The Life and Times of a Pseudo-PC Gamer

A guest article by Sebastian Clarkin

The Life and Times of a Pseudo-PC Gamer

I’ve got a funny story for you.

So I bought my new laptop computer in April, and I spec’d it to be future-proof; when I buy something, I’ll pay however much it takes to not have to deal with any bullshit later on. I even figured that this thing’s Quad-Core Intel processor, brand-new graphics card, 4 GB of memory and 500 GB hard drive would make it a decent gaming rig (I’m primarily an Xbox 360 guy, so I figured that as long as I could just get my StarCraft, Minecraft, and literally anything put out by Valve, I’d be happy. After all, aren’t those the only games worth playing on PC?)

So here’s the kicker:

My hot new gaming rig? My landfall into the world of the PC Master Race? A MacBook Pro.

It’s okay, you can laugh. It’s supposed to be funny. Just know that the last thing I want to do is spark another online “Mac vs. PC” war. It’s pointless… and not just because Macs are superior.

What I wanted to do was, well, piss and moan for a bit.

You may be surprised, but I too am coming off the high of the Summer Steam Sale and the third Humble Indie Bundle. I wasn’t anticipating this. I was more than satisfied with StarCraft. I even redeemed an old code for Torchlight on Steam. About a month later, Minecraft put me over the moon. Team Fortress 2 was free-to-play for a whole week. I loved playing that game on my 360! Wait, it’s free-to-play forever? Okay, now I’ve got all my bases covered: action/RPG, FPS, strategy, and whatever word you would use to describe Minecraft.

Then it started.

With the Steam Summer Sale, I excitedly logged in every day to see which nine games were on sale… and which one of those nine I could play on my Mac. What the hell, man? Mac gaming seemed so awesome just a few days before, but the Steam Sale shattered me. I felt like a newly married man who had just learned about sex. Although I could still dabble in this new realm, I knew I would never get the full experience. So many missed opportunities!

Some days, I was thankful to Valve for remembering me. I ended up using the sale to pick up the Half-Life 2 series, Left 4 Dead 2, the Penny Arcade games, AI War: Fleet Command and all its expansions, and a wonderful little gem called Frozen Synapse. Pick it up.

Look, whatever you're into, okay?

But that wasn’t every day of the sale. Oh no. Tell me, dear PC gamer: have you ever heard of a little bit of software called Farming Simulator 2011? Seriously, it’s a real game. And it costs $30. And it has two expansions, for $10 and $12, respectively. If you were a Mac gamer like myself, you’d be intimately familiar with the “game,” since it pops up a lot when you browse the Mac-only pages of Steam. I can only assume that games like Farming Simulator 2011 are part of a government conspiracy to determine which of us are the best candidates for liquidation.

What I’m saying is, there’s a certain psychological torture that comes with being a Mac gamer.

But I endured the pain and even did it with a smile like I had Stockholm syndrome; where else could I buy my games? I watched Terraria and Magicka strut their stuff right on past me. It took the whole day for me to convince myself I didn’t really want Total War: Shogun 2. Knights of the Old Republic was dragged away from me by men in black trenchcoats and I was forced to watch as it screamed out for me to play it again, as I had done oh so many years ago.

I had made out with a decent haul, but the sale still left me wanting.

Osmos: strategic, cathartic and esoteric.

Enter the Humble Indie Bundle 3, which added twelve fantastic titles to my collection (Osmos is my favorite so far). The cool thing about the HIB3, on top of it being the greatest thing in the history of ever, is that it shows a breakdown of how many PC, Mac and Linux gamers contributed. Mac gamers are no small sliver on this pie chart, and are more generous with their money than the so-called Master Race.

Now, I’ve never taken a business course before, but it seems to me like there’s a largely untapped market here. I’ve also never done much research into what it takes to make a game Mac-compatible, but I know this: it seems that just about every indie developer puts out their game for both PC and Mac. I understand that it takes extra time and money to put your game on a Mac, but these aren’t people who have money to lose, and it looks like the money-making trend is to publish for both platforms. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see (nearly) every indie developer doing it, right?

But what about the companies who do have money to lose? I’m talking about Valve, Blizzard and – why the hell not? – Mojang. Arguably (and if I were to follow through on the argument I would win), these three developers are keeping PC gaming alive.

All their games are for Mac.

So give me an excuse for a mid-size developer not making a game Mac-compatible, when both the largest and smallest developers have obviously found that any extra costs are recouped.

Don’t get me wrong after reading this. It’s a great time to be a Mac gamer. For instance, I can finally say the words “Mac gamer” with a straight face. I really do feel like I have all my bases covered now. But I want more bases. Please, developers, let me give you my money. I really, really, want you to have it.

Please? I actually thought about buying Farming Simulator 2011.

Sebastian Clarkin thinks he’s better than you. Humor him. He also has a website which he tries to update regularly and thinks you should totally visit. Again, humor him.

5 Responses to “The Life and Times of a Pseudo-PC Gamer”
  1. Jake Senior says:

    I’m in the same frame of mind. What i’d do to play Oblivion, KotR or Unreal Tournament on my iMac now I don’t own a console…
    I get it that they are new releases but other not new titles have had it converted so can they please do it?

  2. TheMink says:

    Since apple just became the biggest company on the planet, you would think that would be a market that developers would want to tap into. Like RIGHT NOW.

    • Chad M. says:

      I thought Macs were too hip to play games?

      Microsoft still has 80% market share. Come on, you can’t buy a Mac and not know it’s a crap system for gaming on (lack of upgradability, for starters, no right click also). It’s like picking up a Mario game and then complaining about the lack of

      Most Mac owners aren’t gamers, therefore it doesn’t have a lot of games (save whatever scraps Blizzard throws them, and the output of Ambrosia software). Macs aren’t gaming computers. Frankly a decent gaming PC is cheaper.

    • Ad says:

      Apple is huge based upon their products which run IOS, not OSX. Hence, Angry Birds making a bajillion dollars but there probably not being enough money in it to port Rage or MW3 to a system which won’t sell a great number.

  3. Sobari says:

    If you’re rich enough to get a Mac, just spend $99 more for a 64-bit version of Windows 7 and install it via Bootcamp, and just simply switch between the two operating systems depending on whether your gaming or doing work/general computing.

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