40. Single Player

For some reason or another I’ve always drifted toward single player video games. Why that is I don’t entirely know. A first hand guess would be that my autistic tendencies tend get the better of me when I finally choose to play a game. (Deciding to play something is often a part of a delicate procedure of researching the game).

This is not to say that I despise multiplayer gaming, but what I think is a good multiplayer game seems to differ some from what other people think. The “thing” that seems to enthrall others simply eludes me. A lot of times actually interacting with people through the gaming medium detracts more from the experience than it adds to it for me.

Secondly, playing with other people is often better if done in person. I don’t care if it’s hotseating a single player game or simply playing a multiplayer game locally. If you need to interact it can be over in a second. It can be both expressively terse and pleasant while not having to rely on other tools for broadcasting your communication. Also gaming together in person serves as a good conversation starter if you don’t happen to know the people very well.

But most of all I think that I prefer single player games because gaming to me is like reading a book. You do it for yourself and you get to immerse yourself into this other world. The games I think are the best ones often have a vast pool of resources that adds to that particular world. Finding out the reasons why particular things are crafted like they are is fun. A book analogy would be reading LoTR while also consulting the appendices, it gives the books a depth that you have to admire even if you’re not a fantasy nerd.

That’s another reason why I prefer older games; they have history. Newer games aren’t necessarily bad — I really liked Axiom Verge for example — but they usually lack the context that time tends to provide. They’re too new to have developed the vast expanses of Nethack lore. That is unless the developers actually didn’t take time out of their days and created some.

That is one of the specific the reasons I like the Metroid Prime series. They are relatively new(ish) games but within that particular context the developers actually created a bunch of new “recent” history for the games. Sure, Metroid is an old game series but the first three games are not the proverbial tomes of information that the Prime-games are.

Lastly, I am a single player kind of a person. I like politics and I like studying that field, but I’m not an organizer or a politician. I’m creative and I play music, but I feel uneasy when I’m put in the role of “bandleader”. I like to write, but having to interact with editors (or to “promote” myself, ugh…) and whatnot come all but naturally to me.

I don’t feel too “dark” or “deep” but a lot of my most transformative gaming moments I’ve had in solitude, cut off from the world. I game with other people and I treasure that, but some things I prefer and do seek to experience alone.