I am something of a rare breed; I am an avid PC gamer (nerd,) but I am also a welder, and enjoy working on cars (blue collar). However, doing both of these things has made me realize a wonderful trait about PC gaming and a rather unsung joy of the PC Master race. The pure joy of tinkering.
One of the greatest joys for many people is building things and having them work. This goes with any DIY project; fixing cars or building PCs. There are few things more satisfying than getting your hands dirty and rooting out a problem. Sure, you can go out and buy a console then plug it in and 99.9% of the time it will work great, but one of the best parts of PC life is knowing how it all works. When you build a PC from the ground up you know every piece that’s in it, you know where every screw goes and what everything does… for the most part. Your blood, sweat, and tears went into that machine that you spend of so much time on. You did the research, picked the parts and then put them all together- exactly what fits your budget and exactly what you want.
Now you might be saying “what happens when something breaks?!?!?” That’s just another fun part. Once you’ve built something, you can fix it. You know that machine inside and out, forwards and backwards. Something starts overheating? No problem, buy a can of air and give it a blow, maybe apply some new thermal paste or install some new fans. On top of physical problems there’s the software side of things. Finding a problem area and fixing it with a new driver, or perhaps reverting to an old one, is a great feeling. Of course there are problems that aren’t easily fixed… that’s when you call the squad’s tech expert: Species. I will be honest, I am far from a computer expert, but that puts me in a great spot to learn and figure out what’s going on. Nothing beats figuring out a problem all on your own.
It’s a few years down the road now, your PC is slowing down, it’s throwing out heat and dropping framerates in the most mundane of games. This brings the best of words to mind. Upgrade. Once you have your base set up, upgrading is easy. You get to do all the fun stuff again! Research and buying, then slapping in the new parts, probably a fresh install of windows, and you’re back on top of the world. Your good old machine has some fresh guts and is good for another few years. And this will probably bring up some more problems that you get to fix!
Finally it comes down to exactly what you want. Anything you build or create for yourself is a reflection of you. That’s why my computer has the most basic of cases but inside it has some great fans and solid parts. Simple and efficient. Armor has a great set up with a reckless amount of RGB, certainly not my bag but that’s the beauty of it. Or Species himself, for example, who probably tinkers around more than he actually games. Everyone can have their perfect set up that matches their style.
In the end it doesn’t really matter. People will always go out and buy a fancy sports car or console. But those people should ALWAYS remember that there’s some kid that has put hours and hours into his cheap 20 year-old Japenese car or dropped the latest CPU and graphics card into his old case, and that kid will always win a race or benchmark when it comes down to it. Sometimes life is better doing things the hard way, tinkering and learning.