28 December, 2009

The PC Ghetto

written by Blain Newport on Monday, December 28, 2009

PC gaming is a ghetto these days. The big money moved to the consoles. So we're the old, run down parts of Gamertown.

We've got the crackheads huddled around their MMOs and social games. The strategy game hustlers are so proud of their Three-card Monte skills, but only other hustlers are still interested in the game. And everyone else (myself included) is trying to pretend that we're suburbanites with our console ports. But we're not. We're second class, at best.

That isn't to say nothing good comes out of this community. Discontent breeds interesting art. And the lack of policing means mods and independent games can exist here that would be shut down instantly in the corporate marketplaces.

Because the platform is more expensive, many PC gamers like to pretend it's high brow. And in a few cases, where people have three monitor set-ups and the graphics hardware to run them and the custom inputs and the two or three games that support all that stuff, that viewpoint can be justified. But for the vast majority of PC gamers, it feels more like we're buying the dollar store versions of games. It's got the same brand name on it. But it's slightly broken, or it's some weird test flavor that didn't make it.

PC gaming ain't what it used to be.

My apologies to anyone who's actually lived in a ghetto. I probably don't have the right to make this analogy, not having lived there.

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