I don’t write as many game-related articles as I used to, but I still keep up with the gaming industry magazines and computer game sites as much as possible. So when PC Gamer showed up on my doorstep today, I tore open the plastic cover and fanned through it over lunch.
PC Gamer almost always has some tidbit about a game that will come to the Mac, or might come to the Mac, or just looks too cool not to come to the Mac. In fact, reading PC game magazines is often a good way to figure out what Mac gamers will get in six or nine months time, since almost all of the major game releases for Mac OS originate on the PC.
This new edition (the July issue) sports a column entitled “The Killing Box” authored by Colin Williamson. Entitled Doom III Meets Flower Power, his column makes an impassioned plea for PC game developers to support the Mac. His reason? Because, in Williamson’s estimation, we’re lousy gamers.
Some of Williamson’s angst seems directed at Mac users because of Nvidia’s decision to debut the GeForce3 chip at Macworld Expo in Tokyo this past February. He points out that some Mac users positively gloated when Steve Jobs said that GeForce3 would arrive on the Mac first.
In retrospect, we may have been a bit too overzealous in our bragging. PC users got their cards a few weeks before GeForce3-based cards started showing up on Macs — though we’ve gotten reports from readers that those cards are finally beginning to make their way to end-users.
“At this point, I could only begin to sympathize with our slightly misguided friends, whose computing lives are dictated by whatever amalgamation of gaily color plastic and circuits comes out of Cupertino,” said Williamson.
Williamson points out that he actually owns a Power Mac, which he pulled out of a local university’s trash bin. The columnist tells readers that the poor mistreated system is lying beneath a laundry pile in his apartment. No doubt he hasn’t had time to set it up because of all the General Protection Faults and other Windows joy he’s had to contend with all this time.
Williamson finally makes his pitch.
“But I’d argue that we need Mac gamers joining in our online games — if for no other reason than they’d be great frag fodder,” said Williamson.
To back his assertion that we Mac gamers stink, he recounts the experience of a colleague of his, who “took the day off” to visit a past Macworld Expo to participate in the now-defunct National Mac Gaming Championships. Williamson said that his friend walked away with the grand prize after handing participants their hats in various first-person shooter contests.
“We’re talking about a group of people who have one-button mice , for cripes’ sakes,” said Williamson.
I long ago replaced my puck mouse with something more suitable for gaming — in my case, a Razer Boomslang 2000. And most of the “hardcore” gamers I know have long since pitched their pucks or Pro Mice for offerings from Logitech, MacAlly, Microsoft and others. Heck, Colin, even Apple replaced the Pro Mice on their Power Mac G4s with multi-button mice from Logitech, when they set up their presence at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last month.
“Thinking Different — like the ubiquitous Mac slogan encourages — can’t save you in a gunfight with PC players,” offered Williamson.
Yeah, Colin, thinking different doesn’t give us a magical ability to hone our deathmatch skills any faster. We just tend to have a lot more fun with our Macs than you Windows folks have with your machines. And I know a few Mac gamers that are ready to lay the smack down on Mac and PC users alike who want to take them on.
“So developers, kindly pay notice to your Mac audience — they’re out there, they’re more than deserving of quality ports, and the fact that they use computers with baby-blue Dalmatian spots makes them all the more satisfying to blow up in online bloodbaths,” said Williamson.
Actually, on most of these points, I have no argument — we sure are deserving of those ports.
“Keep throwing them bones,” said Williamson. “I can use more tournament prizes.”
Hey, Colin — if you ever figure out how to get that Power Mac working, drop by GameRanger sometime. It’s a free Mac-only online gaming service. There are a whole bunch of us who’d like to see if you frag as well as you brag.