Thoughts Inspired by the PSN Hack

If you don’t already know what I’m talking about from the title of this post, click here.

A hack onto Sony’s PSN has granted someone the name, address, birthday, login information, etc. of PSN users. As of this time, it is unconfirmed whether or not credit card information was compromised.

First a few words on that. I am greatly disappointed with Sony that this blunder has occurred. This is my first experience with any company fouling up in such fashion, as I’m sure is the case for many other people. However, I’m certainly not abandoning Sony. I don’t really expect any compensation monetary or otherwise (they will be facing heavy government fines as it is). I’m aware there are steps I can take to protect myself. I’m aware that this does not change the fact that I prefer Sony titles and not to pay for my online play.

Moving on, however, this fiasco has inspired a strong questioning of the average gamer in my mind. Let’s look at some of the worries plaguing Sony’s customers as they comment on the latest update on the situation over Facebook:

“we are NOT patience damit we want to play online NOW.”

“Is it back up cuz on ps3 no life for me ps3 is my life that dam hacker I will kill him if I no him”

“Nice 1 week more we can play i cant wait for camp cod Black ops all that noob say i move to xbox gooo now we dont need more kids !!!”

“Fix it please having nazi zombie withdraws. And be sure to make an example of the worthless scum who hacked it.”

Unfortunately, the list of such comments goes on. PSN users have had their personal information compromised in a situation that could result in destroyed credit and identity theft if they do not act swiftly, but they are more concerned with getting back online and playing their games.

Am I the only one, perhaps not shocked, but doing a quick face palm?

You may or may not have noticed that my blog does not, at this point, contain a Call of Duty review. There’s a reason for that. Of late, Call of Duty has produced what I perceive to be one of the worst single-player experiences in existence. On it’s easiest difficulty (and not so easy) it plays itself (see this video). On its hardest, it can be brutally difficult and unrewardingly so. In all honesty, it’s half a game to start with.

Now let’s delve into the multiplayer. Each Call of Duty has presented us with essentially the same formula. If there was ever a bread-and-butter sandwich of video games, it was Call of Duty’s multiplayer. While an MLB pitcher may have a “bread-and-butter” pitch, he compliments it with some grape jam and sometimes even a tenderloin like a solid breaking ball or perhaps a devilish split-finger. Call of Duty, on the other hand, is spreading the butter like Paula Dean. While I don’t deny that they have perfected the core formula, that’s all they have done. This whittled-down product is a mere shadow of the beast that other games have manifested building on that formula a la Killzone and Uncharted.

Then they parade their graphics, which are, in reality, hugely unimpressive. While it’s very smooth, it’s certainly not impressive. Cubes and pyramids stacked on top of each other with dull colors and yawn-worthy special effects. Where other games feature explosions, blood and intensity, Call of Duty presents a nuclear bomb, the effects of which are left to the imagination. I do praise Black Ops for introducing several new game modes, which are certainly by now being overlooked by the majority of Call of Duty’s loyal.

Don’t get me started on Nazi Zombies – one of the most fruitless endeavors you will ever embark upon.

But I digress.

The point I’m trying to make is the sweeping fad of online multiplayer, especially in Call of Duty. I have a friend on PSN who, no joke, bought a PS3, bought Modern Warfare 2, and exclusively played it online. He never bought another game (though he was logged in a great deal) until Black Ops released, the campaign of which he also didn’t play.

In my opinion, this is an incredibly poor investment. There are games I haven’t played I would suggest over Call of Duty. If, in my line of duty at Gamestop, I stop someone from purchasing that game, I have done my job well.

I can’t comprehend how this game has this effect on people. I can’t figure out how people are drawn to this and sink their lives into it to the point where they’re more concerned about the next prestige than they are playing something of real artistic (or merely entertainment) value such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Fallout 3 or Portal, let alone their personal information.

Shame on today’s society. The multiplayer is not even that great. For those who never picked up a controller until this generation to dive into the world of Call of Duty, I encourage you to go and buy a $50 PS2 at Gamestop and find a copy of TimeSplitters 2 or Future Perfect. Set up a multiplayer game with a score of bots and some local friends and stand witness to the far superior, if for unnameable reasons, multiplayer that is the product of Free Radical. If that isn’t doing it for you, pick up GoldenEye for the N64. Anything but Call of Duty. And finally, pick up Killzone 2 and bask in the extra excitement tossed onto the formula through matches running together in a best-of-seven format of all different types. Finally, get a solely single-player game that garnered at least a nine from any GameInformer review and just sit with it for a while. Then play it. Wallow in it. Enjoy it. Isn’t that better?

Your life is now yours again. Go change your password and talk to your credit card company. You’re welcome.

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