Monday, March 12, 2012

NN ORIGINAL: Today I said goodbye to Modern Warfare

Today I said goodbye to my copy of Modern Warfare 3. If you would have told me when I got the game in November that I'd be cutting the cord with it only 4 months later, I wouldn't have believed you. I thoroughly enjoyed MW2 and pumped over 10 days into the online multiplayer. On day one with MW3 I dove straight into the campaign and I honestly enjoyed it immensely. It was everything I wanted from a Modern Warfare campaign (minus children getting exploded) and although it may have been repetitive, the formula worked for me. Then I jumped into the multiplayer.

This is where Modern Warfare is supposed to shine. The campaign is great and all, but the online experience puts you up against other gamers in an epic firefight to the death. There are more than a few problems with the MW3 online play, but there are two things that forced me to change my perspective on the game.

The first, most glaring problem with the MW3 online play is the community. It truly saddens me that almost without fail I can enter the waiting room for a new match to begin and hear an array of racist, sexist, immature slurs. I also don't know what's more upsetting; the 40 year olds or the 12 year olds telling other players to s**k their ******* c***** s*** f*****g m****fu**** t**s.  The fact that the MW3 community has so unabashedly taken to the fact that you will never have to answer for calling someone a "faggot" over the internet is something we should truly be ashamed of. There are several games I play that require communication to others online and none of the communities are as offensive and immature than in CoD. Perhaps we should move towards the methods of Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS; no chat, no text, just gaming. But the community is what it's all about! When online gaming started, it seemed that we'd be able to experience the elation that came from sitting in the living room with your friends and pumping hours upon hours into Goldeneye or Mario Kart...but your friend could smack you in the face if you said something dickish towards him. I really wish the MW3 community treated each other better, making an inviting environment would turn more people onto the concept of gaming and could go a long way in disproving the apparently correct theory that most gamers are immature, rude and anti-social.

The second reason I've said goodbye to Modern Warfare is my own fault. Over the past few weeks I began to realize that I never shut the game off with a smile on my face. It had become like gambling. You sit down at the blackjack table and you start to win a few hands. You see your stack of money start to pile up and there seems to be no end in sight to your luck! Then, just as you consider it might be time to cash out, you lose a big hand. Well, you've been lucky for most of the night, so you play a few more hands to try and win back the money you just lost. It doesn't take very long until you're deep in the hole, walking away from the table wondering why you even played in the first place. I never seemed to turn off CoD after I had a great round. Why would I stop playing when I just went 25-6 and took first place in the match? No way! I'm going to ride that hot hand and keep raining fire down on my enemies. The next round I go 16-10; not quite as good but still solid. 12-12, 8-10 and then finally, with sweaty palms and a fierce desire to get back to that 25-6, I go 4-15 and quit halfway through the match in a frustrated heat. I want my gaming experience to be nothing but pleasure from beginning to end. That's why we play games, isn't it? To get away from the frustrations and pressures from work and school. Not to feel even more pressure and anxiety! When I find myself turning off Skyrim, I can't wait to dive back into the world and continue exploring or crafting, when I finished up Portal, I marveled at the incredible experience I had just gone through, when I shut down Super Mario 3D Land I revel in the nostalgia and ingenuity of the game...when I slam the power button on the Xbox after MW3 I'm furious that I didn't quit while I was ahead. So today I quit for real while I was ahead. I won't spend any more time playing games that I don't find enjoyment in. From this point forward, I will never play a game that I can't turn off with a smile on my face. I hope you do the same.

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