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Subject: who plays games single player? rss

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Mr Dove
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I hear alot of people talking about single player games. I'm curious if there's a certain type of person who plays games single player. I really enjoy board games but I also enjoy video games. If I'm alone and want to play something I will always play a video game solo over a board game solo. Are solo boardgamers exclusively people who do not enjoy video games? Do these solo gamers not have any other hobbies that may be more suitable to doing solo?
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Jesse Hickle
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I'll play solo board games when there's no one else to play with, or if I'm trying to learn the rules to the game.
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Oliver
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I use to play a lot of video games solo and online but i feel like im using my mind in a more productive way when im playing a boardgame solo. both sort of zoning out situations though.
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Matt Riddle
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rarely. if I am playing alone, I will just play video games. I have (and love) The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game which I play every now and then.

my assumption is solo gamers are not video gamers.
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David K
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I'll play iOS versions of games single-player no problem, but I don't generally spend the time setting up a physical game to play by myself. Excpetion: I'm doing it to learn the rules.
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Melissa Rohs
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I enjoy video games but have played solo before. The thinking patterns for each are vastly different, so I don't think people would necessarily have to favor one medium over the other.
 
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Mir
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Quote:
Are solo boardgamers exclusively people who do not enjoy video games? Do these solo gamers not have any other hobbies that may be more suitable to doing solo?


I think that would be an erroneous generalization. I love video games. But I will play boardgames solo. I think for some people, finding a gaming group/ people who are willing to invest time in a board game is the real problem. So why stop playing?
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Mrs Smith
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I fit your assumption...I play solo games and don't play video games (except lately some ios ones).

If I was a video game player though, I'm not sure that playing a video game would scratch the same itch (though maybe it does, I don't know). I don't play solo games just as something to do, it's specifically when I feel like playing a boardgame, but have no one else to play with that I'll pull out a game I can play solo.

So if in that scenario, someone who plays videogames would say "Gee I feel like playing a boardgame, who want's to play? Noone? Ok, I'll play a videogame instead then" then yes, your thought that solo-gamers are not video gamers may be right.
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An exleod
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shakeof course, I will play the video game solo
 
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Andrew Maxwell
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I'd say your generalization is pretty wrong. I am an avid video game player (one of those crazy people who goes out to get video games at midnight on release day); I'm a total achievement whore and I beat Penance in Final Fantasy: X, Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy: VII and beat Bioshock on the highest difficulty without using vita-chambers. So I play video games a lot, but I also play boardgames solo. To me the two aren't really comparable; it's like saying "Why do people go rock-climbing when they could be snorkelling?" The two don't relate, really.
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Mindy G
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Tegs wrote:
I'm not sure that playing a video game would scratch the same itch


Exactly. Playing a video game is nothing like playing a board game. I enjoy them both for what they are, but they are certainly not the same, nor substitutes for each other.
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Marcel
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I think most people who will play boardgames solo, also play video games. I know that for me this is true at least.
What I play, simply depends on which itch I want to scratch, sometimes I feel like playing a video game, and other times I prefer a boardgame, to me they are 2 completely different things
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Brook Gentlestream
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I fancy myself as a writer, and often had a tendency to take my laptop with me to places and just hang out for hours, often outdoors. Usually this was to write my stories or jot down notes, but its something I like doing, and even when I'm not writing sometimes I'll spend my time this way. I can't stand just staying home, but I could sit on a cliff or in a park for hours and be perfectly content.

So I like something portable. I usually have a tablet instead of a laptop now, and I often like to carry some kind of board game in my man-purse.

As a general rule, I'm starting to like video games less and less. They are not as customizable and not as modular. The idea of making video games into a narrative has become increasingly popular, and usually I just prefer to read a book. I like the customization of board games and card games -- the feel that I can have a different experience each time or that I can tweak the game if there's something I don't like about it.

And of course I'm not constrained by battery issues.

That being said, if I can have digital versions of all my board games on my HP Touchpad, I would. That doesn't mean I wouldn't still carry around my games though.


(Btw, still waiting for Sid Meyer's Alpha Centauri: The Board Game. It took me forever to get my X-Com board game, but I couldn't be more thrilled now that I have it.)
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Brook Gentlestream
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Btw, I've ordered Space Infantry, a solo game. It's a near little game where you have a random squad of marines and go kill aliens. Each marine has different skills that allow him to cross territory on the map. It has lots of little boards, some cards, and some dice.

I'm pretty sure that if this was made into a video game, some nutjob out there would get the idea that space marines fighting hoards of alien creatures should be an action game for some strange reason. They would get in their heads that players should be immersed in feeling like a space marine, and see everything from their perspective. My game playing would be fits of hysteric button mashing interspersed with moments of terrifying revulsion as I watch alien jaws clamp down on my digital likeness, rending my bones to pieces as blood splatter onto the walls.

And that's after I had to endure seventeen splash screens before finally getting to the main menu where I could, upon hitting "start game" logon to the online server and register my account, respond to their email, and then be asked to prove my humanity to my own computer.

It's just a different kind of experience.
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Enrico Viglino
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I like video games, but find it difficult to walk away
from them. I feel comparatively tired after playing them.
I also find it more difficult to pause them, and imagine
what is happening. Usually I have to walk away from the
game to get a good piece of what I get off boardgaming
solo. All in all, video games have the fatigue factors
and the demands which opposed play does - without the
social aspect. Still, there are some things (first person
shooters for example) that video games simply cannot be
matched in, and I must step into computer land to get
anything like the experience I desire.



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Ian Smith
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I am a big video game player, PC, XBOX, Ipad and PS3.

I also play boardgames solo, be it a dedicated solitaire such as Field Commander Napoleon, Silent War, or Friday, or, a multi-player game, Arkham Horror, All things Zombie, 18XX.


Both scratch a different itch, and am more than content to spend a couple of hours doing either.

I would rather play SP Video Games over multi-player, and conversely, I would rather play face to face boardgames than solo.

So I would guess I do not fit in with your assumption, as I will avidly play both cardboard and digital.

Oh well, being a boardgamer already puts me in the 'weirdo' category for most of society, so I may as well drop into a further sub-category of Geek.
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Michael Debije
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Mr_Dove wrote:
I hear alot of people talking about single player games. I'm curious if there's a certain type of person who plays games single player. I really enjoy board games but I also enjoy video games. If I'm alone and want to play something I will always play a video game solo over a board game solo. Are solo boardgamers exclusively people who do not enjoy video games? Do these solo gamers not have any other hobbies that may be more suitable to doing solo?


There is little imagination or thinking involved in playing a video game. I have other hobbies as well but still happen to really enjoy solo games.
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Mrs Smith
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Though it doesn't really address the 'why boardgame when you can videogame' question (which I think has been addressed sufficiently above. i.e. they're not the same thing), you might find some insights into why people play solo (in this case more often solo than not) in this Blogpost.


Edit: typo
 
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Enrico Viglino
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mi_de wrote:

There is little imagination or thinking involved in playing a video game. .


There can be. You just have to walk away
and picture extrapolations from given points.
Same thing I do with board games (though the pauses
are easier) movies, and even life.
 
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asutbone wrote:
I'll play solo board games when there's no one else to play with, or if I'm trying to learn the rules to the game.


That's what I do (almost no interest in video games).
 
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Darrell Hanning
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People who do not play wargames often find it difficult to imagine playing many board games solo, but it's quite commonplace with wargames (particularly historical wargames). The reason for that is in what wargames give players, as opposed to other types of games. While other types of games often put a heavy reliance on social interaction to maximize what enjoyment the game offers, this is much less true of wargames. Generally speaking, wargames have a degree of "puzzle" to them, allowing a player to explore different avenues of strategy within a historical context. Additionally, there are many wargames that are specifically designed for solitaire play, and even more that were designed with solitaire play in mind, if not as the first priority.

I play Euro-style games, wargames, and video games pretty equally. I like problem-solving, puzzles, and interaction with small groups of like-minded gamers. Each of these gives me something a little different.

Video games leave me feeling the least productive - actually to the point where I feel rather guilty spending so much time on them. They are the least demanding, intellectually, and that is both their strength and their weakness. Wandering around in Skyrim on a sixty-inch screen with surround sound is a fantastic experience (made even more fantastic by having grown up in the sixties, when not even Pong was around), but it will never be as satisfying as beating two other veteran players in Through the Ages, or pushing the Wehrmacht to the gates of Moscow before 1942, in a WWII, East Front wargame. Video games are "dessert", and boardgames are meals that I have to make for myself, which gives them greater potential for satisfaction.
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Jeff G
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mi_de wrote:

There is little imagination or thinking involved in playing a video game. I have other hobbies as well but still happen to really enjoy solo games.


Not to pick on you specifically (because this isn't the first time I've seen this comment)... but...

shake

Play Civilization V on it's most difficult setting, then tell me there's no thinking involved in video games. Hell - try something like Sins of a Solar Empire which adds a real-time element to your strategies, so not only do you have to think, but you have to think faster and better than your opponent. If they're not for you, that's fine. But, no need to be condescending or dismissive towards something you obviously have no understanding of whatsoever.

To the OP: I more or less fit your pattern. Unless I'm looking to learn a board game to later teach, I'll hit the PC/PS3/iPhone when I'm alone. Not that I don't enjoy a solo board game every now and then, and I also enjoy my learning games too. Just all things equal, I'll gravitate towards video games if I'm alone.

Though, at least lately, most of my weekday multiplayer gaming is online. Seeing as my friends live up to 90 minutes away, it's much easier to hop online and play together when we all have a sleeping child upstairs to keep us at the house, and a job in the am we've got to get up for.
 
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Kevin Conway
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Video games: I've played video/computer games since the 80's. I remember stints playing Falcon 3.0 over a serial cable with my roommate in the Marines for 20 straight hours. I couldn't count how many all-nighters I pulled playing Civilization, or Master of Orion. No way I could do that nowadays. At 40, I need more sleep. I just don't have the motivation to get into any computer game that much any more. Now I have a wife and kids, and being absorbed in something on a computer screen just seems more disconnected than if I was soloing a wargame on the kitchen table, during which I am continually interacting with the rest of the family.

Board games: I've always played many games solo as well. When I was a kid I played out entire solo campaigns of Blue Max, Harpoon (1st & 3rd edition), Air Superiority, even some Air War: Modern Tactical Air Combat. I played Cobra dozens of times, not once against another person. I even played many RPG's like Star Frontiers and Gamma World (1st Edition) by myself. We moved around a lot, so it always took some time to find people like me who were into playing games, which wasn't particularly popular amongst teens during the 80's. So playing many games, particularly wargames, isn't a problem to me now.

Given a choice between the two today, I'd definitely choose a boardgame.
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Jonathan Tullsen
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I will play solo when I'm trying to learn the rules. if there is noone to play with then usually I'll pick up a videogame and play that solo.
 
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Cody Ferguson
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I disagree with the suggestion that you don't need imagination or need to really think about playing vid games. I've spent hours on games like Morrowind and Oblivion immersing myself in the environment and the lore (tried playing Zork without an imagination? Good luck with that). Try playing a game like Sins of a Solar Empire and then tell me you dont have to think. Some of the most fun I've had with my friends is LAN gaming with Raven Shield or Minecraft or something. No regrets and time doesn't feel waisted if i come away having enjoyed it. Better playing games for 4 hours than watching TV for 4 hours.

I tend to play most of my board games solo... but I also play mostly war games. I wrote a whole set of solo rules for Tide of Iron and Star Fleet Battles. I always prefer playing a live opponent but most of my friends aren't board gamers and view them as a waist of time in the same way a lot of people view computer games.

I find video games and board games scratch completely different itches. Its not like one is a replacement or a substitute for another. I really rather enjoy trying to create rules for an "intelligent" opponent for board games for solo play. I don't really play eurogames much though. The level of abstraction doesn't really appeal to me.

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