1439786578_ark-survival-evolvedSo I’ve spent a few hours with the newly released title, Ark: Survival Evolved, currently available for Xbox live preview members for $35, and it’s got me thinking about dinosaurs. Well, naturally right, it’s a survival game set in prehistoric times, featuring a wide array of our favorite scaly friends. But no, in this context, I mean dinosaurs as in old animals too set in their ways, who could not “adapt” to their ever-changing environment and who were driven extinct. All that’s left of them now is the bones on display at your nearest museum, and digital representations of them in movies and games such as Ark. My fear is that I’m becoming a dino too…

Games like Ark are the new wave of gaming. Games that use your console more as a conduit allowing you to access online servers where your game actually takes place. Games which allow you and your friends and your neighbors and your countrymen, and people all across the globe to play together in one grand utopia. The problem is, I’m a bit anti-social when it comes to gaming. I like single player games where you can be immersed in your own little world, if only for 30 minutes of the day. Games that aren’t dependent on your friends 30 minute hiatus from reality having to coincide with yours in order for you to play. Or not having to wonder whether server 249, the place where my UE brethren have been building in Ark, is full at the time when you want to get back to your game world. A single player game…

Such experiences seem to be going the way of the…well, dinosaur. Franchises that were single player from inception are now, often clumsily, adding multiplayer elements( see Unity). Games are releasing for full retail price that are online-only FPS, which was once just a add-on to campaign games in an attempt to add replay value. Now the campaign mode is more like the throw-in. Some play the campaign only to sharpen their skills for the multiplayer, often never bothering to go back and actually finish the story. I fear I’m not of that era.

I’ve spent a week on Fallout 4. Not like I bought the game a week ago, I mean, I’ve spent a WEEK playing Fallout 4, close to 140 hours. Now that’s what the game tells me, but that likely includes time where I’ve left the game running and left the house for a few hours. Suffice to say though, I’ve spent quite a few hours roaming the wasteland. I’m going to savor experiences like this because I fear that they will become fewer and farther between in the future. Gaming is changing and I’m not certain if I can change with it. I’m a dinosaur. Now I am the commissioner of a long-running Madden CFM, and I did buy Ark, Destiny, Titanfall, PvZ Garden Warfare, Unity, Minecraft etc. so maybe I’m one of those smart Dinos like the Raptor. But they died out just the same.

I’m guessing my own personal meteor will be The Division or Destiny 2. Something will become the only game my friends are willing to play and it will absorb the gaming universe and it will be online-only, and I will hate it. And I will gradually fade into oblivion


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