Why I Rarely Choose Multiplayer in Games

Why I Rarely Choose Multiplayer in Games

Video games have always been a personal experience to me. Yes, of course I’ve enjoyed mutliplayer in games such as Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., but for me, the real video game experience comes when I play by myself.

Think of video games like living by yourself, or being at home by yourself. You can do what you want. Nobody is there to tell you what you can and can’t do. If you want to raid the cupboard, you can. If you want to go the bathroom with the door open, you can (even though that’s still a bit weird). And that’s exactly how I see multiplayer in games. With a second, third or fourth player, restrictions are set. You can no longer do what you want, particularly in a co-op game. When playing single player, you can go where you want, explore for however long you want and mess about how you choose to. But if you’re playing Super Mario 3D World with your brother who keeps picking you up, throwing you everywhere and constantly dying, the fun is just completely sucked out for me. Then there’s online to talk about.

Generally, I hate online gaming. Don’t get me wrong, I am one to be known to play Mario Kart 8 online, but I never, ever stay on for long. Mario Kart 8 isn’t a great example, given that its online is utter hell, but for me, all games online are. You may get to rub it in the face of one of your friends who lives in Australia, yes, but what if you lose? Then other people get bragging rights against you, and that just isn’t fun. If I lose to a CPU, nobody has to know but me. Let’s not forget how online is always completely unreliable in terms of latency, which simply adds to my distaste of it. And some services make you pay for online gaming? Pah, go away.

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Handheld gaming is where a lot of my game time is spent. Because handhelds work differently compared to home consoles, handheld gaming is more of a personal experience. People are known to be sitting by themselves playing on a DS or 3DS with headphones in. It’s not often that you see people huddled around a small screen to see what’s playing on a handheld. Recently I’ve been playing Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS very happily by myself. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats a gaming experience like a portable Smash Bros. game with noise-cancelling headphones. That’s something that’s difficult to replicate on the big screen in your living room, as everyone can see what you’re doing and it isn’t quite as personal. The Wii U’s Off-TV Play feature really is something I utterly love, as I can zone out and really be in my own world, but with a full console game in my hands, as opposed to a handheld one. Plus, multiplayer is completely off the cards then.

When getting a new game, some people choose to go straight into local multiplayer or, even worse, online. I ask possibly the simplest question in the world: why? Why would anybody do that? Surely multiplayer is a secondary experience, right? Perhaps I just don’t understand. I absolutely love the opportunity to have a new game and explore every little detail by myself. Gaming is a personal journey for me and I don’t really like anyone messing that up.

In the May of 2010, I got my favourite game, Super Mario Galaxy 2. I remember my first three hour sitting with it – something that I don’t think will be topped, at least not any time soon. I was alone, and I explored everything that I could. It was truly one of the best gaming moments in my life and that’s because nobody was around to distract me. Last Christmas, I was incredibly happy to receive Super Mario 3D World, and multiplayer was the last thing on my mind. Instead, I was the world’s most unsociable family member, popped in my headphones and played the game for twelve and a half hours on Christmas day. I’m not kidding. But, most recently, is how I spent the Monday after Mario Kart 8 was released. As I think you can guess, I was alone that Monday. To this day, my playtime for a single day has not been topped – thirteen and a half hours. Now that was a single player experience that cannot be replicated in mutliplayer. I had the entire screen to myself and I enjoyed everything to the fullest.

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This Christmas I’m going to be getting Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. You know how I’m going to play it. Offline. Single player. Off-TV mode. With headphones. Multiplayer is a no-no. I don’t even want to imagine what 8-player Smash with my family will be like (and I don’t have seven friends to play it with). I’m looking forward to playing 8-player Smash. But who will I be playing with? The CPU, of course. Alone. And I’m going to have an absolutely amazing Christmas once again.

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About The Author

Opinion and feature writer

Suckling upon the gaming teat of an N64 growing up, I'm now a gamer who spends thousands of hours a year gaming and writing. I love it.