PC Gaming and You

My name is Brandon, AKA Skullmatrix. I have been a PC gamer since I was 10. Back then I played on a 386, had a 13 inch CRT monitor, no sound card, and no graphics card. I couldn’t have been happier. PC gaming back then meant making custom boot disks to squeeze all the memory out of the machine to play doom. It meant looking up the 3rd word on paragraph 3 on page 76 of the manual to authenticate your copy of Wizardry. It also meant modifying bitmaps to make the Wolfenstein guy pick up giant wangs instead of health packs. For the longest time I didn’t own a mouse. It was a good time to remember, but no one in their right mind would go back.

Old School Adventure Gaming

Old School Adventure Gaming

One reason is that gaming on the PC also used to mean knowing true rage. Installing a new sound card took days. I remember my father coming home with a CD rom drive. I was the happiest 12 year old ever. I was even happier a month later when we finally figured out how to get the thing to work. Loom was awesome. I spent long hours looking through an 800 page DOS book trying to figure out how to make a custom batch file that would automatically zip a bunch of .wad files across several disks, so that when I went to a friends house, we could play all the custom maps I had made. Of course the disks would become corrupt the second you looked at them, the maps would have some fatal flaw in them that crashed it every 10 minutes, and that stupid book was written by software engineers that had no regard for an 11 year old’s lack of computer skills. Every hour of PC gaming was accompanied by 20 minutes of frustration and anger.

We wont even mention configuring IRQ channels.

But PC gaming has come a long way. It is now easier than ever to install shiny new hardware. You can throw so much cheap ram at a computer that you should never have to worry about running out. You can play games with friends all over the world across epic landscapes. Graphics on the PC are still leagues beyond anything a console can accomplish. My video card has more ram and processing power than my PS3. Most importantly, the Keyboard and Mouse are still the greatest gaming tools known to man.

All of this comes on the same machine you watch your porn on, check your email with, use to file your taxes, and otherwise organize your life around. So why is PC gaming still something most people dread? It used to be the go to machine for your gaming needs, now its the thing you use to buy and read about games you play somewhere else.

I’m not here to tell you all that console gaming sucks. I own every modern console and handheld and enjoy playing them. What I am here to do is showcase the best the PC has to offer. Exclusive games you wont get anywhere else, or games that have that extra something on the PC. I want to show everyone that the PC is a friendly fun place to play your games. We should be thinking of the PC as another console to play.

The first thing I want to share is the up and coming Quake Live and Battlefield Heroes. Two of gaming’s most hardcore titles on the PC, in a package anyone can get into on any machine. Oh, did I mention they’ll be FREE? I’ve been playing the Quake Live beta (signup seems to be random, but give it a shot anyhow!) a bit and it has been a great trip back to being 18 years old. If you have fond memories of deathmatch and railguns, you’ll likely have fun. Even jumping in for only 20 or thirty minutes at a time is entertaining. Battlefield Heroes looks to be a different kind of experience, one very different from other online shooters out there, but still following the quakelive “free on the web” attitude.

So take a fresh look a the box by your feet. Maybe its time to give PC gaming another try. Or a first try even. Drop a comment or start a discussion on the forum. I would love to hear your thoughts and interests on the subject. I’m also interested in hearing why people havnt tried the PC or have stopped playing their games on one.

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