations with one gamer in particular who just can not comprehend how I am satisfied with run-of-the-mill video cards, he can’t understand how I enjoy any games with my current computer. No matter how many times I tell him I don’t do computer games, he still doesn’t get it.

To each their own I say, just remember, now all of us are using our computers for gaming, some of us actually use them for work!… and porn… can’t forget the porn.

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  • Jo

    When I bought the laptop several months ago, I didn’t buy the “for gamers” model. When I bought the DH a DVD Game for Christmas that said it would work with Vista, I thought great! Not so great. It wouldn’t run and after looking at the 3″ of instructions on what needed to be upgraded on the computer to play the game (major $$$$ involved) we gave the game to someone else. We tried it on his XP machine, but that machine is over 4 years old and was out of date when we got it (for free when he completed a computer course). I can’t see paying money to continue to upgrade just to play a game. I’ll stick to Pogo ;)

  • Jo – you hit the nail on the head. It’s great that designers are trying to take full advantage of the resources out there, but they simply can’t expect an average consumer, such as yourself, to keep up some of these insane requirements just to play a game.

  • the helmet was waaaayyy tooooo coooolll.. LOL, I really had a good laugh just by seeing it.

  • Chris Hanlon

    I do have to say that I stick with computers because I am used to them (still haven't worked out how to use those controller thingies).
    But I do share your frustration with the upgrade issues. I have the original Max Payne CD which I thought I would play for nostalgia but in order to install it you need a ridiculous amount of patches and updates…
    Solution: I bought it again on the Steam platform ($1.99 I think), but the beauty is that steam automatically patches all the games for your computer. -Bliss!