PC Gaming is only for rich, obsessed engineers with way too much time on their hands.
Getting a PC suitable for playing most modern games is easier these days than picking out a car — so imagine my surprise when I came across this oddly titled article at Vice’s technology section: PC Gaming Is Still Way Too Hard by Emanuel Maiberg. The article is full of misleading non sequiturs, bad choices and just straight out baldfaced lies; but don’t take me on my word, I’ll spend the next few paragraph’s debunking it bit by bit.
It’s all too unreasonable!
Let’s start with Maiberg’s intro:
Here’s Motherboard’s super simple guide to building your first gaming PC:
Step 1: Have an unreasonable amount of disposable income.
Step 2: Have an unreasonable amount of time to research, shop around, and assemble parts for your computer.
Step 3: Get used to the idea that this is something you’re going to have to keep investing time and money in as long as you want to stay at the cutting edge or recommended specifications range for new PC games.
- So first off, we’ve gotta have an “unreasonable amount” of cash on hand, right? That’s part of why Maiberg reccomends you just go for a current gen gaming console! That makes sense right, computers are expensive. Or not — even buying prebuilt gaming PCs, you can get low to mid range hardware from between $300–$500 — as opposed to those cheap, inexpensive consoles like the PS4, which retails for $355 new with one controller and no playable games.
- Next, we have to have more “unreasonable” things, like tons of time to research and find the best parts! Well, let’s ignore that we already know you can buy prebuilt gaming PCs and say you want to save money and get the best bang for your buck. Unfortunately, there are absolutely no tools available to help you easily pick out the parts for your computer like websites that do all the compatibility checking for you, sort parts by prices at multiple retailers, ratings and reviews. There are also absolutely no online communities that post tutorials and offer 24/7 help to people building their first computer. And there are definitely not millions of tutorial videos available for building any kind of PC. And of course, building a PC takes days and days of work, not 30 to 90 minutes of clicking parts together. (If you’re not getting it yet, this is called sarcasm.)
- And last but not least, every time a new game comes out, you’re going to have to spend tons of cash and time to upgrade your PC. After all, it’s not like modern games run on hardware that’s 2 to 3 years older than the current generation of consoles.
So, with a start like this, we’ve got to be looking at a great, informative article. Let’s move on!
But… but it was hard for me!
Maiberg justifies his opening falsehoods with the fact that’s he’s recently built a new PC for gaming, and it was just “too damn hard”. He continues by letting us know he’s finally saved up enough money for his PC, however much he thinks that is, and that nVidia has release their new GeForce 10 series, with a $700 GPU, but no worry, he went for the much more reasonable $450 GPU, instead of something for less than half as much that still would have played all his games just fine. But, apparently he didn’t do enough research to figure that out, even though he claims that doing that research is a “full time job”. No, instead he asked an editor at PC Gamer if it was a good video card, and a simple “yes” meant that’s where he should spend his money!
If you take a look at the image in Maiberg’s article, you’ll also see that he chose a ridiculously expensive motherboard with terrible reviews for who knows what reason. Probably because it looked cool. He also decided to drop $200 on a case instead of a reasonable $40-$80 option because he thought other options on the only retailer he sampled were ugly. I guess a full time job like researching your parts doesn’t matter much when your computer needs to be a fashion accessory too.
As the article goes on, Maiberg explains that he spent a completely reasonable sum of just under $2,000 — and that’s not including a monitor, mouse and keyboard. At this point, I’m not sure yet how he’s reached that incredible sum with the parts he’s talked about, but given what we’ve seen of his research skills and purchase reasoning so far, I think one can imagine.
Here comes the FRUSTRATION
Maiberg lets us know that it’s been expensive now, but not frustrating yet. But the “nerve-wrecking”[sic] is yet to come. Maiberg starts by rolling up his carpet, terrified of magical static electricity somehow creeping up into his parts (instead of you know, touching metal, like the $200 hunk of aluminum he just bought, to ground himself).
It turns out he did manage to find a source to explain the basics to him, PC Gamer’s how to build a gaming PC: a beginner’s guide. I guess that’s why the knowledge of how to do it all, the only actual difficult part of building a computer wasn’t something he complained about. But can we blame him? Apparently PC Gamer didn’t have guides or an editor to ask on how to write an article. Maiberg continues on to talk about the myriad of online resources that helped him figure out how to build his computer — one wonders why he couldn’t find those for his parts “research”.
Maiberg then goes on to shed further light on his frustrations, blaming his inability to put blue pegs into blue holes and red pegs into red holes on “badly written” manuals with “conflicting information”. He goes on to say that the 160-page manual that came with his ridiculous, poorly chosen motherboard was too hard to read and didn’t tell him where to plug in anything (even though every motherboard manual ever made has full diagrams of the entire connection layout with labeled keys).
The author doesn’t let all these strange heiroglyphics like diagrams and english words weigh him down though — no what really puts a damper on building his new PC is his “big, dumb, sausage fingers” which made it far too hard to use a screwdriver, something a consumer would never understand. In his defense, getting some of those screws in the right holes can be a little testy — I manage to do it slowly though, even with Carpal Tunnel syndrome that shakes my hands around like Bart Simpson after pranking his father. I guess having kielbasa for digits is a pretty bad disability after all.
After complaining about the difficult, tasking experience of using one screwdriver, Maiberg goes on to laud Apple — who, as the seller of the world’s most expensive common consumer hardware is apparently not too expensive for our hypocritical author. He continues to say his mother could upgrade the RAM on her iMac, as if the process weren’t almost exactly the same as doing so on a PC — the only difference being having to open a tiny door instead of a large one.
Eventually, though, he figures out that he could have bought a prebuilt PC, but only mentions prohibitively overpriced retailers like Falcon Northwest instead of the hundreds of others he definitely did not intentionally omit to make a point he knew was wrong.
Maiberg then goes back to praise Apple some more, complaining that adding a water cooler to his PC was very hard — as if water cooling were the standard and not a specific hobbyist application for PC enthusiasts. Continuing on, he claims he spent 5 hours putting together his poorly thought-out purchase and even cut himself doing it. I don’t know how he managed that; probably a symptom of meat-hands.
For the rest of the article, our lovely Vice author rambles on quoting the apparent only person he’s ever talked to about PC gaming and complaining that others enjoy what brought him frustration by insulting them as much as possible without namecalling.
So, what the fuck, Emanuel?
Despite the flat out lies, ignorance, and misconceptions made in every one of his points, Emanuel Maiberg somehow manages to reference the communities and resources that would have saved him hours of work, and nearly a thousand dollars had he actually tried to utilize them. The only thing that seems to be too hard for our poor author is actually writing an article that supports his own views.
Frankly, I can’t believe a site calling itself “Motherboard” let a turd like this float into the pool.