This weeks Gamergasm I am taking a break from writing my series on tropes (for multiple reasons) and teaming up with DevilSugar to look at our respective gaming interests and what they mean to us.
Devil and I have often talked about the differences between “console gamers” and “PC gamers,” but I’ve come to learn a lot about the similarities in the past months and that’s (hopefully) what this article will focus on. I’ll let Devil start us off because he is bouncing around the NSFW Gamer offices ready to go. We may come to it in different ways but, at the end of the day, we come here to geek over the same things. We love them. Its WHY we are here. – Lexxx
DevilSugar – The Console That Got Away
Ever since I got my Super Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas back in the nineties, I’ve defined myself as a gamer. When friends came over, I had a go-to bridge for social interaction, which was very useful for the shy, quiet Little Devil I was. Growing up, it was definitely where I spent a better majority of my time. Mortal Kombat, Super Mario World, Earthworm Jim, Kirby Super Star– these are my childhood icons, the experiences that made me love gaming as a lifelong hobby and indeed what eventually set me on my career path toward game journalism. But Nintendo’s sophomore effort was never my only tool for gaming.
Like many kids with divorced parents, the divided income meant the Genesis, N64 and original PlayStation all passed me by, however, a home computer became a growing necessity, leading to my discovery beyond Nintendo’s high-quality yet exclusively family friendly content. My first experience with the FPS genre was on an old Windows 3.1 system, with the amazing Wolfenstein 3-D episode one pre installed. Fond memories remain of old DOS games, from the original, side-scrolling Duke Nukem and Spymaster by Apogee software to the PC classic that wanted part of Street Fighter’s pie, Body Blows, and the unforgiving ninja adventure Budo. Enter Windows 95, and the game that set me on my obsessive love for Western RPG’s: Betrayal in Antara. Sierra software’s high note featured richly voiced characters, a story spanning four discs, and beautifully rendered sprite graphics that put the early, blocky models of so many console titles to shame.
Another Christmas morning many years later, I find a PlayStation 2 waiting for me under the tree, and with it, the original Devil May Cry. This was the point where I started to lean away from the trappings of Diablo and found myself in love with my console roots again. Naturally more games followed, and I finally felt like I was catching up to the modern curve. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Soul Calibur III began my craving for total character customization. My love for action-heavy titles was carried forward in Red Faction, the Devil May Cry series, and of course God of War, and some of the best stories I’ve ever experienced have been from Crystal Dynamic’s Legacy of Kain.
Now here we are two generations later, and I mostly find myself immediately sitting down to my PS4 when I come home. I’ve tried some newer games on PC, but the keyboard-and-mouse approach have never felt as natural to me as both hands on a controller. However, as I gradually move into the modding scene, I understand the open-ended appeal and how one single-player game could last a gamer the entire decade. My hat’s off to each and every person creating, sharing it, and patching free content. Even if it’s just a HUD change, being able to take the gaming hobby to a whole new meta-level truly blows my mind.
Now one more thing before handing this over to Lexxx, and it may be an issue worth a second look: I don’t understand where the idea that games have to be “dumbed down” for console players came from. Sure, there’s the image of a twelve-year-old out of Singapore screaming racial obscenities associated with any online shooter, but is there really an at-large belief that those of the console persuasion really aren’t as intelligent as those behind a monitor? I understand some sequel ports have been inferior before, but if anything that’s at the fault of the developers. Now that I’ve agitated the beast, I’ll let Lexxx try to soothe him back to sleep.
– Brad Cowan aka “Devilsugar” ~ Bio
Lexxx – PC Envy
I have always been into PC gaming because I could only ever afford one thing at a time and a computer seemed the better investment. I too came from a house where money was an issue and my parents were always adamant that things like food, education, and bills come BEFORE things like video games and comics. At the time, this is not how I would have done things. All my friends were getting consoles and rubbing my face in them. I was given an original Nintendo and a SNES, then my parents started shifting toward buying better computers. We had three kids in the house, all within two years of each other. We did have internet and multiple working computers. Looking back on it I was REALLY lucky. My parents had one rule though…I was on my own pretty much for games.
I’m not gonna lie, in high school I loved A LOT of games, but then something utterly life changing happened to me- someone bought me Everquest. That was when I went from being “someone who played games” to being “a gamer.” I only played intensely for about six months and I didn’t go on another MMORPG bender until my boyfriend at the time decided it would be AMAZING to play World of Warcraft with his girlfriend – but that is a whole other story (And was ultimately the end of our relationship).
Playing Everquest was the first time I ever felt that connection – that magic with another gamer I didn’t know in real life. That was when the switch was flipped from “Girl who loves to play video games” to “will play until school the next morning with no sleep, Gamer Girl.” It was also before a lot of girls were up front with their gaming so…I had some unique challenges dating.
That was where I discovered that what I loved about gaming was SHARING it with other people. That moment when you master the encounter. Healing a party through content you wiped on for hours. Wiping on content for hours and having the “Fox Hole” moment.
At the time, Consoles were completely incapable of offering me that kind of interaction, but, a computer, as long as you had the internet, it was like a passport to another universe. I became, in many ways, during those encounters – the woman that I am today. I learned…I made genuine friends and I fell in love more than once, and I found the magic within myself that I needed to make it through some REALLY tough times. To me – that is what being a gamer is. Magic. Transformation. Watching your dreams come alive and PARTICIPATING in them.
What is if for you? How do you do it? What kind of magic will you make today?
– Lexxx ~ Bio