I love video games in all forms. I love console games. I love arcade games. I love pinball machines. I love board games. I love handheld games. And I am somehow nervous about PC gaming.
I can’t tell you how many PC games I’ve put on my “list to watch” each year. I have a Steam library of over a dozen games. And yet I feel intimidated to take the flying leap into them.
Perhaps it is any number of things. The various gaming PCs out there have insanely varied specs. I have a decent, but economy, laptop. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what graphics card I have (if I have one at all) if my life depended on it (which hopefully never happens). I know I can connect a controller to my laptop, yet I’ve also never done that, as I’m nervous that the various drivers I may need will somehow make my computer all wonky.
This is a bit ironic as the first games I played were all on computer. I recall playing my first games on cassette via home computer and they blew my mind. I played Boulder Dash on a friend’s computer (oh the green screen!) and could barely peel myself away when I had to go home. I (like many others) played the original Oregon Trail in the computer lab at my grade school way back in the ’80s and I remember all of us giggling at terms like “yoke of oxen,” only to realize moments later that we lost them to dysentery or some other awful occurrence.
Games can be like that sometimes.
So with my gaming blossoming from the PC environment, how did I veer so far away?
I could sit here for a good long stretch and list all the PC games I’ve been aching to play, (e.g. Amnesia, Antichamber, Gone Home, Papers Please, System Shock 2) and yet I still have not done so. I’m fortunate in some cases when a game comes not only to PC but to consoles as well (I’m looking at you next year, Vanishing of Ethan Carter), as it gives me yet another reason to postpone installing that controller driver.
I would love to get back into PC gaming, but I suppose I just don’t know how. I feel all kinds of nervous about it.
I also felt this way about playing games on my iPad, however I dipped my toes a few times on that front. This year alone I experienced Monument Valley, Year Walk, The Room, and Tengami. I love that those experiences are available on that platform, and I’m glad I got over my weirdness enough to play them.
Sometimes when a new and huge game releases (e.g. Skyrim) I am simultaneously excited to play it, as well as almost paralyzingly daunted. I know it will be a time sink and I want to make sure I’m ready. So I put it off, and put it off, and put it off, only to realize a year later (I’m looking at you, Fallout 3) that I still haven’t started it.
That’s how I feel about PC gaming. It’s going to be a huge and wonderful experience, but I’m stuck in a loop of not starting in on it.
Am I the only one who has these issues? Has anyone else out there had them? If so, how did you move forward? Do you have any tips or advice?
Because I’m super interested in playing so many of the PC games coming out, and I’d like to find a way to do it that doesn’t give me a gaming panic attack.
Help a fellow game lover out, friends. My ears are open.