If there’s any one thing you need to know about my gaming preferences, it’s that I don’t typically play or enjoy online multiplayer. Playing with a group of friends is one thing, but I can’t stand online interactions with random people. A general lack of teamwork, toxic communities, and reliance on a steady internet connection are all things that get under my skin. So, what’s someone like me supposed to do in a world where more and more games are shifting towards an online-only structure?
For the most part, I tend to ignore the multiplayer components of games.
There’s been some exceptions (Uncharted 2, The Last of Us, Rocket League), but mostly I prefer playing by myself. Video games have always been my go-to activity to relax or recharge after a long day or intense time around other people (thank you, social anxiety), so spending that time with people yelling at me through my headset, not working as a team, and worrying about my internet connection has always been a major turn-off.
Another huge barrier to me is the amount of time needed to acclimate to certain games.
I know, this makes me sound like an awful gamer, and there might be some truth to that. I normally play video games for unique experiences and excellent stories, which is why I prefer to stick with single-player. Learning different strategies involving weapons, maps, and mechanics can sometimes feel daunting. That’s partially why I ignore the MOBA genre like the plague. I love when a game has depth, but when I have to scour the internet to keep up with what’s going on in the “meta”, or devote large chunks of time to mastering one experience, I can feel burned out and overwhelmed.
I guess when it really comes down to it, I just crave a different type of experience.
Multiplayer might not always be for me, but I love hearing stories about people who have incredible experiences with it. Friendships made, romances bloomed, and epic tales of encounters on the battlefield. I love that we have an industry that has something for everyone. While I may not enjoy it, or necessarily be good at it, I do have respect for multiplayer. When it works, it works great. When it doesn’t, it’s probably because I need to “git gud.”
Now please excuse me while go kick up my feet, pick up the controller, and play by myself for a bit.
– Zack Burrows