265: Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

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Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

You see that cute little baby seal? Chuck Wendig wants to punch that seal in the mouth because Crysis locked up on him. Again.

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Oh nice I'm the first comment it's true man steam is very tempting I have the same problem as you.

Erm... have you treid checking your hardware/ drivers/ software? Not to be offensive but 90% of the time people's bad experiences of PC gaming are their own fault be it with damage from a bad overclock, improper cleaning or damage done by spyware/ virus removal.

"Fast-forward to the dozenth time that Crysis shit the bed and crashed my computer, and again I'm left asking why I invited this upon myself."

Crysis is ermm.... well a very demanding game. This article is less about the falabilites of PC gmaing and more about needing decent tech support.

Fallout 3 is INFURATING i will give you that, it's the game i have had most lock-ups on (And i own ALL the stalker games) but it's an exception of mine of late. Overal since my last re-build i have have very few problems with my games, even buggy monsters like ARMA II have behaved themselves better than i was led to beleive

yeah...a lot of issues with modern games locking up or just being shit tech has to do with either DRM or incomplete debugging, probably due to the production companies screeching like heroin-monkeys on the backs of the development companies.

That's why I game on consoles. 1, to avoid using a keyboard and a mouse, (which is something I just cannot do.) And 2, which is to avoid all of the complication that comes at the cost of PC Gaming. If I have a game, I want to be able to pick it up, slot it in, and play. And with a PC, most of the time it is nowhere near as simple as that. I do agree though, that console gamers do suffer the added cost of games, and the limited choice and customisation.

I like the theme of your story..... yes the Console / iPhone / non-PC is a fairly static device, allowing for fairly generic code for all of them that just works.

But.... where's your World of Warcraft / Starcraft 2 for Xbox / PS3 / iWank?

At the end of the day, you know you will always come back to your beloved PC :)

Not sure what you're doing wrong but I've played Crysis for hours at a time, never crashed once. Like Scrumpmonkey said "check your drivers and stop overclocking."

So, you just hate PC gaming because of this?
Because some lock ups on some games, some that aren't that good? Because you couldn't run them properly?

I'd recommend you check a lot more of PC games before concluding that PC sucks, because there certainly there are some great ones in the platform.
Some that won't fail....

I've got all those games and none of those crashes, is your hardware maybe a bit old?

Also I didn't like this article very much purely because of the tone. This isn't what I come here to read, it wasn't smart and it wasn't informative. I know it was supposed to be a humorous look at the problem but honestly it comes across as not wanting to do any maintenance work and getting annoyed when it breaks. If you had a console that could play every game ever made you'd expect a certain amount of tinkering too.

Incidentally Angry Birds used to crash (and sends me back to the desktop thing) about once a week on my Touch, and given that I only really played it on bus journeys and maybe before bed this probably equated to crashing about once every two hours - not great.

Chuck Wendig:
No draconian DRM that demands I be online at all times and sacrifice a bleating goat

See, this is your problem. You're only sacrificing one goat. The machine god demands more! That baby seal you're thinking about punching? Sacrifice it instead! I think there's something about keeping your computer inside a pentagram at all times, with a water cooling system filled entirely with a virgin's blood, too.

I also have issues with PC gaming. I can't afford to upgrade a desktop on a regular basis (or even to buy one), so I'm stuck with a basic laptop that can't run COD 4, even at the lowest settings, without it jumping about more than the camera in a Bourne film.
The Steam sale, on the face of things, looked like it would fix this.
"Loads of slightly older games, at lower prices? Some of these should run on my wheezing construct of the ancients", I thought to myself. 20 of games, 4 days of download time, and a number of computer crashes that could best be represented in standard form later, and I have not one single game that will run on my PC without the aforementioned Cloverfield-level jerkiness. This is even after the specs supposedly match up, too.
I think I may be out of the PC gaming field until I find a couple of grand lying in the street for a decent gaming rig... Back to the xbox, I guess - there's definitely something to be said for the simplicity of gaming on consoles.

Inzomniack:
I like the theme of your story..... yes the Console / iPhone / non-PC is a fairly static device, allowing for fairly generic code for all of them that just works.

But.... where's your World of Warcraft / Starcraft 2 for Xbox / PS3 / iWank?

At the end of the day, you know you will always come back to your beloved PC :)

The article is tongue-and-cheek (though some very real frustration lurks) -- but as the article states at the end, I will grudgingly come back to PC games. Civilization V, for instance, will draw me in. Moth to flame. Fly to bug zammer.

-- Chuck

I'm gonna be honest; I only get stuff like this with old games, because I'm running on Windows 7. And it's a pain because they should work, but they don't. Just about everything released before 2008 has problems. So I have the reverse of your problem: my PC loves all the new shiney stuff, but can't stand the classics. I was so angry when I spent 5 on Beyong Good and Evil, just to find that it wouldn't work... well, I could have punched a baby seal, if there had been one there.

hahaha XD good read man!

I wouldnt wish your troubles on my enemies.

But seeing that i've maybe had 1 game crash on me this pass year without me actually doing something (alt-tabbing, etc.), and considering i've had 2 lock ups on my PS3 (Red Dead Redemption and SSF4) in the same amount of time. My experience is oddly on the Opposite end XD

O PC gamers, stick with nVidia chipsets <.< ATI is totally on the fritz! new display drivers for ATI cards in the radeon 5xxx series blow chunks! I never had that problem with nVidia cards!

Man responsible for the Omega Drivers, PLEASE COME BACK ; ;

Oh, and for the record, my PC's a year old and is not overclocked.

I've played PC games for a long, long time, and this has been a persistent issue across the board, regardless of the PC, regardless of the brand.

I'll always come back to PC gaming, but it doesn't change the fact that getting games to run properly can feel as productive as smashing one's own face into the desk.

These days, with technology being where it's at, I expect minimal tinkering. Or, if it requires significant tinkering, then I want good quality customer service -- another thing lacking across the PC gaming "platform."

-- Chuck

It's worth noting that at least two of the games mention run on game's for windows live. And we all know how that works.

At any rate, sorry you experiences have been less than stellar. I don't really have the same problem with games that you seem to, and we can either chalk that up to luck on my part of the games play. If it's not working out for you, it's in your best interest not to play it. Go enjoy your console games. Nothing wrong with them. My preference of PC gaming has zero effect on you. Have fun out there.

Khaiseri:
So, you just hate PC gaming because of this?
Because some lock ups on some games, some that aren't that good? Because you couldn't run them properly?

I'd recommend you check a lot more of PC games before concluding that PC sucks, because there certainly there are some great ones in the platform.
Some that won't fail....

See when your paying all that money for a game you shouldnt have to spend 10 hours troubleshooting or 50 hours hunting down those "some that won't fail". Its a waste of time and not worth the stress to try and get pc games to work. Especially when the game says it will work on your computer but doesnt. Ok well it does if you want to spend 20 mins at each loading screen.

Console = put game in and play
PC = put game in, 30min install, troubleshoot for 5 hours, throw monitor out window because game still doesnt work

Inzomniack:
I like the theme of your story..... yes the Console / iPhone / non-PC is a fairly static device, allowing for fairly generic code for all of them that just works.

But.... where's your World of Warcraft / Starcraft 2 for Xbox / PS3 / iWank?

At the end of the day, you know you will always come back to your beloved PC :)

Fuck starcraft 2. Seriously if the game says it can run on your computer it bloody well should actually run on your computer. I put it in my laptop and it said I dont meet the min requirements because I didnt have the vista service pack. So while im downloading that I try and install it on my desktop. Toss disk in it says it can run on min settings. Install it im able to load the game up although alittle slow. Go to single player, 20 mins later game loads to a laggy cutscene then another 20 mins of loading screen before I close the game out. Needless to say I now have an extra $60 now and one less piece of shit.

Wow, I had a really hard time reading that. Anti-PC gaming statements like this sure are infuriating. People talk about how the PC market is dying (which couldn't be farther from the truth), and here we have so-called writers basically talking down on the whole experience, when it's most likely due to user error? I mean, a number of factors can cause the problems you've explained. And most of them usually have to do with ignorance on the users part.

It's funny, because all of those games listed, I have had zero issues with. Crysis especially. What am I doing differently? Honestly, probably not much. Just simple things, such as keeping my PC free of dust, making sure I don't bottleneck my system with one amazing part and one ancient one (which I'd almost be willing to bet one of these two things is yer problem), ect.

Honestly, it's ignorant posting like this that I thought I was avoiding by reading the escapist. It amazes me that this was even published. Shit like this is only going to give the wrong perception of PC gamers to people who don't know better, and a market that is already struggling in the console age doesn't need crap like this tainting it's image. In short, and I'm sure I speak for all PC gamers when I say this: Fuck PC gaming? No, sir, fuck you.

DTWolfwood:
hahaha XD good read man!

I wouldnt wish your troubles on my enemies.

But seeing that i've maybe had 1 game crash on me this pass year without me actually doing something (alt-tabbing, etc.), and considering i've had 2 lock ups on my PS3 (Red Dead Redemption and SSF4) in the same amount of time. My experience is oddly on the Opposite end XD

O PC gamers, stick with nVidia chipsets <.< ATI is totally on the fritz! new display drivers for ATI cards in the radeon 5xxx series blow chunks! I never had that problem with nVidia cards!

Man responsible for the Omega Drivers, PLEASE COME BACK ; ;

Heh, thanks.

Yeah, I've got ATI, and it is a hell-basket. I updated my drivers and I get this MOM.Implementation and CLI.Implementation error set. Then I'm forced to wonder, "What did ATI just say about my Mom?"

Then I punch another baby seal and feel better. For a while. A little while.

-- Chuck

Samsont:
Oh nice I'm the first comment it's true man steam is very tempting I have the same problem as you.

The forum rules look down upon "First post" claims...

I loved this article to death, and it's why I don't get into steam. My console has never, ever failed me. I can game as hard as I want on it, and it doens't let me down

Quite an amusing read, though surely you're exaggerating? I use a laptop. Unreliable at the best of times, a few years outdated now. And while some games are too pretty or big to run properly (i.e. without lagging) like COD 4 I have no problems with them crashing.
I had Crysis on here for a while, got it from a friend. Turn the settings down, and it ran fine.

As people have said, check your drivers or get a virus search. Maybe just wipe your PC, if you don't mind spending a little while copying all your files to an external hard drive or something...
Admittedly I've heard horror stories of Fallout 3, but I still haven't bought that... I have played it people. It's ok. Don't lynch me.

HvD:
Not sure what you're doing wrong but I've played Crysis for hours at a time, never crashed once. Like Scrumpmonkey said "check your drivers and stop overclocking."

Agreed, in fact both Crysis and Crysis Warhead are my two most stable games. Nd I run them on high graphics with XP, so this rig is working its ass off.

The only games I have serious problems with are Fallout 3 and assassin's creed. The rest runs beautifully.

I don't know why but my Pc never hangs up.
I've heard so many people complain about Windows. "Bla, bla, bla, Linux just works, Windows always crashes." I always wondered what those people were doing.
Same with this topic. "The games for my PC never work, 5 minutes in game and they crash, tried it on 3 systems."
How can that be? Why does this never happen to me? Just update a driver or two once a few months and you are good to go.
And the Xbox also has (had according to Microsoft) Issues with the Red Ring of Death.

MaxPowers666:

Khaiseri:
So, you just hate PC gaming because of this?
Because some lock ups on some games, some that aren't that good? Because you couldn't run them properly?

I'd recommend you check a lot more of PC games before concluding that PC sucks, because there certainly there are some great ones in the platform.
Some that won't fail....

See when your paying all that money for a game you shouldnt have to spend 10 hours troubleshooting or 50 hours hunting down those "some that won't fail". Its a waste of time and not worth the stress to try and get pc games to work. Especially when the game says it will work on your computer but doesnt. Ok well it does if you want to spend 20 mins at each loading screen.

Console = put game in and play
PC = put game in, 30min install, troubleshoot for 5 hours, throw monitor out window because game still doesnt work

Inzomniack:
I like the theme of your story..... yes the Console / iPhone / non-PC is a fairly static device, allowing for fairly generic code for all of them that just works.

But.... where's your World of Warcraft / Starcraft 2 for Xbox / PS3 / iWank?

At the end of the day, you know you will always come back to your beloved PC :)

Fuck starcraft 2. Seriously if the game says it can run on your computer it bloody well should actually run on your computer. I put it in my laptop and it said I dont meet the min requirements because I didnt have the vista service pack. So while im downloading that I try and install it on my desktop. Toss disk in it says it can run on min settings. Install it im able to load the game up although alittle slow. Go to single player, 20 mins later game loads to a laggy cutscene then another 20 mins of loading screen before I close the game out. Needless to say I now have an extra $60 now and one less piece of shit.

For me, installation doesn't takes so bloody long, and I normally do not troubleshoot.
So it's either your PC, or you are a console fanboy.

PC has it's strengthens over the console, that if If you know how to configure it, how to maintain it and to use it.

Consoles can have the same problems than PC as well, you know.

PS3 froze on me quite some times, some friends X360 got burned soon after he bought it, and another friend PS3 got burned after 1 year an a half of use.

And yet my PC still was running even after 8 years of service. Sure, it got burned, but that was it was running at 49C to 68C and I couldn't cool it down enough, all what I could do was to leave a block of ice (literally) next to the PC. But it worked for 2 years with those temperatures, and I managed to max it out all what I could, and it did what It could.

For me PC is clearly the superior platform, and if for you it's any console, well good for you, but that's no reason to go on ranting about it's flaws, even while consoles have some worse problems.

Steam sales are evil pure and simple.

Me: No games around that I want atm

Steam:Psssst have a look at our sale. You know you want to, its fun all the cool kids do.

Me: OK just a quick look

5 minutes later

Me: ARRRRG I have just bought the entire output of 2k games and the Bioware back catalog DAMN YOU STEAM.

I have used nVidia for years now hardly any problems. ATI for the fail

I wish I were exaggerating.

I'm not overclocking.

I did not install off-the-books gray-market equipment (like, say, a windmill or an animatronic squirrel).

I do virus checks.

I update my drivers like a good little boy.

Perhaps I'm the exception (though reading other people's comments, probably not), but I assure you: I'm not doing anything wrong. The tech is failing me. I am not failing the tech.

Now, do not feel obliged to agree with me.

Alternately, disagreement should not equate to: "Waah, fuck you," but hey, you do what you like.

(Oh, and also: for the most part, CRYSIS runs really well. It does occasionally drop on me or change my graphic settings, but it always gets back into the game. So it's fairly low on my "complaint totem pole.")

-- Chuck

PC gaming is for Valve and Blizzard games only for me. It's the two developer's that will tweak and review every tiny detail until their games run flawlessly on every system that meets the requirements.

I'm studying computer science at the University and not even I can be bothered to fix this kind of stuff anymore. I want to slide disc in and play. PS3 provides. I approve.

uppitycracker:
Wow, I had a really hard time reading that. Anti-PC gaming statements like this sure are infuriating. People talk about how the PC market is dying (which couldn't be farther from the truth), and here we have so-called writers basically talking down on the whole experience, when it's most likely due to user error? I mean, a number of factors can cause the problems you've explained. And most of them usually have to do with ignorance on the users part.

It's funny, because all of those games listed, I have had zero issues with. Crysis especially. What am I doing differently? Honestly, probably not much. Just simple things, such as keeping my PC free of dust, making sure I don't bottleneck my system with one amazing part and one ancient one (which I'd almost be willing to bet one of these two things is yer problem), ect.

User error and hours of maintenance and hundreds of dollars keeping the system up to date is all good. Except console gamer's don't need to worry about that. Why criticize the author of the article for that? What he wants is to not have to worry about stuff like that, he said it himself that he could probably fix all the problems he had, he just didn't want to bother doing it.

It's not ignorance, it's just that if you can have access to the same stuff without worries, why worry about it?

Yeah Fallout 3 tends to do that. First play through a few years ago, "Holy shit the Wasteland looks awesome! Is that Megat- Error". Restart..."Megaton here i C- Error". Restart "Megaton- no wait save it first then just walk". Save "Ah finally Megato-Error' DAMMIT! after playing through the game and DLC i ended up with around....600 saves total.

"My PC was robust: a Dell XPS"

Well THERE is yer problem!

Pre-built PCs are the DEVIL! Seriously, any problems you may have BUILDING a PC are completely offset by you knowing exctly what is on there. Pre-built PCs are loaded up with so much secret and hidden crapware, my god, the only real solution is to format your hard-drive and start from scratch with a fresh install.

Plus, they may give superficially good specs but they screw you in the details.

PCs are DESIGNED to be built with minimal skill, and the most basic equipment and facilities. They are DESIGNED to be built ON a desk by anyone who has the competence to assemble Ikea furniture or change a busted fuse without electrocuting themselves.

"Of course, nobody can seem to get their microphones to work"

This is almost entirely down to people buying cheap mics and not configuring them correctly. Usually people use a cheap mic that is so weak it only picks up anything if you mouth is practically touching the receiver and you carefully pronounce each word. I used to get terrible mic performance, then I got a decent mic... then it was as clear as radio 4.

I have found the same terrible mic-receiving on 360 as well: because Microsoft uses cheap mics.

But the thing is Consoles games don't "just work" as their performance is utterly miserable half the time, settling for 24-30 frames/sec. Dedicated servers, they just aren't bloody well there! Console solution is not to make it work, but simply eliminate the things that DON'T work. It's a cop out.

But mainly "Team frotress 2: works fine" "Left 4 dead 2: works great"

Then "Fuck PC gaming, I give up"

Say WHAAAAAAAAT!?

Why give up on ALL PC games just because the Games-for-Windows-Live version sucks? Why? Huh? Why?

More bullshit absolutist arguments, either 100% PC gaming or none at all. You have some serious anger issues, PC gives you problem for SOME games now you hate it for ALL games. Pure illogical prejudice. I hope you don't apply the same logic to other things, like against people.

I have never had any crash on my system, no bugs and finally no issues with it unlike consoles.

That's why I love it, because it actually WORKS for me, and someone's else experience shouldn't be said that it's universal, bla, bla, bla.

There are many issues with the PC alright, but like 90% of them are because the user doesn't knows to maintain it and do not know how to use it.

A PC/Console supremacy wars flame-bait. Nice.

Plus a hint of nVidia\ATI one.

Escapist net traffic goes up - everybody is happy about more adds to sell.

chuckwendig:

Inzomniack:
I like the theme of your story..... yes the Console / iPhone / non-PC is a fairly static device, allowing for fairly generic code for all of them that just works.

But.... where's your World of Warcraft / Starcraft 2 for Xbox / PS3 / iWank?

At the end of the day, you know you will always come back to your beloved PC :)

The article is tongue-and-cheek (though some very real frustration lurks) -- but as the article states at the end, I will grudgingly come back to PC games. Civilization V, for instance, will draw me in. Moth to flame. Fly to bug zammer.

-- Chuck

At about page 2 I was wondering about Civ 5. And we have all been there with PC games, that is why I finally opted to make a new computer this summer. That and Civ 5

I understand your pain. However, I think these issues have more to do with the software instead of pc gaming as a whole. The key is to do a lot of research before getting anything, like what problems any software or hardware you're buying might have, like Games for Windows Live or being an Ubisoft product. Also you have to be vigilant in taking care of your computer: updating the drivers, defragmenting the hard drive, scanning for viruses, etc. Whether or not you play games, you have to have a computer, and you have to take good care of it. If you take good care of it, than plenty of games should work fine.

or you're cursed.

Treblaine:
"My PC was robust: a Dell XPS"

Well THERE is yer problem!

Pre-built PCs are the DEVIL! Seriously, any problems you may have BUILDING a PC are completely offset by you knowing exctly what is on there. Pre-built PCs are loaded up with so much secret and hidden crapware, my god, the only real solution is to format your hard-drive and start from scratch with a fresh install.

Plus, they may give superficially good specs but they screw you in the details.

PCs are DESIGNED to be built with minimal skill, and the most basic equipment and facilities. They are DESIGNED to be built ON a desk by anyone who has the competence to assemble Ikea furniture or change a busted fuse without electrocuting themselves.

"Of course, nobody can seem to get their microphones to work"

This is almost entirely down to people buying cheap mics and not configuring them correctly. Usually people use a cheap mic that is so weak it only picks up anything if you mouth is practically touching the receiver and you carefully pronounce each word. I used to get terrible mic performance, then I got a decent mic... then it was as clear as radio 4.

I have found the same terrible mic-receiving on 360 as well: because Microsoft uses cheap mics.

But the thing is Consoles games don't "just work" as their performance is utterly miserable half the time, settling for 24-30 frames/sec. Dedicated servers, they just aren't bloody well there! Console solution is not to make it work, but simply eliminate the things that DON'T work. It's a cop out.

But mainly "Team frotress 2: works fine" "Left 4 dead 2: works great"

Then "Fuck PC gaming, I give up"

Say WHAAAAAAAAT!?

Why give up on ALL PC games just because the Games-for-Windows-Live version sucks? Why? Huh? Why?

More bullshit absolutist arguments, either 100% PC gaming or none at all. You have some serious anger issues, PC gives you problem for SOME games now you hate it for ALL games. Pure illogical prejudice. I hope you don't apply the same logic to other things, like against people.

You'd think that with all that pent-up agita, you'd actually read the article.

Clearly, I am playing PC games. How do I end the article? Fuck PC games. Except for, y'know, other PC games. Yes, I am going to come back to this poisoned teat again and again because it offers games I can't get elsewhere. (Ahem cough cough Civ 5.)

But newsflash: I don't have time to build a PC. I don't have time to build a television, a blender, a fridge, a car. I don't sew my own clothes. I do not slaughter my own cattle. I buy something, I personally would like it to work with minimum frustration.

You don't have these problems? I'm not suggesting you do. I wrote an article. It's full of True Things. People seem hell-bent to dispute my experiences, as if my experiences must be also indicative of their experiences.

They're not.

You love PC gaming?

Keep playing those games. No harm, no foul.

As I said, I'll keep going back to them, too. And I'll probably bitch about it and put my foot through my monitor, but that's my bag, not yours.

And for the record, my mic is not a cheapy mic. Works great for Skype. Further, my microphone on the 360 works just fine, too.

-- Chuck

chuckwendig:
I've played PC games for a long, long time, and this has been a persistent issue across the board, regardless of the PC, regardless of the brand.

This is why you don't run over old gypsie women... or if you do, you go back and finish them off. Never leave them injured, angry and looking for someone to curse.

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