PC Master Race

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An example of a dedicated gaming-PC rig.

The PC Master Race, sometimes referred to by its original phrasing as the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race, is an internet subculture, internet community, and a tongue-in-cheek term of superiority for PC gaming used among gamers to compare PC gaming to console gaming.[1][2]

In current parlance, the term is used by PC enthusiasts both to describe themselves as a group, as well as their belief in the superiority of the PC platform in comparison to consoles, often citing features like more advanced graphics, smoother framerates, free online play, backwards compatibility, modifications, upgradability, customization, lower cost-over-time, open standards, multitasking, and performance.[3][4] Popular imagery, discussion, and media referencing the term also commonly describes console users who find consoles better than PC as "console peasants" and people who play on PC as the "Glorious PC Gaming Master Race".[5][6]

History[edit]

Creation[edit]

What quickly becomes obvious is that Witcher is very much a PC-exclusive game, which are typically designed to be as complex and unintuitive as possible so that those dirty console-playing peasants don't ruin it for the glorious PC-gaming master race.

Ben Croshaw[7]

In 2008, comedic writer Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw employed the comedically extreme term "Glorious PC Gaming Master Race" in a video-review for the role-playing game The Witcher for the online gaming magazine The Escapist.[7] Croshaw explained that his initial intent in referencing Nazi Germany's master race ideology when he coined the intense term 'Glorious PC Gaming Master Race' was to poke fun at an elitist attitude he perceived among some of the Witcher's PC playerbase at the time of The Witcher's release, who had complained about the PC release of the game being possibly negatively affected by the console port of the game:[8]

"It was intended to be ironic, to illustrate what I perceived at the time to be an elitist attitude among a certain kind of PC gamer. People who invest in expensive gaming PCs and continually spend money to make sure the tech in their brightly-lit tower cases is up to date. Who actually prefer games that are temperamental to get running and that have complicated keyboard interfaces, just because it discourages new or 'casual' players who will in some way taint the entire community with their presence. I meant it as a dig."[8]

Reappropriation[edit]

In April 2011 I grabbed it [the expression] and changed its original meaning, creating a subreddit dedicated to the glory that is to play (and not only) on PC. (...) we're a serious group dedicated to the serious and clear advantages of PC over other work and gaming devices, whose only and arguable advantage are artificial restrictions put in place so as to squeeze gamers out of their money.

—Reddit user pedro19, creator of the /r/PCMasterRace subreddit[9]

The term caught on quickly, but with a different meaning than originally implied by Ben Croshaw. It is now being used as an expression of pride among PC gamers, who view their PC platform as superior to traditional video game consoles due to its ever-expandable and upgradable hardware, graphical potential, affordability, game library, mod support, optional mouse and keyboard input, and other popular reasons.[8][10] This change in meaning and widespread popularity can be linked back to the creation and popularization of the /r/PCMasterRace subreddit created by Reddit user pedro19 in 2011, which accumulated one million members by July 2017.[9]

While The Escapist continued to popularize the term's (or at least the term "Glorious PC Gaming Master Race") usage in later episodes for several years,[11] writers in more mainstream computer-related and gaming-related publications tended to avoid using the term because of its negative associations, such as Nazism.[12] In early 2015, Tyler Wilde, executive editor of PC Gamer, suggested the term should be abandoned altogether in an article titled "Let's stop calling ourselves the PC Master Race". "It worked as a hyperbolic joke when it was first said as a hyperbolic joke, and I did think it was a little funny to embrace the criticism ironically—for a moment, [but] when I see kids unironically boasting about their 'master race' affiliation on forums, I cringe."[13] Tyler instead suggested replacing the term, and offered examples such as "Fearsome Keyboard People" and "PC Thunder Cats". The article was met by some disagreement from others who believed the term's usage was acceptable.[1][14][15] While Ben Croshaw acknowledged the term's reference to and origins from Nazi Germany, he countered that those who use the term without knowing of the association can be viewed positively as a sign that those ideals and their historic Nazi associations had faded from the public mind. He also made a reference to attempts to incite the term's abandonment as being part of a sort of "thought police", criticizing Tyler Wilde's article.[14]

Popularization[edit]

The rapid growth of the shortened and now re-appropriated "PC Master Race" term as well as its handful of associated communities has attracted the attention of related computer hardware and game companies such as Corsair and Valve, as well as celebrities such as Terry Crews.[16][17] Since 2015, several large technology companies have partnered with the PC Master Race group to organize contests, events and giveaways, such as AMD,[18] Corsair,[19] Cooler Master,[20] Oculus VR,[21][22] NZXT,[23][24][25] and Nvidia.[26][27] They have also been in close collaboration with the Folding@Home project, a distributed computing project developed by Stanford University, regularly pushing members of the community to donate their computer power to science, and organizing promotion events to fight against cancer and other diseases, as well as hosting an AMA for the Folding@Home team themselves, which had the participation of investigators and students from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University and Temple University.[28]

By several accounts, the term has become an Internet meme,[6][8][12] and is a launching point for debates about the relative popularity of gaming platforms. A report by Julian Arenzon in the New York Daily News suggested that digital distribution of games to personal computers is becoming more prevalent within the gaming community, and that there has been a trend away from physical game systems as well as physical discs.[6] Reviewer Paul Tassi in Forbes suggested that in the platform battle, PCs have an edge because they were a "necessity" for everyday life while consoles were a "luxury" costing hundreds of dollars and only offering a few additional games or features over that of what a PC already offers.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hartup, Phil (January 21, 2015). "It's OK for PC gamers to be a little arrogant – they know they've backed the right platform". Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  2. ^ Hruska, Joel (June 17, 2014). "Watch Dogs restored to its E3 2012 graphics glory: The PC master race strikes again". ExtremeTech. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ MacDonald, Keza (November 29, 2013). "PC is "Far Superior" For Gaming, Says Nvidia". IGN. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ Gordon, Whitson (August 17, 2015). "Consoles Vs PCs: Why I'm A PC Gamer". Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  5. ^ Plunkett, Luke (November 25, 2012). "The Rise of the Glorious Master Race of PC Gamers". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved September 6, 2014. Sometimes used as with pride, sometimes used with derision, the term 'master race' has become a common one to describe those PC gamers who love to Lord it over the plebs, revelling in their glowing hardware and hi-res textures. 
  6. ^ a b c Arenzon, Julian (July 18, 2013). "Steam Summer Sale 2013 one of the year's biggest events for PC gamers". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 6, 2014. Therein lies a major difference between the console gamer ... and the PC gamer, which is jokingly and somewhat offensively called "the glorious PC master race" through gaming memes online. 
  7. ^ a b Croshaw, Ben (January 23, 2008). "The Witcher". The Escapist. Defy Media. Retrieved September 6, 2014. ... Those dirty console playing peasants don't ruin it for the glorious PC gaming master race ... 
  8. ^ a b c d Croshaw, Ben (May 28, 2013). "The Glorious PC Gaming Master Race". The Escapist. Defy Media. Retrieved September 6, 2014. It was intended to be ironic, to illustrate what I perceived at the time to be an elitist attitude among a certain kind of PC gamer. 
  9. ^ a b Monteiro, Joel (October 31, 2014). "Interviewing pedro19, the man behind the PC Master Race "Entrevista a pedro19, o homem por trás da PC Master Race". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 30, 2015. He's called pedro19 (...) and he heads a global movement created on Reddit and known to many of our readers: the "glorious" PC Master Race. "Dá pelo nome de pedro19 (...) e encabeça um movimento global, criado no reddit, familiar a muitos dos nossos leitores: a "gloriosa" PC Master Race".. 
  10. ^ Villas-Boas, Antonio (January 10, 2016). "10 reasons why playing games on PC is better than consoles". TechInsider. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ Bogos, Steven (October 25, 2013). "Alienware Tempts Gamers to Master Race with $200 Console Trade-Ins". The Escapist. Defy Media. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Scibetta, Nick (July 17, 2014). "GameCrate's Senior Editor Nick Scibetta Disapproves of the Label "PC Master Race"". Linus Tech Tips. Retrieved September 8, 2014. ... the "PC Master Race" thing is a meme ... really sick and tired of the "Glorious PC Gaming Master Race" garbage... single quick line in a single video could have exploded ... use of the phrase "Glorious PC Gaming Master Race" is ubiquitous...term "master race" offensive 
  13. ^ Wilde, Tyler (January 14, 2015). "Let's stop calling ourselves the "PC Master Race". Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Croshaw, Ben (January 20, 2015). "On the PC Master Race and the Language Police". Retrieved June 30, 2015. Because the Nazis were dicks, and they don't deserve to have power over our language anymore. If some millennial can honestly use the term 'PC Master Race' for years without even knowing that it's a Nazi reference, then I'd chalk that up as a win. 
  15. ^ Young, Georgiana (January 14, 2015). "TechRaptor Staff Respond to Critics of the Term "PC Master Race"". TechRaptor. Retrieved February 17, 2016. 
  16. ^ "terrycrews". instagram.com. Retrieved April 8, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Terry Crews is really getting into PC gaming". entertainment.ie. July 17, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2017. 
  18. ^ Hallock, Robert (June 29, 2016). "I work at AMD. The time has come to AMA about Polaris and RX 400 Series! BONUS: 14x 8GB RX 480 giveaway! DOUBLE BONUS SURPRISE: Raja is with me until 12:00 EDT!". reddit. Retrieved July 17, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Corsair exclusive PCMR giveaway". July 20, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Cooler Master exclusive PCMR giveaway". September 4, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  21. ^ Barrett, Ben (January 10, 2016). "Second Palmer Luckey AMA takes place on r/pcmasterrace, of all places". PCGamesN. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  22. ^ Morrison, Angus (January 10, 2016). "Second Luckey AMA talks exclusivity, quality and experimental super-rigs". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Announcing NZXT's Hue+ giveaway to PCMR!". Reddit. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  24. ^ "We here at NZXT want to help PC gamers out by doing a Steam Gift Card Giveaway". Reddit. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  25. ^ "5 Year Anniversary NZXT x PCMR H440 Case!". Reddit. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Ascend A Friend". September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Nvidia exclusive PCMR contest". July 20, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Folding AMA on Reddit". July 20, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  29. ^ Tassi, Paul (April 26, 2014). "MOBAs Drive PC Gaming to Surpass Consoles Globally". Forbes. Retrieved September 6, 2014. There's an eternal war being waged between PC enthusiasts and console gamers as to which platform is better, and the so-called 'PC master race' might have just gotten a little bit more ammunition. 

Bibliography[edit]