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Why I Decided to Leave Consoles Behind.. My Journey into Being a Generational Gamer..







Q: What IS a Generational Gamer?


A: Someone familiar with console generations and console gaming, but has left it behind in pursuit of PC gaming.


This was me and a lot of other people when around that time (2010) people starting thinking:  


What's wrong with consoles?.. well nothing really, they do what they say they will.


But then.. I would prefer to save a lot of money with a DIY solution for my gaming and not having to pay membership for Xbox would be good, that takes a chunk of money per year..


My journey began around 2010.. few other things had happened, I broke up with my ex.. there was a few parts to this.. one part being the way the English had treated her for me being Scottish.. at an English Airport an English Official had done something unspeakable to her because she had told them she was going to see her Scottish boyfriend/fiance, she was ex-US Army with all sorts of flying clearances.. after that I don't blame her for not wanting to come back. 


But before this, I lived in upstate NY for a few months.. and I had said to her many times I would like to build a gaming PC.. I had built PC's before and used to blog on Tech.. I was very familiar with operating systems at that time, I regularly used Ubuntu and Windows and owned a MacBook and so was familiar with OSX.. but never a 'gaming rig'..


I got home in summer, did the build one night.. and booted up.. but it shut itself down. I was shocked as I had built many PCs before.. I spent the next two months, with only a MacBook hooked up to the TV and trying to fix this strange PC

problem.. after those two months, my morale in building was destroyed.


I bought a cheap PC for parts off eBay that had a Pentium D and like a slob who had his heartbroken and just gave up on life.. I just put up with a low rent experience. My ex and I broke up, I got phone call from Virgin Media, it was a salesman, he wanted to know if I would be interested in a V+ box.. we talked and I said I wasn't interested, but then he said I could split it up into 3 payments.. this interested me more and I agreed. it was £210.. £70 per installment.. the bill came and it was over by £115, not £70 as agreed.. I was furious and I couldn't afford to pay it even if I wasn't.


So at a time where I *needed* my friends to comfort me, as my friends at that time had all moved away.. I lost my internet and was isolated with just my thoughts and a broken PC. Two weeks alone with only my thoughts.

I tried and tried to get the PC working.. sometimes it would boot then suddenly cut out.. I had disassembled and rebuilt it dozens of times.. with no joy.


Months passed and so did Christmas.. all on a janky PC that was meant to be 'just for parts'. I kept trying every so often to fix the other PC as it bugged me.. near the end of winter sparks and smoke came flying out the upper left side of the board.. it was around March 2011, and I was starting to use the awful Pentium D and the graphics card I had bought for the gaming PC.. I bumped into a random stranger.. he was creating a game with MMO features and I had installed due to its low specs and he *just happened* to be in when I logged.. he asked what I thought of his game etc.. and we ended up talking about the Pentium D PC and how tragic it was.. I told him about my building morale and iirc he encouraged me to give building another go.. I wasn't sure as I was still pretty crushed by that experience 


I had saved up enough to try a fresh build with all fresh parts.. and that's exactly what I did.. and on first boot.. everything worked!


Oh.. waves of relief washed over me! That confidence I had before, of building over 20 PCs jumped back in to my heart, took a moment to curse out that motherboard and I stopped.. and had a smoke while installing Windows. The world made sense again..


I think I even remember the specs.. iirc AMD AM2+ 955 (B55 unlocked to 4 cores) 8GB DDR2 GTS 450 1GB (GF116-200).. Windows 7, a fancy Zalman Water cooling tower on the CPU and a fancy Zalman ZM850-HP Heatpipe PSU.


I started gaming in ernest.. I was unsure who (platform/client) to trust.. I tried a few free games then randomly.. on the GFWL client.. GTA IV and Bioshock 2 came up for 49p each.. well I couldn't resist that! BS2 was the first game I ever completed on PC, I went on to buy the first one.. I even for the second time completed GTA IV (first time was on Xbox 360).


When I saw I could complete a whole game from start to finish I was hooked.. no wait.. half way through the game I became fascinated with frame rates and so ordered a GTX 560 2GB Gainward Phantom..

I became 'enraptured' in Rapture.. and that was me sold.. and I also sold my Xbox 360 and meager 30 games that had taken me 6 years to amasse.. 2 years after this I would have over 300 games in my steam library alone.


Can't Cook/Won't Cook.. and this is me 11 years later with Keyboard and Mouse. Still love using my PC like a console.. for years I felt like I was cheating the system, using my PC with controller *feels* like I'm getting away with something.. hehe like its simply a console that I get better graphics and much much cheaper games.. I don't need to travel anywhere to pick up physical copies and I just pay, get a code and put that in the appropriate client..


I get everything I want from a client but don't have to pay the heavy price tag I did back in 2010..


Do I miss console gaming?... not really miss a friend I used to play with.. miss Zelda.. but that's it, and I've saved a fortune..

(aparts from this chip shortage) over the years, I choose when I upgrade and by how much.. when I saw this it inspired me to:


Ditch the TV licence (£170 per year) and go streaming only, such as Netflix and APV.. no cable box monthly £100.  12 x 100 = £1200 - £216 for NF and APV + 170 saving me £1154 per year


Ditch a landline and go all in with Skype.. internet only.. no line rental or phone bills (except a free mobile thing I got.. unlimited calls and texts).. my landline is now, Skype and people can phone me there (owned number). Costs £50 per year, unli calls + land number.. Virgin Media was £20 per month, so 12 x 20 = £240 - £50 = saving me £190 a year..


iirc Xbox Live was £70 a year..  for a total saving of £1414 per year. Add to this getting games for two thirds to 1/10th of the price.. not too shabby.


Streaming is like DIY TV.. you don't have random stuff you have to watch then 1 time out of ten you actually enjoy.. it's all up to you to think about what you want to watch.. just like when you play games, you decide what to play..






Just a little thanks to peeps back then (2011) at OCN who encouraged me, they softened the blow too and provided invaluable help.


Don't care about sports. I'm really not missing anything.


2 years after struggling with that PC, someone had offered to buy old parts from me. While I was arranging the parts I saw the old motherboard from the failed PC.. I looked on the back.. and ohw wow! The board was a Asus AM2+ board, *from the factory* the traces had stayed out on the translucent orange ribbon and not sunk into one corner of the PCB.. it was like 3 inches of it just how-do-you-doodley-do waving around at the back of the board.. it was touching the board and shorting.

I have never seen anything like this before or since I am glad to say.. no wonder I couldn't get that thing to boot properly. Totally not my fault.




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