Well, I'm not that old, but I have been neglecting a segment of the gaming culture for far too long. I have been an ardent game fan for most of my life and have seen a lot of types of games. One type of game that I have completely ignored is the online multiplayer genre. Being a fan of consoles and not owning a computer, I really didn't get to experience the whole fragfest scene, and really had no interest in it. I thought that the best games where the single player adventures with great stories and character development. I really didn't consider the stories I read about with MMOs and the like to be of interest. In all honesty, I thought they were a little shallow.

Recently, I came to a revelation: Games don't have to have a great story to be fun. Games didn't use to have a story at all. Take a look at Pac-Man and the like. What story is there? Why are the ghosts trying to get him? Why are there ghost running around in the first place? We didn't know and didn't care, it was simply fun. The recent consoles have brought the point home even further for me. With Live and PSN, multiplayer has definitely been opened up for all of us. Even those of us that thought it wasn't worth their time before. This is definitely a trend that needs to continue. We need multiplayer in our games. Why? Because it's just plain fun to join either a team or individual multiplayer map and just shoot or slice stuff up, be it a monster of indescribable hideousness or a soldier from that faction we hate.

The image of the lonely gamer in the basement, leveling up his black mage in the latest version of a Japanese RPG, while surrounded all the accouterments of geekdom is slowly going away, and definitely for the better. Now we see a more social experience that bridges the console and PC crowd. There are some diehards that will always say, "First person shooters suck on consoles", or "Platforming blows on a PC". Well, they are both wrong. Games belong to the gamers, not the systems that they play them on. I know people will disagree and that is fine. As long as you are happy when you play and with what you play on, you win.


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