I HAVE A DREAM, A DIGITAL DREAM! (Not to sould like MLK Jr. up in here, but we need one.)

I HAVE A DREAM,  A DIGITAL DREAM!  (Not to sould like MLK Jr. up in here, but we need one.)

To Paraphrase the great Martin Luther King Jr.’s Iconic speech

I have a dream. A dream that one day, the gamers shall rise up, and live out the true meaning of its creed. “We the Gamers, shall rise to the challenge with which we are presented. We the gamers, shall gather together to prove our skills, and though separated be they by Teams, Factions, Clans, Guilds, or objectives, we are one in our purpose.”

I have a dream, that one day, the holder of the controller and keyboard alike will be able to fight side by side in the great arena of battle.

I have a dream, that one day across the internet, and in all those that it connects, there will be comradery where there is now disparity. That within themselves they see only a teammate or a competitor.

I have a dream, that in the passion of the game, A player is not judged by the device in his or her hand, but by the skill with which they wield it.

I have that dream today!

Okay, now that I’ve had had my fun with speech paraphrasing, I suppose I should get to my point. We all know that the console battling has been at record levels since the release of xbox and ps3, and ya know that? that’s fine, be proud of your possessions, you bought the system you wanted, that’s obviously displayed when you BOUGHT the system.

All 4 systems have some really huge disadvantages right now, and i don’t foresee the next gen systems changing that anytime soon. ( i am counting Wii U and PC there in case you were confused) I’d just like to list them quickly.

  • XBOX1/PS4 – I’m grouping these two together because i look at them the same way, and they both share the same flaws.
    • To please the elephant in the room first, they’ll never compete graphically with the cutting edge Pc hardware that pc advocates boast.
    • The community- my first advent into online gaming was with Halo 2 a while back, and i seemed to spend more time getting verbally berated than i spent actually playing. Was at a friend’s house recently while he was playing black ops2, not much has changed as it seems.
    • You are limited to wither what’s at walmart, or what’s on the playstation/microsoft store online. Yes of course you can buy of amazon and such, but many games ( like crysis for ps3) can only be purchased from the playstation store, and at premium prices.
    • No Backwards compatibility.
    • You will also most likely buy a computer/laptop/tablet in addition to your console to do every day tasks, and to get a console AND a computer, you’ll be looking at a very low end computer with the money leftover.
  • Wii/Wii U-  they occupy the same market share really.
    • Their uniqueness should be noted, but game-play often suffers.
    • Nintendo has always compensated for it’s comparatively weak performance with the quality of its games, ( ex: Mario cart, Super Smash bros, Legend of zelda, Donkey kong, etc.) but the Wii U has very few titles that flaunt its features
    • No backwards compatibility.
    • You will also most likely buy a computer/laptop/tablet in addition to your console to do every day tasks, and to get a console AND a computer, you’ll be looking at a very low end computer with the money leftover.
  • PC- That’s right, my Horse in this race has some flaws as well, and I’m not going to sit here and pretend they don’t exist
    • Elephant in the room time, Cost, To get a pc that will perform as well as the next gen consoles look to spend $850-900.  and once a screen is added as well can get near a thousand, however since consoles don’t come with screens( can be done slightly cheaper if you build yourself but some call that a hassle, others a passion
    • A point i personally don’t endorse, but can see the merit of, is people who work in offices and comment,” I spend my whole work day looking at computer screens, when i get home i want nothing to do with a computer.”  i can argue that a console is technically a computer as well but what good will that do.
    • Slow-down/viruses, now every real pc gamer that reads this is going to laugh at this point, and when i see someone’s computer loaded up with pop ups, coupon finders, and toolbars, i cringe, but the reality is, that many console gamers aren’t the most tech savy users on the market. (i’m just going with statistics here, and am in no way insulting the technical intelligence of the mass of Console gamers, but I’ve fixed computers for many people that also happen to own consoles, and just wow. Those are people i don’t let anywhere near my computers when they are at my house)
    • Locked in the chair-  The ” but i prefer to play on my tv from my couch.” Is pretty valid, it’s true you can hook up your pc to your tv and hook up an xbox/ ps3 controller, or of course use a keyboard and mouse from your lap or a table or something, but it’s not quite as straightforward, and many people would prefer to have a computer at a desk AND something to play games on, so you’re left either moving it every time, having it stuck as one or the other, or getting 2 of them ( which is what i chose.)
    • Community Quantity- I’m not sure whether the average pc gamer is just incredibly fickle and ready to move on to the sequel of a game never to revisit it again, or there might be a socioeconomic correlation between having enough money to buy a gaming pc and always having enough cash for the latest games, but it seems to create the image that there’s nobody at all playing the older games anymore. and even on the newest games attendance is fairly shotty. I recently picked up battlefield 3, and i’m not sure if it’s something in my quick match settings, but i keep being put on under populated rush servers, so it ends up being about 6v6 on a map intended for 32-64 people.  so either alot of time is spent playing hide and seek between mile away snipers  with better guns than you, and an armada of dug in tanks blocking the objectives you’re supposed to be destroying.
    • Community Quality- PC gamers seem more commonly to adopt a lone wolf play style and don’t communicate much at all.  So team tactics are often not very successful, sort of like the polar opposite of console’s really.
    • You can’t lend/sell your games (legally), if you want your friend to play the latest game they need to buy it themselves, or use your steam account, which may i point out is against the terms of service.
    • Instantaneousness and simplicity setting up a console and playing the game you jsut bought, just can’t be matched by PC, and whether through Steam, Origin, Uplay, or just installing the games individually, it’s really not even comparable in terms of “ease of use”

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT EVERYONE GO BUY PC’S RIGHT NOW!… wait a second… did I Just make a list of cons for PC gaming twice as long as the console’s cons?

if you’re still reading this, first off thanks, i really appreciate it, second, you’ve probably noticed i came into this talking about equality, and then made a giant bulleted list of only the bad things about all sides involved, and how no option is perfect. That’s because there ISN’T a one size fits all, right for everyone answer. We’ve all been right all along.

WE AS A CULTURE need to unite, not in platform, but in COMMUNITY.  I have a dream, my dream is not of every player logging onto the same box with the same symbols, but instead for all the players with whatever boxes they prefer, coming together, and playing together, at least to have the option. There have been one or two games to push for inter-platform play, One of which was Portal 2, and there have been a few others but most are intie titles i’ve never heard of and what good is a game that caters to a wider crowd, if no crowd exists.

So why hasn’t cross platform gaming been a priority? With some of the best selling games in the world being First person shooters in which the EXACT same game has three separate communities, which all eventually die out, but why are they all separated?  I’ve compiled a list if reasons i’ve found, but nome of them seem very substantial or even contradictory.

  • Unfair Advantage
    • Microsoft has been cited to have worked on a project before in which “professional” console gamers were put up against “average” PC players. The words “Destroyed every time” were used, saying that the PC players had an almost unfair advantage.
      • on youtube there are hundreds of videos of playing on pc with controllers, and they do relatively well, there, but on pc their is no aim assist, so that’s two learning curves, re-learning to aim without having aim assist, and competing with other pc players, who play slightly differently from how you’re used to.
      • the XIM3, The XIM3 is an adapter that lets you use a keyboard and mouse with your xbox 360/ps3, it has been around for a while now, and i’ve seen some pc gamers going in having both the advantage of aim assist, AND their keyboard and mouse specialty, and getting some pretty good scores, but even then it’s not like they go 30-0  scores over 6:1 are pretty uncommon even with XIM edge, so if balance and fairness is so important to microsoft, why do they not ban this device? While Microsoft does not endorse it, they do not mention it as a violation of terms of use. Legally they can’t either, because it does not “arttificially augment the player’s ability”.
      • No other information of this alleged project has been released either, all we know are leaks, which leads to the question, how was this test done, were the console gamers just plugged into PC’s suddenly stripped of their auto aim in a game they weren’t familiar with? Were the pc gamers allowed their own keyboards and mice with their exact sensitivity settings already stored on them while the “pro” console gamers had to traverse the unfamiliarity of configuring controller sensitivities on pc?  How long WAS this test, because i know that “professional” console gamers time is pretty highly valued for practice. Maybe I’m calling question to this that is unnecessary, and a custom firmware was developed for the pro gamer’s controller to grant them aim assist, while not giving such an unfair advantage to their PC counterparts.
  • Technical impossibility due to compatibility issues. THIS is the number one reason i hear, and also the worst.
    • It’s been done, addressing the elephants first, Portal 2 DID this, I’ve played it, and no latency/control issues were at all apparent.
    • The way servers work –  the way a server/ client game works, be it for Call of duty, Battlefield Counterstrike, Killing Floor, left 4 dead,or Bad company, is all the same, regardless of platform. Here’s a plain English run through of what happens behind the scenes of a server hosted online game.  Hereafter, “client” shall represent you/your console/pc is doing, and server shall of course represent what the server is doing.
      • Server is set up and server address information is given so the client can find it.
      • Client connects to server, and waits for other users to connect, or for the game to start.
      • Server- when the game starts, is given in plain text information, referencing the games master table for example if you have green camo it sends the server information that you are wearing camo pattern: D, and wielding weapon g9. ( this is why if you load before another player, they will appear as the default character model until the server processes information otherwise, and relays that information to the client.
      • Client- after being told by the server what all the other players look like sends your locational information in the form of x.y.z coordinates to the server, as well as a number in degrees to represent what direction you are facing, and a 3rd positional number that tells the server whther you are standing, crouching, or proned.
      • Server- After receiving the locations, orientations, and positions from all its players, it sends all the gathered information back all clients.,
      • The client then renders the other player’s characters in accordance with the information the server gave it, and every time you move the server’s position for you us updated.
        • The server essentially only processes you as a hitbox/hitboxes in infinite 3 dimmensional space, with no idea what the actual map looks like, or what is between you all.
      • When you fire your weapon, your console/pc calculates the trajectory of the shot in real time and issues the information, ( if you’re shooting at a wall it’s a short line from you to the wall, a sniper rifle round across the map being a longer line or arc depending  whether the game accounts for bullet drop or not.)  your device will render the effects of the bullet firing without the servers input at all. and the server tell tell all the other devices to render the bullet’s path as well if it is within the other player’s viewable area.
      • If the bullet is a “HIT” which is to say that the line your device sent to the server happened to coincide with the position indicated to be occupied by another player, his/her hp will be reduced accordingly, and a message will be sent to the client as such, to display their newly reduced hp. If that hp puts them below 0, a message will be sent to the server that the player is dead. Which the server sends out in turn to everyone, prompting all the clients whose field of view would be affected, so the clients can processess points for kills/ assists, and so that they are shown the player dying.
      • That’s what happens when ONE player fires ONE shot at ONE other player, a moment of silence for the poor coder who has to type all this out in script when making these games.
    • as mentioned above, it’s still the same game, yes it has been converted to run with the ultra proprietary xbox and playstation operating system, but it’s the same data, referencing (hopefully) the same master item/texture/sounds tables.

I may add to this later, and it may indeed be true that some  games DO give pc players an advantage, why has cross platform not at least been introduced between the X-box and Playstation platforms? I suspect that there is  some financial reasoning at work here, but what on earth could be substantial enough to cause Microsoft and Sony to miss out on that ” most of my friends have playstation and I have an X-box” game purhase.

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