A few months back, I got so excited to find out I would be getting a free copy of Mass Effect 2 because I had purchased the signature edition of Dragon Age II for the Xbox. Unfortunately, my dreams of re-living the adventure with Shepard were shattered when I found out the free version would be a digital download to my PC.

Why, you ask, don’t I play games on the PC? Well, let me explain:

Hardware Costs
I openly recognize that the customizable nature of the PC allows for growth and expansion which in turn allows for better graphics, better sound, and more open games. But at the rate these these components change the cost to the gamer can reach astronomical levels.

A few years back, I took a two year break from life. During that time, I was disconnected from technology: no television, no computers, no video games, I didn’t even read the daily newspaper. When I returned home, I found technology had grown leaps and bounds in the area of PC’s and video games. While I had been gone, the Playstation 2 and Xbox were released and computer games started utilizing a new graphics technology called texture and lighting (T&L for short). In order to keep up with the technology, I had to purchase an entirely new computer with a ton of upgrades just to play the most current games. A couple of months later, I had to shell out more money for additional memory. A few months after the memory, I need a new video card to play the newest title. The ball just kept rolling and the price of my shiny “new” computer kept rising.

Even if you keep up with the basics (memory, hard drive, video card, and sound card) your motherboard will eventually not be able to handle the amount of memory or will not have the appropriate slots to handle your new equipment (PCI, PCI Express, AGP, etc…), and you will have to break down and purchase and entirely new machine or build one from scratch.

Recipe for a Laptop
My office in my house in not small, but it is also not large. It is an average Arizona sized guest room (Arizona has smaller standard size guest rooms than other states I have lived in). However, when my stuff is factored in, I don’t have a lot of room. Add on the fact that I like to be able to work on the computer all over the place and you have a recipe for needing a laptop (don’t try and bake a laptop, it won’t end well…trust me).

"Whatever you do, do not press the red button..."

Yes, I am aware that there are plenty of gaming laptops out there, but have you seen how much those things cost?! I could buy two of each console for one of those and have money to blow on games! Add to that the fact that laptops have shorter life spans than desktops and can be impossible to upgrade and that money spent on the laptop becomes wasted.

Backwards Compatibility
I am a child of the 80’s and I love to relive my childhood by playing Little Nemo (no, not the orange Disney/Pixar fish), Duck Tales, and all the old games I used to play when I was a kid. I have kept many of my systems over the years and continue to play. However, playing the old games I used to play as a kid on the PC has become nearly impossible.

Each new operating system brings pains and frustrations. With the release of Windows 7, the ability to play many not-too-old games has gone the way of the buffalo. The worst casualty of all: I can’t play Knights of the Old Republic on my Windows 7 desktop any more.

Sure, someone could (and probably have) come up with ways around this, but it probably involves additional programs and workarounds that I don’t have the time or patience to deal with. So, if I wanted to keep playing those old games, I have to keep and maintain a number of machines dedicated to that concept and remember which works with which games.


Games (or the Lack Thereof)
I’ll be the first to admit it, when it comes to games PC owners/gamers get the shaft. Frequently games either will not be released for the PC (it sounds like Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is the latest casualty) or you have to wait for it longer than the console gamers (Batman: Arkham City). Yes, on occasion you have an exclusive console gamers don’t have like The Witcher (though the second in this series will be on Xbox shortly, and I am excited) and MMO’s.

I feel bad the PC will miss out on this one

When it comes to the PC, they dominate the real time strategy game market as well as the MMO’s. However, I haven’t really been into an RTS since the original Command and Conquer and I don’t play MMO’s due to my addictive personality.

Local Multiplayer
When friends come over to my house, we don’t say “hey, let’s hop on the computer and play a game!” Instead, we flip on the TV in the living room and turn on a console game. Sure, we could plug in a couple of USB controllers and connect our computer up to the TV but we just don’t, we might as well have a console if we did that.

Definately not my house...

Computers suffer from an inability to play games with friends unless that friend is connected to another computer. This can be quite the inconvenience. It is just easier to play social when everyone is in the same place on a console.

Complex Controls on the Keyboard
I like plain beef jerky, plain peanuts, and I wear jeans with a plain gray t-shirt whenever possible. In short, I am a simple man. That is why I like playing with a controller rather than having a 104 key Windows keyboard in front of me plus a mouse or a controller. These kinds of things make my brain hurt, but it is why the PC has the best setup for complex games like a real time strategy game.

Sure, I understand games have help sheets for the keys, but it is just too much for my feeble brain to process and handle. I like my simple controller, thank you very much.

Game Mods
I’ve seen the mods all over the place on the internet from PC gamers everywhere. I have seen how cool the Star Wars mod of Modern Warfare was, but I don’t care. Whether I am shooting a terrorist, a marine, or a Stormtrooper I just want to enjoy the game I am playing. I also have no interest in seeing how many dragons I can get flying around the skies in Skyrim at the same time.

Yeah, they were annoying before, but now they are annoying AND freaky looking...

In short, it isn’t that I have anything against awesome graphics or being able to play an RTS like a boss, I just enjoy a larger variety of games, am too poor, am too old school, am too social, and am too stupid to be able to enjoy gaming on a PC.

So, tell me, why do you or don’t you game on a PC? What is the biggest advantage or disadvantage?