The Hypocrisy of PC Gamers

Aug. 15, 2020 [gaming] [technology] [proprietary]

A rallying cry which began to take off around 2011-2013 set out to rectify the ills of the gaming landscape: “Everyone should game on PC which is more free, powerful and accessible!”. And while true, the movement proceeded to miss the point entirely. What has now become obvious is that gamers do not care about freedom or accessibility. In fact, they love the heel that is crushing their necks. They demonstrate incredible eagerness to install rootkits and other malware so long as it gives them access to their digital crack cocaine.

Hypocrisy in action

Users who migrate from gaming consoles to Windows-based PC gaming proudly proclaim that they have ascended when the reality is that they have simply escaped the cluches of one tyrant only to dash into the arms of another. It doesn’t matter which form it takes, proprietary games are designed to artificially restrict users, enforce vendor lock-in and hold games hostage in an effort to legitimize otherwise valueless platforms. This goal remains unwavering and only the methods involved ever change.

The hypocricy escalates to new heights when you begin to scrutinize their arguments. “PC can be more graphically powerful” True, but they do not care for means by which that truth has manifested. I suspect that if a hypothetical gaming console were released today which far outstripped the graphical capabilities of today’s gaming computers and came with a wider selection of games, most PC gamers would convert in a heartbeat. This is because they are just chasing the end results and will lick any boot necessary to get there no matter how badly their freedoms get trampled.

“PC has more games” One of the strongest fuels firing this hypocrisy is the “have it all” mentality. This can especially be observed in users who go out of their way to own every console and conceivable game laucher. Their measure of value is only in how much access they have and to as much quantity as possible. These are individuals who remain enslaved to the fear of missing out.

“PC is more free” Just because a master affords one of his slaves more privileges does not make that slave a free man. Likewise, Windows exposes much more functionality to users than consoles (simply by virtue of consoles being so insanely locked down) such as access to the file system and to install and run unauthorized software (for now). This provides the illusion of user freedom but these are really just privilges which can be revoked at any time. So long as only the author has access to a program’s code, the user is completely at its mercy and, by extension, the author’s.

To add insult to injury, PC gamers today have capitulated to the numerous game launchers, most notably Steam. These are, in and of themselves, closed platforms. Much like having tiny virtual gaming consoles demanding your compliance for reward in game time.


“Just get a console, bro”

This only serves to take a bad situation and make it even worse. It is non-advice to tell people to accept an even more draconion DRM machine which exerts user control in complete totality. Even a OSX or Windows machines still provides some small measure of freedom above anything a console has ever facilitated.

“Just dual boot”

So in order to run one or a handful of additional programs, whose authors refuse to allow to be built for all but a single platform, users must be expected to maintain an entire additional system? Don’t be fooled by the fact that it is in the same chassis as another computer. Please see: “Just have a separate PC”

“Just run a VM”

This only pushes the problem off to another layer. You are still running Windows. Next.

“Just use WINE”

WINE, Eon, Proton wrappers signal to the industry at large that proprietary standards are acceptable. You’ve now just jumped through a set of hurdles like an obedient little dog in order to get to that precious treat at the end of the course, and your owner still hates you.

“Just have a separate PC”

One already has a capable system which already works. The barriers to making a particular piece of software run on it are completely and intentionally artificial. Maintaining a completely separate system alongside it not only bows to the oppressors that gave rise to this situation but encourages their behavior to continue. Additionally, such a strategy also involves dropping hundreds, potentially thousands of dollars that wouldn’t otherwise need to be wasted. Not a solution, pass.