Online Multiplayer takes investment.

Here’s the thing.  I’m an online multiplayer dabbler.  I like to mess around with it some, but I’ve never gone full in on a game.  Unfortunately, it seems like the current online space requires more and more in the way of serious dedication to have a good time online.

There was a time when almost all multiplay was local.  When I was in middle school and high school, I would have friends over and we would play Super Smash Bros, FIFA, and Need for Speed long into the night.  Some of my fondest memories are of playing double elimination tournaments in Need for Speed: Underground 2.  We’d spend hours taking turns customizing our cars for the big showdown and organize our own brackets since only two people could race at once.  Or we’d take turns wrecking havoc in GTA: San Andreas.  And of course there was always the one kid who wouldn’t do anything dangerous so that his turn would go forever.  We hated that kid.  Anyway, I digress.  My issue is that people don’t seem to play video games in the same room with each other anymore.  And I have a specific problem with the new brand.

At the end of the day, my issue is this: online game are like sports.  Now I love sports, but sports require practice, teamwork, and they aren’t any fun if you always lose.  When I finish the single player in a Call of Duty game, or Uncharted, or even Mario Kart, I think, “won’t it be fun to take my skills and mess around in multiplayer for a bit.”  I always somehow think that it will be a fun little epilogue.  The problem is that it’s a completely different game.  People are obviously a lot smarter than AI opponents but the real problem is that when I hop in, say, a Call of Duty match just to have some fun, everyone else there has played the map 150 times, knows what to do, where to be, and possibly has a bunch of friends on their team with headsets to better coordinate my death.  So what ends up happening is that I run around a corner and get blasted in the face before I can react because they know that that’s a choke-point.  Or I stop moving for one second and get shot in the back.  At the end of the match, I have 15 death and 2 kills and the whole thing just seems stupid.

Now I want to be clear, I’m not condemning online multiplayer here.  What I’m saying is that in my desire for variety in the games I play (and indeed that I also watch some TV, play some sports, etc.) means that I’ve never had one game that I’ve committed enough multiplayer time to to be good enough for me to enjoy myself.  There’s a whole set of people who learned Call of Duty, and with the flurry of similar-feeling multiplay shooters out there, have staked hills that I don’t have the patience to climb.  In the end, it seems to me that the sport of online gaming is something that you do right or you don’t do at all.  What’s it they say, the mark of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go try a little Last of Us factions mode…


Do you enjoy online multiplayer?  To tell me what I’m doing wrong, comment or send an e-mail to  Check back here every week for more gaming commentary and take a look at Daily D-Pad on Youtube for some cool videos!



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