From Console to PC – The Controller Noob Struggle

All my life, I’ve played consoles or handhelds, using my thumbs and pointer fingers for all of my gaming experiences. However, I have been trying to get the most out of my computer by playing some Starcraft II, revisiting older games like Braid and Super Meat Boy, and even thinking about diving into upcoming games like Overwatch. While I loved playing the original trinity of Blizzard games (Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo), it has been too long and I’m learning the hard way that computer gaming is not for the faint of heart.

The Dedicated Device versus The All-in-One

One of the major problems for me with this transition (which also applies to mobile gaming) is that the hardware used to play the game is the same for the normal day-to-day operation of the system. Growing up, any Nintendo console and most of the systems before the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation were dedicated gaming devices. In my mind, I’m using my gaming systems to game and aside from touch screens (like the Nintendo DS), buttons, analog sticks, and controller layouts are all designed to provide an enjoyable gaming experience. I see my keyboard, I think of typing and communication, of work, and just a different type of device than a gaming controller. I see my controllers of the past, I see worn buttons, I see past battles, and I don’t look at it during gameplay just because the familiarity has become so strong and intuiti

Confession Time

Let’s get this out in the open:

PC gaming is a bit of a cheat to say because… I use a Macbook. I’ve used Apple products most of my life, growing up with this bad boy right here.


This iMac was state of the art and I’m the type of guy to ride out my technology until it dies. So, for a few years, the iMac was my Starcraft device. Since then, I’ve transitioned to laptop, currently writing this article on a Macbook, and my fondness for the OS strays me away from buying a dedicated gaming system. I’ve played games on Mac for years, but nothing too seriously or competitively, and I don’t intend to purchase a PC for gaming (or ever) just because, as mentioned, I’ve thought of gaming as a feature on the computer, not the prime function. For now, I’m enjoying what I’m playing, but the lack of an Overwatch Mac beta leads me to believe that the game will never appear on the Mac OS, bringing me to my next point…..

I can’t Shoot with a Mouse.

I saw the Overwatch trailer and gameplay and couldn’t help but feel giddy. The different characters, unique ways to play, focus on team dynamics, and just an overall aura of fun took me by surprise enough to become reacquainted with computer gaming. Fellow Nerdswole writer Brian Le has covered his thoughts on Counter Strike in plenty of articles, peaking my interest, but my inability to rely with keyboard/mouse inputs will forever separate me from the game.

Similarly, in Starcraft II, I am familiarizing myself with the controls. I’m learning to micro-manage, use hotkeys efficiently, and adapt to things happening beyond my screen. As I struggle through the campaign, I know my learning curve will be an uphill battle. My mind wants to do amazing things like this:


But my technical skills leave me like this:


In essence, I come away from PC gaming with this final thought:


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