We’ve all seen recently that the more we’ve progressed in terms of technology being used within our consoles, we’ve also seen the increase in multiplayer.Going from split screen on the same TV, to linking consoles via a cable, to the rise of Xbox Live and Playstation Network but do people enjoy the communities that are being brought to our headsets and what’s our views on the experience of online gaming VS good old single player?
As I’ve mentioned before, the rise of technology being introduced to the upcoming consoles, we’ve seen the prices go up in price as well to the normal RRP for an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 game is around £40. The question I constantly find that I ask myself is “is this really worth the money?” Me personally, I am more of a single player person. Why? Well part of the reason is that find that the online community by itself is never much fun for me. There are the odd days where I will sit and play online games but within a few hours, I’m back onto single player games. Unless I am sitting in a party chat with a couple of friends, I simply cannot enjoy the online experience when it comes to games as much as what I can.
Now this is down to several factors for me. Firstly, I’m a girl who games so automatically, I can be getting taunted for my sex as some gamers have still got the images that girls simply cannot play games (mostly they can be little Joe whose got his mother to purchase the latest Call of Duty for him since he’s 6 years under the age limit, but that’s another topic in hand now isn’t it?) or are just being seen as sex symbols that are being used to chat up. We’ve all experienced this in online gaming lobbies in some form whether we’ve witnessed this or just been on the receiving end of it. With this in mind, gaming lobbies can become a place for bullying against people of different sexuality, race and beliefs. Some may raise the point that “Yes, but this can happen in everyday life if you walk down the street and put on display your beliefs for the rest of the world to see” but, when playing online, everyone is hidden behind an avatar that can act as a barrier in the fact that, unless we are friends outside of online gaming with the person – you don’t know who they are apart from their username and what games they play so this poses the question , are gaming lobbies acting as a enticer to bullying and only igniting the flame that we’re trying to dampen down on that is called bullying? Is this barrier of having an avatar and not really getting caught out on the bullying just the reason that we’re seeing so much bullying being allowed? Alright so most of you will be saying “So what, just mute them all before starting a match?” by this point, as would I if I was reading this but surely the point of a multiplayer online game would be the multiplayer portion of it and by muting all of these people, you’re essentially isolating yourselves from everyone else. Not much of a ‘team’ player then are we? Can we win with online communities then? Well let’s look at that next.
In saying all of these negatives about the online gaming community, online lobbies can be considered as a good place to meet new people who have similar gaming interests as you. As we’re seeing more and more of the CoD’s and Battlefield’s, the more clans that are forming where friends are getting together on a regular basis online and doing more team vs. team competitions on these games which are obviously displaying the act of more team work and enjoyment compared to someone joining a lobby by themselves with a group of random people. As well as this, I’ve also been a witnessed to people coming together through online forums to help other gamers out with achievements on certain games and working together to help each other out.
As I’ve already mentioned, I am more of a single player gal myself. Not only because of my view on the online gaming communities but because I find that it provides more of an enjoyable experience. No worries of getting abused by strangers, no waiting around to get matched up in a game and definitely no lag! (Unless you have a really old console where there would be some waiting around for the game to load up). I find single player campaigns more immersive on the better games and after recently getting into some RPG title’s such as Dragon Age, this has only strengthened my love and belief that there are still really good single player games being created but, I do feel they’re getting overrun by the multiplayer aspect. Again, as I’ve briefly touched upon earlier in this article, the price tags are rising for these games, so is there really the need to pay £40 for a game that’s single player you’ll play perhaps 10 hours on? Another question I find myself asking is, “why are they adding on multiplayer, it’s already an amazing game by itself?”. This has mainly been with the Assassins Creed series which I think anyone who knows me, I am a massive fan of but, my point still stands in that they’ve already got a very good base of a game with the single player aspect of it and I do feel that the multiplayer is just an unnecessary add on to the game.
One final mention of a game type that is a way of somewhat meeting the two parallels in the middle is co-op. Co-op offers about the best of both worlds within the single player and the multiplayer. Where this would have normally been carried out on the same TV, same console and two separate controllers in the early 90’s, not only can we still play with our friends but it can be done within the comfort of our own homes and also is providing us with another way on meeting new people that could potentially be less abusive. Still offers the same experience of single player with the intense action and emotion behind it however you can enjoy it with friends or create new friends from anywhere in the world.
In conclusion, I think that even due to the rise of online gaming and more and more money being invested into the multiplayer portion of upcoming games can sometimes be a disadvantage for those who either do not wish to partake in the multiplayer aspect of these games and could be seen as being somewhat punished by receiving a mediocre single player campaign compared to five or ten years ago although, online communities can provide a way of meeting new people and creating new connections with other gamers.
However, we at Zero1Gaming want to know your thoughts on the matter. Leave a comment below on your thoughts, views and opinion.