Jimquisition: Only The Lonely

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Jimothy Sterling:
Only The Lonely

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

Watch Video

Now of course you're right in this video, but really, is anyone actually contending that the "offline experience is for miserable loners" premise is true besides this stupid guy you mentioned in the video? I haven't heard this anywhere else...

As far as I understood it, shoehorning multiplayer into SP games is an attempt to draw in the dudebro crowd more than anything. But yeah, of course some games are OK as SP experiences. It's kind of sad that we need a video like this to wake up certain people.

Remus:
WTF kind of fish is that? It's like a hammerhead shark, but with bad teeth and a dick for a nose.

On topic, multiplayer can be a giant f'ing immersion breaker if I'm playing a game for the story. Take Guild Wars 2 - I rarely ever dungeon crawl in that game because if I did, I might want to watch the little story bits while everyone else stands around and waits for me. I'd much rather just be saving this or that town from giants, skritt, or centaurs, getting my Hero on, without getting in the way of somebody else who wants to move shit along. I play single player games to get away from people, multiplayer when I want interaction. They're separate playstyles and should remain as such.

As an atheist, I thank Darwin for me. Although at this stage of human history, with medical and scientific advancements, evolution has kinda fallen to the wayside. Perhaps I should thank Tesela, or Jobs.

I think it's a goblin shark.

OT: Sometimes I'm in the mood to play a game with other people and sometimes I'm not. I certainly don't need tacked on multiplayer, like some kind of cancerous growth hanging off of a singe-player game, and I especially don't want it infecting single player as well.

One of the any reasons I have little hope for dragon age 3 is because, due to EA's multiplayer policy, I strongly suspect I'm going to have some 12-year-old calling me a fag for paying attention to the dialogue or something.

RandV80:
Yeah just imagine sitting down to read an eagerly awaited new book like the finale of the Wheel of Time or the next A Song of Fire and Ice installment (hopefully before my hair turns grey) and having tweets and facebook comments popping up beside the text.

In other words these publishers can go screw themselves, let multiplayer be multiplayer and single player be single player. I'm not going to go to a movie theater alone, but I'm also not going to read a book in a group.

Why? Because its weird for a lot of people to see someone that wants to be alone.

Guys, most of you are hardcore gamers (else, wtf are you doing on this site?). Many of you are probably introverts.

I bet most of you can't fathom how there are many people out there who take their smartphones to the bathroom. Or worse, take them to bed. Seriously, people text their friends on the toilet, a place many of us associate with alone time (because who takes a crap with a second person watching?).

Further more, I've heard of people speculating that nightclubs aren't fun at all. Except that many people actually like them... because there is people... everywhere!

Some of you point out that Dishononered and Skyrim printed money this year. Many party games have printed out even more money this year as well.

Some of you are going to say that 'no one thinks its weird to read by yourself.' Well, aside from book clubs where you are reading in a group... but its more likely that most people don't actually sit and read. I can remember it being considered weird to actually sit and read a book that wasn't assigned reading by many of the student body, much to the chagrin of the teachers trying to get us to read.

Even in the single player one isn't truely alone. There are web forums and lets plays where one can make a single player experience less single while not truely multiplayer. I think someone on the Retsuprae troup pointed out that some of them were recording themselves play to feel less lonely be having the though that someone else would be watching their session later.

I remember the feeling of playing in arcades and having someone hovering over my shoulder watching me play. Some of you are probably perturb at the though of someone hovering over your shoulder as you played, even if it wasn't some porno flash game, but at the time, I figured that I was in a public place and to allow some leeway accordingly, that people will watch how awesome (or lame) I was. I did get some rude 'eff offs' from people in arcades when I did the same thing, and again, public place with people everywhere, this always baffled me, but there are people reading this who would think that was rude of me you watch you play if it was you.

I don't doubt that the likes of EA and that are milking this to stuff DRM into their games, but the idea that they are generating the belief that singleplayer is for socially maladjusted losers (or any activity that is done in solitude) isn't new. In fact, well look up the TV Trope "Loners are Freaks" to get a better idea of what we have always thought of people who want to be alone.

The reality is there are a lot of lonely people out there, and to them, they can't understand why anyone would want solitude. Then there are the people who want to be connected to other 24/7. Leaving us as a minority.

I only play ONE MP game with any consitency, L4D2. Otherwise I am a big time single player gamer. Also I have heard devs on a couple games that were supposed to be MP centered that said more people played SP then ever played MP, so I think the numbers back us up.
The publishers retain more control over connected games though which is part of the reason I think they push them so much.

Bang-on, Jim. Sometimes I want to play with people, to enjoy the sense of teamwork and have the opportunity to show off. Sometimes I want to play on my own, because it's impossible to feel good about myself when I'm having to share a game with a bunch of other people who are simply better at it than me. Or because the game itself is all about YOU. Making SimCity have enforced multiplayer (I'm not sure about the details, but that's the impression I'm getting)? What kind of goddamn "god game" forces you to be just one in a pantheon? Where's the feeling of total control, shaping the world to YOUR will?

Im not really a multiplayer person, i dont like how all the achievements are starting to be online multiplayer centric, Im not saying all games need it... but there is a hell of a lack of good co-op games, yes theres BL2, L4D and a few others but theres a lack of good multiplayer rpg's, im not saying skyrim needed it but i probably would have sunk a longer amount of time if my gf could sit and killed some dragons as well, I dont mind playing games alone but i do mind that the only co-op games are for the most part shit or non existent

gonephishing:
yeah... I'm not watching this show anymore. I don't hate anybody for having their own beliefs, because I don't "hate" anybody. I don't think that spending time watching a person who is willing to blatantly demonstrate such an grandiloquently offensive and sacrilegious attitude is a good use of my time. I'm afraid Jim has lost a viewer.

Thank God for Jim and praise Willem DeFoe. Needless to Jim will keep all his fans who don't have imaginary friends. You my friend should get a sense of humour.

Religion exists to be ripped on, it must do or why would the writers have stories about talking snakes, men made from clay, women made from ribs, and paedophiles who carry stone tablets with rules on them?

As for the multiplayer, it's the best excuse to rip people off with bad DRM, DLC and pay-for content like customisation that should be in the game for free. Like it used to be. Games like Diablo 3 set the bastards-are-go markers, idiot fan-bois allowed Blizzzard and others to get away with it, defending them to this day like the halfwits that they are, and so other publishers are following suit. What will people allow them to get away with next?

Wait, didn't Jim already point this out too in a previous Jimquisition?

Loved the intro dialogue, cracks me up XD.

So.....Am I the only one who solos through MMOs an an excuse to play a free game for some alone time rather than as a desire to socialize only to end up unable to find people I can cooperate with? Am I the only one who puts party requests on block & hides the chat box?

Some of my friends like games. We have different tastes in games. When we attempt playing together, we do not enjoy it. If I want to hang out with people, I will either go outside with plans for the day, or I will go to a forum or Facebook.

I'm sure Angry Joe would disagree with this video. I remember he always used to reduce a game's rating for not having co-op. Swear to god he would crawl into a ball & cry if he had to play a video game by himself. Don't know if he feels the same way; since everything is multiplayer now, he never brings it up.

The day gaming goes full multiplayer is the day I stop playing games.
Screw multiplayer. Other people suck. I don't spend money on a game so I can play it with other people. It's something I bought for me.
While I do play multiplayer in what some would view as a 'limited' fashion, only playing with my close friends and never touching any kind of gametype in which you'd play against or with total strangers, I have never bought a game based on it's multiplayer. Multiplayer isn't even a factor!

Thank 'god' for you, Jim.

This installment really hit the nail on the head for me. My day is filled with scheming hominids, and pc games are a chance to get away from it all. Single player all the way!

erttheking:

Moth_Monk:
snip

mike1921:
snip

I really can't wrap my head around the idea that you honestly think that calling 90% of the world's population idiots for not thinking the exact same way as you is a good idea and something that shouldn't be frowned on.

The moral? Calm down. Seriously.

It's a popular opinion so it can't be beyond moronic? "Exact same way as"? They think there's a god who both is so sensitive to jokes like that and worth worshiping? The idea that the powerful should be protected from everything, even jokes, is not just moronic its revolting.

My favorite episode ever. Probably one of the few times I agreed 100% with Jim, I think single player is very important, I really enjoy the storytelling and you seldom get a good one out of multiplayer experience, even when it's co-op you end up meeting someone, sooner or later, who will just skip the cutscenes, leaving anyone in the party who wanted to go through the game's "lore" quite pissed...

braincore02:
Good watch. Are they making SimCity have some mandatory online crap? I'm looking forward to the new one but I would prefer to play solo myself.

It looks like the best Sim City so far. Where every citizen has some needs, instead of being a statistic. Then they dump this extreme DRM on us. Boom! It's sad, really. It's not the developers' fault, yet they're the ones getting punished.

yeah. its amazing why people think a game without MP is bad. i like to play SP only. just being my self. but most of the games today dont let you.

I get the point you are making (and agree), but loneliness is really the state of being alone and not wanting to be. It's not the same thing as being alone because you'd prefer it that way.

Moth_Monk:

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.

Aaww man, I forgot all about this. Dang I miss that lady.

ex275w:

A Curious Fellow:
There is absolutely no problem with having more options in a game. I've enjoyed, greatly, playing multiplayer in Minecraft and Mass Effect 3, for example. I wouldn't play Minecraft if I was FORCED to be alone, and the multiplayer in Mass Effect is incredibly deep and rewarding, nevermind wildly well-supported by the Bioware and EA.

I don't understand why you would talk down at a game developer for wanting to make a more rounded experience for the player.

The problem is that most of the time these extra options take extra resources. Mass Effect 3, while it has a good multiplayer (from what I've heard), is still played for the most part for the single player. Maybe the campaign wouldn't have been so bad, maybe the ending wouldn't have been horrible, maybe they could've put more Role playing elements.
Sure it's nice to have options, but those options shouldn't take away from the core experience, in fact having more options may limit the depth (and thus more options) of the game. In an opposite example, I think CoD should be online only and shouldn't have single-player.

The best games are those that offer a great single player that can be adapted easily into an online mode, like Tetris.

This argument is exhausted and ought to be retired. You can outspend the gdp of a small island nation with the average AAA game development budget. I'd rather have an alternate avenue of enjoyment in a game I just bought for sixty dollars than have only one playtype with one extra coat of polish. And shame on you for calling Mass Effect 3's campaign "bad". It was fifty hours of tightly composed and emotionally investing excellence, and they fixed the ending.

as an ex wow player, i can completely sympathize with the single-player audience
having to wait for other people so you can play your game is tiresome, and eventually becomes annoying enough to ruin the experience entirely

oh, oh and let's not forget multiplier achievements.
haha... what evil genius concocted this massacre of time?
every time you play your game 'omg, let's do that 3 hour achievement'.... no?

there is peer pressure, you want to try dual wielding shotguns and wearing a hockey mask, when it only lets you do 100 dps and has 3 Armour?

well you're a bad gamer. fact. people tell you so. omg l2p!!!

couldn't be because i want an actual challenge beyond the designed game-play that we know works that I've been forced to do 90 trillion times and so therefore isn't a real challenge could it? no. i'm just bad.

people suck, they have massive ego problems and cannot controls themselves and frankly i believe i am above them
( it's not ironic, it's just sad. )
and they do not deserve my attention at all until they learn to be civil and respectful of other's time
which will never happen, because there's an inevitable flood of new players all the time and honestly
i really don't want to educate people for the rest of my life, or have constant arguments about anything
that isn't completely obvious at first glance

single player is the last bastion of pure game play, and once it dissolves so will my interest in gaming as a whole
fortunately i have bathesda's catalogue of games on steam
saints row
and the ultimate nirvana of personal glory that is minecraft's block laying perfection

i honestly believe i could play those forever if multiplayer-centric company's take over and attempt to force me to play most ( or all ) of a game's content online in multi-player they can kiss my cash goodbye
i'm lookin at you diablo.

Its not ust lonelyness, there are just times when multiplayer doesn't logically work. I mean if i've been told that i'm the chosen one, the one person destined to do a particular thing, it kind of destroys the premise if two thousand other chosen ones appear.

Thanks but no thanks i dont want some stupid persons crime and poluttion spilling into my city just because he does not know how to play it. Singleplayer games are the best, i WANT to be alone playing games. when i want to be with people i start up a MMO, and i paly MMO ONLY for the social aspect, when i want to play for gaming i do gaming, alone.
And yep id rather be a lone loser than play some games with other people. This is a very stupid idea imo and i completely agree with JIM (as is usual).

I do have to say that as an OPTION to play games like GTA4 with other palyers is not bad. but we already have that, its called multiplayer mode.

Jimothy Sterling:
Only The Lonely

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

Watch Video

I don't usually have much or anything to say about JQ, but Holy Fuck, this!

Fucking. THIS.

I'm surrounded by people in my daily life, be it friends, colleagues or family. Oddly enough, I don't want them tagging along with me when I'm wandering around Rapture. I can even sum up the whole thing in one nice (and real life) analogy:

Way back when, I was playing Clive Barker's Undying for the first time. After a good few hours of wandering around a haunted estate and lonely catacombs, I finally got up to Lizbeth, the vampiric socialite. As the dialogue finished and she unleashed an ungodly howl at me, my mum came in and said "Oh, is this a scarrrry bit?".

Totally fucking ruined the experience.

I've had similar experiences with the wife and I now separate my games into "immersive" and "non-immersive".

When she's around, I'll play simpler, more superficial stuff. 2D platformers. JRPGs. Run-and-gun FPSes.

I've had Bioshock on my shelf for years now and I've yet to find the time to play it. Specifically, the time to play it AWAY FROM FUCKING PEOPLE. Because, like Jim says, I don't want some prick running around and completely ruining my immersion. I get enough of that in my living room.

Horror isn't horror when you're with other people. It's schlock. That's a totally different form of entertainment.

Fuck people.

<rant> Journey was a brilliant example of how to create engaging multiplayer in a uniquely singular experience. When I beat it I had no idea that I had Journeyed with eight different people. I suspect the immersion was better achieved because it limits your interaction to one button to signify location or desire for help. If the industry is going to insist on tacking on multiplayer or even designing single player experiences with a multiplayer focus, they need to look at titles like Journey and go back to formula to find a way to make the people you're in the game with actually matter, a goal more often accomplished through limitting or refining the experience rather than leaving us awash with options and tactics we have no need or desire for *ahem* team speak *ahem* </rant>

This recently idiocy with forced mulitiplayer, especially in EA games, can be blamed on President of EA Labels and Empty Suit Extraordinaire, Frank Gibeau, who suffers suffers from some arrogant delusion (and if you think I am making baseless accusations, try looking up some of the stuff that the man has said about games and marketing) that online components is what the costumer want, so it is going to be brutally shoehorned in into any EA game, even if it obviously does not fit in the game in question.

Isn't the whole point of escapism to immerse yourself in a well-crafted tale, regardless of medium (Book, Film, Videogame)? What does multiplayer have to do with it...

mike1921:

erttheking:

Moth_Monk:
snip

mike1921:
snip

I really can't wrap my head around the idea that you honestly think that calling 90% of the world's population idiots for not thinking the exact same way as you is a good idea and something that shouldn't be frowned on.

The moral? Calm down. Seriously.

It's a popular opinion so it can't be beyond moronic? "Exact same way as"? They think there's a god who both is so sensitive to jokes like that and worth worshiping? The idea that the powerful should be protected from everything, even jokes, is not just moronic its revolting.

It's a massive sweeping generalization, and since there is no evidence proving them wrong, NO it can't be beyond moronic. And you weren't joking in that post, you were being downright insulting.

I like single player games, i also like Multiplayer games when they are done right.

The are some games, like you Jim, that i enjoy, because they are single player games.

I don`t have to deal with some random person who may or may not know what the ____ they are doing. Quite often i found that the people that don`t know what they are doing or should be doing, are the people that don`t know they suck at the game they are playing. When you have to depend on some random A hole to survive, or defeat the challenge, it would be nice if they where competent at the role or task they are suppose to be doing.

There some single player games that suck because the AI that controls your `helpers` suck, in those single player games i wish my friends could take over for the AI, but those games are few and far between, OK there are more of them out there then there should be, but i don`t find my self liking a lot of them enough to play them at all.

xPixelatedx:
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

Tangent: It is disquieting with the DRM servers, software compatibility and non-reverse-compatibility that a lot of games will be impossible to play (legally), be they multi-player or single-player. As kids we promised we'd be playing our favorite games into our old age, but it may be harder than expected to do that.

On Topic: The emphasis on multi-player seems like one of numerous gimmicks being employed to make money rather than a lasting enjoyable experience. DLC is a mixed bag, it seems to me multi-player is nearly its own genre now.

Good point on the best games mention. Even classic games aside, look at this year. What were the top games? Walking Dead, Dishonored, Spec Ops, Mass Effect, (Journey). The multi-player games turn a profit, but I can't think of too many memorable ones.

So what if found was interesting is that loneliness or more accurate, the desire to be alone is a key characteristic of an introvert. Introverts playing video games? Unheard of! Multiplayer games seem a bit... extroverted don't they? What with the socializing and requiring other people and all.. So it seems to me what was once an introverts hobby has broadened to include something that appeals to an extroverted market. Normally this is a good thing and should have led to more games across a wider market with more crossovers and more communication. The problem was that these extroverted games sold better, perhaps because there are more extroverts than introverts, I sure don't know. So these game companies that were founded by and for introverts but have been profiting from extroverts are faced with a dilemma and one that is pretty easily solved by more money.

Moreover it seems to me that the apologist argument of "We have to tolerate mediocre, mass appealing games because they enable game companies to make the arts games we do like" argument doesn't hold water anymore. More and more companies are coming out to say their aim is to get the most money possible, oops I mean they want to make all games multiplayer. So where are those artsy games the shlock has bought? Oh right, they're being sent to kickstarter because big game companies don't want to take a chance on them anymore. Sigh.

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who remembers how disappointing fear 3 was.

Not that I was opposed to the co-op when they announced it, but then the built and structured the whole damn game around it and made single-player a tack-on. Why?? (Rhetorical question)

Love my friends as I do, sometimes it's just healthy to relax by yourself. If we did everything with our friends what the hell would you talk about? =/
"Hey! you know that quest in Skyrim I was struggling with?"
"umm...yeah. I was there remember?"
"oh. i forgot."

In the first year or so I had my Xbox 360, I felt this.

I'd have all my friends being all 'come on CoD. Come on Halo!'

No, I want to play some Red Dead Redemption and just chill for a while!

I think there's a time and a place for Co-Op play and online MP, and there are times when playing solo is nice.

I know that i couldn't play Borderlands alone, it just wouldn't be as fun without me and my friends making asses of ourselves in an all consuming miasma of violence and snark

And i will play dishonored alone forever, because it's awesome and intimate and just feels like it was meant to be that way (the lack of MP proves this fact)

Now when GTA comes out, when i need a break from the story, i will gather my friends together for some good old fashioned dogfights in fighter jets, Why? Because that's awesome.

erttheking:

mike1921:

erttheking:

I really can't wrap my head around the idea that you honestly think that calling 90% of the world's population idiots for not thinking the exact same way as you is a good idea and something that shouldn't be frowned on.

The moral? Calm down. Seriously.

It's a popular opinion so it can't be beyond moronic? "Exact same way as"? They think there's a god who both is so sensitive to jokes like that and worth worshiping? The idea that the powerful should be protected from everything, even jokes, is not just moronic its revolting.

It's a massive sweeping generalization, and since there is no evidence proving them wrong, NO it can't be beyond moronic. And you weren't joking in that post, you were being downright insulting.

Actually yeah, there doesn't need to be evidence proving someone wrong for their idea to be beyond moronic. Coming up with a complete fantasy based on nothing is not exactly something worthy of respect. If I said Harry Potter was real and we, of course, cannot have any solid evidence against it because wizards can just make us all forget. Like in the book. Would be beyond moronic for me to believe that, but you sure as hell can't prove it wrong.

The point here is that multiplayer shouldn't be at the expense of good single player, so I'm a bit dubious about applying this to RPGs. They don't really have problems with keeping single player intact while adding multiplayer. Take for example the Diablo series, which obviously consists of Diablo 1 and 2 and nothing else. D2 in particular is a perfectly complete RPG experience when played single player and loses absolutely nothing for having multiplayer, but because it DOES have multiplayer, it has also become one of the most entertaining staples of LAN gaming for me and my friends. Why exactly can this not be done for RPGs like skyrim? Dungeon Siege 2, Sacred 2, Titan Quest and such are great but getting old, and this trend of making single-player only games that COULD have multi at NO expense to single is getting very annoying. Yes, axe the multiplayer if the game is supposed to be focused on single-player and anything else would take away from it, but RPG 1p modes are usually impervious to the effects of having multiplayer capability elsewhere on the disc, so why not?

I played Borderlands 2 alone.
There, i said it.

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