Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Confessions of a Game Hardware Reviewer

This is the only advice you'll ever need in choosing input devices

Gamers, power-users, and just about any computer person who sits around touching a keyboard and a mouse all day have every right to be choosy about their input peripherals. I know I am. As a bona-fide cripple, I use my computer as a connection to the world outside my house. It's my entertainment device; my stereo; my gaming machine; my media viewer; my internet device; and everything else electronic rolled into one.
Logitech plays it cool with the awesome G9x

When I made a living writing stuff like this, a big chunk of that living came from reviewing input devices that appeal to gamers, mainly mice and keyboards. For many years, starting in 1997 as PC Gamer's first technical editor, I gave all kinds of advice on choosing gaming peripherals.

Look for comfort! Tactile feedback! Button placement! Twitch response! Programmability! Features!

And so on.

Now I'm going to tell you something that I never told you before. This advice would have all but made me irrelevant, and my career null and void. I'm not saying that every tech website is going to fire its editors if this goes viral; it's not that revolutionary. It might, however, change how consumers use hardware reviews. When I had the epiphany of this thought, I definitely started looking at peripheral coverage in a new light.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Three Games You Ought to Have Purchased...

...and Why You Still Should

Everyone makes mistakes.

Pictured: Not me. (Source:
WikiMedia Commons)
Geez, I screw up all the time. Once, when I was, like, 17 years old and very drunk, I got home at 3:30 in the morning. With my beer-induced ninja skills, I decided to proceed silently into my bedroom, without
disturbing so much as a carpet fiber. I can do that when I'm drunk.

As I made my way up the stairs, I realized they were creaking in a very unninjalike manner, so I tried the old trick where you go up one side, as far to the side as you can, of the staircase. Steps supposedly don't creak as much when you tiptoe like that.

Under cover of darkness, silent as a still winter's night, I lifted my foot, and, with ancient Asian precision and wisdom, I lost my balance, stepped on my dog's squeaky toy, screamed because the sudden noise startled me, and fell backward down the three-or-so steps I'd masterfully ascended.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bat Defeated By Bugs

Is Batman: Arkham Origins the buggiest game since Battlecruiser 3000AD?


Normally, bats eat bugs. In this case, a massive swarm has devoured a bat. Bugs, bugs and more bugs have crashed, crushed, and utterly destroyed Gotham City's only hope; the mighty Batman has fallen.

In case you've been hiding in a bat-filled cave under a mansion for the past few years, dig this. Batman: Arkham Origins is the third game in the Arkham franchise. The first two titles, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, were both absolutely fantastic. Like the Dark Knight trilogy, however, the third time's anything but the charm: Part Three appears to have unraveled worse than that sweater from the Weezer song.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Why GTA V is Bad for Gaming

How can something so good that it knocks all of its competition off its continent somehow be bad for its industry?

Note: For this piece, I'm going to and assume the reader likes Grand Theft Auto V as much as the critics and, oh, well, pretty much everyone besides the pedantic complainers do. If you do not enjoy GTA V, you might as well stop reading right now. You won't agree with any of this, and you'll likely post a vitriolic comment about how I'm full of shit. I'll keep any thought-provoking comments up, even if they're in disagreement with this paragraph or anything else contained within this column, but pointless attacks will be deleted.

Bear with me. I'm going to bury this lede so deep, it would take a team of editors with their own excavation crew about four months to even find it. Before I say a word about the topic at hand, I'm going to talk about Superman II. If, somehow, you haven't seen Superman II, you should know that, in the following paragraphs, I'm going to spoil the shit out of the whole film. Read on, if you dare.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Check Out My First Semi-Pro Work in Years!

More than two long years have passed since I've written a professional word. Now I'm (sorta) back in the saddle!

The Corsair Vengeance M65, a decent FPS mouse!
Being saddled with a disability really blows. In case you didn't know, the reason I haven't written professionally in more than two years is an extremely painful case of cauda equina, a syndrome caused by three herniated lumbar discs in my spine which team up to kindly offer force upon me spinal stenosis

I'm collecting Social Security Disability, but I'm allowed to earn a bit of money - under a certain cap. Therefore, I've contacted my old and wonderful friend Michael Brown, over at PC World, and he threw me a bone. That's right: I'm back in the real world reviewing stuff!

Take a look at my mouse roundup on PC World! Then, tell your friends about it! Tweet it, retweet it, Facebook it, Google+ it, and otherwise spread the word. Durham is not just an amateur dweeb anymore: He's a kinda-sorta professional dweeb!