“They just hatin’ on a playa, man! They been hatin’ on me since I was in baby shoes!”

That’s the straight dope from Madd Dogg of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”. For the purposes of this article, “haters” are individuals who do not support my intention to become a PC gamer.

Ever since making up my mind that PC gaming is the way forward (not a next gen console), I’ve been inundated with all sorts of advice, recommendations, and opinions. But mostly, haters and their hate.

For most of my life, there always been two major competitors in the video game console market. Used to be Sega and Nintendo, then Sony and Nintendo. Nowadays the big pissing match is Microsoft and Sony, and their respective Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next gen systems. While my man Tyler is optimistic about what the new hardware can do for games, I’m not so sure. Not negative, just undecided. And apathetic.

What do I really gain by having two extremely similar systems on the market at the same time? Not just to each other, but to their predecessors. Don’t get me wrong; new consoles are always a good thing, but at this point neither seem to fit me.

What I need is a complete overhaul in the way I play games. The pre-packaged console experience has had a good run; hell, the past seven years have been a great run. But over those years, I’ve endured an increasing loss in user-friendliness: EULAs, online passes, invasive advertising, and service outages.

It would be foolishly sentimental of me to pine for the old “slap in a cartridge” days. Obviously, the game experiences we demand are far too complex for that. And I’m not one to stand in the way of progress, if that means an increased focus on downloadable titles and “always online”. Yeah, I said it. Adam Orth was right. He just happened to drag his employer down with him. I didn’t say he was smart.

I’ve had a dozens conversations with gamers where they lie in wait for the “ease-of-use” argument. And laypeople who seemed exhausted or frightened at the very prospect of constructing a PC. And I can understand where my aspirations may seem counter to my values. I do enjoy easy-to-use systems where I can grab a controller, plop down on the couch and get gaming.

Fortunately, all that is possible with PC gaming, now more than ever. Sure, it takes a lot of work to get there, especially if you’re assembling your own hardware. But nothing worth doing is ever easy, and I’m not alone in doing it (if Kevin doesn’t chicken out on me).

I’m not totally ignorant. I realize that building a PC will be far more expensive and time-consuming than buying an Xbone or PS4 (notice I didn’t say WiiU). What I’m struggling to convey to the haters is that I now prize freedom of choice now more than ever, and PC presents the best platform for this.

Of course, I’m still beholden to various accounts (Steam, GoG, etc.), EULAs, DRM and the like. The difference is that I have several evils to choose from, granting me sales and reduced pricing if I just have patience and shop around a little. Not to mention a library old games to install and revisit with better hardware.