The last time I played video games on a PC, I used the arrow keys to move Doom guy in Doom II. WASD controls weren’t even a thing yet.
In the mid 90s, I was put off on the platform by clunky installation processes and steep hardware requirements I couldn’t meet. Can’t run Doom on my 386? That was enough for me to abandon the largest gaming platform entirely.
Admittedly, I haven’t missed it much at all. As a diehard Nintendo fan, their first party titles have given me plenty to play. Any spare time gets filled by Sony or Microsoft. Still have my PlayStation 5 pre-order ready to rock, ensuring that I’ll stick with console gaming for at least one more generation.
Even the so, the PC gaming drought is officially over. How did I end up back here?
The reason I’m even in a position to game on PC again is due to streaming. As my interest in the medium grew, so did my desire for better streaming hardware. Most recently, I built my first-ever PC with an eye on being able to stream at 1080p, 60 frames per second, and at an optimal quality setting.
As it turns out, building a PC that can achieve that feat also allows me to play most modern titles. At this point, there was nothing holding me back…except myself.
Having been burned by a bygone era of PC-gaming, a lot of my stigmas about the platform were tough to shake. I didn’t want the hassle of changing my routine for a scary world that burned me once before.
Finally, I dove in. Picking up yet another copy of Overwatch, it was as safe of a game for me to jump into. The only thing I really needed to contend with were its WASD controls.
Have to admit, mouse aim is great. Decades of using a mouse for other applications helped to shorten the learning curve. What I’m really going to have to work on is my left hand. Moving, jumping, and triggering secondary commands felt very alien to me. Even so, I was still able to contribute to my team in a few casual Overwatch matches. If I put in the time, I’m confident that I can get competent with keyboard and mouse controls.
Setting up and playing a game on a modern PC was an enlightening experience. Granted, I’m only one game deep, but my hang-ups from decades ago appear to have largely subsided thanks to a more streamlined installation process, better graphics scaling, and having spent a bunch of money on good hardware to fix a different problem. Whether I fully immerse myself in the world of PC gaming remains to be seen. But even if my journey ended here, at least I can carry on knowing that PC gaming doesn’t have to be a boogeyman.