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The Mystery of the Vanishing Game
Posted on Tuesday, October 30 2007 @ 22:35:28 PST

I was reading one of the articles in Gaming News and saw that Call of Duty 4 has a ridiculously short single player campaign. The article also mentioned the sub-par efforts of Heavenly Sword and Halo 3 when it came to their campaigns. This started the old cogs and wheels in my brain a spinnin’: why are we seeing some less than awesome single player gaming now?

With the technology we have now, you would think we would be seeing some month long epics, telling of grand adventures that cross all ends of time and space, but instead we have barely seven or eight hours of play time. It seems to me that game developers are putting too much time and effort into the visuals of games and not paying enough attention to the story and game play. It is called a video “game” which led me to believe I would be doing some playing. If I wanted to watch a movie I would. Other times, developers seem to be relying on the multiplayer game to sell units and only begrudgingly add a single player campaign because they “have to”. I’m not against copious amounts of online cooperation/annihilation, I just wouldn’t replace a well thought out, engrossing single player story with it.

My video game experiences started with the legendary Game Boy. I played that thing during every free minute I had; it went with me whenever my family went for a trip, it was my travel buddy. My point is that multiplayer was not an option here. As I grew older and upgraded to the NES, SNES, and eventually to my lovely fat PS2, I played games mainly by myself or with my friends manning the second controller. I learned to play video games by myself and that was fine by me because I got involved with the story. I found myself lost in a magical world with flame throwing plumbers trying to save princesses or a metal suited boy shooting energy balls from his arm at armies of robotic animal enemies. These games gave me hours and hours of homework procrastination goodness. As time and technology progressed, games became larger and more glamorous. The stories became more and more lengthy with greater character development and plot twists, but now something has seemed to happen, the games are shrinking as if some plague of late onset dwarfism has broken out.

I don’t know, but I like my single player campaigns. When I buy a game, I want to sit down and be rocketed off to a far away land; I want to forget about my day and shoot some zombies in the head or slice a dragon in half. I want to have fun with the game and I want it to last. Playing a good, but short game is such a tease. The video game industry is taking away a lot of imagination and effort from the wrong places and the games and gamers are suffering because of it. 

Please video game makers, tell me a story. It’s alright if it takes some time to tell, I’m an adult, my bedtime isn’t until 9:45 pm now.
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