So! We have that one thing we call the Omnitopic (which you should all enter, because there are prizes!) going on here at Nightmare Mode, and…this would be the first entry. But Patricia, you might ask, what in the world does this have to do with difficulty? Why, I speak about my difficulty adjusting to PC gaming, of course!
Rumble. It’s a feature I never knew I appreciated until I acquired my first gaming PC last February. Since then, I’ve been spending more and more time playing games on it than my consoles, and, despite enjoying the many benefits of PC gaming–lower price points, better graphics, etc–there’s something that’s been nagging me this entire time. Something unspeakably eerie to me about standard (ie, normal mouse + keyboard) PC gaming experience.
It feels disembodied.
Hell, I’d go so far as to say that it feels downright unnatural. I can’t feel anything, my ‘body’ is denied legibility. I can’t situate myself. Where before sticking to cover produced a dull thud; where every step before jumping off a ledge was palpable; where sliding down a mountain produced an earthy rasp; now, there is nothing but nothingness itself.
In its place was this cold efficiency that the prosthesis of a mouse and keyboard provide, the result of taking my body out-of-the-way. It makes sense, doesn’t it? The future that we see in science fiction points to the same thing. The age of protein-based life forms is ending, to be replaced by silicon-based forms; that human consciousness can, hopefully, be downloaded onto a computer; that the humanity and subjectivity is the mind and not the body; that if our essence can be transported into the digital space, as it often is, that perhaps we can become immortal.
And yet, if there if there is anything which is inherently “natural” about the human being it is his body. We experience everything we do in the way that we do precisely because we are embodied beings.
Yes, PC gaming isn’t completely disembodied–I can see, I can hear. But the most basic thing to me, the thing that bridges a gap between myself and the game–the visceral ability to feel–is currently missing.