Comic Updated September 26, 2008

The open plains, quiet introspection, and, yes, a fart joke. Way to write 'em, younger Norm.

Throughout most of my life, I've been a console gamer. It was never a conscious decision, I just gravitated to consoles out of simplicity of setup and a preference for gaming on a large screen, from a comfortable chair. I've PLAYED PC games, but I've never gone out of my way to get a gaming 'rig,' as it were, and on such occasions where I've had the choice between a console or PC version, the console version has won out every time.

But I like PC games. I've WANTED to be a PC gamer. PC gamers want me to be a PC gamer.

Well, all right, PC gamers don't really care if I'm a PC gamer or not, they just want me to admit that PCs are better game machines than consoles. For instance, from time to time, I've spoken to PC gaming evangelists and read PC/console game comparisons, and one thing they'll always mention is that, owing to the PC's scalable nature, PC game graphics will always have the edge over consoles.

When I was young I took this information at face value, and  thus I was immensely surprised when I watched a friend playing "Quake" and noticed that while the game had undeniably sharper visuals than the stuff I was playing on the original Playstation, the framerate was apparently set to "intermittent." I asked him about it.

"Well, yeah, PCs are better for games -- I just need a little more RAM in my system.*"

I pointed out to him, at this juncture in the conversation, that regardless of which was the better machine in theory, HIS computer was not, at that moment, proving his point. He conceded that, all right, his current computer wasn't doing the job, but if he had a system tuned to the proper settings, with the proper equipment, then it would beat the Playstation hands-down.

"But you don't," I said.

"I will," he said. He believed it, too.

The perfect gaming PC exists CONSISTENTLY only in theory. It actually pops up, from time to time, in the real world, but it costs ten-thousand dollars and a kidney and is almost immediately rendered obsolete by the next, MORE-perfect gaming PC. Yet this is still the standard PC gamers adhere to, this mythical, wholly unquantifiable box.

I'd like to propose, for purposes of reviews if nothing else, a set of industry-standardized gaming PC specs, updated annually. The perfect gaming PC doesn't exist, but I think with a little work, the average one could. The PC camp has been looking for a way to bring the lapsed and frustrated PC gamers back into the fold, this would be a good start.

Man, I haven't even BEGUN to talk about this. More later.

*This is equivalent of saying, "I think I could do with just a touch more heroin."

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