You stand before a whirring, magical box. Lit with rainbows and attached to a few otherworldly trinkets, it hums gently in the low light of the vendor's basement. "This, my friend, is a gaming PC," the peddler says, waving his arm mysteriously. "It's a calculator, of sorts. It will grant you the ability to find, store, and share information from the farthest reaches of The Forgotten Realms. Present it with coin and it will transport you to unknown lands."
He steps back, brow furrowed. "But mind how you keep it, traveller, for its condition will reveal your true alignment to all who behold it." This is the true curse of the gaming desktop.
Our PC desktops are where we keep our most beloved shortcuts, our treasured memes, our most tentative top-folders. For some, it is a place of purgatory, and a sanctuary for others. For the scholarly it may be a place to organise, to reflect. For the godless: a place to spew unnamed, accursed folders from the annals of their waking mind.
While many of us would obscure the Windows to our soul (sorry, not sorry), these brave travellers have come forward to show you just how chaotic, lawful, evil, or good they really are. At least, according to my 1440p scrying mirror, here. Click through the image galleries to see which of my colleagues is responsible for each of the below.
Our Lawful good friend here has opted for the widest gaming monitor possible to keep a bead on their domain, and ensure nothing is out of place. Not only have they reserved maximum screen space for fighting evil with a passive FOV perception effect, they've saved only their most used game shortcuts to the desktop. Very disciplined execution. A cleric of the PC pantheon if ever there was one.
There's the odd slip-up here, such as an image entitled "me", but this person has made a good attempt to keep organised with only major folders and program shortcuts saved to the desktop. There's a moment-to moment feel about it, it's lived in but not excessive. Combine this with the wide panel and basic-bitch background and you've got yourself a somewhat restrained vision of holiness.
A homage to our one true PCG god, Bathtub Geralt here. Though despite a holy tonne of screen space, and a restrained shortcut saving etiquette, this one still screams chaos. Even the serene landscape is overpowered by the cat guarding her Gwent cards screencap from The Witcher: 3—a character this PC's owner identifies with quite readily. Truly a righteous herald of PCG's goblin mode (opens in new tab) lore.
This person's keeping their head clear with a distinct lack of icons. And while the will to keep order is clear with the addition of a portrait monitor, there's something a little unnervingly neutral about having no background at all. It's a little too orderly, in an almost robotic way. They're ready to follow orders down to a T, morals or none.
This is the most fence-sitty desktop, with no personality showing through it's hard to distinguish whether this person bats for the dark or light side. And although the restrained number of desktop icons do give a hint toward the orderly, there's something very middle-of-the-road about a single-monitor setup.
This might look like a standard, well conditioned setup, but look again, traveller. The two perfectly aligned monitors and distinct lack of icons points to a status-quo keeper, but there's something unrestrained in the choice of background image. DJMAX Respect V is an anime beat game, and easily one of the best anime games on PC (opens in new tab). Though with a "staggeringly difficult 10-button layout", it's about as tranquil as you might expect.
Of course one who wields a background featuring Disco Elysium (opens in new tab) artwork should slot happily into the lawful zone, but the excessive shortcuts I cannot abide. This is one messed up cop, doing messed up things to get the job done—they definitely jammed the corpse they were investigating into that polar bear refrigerator.
A wholly basic-bitch background here lands this person somewhere in the middle ground in terms of expression, but the fact this single monitor setup is absolutely drowning in screenshots, folder shortcuts, and other files is frankly sending me. What circle of the nine Hells did these naming conventions crawl out of? Honestly. I guess this is the kind of degeneracy needed to conjure the kind of creative magic their work embodies.
Since this person is working at PC Gamer and using a Mac, they've already fallen to Evil. A traitor among us. It pains me to say that they're actually on the hardware team. And while there's not an icon in sight, this goes against the default Mac state of saving everything to the desktop. This walking contradiction has even gone full goblin mode with a background depicting the memelord Nick Cage's drunken crying toilet scene from the movie Mandy.