Wednesday, November 6, 2013


So exciting!!! And so funny.

The exciting steamnews is the new Steam controller. It looks really cool, and like a very safe bet between a totally traditional controller with some new features. By "traditional controller" I mean more like a PS or Xbox controller than a Nintendo Wii Wand or Tablet. Thank God. And yet, it does have a touch screen on it, and it does use a lot of tactile interaction. So just how traditional is it?

Exactly my point.

I am not in the mood for a reinvention of the controller. Nintendo's latest offerings have partially been to blame for my alienation from NIntendo (the other part is their really bad game offerings). I don't know how many serious gamers feel the need for a reinvention of the controller. I wouldn't call this sanctimony or traditionalism, I just think that controller design that we've all been living with for the past 10 or 15 years really really works. Well. Very well.

And yet you still have die-hard PC gamers who insist that the only way to game is one hand on the mouse and one on the keyboard. So even the controller isn't fully integrated within the gaming community! So why try to reinvent it?

The funny steamnews is not about Steam but about some of the reactions online. Mostly I've only seen positive reactions. I mean, what gamer in their right mind would not be excited about the Steam Machine? I know of no one, but then there's the internet.

Here are two particularly asinine comments.

Why do we need another OS?

 Well, first of all, this isn't technically "another" OS. It's the same old boring Linux OS that you didn't even realize existed until SteamOS was announced. Which leads me to my second point: you have not been living in a two-OS world. Open your eyes, see the Matrix for what it is, and you will start to understand.

At this point, any "technological" device in this world has an OS of some kind. It might not be what you think of as an OS, but the fact that the device turns on and performs some task generally means there's an OS inside of it. WIthout an OS, you are the operating system. Very few tech devices now use mechanics for much of anything, sadly. At one point, microwaves were largely mechanical; you turned on the timer, started it, the timer triggered the switches for the plate to rotate and the heating element (or nuclear core or whatever it's called)  to turn on, and so on. But now almost all of them are controlled by a little chip with a tiny little OS on it. Your phone, of course, has its own OS. It might be branded by some other company, but really it's a very different OS than anything else that company makes for other devices. Computers have operating systems, but there are far more than just Windows and OS X; believe it or not, the internet runs on Linux and BSD, OS/2 is still alive and kicking in some indutries, there are still instances of BeOS and its open source reimplementation Haiku,

 and "Valve is taking advantage of gamers by offering a console that is just a custom built PC".

No fucking duh, internet.

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