I guess this could technically be filed under ‘why don’t games need a story part 2’ but I’m going on a tangent here that I think should be its own thing here:
Singleplayer v Multiplayer games
This is something that’s only come into light within the years that the internet has supported online gaming as a whole. And let me say right here, there is no condemning one over the other, both types of games are great in their own way, there’s just a separate dynamic to how each of these are developed and executed.
I already let you in on what a video game is, but for reference, a video game is the culmination of every other form of media we’ve invented up to this point in time. We’ve got words, we’ve got music, dialogue, a visual aspect, and then the thing that puts it all together: interactivity. A video game is a window to a separate universe, just like a book, or a movie, or a song, but the difference here is that this window has a bunch of buttons hooked up to it so you can fool around and experiment with the world as you wish.
This is a video game, and historically we’ve seen this demonstrated in all sorts of games before the internet became a thing. First, they started off as simple concepts, simple games with simple technology. But then when we began to develop the storage for larger games, we saw the opportunity to add in a narrative, however vague or stately. The combination of a game and a story is what makes up the single player games we see today. In fact, they would be more akin to an experience, something that you accomplish, something to be proud of.
Multiplayer games are quite different, mostly due to the fact that you have how many people connecting together and to do what? You need to game that can be centered around multiple people, you can’t just have 5 people all playing the same Mario game, you need something that takes the interactivity the players have with the game and puts it on each other. This is why so many multiplayer-only games are competitive shooters, or just competitive in general. It’s so much more interesting to win over everybody else, than to just win the game. It’s also better from a development/economic point of view too, making a competitive shooter requires much less initial development than a long story-driven game.
Personally, I like playing more multiplayer focused games, competitive shooters like TF2, Overwatch, Left 4 Dead, even PUBG. I like these types of games a lot more because the experience you get isn’t finite, playing multiplayer matches gives you the rush of trying to be the best in the lobby, no experience is exactly alike, it’s just you and your raw skill making it to the top. It’s a sense of accomplishment when you win a match, you feel like you’re getting better and better and maybe eventually you’ll become the best. You don’t get that with single player games, but then again, single player games are best left to the people who like the journey as well as the reward, and they appreciate a form of interactive media that gives them a fulfilling, satisfying, experience.
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