Has Online Ruined Video Game Consoles?
Memoir of an older gamer.
Let me take you back to the mid eighties...
The Nintendo was released and considered the next big thing in home gaming. My brother and I wanted one, but our single Mom could not afford to get us one at the time of it's release. We had gotten our gaming bug from playing arcade games at a 711 before school and by watching our Grandpa and oldest brother play Atari 2600 and Intellivison games.
One day our Mom was given a used Atari 400 by a teacher of ours. We were thrilled!
If we were not outside playing or watching our cartoons, we were playing the hell out of that thing. Fun games like "Mountain King," "Wizard of Wor," and "Journey to the Planets." Eventually we began to grow bored of the limited amount of games we had to play.
And since the Nintendo (NES) was out, it was difficult finding games for the Atari 400 in stores.
ATARI 400: Don't let her size intimidate you. She knew how to make a boy smile.
It was sometime around 1988/1989 that our Mom surprised us with our Nintendo.
My brother and I were about 6 and 8, or something like that. We never did get a lot of games for it, but we had plenty of fun playing the ones we had. Most of the time our Mom would let us rent games on the weekend from a local video store.
After that Nintendo, my brother and I had owned just about every video game console and handheld system there was. Either by our Mom getting it for us as a Birthday/Christmas present, buying it used from a garage sale, or buying it ourselves with our paper route money.
Skip ahead about 13 years later.
It was the end of 2001 and the Xbox and "Halo" were supposed to be the next big thing.
My brother was content with his Nintendo Gamecube and I was content with my recently purchased PS2, which I bought with my own hard earned money. We had no interest in this "Xbox" thing at the time. We suspected it could be another bomb like the Panasonic 3DO, Atari Jaguar, or even the Sega Saturn.
Well, it was not...
Sometime around 2002, my brother and I got to play this Xbox thing. A friend brought his over and we played "Halo".
It was one of the best games we had played in a long time. It was better than staying up all night playing 1 vs. 1 "Doom" over our computers several years prior.
My brother got an Xbox and "Halo" shortly after this... And then the LAN parties began.
On a good night we had 3-4 Xbox's in our house. We would have 4 friends on 4 TV's & Xbox's.
On a slow night we usually just had 2 Xbox's with 8 players total. Either way, we still had fun. We would play until the sun came up. Literally.
And this just wasn't on weekends, oh no, this would even happen on weeknights. (I worked nights, so I usually stayed up all night and slept until I had work at 5pm the next night.)
At the time I didn't know it, and I may have taken it for granted... but looking back, this was one of the best times I ever had playing a video game. Nowadays, online gaming has just not recreated that same feeling playing "Halo" all night with 8-16 friends in the same house, gave me...
Enter Xbox Live and PSN.
Sure, my brother put a lot of hours into "Phantasy Star Online" for his Sega Dreamcast.. and I dipped online a bit for "Fight Night" on my PS2. Even though the Sega Dreamcast and Playstation 2 offered online gaming, online gaming for consoles did not sky-rocket to popularity until Xbox Live came along. ... but, it was just not as exciting as playing with a group of friends in-person. I remember playing split-screen online "Halo 2" with my brother for the first time. Less than an hour into it I told him "This just doesn't have the same feel."
It was sad that hanging out with friends would eventually end sooner than later, because they wanted to go home and "hop online"... That close-knit gaming experience with buddies was... Dying.
Fast forward to TODAY.
Just about any game you pick up has Multiplayer or some sort of version of it. Even games that started out as Single Player games have started to introduce Online Multiplayer into their franchise. "Assassin's Creed", "Uncharted", and "Dead Space", just to give a few examples.
It now seems like it is requirement that all games have to have some sort of online support. For example, the game "Eight Days" (a PS3 launch title) was canceled supposedly due to not having any kind of online or multiplayer feature. Sony had said that in today's market all games should have online support.
It's no wonder they demand multiplayer for games now. Just look at this sales chart.
Some of the foul mouths I come across while playing games online make me understand why some parents beat their children... (NOTE: Just joking.)
Why do some people feel the need to put on some sort of persona while they're playing online? I dislike when people use the phrase "In real life" (IRL for short) while discussing topics in their personal life over the internet. This IS REAL LIFE, people. It is just an extension of it. My brother and I would never say anything to somebody over the internet that we wouldn't say to them in person.
Yet, some of these people online say or do things that would have gotten our eye slapped if we had said or did them in an arcade. Hell, most of these people would NOT say or do the stuff they do if you were standing in front of them.
yeah, pretty much sums it up...
So, has online gaming ruined video game consoles? I would have to answer that with both a "yes" and a "no"...
Yes, I'm contradicting myself.
Yes - because younger generations will never know the experiences older gamers had as a kid or pre-teen, by having "group play" sessions. The closest thing to it would be the Nintendo Wii, considering most of their games don't support multiplayer and are party games. It seems like a majority of older gamers, like myself, bought the Wii in order to re-live our childhood. The kid's today, that were me and my brother's age when we got our NES, are all on Xbox Live or PSN.
No - because if it were not for online gaming, we wouldn't have some of the awesome community websites that exist now.
The success of online for home consoles has helped sales and helped them grow as popular as they are today. It offered something that was once only a feature available to PC/MAC users. Competitive gamers can test their skills against other gamers from around the world. Plus, it can help add some replay value to games.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not implying nobody has LAN parties anymore or plays video games in groups. I still play games with my brother at his house and he at mine. But the truth is, it's dying. LAN parties are mostly done by hardcore PC/MAC gamers.
With the ability to hop online and play your friends, why hang out and play together at all? Right?
So, to sum this up and put it like the ramblings of an old man-
When I was a kid, my "multiplayer" experience was when my brother and I would go to the Arcade and play strangers all night on a roll of quarters.
My "in game chat" was when me and my brother would turn our head and talk to each while we were play 2-player split screen.
My "cross game chat" experience was when my brother would yell at me from his room, for me to turn down the volume of my video game, because he couldn't hear his video game in his room.
When my "server was out" it meant my Mom shut off my game until I got chores done or did my homework.
How do YOU feel? Do you have opinion on this topic?
(If you took the time to read this complete post, I applaud and thank you.)
Online gaming defintely has its pros and cons, it can be very fun and addicting and of course extend the life of a game. However I think what really destroys the gaming community is the online gaming community, they seem to be dictating the course that the industry is taking with all these games getting an online component slapped on when it didn't need it to begin with. Story modes seem to be getting shorter and are starting to feel more like elaborate tutorials for the online portion of the game. I feel the gaming industry is listening more to all these guys - the "CoD bros" , unfortunately these hardcore online gamers give the rest of us a bad name , I don't play online games very often, but the times I have there has always been a handful of **bleep** that feel they need to verbally assault anyone and everyone that is in the lobby with them. Gaming is supposed to be a fun experience, these lobbies were intended for people with common interests to bond over a friendly game. Now it's just a bunch of guys and little kids hurling insults, threats, and profanity all over the place. I like playing online from time to time, but I do miss those days of 4-player splitscreen and games that were complete out of the box and required no DLC for a full experience
I didnt read your gigantic post, (sorry)
But my opinion of Multiplayer and DLC etc etc...is both positive and negative.
I think it has given an avenue that has become acceptable to over-charge the customer and take 'em for a ride so to speak.
Before the heavy advent of online gaming as a whole, you would have NEVER walked up to a counter and after buying a game be told "oh, and if you want all the content, that'll be another $10"(if you were buying used) No way that would fly...And my favorite, "Oh you wanted all the guns? Ok, $1.99 each please"
But in the realm of 'imaginary dollars' like credit cards and PSN wallet funds...being nickel and dimed is all but painless.
On the other hand, Multiplayer is a great way to interact with people you would have never talked to under any other circumstances...ever.
And, while even offline single player games like Skyrim are connected to the net, so that developers can push patches through when the community raises a flag, and says "hey, guys...missed something...dragons dont fly backwards"
so, its a love-hate relationship really...
Personally i think online gaming is going to be death of gaming as a whole. becuase these guys go to where the money is that online gaming. I feel the greed is geting out of control.. Good franchise are being shut down. dlc is out of contol . sp games are shorter than the second step on a stair case.
Me personally i think good sp games dont get a fair shake in the market anymore. I don play online much either to many brutes and loud mouths.. social aspects of gaming is not abusing toher and being the boss hog of everyone. Its having a good time and helping others..
Ive played monster hunter online for about 2 yrs and not one time did anyone curse or abuse me.. same as for ridge racer online. But other games, are nothing but a abuse clinic// and the devs of them know it
So me persoanlly..I dont care for online gaming as whole..Bu i do play games where the dev do good police'n of their products online.. So i dont have do the muting and block of every person i meet.