Sunday, 25 August 2013

Two newish bad things?

Hello there, beautiful reader! May I say you're looking feisty today?

Last week I posted NOTHING, because I went out the night before. And, as I'm about as tolerant to alcohol as a newborn baby, the four drinks I had wreaked a terrible, terrible havoc on my existence. I just can't function with booze in the pipes, son. I am alcoholic half-man.

This, of course, is in direct contradiction to when I used to adore becoming senseless through drink, loudly slur-shouting affectionate remarks along with my pals, thusly:

"We don't do this enough"
"You're a top guy you"
"We should do this more"
"I love you man"
"This has been the best night of my life"
"Let's pretend you're a woman"

All these remarks are punctuated with clumsy embraces, breathing heavily through noses and pairs of rolling, uncontrollable eyes. And all these remarks will be repeated forever and ever, by fresh groups of tanked-up brothers, because that's what you do when you're out with your mates.

Having a willingness to spend most of the next day silently sulking like a teenage girl, occasionally dashing to gush frothy spew into the throne helps, also. But you get the picture!

But then, gradually, you become less and less arsed about the whole thing, as you notice you just can't muster the mental strength required to stand in some dimly lit bunker at 2am anymore, screaming a conversation to your best bud as he falls asleep on his feet beside you.

You change, man.

But these changes happen over such a period of time that you don't really notice, until one evening you suddenly realise 'Wow, I'm not really enjoying this like I did. I'm not gonna get smashed tonight'.

And then, from that  moment, everything is different. Sigh.

You might be wondering why the hairy hell I'm trying to induce a fit of melancholy onto you?

Well, I was thinking of a couple of things I've noticed lately about gaming that never used to exist but now they do. See? See the connection to all that crapola above? Do you see?

These two things have crept up mostly unnoticed by me, but I'm sure they are new. And they are very unwelcome, Sir. They are changes that have happened invisibly around me, and dash it all I don't like it! Just like my weakness and fear of alcoholic drinks!

(Just ramming home the connection to the opening material, kids.)

OK, let us begin.

1. People constantly talking all the time about nothing at all but all the time forever and ever always.


Firstly, I'm all for communication in gaming. I comprehend and accept the value of players working together, sharing information and developing a plan of action. I love that stuff, really.
I used to play Left4Dead a lot with three chaps. A bloke I actually worked with, a nice German man and a mostly silent Finnish teenager. We played versus mode a lot, and became very good at it.

Obviously, key to this success was communication. We would chat away about the everyday stuff between rounds (except the Finnish guy), or after the game had been won (except the Finnish guy), but during the rounds the only talk was of an informative nature (particularly the Finnish guy). It may sound daft, but it added to the immersion endlessly, and increased the intensity by a lot of percents. Because we weren't filling the air with nonsense we could hear all the various audio cues available in the game (the Boomer spawn, the Smoker mucking about behind a fence and all that).

So we gave ourselves an advantage, Miss. And we caused biblical amounts of rage-quittery! Yeah!

Now contrast this with my Counter-Strike: Global Offensive experience of late. Dear Dog...

Why do people feel they have to be speaking all the time? I want to try to hear footsteps, I want to try to locate weapons fire. I bought some fancy headphones to do this, not to hear your opinions on weapons balance, or map rotation, or your review of other players in the game. Just shut it, Son!

But most of the time the waffle isn't even connected to the game! I don't care what you had for lunch, I have no interest in what you're doing next Tuesday, I don't care which YouTube videos you claim to be watching as you wait to spawn. Just shut up and let me play! Shut up!

It's not just CS:GO. All games have been infested with ignorant, rambling fools chattering away just  because they can. That's all it is. They don't even want to, but they feel compelled to. And then the  responding voices start nagging on about something completely unrelated. So it's blah blah blah as I try to quickly mute everybody as fast as I can. Then I get killed as a result. A direct result of their sickening unwanted talk! Gah! Shut your head!

I yearn with all my heart for a 'mute all' button in every game. In fact, everybody should be muted by default, requiring you to choose if you wish to hear their reedy, faux-jaded student voices repeating whatever rehashed meme they have 'discovered' that day. Just shut up! Shut your mouth!


2. What is a YouTube commentator and why?

What is it? Honestly, I need a clear explanation. To me, it looks like someone playing a game and doing loads of annoying talking over the top of the footage. Like going into an art gallery, and the tour guide starts writing notes all over the paintings with a bingo marker. Am I not getting it?

Why don't people just play the games? They need the experience validating by a chattering person?
I have honestly never watched someone else play a game I own at length. Never. Why would I?

I had a brief look at some of the 'celebrity' YouTube people before I started writing this, and it seems to be lots of stating the obvious, lots of 80's sitcom-standard forced laughter at not very funny things, and massive, conspicuous amounts of self-promotion. Honestly, I watched a seven minute video and the guy must have said the words 'follow' and 'subscribe' at least fifty times! I must be out of touch.

The comments from 'fans' on these videos seem to indicate that the audience for this stuff is very young, yet on certain forums I've witnessed grown men bickering over some of these guys. It seems that the opinion of these guys matters just because they have one? What? Help me understand! Is it simply odd men-children wanting the admiration and adulation of kids, like this:

Major YouTube commentator meets his subscribers, yesterday.

Or am I too thick to understand the value of watching someone else play a game I could be playing?
Or is it all about wringing cash out of parents wallets, and these guys are like two-faced, greasy old  burglars helping the big companies do it? I honestly have not even a hint of an idea. Help?

I should add that I thought the videos I tried were crap. I laughed at none at them, I wasn't educated in any way. Much, much worse than my writing. I'm clearly better. Why am I not more famous??*

Anyway, thanks for reading. Your viewing figures are very important to me & my huge ego.

More words next week!

GL & HF!

*I have more readers than I ever expected! Thanks to all, and I promise I'll never sell out :)

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Hi, I am really busy. So instead of abandoning you completely, I decided I'd throw up a few videos that I watch on a weekly basis, so that you can hope to be like me:

Thanks for watching someone elses work, now I'm going back to Skyrim.

GL & HF!

*Next post will make you cry, then laugh, then punch the air in delight. Or your money back.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


Good day, mates!

Last week I outlined in stunning clarity the reasons why you should consider a PC as your next gaming purchase, instead of a new console. If you didn't read it, then I simply must pity you, and inform you that your ignorance will be the source of society mocking you for the rest of your days. You will be forced out of your community, destined to live in the wilderness eating chunks of wet mud until you slip away unhappily one freezing night, grateful for the sweet release of death...Not really! I was being silly again.

So it became apparent (following feedback some chavs had scratched onto my car with a rusty AA battery) that I missed a couple of minor points that needed to be shouted into the internet. So why on Earth not, eh?

Missed minor point number one: 

Opting for a gaming PC at this crucial time for gaming will result in a slight mental health issue known amongst experts as 'Feeling-irrelevant-osis'. Every website you visit will be rabidly promoting new console games, every newspaper you pick up will feature whole-page adverts for new console games, all your friends & colleagues will be talking about new console games.

The gaming world will be aflame with relentless promoting of console console console. Don't forget that major gaming websites are given....incentives in order to secure themselves early access to games for review purposes. Yes, I mean a metaphorical bag of cash.

These websites then give favourable, often puzzlingly positive reviews in order to secure themselves early access to the next title out of the factory and so on and on and on. You see how it works, Son? You don't get it? What??

OK, here. Imagine there are two monkeys that review bananas (monkey A and monkey B), and a third monkey that supplies bananas (monkey C).

Banana-supply monkey C says to banana-review monkey A "Oo oo if you say me 'nana best, me give you more 'nana to say is good".

Banana-review monkey A then tells the rest of the monkeys "Banana supply monkey gives best 'nana', you brainless, inbred macaque if you not agree. 9/10".

Banana-review monkey B, meanwhile, says "Banana supply monkey C 'nanas not all that, girlfriend, you should wait before you rush whooping out of your tree to get his 'nanas".

However, the gibbering pack of excitable, impatient monkeys want bananas NOW NOW NOW and therefore discredit banana-review monkey B due to his negative review material arriving weeeeeeeks later.



Yeah, I know. Horrible, horrible writing. Here, forgive me with these points:

The point is you will need mental strength to be a PC gamer at the launch of new consoles.

You will be hurting to feel included in all the everything that is going on everywhere.

You will feel like you are on the outside of gaming for a while, but it will pass in roughly 3 months.

OK, that was the first missed point. The second concerns what 'next-gen' actually means in relation to PC gaming. So let's get going, shall we?

Missed minor point number two:

The upcoming consoles will roughly be the equivalent, in terms of what you will see on your screens, of a current mid-range gaming PC. When I say mid-range, I mean about £700-800 worth.

Scary numbers, eh? No, no, no. Let me adjust my elasticated waistband and explain.

The consoles will be a match for mid-range gaming PCs for a few months. Bur, if you have the urge and the cash, you can simply upgrade yourself into the distance. Consoles are stuck at the same performance point forever. Forever. At the very least, eight years.

The point is current mid-range gaming PCs are more than a match for the new wow amaaaaaazing consoles.

PC gamers have had those graphics for years. And better!

Mid-range PC will be comfortably ahead, in graphics power terms, of the consoles within 6 months. 

The phrase 'next-gen' relates only to consoles catching up with the arse-end of PC gaming.

Hmm, I'm a bit too pro-PC today. I'm feeling a bit snarky, to be honest. I watched 'Forrest Gump' last night, and it's left me rather emotional. That poor, sweet retard. Why did that movie not get a video game tie-in? You could have a Track & Field style button-masher for the running bits, a decent FPS for the Vietnam war part (featuring trendy gaming must-haves like EMOTIONALLY RESCUING your wounded squad mates), and even a 'Katawa Shoujo' style disabled romance sim for the bits with Lieutenant Dan (after he's had his legs shot off).

A missed opportunity, my friends, I'm sure you'll agree.

So yeah, there. Done. Why trap your future gaming in one of these made-up 'gen' things, when you can break free of it all and express yourself on PC? Build it your way, improve it your way.

You can even make them look like this (your reasons are your own!):


I feel I must restate, in the interests of balance, that consoles are fine in the short term. For that initial six month period they are impressive, given their price and all that. The next batch will show folks exactly what has been available on PC for the last 5 years or so, and will hopefully encourage them to take the plunge. Like a defrosted caveman entering a nightclub!

After all, I won't be buying one, not at launch anyway, so what better reason than that? You can claim a serious gaming journalist advised you against buying, and all your friends will be impressed. You know, over TWO THOUSAND* people read this fascinating, magnificent writing? Incredible.

Anyway, have a nice Sunday, look after yourselves. It's a tough world for us nerds!

GL & HF!

*No, they don't.