Most of us use computers nowadays, since they are very useful.
The fact that computers (and technology in general, to be honest) have advanced by leaps and bounds since the 80’s coupled with the fact that this technological evolution also includes the reduction of the price of computer parts – and by natural extension the computers themselves – makes them even more attractive for the average person.
Furthermore, since they are so affordable and have become lighter and more compact, each individual is now able to have their own PC instead of everybody in a household/dorm/office sharing one computer between them.
This in turn, has effectively multiplied the range of tasks that a computer can perform and the applications it can run, since the exact same model of computer now needs to adapt to the needs of an 80 year old woman in Paris just as well as to the needs of a 15 year old kid in New York.
Computer applications are now capable of performing many different tasks:
- Business applications such as workflow management, inventory management and even scheduling.
- Financial applications such as stock exchange information and trading, budget keeping and tax apps.
- Media applications such as sound and video recording and editing, as well as image creation and manipulation
- Entertainment applications such as video on demand and music streaming, as well as games.
For this article, we will be centring on the last application we mentioned there: games.
Video games are a growing industry, raking in billions of dollars since the early 2000’s, and the industry has only continued to grow since then. They are now present in mainstream media (for better or worse) and are one of the most enjoyed pastimes the world over.
Even with this mainstream attention though, there are still many, many misconceptions that people have about gaming in general. This is not quite unexpected, since gaming is still a relatively recent past-time, and gaming’s mainstream appeal is even younger than that.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions the proverbial “Average Joe” has about gaming, video games and video game platforms, the PC in particular.
- PC gaming is too expensive. For years and years video game consoles were significantly cheaper than any computer out there. We are talking a difference of up to a thousand dollars. This is because old PC parts were more expensive to make; and so, came with heftier price tags.
Thanks to the leaps and bounds technology has advanced since those days, you can now get more reliable, smaller and cheaper parts than you ever could. There’s really no need to break the bank for a good gaming computer at all.
Add to this the fact that steam (and many other services that emulate it) regularly holds sales for even the most popular of games means that you can also expand your library without digging too deep into your pockets.
- Only keyboard/mouse controls are available. Since the early 90s there were all types of controllers available for PCs, from the standard joypad found in home consoles to flight sticks and driving wheels. Nowadays we even have an official controller for Windows, which is the same as the Xbox controller (and really, really comfortable), since Microsoft is the maker of both.
- There aren’t any great games. This also comes from the time when console and PC games were completely separate, and from a time when console exclusives were really exclusive. Still today you will probably not get a major Nintendo or Sony game on PC, but the vast majority of publishers realised that maximising profits means maximising the number of platforms your game is in, thus making a PC a sure thing the vast majority of the time.
- Gaming on a desk is not as comfortable as gaming on your couch or bed. This used to be a much better argument years ago, when different adapters had to be used and several hoops jumped through in order to show a PC’s image on a regular TV. Nowadays most video cards have an HDMI out, meaning you can simply connect your PC to your TV and you’re set.
If that is too much work, you can use apps like Steam Link to send the video signal from your PC to your TV over your network, which will achieve the same result as the first option but with the added bonus of not having to physically move your machine anywhere. Once you have this set up, simply sit down on the couch and game away.
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