Single Player Gaming- A Dying Trend?
by, 06-02-2012 at 09:23 AM (1372 Views)
Game series such as Halo, Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Gears of War did not find their success within their single-player campaigns. In fact, many titles like these have forgone focus on their single player elements (which for these was many times referred to as mediocre at best) in lieu of more social, multiplayer ones. There’s no arguing that today’s culture of gaming has found itself with a heavy focus on FPS titles- mainly those with acute levels of multiplayer replay value. And, suffice it to say, multiplayer has become a mainstay of modern gaming.
I acknowledge that for developers it’s hard – no, impractical from a business perspective – to release games without including some form of multiplayer. Admit it, we gamers insist, often demand, the ability to play our games with and/or against our friends.
However, despite this looming presence of multiplayer over gaming, many gamers still would consider themselves “single-player gamers”. For every online Gears of War or CoD player out there, there is another gamer who may not even have an Xbox LIVE subscription. Believe it or not, there is a great percentage of gamers who simply play games because they enjoy a strong single-player campaign with engaging story lines and characters who they can identify with.
So, with multiplayer gaming holding strong as flavor of the week... err, past 5+ years... some gamers are beginning to wonder about the future of single player video games. Is single player gaming a dying “trend”? Will many of our favorite games or game series only be available via multiplayer from now on?
In my opinion single player gaming always has been and always will be THE staple of video games. Aristotle discovered, long before gaming, that human minds have an appetite for a good story- We are entertained by their events, motivated by their characters, and inspired by their outcomes. Now, I promised myself I wouldn’t bore you with talks of Aristotle and literary plot curves; but all of our favorite stories follow these basic principles. Think of your favorite book or movie. Within that story I'll bet that there is a protagonist who is someone you could aspire to be and is faced with a variety of adverse situations... all of which lead to a final conflict that must be overcome for some greater good.
Now, I'd also be willing to bet that your favorite video games follow an eerily similar plot: Marcus Fenix made the world a better place by eradicating of the Locust tunnel network; Nathan Drake went from searching for a coffin to saving the world from mutated humans; Issac Clark had to save us all from the evil hieroglyphic filled Marker; and ... well hell, even Mario had to save the princess.
Nevertheless, my opinion is only one of many, so now the question goes out to those reading: What do YOU think? Do you spend most of your time gaming alone or online? Do you think that single player games are here to stay, or is the social aspect of online multiplayer gaming the new status quo of gaming? Let me know your thoughts!
As always, thanks for reading. Cheers!
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