Column There is much that people of breeding and taste can and should despise in gaming. Some of it comes from the angry undertow of sullen boyish aggression that pervades the over-muscled, over-weaponised first-person-shooter end of the market, where it is impossible to pick up the controller without hearing your mother tell you to tidy your room. Then there's the regrettable aesthetics of the custom gaming PC sector, a curious amalgam of macho metal vibe and sugar-rush amphetamine-acid LED colour cycling.
Then there's the more-grunt-is-more-better vibe. For anyone of ZX Spectrum vintage where animating a 16x16 pixel two colour character without clashing attributes was the height of technical achievement, the modern gaming GPU is beyond comprehension. Take the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, which, with 17.4 billion transistors, has as many as a quarter of a million ZX Spectrums and performance to match. Impressive, but do you get a quarter of a million times as much fun, or is it gratuitous penile substitution therapy? Do you really need all that?
California doesn't think so. It and five other liberal tree-hugging states, cognisant that all the trees are burning down, has banned the sale of muscle micros like the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop from Dell. Sporting, as they say in hardware reviews, the self-same RTX 3060, it contravenes new energy standards that say what's reasonable for consumer PCs. Juggernaut joyboxes? Not so much.