Feature Article
Bored with PCs

May 1, 2002
By Scott Lewis

Lately I have found that the PC doesn't drive my spirits. I hear about new, faster PCs and I don't even get excited. Why bother, I can't afford to replace my current system. Even if I could, what would I do with the extra speed?

I used to be a much more avid gamer. But lately I can't seem to muster up the energy to learn a new game.

More than PCs, and their incredible 2+ GHz speeds, I keep hearing about the latest video cards from nVidia, ATI, etc. But how much better can they play my existing games?

Is it me or is there a little too much monotony is the PC world lately. PCs get faster, video cards get faster, and hard drives get bigger. But where is that next killer application or game that everyone has to have. Napster is already a has been, and it didn't even need a 2GHz machine... just a speedy Internet connection, which I have.

If I were going to buy or build another computer I don't know what I would do with it. This bothers me. When I built my current computer there were a number of games that needed the extra speed going from 100MHz to 450MHz. And I was certainly hurting for hard drive space. That was three years ago. I added a 60GB hard drive to my system, so I don't need more storage.

I have seen preview shots of Warcraft III. They look awesome. I almost want to dig up my old Warcraft II discs and re-install it just to get ready. Maybe I should buy the Battle.Net version of Warcraft II to practice my skills.

Maybe part of the problem (for me) is kids. I have two of them and it is nearly impossible to get much dedicated time in front of the computer to play games. This also creates a catch-22 situation. I would rather play against humans. I don't have the time to practice a new game. How can I get good enough to play humans if I don't have the time to play against the computer. Playing strictly against the computer is boring with RTS games. I love RTS games, but they take a long time.

What I need is a game that has a fairly low learning curve, is addictive, and is more fun to play against humans than to play against a computer. Also, each game should be fairly short in length, say no more than 30 minutes. That way I would just have to steal a half hour here or there to learn to play the game and then to play against humans. All this should be with a game that "needs" the horsepower of a 1.5 - 2+ GHz processor so I can build my lust for a new machine.

A Note About Violence In Games

My kids are small. I try to avoid first person shooters and other violent games, because I don't want to expose them to the violence. I don't believe that violent games lead to violent behavior, but my kids are still too young and impressionable for me to expose them to the level of graphic violence in the current crop of computer games. Nuff said.


Lately the only thing I seem to do with my computer (or my wife's laptop) is surf the net looking for that perfect project car. I don't really "play" with computers anymore. I hope this doesn't mean I am growing up.