The state of online multiplayer needs to improve

Above: Online multiplayer in The Last of Us.

Image Credit: Naughty Dog/Sony
This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
Editor's Note from Stephanie Carmichael:
In this piece, Cassie explains why online multiplayer isn't for her unless it represents the core experience and not a platform for verbal abuse, such as with the hit game Journey.

Sometimes, I try really hard to like things because I see other people enjoying them so much — like The Walking Dead (the AMC show), football, and even online multiplayer. Yes, it’s true: I hate online multiplayer.

For some reason, whenever I try to play an online multiplayer game, I don’t enjoy it at all. Is it because I only had local multiplayer and single-player games growing up and that’s just what I’m used to? Or is it because of all of the hate speech heard from players online? I believe it’s the latter.

Playing games online, especially as a girl, can be a really daunting experience. You either A.) get hit on by creepy people, or B.) get cursed at because you “suck at gaming.” Do I suck at gaming? No. But when I play online, rude people make me feel like I do. I don’t like playing online because I can’t handle the negative abuse.

Does anyone else have this problem? Even with my favorite games like The Last of Us and Uncharted, I don’t enjoy playing online multiplayer. I’d much rather get in a room with close friends and play Mario Kart 64.

Mario Kart 64

The only online game I have truly enjoyed is Journey. It is, hands down, the most unique multiplayer experience I have ever been involved in. You play with a complete stranger and try to finish the adventure together. It’s beautiful. More games should challenge the traditional thought of what online multiplayer means and experiment with different approaches. I also like Journey so much because there’s no opportunity to get angry at the person you’re playing with. You don’t even know who he is, and you can’t contact him (other than with a gentle ping) in any way. That’s really special.

I’ve always really enjoyed great single-player experiences. I like to feel completely connected to the game on a personal level. With a brilliant game like The Last of Us, multiplayer is unnecessary. I’d rather have more single-player downloadable content than a competitive mode. However, online multiplayer is a huge cash cow, and I understand that a lot of people enjoy it. I just feel that games include the feature because it’s the norm and not because developers want to try something new and meaningful.

What’s your favorite online multiplayer experience? Am I the only one who just doesn’t enjoy playing games online? Comment below and start a conversation.

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