From the rage quitting sore loser, to the team killing gamer troll, or even the self infatuated gamer who demands you play the way they tell you too, I finally realized the world of online multi-player gaming may not be all it's cracked up to be. When I first joined XBOX Live a decade ago, I really liked the aspects of social gaming, the ability to play in teams, to build real strategies with my friends, and connect with other like minded gamers online. Unfortunately, after a decade of dealing with a world full of bigoted gaming losers, I have to admit my thoughts have changed. From that raging, screaming loser, to the self infatuated douche who insists you aren't playing the game right unless you play the way they do, to the nagging troll who you can't boot because the game itself has no boot feature, I'm done!
For me, it's been a 5 month hiatus from the world of XBOX Live and multi-player gaming, and a return to my gaming roots. Now it's just me and my original XBOX, and it's pure bliss. Alone with my controller and an arsenal of games, adventure awaits; but one thing is missing, oh, the screaming babies I mentioned above. No more whiny losers complaining because they lost the match, or calling me a modder because I won. No more sitting down to enjoy a night of gaming with friends only to have the world's biggest troll crash the game and ruin everyone's mood. It just wasn't worth it anymore.
Emotionally scarred from the worst experiences in my life, I'd finally retreated from the world of online gaming, and moved to a better place offline, my old school consoles where I truly belonged. Now it was back to racing the flush landscapes of Dakar 2, to unloading clips on would be terrorists in EA's Black, and smashing down the emperors mysterious advisors with fierce combos in Gauntlet Seven Sorrows. And, unlike the world of multi-player headaches, it was the gaming experience I truly enjoyed.
Finally, I was free of not just the trolls, but the brain dead humans who were less self-aware than the zombies attacking them in left4dead. You'd always get that fourth player that would bark demands, yet they picked up the game last week and obviously haven't a clue how to play.
Does this mean I will never turn around and head back to the online gaming empire? Certainly not, but it will take more time for me to evaluate whether its ever worth putting myself through it again.
Throughout my terrible online gaming ordeal, I realized the real cause of all my headaches, which was the inability to get rid of those who annoyed me the most. Me and my friends would block a gamer on XBOX Live, but low and behold, they would simply create a new profile and find their way back into the match. To make matters worse, you could block people all you wanted, but somehow those blocks would magically disappear. Another call to XBOX Live's worthless support would always yield the same answer, "I'm so sorry but there's nothing I can do." What else could I expect from a company that spent tens of millions of dollars on marketing efforts for their Surface Tablet, only to waste all that money on having a bunch of morons swing and dance around tables while throwing tablets in the air, fools!
What was once the world's greatest online gaming platform was now nothing more than a haven for trolls, a place for the trashiest of the gaming world to congregate online, and no longer the once fun and inviting experience both I and my friends used to enjoy.
I realized the other alternative to returning to the multi-player gaming environment was to play just with a group of friends online. Many games offer the ability for a private match, and if you're getting sick and tired of all the online gaming noise like I did, this might be a good option for you as well.
The other problem I experienced with the online multi-player approach to gaming was the fact it was hard to keep my attention on the game I was playing, when I'm stuck dead center in a conversation with 7 other people! Even playing with friends can be a huge distraction when voices are coming and going at what feels like the speed of light. I just never could concentrate on multi-player matches the same way I could a single player one, where my attention is never disrupted, and put squarely on the game I'm playing.
So, I guess the ultimate question is, which do you prefer more, the online multi-player gaming experience, or the solo gaming experience where it's just you and your favorite single player games?
Either way, both the online multi-player and solo gaming experiences have their advantages and disadvantages. I just personally came to realize that the online gaming experience was often more negative than positive, and sometimes it doesn't hurt to take a break from it and chill out with a great single player console game instead.