I'm walking out of a Gamestop when a young guy several yards away sees me, points to the bag I'm holding, and shouts "Alright!". My years of dealing with the crazy people of New York city have taught me not to antagonize total strangers, so I flash him a false smile and quicken my pace to the parking lot.
That's when the guy changes course and starts walking toward me. I would not be escaping that easily.
"What did you buy?" my new friend asks, as he gets closer.
I suppress a groan. "Bioshock"
This information excites the guy. "Bioshock 2?" he asks, a big grin on his face.
"Yeah", I cautiously reply
"Can I play with you?"
"Why not?" The guy was obviously hurt by my response. I decide to choose my next words carefully.
"Because it doesn't have a multiplayer mode"
"Can I see it?"
Unsure where this request was leading, I took my copy of Bioshock Infinite out of the bag and held it up so that he could see the cover. This disappointed my new friend.
"Oh. That's the new one. I thought you had Bioshock 2"
I keep forgetting that game exists. I never bought it, ironically because of its multiplayer mode.
"Sorry, I don't have that one"
"Oh, okay". The guy hangs his head and starts walking toward the Gamestop. I take that as my cue to get the hell out of there.
I'm closing in on my car when the guy calls out to me.
"Hey! Do you play Resident Evil?!"
The guy turned back toward Gamestop. I practically dove into my car.
Now that I was safe, I couldn't help but pity this mystery guy. Here was someone who obviously likes to play video games, but just couldn't fathom enjoying a game without playing with another person. He was so desperate to find a companion to enjoy his gaming with, he was willing to approach a random stranger he met in a parking lot, just on the hope that this person would be willing to play with him. This was the kind of gamer the industry's recent focus on multiplayer in everything has produced.
Before starting my car, I shed a single tear for the future of gaming.