Wednesday, May 19, 2010

...and I'll be grouchy if I want to

I cannot remember the last time I played co-op anything. Strike that, it was Crackdown, and that was more kicking a friend off of the top of a tall building and following him down with a well aimed rocket. Outside of Street Fighter, gaming is not a social activity for me, so the need for cooperative games is something that I don't understand and cannot in good faith condone. It is a relief that coop-centric games like Left 4 Dead are kind enough to include AI companions; I appreciate the extra effort. I had read that without three friends Lost Planet 2 was just a chore to play, and so far this has not been the case. Sure, some things probably took a little longer because by computer buddies have terrible aim, but that has not been a deal breaker as of yet. The option is there to drag along real people if you are that terrified of being alone, but the hermit way is still viable.

My multiplayer gaming habits have not always been this way. In console generations past, when I actually maintained a gaming computer, I spent a great deal of time with Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty, and other shooters. I never got so into it that I got a headset and discussed tactics with teammates, but it was a lot of fun and I wasn't terrible. When I moved on to Guild Wars I found that AI squad members, while not as powerful as people, were more reliable. They didn't show up late, they never argued about what quest I wanted to do, they never fought with me over loot. If I was looking for social interaction I would, well I don't know what I would do because that is not something I ever look for. This is why I question why a lot of people sink hours of their life into MMO's. Some of them really are there for the game itself, the story and buiding a character. Many, many more are there for a glorified chat room with a night elf fetish. I have no desire to interact with these people; they can have their world, I don't want to be in it.

It speaks to the hobby well that it can house people with such opposing viewpoints and we can effectively stay out of each others way. When our paths do intersect it is filled with uncomfortble silence and the shuffling of feet, then the socialites move on and I am as relieved at their passing as they are to be rid of me.

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