In the 80s, games really didn’t offer a whole lot to look at. There were few colors and the level designs were pretty dull. These games didn’t provide much of an immerse experience, especially if you consider the god-awful displays they were viewed on (20″ cedar tv anyone?)
The only thing exciting about those games was the competition. Guys could go out to the public arcade and show off their quick reflexes as they made it to the Bell level of Pacman and scored 20,000 on Space Invaders. Even as video game systems like the NES found a spot in homes, multiplayer games remained hosts for digital competitions. In Super Mario Bros., Mario and Luigi took turns trying to advance and earn a high score. Some other competitive games on the NES were Gladiator and Archon.
Fortunately, the NES had a much better graphics processor than Atari and games began to actually look interesting. This allowed gamers to begin to enjoy a mildly immersive experience. Games like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Metroid are examples of enjoyable single player games that were released on the NES. So now there are two sides to the fence. On one side you have games that entice individuals to pour hours of effort into pointless competition. On the other are games whose stories and objectives enchant users to be anti-social, mesmerized by the interactive experience they are having with the machine.
Little has changed over my 23 years of life, regarding the current topic. Today, millions compete in games online in a more addictive manner than before due to the increase in access to competitors. Single player games are more immersive than ever with today’s graphics, AI, and mechanics. Fortunately, there are some positive things to say. Single player games allow for a relaxing activity while sitting in front of the television. Unlike watching tv shows or movies, we don’t have to be exposed to advertisements or actors subliminally convincing us how we should look and act. Multiplayer games can teach us teamwork and how to manage strengths and weaknesses.
So what is the root of all evil? Single or multiplayer games? If there were only two consoles, one for single player and the other for multiplayer only, which would you buy, and why?