This post is exactly about what its title says. Is PC Gaming, as we know it, dying because of Facebook? Its a strong statement to make, but I’m saying it with a blunt tone, because its kinda depressing.
I was reading this article on Kotaku, which had the heading “If This Is How PC Gaming Will Live, Maybe It Should Die”, when it struck me, as to where PC Gaming stood in the 90s, where it stands now, and where will PC Gaming be placed in the coming future.
Most of us are noticing these countless Facebook games that are propping up day-by-day, and the countless number of users they’re attracting. Games of the likes of Farmville, Cityville, other gazillion ‘villes’, Mafia Wars etc. My facebook, which I use barely, gets flooded everyday with some game invites from a friend who I didn’t know that well. Then I noticed another friend, who wasnt really into gaming, but who I knew pretty well, starts spamming my account with those damned invites. And then, the thing that hit the spot for me: was when a friend of mine. who is the type of a person who owns all consoles and upgrades his PC every bloody six months, in short, really into some serious gaming, starts spamming my FB account with Farmville invites. That was it for me. Another one bites the dust!
And the really messed up part about this whole thing was, here you have a guy, who’s played quality games his entire life, has finally succumbed to those shitty Facebook games. And since the normal human cycle consists of evolving oneself in every aspect of life, intellectually, financially, emotionally, socially etc., this person has devolved and taken five steps back, when it comes to gaming.
So what does this signify? It this where PC Gaming is heading towards? Are we so time deprived and so socially hungry that we need to play these so called ‘social games’ to fulfill our hedonistic needs? These Facebook games don’t work on the concept of a unique visual experience through a definitive storyline, which a normal PC game consists of. These games are based on collection and growth, without any visual experience or a storyline or characters or music or competitiveness. They rely solely on the addiction they induce in the player, by feeding them with the illusion that they’re playing a game, when the player is actually just following a routine.
No doubt Facebook games appeal to a broader demograph. In a major underdeveloped country (gaming wise) like India, where the average Indian cannot afford a decent rig to play normal PC games, and consoles being way out of the reach, they do have Facebook games as an option. So the flaw is actually not in the game itself, its in the root causes of what makes developers create games like this. Are they aiming for this demograph because they know that they dont have access or resources to play decent games, thereby, lowering these people’s standard as well as their own? Why not, make some ‘real’ games, which are optimized enough to reach these people, huh? The developers of such Facebook games are just lazy to develop these ‘real’ cost-effective and minimalist resource hungry games. Lazy, or hungry for those green bills with portraits of some nationalist character. They’re getting away by publishing cheap games like Farmville, which is not even a worthy pure gaming experience. Just addiction. Obsessive Compulsive.
PC Gaming is where the roots of gaming belong, and it should stay right there. We all know this as a fact that a mainstream gaming computer has 20 times the processing power of an XBOX 360 or a PS3. That is not the point I’m trying to make, I’m just saying where PC Gaming stands, where it can reach, and what scope it has. Looking at the current scenario, that doesn’t seem the case.