Indico

Sometimes Steph has something to do outside of the house, maybe somewhere else in the Valley, and so she leaves me alone at home for awhile and I sit in a quiet room and cry softly to myself.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, what with the agony and the weeping, and the “Oh, nice lady, come back to your humble abode!” But as she has already mentioned, she went bowling on Tuesday night and left me at home with nothing to do. So I sat around and thought about my options. I went through several until I recalled an article I had read in (the print version of) The Metro about a local gaming place called Indico Gaming. Apparently they’ve got all the latest games and the atmosphere is really great for gamers, so I decided that I would actually leave the house without Steph by my side. Something I very very rarely do, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit.


I drove down there and stopped at a nearby Computer book store before heading in. I knew I was going to like the place before I even walked in when I saw “Open Daily Noon – 4am” etched on the glass. “These guys get it,” I thought to myself as I came through the door. You can get an idea of the atmosphere a little bit by peeking at the online gallery on their site. It’s a cool place. Definitely targeted at guys like me who love to play computer games. They’ve got a green-and-black theme going, somewhat similar to the XBox. They have a couple dozen Dell systems (I know… I actually touched a Dell computer) and a couple XBoxes and PS2 systems. And they sell pizza and soda and stuff, and I think they’ve got a room where you can watch movies.

I slapped down my $5 and opened an account, and they gave me two hours of gaming. The guy at the desk was incredibly friendly. I think his name was Brad. He talked with me for awhile and we chatted about a few different things. He actually caught me off guard when he asked, “So what sort of games do you play?” I stammered and faltered for a second, trying to think of the best way to phrase, “I love playing games, but I’m not really a hard-core gamer because I’m a Mac geek.” But I basically said, “Umm… Warcraft III, sometimes Quake or Allied Assault.” When I said I was a Mac user, he said that they do get some folks with Macs at home to come in just to play the games that aren’t available on the Mac. I thought that was interesting. He sat down at a computer next to mine and talked me through Battlefield 1942, a game I had never played before Tuesday night. It was really awesome. Very fun game play. Neal was also online. We had actually planned that if I had Net access at this computer, which I did, that we would pick a server and meet there and play online on the same teams. So Brad and I teamed up with Neal, and I watched Neal earn 1st place in the match while constantly getting killed, myself. We played for about an hour, and I headed home. We’ll do Desert Combat next time.

I have some admissions to make here. Apple does not even approach doing well competitively in the gaming market. I’ve always believed that the lack of phenomenal support for every game was a point that we majorly lacked, and probably one of those things that makes us lose the most sales. You can buy a Mac and play games. Certainly. But if you are an avid gamer you will not buy a Mac unless you also plan to own a PC. We just don’t compare in that area. Sure, you can get a Mac that will run any (available) game just as fast as a PC can. It might cost you a little extra, but even if you know it’s worth the price, there’s one sticking point. The Mac doesn’t have half the number of games the PC does.

So why would a gamer buy one when he’s just going to shove it under his desk (thus not appreciating the Mac’s inherent external beauty), never look at it, and only use it for gaming? He doesn’t do digital movies or photos. He emails and surfs the Net, but that’s mostly the same on all platforms now. And to be frank, he’s not refined enough to notice or care about the little touches of class Apple puts all over its products. He’s satisfied with basic, unfriendly functionality at a marginally cheaper price. He’ll take cookie-cutter over cutting-edge if it means that cookie-cutter will let him play Battlefield 1942. So the fact that the game developer decides to not develop their game for the Mac loses one Mac sale right there. Why do you think Microsoft has its own game-creation studio?

That Dell was the smoothest gaming experience I’ve ever had. And you know if I’m saying that, it’s true. Granted, it was a newer computer than my G4 iMac at home, so maybe I’m making an unfair comparison, but it was still a very good showing. And it obviously has me thinking about how Apple can make up lost ground in that market. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a long way to go.

I’ll definitely be going back to Indico. It’s an interesting sense of community one has when one is there. They’re just starting up. They opened their online forums only three months ago, and there are only sixty members on the forum so far, so I think they’re just starting to pick up steam. That Metro article couldn’t have hurt business at all. And I’m thinking I’ll have to go on Sundays once in awhile, where it’s “Ladies night” and Steph can play all night for free. 🙂

Yes, honey, I’m serious.

8 Comments

  1. Posted November 1, 2003 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    That’s awesome they have a ladies night. They probally secretly call it “project: get girls to talk to us” or something just for fun. That sounds like an awesome place. there was a setup like that in Mora, MN that had games and videos for rent and if you wanted to play games they had systems with tv’s and you could play for $5 an hour, which was good compared to the quarter based systems. The ended up closing up shop because they were in Mora which is pretty podunk to do something like that. Anywho, sweet post josh, way to be brave and get out.

  2. Posted November 1, 2003 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    We had a couple places like that here in the Cities that I used to go to with the guys at work. Stomping Ground was located in the warehouse district, though rumor has it they were supposed to close down and open up in Mall of America. I’m not sure if that ever happened. There’s also PC Palace on the campus of the U. Both places were pretty much the same, lots of geeky game action, pizzas and pop for sale, open college student hours.

    We’d always get a big crew from work and go play Battlefield 1942. It was quite the stress reliever on our last day of work.

    Though to show our true dorkiness, most of us had more fun coming up with dorky screennames. At one point people were coming up with insults on other guys’ wives, like “Fists of Rachel.” My personal favorite screen name was “The Evangelist.” You can come up with your own corny Ahnold-like sound-bytes.

  3. Posted November 1, 2003 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Battlefield is a great game. It is the only thing I use my PC for besides editing my resume.

  4. Neal
    Posted November 1, 2003 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Personally Kevin, I was a little disturbed that a BGEA worker with a screenname like “The Evangelist” was fragging me. Nothing says God loves you like a few rounds of hot lead, I guess! 😉

    Josh, you’re cutting yourself short: you did way better than many I’ve seen that play BF 1942 all the time. In fact, I was quite impressed. You leaped right in and played like a pro. *sniff* I’m so proud of you!

    These gamer’s palaces are pretty cool. It allows you to play games you may not want to spend the money on, and it’s a lot easier than lugging a comp to a friends place and trying to get them all hooked up.

  5. Posted November 1, 2003 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Dangit! Now Josh is using this Indico place to pressure me. Things like, “I’ll help you rearrange the furniture if you come to Indico Ladies Game Time.” I guess I can kiss my cherished Sundays goodbye….

  6. Neal
    Posted November 1, 2003 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s negativity like that that keeps you from having fun while gaming!

  7. Posted November 2, 2003 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I know if I had the money I would buy (or probably build) a PC for games. Most recent lust items include: URU (the new MMOG Myst game) and FF XI (another MMOG).

    When talking about how the Mac is for games I generally say if you are a casual gamer the Mac is fine, but if you are anything more PC (and or consoles) are the way to go.

    For me I have a Mac, PS2 and GameCube.

  8. Posted November 5, 2003 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I have got to say – one big reason for me getting a PC to have around was the ability to run a certain windows game that has not yet been replicated in all its glory. The windows version of Solitare is my all time favorite. The graphics were designed by Susan Kare (http://www.kare.com) who is the same woman who designed the icons for the original Mac OS interface, and MacPaint. I have not found a solitare game that is like that one, and so thus I keep a PC around to play that every now and then.

    The other big reason for having a PC is testing Active Directory with Win2k and Mac OS X. But that is a much less important reason than solitare. I have to test that stuff so that I know certain things for my *job*.

    nuff’ said. 🙂