Which came first, the (genre) preference or the (gaming) platform?


#1

A little bit of set up. As a kid my family never really had a computer with a graphics card capable of playing games like Black and White, the holy grail of my youth.

Also, I’ve never owned a console, so I was stuck playing console games at friends’ houses to enjoy graphics, and then I’d come home to PC games like Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator with its low-res textures and boxiness, but I loved every minute it.

Now I play games on a laptop from 2011 with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M, so most modern open world RPGs, shooters, etc. are well beyond my reach and without the graphical settings cranked pretty much all the way down. (I played Dark Souls 3 in a ) So, I’m not sensitive at all to extreme aliasing, low-res textures, low/unstable frame rates, pop in, or general jankiness besides corrupted saves.

What I have found is that I tend to favor genres and styles of games which are naturally less demanding on my modest laptop. Things that are generally smaller, more story, exploration and/or puzzles like LISA, Fez, Night in the Woods, Antichamber, and Gone Home.

All of that is to say, is it your taste in a specific genre/style which affects the platform you play on or is it that the platform you play on which affect your taste in a genre/style?


#2

that’s a good question! I think with stuff like this the answer tends to vary wildly from person to person, and for me it’s the very boring “a little bit of both”. like you, I’ve never had a top-of-the-line (or really anything approaching top-of-the-line) PC until literally 2 weeks ago when I bought one (heavily discounted) from a friend, which has allowed to play Overwatch, a game I was interested in but couldn’t run at all.

but yeah. it was a solid few years before I could play, like, Half-Life 2 (it ran at literally 3 FPS and crashed after 20 minutes on the first machine I tried to play it on) and even then my FPS was usually around 15-20, dropping below 10 during busier parts. at the same time, though, I was willing to put up with low framerates for certain games, and there was a wealth of older stuff (or, later, indie stuff that had low system requirements) on PC I could play.

console-wise my tastes have always trended away from AAA action stuff and more towards either Nintendo games or RPG stuff (screaming the entire PS2 library) so that’s been less of an issue.

but even now I’m spending more time playing older games on PS2 or PC than the big new stuff, which I think is partly a reflection of my own personal preferences and, yes, an effect of basically being forced to avoid the big AAA stuff 90% of the time.


#3

I was a big fan of Fire Emblem as a kid, and I wanted to play other tactical RPGs. So I bought a PSP. Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, Jeanne d’Arc, Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness. I was the only person in my group of friends to own a PSP, and aside from that one Kingdom Hearts game that came out for it, I did not own any other games for it that weren’t tactical RPGs. I even got Metal Gear Ac!d, and I’m not really a fan of the MGS series.

I bought an original XBox just so I could play a mediocre Yu-Gi-Oh! game on it.

But it can definitely go the other way, too. I rediscovered my love of point-and-click games, puzzle games, etc. once mobile gaming really took off; I played them on the computer when I was a kid, but I lost patience for them on sit-down platforms as I got older. And I definitely would have never gotten into games like DOOM or Prey if I couldn’t play them with a mouse and keyboard.

Hell, I ended up playing way more Jet Set Radio Future than I ever did that shitty YGO game once I actually had the Xbox in my house. It’s one of my favourite games, in fact.


#4

When I was young I was obsessed with DOOM, which was inconvenient because we were an Amiga and Megadrive household, so I didn’t get to own it until we got a PC several years after release.

So I gravitated towards what I perceived to be the next best thing, 16-bit shooters like Bloodshot and Zero Tolerance.

This also led me to the Bitmap Brothers, particularly Gods and The Chaos Engine. Aside from being arcadey action games they had nothing in common with ID’s work, but to me they were cut from the same cloth. It was the first time I felt aware of games being made by a group of people with a distinct creative voice rather that being an inert commercial product.

So I guess I value style over platform or genre, I just try find what I like on whatever platforms I can afford to have.


#5

@Fimbulvetr Yeah, it’s definitely been a little bit of both for me too. When I was younger I didn’t really have access to AAA action games or shooters. My parents were adamantly against them, and they constantly repeated “Guns aren’t toys,” so I didn’t even get access to water guns or Nerf guns.

Now, I understand where they were coming from. As public school teachers and who worked daily with kids who struggled with emotional problems and domestic violence, they didn’t want me to trivialize violence and guns.

So, yeah, the lack of access to AAA and shooters as a kid has definitely shaped my tastes today. Even now, I kinda recoil at military shooters. I still have an itch, though for AAA games whose focus isn’t primarily shooting. Alien: Isolation was fantastic, atmospheric, and so wonderfully optimized that even my poor laptop gave me a solid 30 FPS.

If it were only a question of developers devoting more time to optimization, then I’d be willing to dabble more with AAA titles. But as I exit my 20s I have a different reason for shying away from larger, AAA titles. It’s hard for me to justify the time I spend with them because my time seems even more limited working full-time rather than being a student.

For example, I’ve logged 86 hours in Dark Souls 2 and had a great time. I could’ve used that time to finish a lot of smaller, 5-6 hour games or I could’ve used it to read, study, practice a skill. So, I dunno, maybe my tastes are shaped more by my stage in life than by anything else.


@ophiucha If I had owned a console or handheld as a kid, I wouldn’t have had it in me to get something none of my friends were using. Even now, my friend group leans XBox, but the PlayStation catalog appeals to me more. And since I don’t really like online co-op, I’m even less incentivized to take the plunge.

Buying a console has always seemed like a huge commitment. The money isn’t the problem, but the fact that it’s only got a single purpose.

In adulthood this is where guilt comes in again. I can justify a PC to myself because I need it for work and productivity…and if it just so happens to be able to play a game or two, that’s a plus. A console…that’d be a guilty purchase for me. As a kid, though, price, guilt, and time wouldn’t have factored into my gaming choices.


@Rumstar In the end, I also value style more. I have nostalgia for certain platforms like Nintendo (and to a lesser extent PlayStation) because of time spent playing at friends’ houses, but what I play is determined more by my taste than anything else.


#6

I don’t really play multiplayer games either (more for my anxiety than anything else), so while I lean towards consoles my friends have for the sake of conversation, “oh, have you played the new Final Fantasy?” sort of thing, I won’t let it bias me when it comes to spending my money. These days I only have the money for one console a generation, barring any sudden influxes of money, but that didn’t stop me from looking at the current gen (at the time) and deciding between a PS4, Xbox One, and Wii-U the best choice was the one that none of my friends owned. Sony can hit me up when they get Wind Waker HD.

I prefer PC gaming because it’s cheaper, and yeah, I have to have a PC for living in 2017. But I really don’t have any other ways I spend money on myself, so a console every five years doesn’t leave me feeling guilty, personally. I can see why it would for some people, though. I just don’t have any other hobbies that cost money. :sheep: Also, I use my PS3 as a Blu-Ray/DVD player, so it’s technically got more than one purpose.


#7

The first system I personally owned was a Game Boy Pocket, and I only had its successors for a long time. Looking back, JRPGs were my game of choice for a long time, starting with my very first game Pokemon. I didn’t play many action based games because those weren’t the kinds of games that were typically made for nor suited to portable systems.

Even now, I still think of my 3DS as a game system, and all the things on there as part of the 3DS experience. On the other hand, for console and PC games, I just think about the games and don’t really care about what they’re running on. There’s something about the restrictions and control options of the Nintendo portable systems that make them feel like a seperate category of ‘game’ in my mind.


#8

For me, this is definitely an age thing. Over time, I’ve definitely moved towards letting my preferences guide my platforms from being a very ‘platform > interest’ child. I can definitely co-sign what @idkicarus has said about not having access to shooters (or guns of any kind) when I was younger and how that has shaped my preferences.


#9

@ophiucha PC gaming being cheaper was/is part of my decision too, but backwards compatibility has also shaped by decision. And I know it’s somewhat better with current gen, but it’s always seemed odd to me that console manufactures expect me to pour money into buying games that they may drop support for on new consoles.

Sure there are technical reasons that hinder backwards compatibility on consoles, but it still feels bad to me.


@Chloe JRPGs haven’t ever really been my thing, and I think it goes back to being soured by it as a dumb kid when found some random Final Fantasy rom for Game Boy. I just remember being lost and confused and thinking, why am I dying so much and why do I need a menu for combat?!

Also, I kinda have a stigma against handhelds now, even though there are PSP and 3DS games I’d like.


@robowitch Any other ways in which your parents’ style/rules shaped your current gaming preferences? For me, since mine are counselors and teachers, I’m sensitive to stereotypical portrayal of mental illness in movies and games, so I lean away from horror games since they don’t tend to deal in nuance.