Painting With Shotguns XLVII

I Kung Fu Kick The Hornet’s Nest: Kii-Yaa, PC Gamers!

Jiminy Cricket on the Cross.

Yesterday, you may have seen my rant at The Escapist (hey! look! my second article! and I’ve got more on the way!): “Punching The Baby Seal Of PC Gaming.”  And, if you saw that, you might have also seen…

The comments.

Sweet Molly McGooha, the comments.

All — *does a quick check * — 330 of them. So far.

Listen, I’m not a jackass. I knew that poking the bear would wake the bear. What I didn’t realize was that the bear would awaken, and then his tummy would growl, and he’d open his mouth and angry mechanized wasps would fly out, and then he’d shoot napalm diarrhea from his fuzzy hindquarters. The rage on that comment thread — the hateful rage — is hard to even grasp. Really? Really? People are that defensive?

Over… over games?

One guy said I was committing “hate speech.”

Oh. Oh, okay. Sure. Whew. Here I was worried somebody might start exaggerating.

The level of dug-in attitude is pretty wild. The defense is often some combination of, “You’re an idiot who probably sticks gum on the motherboard,” “Your computer is a honking piece of shit and you’re an idiot for buying it,” “PC games have no problems ever ever never nanna nanna boo boo I can’t hear you,” or, the weirdest one of all, “I like that PC gaming makes me jump through fiery hoops, because that level of work makes it a valuable hobby, like model airplanes, or white power propaganda.”

The rabid fanboys have done their best to marginalize their interests, shoving them in a claustrophobic little niche — but then they balk anytime anyone points out that their interests are marginalized and niche.

I said on Twitter yesterday that it’s like they build walls topped with parapets shaped like middle fingers.

It’s true for any rabid fanboyism, though — they do their level best to make it an exclusive club. I understand that notion, to some degree — you want to keep the awesomeness to yourself and those who “deserve” it. But I decided to ditch that attitude when I graduated high school, thanks much.

Anyway, you want amusement, bop on over to that comment thread and marvel in the madness. It’s not widespread or anything — obviously lots of defenders on there, too, people who are sympathetic and who recognize that the problem is real (and that the article isn’t entirely serious — for a “PC Gaming Hater,” I sure do own a lot of PC games and plan to buy more, wouldn’t you say?).

One thing it did teach me though, was:

Smile and nod in the faces of crazy people.

It makes them less crazy.

No, really.

S-E-A-R-C-H  T-E-R-M  B-I-N-G-O Was His Name-O

You know what time it is. Ladies? Spin the bingo tube.

butthole in glass

Given how many people search for (and find) “bullethole in glass” at my website, let’s just assume this is a fluke. Unless maybe it’s the new delicacy? “Sir? Madam? Your butthole in glass is served. Will you be needing ketchup with that?”

pauley perrette on a toilet

For the record, while my “Pauley Perrette” searches have lessened significantly (I’m down into the dozens rather than the hundreds), I still get the really obscure ones. Like this one. I also get tons of people looking for some obviously mythical porn movie with her as the star. People, I’m sorry, I just don’t have it.

something fucked up

Goddamn right something fucked up. Now it’s broken. And it smells like rotten eggs up in this bitch. The donkey’s loose. The dwarf has his arm stuck in the candy jar. The driveway’s on fire. Goddamn right something fucked up. That’s it. I’m done with you people. This is what I get. This is what I jolly well get. Worst of all, Epic Tits won’t clean. I mean, shit. I wanna do laser.

improve your beard

Easy. You just need an upgrade. Go multi-clad stainless steel. Or put some Trek decking in there. Perhaps some granite countertops? Or double-sinks. And lasers. Lots of ways to improve your beard.

why people are so jealous of my beard

It’s because of the Trek decking and the lasers.

haunted dog in mountain

So the dog is haunted? Like, ghosts live on him? Or he’s haunted by some past mistake? “I’m haunted by the way I stole Bowser’s rawhide. I am a terrible friend. The treachery. The treachery.” And further, he’s not on the mountain, but in the mountain? Living in a defunct silver mine or something? That’s a weird-ass dog. You better watch him. He’s a spooky fucker. Though now, I can’t lie, I want to write a children’s story: “The Haunted Dog In The Mountain.”

turtle takes a dump on your chest macro

Exceptionally specific. You want a macro photo of a turtle taking a dump on your chest? I mean, I can do it. But I need a turtle. And at least fifty bucks. Okay, forty.

you look like a bad boy with your leather pants

I know I do. And my jacket with the embroidered Winger patch on the shoulder doesn’t hurt. Plus: gold hoop earrings, a pile of Aerosmith scarves, and hot pink Teva sandals, bitches.

Mr. Grumpy Old Twat

That’s me! Now I just need a theme song.

Zod in playboy, penthouse

Gives “Kneel Before Zod” a whole different coat of paint.

baby jesus poop

I got some. Fossilized. Bought it from a Pardoner in the 13th Century. I also have this bezoar stone made from acidified wolf hair and elk semen. Rub the poop in a circle clockwise on your chest while someone else rubs the bezoar in a counterclockwise circle between your shoulder blades, and I promise you that you will come into some money soon. Good money, too. Like, fifty bucks. Okay, forty.

yukon jack whiskey spit on fire grizzly

I am now officially afraid of the “Fire Grizzly.” Earlier, I was just kidding — I thought, hey, a bear shooting napalm squirts from his ass, that’s just fictional. I just made that shit up. Apparently not. Apparently I was secretly conjuring the truth about the dread Fire Grizzly. But now I know how to stop him: spit Yukon Jack whiskey on him. Nice. (For the record, the drunkest I’ve ever been was on Yukon Jack. The smell still gives my stomach the loopty-loops.)

world of darkness tries too hard to be badass

It sure does. They should tone that shit down. Aim for a little “lame-ass” once in a while. Am I right?

Links In The Great Chain Of Being

Got a basket of good links for you today, my scrigglies.

THIS DARK EARTH. Teaser. By John Hornor. Click that shit. (Now I just gotta convince him to do something like that for me and Blackbirds.)

Also click this great Publishers Weekly review for Hilary Davidson’s THE DAMAGE DONE. (And I don’t have a link for it, but Joelle Charbonneau’s SKATING AROUND THE LAW earned a great Kirkus review.)

Someone took Kanye West’s tweets and married them to New Yorker cartoons.

If you’re a writer, you should find some terror in the term, “Publishing Death Spiral.”

Oh, hey, what a surprise — US regulators lack data on a ton of the chemical shit that’s in our food. Awesome. Hey, just more proof that responsible eaters and providers will look at the ingredients list on foods and choose only those foods with recognizable ingredients. Nobody’s watching out for you. You have to watch out for yourself and your families.

Great interview with Guy “Dread Pirate LeCharles” Gonzalez riiiiight over here. He talks up e-books versus traditional publishing, and does so with his usual dose of reality. Which is a welcome attitude.

Two words: Dildo. Poem. Two more words: Kate Horsley.

And that’s all she wrote.

*drops mic, stomps off stage*


  • Chuck…you assaulted PC gaming. You’re lucky that 4chan didn’t track you down and Jessi Slaughter your ass. You can take on the consoles; those fanboys are a bunch of pussies. Taking on PC gaming is like going after the Corleone family with a hacksaw.

    Also…Crysis works fine for me. Your computer must be a flaming pile of honking elephant shit.

  • 90% of the denizens of the Escapist forums are fanboy fucktards. Most of them are just there to watch Zero Punctuation and, as Yahtzee himself said, “level up their Internet cocks.” However, if Yahtzee were to say something disparaging about PC gaming, nobody would get on his case about it. They don’t want to disagree with somebody who’s famous on the Internets as opposed to a successful writer of tabletop games and novelist who’s going to get some God-damn ink as soon as Stacia finds the right publisher.

    /rant off

    Baby Jesus poop made me smile. About the only thing that has this morning.

    • @Josh —

      Heh, thanks, and thanks for showing up over yonder forum.

      And Baby Jesus Poop. Dude, I’m telling you. Cures all your ills. Call me. I’ll hook a brother up.

      — c.

  • I’m on your side of the fence Chuck. I just want shit to work. I really don’t care about dicking around with my computer anymore. So most of the games I play are on Xbox. It isn’t something I want to devote my time to anymore. Only exception is I wish I had purchased dragon age fur PC. Modding on that looks like fun. I may still pick that up.

  • I had to quit reading comments eventually because it turned into the typical wank. OMG U R SO MEEEN, CHUCK SHITFUCKHEAD FOR DARING TO HAVE AN OPINION, ZOMG!

    (Now just imagine if you dissed something like Twilight.)

    Fanboys can be dickholes. And now I’ve got a permanent picture of the “WoW” South Park episode in my head, not that it’s a bad thing. :)

    But seriously, Chuck, did you ever think of rebooting? *snerk* I think I’m going to name my memoirs “Butthole in Glass.”

  • Good for you! And my grill went into the garage for the next month, so it’s my turn to be jealous of your grill. (I actually looked at my kitchen and didn’t know how to cook brats for a minute. They’re supposed to be smoky and charred on my grill when it’s hot out!)

    We’re getting a permanent gas line run for our grill so we won’t have to fiddle with propane tanks. (Not that propane has been a hassle, just now we have 0 extra work.) Oh, and if yours operates on propane, spend $10-15 and get a propane gauge to warn you of any leaks from not tightening the valve. That’s saved us a LOT of trouble.

  • You know, I’m a douchebag, elitist PC gamer. Seriously. But I just don’t have the time (or inclination) to care about what other people like.

    There’s a bell curve to everything. Some people only PC game (moi), some dabble in both (you), some only console game (those other gamers).

    If PC gaming isn’t your thing, fine. Getting shit on isn’t my thing, but some people really like that. (Boy was that an eye opener when I first got on the internet.)

    But the thing is, the PC gaming community is really passionate. Though PC gaming isn’t dying, consoles DO get the spotlight more often. I mean Best Buy has moved PC games into the music department when they have a dedicated videogame department. Wtf?

    So when you go into a community like the Escapist that has many PC gamers around and end your article with “Fuck PC gaming” you’re really surprised at the reaction? Really?

    I understand your frustrations and you made some valid points. Again, PC gaming isn’t for everyone. I just don’t understand your surprise at the reactions.

    • @Michelle —

      I expected a reaction, even an exaggerated one, but I didn’t expect outright bile. I didn’t insult the community. In fact, not-so-careful readers would note (and have noted) that, “Fuck PC gaming” is immediately followed by, “Oh, except I’m totally going to buy more PC games.” Some PC gamers — you, I presume — are passionate. Good! Passion is thumbs-up double-plus. Other PC gamers convert “passion” to “mindless zeal” as if the PC games industry is a Thing That Seriously Matters (news: it doesn’t; the world has real problems).

      Consoles get the spotlight in part because it is a more stable and enjoyable experience. It amazes me that people think I’m somehow making up the problems plaguing the average — not exceptional, not passionate, but average — PC game player. As if I’m somehow inventing it. As if it’s surely because I’m a slack-jawed dick-brain who thinks the CPU fans are there only to cool my nuts. As if it’s because I bought a top-shelf Dell instead of cobbling together my own computer like a Real Gamer ™.

      You wonder why PC games are marginalized on shelves? In part, look to the fanboys. Ardent fanboys who are very happy with their elite, exceptional experience and who continue to support broken play experiences. If the games don’t work right for the average consumer, the average consumer is going to turn to console gaming or mobile gaming. And if the attitude around the community isn’t “Let’s All Improve This For Everybody” but rather, “I Really Enjoy My Marginal Niche, Please Get The Fuck Out Of My Clubhouse, Noob,” then the PC gaming shelves are going to get smaller and smaller and smaller. And PC gamers will continue to marvel at the mystery, as if it’s not a problem they themselves helped to exacerbate, if not create.

      — c.

  • OK, so I’m not a gamer, console, PC or otherwise. Does Scrabble count? Chess? But the entire imbroglio highlights the seeming inbred human need for sectarianism. You believe in JesusYawehAllahBuddha? Really? Me too. But I’m clearly smarter and more special than you are, so I’ve got different JesusAllahBuddha rules, which makes me a true believe and you a heretic. So, clearly, you have to die. You SuffiProtestantCabala-loving bastard!

    So far as I can tell from my Luddite, nongamer perspective, your article makes the rfollowing general points. There are two basic ways to play games, console or PC. When El Chuckbo plays on a console, everything works pretty good. When El Chuckbo plays on a PC, all kinds of annoying shit happens. You recognize that some people don’t mind the annoying shit, and that some people seem to get off on it — hey, look, I cracked open my motherboard and did a megazoom on the turbo data whatzit and now the Flying WeaselDragon Flusselbangers in Magical Realm of Doom game not only don’t crash my ‘puter, they show up in hot pink and can score super double frequent dweeb points that get me a first-class upgrade on my next animie convention. Hey, cool. Everybody’s gotta have a hobby. Near as I can tell, El Chuckbo didn’t say fuck you, you dork-faced, circuit-loving losers! You and your kind should die! No, you said you, personally, weren’t putting up with the mandatory PC gaming hoop jumping, that you thought maybe it wasn’t the best business model in the world, since casual gamers likely would be frustrated too easily and would switch back to console, and, for you, it just wasn’t worth the trouble any more. OK, your language, perhaps, was a bit, oh, I dunno, IMPOLITIC? But that was the gist of it.

    Now, I’m expecting Chuck Wendig Wanted Dead or Deader posters up in the weird little back of the store part of Radio Shacks everywhere. Not that I’d see them.

    A teapot, a tempest. I mean I didn’t even know there was a PC gaming “community.” But that’s kind of the sad thing. Every time I find out about a new community, it’s usually because they want to kill some other community, or some apostate or something.

    I mean c’mon people, everybody wants to belong, but that doesn’t mean that everybody else has to die, or eat shit, or whatever.

  • Here’s our grill: I disagree with the reviewer on it being low-grade stainless steel. Ours isn’t too far off a Viking, so maybe we have a newer model? IDK. Also, we don’t get a lot of humidity here, so rusting isn’t really a problem for us.

    Things to look for: no coating on the grill hood – that’ll flake off under high heat. Stainless all the way. And you want to make sure the grill is heavy duty, thick. We use high heat (I know that’s something you’re wanting to do with pizza) and anything thin like you’d see in your home oven is going to essentially melt away. Thick and porcelain, if you can get it.

    Re: gaming discussion. I think the real problem here is that the average reader/shit slinger in comments over there didn’t get your humor. They didn’t have a point of reference for your style of writing/joke delivery that we do, because we’ve built a relationship with you, so they immediately bristled and thought you were Really So Very Angry, Fie on you Computer Games/ers!

    The reaction is par for the course for the internet, meaning, people love to sling shit and talk in exaggerated macho terms because they’re safely anonymous and distanced by their keyboard and the tubes that make up the internet. Of course it’s over the top and ridiculous, I don’t know how anyone could read stuff like “DIAF, asshole!” etc. and not think someone needs some Wellbutrin and a nap, and maybe a little perspective. But it is, again, to be expected for indie comms like that. Which is why it’s fun for me to laugh at those hypervigilant types, because DOOD. Chill the fuck the out, no one is ruining your experience with your game/PC by having a differing opinion.

    *shrug* (oh, and your LJ post is missing a hyperlink, if that matters to you.)

    • @Stoney —

      Weber Genesis is stainless steel construction, but I’m looking to get the cast iron porcelain-coated grill plate.

      Re: the article — ideally, and maybe this is me failing as a writer, the humor should be clear regardless of my other writing. Each piece is an island, and if the humor is reliant upon people “knowing” my work already, then the article was fucked to begin with. Thing is, even assuming most of the article is deadly serious, at no point do I attack a community of people — I’m merely detailing my very real problems with the experience.

      Though, I’m starting to see that the most fundamentalist side of that community is part of the problem.

      — c.

  • Well, there are zealots for everything. If you walk into a church and say “This is all bullshit” you’ll have some rational believers spark up a discussion, but you’ll have a lot who want to immediately burn you at the stake.

    Yep, PC gaming can be a pain in the ass for the reasons you bring up. But you can’t blame that on the gamers. Because PCs are an open system (versus the closed system of a console) there’s a lot of shit to maintain. Gamers can’t control which technologies the developers choose to implement in their latest games. All we can do is buy the latest hardware ($$), do our upgrades (time) and troubleshoot if something goes wrong (PITA).

    If developers continued to use the same technology all this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. That’s why consoles are easier to deal with – the technology doesn’t change unless a whole new system is developed.

    Some of us are willing to go through the technological hoops to play PC games, though, because the experience we get from it is worth it. Others aren’t willing, and that’s cool.

    Perhaps we will be nothing more than a niche market. Obviously there are reasons people leave PC gaming, developers and consumers alike. But you just can’t blame that on the gamers. Blame the speed of technology. Blame the developers for upping the minimum reqs for each game they put out.

    Now our douchebag tendencies? Totally our fault.

    • @Michelle —

      Let me explain why the community may be part of the problem.

      Let’s say I am Average Gamer Jerk.

      I buy a nice PC. Big box company, whatever. I think — “This is all normal.”

      I go to buy a game. Maybe Fallout 3 GOTY, maybe something else. I think — “This is all normal.”

      I install it. I play it. Except, I don’t. It doesn’t work. It’s problem after problem. I’m not tech-tarded, but this is a new environment. I put a DVD in my player, it plays. I put an MP3 on my iPod, it plays. I put gas in my car, it runs. I put bread in the toaster, it toasts. But a game in my computer doesn’t work. I ask — “Is this normal?”

      I troubleshoot by asking the Wisest Person In The Room, Google. Google leads me to a number of sites where the troubleshooting is labyrinthine — and, I encounter a very specific attitude of, “Well, you’re dumb / your PC is crap / this is all part of the process of getting games to run.” I exclaim — “Oh shit, this is normal.”

      And then I go buy a console. And I stop buying PC games because, man, what a pain in the ass. Even when I go to get answers, the community not only rebukes me, but reminds me that this is completely normal.

      A community surrounding a product — especially one that is connected, public, vocal — very much has bearing on the success of that product. It’s not the only factor, no. But they matter. And if the community is hardcore, and I am not, then I won’t join that community. Do you see how suddenly it’s an axis that has nothing to do with the games, or the tech? That the community’s ardent response is off-putting and further reinforces the negative experience of playing PC games?

      Beyond that, PC game companies can remain complacent in that they have an inbuilt audience of people who are willing to look past the many technical issues PC games can offer. This isn’t true across the board — Valve, Blizzard, etc. tend to be pretty robust with keeping their games running tip-top. Others, not so much. But why care? The community supports an industry without standards, actively going so far as to incorporating it into its ethos: “We like having to fix the broken stuff! It’s part of the game!”

      That, to me, is why the community has culpability in terms of marginalizing their own interests.

      — Chuck

  • Since I don’t follow that site at all, I have no idea of the general tone of the other articles. That’s the real key – if everyone is in a mutual hand job of “everything we do together is awesome” spooge fest and no one writes in your face hilarity, then it won’t work, is my thinking. 60 Minutes sets up its audience for Andy Rooney (I call it the “get the hell out of the room for this asshole’s 2 minute schpiel” warning) because of the prior tone.

    To me, it’s obvious that you’re being tongue in cheek and in your face for the humor, because that’s how I roll, too. But if one of those gamers just read an article where someone gave a slow, sweet handjob to Starcraft 2, walked it to the door and kissed it goodnight, then clicked over to your article, it’s like climbing into your Delta 88 after Starcraft blew you a kiss and then getting ass-piked by a clown. (Your welcome for that imagery.)

    I don’t mean to put the blame on your shoulders, as I clearly fall on the side of ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, GUYS? He didn’t say your mama was so ugly they used her face to make gorilla cookies, FFS, he wrote about a bad experience with a PC game, which happens to me ALL the time and has for years, and I have a slick-ass system (no gaming video card, because I don’t want to spend that.) Oh, and I’m all over concoles for the very reasons you mentioned.

    Conclusion: some people think the internet is Srs Bzns and don’t like detractors of any stripe and feel affronted at EVERYTHING.

  • @Michelle: you just made his point. (And the article didn’t attack gamers at all. That’s why he’s so Buzzuh? about their attacking HIM. See the difference?) I still maintain that it’s the price you pay for being on the internet. Haters gotta hate.

  • @stoney – Oh totally. I always thought he had valid points and I don’t think he was attacking the community. But saying religion is bullshit isn’t attacking believers either, but it’s still going to piss them off and elicit some crazy responses.

    Well, now you guys see how fanatical PC gamers can be. When I read that article there were only 10 responses. I knew the shitstorm would be coming.

    Lesson learned: Asshats come in all flavors.

    Haters gonna hate. (Love that meme. =D )

  • I was right there with you on the early # of commenters and a cringe of “Oh shit’s about to get SIRIUS.” Lol.

    I’ve gotten death threats before for daring to mock the Sacred Text (Twilight) so yeah – asschappeaus come in all shapes and sizes. (And I just checked out your blog, you seem to be awesome, and I’m adding you to my RSS feed. I’m a kind lurker. *g*)

    And the “Sup Dawg” meme continues to crack me up. ANd pair it with math humor and my g33k1n3ss is revealed.

  • I hate fanboys. Be they PC, XBox, PS3, Mac, or Etch-A-Sketch. I love how one of the first comments brings up World of WarCrack as if console folks are deprived of air. WoW can eat a bag of … ahem

    You totally need to write The Haunted Dog in the Mountain. And then I shall read it to my spawn whenever I should have them. And all will be right int he world.

    @ Stoney

    You’re the Twilight expose or awesome on LJ Stoney? Just so you know, those posts made my life.

  • @Chuck: Yo, Dawg, we heard you liked spoilers on your spoilers so we put a spoiler on your spoiler while Snape kills Dumbledore. (That was my all time favorite.) And hurry up and figure out fwoomp tube technology so when you grill something you can send me some because I am grill-less until Labor Day, woe. (And if you need more time killed, go to )

    @Kate: that’s me!

  • Well, we could go round and round on this.

    I don’t find the community as a whole to be all “fuck off newb” but I haven’t had the experiences you have. Yep, we have our segment of jerks, but who doesn’t?

    So just enjoy what you will.

    Now, I’ve got PC games to play. Er…. work to do. ;)

  • I was highly amused at how “omg it doesn’t work I WANT IT TO WORK” became “HE HATES PC GAMES.” Because, y’know–if you hated them, you wouldn’t give a damn if they worked or not.

    It’s funny, comparing religion to PC gaming, since I can completely see many supposed churches acting the same. “You didn’t get what you prayed for because you’re a NOOB who can’t pray right. Also, RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION AAAHH! Also also, GO TO HELL.”

Speak Your Mind, Word-Nerds