Why I Don’t Typically Play Multiplayer

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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


4 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Typically Play Multiplayer

  1. “Learning different strategies involving weapons, maps, and mechanics can sometimes feel daunting.”

    My go-to word is EXHAUSTING. I feel like I’m never learning fast enough for other people (the ones who don’t expect me to be a pro automatically), I get anxious when so much pressure is on me, and ultimately I get bored being forced to do the exact same thing again and again just because it’s “the best way to play”. Pretty much any multiplayer scene where there’s one prescribed type of play or where everyone else has thought out their every move in advance is just no fun to me. And then the other players either get mad or condescend, and then I just spend the rest of my time doing everything deliberately wrong or dropping altogether.

    I like playing with friends though. They let me play however I want and don’t care if we win or lose.

    Liked by 1 person

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