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'PC Gaming Master Race' doesn't mean what you think it does

Published: 11:20, 03 February 2017
Updated: 13:37, 06 February 2017
Seems legit

Even PC gamers get a lot of things wrong about PC gaming.

Console wars are stupid. Adding PC to the mix makes the whole agitation for profit endeavour even stupider. I don't want to address attempts at the term "PC gaming master race", since such attempts come from a prescriptive theory of language standpoint, which is ultimately detrimental to any sort of healthy discourse.

Another thing that deserves to be tossed out of the nearest window is the idea that PC gaming and the community congregating in its vicinity is better than the filthy console peasant hordes. Consoles have their well earned place in the gaming market and culture and failure to grasp their importance is the starting point on which you can build as many misconceptions as you like, it still remains a falsehood born of arrogance and misinformation.

The sarcastic remark that started it all

All that out of the way, there are a number of glaring delusions surrounding the idea of what "being the PC gaming master race" actually means, and why it has stuck as an idea far beyond the heavy sarcasm under which the term was coined.

It's not about liberty, it's about literacy

The argument raises its filthy head often enough - owing to the problems PC games face with simply running on certain configurations and in equal part to inherently bug riddled PC releases, that getting games to run at all and the experience that is accumulated in the process leads to greater computer literacy among PC gamers. I absolutely fail to see anything positive in products not functioning as advertised. Twisting the necessary strain and effort required to force said products into a functional shape to appear as some sort of virtue, is gold medal mental gymnastics. While I can, in great and aggravating detail, confirm that there is truth behind such claims (learning a lot myself while trying for eg. to get Heroes of Might and Magic 3 to run on Linux for 8 straight hours), they are nothing to boast about, but the liberty to make technical interventions damn well is.

Knowledge is purest in glitch form Knowledge is purest in glitch form

Few console gamers enjoy the freedom of being able to rip and tear through their firmware trying to find a solution to something they are unhappy with regarding their product and even fewer would dare actually pry open a console. Editing .ini files, screwing around with game saves, tweaking and tuning drivers and game parameters at your own leisure or in accordance with necessity is a leg PC's have up on consoles. It is an aspect of liberty that console gamers rarely get to experience. What it gives the PC gamer in such instances is valuable amount of freedom and control over their hobby and passion, and control brings us right to our the next point.

It's not about exclusives - it's about equality

Game publishers will always endeavour to retain control over their product long after it's been bought, paid for and already sits on your hard-drive. Be it in the form of fees for online services, always online DRM, convoluted DLC/season pass schemes or hogging certain titles as platform exclusive carrots. Console gamers have felt the long whips of EA, UbiSoft and Microsoft on their back for a long time. In the PC arena, there is much more of a level playing field and a vastly greater degree of equality in the relationship between publisher and consumer.

A startling proposal A startling proposal

Publishers rush an unfinished game through the factory gates - modders are there to , while with consoles you get stuck with what was released. A game gets published technically broken for similar reasons - day one patches and fixes by fans are no rarity. Toxic communities on officially hosted servers - there are always private and/or dedicated server means of diving into multiplayer. A publisher ships a title with DRM so horrible you can't even , or you plain refuse to buy a title before you had a go at a demo, which the company happily refuses to provide - there is always the last resort. Get a bottle of rum, have a parrot land on your shoulder and sail for the warmest of bays. And in case you can't navigate the deeper and darker waters of the internet, your fellow PC gamers are always there to help with navigation. Which brings us to the final point.

It's not about framerates - it's about fraternity

One of the first things that come up in any ultimately pointless PC vs. consoles debate are framerates. With the newest generation of consoles managing to hit the 60fps mark with relative ease, I hope that this silly debate will cease once and for all. A far more important matter in the way console and PC gaming plays out differently from one another is the unique type of fraternity PC gamers have developed among each other over time, when framerates drop below 20. Console gaming is fine if you want to bro-fist on a couch, but what happens when you have a serious issue with your game or rig and there is nobody to turn to within sofa throwing range?

MTL LAN party or tech-support parade? LAN party or tech-support parade?

I've been selflessly helped out many a time over the years, while fixing driver problems, with overclocking CPUs or mending screen tearing on a great number of forums and bulletin boards. I assisted with the proper procedures for patching a game or installing an expansion countless times over the phone or in person myself. With great debt to the unfortunate problems PC gamers face with their purchases, as described above, PC gamers empathise a lot more with each other. I can feel the pain and frustration of my fellow enthusiasts when a game isn't running right or at all. Spending the entire installation procedure of a game on the edge of my seat, eagerly awaiting to sink my teeth into a piece of art and entertainment, just to get slapped in the face with a fatal error message is a grief-laden sensation we are all too familiar with. The fraternity PC gamers have developed through shared hardship and problem solving is something console gamers might never know, for better or worse. 

YouTube Wouldnt it be nice? Wouldnt it be nice?

Console wars are stupid and adding PC to the mix just makes matters worse. I suggest, from atop Mt. Authority, that we put our differences and brand loyalty aside. Sit down, and play Tekken 7 on PC-s with controllers hooked up, on a LAN party unlike any other - while Halo Wars 2 plays on PC on one side of the room and Minecraft on a console in the other - where masters, nobles, plebs and peasants all come together on equal terms, and have a good long laugh at mobile gamers and their platform.



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