Forum Posts Following Followers
4928 315 349

Solitary Gaming

Gaming - A Solitary Pursuit?

It's been a long hiatus since my last post. I haven't even gotten around to finishing my top ten list. Shameful, really. Worst of all, I've forgotten what the final three games are.

I think it went something like:

3) Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
2) Mafia
1) Grim Fandango.

Anyhow, I was thinking about games the other day -- something that usually prompts me to write about them -- and struck upon something interesting: I generally prefer playing on my own. Now, to add some background to this post, I'm a sociable person. I like being around people and often find myself at a loose end when I'm on my own. I don't prefer my own company to other's.

Except when I'm playing games.

If these sporadic posts are anything to go by, I go through phases of game-playing. When I have a new, shiny title, I throw myself into it. I envelop myself in my own company. And the other day, I tried to work out why. Why is it that I'm so sociable, yet so anti-social when it comes to my Xbox 360? I positively dislike company when I'm in front of the TV, tongue lolling, my eyes straining, my mind blissfully clear of external worries.

It's all about escapism I think. I play games as a retreat. We all have ways of dealing with worries. I achieve my release normally through excessive drinking -- it's a university thing of course -- but that's done purely in a social environment. When it comes to games, I immerse myself in the events on-screen, and shudder to think of anyone distracting me from this immersion, breaking my concentration and enjoyment by probing me with silly banter, inane questions, or quizzical comments relating to the game.

I struggle to enjoy myself even playing side-by-side with someone. I dislike split-screen -- perhaps I'm a perfectionist -- but it's more than just that. I get my enjoyment from the solitary aspect of gaming. I stick to singleplayer campaigns, rarely venture online, and enjoy myself all the more for it. It's my slavish itch for a good story that needs scratching. Games that present a good narrative and a liberal dose of combat get my thumbs up.

And yet, in every other avenue of life, I need company. Am I alone on this (excuse the pun), or do you guys share my tendencies?

Agree, disagree, let me know.