The entry below is classified as a LEGACY post, meaning that it was written (well) before the current version of Avalonstar was released. Although these posts have survived the numerous moves over years, there is no guarantee that they've survived the trip unscathed (especially the links).

Never Talk to Techies About Consoles

There are certain subjects that we are taught never to bring up when in a conversation with others. If I were to ask this question, then answers like, political affiliation, religion and sexual orientation would come up. Sure, we all know about that. However, there are a whole different set of subjects you should never bring up when talking to a resident techie. Since it happens to be the week of the Electronics Entertainment Expo or E3, that topic happens to be, consoles.

For as long as I can remember, I've always hated talking about consoles with my friends, especially those who had a background in computing. Yes, even at the mere age of 13, back then you could say you were avid in "computing." But that's not the point. The point is, unless you are one of these people who like to strut just how big your RAM happens to be, save yourself some time and never bring up the argument of certain consoles being better than others. I'm an avid gamer, by the way, and I happen to be strictly a console gamer for physical reasons; my hands don't want to work with the whole WASD configuration. But please don't talk about consoles versus PC gaming or else I'll have to eat you alive.

But I've strayed off topic, let's get back into the mix. Techies! Yes. If I can remember correctly, one of the earliest occurrences of this happening was when the Xbox came out to combat the Playstation 2 or even when the Genesis and SNES were launched. We'll use the Xbox/PS2 example. Anyway, on one side you had the Sony people, tooting the extensive library of games that the PS2 boasted at launch; on the other side you had the Microsoft people, tooting hardware numbers. Note how I emphasize the word "hardware." The minute you brought the subject of hardware out, the guns would come flying out and little girls would be left as victims for the utter onslaught that was about to happen. So I would be coming down the walkway and get shot in the ear with a stray phrase, such as, "The Xbox has a BLAH BLAH BLAH processor which is 50000x more powerful than the PS2", etc. Shot right in the ear. Now I am pretty protective of my ears. More shots would come flying by, and I would literally want to throw a hydrogen bomb at the group of boys. However, I couldn't do that, since I was the shy and geeky techie at the time.

Exaggerated story, not so exaggerated phrases.

Whenever it comes time to move on to a new generation of gaming, the stats whore's always seem to come out of their hiding places to win wars with their utter knowledge of why they know a console is better. Isn't it annoying? Or am I the only one that has suffered this problem? It happens everywhere, on forums, between friends and even on TV. (And let me know if you find a good channel for gamers please. A GOOD one.) This has happened so much; I'm desensitized, but it still annoys me. When I saw a thread in one of my mailing lists about the Playstation 3, I deleted it. Why? Because I knew they would all start talking about specs, and I don't like to wake up in the morning to 100 emails talking about which system is technically better.

Call me naive, but playing games is about playing the game. Whether you like it or not is a matter of personal opinion and to compare systems based on specs in addition to bias over those specs will get you nowhere. I love all the systems for their different games. Call me crazy, but I'll make an effort to get a system if there are games that I'll be willing to play. I remember people calling me a Microsoft worshiper when I slept at a Best Buy to get an Xbox 360. I just wanted some of that HD action, but if the launch games sucked, I wouldn't have wanted it. I guess it just confuses me more than most people. All three next-generation systems will have their games. For example, I'm looking forward to Halo 3 on the 360, Final Fantasy XIII or Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3 and WarioWare for the Wii. And yes, I'll be getting all three.

I bet you're looking for a moral. Well, here - I'll try to make one up. It's our nature as humans to battle like this, and even though I could say "let's just all get along," I know that won't happen. But if there was a little more understanding and a bit less arguing, then we could go about our daily gaming lives without wasting our breath trying to feel better than somebody else. But this could apply to anything, OS X vs. Windows or Apple vs. PC. But again, it happens to be gaming week.

Avalonstar is the 22-year-old personal website of Bryan Veloso: content creator, retired professional user interface designer, and compass of purpose.
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