on Mar 20, 2011
I have a wireless 360 controller for the PC. It’s a handy little thing, great for routing around horrible ports by letting me use the intended control scheme. The downside is that because PC ports are often performed by sadistic idiots, the controller doesn’t always work. We know this. Until we can find these people and have them killed for sport, we are at their mercy. That is not what this rant is about.
It’s an annoying problem: A game designed for the Xbox 360 (or one of the other leading brands) which was built around that controller. Yet the PC port of the game is baffled by the same controller. It can’t find it, or the buttons don’t all work, or some actions are keyboard-only, or a joystick axis is reversed. Inevitably, beleaguered PC gamers will turn to Google for help. Google will scour the length and breadth of the internet, finding a small island of relevant discussion in that terrifyingly vast ocean of data. It will come up with four of five pages where your exact problem is discussed. You will go to these pages, and you will bear witness to some of the most obstinate imbeciles that the human race has yet sired. The question will be posed:
Q: Hey, I’m trying to run Metal Gears of Warfare Zone III on the PC, but it doesn’t recognize my USB Xbox controller. Any advice?
And then our villain takes the stage:
A: why u play on pc just use xbox version works great
Maybe there really are millions of these people. Maybe this is the work of a single prolific madman. This reply is deviously destructive in a number of ways:
1) Unless you are Yoda or an aged Kung-Fu master speaking to his young pupil, don’t answer a question with a question. It just makes it obvious that you don’t know anything.
2) Obviously it’s infuriating to be told to buy another copy of a game you already own. (And maybe the console to go with it.) Duh. Obviously that would work. The person is probably looking for a solution that doesn’t cost four hundred dollars.
3) It’s a thread jack. Nobody answers the original question, and instead it begins another console vs. PC flame war.
4) It misses the point of the game itself. Rather than asking the original poster why they bought the given version of the game, why not ask the publisher why they released it on this platform if they weren’t going to bother supporting it?
This same little drama plays out on forum after forum. Page after page. Post after post. Herp after derp. Google doesn’t know any better, and so the search results are clogged with this nonsense instead of useful data.
But I will answer this impertinent question once and for all. The next time one of these ankle-biters shows up, feel free to bestow the following gem of wisdom:
I bought this game on the PC because I know and relate to other human beings, a thing which is evidently completely foreign to you. Being blessed with these social skills, I’m not going to sit in the living room and make the rest of my family watch me bend Yeoman Chambers over the galaxy map for a Renegade Interrupt. Unlike your parents, I don’t want my kids growing up warped and damaged, so I’m not going to harvest zombie heads while they are watching. Unlike you, my kids are going to learn to speak English, but I don’t want them to learn it from Kane & Lynch.
I realize things must seem very clear to you, sitting in your bedroom with a console machine on one side and a seven-year-old, porn-infested PC on the other. But the variables that go into buying decisions are complex beyond your understanding, and if you saw the world beyond your filth-pit it would blow your mind.
I forgive you for your monumental ignorance, only shut your drool-maker and leave this thread to people who know what they’re talking about.
And because I know some people will be curious as to what set this off: Er. Several things. I’ve run into more than one controller-deficient game this weekend, but Dead Rising 2 has won the prize for “most baffling technology clusterfarg”.
This is another one of those games that attaches both Steam AND Games for Windows Live to the title, like a bicycle with a filing cabinet attached to one side and a dead plague horse on the other. The hilarious part is that GFWL can sense the controller. I can bring up GFWL, navigate the menus, and everything else with the controller. But the game itself can’t see it. It acts like the controller doesn’t exist.
I’m just one man. I can’t possibly hate all of this stupidity by myself. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.