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There have been efforts to police how we play online, but for the most part we’re left to do whatever’s possible within the ruleset of a game. Teabagging isn’t in Rainbow Six Siege by design but crouching is a gameplay feature which some have simply bent to their will.
When it comes to just about any device, we probably turn them off when we’re done with them. I don’t keep the oven on forever just in case I need to pop in an emergency pie. You probably don’t keep your telly on 24/7 either, bathing your front room in a static glow for eternity. PCs are a little bit different though. They’ve morphed into the hub through which we can do practically anything.
Gaming’s a hobby we presumably all love, but it can also be a very time consuming one. Tons of games these days are dozens of hours long, invite us to check in on weekly events and updates, or give us our multiplayer gaming fix. We’re probably all a little different in how much gaming we do a week, and how we fit it in, but depending on your lifestyle, some games are clearly more suited than others.
Plenty of video games come and go, and I suspect most of us buy plenty more than we ever get around to playing. It’s all too easy to build up a monstrous library of cheap games, particularly on PC, but actually finding time to play them all is a different matter.
PC gaming as a hobby can be as expensive or as cheap as you’ll like. While consoles are often pointed to as the cheap and cheerful options, it’s certainly possible to buy or build a PC for $250 and have access to a library of thousands of classics stretching across decades of gaming history. If you want to play the latest AAA blockbusters there are clearly going to be some extra costs involved but in terms of getting in and getting a PC up and running, PC gaming can be dirt cheap.
For a little while now, I’ve been jotting down my predicted review scores for games. There are a ton of games which come and go and I certainly can’t play them all, nor can I have a review ready for most at launch. But I quite enjoy trying to predict what their scores are going to be. These are games I’ve never even played. It’s entirely based on trailers, the prevailing narrative that surrounds them, and generally just reading the room.
Gaming is an interest which is never short on both hilarity and disaster. The push/pull between a rabid fanbase, over-eager executives, and cynical players mean we’re constantly on a ship steering through rocky waters. Publishers want higher margins, gamers want better games, and when these two ideals clash we get our PR disasters. Back in the old days we didn’t really get them at all but, with gaming proliferating into the huge entertainment goliath it is today, failures are both costly and embarrassing. They will say anything they can to paper over the cracks.
Everywhere you look these days you’ve got developers and tech evangelists shouting about the benefits of ray-tracing from the rooftops. Quantic Dreams president David Cage has said the future of graphics tech is not pixels, textures, or polygons, but lighting. An Nvidia representative has said GPUs without ray-tracing could be completely phased out by 2023. Both Microsoft and Sony are claiming their next-gen consoles can do it, in however gimped a form. 
At some point, every gamer wonders about how optimised their PC hardware configuration is. About where their performance bottleneck is. You have a bundle of PC components all singing along nicely, but somewhere in every system there lies a specific point of slow down. That weak-point where more performance power is happening on one side and all that potential performance is not carried through due to encountering weaker components within the PC?
It’s all too easy to get suckered into that blinkered way of thing wherein all we’re being fed is endless sequels and AAA homogeneity. All it takes is a little digging, scratching off the layer of Far Cry New Dawn, Metro Exodus, and F1 2019 (great though they may be) to reveal incredibly refreshing and unique ideas underneath.
It is time, more than money, which has become the battlefield of gaming today. Publishers across the globe are competing for your hours in their pursuit of cash, demanding spiraling hours of commitment daily, weekly, and monthly. Any one person only has so much time to dedicate to gaming though. At some point, something’s got to give. We’ve got to pick and choose which games are worth our time and identify which look as if they’re in it for the long-term.




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