The Problem With Always On

There’s a commercial that has been running for who knows how long that makes me roll my eyes and giggle every time I watch it. The commercial is for a retractable porch cover, and there’s really nothing remarkable about the spokespeople or the product. The main selling point for the product seems to be that it gets hot outside and you need this wonderful product to keep your porch cool and comfy so you can enjoy your outdoor space. What makes me laugh is this line (which is not a direct quote, just how I remember it):

It gets so hot outside that I cannot use my deck, and must retreat indoors!

And all I can think is:

Oh, the humanity! I have to retreat to my well-constructed and air-conditioned building in order to escape the weather!

This is what is commonly referred to as a First World Problem, and I am joining the meme with my own story of woe, because last week I had no internet. 

As @_Ashima so recently pointed out, I keep busy with a number of games. In the last week, I’ve played Lord of the Rings Online, Diablo III, Skyrim, Settlers 7 and Dragon Age. You know how many of those games I can play without an internet connection?

One.

One game out of 5 can be played without a connection. Only one is an MMO. For my husband, it’s even worse. The only game he has that doesn’t require an internet connection is Solitaire. Y’know, the one that comes with Windows. When my internet hit the fritz, I pulled up Dragon Age, a game I haven’t played in a few months, as it was the only game that I could actually play off-line.

I love being able to connect with other players, but I could live without all the fancy built-in chat stuff. I know how to use IM. I’ve found Raptr to be a wonderful way to keep up with other gamers who want to keep their private life separate from their gamer life. I don’t need my saved files uploaded to a Cloud, as I only play on a single system.

You want these features… cheers to you. Do I love the ease of grouping in D3, or the ability to play in raids? You bet. But I wish that my single-player games, the ones I really don’t even think about playing with others had the option to play off-line. I don’t need everything saved to some nifty cloud all the time. If I do want it, I’d be happy to click a little button to get it. And being able to choose when I play anonymously (off-line) and when I don’t might increase the amount of time I spent in some of these supposed single-player games.

Sometimes, we–the privileged, disposable income-burning, lover of tech and gadgets gamers–don’t have internet. I’d just like the option to be able to play my games when that happens. Is that too much to ask?

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14 thoughts on “The Problem With Always On

  1. I completely agree. The single biggest reason I refused to get D3 was the always on requirement. I wanted a game for those times when I am not able to be online, which happens with some frequently as I travel on business. I don’t have a problem with online games, I mostly play MMOs. But don’t try to sell me on single player game that has the same always on requirement.

    • It definitely took me losing my connection before I realized how many of my games required the internet to log-in. I don’t mind having the services available, but I don’t need them by any means. This definitely has me reconsidering what I’ll be buying in the future!

  2. When I saw the name of this post, I thought it was the universe’s way of telling me I’ve been online too much, WRONG.

    Yeah, I totally agree. It’s insane that I should have to pay X dollars for a game that I -by extension- have to also pay a Y subscription (to my ISP) to play…. when it’s a single-player game. It *almost* stopped me from getting ME3 and might be more successful in stopping me from getting other single-player games in the future (Sorry AC:Revelations).

    • Too much game time *gasp* I would never tell anyone that! 😛

      For the most part, I think it’s a logical assumption on the part of game producers that we have money for games, we’re going to have access to the interwebs. My issue is being locked out of my game, which I theoretically now *own* because I lost that connection.

  3. Luckily, my issues when the internet go out aren’t as bad as yours – or maybe they’re worse, depending. Since I only play WoW, that means that once the internet is out, I’m SOL. However, since it’s only one, I’m not going to be frustrated when nearly my entire list of games I COULD play won’t work.

    So, I know to head pretty quickly to a book if the internet is out. Or just rewatch my seasons of Big Bang Theory, haha.

    • I think the only one game vs. many could swing either way depending on the value you place on being able to get your game on when you want 😛 However, it’s not really feasible to have an off-line option of an MMO! It’s definitely easier for me to handle a power outage, where gaming just isn’t an option. I think it’s because many of my single-player games, perhaps with some multi-player options, lock me out when there’s no reason for it.

  4. The family summer vacation was over the last two weeks. In the past it has been a chance to reconnect with my kids. Two years ago my father-in-law added WiFi to the lake cottage. This year my kids brought three laptops! They spent way too much of their time indoors playing their online games.

    And kept me from logging on to mine. I hate sounding like I’m whining. “Go and sail! (while I raid Karazhan again)”

    But without an Internet connection we wouldn’t have known our badges for GenCon arrived at home… until we got home.

    • The funny thing is, I a am the biggest, baddest, and *meanest* vacation mate. No phones, no computers, no diddly stuff that takes you away from enjoying our shared family/outdoor time (I love to camp!)

  5. My father-in-law has been quoted in the past as having said, “We’re on vacation now. You are going to have fun!” and said in a demanding manner. He’s changed a lot in the 30 years I’ve known him, but he’s still referred to as the “Activities Director” like we were on a cruise ship.

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