Online games have a massive appeal for those wanting to play with other people. It has more of a competitive nature, and often provides rewards for the victors. Single player games, while offering lengthy story-driven content, may feel boring for some. With only the computer to play with, it can become very repetitive.
As far as accomplishments are
concerned, online ones feel more real – for the lack of a better word. Offline games can feel very closed-off. You
never meet people, and the game feels very robotic. Online games, with plenty
of players running around, can make the experience feel more alive. Because of
that, online games are more popular than ever. Since everyone can easily access
the internet, playing with others is
as easy as pressing a button.
Competition and Challenges
A lot of online games today
have a similar setup. Players join teams – either randomly or by pre-formed
groups – and face another team. They can then use teamwork to accomplish goals
and defeat their opponents. Games such as League of Legends, Dota 2, and
Counter Strike all offer competitive matches between players. For those who
have less playing time available, this is the one for you. Matches in these
games finish in under an hour. No
adventures, no quests, just an arena filled with two teams.
Those with the competitive
drive can also go a step beyond casual matches. Each game offers a ranked version of the matches, where players
compete for ranks on a global scale. With its quick games, competitive
atmosphere, and adrenaline-fueled action, it is hard to resist for loyal
A Sense of Community
For those who like adventure
games, offline ones can feel empty. You are the only one in the virtual world,
surrounded by computer-controlled characters. Online games change that, giving
you the feeling of a lively virtual community. People can trade, make friends,
and even plan events together for their online activity. Many people have even met their spouses in online games.
The appeal of meeting people
without leaving the comforts of home is a great factor for some players. Those
who still want to feel connected with people can go the ‘halfway’ measure of
playing online. There, you can chat with others, talk about interests, and meet
new people along the way.
A Toxic Wasteland
With the good, come the bad.
While online games offer excitement and a sense of social activity, they are
also home to toxic behavior. Even in
the early days of online gaming, voice chats and other hate messages have been
a major occurrence. Nobody likes losing – and they are not afraid to express
how they feel. The adrenaline rush of competition combined with anonymity makes a lot of players act
There have been times were
hate messages go through players. In worst cases, players can even give another
person trouble by calling the police on them. Yes, that has been a malicious
act especially in the United States. For those who want to play online, it is
always a good idea to stay anonymous, never sharing personal information to
Loot Boxes and Gambling
Another downside of online
games is the ‘legal’ gambling system they have. Games can offer loot boxes – a mechanic where you buy a ‘mystery’ item to see what is inside. These boxes
usually have a constant price. The inside can vary from worthless junk from the
game, to expensive and rare stuff. You can see what this means – players must
gamble in order to get better items.
These items can even be
game-changers, where the game becomes easier with these rare items on your
possession. Loot boxes are a common occurrence in free-to-play games. They
justify this by saying that the actual game is free – you only pay for cosmetic items. Cosmetic items do not
affect the gameplay, and are only for visuals. These include clothes for your
characters, mounts such as horses, cars, and more.
Paid Subscriptions are a common way for online games to make money. They justify the
amount by saying it pays for servers, maintenance, and new content. For several
games however, they take it even further. Aside from paying for subscription,
you also have to pay for the game itself – that includes any potential
expansions. This means that if you buy the game itself, you still had to pay
monthly to be able to play it.
World of Warcraft for
instance is an online game with over 10
million active players. To get started, you need a $15 monthly
subscription. The subscription gives you access to the game up until the last
expansion. On top of that however, if you want the latest expansion (plus new
ones), you have to pay about $100. For a lot of players with limited budgets,
this can be a massive turn-off. Not only will you pay monthly, you also have to
pay a one-time price for the same game. The game also offers cosmetic items on
top of that, which costs around $25.
Addictions and Bad Habits
Online games can also be very
addictive. The idea of accomplishment can be a motivating factor. For those who
may feel inadequate in the real world, online gaming can be an escape. World of
Warcraft for instance has been a very addictive game, with players from its
launch in 2004 still active today. There has also been stories about people
skipping school, ignoring work, and staying in their rooms all day just to
Since players associate
themselves with their in-game characters, achievements in the game become their own. This can give a sense of
satisfaction – something that they may be missing in the real world. It can be
tough, and for those who cannot control their gaming habits, it can ruin lives.
People have lost work, dropped out of schools, and even lost relationships
because they could not (or would not) stop.
Gaming can be very addictive,
as it can be a way to feel good about yourself. However, without proper
monitoring, this can spiral out of control quickly.