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I’ve never really been one to get into arguments on the internet. For many people it can be an easy trap to fall into, fuelled by pride, bravado and a determination to prove that stupid cunt you’ve never met before is wrong about everything. Words like “douchepants”, “shitlord”, and “filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom-feeding, trashbag ho” may be liberally thrown about like toffees at a lolly scramble, and it just ends up being a mess that some poor moderator has to clean up.
Nowhere is this kind of toxicity and bile more prevalent than in the multitude of online forums dedicated to gaming. Diving into the depths of these sites is a great idea only if you wish to lose your faith in humanity. You may find the occasional thread that discusses the merits of games as an artistic medium, or possibly a heart-warming story about how gaming changed someone’s life for better or worse, but there’s a lot of idiocy to sort through first. This kind of offensive impenetrability can only result in the gaming subculture becoming even more marginalised than it already is.
But of all the petty online arguments about games, one single topic has endured for years. It has produced more digital venom than any other. It has made enemies out of friends and divided families.
PC versus Console.
To many, the debate over which machine is best for games isn’t really a debate at all. They just think they’re right, end of story, no need to bother anymore. Yet somehow, in spite of this blatant arrogance, it persists and it will live on until the medium ascends beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals. Let’s just say for now that both sides have their fair share of pros and cons, and it’s worth looking at what these are.
For PC gamers, it’s all about that pure processing power. There’s no denying that the capabilities of numerous processors and graphics cards vastly exceed anything that the eighth-generation consoles can push out, making gaming in ultra high definition a very real possibility. You can customise your setup to suit your tastes and get the most out of the games you love. The top distribution platform has numerous sales and consistently offers high quality, low cost games, with free multiplayer and dedicated servers being a bonus. However, the real barrier to entry is cost and time—getting a high end rig running will likely set you back thousands of dollars, while getting games to run how you want them takes quite a bit of fiddling with both in-game and system settings. There are low-cost options available, but there is still a bit of messing about to be done first. Ultimately, if you’re a dedicated enthusiast, PC will suit you best.
With consoles, you’re pretty much guaranteed that both the hardware and software will work straight out of the box with minimal fiddling required, at the expense of not having the game run to its full potential. Exclusive titles keep each console’s line-up of games fresh and exciting, although doing so risks cutting off large swathes of the market. A monetary investment in a console is much less compared to maintaining a decent PC rig, making it more accessible to casual players. However, making consoles is expensive and the manufacturers will be making their costs back through charging full price for most games (especially through digital, so don’t bother) and making you pay for online multiplayer. If you’re looking to just play the occasional blockbuster without worrying too much about performance, then consoles are likely for you.
Having said that, frankly I don’t give two shits about which machine you play your games on, and arguing about it is pointless. You are allowed to like what you like and there is nothing that anyone else can do about it. It’s all subjective, and whatever you think is best will ultimately only matter to you; your individual opinion is not an excuse to spit bile at someone else about theirs. All I’m doing here is giving you some suggestions, based on the facts.
Gaming is now a key cornerstone of popular culture, and worrying about the little differences between what is ultimately a large and diverse medium and the communities that surround it only serve to make ALL gamers look like the idiotic man-children the mainstream media likes to portray us as. Yes, there are people out there who think that others are only allowed to like the things they like, but these people are idiots and don’t deserve any sort of attention.
If we want video games to be taken seriously as an artistic medium, we need to stop this bullshit once and for all. It’s not helping anyone.
Cameron Gray thinks games are an important artistic medium. Considering that Goat Simulator exists, he’s probably full of shit.