Friday, January 29, 2010

The Perils of Being a Multi-Platform Gamer

Y'know that rockin' new game that just came out, called Mass Effect 2? I love it, but I think it's best played on a PC.

Now, on some message boards, that statement could get me crucified. Notice that I didn't specifically dis the Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii, nor any of the handhelds. In fact, here's another statement that could get me slaughtered on certain boards:

I wouldn't play X-Men Origins: Wolverine on PC even if it were available. It rocks, however, on Xbox 360.

So there! The first statement, of course, seems to make me one of those "PC ROOLZ CONSOLES SUCK" kind of people, and some shortsighted losers online would interpret it as such. The second could mean I'm in the "PCS ARE CRAP FOR GAMES AND TOO COMPLICATED AND PC GAMING IS DOOMED" camp.

I'm in neither. I'm one of a growing group of people that I call multi-platform gamers. It's a scary world for us, because there are so many arguments on so many boards between the console nerds and the PC geeks, utterly ruling out their rival platform.

Me? I just love gaming. I prefer first- and third-person shooters and RTS titles on PC, generally. More action-oriented games like the brilliant titles inFamous, Brutal Legend and Darksiders belong on consoles, and are easier and more fun to play with gamepads and on large televisions. I like Xbox Live Arcade games, PlayStation Store games, and Steam games. I'm not a console or a PC gamer...I'm just a gamer.

Here's the thing: Have you ever noticed that when you say "Obama isn't very effective," liberals call you a neocon freakazoid Bush lover, whereas when you say, "Bush really screwed our economy," the conservatives call you a screeching moonbat Obama lover? Heck, I don't even know what a moonbat is, but I believe both of those statements are true. Just as I believe that different platforms are appropriate for different games. I'm politically, and gamingly, agnostic.

I've gone so far to post things like those first two gaming oriented statements on a board or two here or there...and gotten attacked for my efforts.

If you're an equally agnostic gamer, a multi-platform gamer so to speak, beware. Our time is coming, but right now it's a dangerous world. We must stay underground until the world has advanced enough to understand us. Good luck.


  1. To tell the truth, I’ve been a PC gamer for many years now… Back in the days where PCs could only be afforded by slightly “better off” kind of people, I mostly spent my time on consoles, though… My very first one was an ITMC (damn, I still remember the name) and was probably bought by my dad at some sales in a random supermarket… We had a huge collection of 2 games (Pong + some golf game) and that’s probably all that came out on that system.

    My first “PC” experience happened on an Amstrad CPC464, it came with a monochromic screen (shades of green) and games were recorded on audio tapes… It used to take forever to load one of those, and I remember we got that when all my “slightly better off friends” were getting Amiga 500’s that came with floppy drives and color displays! But I still liked mine and did have a lot of fun playing some games with my brother (we also learned how to code in Basic on it, thing that other couldn’t do on their more expensive system… Or didn’t know how to…)

    Then all the consoles came along, first it was our NES (Supermario was a blast!), then came our Sega Genesis (Sonic, Streets of Rage plus all the Street Fighter 2 clones), and finally we got a SuperNES (with the REAL Street Fighter 2 this time!)… I don’t remember what happened next, I guess we weren’t that interested in getting a Playstation or any of the other new consoles (Sega Dreamcast, Atari Jaguar…) so we kept on playing our SuperNES games (we also eventually got Gameboys on the cheap)

    After graduating from High School, I went to University where I really started feeling the need of a PC… Why? We had all those school projects and reports were supposed to be typed and printed out… Of course the school had PCs we could use but we weren’t allowed to stay late and I just had to learn the meaning of the word “patience” when my fellow students were using all of them.

  2. So it was finally time for me to get a PC… Me and my brother teamed up to get half the money that was needed for the purchase while my parents were kind enough and came up with the rest… Our first system was far from having stellar performances, it was around the time the Intel Pentium 90 came out but we couldn’t afford it so settled for a Cyrix 120 instead, the display card was a Cirrus Logic 1MB and the config came with default 4MB RAM, something like 800MB hard disk and a “compatible soundcard” that was basically compatible only with itself… And all this for the price of a decent rig today (something around USD800 if I remember well).

    Now I do not want to sound ungrateful or anything (you spoilt brat!) as my PC did exactly what I was expecting him to: Editing and printing my reports… But (there’s always one) I couldn’t help but feeling that little pinch in my neck every time a new revolutionary game was coming out and I couldn’t play it on my PC (Quake or Half Life for example) so I started upgrading bit by bit… Bought a Matrox Mystique 4MB display card, then a Creative Soundblaster 16 and pretty soon my system wasn’t anything like the one we had bought… Oh, I almost forgot to mention our Olitec 33600 external modem that enabled us to connect to that little thing called the internet.

    This is how I became (mostly) a PC gamer and it was Starcraft that really sealed the deal for me. I think I had graduated and was already working by the time that game was released, so I purchased a second PC and some BNC network cards (remember those?) so we could setup and connect to LANs… There was a whole new “social” side of playing games that couldn’t really happen on consoles (couldn’t go online yet) and I think that’s what drawn me towards PC gaming more than consoles.

    Now gaming and consoles have evolved too, you can connect to gaming networks, use voice chat and what not, and playing guitar hero on your keyboard just doesn’t cut it… On the other hand, I pull my hair every time I try an FPS or some game that requires quick and accurate aiming or unit selection… I haven’t really owned a console for quite some time, mostly because I play WoW and my PS2 was just collecting dust. But I’ve recently been thinking of buying a Blu-Ray player and had a good look at the PS3 and tried it for real this time. Games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, God of War or Uncharted are kick ass and I’m getting a PS3 Slim (waiting for delivery at the moment) but I’m still not convinced and will not play FPS (tried Army of T.W.O and Killzone 2… I just can’t take it…) Some people think the opposite, the friend who owns the PS3 I tested quit gaming on his PC as he couldn’t stand installing the games and upgrading his hardware any longer.

  3. Sorry Joel, I wasn't planning on leaving such a long comment but I got caught reminiscing and couldn't stop typing... :P

  4. I got in via Atari 2600 when I was about 6. Migrated to Commodore 64 and enjoyed years of great gaming. I took a break during the NES/SNES days (I was a tail-chasing teen during those dark days of gaming) but then got heavily into PC gaming.

    The problem with consoles wasn't that they weren't PCs, it was the games. Back in the 90's as I recall, the various PlayStation/Dreamcast stuff was pretty much racing games, fighting games, or JRPGs (all genres I don't care for). I preferred shooters, strategy games, and the like, and the PC was the only outlet.

    With stuff like the above-mentioned Wolverine, plus Assassin's Creed, and other very gamepad-friendly games populating consoles, I've gotten into consoles in the past few years. Some games will always be better on PCs, some on consoles. That's just how things are.