For the purposes of this article, I will not be acknowledging games for young children. The one player games and gaming discussed here will refer to games for ages 13 and up.
While there are a large number of high-quality video games hitting the market every year, there is one ‘genre’ that is on its way to being forgotten. One Player Games. Or even, for that matter, non-PvP (Player vs Player) games.
Lately, the vast majority of new games have one purpose, and one purpose only, Player vs Player combat. While these games do have their place, there is more to gaming than simply running around shooting at each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the violence, far from it. But the fact is that the bulk of these games all share a number of common problems.
For starters, the unofficial (and often hidden) “teams”, which are really more like gangs. Groups of friends that band together in-game to hunt down and harass new players. Often to the point where the new players have no chance of progressing and simply quit playing out of frustration. If the people doing this stopped and thought about it for a moment, they would see how they are ruining these games for themselves as much as anyone SA Gaming.
Another problem is the lack of originality. The majority of these gamea the weapons, does not make it an original game.
The third major problem with the flood of PvP games, is the real-world affects of them. These games create an enormous amount of competitive behavior. We are all aware of the ‘gaming addictions’ that can affect people. Competition is an addiction in its own right. The combination creates something akin to digital crack. I would be willing to bet good money that if a survey was ever done, it would reveal that the vast majority of gaming addicts are hooked on multiplayer FPS games. I personally know many people that spend nearly every waking minute glued to the screen trying to climb from #375 to #374 on some leader board.
So why not some one player games? Take the newer Fallout games for example, great graphics, cool environment, and intense game play (at higher difficulty levels). And you get it all without being chased by packs of teenagers you’ve never heard of, or the constant flood of infantile remarks in the chat. Just straight up gameplay without the garbage. Games such as Fallout, Skyrim, Anno, Civilization, Final Fantasy, they all prove that there can be great, innovative, one player games.
Many people are only interested in these games. Myself, I have spent many hours playing many multiplayer games. But after a time I found that the garbage out weighed the play. I’ve since sworn off multiplayer. I know a number of people personally that have done the same, or had no interest in multiplayer to begin with.
But there is a problem for us lovers of solo games. Each year there seems to be less and less good games made for us. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are a couple things that we can, and should do. First, don’t pirate your games. If you’re a lover of one player games, buy them! Show the game creators that there is still a market there. And if you’re really passionate, do what I do. Whenever a new multiplayer-only game gets released, I email the company that made it and say something like,
“Can you please, please please make this playable in single-player?”
Try it! You likely won’t get a response. If you do it will be a brush off. But if enough people do it, for enough games, it just might get these companies to reconsider releasing these games as multiplayer only. So take a few minutes and do your part. No one else will.