Cold Dark Heart

Cold Dark Heart
Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

Chuck Wendig | 3 Aug 2010 09:01
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It's great that PCs offer their owners -

*does some quick math*

- one bajillion options. A million brands, a billion hardware options, a zillion-trillion software options. You know what? I heart options.


There exists, however, a tipping point.

That tipping point occurs when these options make it impossible to create programs that encompass the bulk of said options. Over-complexity lurks in the system. Our options have created an endless maze, and in it we are lost.


I've heard the criticism.

"Man up, Nancy. Learn to troubleshoot. Can't you read a manual?"

I can. And have. And won't anymore.

Let's turn the tables.

Got a car? Do you like it? Let's say you mount a GPS on the dashboard, and now five minutes into every excursion, the car shuts off. Happy? No? Not excited about expensive technology failing you?

Learn to troubleshoot. Can't you read a manual?

Thirty seconds into the brew-time on your coffee-maker the device instead sprays hot java on your balls, searing them to the corduroy. You don't like that? Not a fan?

Learn to troubleshoot. Can't you read a manual?

I could sell you a washing machine that works for $100 - or, for $20, I could just send a guy to your house and collapse your trachea with a cricket bat. We cool?

Learn to troubleshoot. Can't you - well, you know the drill.

Fact: I want my shit to work. I bought Angry Birds for the iPhone, and you know what it does? It works. Same with any game I bought for my 360. The games work. No tinkering. No new hardware. No draconian DRM that demands I be online at all times and sacrifice a bleating goat. Console and iPhone games work.

You know what console games don't do?

They don't make me want to punch a baby seal.

That's it. I'm done. Game over, man. Game over. No more PC gaming. I feel like a monkey in a Skinner Box who keeps getting shocked every time he stabs the "snack" button. You can take your PC gaming and stick it in your USB port.

Fuck PC gaming.

Until Civilization V comes out, at least.

I mean, I'm only human.

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and freelance penmonkey. He's written for the pen-and-paper RPG industry for over 10 years, and is the developer for Hunter: The Vigil. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. His website and blog is Terribleminds.

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