Technological Consideration

As you may have heard, I have recently purchased myself a new computer. This beast set me back a fair bit, but I can assure you it was worth it. I have been unable to play some of the latest games and have been quite annoyed that technology was holding me back. Thus it is time for a blog on how much I don’t agree with that!

From the beginnings of technology, there has always been “upgrades”. New, pointier sticks to get food from in holes with, new steam engines with more power, new Morse-code style beeping devices, and of course, new computer parts. As most of you would know, the way it always seems to happen is you buy an upgrade, which seems great, until two weeks later something twice as fast is released for half the price. And then another month down the track all the games now require this new feature, so you have to go and shell out more money for something else.

Ok, maybe the timeframe there was a little skewed, but you get the picture. Why does gaming have to be so pointed at rich people? Most geeks don’t have that much money, and have to settle for “just gets the job done”. Quite frankly, I don’t think this is right. Games should be for everyone. Now I understand that games requiring windows to run won’t work on MS-DOS, but why do you need a Geforce6600 to run Neverwinter Nights 2? Something game companies will have to start thinking about is backward compatibility.

Why should someone have to spend heaps of money to enjoy something that everyone else is enjoying? Gaming is about enjoyment, not tech.

Games run with different graphic settings, and some games run well on any system while still looking good, but there is definitely a point where they are just unplayable. To cater to a wider audience (and to people who want to spend their money buying games, not the tech to run them) is going to take some ingenuity, even recreating games down to their core, but Valve seemed to do it pretty well. Half-life2 is very well known for the engine on which it was created, how damn good it looks and how well it runs on almost any computer. The minimum specs for this game are 1.2 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, DirectX 7 level graphics card, Windows 2000/XP/ME/98, Mouse, Keyboard and a Internet Connection, which nearly everyone has.

More developers should start making games this way. They look amazing at high settings, but run just as well at low settings for playability. Because no one likes a game they can’t play.

Andrew Out.

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