Without a doubt, the biggest story of the past week has been the extensive leaking of highly spoiler-ish and relevant story and level details from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 by the popular gaming site Kotaku. Modern Warfare 3 is easily the most anticipated game of the year, in terms of popularity and, of course, financially, so a story like this would naturally attract tons of attention. It’s easy to see why: Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest game of all time at its launch, now surpassed only by Call of Duty: Black Ops and likely to be surpassed again by Modern Warfare 3. It’s not exactly a mystery why this leak generated such a huge response.
But something bothers me a great deal about this. I think this is a huge story, but not for the reasons that most others do. I think Kotaku erred in leaking these details. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Kotaku commited a very great wrong, one that not only damages Activision and the Call of Duty brand, but also the entire video game industry and its myriad partners, including the world of video game journalism. And the fact that only a select few have even noticed this bothers me even more.
You see, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I truly believe that journalism, even video game and entertainment journalism, is a noble profession with a set of ethics that all who practice it should adhere to. Journalism is there to protect people by exposing lies and keeping the powers that be honest. Reporters take the time to check the facts because we the people don’t have the time and resources to do so ourselves. They are a vital part of this world and one that should be embraced instead of marginalized. Continue reading Why Kotaku Did A Bad Thing
I seriously can’t tell you guys how much I’m anxiously awaiting the beta for Halo: Reach, hitting on May 3rd. When that glorious day rolls around, I’ll be a zombie, doing nothing but thinking, eating, and sleeping in a way that is pleasing to the Master Chief. I would consider it no great secret that something about Halo multiplayer hits a special sweet spot for my competitive gaming tastes, and I can’t wait to jump back into it. Honestly, it’s almost like Christmas for me.
Complete fanboy antics aside, an embargo finally lifted on the preview that lots of major gaming sites got to experience with the game. As a result, everybody and their mom that got to play Halo: Reach is finally able to write about it, shedding some light on the details about the game’s multiplayer and how it is going to feel in our nerdy clammy hands.
I think the most interesting write-up I read about the beta would be from Kotaku, who gave a great run down of some of the multiplayer features. The things I’ve read both excite and concern me. Right now, the pros are: class-based weapon and equipment load-outs, fall damage, no dual wielding. Cons: jetpacks for everyone that chooses the loadout and the new armor lock ability, which seems to combine trip mines, EMPs, and bubble shields into one.
Anyway, if you’re even mildly interested in the Reach beta, I’d highly recommend checking out some of the previews of the multiplayer that are dropping all over the net. So, how do you guys feel about Halo: Reach? Excited or meh? Go!
Even though I joke about being addicted to video games, I don’t think I can ever honestly say that I’ve had a real actual addiction to them at any point in my life. Thankfully, games have been an area where the fun stays fun, and I can walk away if something is sucking away too much of my life, though Counter-Strike came close to reversing that.
A really interesting article went up a couple of days ago on Kotaku called I Kept Playing – The Cost of My Gaming Addiction. I highly recommend reading it for any of you who have ever had a problem with MMOs (or any game for that matter), or if you’ve had friends affected by the kinds of addiction described within. He describes losing two jobs and the love of his life, all for Everquest. While I’ve had my share of difficulties in one area or another over the years, I’ve never experienced need for something to that level. It really is frightening to think that something could come along and uproot everything that people work for. And a videogame, of all things.
A few years back, my brother went through a pretty rough time where Everquest was all he did. It took him awhile to come out of the funk, and he doesn’t like to think back on it. He’s all better now, thankfully, and living a normal life, but those years were a little nuts. What about you guys? Have you ever known anybody who’s had a gaming addiction like this?
We’ve talked around these parts before about how single player gaming seems to be going the way of the buffalo, slowly shuffling towards some great doom in future generations of gaming yet to come. It seems that you can’t make a decent single player experience without trying to tack on a co-op mode or some kind of competitive multiplayer. Why, Brutal Legend and Uncharted 2 are recent examples of this idea in action.
Kotaku has put up a fairly thoughtful piece on the idea of single player gaming’s slow extinction, and what it means for the industry. The big factor in most of these multiplayer mode add-ons is that companies don’t want people to resell and buy their games used. To me, you can’t escape the inevitable- used games are here to stay, and there’s nothing you can do about it. What you can do as a game company is lower your budget and (gasp) maybe even the prices of games so that there’s more incentive to both buy and keep the games you want. Another great model is Fallout 3’s DLC packs.
So what do you guys think? Is single player gaming dying?