Multiplayer Gaming Is Not What it Used to Be

When I was in high school, I spend a HUGE amount of my time playing 4-player Goldeneye with my friends.  We would play after school, on weekends…whenever possible.  It was incredibly fun to sit around with my friends, chat with each other, trash talk when we got a good kill, and just generally share the experience with my friends. 

There were so many other games I used to play with other people as well.  I remember playing Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 with my sister all the time.  Mario Kart, Diddy Kong Racing…all of these games have very fond memories for me and all of these memories involve me hanging out with people and having a good time while gaming.

It seems lately, however, gaming has shifted into a multiplayer aspect that I don’t really like.  I had my first experience with online multiplayer when I bought myself a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops and played with some gaming friends from around the city I live in.  It was really fun because I knew the people I was gaming with and I even ventured so far as to play with people I didn’t know.  That wasn’t so bad either, but definitely not my favourite thing to do as I would end up with the Bluetooth yammering in my ear all the time, mostly the voices of what I assume were 13 year old spoiled brats who probably shouldn’t have been playing such a violent game in the first place.

So that was my last experience with online multiplayer as I found it to be lacking in the personal aspect that made multiplayer so much fun when I was younger.  I was just sitting alone in my living room playing with people I didn’t know and randomly being insulted for either killing someone (the point of the game), being killed, or just because I’m a girl and some people don’t understand that we play games too.  If they hear a girl over the chat, they’re either immediately cat-calling or telling you that you suck.  Not the best gaming experience.

Recently, I’ve played co-op games with The Boyfriend and it’s been awesome.  We’re on our second round through Resident Evil 5 and we’ve also enjoyed the Lego games as well.  I love being able to spend time with him playing these games and experiencing the story with someone else.  Being able to discuss it is awesome. 

And therein lies my biggest complaint with modern games.  There aren’t enough co-op games that I can actually play with someone in the same room as me.  There are a great deal of co-op games, don’t get me wrong.  But they all require the people playing to be on separate machines to play together.  I can’t pop a any old co-op game into my PS3, sit down on the couch with The Boyfriend, and play together.

For example, I got him Dead Island for Christmas and it says right on the box that it’s a co-op game.  But only online.  Which I find to be complete and utter crap.  Do the gaming companies just assume all gamers now have no actual friends anymore and must always just be grouped with online people?  Or are they just doing this to sell more copies by forcing us to play it on separate systems?

I’m going to go with “The gaming companies just want more money”.  There’s no other explanation for this turn of events and I’ve gotta say, they’re not going to get it out of me.  I refuse to buy multiple copies of one certain game just to play the multiplayer.   I’ll just lose out on those particular trophies and simply play the single player campaign.  The multiplayer games of today aren’t worth the money and the stress of wondering if I’m going to get grouped with a bunch of jerks that tear me down for being a chick or insult me for some other arbitrary reason.  I just won’t play.  That’s the bottom line.  It’s far more fun to play with my friends in the same room than it is to play with a bunch of strangers online.

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Nausea Rules My Life No More!

I discovered something over the holidays, my friends, and I have to tell you, it’s something absolutely wonderful.  I can play first person shooters again.  I can run around in a virtual world and kill the enemy and not throw up all over the floor.  At least for a couple of hours anyway.  Let me explain.

A while ago, I posted about having Simulation Sickness, a condition where certain people cannot handle the visual graphics and movement of certain kinds of video games.  For me, it was most prominently first person shooters.  I LOVE first person shooters so you can imagine how this upset me.  I missed out on a tonne of triple A titles in the last eight years or so of my life when this little ailment started.

However, over these past Christmas holidays, I was invited by the awesome members and friends of The Games Day Podcast to a marathon gaming session that lasted from 11:00 am until about 2:00 am.  I was stoked because I hadn’t gamed like that since high school when I used to have all the guys over for hours and play the crap out of 007 Goldeneye for the 64.

I knew that first person shooters would definitely play a huge roll in the days events because they are awesome, but I knew there would be a plethora of games for me to play so I didn’t worry too much about it.  When we got there we checked out the demo for Just Cause 2 which was totally awesome.  I was happy because it was third person and the game play rocked.

We also checked out DJ Hero, which is a hell of a lot harder than it looks and despite my original thoughts on the concept, some of the mashups were actually pretty cool.

Eventually, I was drawn to the back room where some people were playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, specifically, the zombie mode.  I sat down and watched for a while before someone put the controller in my hand.  I stared at it for a few seconds before I started playing, expecting the well known hot flash followed by cold sweat and nausea.  However, a few rounds into playing, this hadn’t arrived.  I kept playing, learning the controls and getting used to the feel of it again as I wondered why I wasn’t getting sick.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that playing a first person shooter on an HD television did not cause the nausea I used to experience on an standard definition television.

As you can imagine, I was overjoyed.  This was pretty much the game I played for the entire rest of the day, switching out with the other players, learning how to best play the game and experiencing multiplayer online gaming for the first time.  Eventually, they filmed the last episode of the year, the topic being Game of the Year 2010.  I got to sit in the background and play COD: Black Ops while they filmed it, which was awesome.

Eventually, I played for too long and I did start to feel nauseous, but I didn’t let this discourage me.  Since then, I’ve purchased my own copy of the game and I have found that I can play for about two hours or so at a time before I need to turn the game off.  I’m freaking thrilled.  I have so many plans to play catch up with all the games I missed and to get in on massive online death match rounds.

So happy gaming to all of you out there in 2011…the year I didn’t throw up during a first person shooter!

A badly drawn representation of my joyful reaction to being able to play FPS again