It's no shock, if you know me, that I'm not huge into online gaming. I simply prefer, for the most part, to play alone or in a 'same room' environment with friend(s) or family member(s). That's completely fine, right? In the modern world of gaming we still have single-player and multi-player games or at least sections for each within those games, so one can chose which realm they want to spend their time with. But, I've started noticing a new annoyance in every one of my gaming systems wanting to be online and persistently reminding me that my gaming friends are doing this and that, playing this game and the other, achieving, sharing, befriending, posting on leader boards and what-have-you. It's got me to the point that I miss just sitting down and playing a game for the sake of playing a game... you know... where you lose yourself in a title for hours and experience it for what it is.
To be honest, I don't need a notification every time I achieve a new silly little goal in a game. I don't need to know when every one of my friends signs into PSN, XBL, Steam or (insert other platform here). I don't need to know every time someone starts a game, I don't need to know that someone's liked something of mine via some kind of social feature built into each system. I don't need to connect my games or systems to social media sites like facebook or twitter. Hell, I don't even need to know that a download has finished or a patch is available. I certainly don't need to have an IM/email length conversation with people every time I log into my gaming platform. Lastly, I feel it completely pointless to build an ever more micro-social system into a platform that already has this. I'm looking at EA, Ubisoft and WB specifically for their login systems that require you make accounts with them to offer features like this (as well as weird useless awards based on this idea) as a separate system built into each game for you to keep track of, regardless of platform.
I find myself, more and more often, playing games on my PC or older gaming systems that have no kind of online connection requirement (OR forcing my newer ones offline while I game). This includes emulators (one good thing about fan made stuff, it's usually not trying to shoe-horn you into giving them money), PC games pre-Steam/Origin, games from Gog.com (which doesn't force you into all this connected stuff) and just about anything else I can get my hands on. Or, again, I force those gaming platforms into offline mode and disable as many notification settings as I can.
AND It's wonderful. I'm enjoying games again. I'm exploring the wastelands of Fallout, dealing with the quirkiness of Advent Rising, exploding demons in (Brutal) Doom, helping Mario get to his princess and leveling up my character in Star Ocean. All while focused mainly on my game and not the notifications of whatever my systems deems important enough to take me out of my gaming zone and quite possibly ruin an experience of that game for me.
Makes me wonder though. When did gaming become more about about instant gratification, with Achievements and constant updates about everything going on in the realm of the gaming microsphere? When did we stop enjoying ourselves and care more about the above? Which brings up another point: Why does Nintendo get so much slack for holding back on adopting this model? It's actually one thing I've wondered about for a while and now am kind of proud that Nintendo has lacked some of these features in their gaming systems. I'm actually looking forward to getting a WiiU at some point and just enjoying the games without a lot of this other crap getting in the way.
|So simple. Clean of notification. Just playing a game.|