Why I've always been a PC Gamer
Although this post is about PC gaming, I must acknowledge the humble beginnings of my gaming career to the resilient console. I bear no ill will towards our console brethren and take no part in the never ending flame wars of the PC gaming master race versus the console masses. In fact my first gaming system was a NES which my parents got for me when I was about 7, setting me off in this journey that I continue on to this day. I have very fond memories of playing Contra, which got me hooked early on in action and military type games.
However, as I got a little older, my parents got me my first PC, an Intel Pentium. I’ll never forget that day. Most kids remember their first bike or first toy, but I was never most kids. I was and always have been a computer nerd.
I’ll always remember my first computer and the seemingly endless games I was able to install and play on it throughout the years. Warcraft 2 was the first PC game I got, which had to be installed by my mom, where she showed me how to use the command prompt on DOS. Pretty mind blowing come to think of how far we’ve come and how things are pretty much reversed and I’m now helping her with a lot of tech and computer related things.
So that was where things really took off for me in the world of pc gaming, as I found it extremely fun installing games on DOS, pretending to be a little child hacker bashing keys happily just to get a simple game installed. The amount of high quality games just kept coming: the Wing Commander, X-Wing and Tie Fighter series brought to life amazing space combat simulators. I mean, I could literally play out my fantasies of being a starfighter pilot in Star Wars in my own computer!
Of course it didn’t end there. MechWarrior 2 brought together the complexity of a simulation game with a bit of arcade ease, allowing you to jump in a game and start blasting mechs. Next, I was introduced to the wonderful world of FPS gaming with Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem and Quake as my gateway. Once I had a taste, there was no turning back. Endless nights of gaming online with friends and clan members took over.
One of the major reasons that keeps me going and makes me identify myself as a pc gamer is the fact that I always enjoyed tinkering with computer hardware, or at the very least read and research about it. One could say that the way I felt with computers was the way other kids loved building things with LEGO. From a young age I was always fascinated with technology and the correlation I saw between building a computer with parts you chose and the end result: a game with amazing graphics and framerate, all because I laboured to make it so.
In Singapore, the most well known place for all things computer hardware related is called Sim Lim Square, and it was always one of my favourite places when I was a kid. As a 12 year old, I’d go scout for computer hardware, compare pricelists and haggle. I’ve always appreciated the fact that computers with their ever upgradeable and modular nature could always deliver great looking graphics and push the boundary of gaming, giving us a glimpse of what the next generation of games will look like, today.
The reason I prefer pc gaming is of course because of the experiences I had in my past, but it is also because of the promise of a future that is very open. What I mean by this is that the platform by its very nature allows for an ever evolving and experimental kind of gameplay. Today in 2013 we have the innovative new hardware that is pushing the very boundaries of gaming itself with the Oculus Rift and the Omni. Let’s not forget the Steam Box, and the ability to turn your existing PC into a powerful console like experience with Steam Big Picture. You have the ability to hook up your PC via HDMI to the TV, and with the use of a controller, you immediately have a versatile machine that also plays the thousands of titles available on the PC.
I think the future is very bright for PC gaming. In fact the release of the next generation consoles only guarantee it. With AMD’s x86-64 architecture on both Sony’s and Microsoft’s offerings, it will allow for the quicker porting of PC titles. It will also now push the limits of game design and graphical fidelity, especially now that the last generation can be quietly retired, allowing our console brethren to finally catch up to us (I’m sorry I had to at least include that little jab). With more powerful hardware at their disposal, both console and pc gaming can once again push on with the latest technologies. So this is why I’ve always considered myself a pc gamer. It is both the direction my gaming experiences have taken me, and also the future that I look forward to, which is constantly evolving and innovating in the PC space.