To Single Play or to Multi Play

Despite my love for the almost entirely single-player Legend of Zelda franchise, I generally prefer multiplayer games over single-player games. My Steam account is full of single-player games I have never played or haven’t completed. I never actually finished most of my single-player console games, either. I just eventually lose interest or focus, getting distracted by some other video game or a new book, and never get back to finishing the game. If it is a multiplayer game that I’m playing with friends, I’m a lot more likely to stay interested and finish it.  There are exceptions, of course. I’ve played tons of games of Borderlands with friends and by myself, but I’ve only ever finished it once with a friend. It’s a longer game, so it is difficult to get someone to commit to the entire thing and then actually follow-through over the several sessions it’ll take to beat it.

I never finished all of the really cool extra content for Hyrule Warriors because I got bored doing the daily grind of beating thousands of enemies on my own. For the few missions I could do it, I enjoyed the multiplayer option much more. I started playing and loved Shadow of War last fall, but I never finished because Destiny 2, with its multitude of problems, came out. Destiny encourages cooperative multiplayer while Shadow of War’s multiplayer is only ever competitive.

I prefer cooperative multiplayer to competitive. Competitive games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers are fun, but I prefer any game where I’m working with my friends rather than against them. Halo Co-Op was my preferred way to play with my friends in high school. I never really got into League of Legends because it was so competitive. Even the cooperative aspect of being on a team with your friends or strangers got competitive because people took the game so seriously. That, plus the toxicity, drove me away. Overwatch, on the other hand, is a competitive game but it encourages a lot more cooperation than I feel League of Legends did. Even when queuing for Quickplay and playing with random strangers feels better because not everyone is toxic and most people agree to a basic level of cooperation. Some of my best cooperative moments and matches have been with strangers. All it takes there is communication and willingness to participate.

I’m not a terribly competitive person. I don’t really care about winning or losing, I just want to play well. I want to play a game skillfully and improve, not worry about who has the most kills or whether or not I’m consistently better than my friends. I get frustrated, sure, but only when I know we’re under-performing or one of my allies is deliberately messing us up. I generally won’t try to force people to cooperate with me in games, but I have little patience for people who find pleasure in throwing games or betraying their allies.

I like to improve myself. Daily blog entries here, figuring out how to add novel-writing to my schedule, and then trying to work out between work and writing is all my attempts to make myself the best me I can be. That includes being good at my chosen recreations. I like to play video games and the part of me that is what I identify as the most core part of me also wants to be good at video games. Not so I can go pro in some competitive e-sports league or so I can rule over my friends, but for my own personal satisfaction. I want to be good to see just how good I can be.