I Hope The Steam Deck Makes Me Fall In Love With PC Gaming Again

I’ve ordered a Steam Deck. I can’t afford one, but the FOMO became too much after my friends and colleagues kept singing its praises. Now a big charge sits on my credit card as the 512GB model is delivered to my door by Gabe Newell himself. Here’s hoping he gives me a little kiss on the cheek for supporting the PC master race. Even though the device is yet to arrive, it has reignited an excitement for the platform that faded away years ago.

Because I primarily work from home, the majority of my time is spent at my desk writing articles, sending emails, and plotting the downfall of gaming via the woke agenda on the very machine I once used in my leisure time. The pandemic changed my relationship with remote work forever, forcing me to craft an environment away from a bustling office as I changed jobs and joined a new team. I still write about games a bunch, but my remit has expanded in ways my workplace had to accommodate. It isn’t really for games anymore.

Obviously I still have all the clients installed for checking out the occasional indie game and chatting on Discord with friends, but I can count the number of times I sat down to play something on my PC in the past year on one hand. It’s a space I associate with work, so remaining there well into the evening not only doesn’t appeal to me, it stresses me out.

When I finish writing my fourth incredible article of the day I want to switch off and pick up a controller, not continue dwelling at the desk I can’t help but associate with the 9-5. It reminds me that I need to spruce up this sick gamer space one of these days, so it’s less gamer-y.

Despite my tumultuous history with Valve’s heavily discounted palace of pixels, the Steam Deck has drawn my attention so readily because it dares to view PC gaming in a different light. No longer is the Steam platform a place for hardcore gamers, but somewhere anyone with the right budget can access by picking up a Deck and setting up their first account. My library has hundreds of games in it, most of which I’ve never touched, so having the chance to buy a console with so much pre-installed potential and none of the psychological baggage feels like a dream. I might have spent far too much time watching YouTube videos telling me how good this thing is, or poking friends about emulation tips.

While you can moan about its battery life and underwhelming specs, I never intended to play games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Elden Ring on this thing, and even if I do, the small screen and lower resolution naturally alleviate many of the shortcomings we’d level at, say, a docked Nintendo Switch. I’ll be using my Steam Deck to emulate classics, discover gems I might have missed, and feel a bit less guilty about the size of my untouched Steam library backlog. I own the PS5 and Xbox Series X and they will continue to be my main drivers, the Deck a complimentary part of my gaming repertoire, rather than an essential one. Could I have spent just less than $500 on a machine I will likely use to play little indie games and emulate older ones? Probably.

Let me have this opportunity to reclaim what PC gaming means to me though, a chance to no longer view it as an inconvenience to experiencing so many treasures that have passed me by because my brain is built different and has never liked sitting at a desk to play things.

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