The advent of online gaming in the last two decades has fundamentally changed not only the way we play games, but the way they are designed as well. Not only does it allow players to play together, ether co-operatively or competitively, but it allows the worlds they inhabit, the very games themselves to become living, breathing creations, malleable and ever-changing to add content, fix bugs or in some cases, to make wholesale changes to the original game. It also allows developers to react to the players in near real-time, rolling out hot-fixes, daily challenges and gameplay tweaks based on real-time data they can collect once a game has been released. Much of this is good, but there are potential downsides as well, elements which are starting to worm their way into seemingly every big new release, single player or not, that have ramifications for the medium as a whole, and also great swathes of potential players so simply can’t play many of the titles they want to.
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