MSI Kicks Off Strange, Glorious #YesWeBuild Campaign

Things are getting weird over at MSI. The company kicked off a new campaign, #YesWeBuild, that's supposed to explain why enthusiasts choose to build their own PCs instead of buying pre-configured systems. That's an admirable goal—we here at Tom's Hardware are obviously all for worshiping at the altar of DIY PC building—but saying the #YesWeBuild campaign's introduction video is strange would be the understatement of the year.

The video kicks off with a middle-aged man who can't bond with his young son because all Junior wants to do is watch people stream video games. So the father decides to build a PC, don a giraffe mask, and stream his gameplay. Yes, the second item in that list was "don a giraffe mask." And yes, things only went downhill from there, with the video culminating in a teal alien beaming up the video's stars to be its personal Geek Squad.

Why on earth do we build our own PC? | #YesWeBuild | MSI

MSI's point was that people build PCs for a variety of reasons. Some want to stream, others want to compete in esports, a few just want to RGB everything they can, and apparently at least one desperately wants to play Pong and is willing to travel through space to do so. All of those desires (save maybe the last one) can be met if you're willing to design and assemble your own system. That's the takeaway from the video, anyway.

The video's absurdity might actually serve a valuable function by making PC building seem less daunting. Assembling a system isn't hard, but many people might see a rig's cost and assume they couldn't put together such an expensive PC by themselves. (Claims about there being a so-called "PCMasterRace" and squabbles over which part is best probably help contribute to the feeling that newcomers need not apply.)

#YesWeBuild is meant to help reduce some of that anxiety. MSI made that clear when it said in its announcement that it wants to "make PC building more approachable to anyone wants to start building." To do that, the company partnered up with Corsair on step-by-step videos that cover many of the basics about building your own PC, giving newcomers to the hobby a reference guide that can help them start with their first build. (Editor's note: You may be unsurprised to learn that we have those, too.)

This isn't the first time a manufacturer has tried to demystify PC building for newcomers. NZXT did something similar with BLD, a service that helps you design a system for yourself without having to research different parts or assemble everything yourself. EVGA also created a "DIY Configurator" that helps you decide on what components and peripherals you should purchase and gives you a discount for buying them all at once. Etc.

PC component manufacturers want more people to build their own PCs, because of course they do, and MSI's campaign shows that they're willing to get weird in their attempts to make that happen. So if the lack of a Pong-loving alien was the only thing stopping you from building your own PC, now you have no excuse not to start ordering parts. Just don't help the alien yourself; apparently that's a good way to get yourself abducted and enslaved.

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  • zippyzion
    Well, that was... interesting. I get where they are coming from though. For a lot of people even swapping a video card or putting in a hard drive is so daunting that it seems impossible. I have several friends and family that want nothing more than to have a custom machine, yet despite my assurances that it is not that hard, they don't want to make the leap to building their own PC.

    Programs that can help newcomers to the PC Master Race are a great thing. Just be sure to throw in some disclaimers about avoiding the message boards and chat rooms. There are some people that are just pure venom about anything that doesn't fit into their narrow idea of "teh bestest game plain' machine like everz".
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  • bigdragon
    MSI has a good thing going with its dragon character. They should probably stick to that rather than branching out to aliens and giraffes.

    I do like their message, and I think it needs to get out more. The days of cracking Athlons, overheating Pentiums, firmware settings that brick motherboards, setting jumpers, and impossible OS installs are in the past. Things are more streamlined than they've ever been.
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  • turkey3_scratch
    The giraffe thing eating the keyboard got me.
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