The PC Gaming Time Machine

Back to the Future

Somehow, I feel like I’ve stepped into a time warp. I’m not really sure how or when it happened, but gaming has taken me back about 12 years or so. I look a little bit older, I know only a couple of more things, I’m about to be a father, but the mouse and the keyboard still feel the same: every satisfying click fires another round, sends another SCV, marks another target or claims another piece of loot.

And there’s something terribly right about the whole thing.

Over the last few months, I’ve found myself returning to my PC to get my gaming fix more and more frequently. Sure, I still consider a majority of games that I play to be “couch” experiences rather than “desk” experiences, but the really addictive titles all beg to be played from the comfort of a USB headset and a RAZR mouse. Starcraft II, Battlefield 3 and now the Diablo III and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive betas. The calendar may read 2012, but it feels like the summer of 2000 all over again.

I think maybe it’s the combination of CS: GO and Diablo III that have finally done me in over the past week. It’s like, all of a sudden I’m back in the computer room at my old home, playing away into the hours of the night with friends, laughing together as we create memories in the form of LAN parties.

As much as I think that the PC versus console wars can tend to be a bit overblown (and that’s a severe understatement), there really is nothing quite like the PC experience. It’s surprising to me that all these years later, the fundamentally enjoyable things about the experience have translated well across time, gaming generations and a massive update in pixel count. Even though I love the machines that Microsoft and Sony have built, nobody else put my PC together but me (and sure, maybe Nick and my brother helped, too).

Yes, that’s reductive, but it’s true. This PC is mine. I can fill it full of whatever nonsense I want. I don’t need a dashboard or an antiquated system to purchase my games. I can mod, multi-task and make the experience just the way I want it. I can play matches with dedicated servers and experience mind-blowing graphics that sometimes do make a game better, thank you very much. I can do all these things and more, and somehow it just feels the way gaming was meant to be. None of the fuss, none of the crap that comes with the exclusivity of the closed-system consoles.

After being out of the PC gaming mix for so long, I thought jumping back in would be a bit of a shellshock. I expected to find myself lost in the deep end, wondering if I had wasted money upgrading my system or if I would have been better off ignoring these landmark titles. But what I found is quite the opposite. Just like in the year 2000, this style of gaming fits me like a glove. It’s unique. It’s special.

And for all the crap that PC gamers get from the greater community of gamers, they’re right about one thing: the PC gaming experience is one to cherish and protect.


Who’s with me in my re-found love of playing games on the PC? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

6 thoughts on “The PC Gaming Time Machine”

  1. =) nice to have you back. In a twist for me, I’ve actually been drawn into Black Ops on PS3 by my roomates who out of no where started to play it.. a lot.. That for me was really going back in time. “I thought you were good at shooters?” they teased me as I fumbled with analog sticks… It really bothered me to suck. But it didn’t take long. It’s nice to go back, but it can just be so frustrating after all this time with a mouse.

  2. @ Julez, in just a few short months all this TF2 and CoD4 my friends and I have been playing has made me forget how to use analogue sticks. SERIOUSLY. In fact, Mouse and Keyboard has made such an impact on me that I went out and bought a RAT3 (I would have preferred a RAT5 or 7, but I have a PC to finish building, lol).
    Eddy, I can’t agree with you more. I’ve been warming to the idea of PC gaming for a while now (thanks primarily to all you PC guys here) and now that all my friends have/are getting one I feel the need to a) keep up with the trends and b) finally make the leap.

  3. I’ve always been a console dominant gamer, but earlier this year I built one hell of a gaming rig. And now I get it. There is something special about PC gaming. Merely seeing the same games on my PC that I played on my 360 now running at 60+ FPS is magical to me. It probably sounds silly, but I keep finding myself in awe of what PC gaming has to offer.

  4. “[…]Iā€™m about to be a father[…]”
    Congratulations šŸ˜€

    Now, this whole thing about re-finding my love for PC gaming, it happened to me on te 90’s/early 2000. I start gaming with Doom. Then I discover the SNES, Sega Genesis, N64 and finally the PSX.
    And I took a halt there. I discovered Half-Life and CS 1.5. And from there, I have never been back to consoles.

    I miss them and I miss my couch. Either way, I will always love PC gaming more than consoles.

  5. I love my PC, but I also love my console (PS3). But deep down, I really feel I prefer PC over the console. Mostly because I love multiplayer (online) games on the PC. I think I am like this because my first online MP experiences were on the PC…way back during the Doom days. Nothing was more exiting than dialing in my pals on our good ole 36k & 56k (heck, I think we used 14.4k too) modems to have a death match in Doom. We’d get so pissed if someone would try to call our phones because we’d get disconnected. And then Half-Life came out and we had tons of fun connecting to death matches on that…long jumping and tau cannoning our way across boot camp (ahhh, those were good times). And of course, Counterstrike was just awesome, along with Unreal Tournament. I attempted to play some PS3 games online, particularly TF2, BFBC1 & BF3…I enjoyed them…but the lack of ability to speak with most the players as most didn’t have headsets…and you can’t type messages back and forth…just kind of made the experience bland (yeah, maybe I should have got a 360…but I always liked Sony’s systems). Plus, I know more people on Steam who generally play at the same set of servers all the time. This makes things better too, as we aren’t always playing against people we don’t know, and may not ever see again, plus we get into other games like LOL & SC2.
    I think this generation of consoles were a direct step towards to being more PCish…and the next generation will probably be even closer. But like Eddy said…these are ‘closed systems’…and you can only do what the maker intends for the machine to do. With a PC, you can do whatever you like…plus MODS!

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