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PK493 avatar 6:43 PM on 10.06.2012  (server time)
Disconnection...In An Online Gaming World

You know what's odd? The reasons people play video games. Some do it to relax, some do it to "activate" (a la fighting games improve reflexes etc), some do it to shut their kid/brother/sister/friend/kidnapped alien up for half an hour so they can do some work/play outside/work out what to do with a kidnapped alien without the kid pleading to play 2-player with them.

Me? I'm in it for the story.

I play games, because...well, in my opinion, games are the best medium at having the possibility of telling great stories. It combines the length and depth + detail of a book, but it uses pictorial form, which has a far greater effect on the human mind, since we rely on our eyes as our most important sense, things have a far greater effect when you see them, rather than reading about it.

That's for another time though. What I'm HERE (thanks Elect Nigma) to talk about is my time (or rather lack of) spent in what is now, just as important, if not more. I'm going to talk about multiplayer and online-iness in general.

I could not have spent in all my collective time on online video games, more than 25 hours in total. That covers all my games. EVER. I have barely ventured into the realm of solo multiplayer, and I don't really have any reasons why.

It's not so much that I must take a stand against the disgusting leech that is tacked-on multiplayer, or even good dedicated multiplayer, it probably falls down to two reasons. I have limited internet, and multiplayer almost always has no story value.

I need a reason to care. A reason to progress. A reason to waste my time in a virtual world instead of doing something worthwhile in the real world. Once I finish a story, I barely ever return to a game. Multiplayer basically offers me a burger, but without the meat. It's just bread, and some onions which you know are going to come out badly at the end. It's not interesting, I have no patience for level grinding, and I never have "great" connection. I generally have a predisposition to just avoid multiplayer, simple as.

That's not to say I detest multiplayer. I just like to do it with a friend who I can actually see. Many a school night was spent at my friends house, playing Guitar Hero, then Guitar Hero II, and then Halo 3. My God, the fun I had playing Halo 3 with my friends. Endless memories of awesome.

Maybe that's why I don't like multiplayer now, because it's solitary. Yes you play with other people, but even with friends, you can never shake the feeling that you're sitting alone, talking into a headset. When you play with people around you, it just feels better. It doesn't matter what generation, it's always better with a friend by your side. GoldenEye, Pokemon Stadium, Micro Machines, Battle Engine Aquila, Halo, Halo II, Halo 3, Guitar Hero, CoD. All contain memories, and all would have been far less interesting without having a friend right next to me to experience them.

It scares me to be honest. Like an invasion of my solitude. Now every game has multiplayer (almost all of the Alien's Colonial Marines coverage on the internet has been about its multiplayer., and Dead Space 2 had the most useless multiplayer ever, just because they thought it might appeal more) Every game now has day one patches. Sleeping Dogs required half of it to be downloaded, before I could play it. Total War Shogun 2 regularly requires massive, hard drive space eating, patches.

( It would be nice if I could play my games offline, without having to go online just to be allowed to play them).

I can't keep up. Steam requires you to go online to allow for offline play. Portal 2 had an 11GB patch (I have 30GB a month, and I can just about keep above water), so I had to delete it. I regularly have to visit friend's houses to get some serious downloading done, and it's getting worse. Almost unattainable.

So maybe I just have to give up on games. After all, everything is all about inter connectivity and online-only (F2P games, they don't have offline modes at all) and huge patches for unfinished games, where they assume that everyone has unlimited usage. I've pretty much fallen behind, like a runner who has a stitch, and just can't keep up.

Gaming alone is over. My solitary space is gone now, replaced by Steam notifications and adverts to spend money on extra clothes (Sleeping Dogs). Fictional media requires suspension of disbelief, which is hard to do when people drop in and ask you to skip the cut scenes

I guess I've turned into the gaming equivalent of a dinosaur. And the meteor is coming, in the shape of my disconnection to the rapidly growing multiplayer market The gamers who play games for stories are no longer the majority. But to be honest, where they ever?

Also, I realize how ridiculously "first world problems" and middle class I sound.

Unrelated note: That Werewolf forum thread is actually amazing. It's such a cool idea.

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