Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Single Player Games are Dying

While the post "Are single-player games doomed?" contradicts my post "Best of All, No Multiplayer", I think there are some important points and the overall the assertion that humans are social animals is undeniable.

"The entire video game industry’s history thus far has been an aberration. It has been a mutant monster only made possible by unconnected computers. People always play games together. All of you learned to play games with each other. When you were kids, you played tag, tea parties, cops and robbers, what have you. The single-player game is a strange mutant monster which has only existed for 21 years and is about to go away because it is unnatural and abnormal." - Ralph Koster

In short, I agree on the aspects of human nature, and that women are a smaller percentage of the typical gamer personality type, as evidenced anecdotally by my daughters. Games will become more social because people are social.


an_urban_scorpion said...

I play primarily multi-player only games.

I, just like every gamer, have my tastes in games.

I, just like every human being, have times when I'd rather not deal with people.

Just because I may not wish to deal with people, does not mean I have no wish to be entertained or that I will refuse to spend money to seek out entertainment.

Allow me to make a sweeping generalization as that other fellow did:

To say single-player is an aberration is to assume there are no times people would rather be alone if given the opportunity to be with ANY group while playing a game.

At least with me, this is false. I have spent too much time and money on single-player games when there were multi-player alternatives of the same genre for this to be true. This is despite the fact that I am a primarily multi-player gamer.

Intelligent game producers already know this instinctively, as they are gamers and humans themselves.

Single-player games (or at least single-player functionality) shall not disappear or even become terribly obscure. Heck, there are people who still play solitaire when others are around and there are scores of multi-player card games.

I submit in the words of one of my gamer buddies: "It all comes down to how good the game is."

David said...

I also disagree that single-player games, because of things like XBOX Live Achievements, are no longer single-player.

I'm sorry, but I really don't care what someone else's score is. I care whether or not I had fun for a few hours, or came out feeling it was time wasted.

Also, I read that 25% of the population are introverted, as am I.

Generally, when people flame some new idea, it is because it is unsound on some level, while speaking truth on another. Failing to articulate the problem, they attack the whole idea.