My friend and I had an argument today, a strange one. I was playing Golden Sun: Dark Dawn on my DS, a game I have been waiting for ever since The Lost Age was released. It was a few hours after school had ended, and naturally, I was absorbed in the game. The new changes to the continent of Angara had me waist-deep in nostalgia, and watching how Alchemy changed the world kept me glued to the screen. However, halfway through the dream swamp in Kolima, my friend messaged me.
He asked whether or not I've heard of Magicka, that new RPG released for the PC a few weeks ago. Being the frequent Destructoid lurker I am, I had been somewhat following the game and affirmed that I have. What followed was the longest string of nagging I've ever heard from him since he told me to buy Minecraft again (I shared an account with a friend, and he changed the password on me so I can't play it anymore). I was really irritated, to say he least. Magicka seemed like an interesting enough game, but I just had a lot more games that I still needed to play. SMT: Strange Journey, Z.H.P., and Mass Effect 2 are just a few of the games that come to mind. Not to mention a ton of other games I've been meaning to buy for some time now.
Interestingly enough, my friend got rather pissed off at me.
Like this, except on chat.
He said he didn't care about any of the games I wanted to be playing, and told me to just buy the damn game, as it would be one of the few games that we could get so that we can play online together. But again, at the time I was absorbed in one of my many single player games, so I told him to get off my back and that I'd get it when I got through a bit of my backlog, which consisted of games I would much rather be playing. With that, my friend got angry, gave up, an left the chat.
I confess to not being a huge multiplayer fan. Don't get me wrong though, it's not like I hate it. It's something I've been known to do on occasion, like my brief obsessions with Modern Warfare 2 and Metal Gear Online. But I always get more enjoyment and fulfillment out of playing a rich single player adventure than playing with other people. I love to get lost in a world in the same way I do when I read a good book. As such, I haven't really felt a dire need to play Magicka in the same way as I do with games like the ones mentioned above. I felt as if my reasoning was sound, and for a while I had no idea why he was geting so angry with me.
But then a thought struck me. My friend wanted me to get the game for the sole purpose of us having something to do online. We both own different consoles, my PS3 to his 360, so PC gaming is the only place we can play online. He's always been raging at me to get a 360, which has pissed me off to unbelievable amounts, and for the love of god I just wanted him to leave me alone about it. But now I realize all he really wanted was a means so we could game online together. Which brings up an interesting point:
Am I fine with being the odd one out in my network of friends?
Have I been perpetuating the negative gamer stereotype? The idea in society of the lonely, antisocial kid that sits in his basement playing video games? As gaming culture has grown far more mainstream over the years through titles such as Call of Duty and even Farmville, a lot more people are taking up the hobby. Through MMOs like World of Warcraft and online gamiing on Xbox Live, social interaction is becoming far more intrinsic to the gaming experience. But I never really got into that kind of thing, as gaming is more like escapism from society to me. But now am I that lonely, nerdy kid sitting around, not wanting to play with other people?
And furthermore, I now feel like sort of a dick. Should I have just gave in, bought Magicka, and played with my friend? Even if I'll most likely enjoy it a hell of a lot less than Golden Sun or Mass Effect? Gaming is one of the few things I do by myself, and escape. But should I just give up and start playing multiplayer games to appease my friends and ditch the stereotype? I honestly have no idea. I'm definitely more of an introvert than an extrovert, and I enjoy my me time. But is that really so bad?
Okay, this blog is getting a bit too long. I'll stop my rant here before I start looking weirder than I already do for worrying about these things. But tl;dr:
Was I wrong to value playing by myself to playing with others?