Talking about video games and internet speed

JULY 25, 2020

Daily Gaming Update

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How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here and welcome back to The Gaming Observer for Satuday, July 25th. Thank you so much for joining me, let’s get into the show.
 
Alright so today I kinda wanted to explore how your internet speed interacts with the games that you play. And the reason this came up in my brain is because I recently upgraded my internet signficantly. I went from a 30mbps download to 150mbps, and 5 upload to 15 upload. So I’m seeing dramatic differences in many aspects, but especially with my games. All of a sudden, competitive multiplayer games are actually something I can consider. Alternatively, if there is a game that is larger than 5 GB, I actually am able to play the game the day that I start downloading it. And this just got me down this path of how reliant we are on the internet with our games the se days, considering how big they get, like Call of Duty being 200GB, or with any online game that requires some kind of connection. And you can just forget about services like Google Stadia that literally have nothing to do with your hardware, and everything to do with your speed.
 
As I was thinking through all this I was thinking back to my teenage years when my friends and I were playing Call of Duty Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3, and Black Ops 2. I actually had pretty decent internet at that point, it wasn’t what I have now, but it definitely got the job done. My friends on the other hand all had absolutely horrible internet, and families that were constantly connected to it on 10 different devices. So we would be playing together and then all of a sudden my friend would go robotic and I couldn’t hear his voice, or he would randomly disconnect from the game. It was super frustrating because we were having such an awesome time playing these games and having a laugh, but then all of sudden he’d have to restart his console, or his modem, and we’d start the process all over again. It also got me thinking about how I had pretty good internet at my dad’s house, but not at my mom’s, and so if I wanted to do any gaming at my mom’s house, it either needed to be physical media, or downloaded before I got there. Unfortunately the physical media part of that is slowly dying out in a lot of cases these days. Either companies will give you digital codes inside of a physical box, or there is just tons of updates to the game on day 1 before you can even start playing the game. Let alone the games that force you to have some kind of internet connection even if it has a singleplay mode.
 
And obviously this doesn’t apply to absolutely everything, I think even if you were off the grid, there’s enough physical games out there that don’t require internet that you’d be okay. I just want to propose this idea that maybe the industry is pushing it a little far. In one sense it can be pretty classist, where some games are only accessible to those who can afford the internet that enables it. On the other hand, it can screw over a lot of people geographically. If you live in a rural area of the world, or even just a country that isn’t well developed, you probably end up limited.
 
I’m not here to say that we need to U-turn, or that this was a bad thing. For example, indies games have only thrived the way they have because of digital sales and cloud-based services like Steam. It has also allowed games to recover from a bad launch, which means that the person who bought it isn’t just left in the dust if something went wrong in the development process. I just hope it doesn’t get pushed so far that people aren’t able to enjoy video games full stop. I think that would be a real shame, because they’re obviously a lot of fun, and the more people who have access to them the better.
 
Anyway folks…shoutout to Anna Marie for bringing that to my attention