By ericdrum 34 Comments
Bare with some history here. I'm a 36 year old dude. I've been gaming since the Magnavox Odyssey. That was a hell of a long time ago. Throughout life though, I've always carved out some of my recreational time for gaming. I got married at 21, started a family and a career in software engineering. All the while I stayed abreast of the latest games and followed the industry. While going to school and learning to write software, I took my first serious foray into PC gaming. It was a blast. There were a lot of headaches and challenges to overcome, but I enjoyed it all. It was fun. I continued building rigs as often as finances and the wife would allow. I even got into video driver modifications. I would unpack nVidia's drivers and go to town with my own tweaks. Good times! I was still interested in consoles, but I wouldn't buy a ton of games. I played the AAA titles and had my fun, but I was a PC gamer.
Enter Xbox 1I really liked the Xbox. It was a cool device to me. I liked the simplicity and many of the idea of an inexpensive console that actually had decent graphics. I started straddling the fence with game purchases. I bought some PC games, I bought some Xbox games. I wasn't so hell bent on keeping the gaming rig in the upper ranges of performance and buying the latest hardware anymore. Times were nice. I even started looking into video game development and started moonlighting at Microsoft Game Studios to see if I wanted to change directions with my programming skills.
Enter Xbox 360Yeah, I'm starting to get pretty good at shooters on a console controller. This ain't so bad at all. Friends list? Achievements? HD? I'm in! I really love the 360. It's a great device. It was cheap (enough for me, I know it's all relative) and I truly was having a great time. I quit my post doing some work for a Counter Strike related website. I fell off the PC gaming wagon HARD! I really don't know how or why. Blame the 360 I guess? My coworkers were all buying them. It was easy to justify with their wives as the cost of PC gaming can be steep depending on how deep it's claws get in you. So now my friends were on the console and that's how things were for a few years.
Life decides to kick my assI'll be the first to admit. I had a good life going. I decided to avoid the game industry from a professional standpoint because frankly I was making a lot more money and working a lot less hours outside of it. Plus, sometimes working with a hobby can turn it into a job and kind of kill the hobby. I liked gaming for the escape part of things and that's how I decided to keep it. I had a family, a house, a great career. Things were pretty easy for me. I didn't have a lot of worries. Just as soon as the comfort level peaked, REAL life stepped in to remind me how REAL life is. I'll spare you the details for your sake and my own privacy's sake, but I experienced a personal tragedy with my family and it basically fell apart. I ended up divorced after 13 years of marriage and not able to feel at all normal and happy for a quite a while. Thankfully gaming did it's best to help me escape, deal with the loss and not resort to drugs (prescription or otherwise) and alcohol. I had some rough spots there, but came out of it largely intact.
What do I do now?Well here I am. I'm in my mid 30s. I'm single. I live in a house with a friend of mine who's single. (I swear the neighbors all think that we are gay) He's a big PC gamer and since I've been living here he's built a pretty sweet rig. He was on his path to building the next one and talking to me about it. As soon as I started thinking about it, I was like, "Yeah, dude. It's time for me." I left my old gaming PC with my ex. I have kids and they will spend most of the time with their mom and I wanted them to have a computer to enjoy. I just kept my MacBook when we separated. I've only had my work PC and no home PC to even tinker with in a couple of years now.
Enter gaming PCI've got my rig now. I ponied up and spent... a lot of money as I had nothing, no monitor, no mouse, no ANYTHING. I did my homework and talked to friends and really dialed in on the best PC I could at the price that I was willing to spend. Did I already make it clear how much I loved my 360? I really love that device. I play it a TON! I was happy. I knew the PC was better, but I was happy in how the 360 looked and played. But then the PC got booted up and Steam started downloading my games. WTF happened here? I started playing some stuff and I saw the graphics, the high res textures, the anti-aliasing, the lighting effects. I knew I was in trouble. I then started getting back into the keyboard/mouse control scheme. What? "Headshots on purpose? That's not like me." Everything was clicking and the games looked phenomenal!
Here I am today. I AM HOOKED. I'm back. I'm throwing a lot of dollars at Steam and having a total blast. I'm not done with my 360. My LA Noire preorder is safe. I can't wait for Gears of War 3. BUT, I have changed direction. I came home to the gaming love that I loved most. I don't have an ax to grind, nor am I trying to be an (insert platform here) elitist of any sort. I just am so happy I bought a gaming PC. I've missed it a lot. My ignorance was bliss, but that time is done. I love the way PC games look. I love the way they control. I am more than aware of the current status of the games industry and PC gaming. PC gaming sure has hit it's bumps in the road, but I really think that it will survive and thrive in the future. Hell, if it doesn't, I look forward to riding off into the sunset along with it.
Oh... and I have very few Steam friends, so PLEASE hit me up and send me an invite. I'm a pretty mellow guy and would love to meet new people to game with.
Thanks for listening.