The Survival of Computer Gaming

Our industry is dying. We all know that the so-called “Next Generation” consoles are driving our beloved PCs out of the market. I could list the reasons why this is happening…I could even list the reasons why it should not be happening, but to those of you who are interested in reading this, I know that you’re already intimately familiar with our predicament. It really has crept up on us. Honestly, there have been some great PC games released over the past couple years that have satisfied my gaming needs; but a few days ago, I had a rude awakening into this new world of “console only” games that have unleashed a beast inside of me. As a side note, I should say that I really don’t have any problem with the Xbox360, the PS2, or the Wii other than the fact that they are killing the industry that I love…the industry that I grew up with. Anyways, back to my rude awakening. Many of you have heard about LucasArt’s new title “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” which will be released this fall. Many of you have also heard that it will not be released for the PC. Not now, not ever. Judging from the trailers and new technology that has gone into this game, it looks like it would be addictingly fun and could possibly even be my favorite of the year. However, according to the producers of the game, the PC market is not stable enough for this title. In other words, there aren’t enough people out there with computers that would be able to handle the game. (Ironically enough, it is being released on the Nintendo DS and the Wii, neither of which are high-performance gaming systems.)

What has happened? I’ve been playing Star Wars games on the PC for over ten years back when the X-Wing series and “Rogue Squadron” were just coming out. And now LucasArts won’t even port their major release to the PC for their most loyal of fans? The situation is bad and on course to get much worse. After all, this is just one of the many games that have been excluded from the PC already. So is it time for PC gaming to become extinct? Should we give up our fully customizable gaming platforms and surrender to the standardized systems accepted by corporate stooges? I say NO!!!

But what will it take to survive in this industry? How can we regain our prowess in the world of video games? We have to be smart. We can no longer rely on our superior numbers to guarantee acknowledgment and preferential treatment in the biz, so we must rely on our superior brainpower to win this war (That’s right console fans…I said it…we’re smarter than you). We can no longer rely on unorganized petitions that half of us won’t even see anyways. What Should We Do?!?!

We must get organized. We need to understand that we are an extremely marketable, niche group of people that should be catered to by game development companies. Let’s face it, computer games are generally pretty nerdy…I’m guessing there’s not one of us who couldn’t set up a simple website if need be, not one of us who isn’t doing some serious online surfing every day, not one of us who wouldn’t love to work for Tom’s Hardware full-time, and the list goes on. Yes, there are only a few hundred thousand of us, and compared to the millions of console gamers out there, it’s pretty hard for us to get attention these days. But we are all interested in the same thing: Computer hardware and games, and as a unified community we could become very powerful again. Remember, 500,000 games times $40 equals $20million, plenty enough to make some pretty awesome games.

So here are some ideas for what the computer gaming industry needs:

A database of all the computer games in the world and the systems they have.
A well-maintained forum to discuss important events and plans.
Elected leaders to attack those who deny us.
A website devoted to keeping PC gamers informed on industry news.
Polls to decide which games we will support and which we will protest.
A group of ninjas to kill console games…………..ok maybe not that one…..but maybe.