on Jan 22, 2009
Somehow I’ve mutated into a console gamer. My work / play space:
|I sit here. All day. I’m not complaining. It’s a pretty good setup, although I still struggle to hide the snarl. Nice job on the photography, Shamus. Why don’t you just aim the flash at a mirror and post a picture of that?|
All the way to the left is a wireless keyboard. The receiver is positioned so that I can plug it into either the Xbox or the PS3, so the one keyboard it can serve both machines. (I HATE typing with a game controller.) To the right of the keyboard is the console lineup: The neglected Gamecube, PS3, my new Xbox 360, and the venerable PS2. All four consoles plug into the switch (the silver thing left of the phone) and from there go into my PC.
The huge black brick behind the switch is the Xbox 360 power supply, which may or may not be a steam engine. What the heck, Microsoft? I haven’t seen a power brick that immense since the 80’s. Even the mighty TI-99/4a didn’t require this much sprawling, bulky infrastructure.
At the risk of opening up the French Press thread again, the mug in front of the phone is my new French Press, which also acts as a well-insulated mug. It’s quite good, although I inadvertently jacked up my caffeine intake when I switched from brewed to… pressed(?) coffee. It’s gonna be murder correcting that.
This setup has allowed me to migrate to console gaming. Moving to “the couch” – where most console gamers do their thing – was never an option, because the games I play aren’t generally fit for the family room. Plus, I need a way to acquire screenshots and the like for my writing. What you see above lets me play console games without sacrificing the advantages of PC gaming. (Aside from the loss of a mouse for FPS games. This is a bitter wound, akin to the loss of a limb.) I can sit in my comfy chair, drink coffee, talk on the phone, wear headphones, keep a keyboard plugged into the console, and generally enjoy using the machines without needing to monopolize the living room.
This lets me play a console game in a window on my desktop. (Although I play full-screen when I’m actually out to enjoy the game.) The game-in-a-window is nice for when I’m writing or keeping an eye on a download. It’s also really handy for when I must turn to walkthroughs to get me past some some gaming annoyance. I can have gamefaqs sitting in a window next to the game, which is an arrangement that ranges from superfluous to indispensable depending on the game and how much it’s pissing me off at the moment.
And in some ways this is better than PC Gaming. The game isn’t using the resources of the PC, which means that I can alt-tab to and from a game without that awful choke that games normally exhibit.
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.