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State of Gaming: A PC Frame of Mind

 

Bart

Tirc

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Hi all, this is Tirc. This will be my first non-Zelda post on the site. Normally you will see less of me in written words and more via our other content that we hope to bring you soon. Every once and a while I will have a topic to write on. Today it’s about PC Gaming.

I’m bringing to you a new segment here on the site: State of Gaming. My thought for this new segment is it gives us an opportunity here at ONS to hit on general gaming topics and our thoughts on present happenings in the gaming world that don’t revolve around a specific game or franchise. That said, let’s get to it…

State of Gaming: A PC Frame of Mind

A little less than two years ago I obtained that which had eluded me for quite some time, a gaming PC, or gaming rig as it’s commonly known as. I had always played games on my parent’s computers if the machine could handle them graphically. I didn’t play a ton of PC games growing up due to this fact but the games I did play, I played extensively.

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With new consoles looming and the end of an era for our current generation I believe that the PC landscape is in a good place right now. The other factor in PC gaming is the economy. While the “start-up” costs for PC gaming is higher than consoles, once you are set up with a gaming rig you can build your library while even on a budget. This is mainly due to a few major platforms: Steam, GoG (Good Old Games), and Green Man Gaming. That is certainly not a comprehensive list, but they are my top three in terms of places to go for discount game deals at this point.

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Good Old Games is great for old games for really cheap. Green Man Gaming is a UK based site that has deals on a daily basis. The only hang up there that I have run into is that occasionally they won’t have the license to sell games in certain areas such as here in the US. Last, but certainly not least, is Steam. The face of PC gaming was changed with the popularity of Steam. With the ability to obtain your games digitally and at sometimes extremely low prices it makes the PC a viable platform for gaming. I remember the days where computer games came in boxes that were the size of a piece of notebook paper and were 2 inches thick. You also had to install the games off the disk and in most cases the disk had to be present to play which was to discourage people from sharing games. Now you just to be connected to the internet to validate your games through steam. Given the large sizes of disk drives on computers presently I think that having all of the data on the hard drive is a good thing as it saves load times to not have to load from a disk.

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Aside from pricing, I think that the power in PC gaming comes in the ability to continuously upgrade your system (if your budget allows). Where consoles are stagnant in hardware from the beginning to the end of their cycle, PC’s evolve on a regular basis. No console can touch a PC when it comes to graphics. Due to the ever evolving hardware; PC’s with the newest graphic cards will always demolish what a console can bring to the table.

The ability to establish an online community through the PC with such genres as MMO’s and MOBA style games while the PC has the lowest population of gamers. It can be argued that they have the most close nit communities. That can’t be said without noting the strides that the current generation of consoles have made in this area and what I think will be the largest push in the next generation of consoles.

This wouldn’t be a post about PC gaming without mentioning mods. Mods have been a staple of PC gaming for such a long time. Starting with simple iterations such as the ability to make a map in an RTS or making a map in Counter Strike to creating new game genres with mods such as DOTA and Day Z. The ability for fans of a game to take what the developers made and expand on that to levels that we didn’t know was possible is a great thing for games. It’s also great to see many PC developers who are welcoming of the mods and supportive of where fans expand on their vision.

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Independent developers have called the PC home for quite a long time. There is a bit of a change in the guard which we’ve seen this past generation with both Sony and Microsoft becoming much more accepting of Indie development; however, the PC is still the friendliest of venues. The establishment of Steam as a gaming platform has been a driving force in what keeps Indie games thriving on the PC. Not to mention a now juggernaut in the gaming world, Minecraft, was created by one person. The jumping off platform is still the PC and many successful ports to consoles have come from it.

All in all I am excited about where the PC fits in to the gaming landscape. While I know that PC gaming will never be at the forefront ahead of consoles they fill the niche by providing gamers a deeper experience to dig into games with more of a developer’s frame of mind.

Edit – This article was written a little while ago. There are quite a few more sites and avenues to get low price digital PC games. I will be writing a follow up to discuss more at a later time.

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