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Tycho / on Fri, Sep 21 2007 at 12:47 am

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The Protip

Still playing as the doctor in TF2, which is to say that I’m still healing whenever the situation doesn’t call for a burst from my fully automatic syringe gun.  It’s my job to bump that Heavy Weapons Guy from merely unstoppable up to “demonic,” or make that Pyro invincible long enough to turn the enclosed space your team is defending into a hellish kiln.  And, should my protege go down, I can usually pop back to base in time to find some other blunt instrument.  The class is bad news, even minus the chaingun.  I can’t bring myself to play as anything else.

This has all got to be a part of some recognized psychological profile.  I place greater value on enabling victory than actually securing it.  Now, this may be related to the fact that I can’t actually secure victory, so perhaps I’ve ginned up this ethical structure to account for my considerable failings.  Also, according to the system, even when my opponents win I have acted in a virtuous manner.  It may be that I’m completely psychotic, maybe that’s my profile.

It can be difficult in a jumble of teammates to know who actually needs health, and since this game’s method of healing is not passive - physically dropping medpacks, or simply radiating health - flipping my reticle over a leaping flea circus to find my patients does not produce joy.  When I think about performing sweeps like that with an analog stick, I immediately think about not performing them, playing some other game instead.  Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure it’s up to me.

Most of my “PC Friends” left the platform long ago, the moment that console multiplayer became an authentic proposition.  I still have a couple, and their profiles twinkle in the Steam Community‘s velvet firmament, but the lion’s share of the people I want to play with essentially see the PC as a satanic altar.

Outside of Phantasy Star Online, say, which was a good game but had none of the accoutrements we associate with a robust online experience, as a group we played console games on our own time and then agreed to meet online for that month’s succulent multiplayer offering.  I came to consider this portion of the day real gaming, and the rest of it children’s entertainment, like puppetry.  I’m wondering the extent to which this was ever true.  My favorite PC developers have been shifting their focus to consoles for years, now.  And I’ve been doing it along with them, without even realizing it.

I have enough machine for the mods and independent offerings I still rely on the platform for, but it’s nowhere near what’s required for the retail space these days.  So I’m building up my machine again, with a mixture of Terran technology and recovered Phasar artifacts acquired at fabulous personal expense.  Have I been missing something?  We shall see.


(CW)TB out. 

  we can find new ways of living


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