Friends or Solo?

xbox controller

Editorial Use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Olly Curtis/Future/REX/Shutterstock (5586880l) Detail Of A Microsoft Xbox One Wireless Controller Video Game Consoles Hardware Shoot

consolesNo I’m not talking about the sitcom from the 90s or anything Star Wars. This is a question about gaming preference. Do you prefer gaming with friends or are you a solo player?

When I began playing World of Warcraft (WoW) eons ago, I wouldn’t have figured it out without a group of friends. I would have drowned actually, because for the life of me I could not get my character to swim. My blood elf kept dying in the water. It’s true. It takes some crafty mouse work still when I’m trying to swim in WoW.

The researchers who take time to collect gaming data have stated that 64% of 18–34-year-old console game buyers in the US said that playing with friends or meeting new people is what makes gaming great.

So why am I so irritated when playing with a quad in Fortnite? I mean if I’m playing with true friends, who I could see in a cafe someday, then perhaps I can deal with it, but for the strangers who I’m gaming with who leave me high and dry to die in the storm, yeah I’d rather play alone. The only time I am like “okay, I need a team” is when I’m playing “Save the World” and the mission seems nearly impossible to complete on my own. How in the name of all that is good in the universe am I supposed to protect FOUR servers at the same time when two are in opposite corners of the bottom floor of a lab and two are in the opposite corners on the top floor of the lab. There are only so many traps I have the materials to craft! Oy vey and marie!

What makes me want to play a game? The storyline and the graphics. I love all things shiny and colorful. That’s really want got me so hooked in World of Warcraft. When pushing my computer processor to the limits and employing the graphic cards to full capacity – WoW is truly a beautiful game.

Okay, so beyond the actual gaming experience, how do you learn about the new games? Do you rely on friend feedback, do you look on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter? Are you signed up to receive updates from your favorite bloggers? I’m not going to mince words with you, I ask my teenager. He’ll let me know about the new games, he sends me YouTube trailers of the games and then he’ll either say “Mom it’s too violent for you” or “Mom you should totally check it out, but be patient.” Haha. He knows me so well. Thank you, Braeden!

To play with friends or without friends that is the question. I think I do both, but I lean on the side of playing solo. However, I see in my kids that they crave the community aspect. They wait to see a favorite username pop up on the Xbox screen to say someone is online. Their headsets are plugged in and their chats are flowing. Heck they are also often live streaming through apps like Twitch.

Maybe the difference stems from growing up with Atari and Coleco where 1-player games were seen more often than not. Who knows.