PCMasterRace Explained

Anthony Lee / June 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM / Archive

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Social media is the gift that keeps on giving. Shame these gifts aren’t refundable for regaining lost sanity. At least the spat wasn’t spurred on by fanboyism. That’s a plus, right?

It’s no secret that I follow various diverse people on my personal Twitter account. We’re talking cutesie Japanese artists to #GamerGate supporters to tantalizing food blogs and everything in between. Every so often, at least one of the 400+ accounts I follow make me utter the phrase “Why…?” to myself in pure bewilderment. Joys of retweets and screencaps I suppose.

Of all the things in recent memory to cause a double take, this felt more like a trolling attempt from an anon on a chan board than someone who has written for several large online publications. Who or what am I talking about? Writer and blogger Tauriq Moosa has actually tried to link white nationalism with the tongue in cheek phrase of “PCMasterRace” in 2015. No, really.

Tauriq Moosa PCMasterRace

Taking pride in high end PC hardware =/= white pride world wide

If it wasn’t obvious by my photo, I’m not exactly the favorite social justice piñata to beat on—a white dude. I’ll even go one step further to denounce the phrase “PoC” since it never made sense to me how swapping “colored people” around and adding “of” in the middle somehow made the phrase less offensive. I digress, what’s amazing is how someone who prides themselves on having a gaming background can be so clueless about gaming culture.

When it comes to the digital arena, your skills are all that matter. If you suck, you suck. No perceived racial advantages are going to help you out any. Yeah, that wizardry depends more on your hardware spec than your race and that’s what PCMasterRace is. As a writer for a site that wants to be an honest voice for the consumer to challenge biased media, I can not ethically let things like this slide unchallenged. Implying PC hardware enthusiasts are equivalent to “white power” isn’t cool.

Returning to Tauriq’s accusations, let’s break those down starting from the top – Rich white guys, oppressive regimes and something about exclusion. Doing some basic math, we will be focusing on a Japanese console, since we’re trying to not give any more attention to those evil white oppressors. Sony’s popular PS4 retails for roughly around $400 brand new. Depending on the title, a typical PS4 game retails for around $40 – $60 (less if indie). We’re not going to include special edition games, such as limited editions as they are niche.

Got that? Good. Now, let’s say you wanted 10 games with that PS4. For a passionate gamer, this isn’t a very high amount of titles to posses. Our sample of games will be coming from a Metacritic’s list of best reviewed PS4 games of all time. We’re going to be taking the top 10 and combine the total with the cost of the console itself to pit against a custom built PC to debunk the rich myth. The prices will be taken from Amazon with their current selling prices as of the time of this writing. Excluding Flower, Fez and The Binding Of Issac: Rebirth, the grand total is $235.88. A trip to the Playstation store gives us a total of $34.97 for the downloadables which makes the grand total for all 10 games + console to be $670.74.

There’s plenty of “console killer” budget builds on YouTube for various price brackets readily available. You’re more than welcome to search those up or take a look at these rigs for inspiration using that budget of $670.74 dollars. What? You want games with that? Combined total was a maximum budget to play with. For a more apples to apples comparison, we have pieces on TechRaptor here and here.

If you wish to take things a step further for more cost savings, you can get parts second hand from either friends, family, local listings or eBay. CPUs, RAM, CPU coolers, GPUs, cases and peripherals are fine to get second hand. I’ll advise to buy new with the storage and power supply if you can’t source those second hand from a trusting source. As a bonus, there is a series centered around this type of part pick up on LinusTechTips called “Scrapyard Wars” – informatively entertaining.

The main purpose of this is to dispel the myth you need an OP baller system to be able to game at a reasonably well frame rate with good graphics. For the exclusionary oppression rambling, I’ve never had this issue as a non white person among tech centric communities, ever. A good buddy of mine who is white doesn’t treat me any differently either and the guy has a Tek Syndicate decal on the back window of his car, an MSI Z97 Gaming 9 motherboard manual on the backseat. Yes, Kyle is nerdy.

Shiny metal overclocking

Shiny metal overclocking

Moving on. Gaming doesn’t have a race problem … actually, it doesn’t. Neither is there some conspiracy about ignoring the concerns of “PoC” gamers within the gaming community as a whole. In an ironic twist of fate speaking as an ethnic minority myself, focusing on race first above anything else in gaming feels more backwards than it does progressive. Inclusivity and deliberately going out of your way to draw focus to physical differences kind of don’t really mesh well together in my eyes. May as well pat us on the head like we’re a dog. See how demeaning it actually is from that perspective? I suddenly have mental images of raptors in dog collars. Not sure how to feel about that.

If the “PoC” gaming issues have to do with not enough insert X representation in games, make more Sonics or Conkers. I’m a gamer, not a “PoC gamer.” I would much prefer a talking animal than bare witness to full grown adults arguing over pixels on the Internet. Getting a little off-topic for a bit, let’s resume where we left off. The whole “master race” mantra of PCMasterRace has nothing to do with your ethnicity (unless you are a robot, in which case I hope you’re water cooled). There are three main type of people that primarily fit within the PCMasterRace role.

At the bottom of the totem pole, we have that guy. You know, the one person who takes a dump on everyone who doesn’t have at least a 1k+ invested in their rig. Heaven forbid you also enjoy Nintendo (or any consoles, really) with that guy dumping on everything that isn’t muh frames. All groups have the vocal minority of annoyance, don’t be that guy. Asides from that guy, we have the other two types of people that fall under PCMasterRace. One is the humble tech enthusiast who has an affinity for high end systems, the other a memer. The memer is someone who jokes about console players by referring them as dirty console peasants. Not out of malice, but as a dig at the hardware difference between console vs PC. Kinda like when two friends insult each other, but in a just kidding way. It’s not unusual for someone to be a hardcore PC enthusiast while also having a Wii U laying around for squid time.

PCMasterRace is really a meme and that’s it. We know consoles have games locked at 30FPS for a decent chunk of their libraries. More money invested equals more power is another obvious “no duh” thing people aren’t oblivious to. Consoles will never out power a PC and PCs will never have that sitting on the couch playing splitscreen with friends feel about it in the same way a console would. Not to mention some games being exclusives. Sorry, PC gamers, we can’t be a squid now unfortunately.

All of this gamers know. PCMasterRace is seldom used seriously in the sense of causing a major divide. For PCMasterRace, it’s about being a little kid at Christmas again whenever a package from Newegg arrives. That pure and unfiltered joy of new hardware to tinker with. Those moments when there is a crazy sale on Steam and your wallet weeps in the corner. I’m not afraid to say I get like this. Take it for what it’s worth. We’re a bunch of nuts who nerdgasm over shiny kit and cheap vidya, that’s all. Next time you see the phrase “PCMasterRace” or “dirty console peasant” used, it’s all in good fun. Well, unless it’s that guy. He gives all of us a bad name for taking things so serious. He’s not a racist, but he’s still not welcome to our lan party.

Extra Bonus: There is an official rating scale from the /r/pcmasterrace subreddit about the quality of ports devised by an employee from Corsair who goes by the handle BallisticGE0RGE. It is indeed glorious.

In the end, we’re all gamers and it’s a hobby. Has absolutely nothing to do with racial dominance. Overall, the biggest insult to me personally is how this level of misinformation can be defended, especially by someone who is supposed to be a serious writer. What’s your take on this situation?

Anthony Lee

Gamer since the NES era, computer nerd since 2001. Happily in a loving relationship with a happa who has been a gamer since the Sega Genesis era. Who says Sega does what Nintendon't?