Hello there! Kingblunkers here today to talk about PC Gaming.
I write this post primarily to those who are brand new PC gamers but might have a gem here or there for those who have dabbled in the PC world.
I grew up my whole life playing console games. Some of favorite memories growing up were playing Mario Party with my siblings on the ole Nintendo 64, or playing FIFA online with my first glimpse into online PVP with our PS2 (simultaneously making our parents mad because in those days we had dial up… so no calls got through). And please note… I DO NOT want to start a console vs PC gaming war. I think both have pros and cons and ultimately do what makes you happy. But I first got my taste of PC gaming with Warcraft 3. To me Warcraft was completely new even though as the title obviously states… it was the third iteration of this fantastic universe.
I would have only been 10 at the time, so I was pretty bad at Warcraft… but I remember playing the Night Elf campaign and just being totally immersed in the tiny little universe that I got to control. I loved building up my little civilization and charging into battle. I certainly used cheat codes, because again.. I sucked at this game. But I legitimately would get stressed out, because I thought of all the little people that I was responsible for.. and if I played wrong I killed little tiny wisps and friendly tree people. But hacking my way to a giant army I would just command everything to go in and die and sometimes I’d win.
Flash forward 4 more years and my cousin, who is just a bit younger than me, invited me over to play World of Warcraft. Watching my cousin play WoW for the first time blew my mind. No longer was I some absent force ordering people around, but I could be a HERO. I remember my very first character was a Night Elf hunter. I remember getting my pet and killing things and getting gold and really living in this world. We explored a Role-Playing server and I remember being in a guild where you actually had to speak as if you were in a fantasy world… I learned this the hard way… I got reprimanded in my guild for talking about Oprah in the guild chat because I kept giving away bread to people and saying… “YOU GET SOME BREAD, YOU GET SOME BREAD, EVERYBODY IS GETTING BREAD” I think those days I spent at my cousins I ended up making basically every race and class, grinding it to 30 and then on to the next combination. I would explore all the different starting areas, and I loved just to walk around and discovering the map, I spent whole days just walking around filling out the map getting murdered many times in the process because I would get too close to something that I certainly couldn’t kill. I would love to know how much time my cousin and I spent playing WoW. We would take turns spending entire days playing for two hours, logging out, and letting the other on for their window of conquest and adventure.
Years went on and I played tons of Halo and Call of Duty on our Family Xbox, noob tubing, spartan lazering, and rocket launching my way against kids who said really really dark things…
And finally the summer before I went off to college, my brother gave me a used laptop as a graduation gift. The very first thing I did, was purchase and install my very own World of Warcraft account. I officially felt I could call myself a PC gamer. Well, the laptop, was fine as far as I could tell… and maybe I played it too much or, didn’t take care of it… but my run as a PC gamer then stopped that very same summer. The hard drive would no longer boot, and I had no knowledge or money to revive the new-to-me laptop. I ended up getting another laptop recycled from my then-girlfriend’s dad’s work. It was a very simple, non-gamer friendly Dell workbook. And because I have some responsible tendencies in my brain, I decided it best not to overwork this already archaic laptop.
So flash forward to my sophomore year of college and a dear friend of mine tells me that he is interning at some place called Riot Games and would be starting his dream as a Video Game Developer. After being quite homesick, and probably the longest I’ve ever gone without playing video games. I decided, “screw it, I’m loading video games onto this laptop whether it will last or not.” So I try out this new game called League of Legends in order to support my friend’s new career and have something to talk to him about other than how we both missed being home sometimes.
I remember playing League of Legends, on a trackpad in my college dorm and the first character I distinctly remember was Caitlyn and her goofy purple top hat. And suddenly I start grinding out games. I played for hours and hours. I could only play ADC’s because my trackpad limited my nimbleness so I needed the range to give myself a shot. (To this day still play ADC main)
Now the thing about League, which I will talk all about in a separate series, is that it’s super competitive… and the general public has a pretty negative view about some of the players and the things that are said in the chat… and while I do not participate in the harsh exchange of words… I LOVED the competition. I love that people wanted to win… remember when I said I would play mario party with my siblings… yeah they hated playing with me.. I always won… I think RNG-esus was on my side then.. I would just hit random spaces that give me stars and computers would choose not to steal from me when I was winning.
So coming to League of Legends where everyone wanted to do well and play to win but also have fun was an awesome environment for me.
So on this crappy little dell I grinded my way to level 30 with a barely functioning computer even with the lowest setting, trackpad, and knees that got waaay too hot. This poor little laptop, it wasn’t meant to smash noobs… it was just meant for excel spreadsheets.
So the little laptop that could, starts to crash occasionally, and at this time, I start talking to some of my more experienced PC gaming friends about building my own PC. If you are new to PC gaming, I can totally sympathise. On my resume, I am not a tech person, I like learning new things and I think I’m a quick learner, but I could have sworn you actually needed a computer science degree to simply build a PC. So while the faithful Dell died in my lap, i used school library computers to message my friends and have them help me on what parts to build and get it under a reasonable price.
So that winter break I used all of my own money and the money from christmas to buy all my own parts. And I think I threw it all together for about $450. And my dear friends let me come over and showed me which pieces go where, what the heck each part was, and ultimately what each part does and how it affects gaming performance. And because i don’t work with components and look at what the newest specifications are constantly, it’s something i have to relearn each time i build a new PC. think of it as a weird lego set but that lego set is super expensive and not shaped like any of the legos you grew up with…
Nonetheless, I got that baby thrown together and I played league of legends on my PC, ON MEDIUM SETTINGS… sometimes…
Now 5 years after that, I’ve built a couple different computers, spent way too much money on Steam sales. And just love the variety and flexibility that PC gaming has. But my heart goes out to all those new PC gamers. You just spend a bunch of money on something, that probably half your friends don’t have, so now can no longer play games with you, and you want to find a fun game to play… Trouble is.. Unlike consoles, PC hasn’t ever really stopped. A lot of the games you could play 20 years ago, you can still download and play on your modern computing machine. With consoles at least if you only have a nintendo Wii, there’s a finite number of games you can play, and even that is daunting with tons of unknown releases, virtual consoles, etc.
So I hope you enjoyed my little anecdote. Come back next time and i will start diving into some of the “Greatest Hits” of PC gaming to at least do a little bit of the groundwork for all the video game creation you’ve been missing out on.