Jimquisition: Only The Lonely

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Only The Lonely

The videogame industry wants you to believe that the offline experience is for miserable loners.

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Well, judging by your intro alone, I had absolutely no idea you were going to talk about loneliness in gaming. Personally, even in multiplayer, I will play free for all because I do not like depending on other people a lot of times. Also, WOO atheism!

I would like to point out that some of the best games of all time, like Super Metroid, are single player experiences, and that game in particular rides on the feeling of loneliness for much of it's atmosphere. I think many current developers care so much about just making some extra $$ they don't even account for how multilayer might effect the atmosphere of their game. They just know it's a shiny new thing and it has to be crammed in there.

Quite possibly the most hilarious and ironic thing about all this is that most multilayer games have the shortest longevity. Servers get shut down, the next iteration of halo/CoD come out and the previous one is forgotten and swept under the rug. Oh sure, you can still play Halo 2 and the original CoD games, but... not really. It's not like 'Shadow of The Colossus', which will sit on a pedestal until the end of time. Sony might not even exist as a game company 40 years from now and this game will still be there. You won't need any Sony servers or other people to play it with to get the best and fullest experience it has to offer.

I swear, between turning everything multilayer and trying for an all digital future, the game industry is burning their candle at both ends. It's staggering how naive they must think we are. But part of me is kind of glad that in 20-30 years almost every game coming out now will be unplayable. It will force people to go back and play the classics lol

Jim my friend, as awesome as you are, I can't help but think you will suffer the same fate as the late George Carlin. Any how, back on topic, yea I too enjoy playing single player games for the social deprivation.

Good on, Jim! One problem I have with a multiplayer focus is with me. I buy games that are a couple of years old, or nobody would really want to play multiplayer on. If a game's focus was on multiplayer, than I would be losing on a experience because I bought the game late.

It's why I'm really happy to hear, Dishonoured and Skyrim do well, because it shows people sometimes want to be alone.

I think im the only person on this bloody site that enjoyed Bioshock 2's multiplayer. Don't get me wrong, I see the flaws and plot holes present in the single player (F*ck Sofia Lamb, how dare they try to insinuate she was at the same level as Andrew RyaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!) but I generally enjoyed the frantic-ness... if thats a word, of the multiplayer. Sure I suppose using the money for it on the single player may have lead to a better single player product but I don't necessarily hold that against the multiplayer experience.

OT: Man I miss Dungeon Keeper...

Most of my games are single player because I do enjoy playing alone quite a bit. I have some games with co-op and such for when I want to play with friends, but for the most part I'd much rather let myself become the character and get immersed in the game's world, and the existence of even just one other player is enough to destroy any sort of immersion I might have had.

Well, I *am* an anti-social loser in full time, whose love of games growed from a dislike of humans, but otherwise I agree with everything that you just said.

Well said, Willem.

OT: I agree.

Slightly off topic: One other big problem I've been having with this whole "everything needs multiplayer" mentality? That they've also been cutting out couch co-op. I don't mind online multiplayer, but when my brother or cousins come over, I want to be able to play with them without each of us having our own copy of the game, console and TV.

Part of the problem is that it's viewed as unnatural to want to be alone. Humans are considered social creatures and when someone doesn't want to be social, there's clearly something wrong with them.

The reality is that some people, myself included, are introverts. They're more comfortable being alone with their own thoughts and in some cases need to be alone in order to think clearly.

This idea that seclusion is a bad thing is what's translating into games. All this social connectivity is ok for certain games and in small doses, but not for everything.

Honestly, I think devs are using this social crap as an excuse to put online drm into their games.

EA really needs to re-evaluate this 'everything must have multi player' policy, though the fact they're proud of it shows they didn't think in-depth about it in the first place. After all, Skyrim isn't popular because of it's always on co-operative play, it's popular because there's always something to do, always somewhere new to explore.
I sometimes think this 'must have multi player' thought is really an excuse to skimp on content for the single player, thinking the multi player will fill in the re-playability gap, much like some MMOs focus on PvP as an excuse to not give any meaningful endgame content or content in general.
Some games don't need to rely on content as there's room for the user to experiment. Minecraft as well as management games like Theme Park/Hospital, Dungeon Keeper and Sim City have plenty of re-playability as there's always a new way of approaching the game itself or an idea to expand on something you did previously. I spent hours on Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts building vehicles (even making a working catapult and ballista) and over 5 years on City of Heroes making new characters (with 64 characters when the game was shut down and plenty of concepts I would have loved to have made, but seeing as NCsoft want to push the grindy, PvP forced borefest I have to just go and twiddle my thumbs and give my money to Cryptic instead)

Well, now I want a Willem Dafoe action figure even more than before...

On topic, I would say that I agree with you, but then it's also true that I have played only 2 multiplayer games in my whole life and I basically never played the multiplayer section of a game that has also single player, so I guess my agreement is kind of obvious considering that. Multiplayer just isn't the thing for me, and I basically enjoy much more the freedom I have when playing single player games.

Jim, will Willem Dafoe junior ever start his own series? I believe he could give us some great things!

The intro had me almost in tears laughing. I cant believe how butthurt these "true believers" get over a sexy fatman on the Internets telling them that their saviors is fake.

But yea i deff agree sometimes i just want to be left alone and play a game its relaxing i have my multiplayer games for when i want to bother with others.

"nahh Fuck em" -Miniature action fantasy willem dafoe.

Well of course Jesus is under you Jim. :D How else is he going to carry you on the beach?

Also, while I whould like to see co-op in TES/Fallout, I would only want it as something that would be comepletely optional, and be just something for me and someone on my friends list to enjoy.

That said, for the most part there are a lot of really great single-player games that don't need any multiplayer elements.

This is a great companion piece to Yahtzee's XP column on society becoming the Manic Pixie Dream Girl demanding you socially engage with others at every waking moment. There was a time through much of my 20s I was regularly socializing with dozens of people on a weekly basis, but now I really value my alone time to catch up on my reading, play some single-player games, or spend time with my girlfriend without anybody else. Most of humanity's greatest works of art and philosophy were achieved by people working alone. But I suspect the typical corporate climber who's had to network and schmooze his whole life might not understand that.

Orbot_Vectorman:
Jim my friend, as awesome as you are, I can't help but think you will suffer the same fate as the late George Carlin.

Enjoying a successful and celebrated career into your 70s despite a lifetime of cardiac problems and substance abuse, and posthumously enshrined as a grandmaster of your craft by your peers? That we could all suffer such a fate!

P.S. Willem Dafoe = best film portrayal of Jesus ever.

It seems to me that publishers don't push multiplayer because they want everyone to socialize all the time, they do it because it is so much easier to monetize multiplayer than it is to monetize a purely single player game. Single player expansions are more costly, because frankly, they demand more. You expect new levels, stories, etc...

With multiplayer though, you can get away with selling low effort add-ons like a new multiplayer map, a new gun, skins, and hats. These modes are better suited to the dreaded microtransaction than a purely single player game. Why else would Tomb Raider suddenly get a multiplayer feature? Why push God of War into that realm? The answer is simple. Money.

Personally, I cannot IMAGINE playing XCOM enemy unknown with another player helping my in the campaign. It would destroy the insanely absorbing immersion.

Yeah, playing with friends can be and usually IS a total blast (nods at Borderlands 2, which he has been playing with 2 of his friends and has been having tons of fun in).

But there are lots of games that I want to play alone so that I can tune out of reality and escape for a while into another world...And I can't do that when I have a friend on skype going "Oh LOL, check this out, man!" or "man, that NPC is a douche!"

So yeah, we need to continue to have solo only games as well as multiplayer. You need both to exist.

I think I mainly enjoy playing single player experiences less for the feeling of 'loneliness', and more so I can just mess around with some of the mechanics the game's presented; it's not as easy doing experimental things when there's someone else watching and capable of screwing up said experiment... unless, you know, the dude's a PART of it.

I think the real point of this video was to make me stop and start about fifty times simply to see the hidden image behind the quote, so good on you jim you succeeded you might as well have put ha made you look at the bottom too.

Jim, I loved the intro and outro to this week's episode. It reminded me that you should do a dramatic reading of this piece of art from way back whenever.

Multiplayer should be optional. Online Multiplayer should be optional. If a developer wants to give people that option, great. But don't force me to deal with SSJGoku_GanjaKing_87 when I don't want to.

And Jim, don't be so modest.. you are better than God or Jesus.

Thanks Jim, your opinions about lonliness were interesting, still your theologically bulletproof arguments were what made this video great.

Thank God for you, and hopefully the all powerful one will keep you around, funny and cleaver for a long time mate.

PunkRex:
I think im the only person on this bloody site that enjoyed Bioshock 2's multiplayer. Don't get me wrong, I see the flaws and plot holes present in the single player (F*ck Sofia Lamb, how dare they try to insinuate she was at the same level as Andrew RyaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!) but I generally enjoyed the frantic-ness... if thats a word, of the multiplayer. Sure I suppose using the money for it on the single player may have lead to a better single player product but I don't necessarily hold that against the multiplayer experience.

OT: Man I miss Dungeon Keeper...

You're not alone. I loved Bioshock 2's multiplayer. I don't see why everyone bangs on it all the time.

i play tf2, left 4 dead 2, counterstrike, and Borderlands 2 with no one. i join random games, or play singleplayer(l4d and borderlands 2). never has it crossed my mind to ever make friends with anyone i meet in those games. I just love playing games were i have no allies. Its just more fun.

Waaghpowa:
Part of the problem is that it's viewed as unnatural to want to be alone. Humans are considered social creatures and when someone doesn't want to be social, there's clearly something wrong with them.

The reality is that some people, myself included, are introverts. They're more comfortable being alone with their own thoughts and in some cases need to be alone in order to think clearly.

This idea that seclusion is a bad thing is what's translating into games. All this social connectivity is ok for certain games and in small doses, but not for everything.

Honestly, I think devs are using this social crap as an excuse to put online drm into their games.

The difference between introverts and extroverts is one of the main things that I thought of while watching too. Our society acts like it's weird to be introverted and like it's a tiny minority of people who are that way, when it's really rather common. It's just that people are encouraged to act against their nature and implicitly shamed for it or made to feel like there's something wrong with them.

The other thing was that "loneliness" isn't quite the right word. It was a good starting point, but what the video was about seemed more to be "being alone" or "solitude". An extrovert might feel lonely when they're alone, but an introvert needs periods of that interspersed with their social interaction, either as a chance to recharge or to let them relax and focus without being overwhelmed.

I am with you 100%. I prefer the single player game and the type of immersion that can be brought on by playing a Dark Souls or Skyrim with no disractions. I don't get how some people want to play those games in the same room as others. I like Resident Evil 5 a lot but never played co op and I beat it on every difficulty.

If your game is really good you can keep multiplayer and that immersion. As seen In the souls games and Journey. More thoughtful multiplayer like that please, less tacked on deathmatch.

Thank God for you, Jim. Listen to Willem, that guy knows what he's sayin'.

Oh, and Sim City multiplayer can go to hell, as much as I'm concerned.
Next thing they're telling us will be that they are working on a new Solitaire-game that requires a constant internet connection, because seriously: Who on earth wants to play Solitaire ALONE?!

LMAO +1 for all the bible thumber rage he just induced, keep up the good work Jim.

Also agree with him. Where did this (single player is a bad thing) trend come from? I grew up with single player, when I was a kid playing Mario the idea of multiplayer/ co-op was usually waiting till our friend died so you could have a turn. Why is it when ever I hear publishers talking about how great multiplayer is instead of single player it's always some idiot publisher who doesn't even play games "cough EA %%^$ cough"

Sometimes it's not even about loneliness, have these people never watched a TV show or movie alone? RPGs are usually about story and you don't need other people around to enjoy a good story, who's ever been in a movie theater and thought

"Man this movie's great, but it sure would suck if there weren't all these other people here making background noise"

Sometimes it's not even about that, sometimes it's just about you and the machine and beating that &^%$#%& thing. It's a stupid notion to think you need multiplayer for everything, in fact the best kind of multiplayer is the multiplayer that isn't forced down your throat or taking away from the single player game like Demon Souls. Simple easy and completely optional. Than you have multiplayer like Dead Space 2 which was just wasted disc space.

I just love how I can't watch anything gaming/comic/movie/geek culture in general without eventually getting some sort of diatribe about the presenters beliefs, or in the case lack there of. I honestly don't give two shits about Jim's beliefs, Christ complex (be it real or satirical). The reason I watch his stuff and Moviebob's well we're at it is because I find there work pertaining to geek culture interesting. Not because I want to hear about Christ or how Geeks should be worshiping at the First Church of the Spider-man.

As for the episode it's self; fine work as usual.

One related thought that I've considered before: competitive multiplayer is generally a zero-sum game, one side has to lose for the other to win. That's fine for some people, but I like the small sense of accomplishment that comes from succeeding in my games, and it's not fun for me to play an online game where I can only expect to win 50% of the time, assuming I'm as good as the other players (probably not a valid assumption.) So good single-player experiences are pretty important to me.

That being said, I thought the quasi-mandatory multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 was annoying. But I tried it anyway and really liked it - enough that it got me interested in co-op shooters when I generally avoided shooters altogether before that. Not sure if the end justified the means, but it's almost enough for me to consider giving SimCity a chance. EA may be shoehorning multiplayer into traditionally single-player games, but at least they're shoehorning good-quality, enjoyable multiplayer in.

agree completely. now there are some games that i enjoy playing with a friend but i cant think of a single game i dont want to play alone. even the games i enjoy playing with friends, i also want to just play alone sometimes. sometimes if im playing a game that doesnt really have much story or any dialog to keep track of, i like to watch tv in the background or sometime. maybe i want to eat dinner or lunch while im gaming. i cant really do that if im playing with someone. im playing a lot of torchlight 2 lately but i could never do a random multiplayer match with people i dont know because i like to clear out the entire map of an area before moving on, which people usually get annoyed with because whatever reason they just want to speed through as quickly as possible

and shooters, in my opinion, were much better before multiplayer because a focus. fps was my favorite genre once, but i find online modes of shooters to be extremely boring and that seems to be the focus of most shooters, so i rarely play them anymore

Sylveria:
Multiplayer should be optional. Online Multiplayer should be optional. If a developer wants to give people that option, great. But don't force me to deal with SSJGoku_GanjaKing_87 when I don't want to.

The option would be to not buy multiplayer games, nothing wrong with the likes of Team Fortress. I agree it's place in certain games is unwanted but it could still be the focus of the game if it's done right.

Mr. Omega:

Slightly off topic: One other big problem I've been having with this whole "everything needs multiplayer" mentality? That they've also been cutting out couch co-op. I don't mind online multiplayer, but when my brother or cousins come over, I want to be able to play with them without each of us having our own copy of the game, console and TV.

Agreed, online multtiplayer has only served as a substitute for when my friends are to busy to actually meet in person, I can't think of a situation where I would say this co-op/vs game would be better if you would play it a town over and had no way to personally interact with me.

I generally prefer single player games because, now here's a shocker, I don't like teaming up with random strangers online! I don't know these people! I don't like being forced to play with people I don't know. I rarely play L4D or its sequel unless I'm playing with someone I know in real life. Because when crap goes down, I have the person I know to depend on. I'll save a player I don't know, but it's more uncomfortable for me.

This is also why I don't like playing MMOs. Most of them have a focus on getting together with other players to do stuff. And I don't WANT to get together with other players. I don't WANT to have to be in a party to do a raid.

My friend, when we were trying to figure out what to do if I came over to his house, suggested that we play Journey together. I told him that that would defeat the POINT of the game. And I would rather not play it at all, than play it wrong.

Ehehe, imaginary indeed... and yeah, while I'm not averse to playing with people in some games sometimes, I most often enjoy solo play.

After all, you wouldn't want to have someone looming over your shoulder when you're enjoying a good book, and you don't always need to watch some TV or a movie with other people, the idea that the interactive nature of Video Games or the fact that they can be enjoyed with other people somehow precludes them from the solitary mental unwinding that entertainment media is strongly associated with is laughable.

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