Every year, people flock to their nearest game store (Gamestop anyone?) to buy the "new" Call of Duty while others sit by and wait for the next Battlefield or Halo to release so they can begin the never ending argument over what game is the best FPS multiplayer out there. Still, however, others are happy at their PC's playing the latest RTS's or others much rather stick to 3rd person games like Gears of War. 

But why multiplayer? Just what makes multiplayer games such a prominent part of the gaming world? Now before I delve into just why, this blog is by no means meant to take anything away from single player. I love single player equally as much as multiplayer and hold the viewpoint that many games should have no multiplayer aspect to them. Single player games can do things, such as telling a story, immersing oneself into incredible worlds, etc, that multiplayer simply cannot. This blog is simply more so about team vs team, player vs player, multiplayer style gaming. Now that I've made that clear, on with the blog!

Red Team: What do you mean these things don't have guns?

Competition. Comradery. Interaction. Longevity. These four things, I believe, are what make multiplayer games such a staple in gamers' lives. Deep down, everyone likes a bit of competition. It's simply human nature to feel an urge to compete against others in some aspect of life, and let's just face it, winning feels good. For the more competitive player, such as myself, multiplayer games allow gamers to release, and potentially fulfill, this competition urge ingrained in their psyches. For most of my life, I've participated in competitive sports such as football and baseball, and I'll tell you this, setting up an actual team in a game such as Halo 3, and then competing against another actual team gets the adrenaline flowing just as effectively as any sporting event I've ever participated in. There have been times during my Call of Duty Gamebattles exploits in which it was Search and Destroy, score tied at 3-3, one player from each team surviving, and that one player from my team being me, that I've been worried I was going to miss my shot simply because my hands were trembling from excitement and nervousness. 


The longevity of multiplayer game play life is another reason why multiplayer games are so very popular amongst many gamers. I find that for games with multiplayer, I will continue playing them on a regular basis long after they have released. With single player only games, I often will beat the game several times and then not play it again for several weeks or even months. Unless I absolutely love a solo player game, continually playing it can become a stale experience. Multiplayer, on the other hand, becomes stale at a much slower rate because the enemies in those games are living, unique people that cause games to be played differently each match. 

Internet went out, beaten campaign 5 times........so bored

However, perhaps the most enticing feature of multiplayer games is not the competition aspect or even the play life, but rather the comradery and interaction with other gamers that occurs. Playing multiplayer games will always be a great way to interact with other gamers. I've made some of my best friends, and rivalries, from playing multiplayer games. Some of these friends I would have never even met if it were not for multiplayer games. There have been times during 4v4 Halo games in which it felt more like a 1v1 between another player and I simply because we were destroying each other's teams and then after the game, one of us invited the other and we ended up becoming good friends. When my team and I play, the comradery between us is astounding. We communicate, back each other up, and pick each other up when we're down just like any "real" team would do in anything else. Whether it's casual or competitive, this, I believe, is why most gamers choose to partake in multiplayer games. 

If only you could do this in games.......

The popularity of multiplayer in gaming will never cease in the future, and with next gen systems preparing to be unleashed onto the world, multiplayer is simply going to become an ever evolving experience for the better. For most of my life, I have been a console gamer. I never really got into PC gaming simply because up until this year I never owned my own personal computer thus, being in a family of five, whenever I wanted to play games on my computer, it was always a hassle. With the consoles that I've owned over the years, I always had a place that I could play video games uninterrupted and hassle free. Obviously then, my multiplayer experiences have been on consoles for the most part. 

Up until this point, I've tried almost every multiplayer genre that there is. RTS, FPS, 3rd person, fighting, I've tried them all. What I've found is that I'm the most competitive, and in no way is this meant to be arrogant, and also good at FPS games such as Halo and CoD. I attempted to become competitive at Age of Empires II: Age of Kings and Injustice: Gods Among Us, but I simply was not good enough to compete with the upper level competition.

Now what I have noticed with multiplayer gaming for the past few years is that almost every multiplayer genre has been dominated by the same games. FPS has been dominated by Halo, Battlefield, and CoD; RTS has been more so with Starcraft II and League of Legends; and 3rd person (at least on Xbox, I'm unsure about Playstation or PC) has been dominated by Gears of War. Now don't get me wrong, these games are all stupendous in their own right, but with the release of the next generation of gaming, the opportunity for something new has never been more prominent. 

Pilot: OH SH**

Developers have the chance to start creating new ideas for the next generation and can potentially revolutionize multiplayer gaming for the better. For years, FPS enthusiasts have been clamoring for something new. Now is the time for that. Respawn's Titanfall will be the first next gen attempt at bringing something innovative and refreshing to the FPS scene, and I for one, hope it succeeds. Every other multiplayer genre has the same possibility of seeing new games being added to their genres. The new tools and opportunity is there, only time will tell if new innovations in multiplayer gaming become a reality. 

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