Cold Dark Heart

Cold Dark Heart
Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

Chuck Wendig | 3 Aug 2010 13:01
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See this baby seal?

So cute! A blobby white puffball straight out of a Miyazaki film. Oh, look! The widdle baby has rolled over on his back! He wants us to rub his belly-welly! The way he wiggles! The way he makes those precious piggy grunts!

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I'm not going to rub his goddamn belly.

In fact, I'm going to punch him. I'm going to punch him right in his widdle mouth.

I don't want to. I'm driven to. My rage cannot be contained. You fill up a glass too full and the water spills over.

This baby seal is adorable as shit.

And I'm still going to punch his lights out.

Because Crysis just locked up on me again.

***

Crysis is the latest offender but it still serves as a perfect example - just one more turdlet atop a steaming heap of effluence - of why PC gaming makes me want to perform violent acts upon nature's most endearing inhabitants.

I'd given up on playing games on my PC. I'd put it out of my head. I have an Xbox and an iPhone. Both accommodate my gaming needs nicely. Neither runs me through the gauntlet of kidney punches and stinging insects, a gauntlet oft-demanded any time I attempt to install and run a game on my machine. I'm comfy with my gaming devices. Why mess with contentment? Why wrestle with resentment? In my advancing years - the antediluvian age of 34 - my patience has worn thin like tooth enamel, and all that's left is a quivering nerve. Why tongue said nerve?

I thought I'd gotten away.

Then, two words. Say 'em with me:

Steam Sale.

You already know this, but just in case: Steam, Valve's content-delivery client, allows you to jack games straight onto your computer. No need to run to Best Buy or Target or that shady gentleman fiddling with his privates on the corner. You can download Modern Warfare 2 and its hot, fresh maps while sitting in your underwear, licking Cheeto dust from your keyboard.

At Steam, everything I'd ever wanted was suddenly half-off or better - and that's after the consideration that PC games are a helluva lot cheaper than anything I'd buy on the console.

I started small. Just a taste. Team Fortress 2.

I played it. It was awesome. It worked!

But that's how they getcha, isn't it? A little dab'll do you. Before I could tell myself no, I was back at the Steam store, hand hovering over the mouse, jaw slackened as I perused my approximately infinite options. "Ooooh. I've already played Bioshock. But I want it! But what about Borderlands? And L4D2? And this indie game! And that EA release! Sweet Johnny Jumpup, bundle packs?"

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