pc gaming is dead to me

It seems everyone is raving about the creature creator in Spore. As J says, expect to see a lot more of these. The idea behind Spore is truly brilliant, to let everything in the game evolve, the ultimate simulation of life. And yet, the game is already tainted by the promise of the same DRM that Shamus has been warning about for months – the game requires an online security check every ten days or it stops working. This is outrageous, well beyond the reasonable need of copy protection.

In fact, the recent coverage of these issues at Shamus’ site has led me to reconsider my own position on PC gaming entirely. I haven’t actually played a PC game since Tie Fighter and Myst: Exile. However, I have entertained thoughts of building a new rig for gaming (and scientific calculation, mostly MATLAB). Increasingly, though, the trend in PC gaming is towards more DRM, not less, and I don’t see any compelling argument to subject myself to the suspicion of being a criminal. Aside from Spore, that is – but Spore will also be released on the Wii.

In addition, at some point in the near future we will be biying an HDTV, and then will need a Blu-Ray player. The single best Blu-Ray player on the market, also the cheapest, is the Playstation 3. Between the Wii and the PS3, is there any genre of game that I might even theoretically want to play which isn’t available on the console side? Even Portal, the other game that has my attention, has a PS3 version.

I think it’s safe to simply declare that console gaming is the sole route I will follow from here on out. Rather than invest even a minimal $500 in building a gaming rig, I can buy ten games on the Wii. The value proposition of console gaming blows PC gaming out of the water since you aren’t stuck in the perpetual upgrade cycle – and consoles have astounding longevity, just look at the PS2 (another system I might pick up someday for kicks). And actually owning my games, and being able to play them without jumping through hoops, is just icing on the cake.

One thought on “pc gaming is dead to me”

  1. I’m also not much of a gamer; the only games I’ve gotten into have been Tetris on the Gameboy and World of Warcraft. I can’t get too upset about Spore’s check because WoW is known to be even more intrusive; it snoops around the memory of the PC you’re running it on looking for things Blizzard doesn’t think you should be running alongside WoW.

    Blizzard has set the intrusiveness bar pretty high, and I think it’s going to be some time before anyone tops them. Since it’s also extremely popular, I expect things to get worse before they get better.

    I’ve also been following Spore and thinking about taking a look at it. In my case, it’s not the DRM, but the system requirements; Mission Control bought me a Mac Mini just a couple of months ago when she got tired of me complaining about my old PC (and also as part of a sinister plot to convince me to buy her an iMac) and the Mini doesn’t look to be up to the task of running een the creature creator, let along the full-up game (haven’t tried, though). Since the Mac Mini is brand spanking new and otherwise meets my needs, I doubt I’ll be doing anything other than looking longingly at Spore for a while.

    I don’t think Spore will run on my EEE, either…

    As for serious computing, I have my NetBSD box for that. I’m still suck in the minicomputer mindset.

    All I really need the Mac for is web browsing, telnet, WoW, and scanning the bills when it’s time to balance the checkbook (which, oddly enough, I do with Windows under Parallels because HP’s MacOS software for my scanner sucks even worse than their Windows software). Oh, yeah, also the odd scanning of 35mm negatives and post-processing into anaglyphs and lenticular prints because I have a couple of 3D cameras that aren’t digital. The post-processing relies on a bunch of Windows programs I wrote, so they also get run under Parallels.

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