Going Home to the Second Grind

BY KYLE VAN DEN HEUVEL

 

When I get home from work/school, my favorite way to wind down and relieve any stress of the day is by playing video games. My favorite type of game is one I can play for a little bit and not have to put too much focus into so I can have a show or something going on in the background. I like multiplayer games as I can play against people that I know have the same limits as I do and can be played over and over without getting dull. However, I’ve noticed a trend that has been putting me off playing these kinds of games.

Modern multiplayer games (in particular shooters) have taken an element from RPGs and have implemented “leveling” systems. These leveling systems do add replay value to these games, but they do also add other problems as well. Most of these systems also lock gameplay features and equipment behind these systems which means that if you aren’t of a certain level, you can’t do the special abilities or have the awesome equipment that those with higher levels do. This makes sense in RPG style games because usually when you level up you travel to more impressive areas and deal with enemies that are harder to deal with. In multiplayer games, however, you play against the same people no matter what level you are. This means that if you just get the game and are level 1, most games will put you up against higher level people who will win against you simply because they are a higher level. In older multiplayer games like Quake and Counter-Strike, there were no leveling systems and you had to rely on skill to win. Modern multiplayer games like Call of Duty and Battlefield put you at such a disadvantage; when you are low level you are then driven to play more just so you can level up so you can do decently.

This urge to level up is probably the worst thing about these games. It changes my mindset from playing for enjoyment to playing to level up. This drive to level up sucks all the fun out of the game but still gets us to play the game even if we don’t enjoy it. It seems that every multiplayer game nowadays has this kind of leveling system and it has caused me to lose interest in these kinds of games. I don’t want to play a game that plays with me. I want to play a game that I can play for enjoyment and not have to worry about spending 10+ hours just to get the basics that games of old gave you right away.

 

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