In Defense of the Solo Gamer

In Defense of the Solo Gamer

Solo gaming rules: forced multiplayer does not.

It’s probably no surprise that I, a writer, tend to be a solitary person. I’m comfortable with my own company, I often travel alone and sometimes, I just want to be nothing but… alone. That’s not to say I’m anti-social, though. I spend lots of time with family and friends. And yes, occasionally, I even play MMO’s, with other gamers, although it’s not my preferred gaming style. Yes, that’s right, I’m a solo gamer.

As a solo gamer, I’m seeing a new trend in the rise of forced multiplayer gaming. In fact, most games now come with multiplayer-only levels: things you can only enjoy if you play with others. I hate the fact that gaming developers think this is what all gamers want, and I would like to think others, like me, really don’t like to be forced to play with others. When I sit down to play, it generally is about “me” time, and why would I ruin that by adding other gamers?

For example, upcoming game Destiny is a title that I’ve been eyeing. However, recent news has come out that although the game has solo levels, other parts of the game are not accessible unless you agree to multiplayer. If I had the choice of NPC’s, perhaps that would not be an issue. But no, the idea is to force me to game with others when I’d rather just be alone. Needless to say, I’ve just taken Destiny off of my wishlist. Thanks for nothing, Bungie. If I pay $60 for a game, I should be able to play it the way I want and have access to all parts of the game without being forced into a fake socialization scheme.

I’ve done my share of multiplayer gaming. And more often than not, my patience wears out after the 15th time that I’ve waited an hour for someone to join my group and then have that same person disappear in the middle of a boss fight, only resulting in having to do it all over again. I’m a busy person. I have a job and a life and I don’t have time for that nonsense. I want to sit in front of my TV, pick up my PS4 controller and just play a game on my own terms. Why is that too much to ask?

Am I alone in this attitude? Do others feel the same as me? If so, leave me a comment below and tell me what you think of forced multiplayer, in general.

6 thoughts on “In Defense of the Solo Gamer

  • December 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I totally agree with you Robin!
    I enjoy all of my games offline. I usually play for the fun and not for competition.
    For this reason I also avoid buying multi-player based games or those who lack a good story-mode. There are some good shooters out there with nice single player camaignes, too, but IMHO these tend to become rare lately.

    • December 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      I agree completely. When titles like Tomb Raider have a multiplayer mode, I just have to go “Huh?” It just makes no sense.

  • December 16, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Yes-someone who understands the solo gamer, the kind of gamer that I am. I prefer solo experiences and co-op experiences over competitive experiences, especially with multiplayer, as it just draws me out of the experience that way and breaks the immersion altogether. Story is always first and foremost what I look for in a game, and of course, great game play. If a game starts as Single Player, or Co-op, it should stay that way and not have Competitive bashed in just to appeal to the masses, because that’s just stupid and isn’t a long term solution at all. When I make video games, I am going to make experiences that resonate with gamers and they will be solo experiences-they will be adventures that will stick with the player after they’ve finished the game or a game session, and don’t require them to constantly log onto MP to buy into the fantasy that a game is great when it’s just not what they want or any good at all. That’s a promise. I will bring single player gaming-offline gaming that is-back to its prime, even if I have to pay heavy costs to get there. May solo experiences never die. Thanks for sharing, Robin 🙂

    • December 17, 2013 at 7:45 am

      And I will play your games! I hate how game devs now seem to pander to multiplayer, even if it doesn’t make sense for the game itself. I agree that story should be the primary focus all the time.

      • December 17, 2013 at 8:11 am

        Thank you. I also wish devs would get back to the core of the experience instead of trying to instantly streamline it with MP. Story is starting to become more vital ever since games like BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us released earlier this year-I will take it further when my time comes. I did not grow up with this industry just to see it die. Video games have been a big part of my life and I won’t see them fade away because devs aren’t focused on their future and only the now. When my games release, they will change their minds and realize their path to success has been staring them in the face whole time, and the industry will be back to its true form like the 80’s and 90’s. I will not go down this road without a fight-the fight to bring gaming back to its former glory and make everything anew again.

  • December 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I’m totally with you. I’ve had a couple of interesting runs online. I spent one entire summer Capturing the Flag on Halo – I was awful at death match, but nobody could run a flag like me! But in general, I get annoyed with other player comments, connecting/disconnecting issues, and all of that nonsense.

    My other pet peeve is when the consoles started handing out trophies or awards for things, then decided that you had to complete online or multiplayer options to get 100%. I used to replay portions of games to get all the rewards…but since I could no longer get 100%, I found myself not bothering to get the awards, which decreased the replay value of the game.

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