7 things console gamers can stop saying to PC gamers

Day 50. 128 pages, 59,460 words.

Contrary to popular belief, there are really only a few video game players who rabidly adhere to PC or console, 100% of the time, and never touch the other. Most “PC gamers” will happily sit down and play a console game occasionally, and vice versa. Some particularly freaky and well-rounded people even like both systems more or less equally, since each have benefits and drawbacks.

Some people don’t like either, although I’d hesitate to use the word “people”.

Me, I was purely a console gamer in the ’80s and early ’90s, because PCs basically didn’t exist and those PC games that did exist were just crazy complicated. All those texts and buttons and stuff, I “literally couldn’t even”, as young people today apparently say (but we didn’t say, back in the ’80s, because we’d get a hiding from our dads for disrespecting the English language. And rightly so).

I switched to PC gaming when I was in university and was sitting at a computer all night anyway. At about the same time, console games got more than 2 dimensions and 3 buttons, so I might as well have been playing a PC game anyway. My point is, I’m okay with both.

But there are some things the more console-devoted gamers need to shut up about, and below I have listed some of them.

 

7. “Don’t get the X2, the X3 is coming out soon.”

Here’s something console gamers need to understand about PC gamers: we know game technology steadily improves and that games take up steadily more space and computer resources as they get more advanced. This will mean that we need to occasionally upgrade some piece of our PCs or another, in order to get the newest games to work right. Sad fact of life, but it’s not like we were going to stop upgrading our PCs anyway.

With console games, you generally have to buy a whole new console. And every time this happens, there’s a variety of console gamers who act like this is the one. There will not be another console after this, you can settle down and find a nice home in the country and happily play perfect games forever.

Realise that console games advance in the same way as PC games, but in terraces rather than a smooth incline. Each cover the same amount of ground (time), but a console terrace means a whole new console. There’s no point recommending a certain console, because it will get replaced. PC gamers don’t walk around recommending graphics cards or RAM chips or hard drives (oh, they may run the odd comparison for applicability to a certain game, but never with any of the adorable finality that console gamers exhibit when talking about The Next Big Thing), because the best gear out there is the gear that can successfully play the game you want to play. And that will always change.

Oh, and except in the rare cases of a new generation console coming out for a certain brand and offering backwards compatibility, you either need to keep your old console so you can play all your old games, or get them all over again for the new console. And if they’re competing console labels, forget about it. You will never get to play your old games on the new machine. It’s all over. So console gamers, stop telling us that there’s a new console coming. We know there is. There always is. We also know that it will probably mean keeping the old console. At least in the rare cases where PC games are completely outmoded by advancing technology, there are workarounds available to allow us to play our old games.

And yes yes, there might be workarounds for your obsolete or competing console games too. They’re shitty workarounds. The best workaround you can offer is “get a console emulator and play on the PC”, and we’re already doing that. Because we’re PC gamers.

 

6. “If you liked X, you’ll like Y.”

Did you like X (a PC game) and also like Y (a console game)? Then that’s fine, you can say that. Are your tastes in games and stories and action and genre and general entertainment exactly the same as mine? And, more importantly, do you know why I liked X? Then fine, if your answers to all of these questions are “yes”, then this might be a reasonable indication that I might like Y. Maybe. And don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the general sentiment and the desire to a) find common ground and b) make me a happy match with a new game and c) share some of your own tastes. I don’t want to be completely negative about this. Bless you for trying.

But let’s be realistic here. You’ve answered a grudging “no” to at least a couple of these. At best, a “no, but”. At worst, an “okay, but if you like shooters / quests / hack-and-slash / tactic / story / suspense games (on the PC), you’ll like this one (on a console).” No. No I won’t. I’ll hate it. I will make it my business to hate it. It’s the only way you will get the message, and let me play my own games.

 

5. “This one’s pretty much the same.”

So there’s one game – one game – you like on a console, let’s call it Console Y (as in “Y, God? Y have You forsaken me?”). Now, Console Y might be worth buying just for that one game, but they don’t really sell that console anymore and all your console gamer friends are telling you to get the Console X instead for some reason[1].

“But it hasn’t got Blinky Mudcastle the Hilarious Red Panda, which is the one game I like,” you tell them.

“No, but it’s got Fucko Pooptrailer the Annoying Naked Mole Rat,” they reply helpfully. “It’s pretty close.”

No, console gamers, no. We don’t want ‘close’. We want the game we like to play. We want that game. And if it was a PC game, we could have it. We don’t even care if Fucko Pooptrailer actually sounds like a better game. We don’t want to play it and we don’t care how close it is. The close-but-no-cigarosity of that fucking game actually makes it worse for us. If we buy that console and that game just because it’s ‘close’ to the one we want, we’re basically throwing money away for no reason.

Close doesn’t cut it. You seriously want us to clutter up our TV cabinet with another blocky-arse console just to play something that’s sorta-kinda-like the game we enjoy? Fuck off and die in a fire. How about that?

[1] And that brings me to the next one…

 

4. “No, get Console X, it’s way better.”

PC gamers do not understand the concept of preferring one console over another, because all our games tend to work on the same machine. When you argue with each other about which console is better, it’s cute at best. At worst, it’s putting us off getting any console or game. If someone tells us how great console X is, then someone else tells us how great console Y is, we go “alright” in our brains and decide against getting either of them.

At least with PCs, we’d have the PC anyway so it’s just the game that is subject to personal taste. You don’t seem to realise that for every fan of console X, there is a fan of console Y ready to call you a noobless cluefag or something, I don’t know, that’s another thing – can you please stop talking like ten-year-olds?

No? Okay, fair enough, PC gamers are guilty of this too.

But seriously, arguing over which console is better. Stop it. It makes us laugh. It’s like PC gamers have a whole cake, while console gamers have divided the same cake into twelve pieces and are arguing about which piece is better. The pieces are probably all about the same, on balance. Some might have more icing, some might be bigger. The important thing is that each piece of cake is going to have its benefits, drawbacks, adherents and detractors. And each piece is going to be about one-twelfth as good as a whole cake.

 

3. “X on the console is better than its PC counterpart.”

This may well be the case. There are most certainly games that are far better suited to console gameplay, and the same goes for games with PC playability. Some PC versions of games are good, some are bad, and same for consoles. Do you think the console version is better? That’s fine.

The important thing here is, it doesn’t matter. Do I own, and play, and like, X on the PC? Yes? Then telling me the console version is better is not going to matter. It might, in rare situations, arouse my curiosity or interest, and make me go for the same game in a different format. But it’s not likely. Just because you think something is better than something I like, doesn’t mean I will. It’s more likely that I will have a special place in my heart for the game on the PC, so I’ll be critical of the console version and every single difference it has. And yes, this is my shortcoming. I’m not writing this to tell you PC gamers are superior. Just that you should keep these facts in mind when saying this stuff.

And if I either don’t own X on the PC, or if I own it and don’t like it, exactly what the Hell difference is it going to make to tell me there’s another version of it on a whole other system?

 

2. “You don’t like console W? Get yourself a console Z.”

This is just plain stupid. This is the classic definition of throwing good money after bad. There is no console on the market today that makes this anything but an abominable waste of money. Take the money you were going to spend on yet another console, and give it to charity. In fact, sell your crappy console W and all its games to a console fanatic or some twelve-year-old for twenty bucks, and give that money to charity too, or buy yourself a couple of beers to celebrate your escape from the vicious downward spiral of wasted cash.

I know, I’m coming down a bit on the critical side here regarding the traits and attitudes of console gamers. I don’t mean to. The exact same criticism applies to a PC gamer who suggests you throw another two hundred bucks down the drain on a new graphics card if you didn’t like the games you played (perfectly technically successfully) using another graphics card you had to purchase. It’s dumb.

 

1. “[anything about booting, installing, modding, saving, typing, clicking or folder management].”

No. Stop. You are about to make a fool of yourself.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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7 Responses to 7 things console gamers can stop saying to PC gamers

  1. dreameling says:

    Whoa, I never quite pegged you for such an aggressively pro-PC gamer. Now, I’m sure the type of argument you’re making and your comedic choices force you in that direction, and make you seem a smidge more aggressive than you really are, but still. Whoa. Not that I have a problem with it, though! I am and have almost always been exclusively a PC gamer, and I admittedly take a somewhat narrow and snobbish view of console gaming and console game development messing with my superior PC gaming experience, so I totally approve this message. (Which is not to say I’m trying to co-opt your words into the eons-old consoles vs. PC war.)

    • stchucky says:

      I did my best to make this balanced and not aggressively pro-PC (a lot of the same arguments do work in reverse, even though some of them simply aren’t applicable due to the nature of PC construction), but I guess I failed.

      The problem is, I get all of these comments a lot, and I don’t get any of the same sort of grief from PC gamers. And I really did leave console gaming behind sometime after they added more than three buttons to the controller. Screw that noise, I might as well be on a keyboard.

      • dreameling says:

        I did my best to make this balanced and not aggressively pro-PC (a lot of the same arguments do work in reverse, even though some of them simply aren’t applicable due to the nature of PC construction), but I guess I failed.

        I don’t think you failed. You were careful to always point out the opposite / alternative / reverse. It’s just that your tone sounded more pronouncedly pro than I was expecting from you and your rhetoric was, you know, funnily aggressive. (“Fuck off and die in a fire. How about that?” was friggin’ hilarious. Almost peed myself in the bus. Thanks for that, btw.)

        And I really did leave console gaming behind sometime after they added more than three buttons to the controller. Screw that noise, I might as well be on a keyboard.

        What’s funny is that I ended up buying a controller for my PC for just this one game that simply played better with a controller. (The game married narrative, gameplay, and a specific type of controller scheme utterly brilliantly.) But yeah, I’m generally a keyboard-and-mouse guy. (When you think about it, it seems like a really ill-designed, non-optimized combination for a physical UI, but it just works.)

      • stchucky says:

        It’s just that your tone sounded more pronouncedly pro than I was expecting from you and your rhetoric was, you know, funnily aggressive. (“Fuck off and die in a fire. How about that?” was friggin’ hilarious. Almost peed myself in the bus. Thanks for that, btw.)

        Heh. That was a little harsh of me, I suppose. But I couldn’t not say it.

        What’s funny is that I ended up buying a controller for my PC for just this one game that simply played better with a controller. (The game married narrative, gameplay, and a specific type of controller scheme utterly brilliantly.)

        Some friends have suggested this approach for Skyrim on the PC, but at the moment the biggest obstacle between me and Skyrim is the number of hours in the day.

  2. dreameling says:

    Some friends have suggested this approach for Skyrim on the PC

    If you’re playing Skyrim on a desktop PC, sitting in front of a desk, why forego the precision, versatility, and ergonomics of a keyboard and mouse combo in favor of something less precise, less versatile, and less ergonomic? (Not that I’m biased or anything.)

    but at the moment the biggest obstacle between me and Skyrim is the number of hours in the day.

    Amen, brother.

  3. aaronthepatriot says:

    This was great, excellent points, and I’m amazed people still try to convince you to console. I used to, but I found that PC games are great now, and consoles are expensive. I’m going to have a PC anyway, I’m NOT necessarily going to have a console. So.

    Sheesh. Some people.

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