Coyote’s Howling: Death of the Computer "In a few years, no one will be using or even owning a home computer." I overheard that statement while standing in line at an electronics store, and it frightened the living hell out of me. Because for a half second, I almost agreed. Think about it: Cell phones and tablets can do almost everything a PC can do in terms of internet, media, and work applications. They’re a bit too weak for true gaming, (playing Angry Birds does not make you a real gamer, it makes you my mother) but given enough time and technology, that could easily change. And if for some reason it doesn’t change, console systems are gobbling up the old computer gaming market faster than Amy Winehouse in an inappropriately-too-soon-analogy involving rampant drug use. Which is the very thought that sparked one of my greatest fears – being forced to game solely on a console system. This is a horrifying thought, because... ...I kind of suck with a game controller.
Not in every game mind you, (I am after all, a Gaming God) but more specifically in first person shooters. Give me a controller and I'll out drive, out kung fu and out Batman anyone foolish enough to challenge me.
But give me a game like Call of Duty or Halo or anything even remotely containing first person views, a gun, and the threat of being teabagged by a profanity throwing racist 11 year old white kid named “DEWNURMOM”... ...and I start whimpering like a crybaby for my keyboard and mouse. "But Coyote, you could learn! You only prefer keyboard and mouse because that's all you've ever known!" You might say right before you hug a rainforest and walk in sandals to your drum circle where you're trying to raise group consciousness of ladybugs or whatever it is you dirty goddamn hippies do when you're not busy smoking pot and smelling bad. I could learn? I could change? I could be the one that adapts in effort to conform to the new ways of gaming? Probably. But to quote Michael Bolton: “No way! Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks!”
Using a controller instead of a mouse and keyboard is the equivalent to learning how to use chopsticks. No matter how adept you become with them, you're only going to use them around friends that use them, and the entire time you do you're going to be secretly wishing for a goddamn fork. Because like controllers, chopsticks f**king suck. Anyone who says differently is lying and more than likely a trendy-ass hipster who thinks eating with a couple of sticks makes him unique. It doesn’t. They’re sticks. I hope you get lip splinters. But I digress. Sadly, console gamers are a more stable, more profitable customer and the corporations know this. So they’re hard steering us towards these systems. You see, computers are a pain in the ass to develop games for. Every configuration of card, board, and processor has to be tested and accounted for with absolutely no base standard. You have to anticipate all of the configurations that your end user could possibly have and then you have to try and sell him a game that might or might not work with his particular computer. And that's if the unit is properly configured. Who knows what they have under the hood, or how well it has been cobbled together? One out of date driver or device conflict and they’re running to the forums and trashing your product. But with console gaming, you get to set the standard in both game and device, and if the device has changed, the company can point out a violation in usage. It is cheaper, an absolute win situation for them, and because of this they're putting the pressure on to ensure you use a "standard" device. By cutting back on PC development. Don't believe me? Go into any GameStop or Best Buy and try to find games for the PC. They'll have them, but they won't be upfront or even in a key location. They'll be confined to one tiny rack of shame in the back of the store where you'll have to huddle with other shame-faced PC gamers like you're trying to buy a porn DVD at a church sale.
Which sacrilegiously enough, brings me to my original statement of: "Because for a half second, I almost agreed.“ Almost is the key word here, as I don’t believe that home computers are really that threatened. Consoles are easier to create games for, have a larger player base, and are the preferred platform of use by gaming companies. They're cheaper, designed for several users at once and readily available just about anywhere you look. So logically, why wouldn't PCs just fade away? Because of porn. Good ol' leather wrapped, silicone injected, more-than-probably-containing-midgets, porn.
Consoles are great and all, but after hours of slaying dragons and using the Gustav to make people Rage Quit in a stream of vulgarities and noob-related insults, you're going to want to kick back and uhhh... ....relieve the tensions of war. Yeah, where's your console now Skippy? Are you going to do that right there in your living room surrounded by pictures of your adoring grandmother, her eyes frozen and unblinking in a judgmental stare of disapproval? Well if that's your kink... okay, probably...but the majority of you are going to want to run off Gollum-like to your secret lair where you can lovingly polishing your "precious" in peace and solitude.
And what's in that lair? A console? Some tiny little cell phone screen? No. It's your computer, waiting patiently for your return like an old friend. There's no disapproval, no judgment - just a portal to the magical world of the internet where MMORPG games are still alive and well, and the porn flows like a sticky, sticky river of unabashed freakiness. And that gentle reader is the reason that home computers will never truly fade away. Because you’re all twisted little perverts. And I love you for it. -Coyote