The Catharsis Of Offline Gaming


I love my friends, really I do. It’s fun to hang out with them, play games together, and generally talk about dumb stuff and laugh together. But man does it get exhausting sometimes. In this fully connected age, being online is sometimes tiring. Between Discord and Steam chat (not to mention texts, Facebook messages, and forum posts) somebody always wants to chat or play, and usually, this is fine.

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But sometimes…it’s nice to just go offline, turn off all notifications, and just chill with a good single player game and forget the rest of the world exists. I do this about once a year with the Kingdom Hearts series if nothing else. Just disappear from most online presence for about a week and play through every game again (except 358/2 Days and Chain of Memories. The former because it’s bad and the latter because I no longer have a Gameboy Advance and the remake is bad). I usually have a newer game to scratch the itch as well. I’m usually behind the times and now is no exception, so it’s The Witcher 3 and Tales of Berseria that are filling my alone time these days.

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Big shoutout to Yoko Shimamura for outdoing herself on Birth By Sleep’s version of Dearly Beloved, by the by.

It’s a good way to recharge – taking an online break in general, not just with games. Read a book, go outside, do both, do whatever makes you feel good. It’s also a practice I feel is underrated by both the gaming community (and society at large for that matter) and the gaming industry itself. Every new game seems to need some kind of online connectivity in the eyes of AAA publishers. Ranging from DRM – even though it never works, and has been admitted to not work by the company itself, Ubisoft still forces me to be online to play the latest Assassin’s Creed, a practice which has pushed me to cease purchasing games from them – to haphazardly slapped together multiplayer modes to microtransactions that are nearly required to progress in the game past a point (see: Shadow of War, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Destiny 2, and so on) most games encourage you to be online at all times now, to be available for co-op or spontaneous pick-up games, or just to buy more shit from greedy publishers.

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I don’t mean to sound bitter, or like a Luddite, but it does seem as though publishers are ever more encroaching on my precious alone time, which is something I dearly value. Online stuff has its place, I’m not denying that. Many games are made possible or enhanced by online connectivity, many games that I greatly enjoy in fact, but that catharsis, the sense of relief from the pressure of always being available to talk or play, that is something that by its nature cannot be properly replicated in an online game. The game constantly pressuring you to go to the market or forcing you to be online to play just adds that little extra burr that can sour the experience. Certainly, you can disable notifications and such entirely…but you (or at least me) will always feel that need to check, see if anyone’s on or has messaged you. Taking things completely off is the only way I can really achieve that feeling and I really hope the future doesn’t continue as it is, so all I have are old games to fill that time.

What do you guys think? Let us know down below

#The Catharsis Of Offline Gaming

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