Do You Prefer to Play Games By Yourself or with Others?

Congratulations to...me! Yesterday's post was my 100th. I consider that a small, signifcant milestone. I've really been enjoying trying to contribute to this blog everyday, and am still ever so slowly trying to increase my minimal amount of site traffic.

Today's post takes it's inspiration from an article by Stephen Totilo at the MTV Multiplayer blog. Having recently delved in Smash Bros. Brawl, Totilo describes how he primarily plays it alone, largely ignoring the multiplayer components. He behaves similarly with many other games. As he acknowledges, this is quite ironic in that he edits a blog with the word "multiplayer" in the title. I can completely relate to playing games primarily by yourself, even multiplayer ones.

The only two games I played extensively with at least one other person were the original Super Mario Kart and Super Mario Kart: Double Dash on the GameCube. My friend and I played the original to death not just because it was great fun, but because neither of us were capable of acing the Special Cup through our own, individual efforts. We needed a little teamwork. Double Dash entered the scene during college, and my roommates and I would play and fight about it for hours.

Other than these two games, I've been primarily a solo gamer. I didn't have a N64 when Goldeneye was popular, and I rarely play shooters now. Even games whose sole purpose as a game is multiplayer, such as both Melee and Brawl, I play them by myself. That may be why I don't enjoy those types of games quite as much.

Why do I do this? I think the primary reason for me is that I much prefer to play games for their narrative, to unwind a compelling, interesting story. These types of games are often necessarily solitary affairs. This is the same reason I regularly read novels and watch films; to go along with the story and see what happens. A second reason is that when it comes to games, I'm just not that competitive. I'm more interested in finishing a game and moving on to something new than in trying to dominate my friends or master the controls. A final reason for me may be that of current consoles, I only own the Wii. Since most of my friends aren't into games as much as I am, I often play by myself, which is fine. And the Wii's online multiplayer is just now starting to develop, although I'm only moderately interested in it.

I'm even starting to lose my interest in Brawl, which will hopefully prove to be an excellent online experience. Maybe part of this is that multiplayer, competitive games are rarely complete, at least until you just grow tired of playing them. In Brawl, I'm focused on getting 100% on the SubSpace Emissary, and beating all the modes with every character. For me, that will feel like I've, in a sense, completed the game.

So what kind of gamer are you? Do you primarily play multiplayer games? Single player experiences? A little of both? Much like Stephen Totilo, I usually play by myself.


Michael said...

Hi Korey. I usually play by myself and prefer it that way...unless I can convince a family member to play with me, and then it's a different story.

I'm currently making my way through Brawl's co-op adventure mode with my wife, and I know I'm enjoying it much more than if I had played it alone. I've also been playing Brawl online, but lag has been a problem in at least half of these matches.

I enjoy playing sports games with my son as well, but online sports - especially via Xbox Live - has been a nightmare for me. I wish Microsoft could do something to clean up all the ugly, racist, homophobic behavior there. I wonder how many of us avoid online play for this very reason?

Korey said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I tend to prefer playing games by myself, I think just because single-player games are largely what I'm interested in. Unfortunately, I don't have a 360, but I constantly read about the outlandish, offensive behavior of what sounds like a large portion Live users. Although I don't like Nintendo's online much, I kind of like not having voice chat so far. It seems like I would only want to use it with friends who I know.