WHY I HATE PC
GAMERS, PARTS 1-10
Some Other (Kinds Of) Things – Like: This
The modern gaming PC is an
amazing piece of hardware. With much more raw power than any console,
capable of far superior graphics and glorious surround sound, equipped
with near-infinite versatility of control and able to access data with
lightning speed from massive hard drives, the PC is the greatest games
machine in the world. Or at least, it would be if it wasn’t for YOU.
I doubt if there’s any single factor
that more sharply demonstrates the huge, gaping abyss between PC
gamers and their console counterparts than game naming. And it’s a
comparison where PC gamers come off horribly badly – assuming, that
is, that they don’t actually want to look like embarrassing
pompous Dwayne Dibley caricatures. (And if you’re about to write in
to point out that I’ve spelled “Duane Dibbley” wrong in that
sentence, then oh no! It’s you!)
Let’s have a quick look through some of the more recent console
releases featured on a nearby multi-format games website, shall we?
We’ve got Haze, Everybody’s Golf, RooGoo, Monster Madness, Everyday
Shooter, Singstar, Lair, Poker Smash, The Club, Ninja Reflex, Ghost
Squad and Nitrobike. One or two words, punchy and evocative. Before
you know a single thing about them, who doesn’t want to play “Poker
Smash” or “Monster Madness”? Who doesn’t want to be a member of
“Ghost Squad”? The names have invisible exclamation marks on the end
– they’re already exciting before you’ve even got the box out of the
cellophane! You could even swap almost any of the words around and
come up with another brilliant-sounding game – “Monster Smash”!
“Ninja Squad”! “Ghost Madness”! “Golf Club”!
[[SUB: check that last one]]
And now let’s scan down the same site’s list of PC titles. There’s
Command And Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath – well, I nearly stayed
awake all the way to the end of that one, I guess. How about
Universe At War: Earth Assault? I suppose it can’t be TOO bad if
it’s got a number of syllables you can still count on your fingers,
right? Or there’s The Lord Of The Rings Online: Shadows Of Angmar (a
dozen, damn). Picture yourself in GAME, reading your way along the
shelves, following up those with the toweringly meaningless Supreme
Commander: Forged Alliance and Heroes Of Might And Magic V: Tribes
Of The East. Already a little punch-drunk from that pummelling, we
blunder into Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War – Soulstorm, a hideous
THREE-section monstrosity that you get bored of halfway through the
mere act of saying it, and when Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition Of
The Illuminus swings in with its full 16-syllable weight it’s down
and out for the count.
PC game sales aren’t falling because the games are getting less good
or people have less money to spend, it’s that nobody who wants to
buy one can make it to the end of a single shelf or website page
without either collapsing face-down onto their keyboard into a
terminal coma, or being so overcome with shame that they scuttle out
of the shop rather than have to go up to the counter and face the
piercing, contemptuous eyes of the other customers in the queue
burning into the back of their neck as the assistant shouts to his
colleague to fetch a copy of Europa Universalis III: Napoleon’s
Ambition from the back room.
There’s a reason every PC game of the last five years has a colon in
its title, after all. Because at the end of the day, chums, you know
where the colon is found, don’t you?
Stuart Campbell used to write about videogames in the 1940s,
but was widely ignored as they hadn’t been invented yet. Nowadays he
mostly revisits those happy times for our fabulous sister
publication Retro Gamer.