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Gaming Leaning Towards Forced Socializing?

I'm playing Final Fantasy VII again. ...just wait, that's relevant to this article, I swear.

You know, it almost seems as if virtual socializing has replaced actual socializing, and things like online multiplayer and the fresh integration of Facebook and Twitter are being jammed down our throats. Of course they're always optional but sometimes, I almost feel as if the majority of the interactive experience often stems from digital socializing.

I get the sneaking suspicion that there are games on the horizon that might kick ass, games I might want to play...but games that are only half an adventure if you don't partake of the many social features. For the record, I'm not one to dissuade real socializing in the real world, but I've always hated this idea that a game is no good unless you can share a high score with your friends or post an achievement on Twitter. The latter is still rare but you can bet more social features will be added with every passing month. It's just the way things are going.

I just refuse to believe that all gamers have an itching desire to be "connected" at all times. Am I the only one who still uses gaming to relax and unplug? Am I the only one who wants to sit by himself after a long day and revel in an adventure that does not involve other humans? Gearheads go into the garage and tinker partly because they get to be alone. I think I'll always have a Heavy Rain to turn to, this manic, somewhat depressing obsession with digital connectivity is on the definite rise.

It just feels as if it's invading every last aspect of life. I fu***** hate Facebook and I don't need it in my chosen hobby. In playing FFVII, I feel better about a great many things; it's soothing. It's like reading a book for me; I'm lost in another world and I do not want anyone else in there to muck it up. So when games say, "oh, you have to go online to finish this," or "oh, you have to be connected to your friends list to get the most out of this quest," I'm gonna pass. Sorry.

Tags: gaming industry, video games, social games, multiplayer

12/15/2011 9:06:09 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (41 posts)

Metallisnake
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 9:39:42 PM
Reply

I agree and love this editorial. Im one of the gamers that refuse to believe that IOS as a legit platform for gaming and im also baffled the fact that Epic refuses to develop for the vita because it will flop because of the IOS. Call me bias but IOS and facebook gaming is not the future consoles are here to stay.

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Warrior Poet
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 10:12:12 PM

iOS has Chrono Trigger. That's something :P

But it won't replace consoles or even button-based gaming handhelds because they're for different audiences. There's some overlap, yeah. While the iPhone will probably outsell everything else, gamers are still going to buy game consoles and games - because they want the best experience.

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TheAgingHipster
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 8:38:12 AM

I'm not sure I completely agree. Although I don't think iOS devices can ever rival what's on a console, I have to admit, I do a lot of gaming on my iPad. I have several Final Fantasy titles, Chrono Trigger (YAY), some good hack n' slashers, dungeon crawlers, board games, and your standard assortment of quick "casual" titles. In fact, despite never using the social networking aspect of the games in question, the iPad gets about as much playtime as the PS3 and 360 do in my house. Given that I'm a devout gamer, hardcore by many definitions, I'd argue that if I can get a ton of gameplay out of an iOS device, it can be a legit platform.

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PasteNuggs
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 9:41:33 PM
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It's funny you bring this up. I just saw tonight on my ps3 that you can have stuff upload to facebook automatically. It honestly seems odd to me that that is an option now. I kinda miss the old days when I'd have three friends over and we'd play Super Smash Bros all night. Now virtual socializing is taking over while actually being face to face is going away somewhat.

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Warrior Poet
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 10:13:08 PM

You can still have a bunch of friends over and play Smash Bros all night. I don't think it has a Twitter option either :P

But I agree that virtual socializing is a bit silly compared to playing with someone who's sitting right next to you. Definitely.

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Beamboom
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 4:41:33 AM

I've turned on that features, so my ps3 post on facebook the new trophys when I earn them. I think that's a cool feature...

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/16/2011 4:41:57 AM

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Highlander
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 9:45:41 PM
Reply

As I and many have said before, the day that gaming gives up on the solo experience and forces online multiplayer down our gaming throats with every experience, is the day I stop buying new games, tear the Ethernet cord from my PS3 and become a gaming hermit.

Optional content is fine, but stop forcing us.

I agree 110% with Metallisnake regarding IOS, it is one of the better examples of the Emperor's new clothes I know of, along with the entire IOS line of devices that are little more than generic smartphones, PDAs, music players and tablets with a simple aesthetic and an apple on the cover.

Finally, Ben, welcome to the I h8 Facebook team. Apart from the fact that it invades out lives, is as secure as a wet paper bag, an has all the social awareness of walking down the street nude proclaiming your love for every woman you meet. I hate it, and I particularly hate the pernicious nature of Facebook games that are nothing more tha clickfests that are designed to earn more clicks for sponsors and more microtransactions to fuel the clicking addiction and the profits of the companies that make them - Bossa Studios included...

Last edited by Highlander on 12/15/2011 9:48:20 PM

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Kevin5
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 7:15:50 AM

'As I and many have said before, the day that gaming gives up on the solo experience and forces online multiplayer down our gaming throats with every experience, is the day I stop buying new games, tear the Ethernet cord from my PS3 and become a gaming hermit"

+1 on this so much it hurts.

This sentence right here is exactly how i feel.




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TheAgingHipster
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 8:51:56 AM

Highlander, you think that the iOS devices can't be legit gaming platforms? Even though developers make millions on games for them? Even though they have titles that can take just as long to get through as many PSP or DS titles? Even though you can play several Final Fantasy titles on them, including Tactics? Even though classic PS2 games are starting to show up on them (e.g., The Bard's Tale)?

Don't get me wrong, I would never, ever argue that they're going to replace consoles. I don't buy that, not until they possess the processing and graphical capabilities of a modern console. But I do think they're the new direction of portable gaming, whether we like it or not. I prefer my PSP and hope the Vita proves to the world that accessibility and socialization aren't the be-all-end-all of gaming, but the writing on the wall is telling me that iOS is going to lead the way in portable gaming for a long time.

EDIT: And, for the record, I hate forced socialization just as much as you fellas. I just turn off those features and play the game alone, or in couch multiplayer with my wife.

Last edited by TheAgingHipster on 12/16/2011 8:53:18 AM

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Killa Tequilla
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 10:22:13 AM

You have to adapt man, or else you'll end up dying. Times change, change with time, adapt and evolve! Or get left behind. :-)

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BikerSaint
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 3:11:12 PM

Highlander,
If you're President of the "I h8 Facebook" team, can I be your Vice President in charge of the "WhoIamisnoneofyourfarckingbusiness" department ?????

Pretty please????

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Teddie9
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 7:14:05 PM

@ killa, I think highlander has reached an age where he no longer worries about being left behind by a new generation.

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TheAgingHipster
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 8:18:10 PM

Isn't that also the age that everyone else starts being a hippie?

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cLoudou
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 10:06:36 PM
Reply

I agree with this.


Umm..* looks under article...

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shadowpal2
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 10:28:13 PM
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Yes who doesn't hate the fact that we are being "forced" to socialize in a sense.

For example...if anyone here has ever played a Facebook game...or more so...a Zynga game, you will realize that it basically doesn't let you continue the game until you have MORE PEOPLE come on in and actually socialize with you. Well you see...that's the amazing part of the BUSINESS IDEA. Having a game force you to play with other people causes that game to have a large audience which brings in the potential for advertisers to have their ads seen.

That's all there is to it. Facebook loves Zynga. And Zynga loves Facebook. I hate Facebook and Zynga.

I don't go on Facebook, unless I would want to check out my international friends' pictures, videos, etc. As for status updates or so...thank goodness for Skype ^^. I almost started playing a Zynga game because a friend of mine asked me to. And I realized why he asked me to...so I could help him keep "leveling up" in the game. But with those games...it's nothing but pointless clicking and seeing your stats rise. 0 enjoyment...hell EVEN WITH FRIENDS it's not enjoyable.

It's all cool and addicting at first, but if you've played a gaming handheld game, or a console game...you WILL KNOW, that FACEBOOK GAMES are the MOST DUMBEST KINDS OF GAMES OUT THERE.

END RANT

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BikerSaint
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 11:02:42 PM
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Ha, about IOS, I'm a gaming collector, but I don't want any IOS games.
And with 45 systems & handheld & 2307 games so far, I certainly don't need them, plus I don't want any phone sitting up on my gaming shelves, mingling with any of my REAl gaming systems.

BTW, I once had a cell phone way back during my early caveman years(Motorola Startek), & I hated it, seemed more like tracking device than a normal form of communication(where you at, where you at, yada, yada, yada).

So I donated it along with the charger, extra battery packs & all the accessories to a program that sent them overseas to our servicemen/women who are fighting in country. And that way they wouldn't have to wait in long lines at their barracks just to try getting 1 call out to their loved ones.

Anyways, I'm a Lone Wolf, so I can't, & don't want to be bothered with posting my life on social sites. I do have Twitter though, but I only use it as a tool to get(and sometimes give) gaming info & gaming related contests.

And I hate FaceBook, but the thing I hate the very most of all about the site is that you can't even comment at some websites unless you only do it through their FB page.
And another BS thing going on now is, that a hell of a lot of sites lately that are doing contests &/or rewards, are forcing you to go to their FB pages too.

I say screw that, & screw FaceBook altogether!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/15/2011 11:05:16 PM

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StubbornScorpio
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 11:11:46 PM
Reply

That fact that top people in the industry, like Yoshifusa Hayama from Team ICO, are going towards social gaming is a scary thought.

I am currently enrolled in a Game Development class at my college and there were three entire lectures on the "necessity" of social gaming. I was literally shaking my head in disapproval the entire time. A few of my classmates and I were talking about it and we all agree that "social gaming" like Facebook Farmville cr@p has essentially destroyed the true social experience of split screens, seeing people's REAL faces right next to you.

I don't mean to sound too reminiscent, but this is becoming ridiculous. I see people on the train, (couples, friends, even family members) sitting RIGHT NEXT to each other and looking down, playing with their iPhones and iPads and whatever other smartphones. Social gaming isn't bringing people together, it's diluting the humanness in every single person involved.

Sorry for that rant, it's definitely something I've thought about too.

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BikerSaint
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 12:13:51 AM

^your last paragraph!

Their phones are actuality AI lifeforms who have been secretly Zombiefying every damned last one of them.

Phone playa's beware: put on tin-lined hats before inducing any brain-suckage.

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StubbornScorpio
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 12:25:10 AM

Lol!

iZomb
1. a person involved so heavily in an "i" device that they exhibit zombie-like symptoms.
2. a zebra comb

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Snaaaake
Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 11:25:16 PM
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Gosh, I'd hate to see a world where they communicate online 24/7.

Anyone watched the humans in Wall-E?
Yea, that's what I'm afraid of.

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Undertaker575
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 12:02:43 AM
Reply

this might be off topic but im sorry... but i live in Australia and i cant find any copies of heavy rain anymore!! I never experiecned it and im kicking myself anyone know where to get them?? and i dont want to do online shopping sorry im old fashioned

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Kevin5
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 7:20:05 AM

Hey mate. Where abouts in Australia are you? Just visit your nearest JB Hi-Fi or EB & if their is no copies in stock ask if they can order one in for you. They will if the game is in popular demand. They did the same with L.A Noire when that got sold all out.

& make sure you play the game on a coloured T.V too Mr old fashioned ;)

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ulsterscot
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 2:05:36 AM
Reply

even COD now is trying to ram 'socialization' down your throat - wanting to link your facebook etc through the Elite service - most people i know only bought elite because its cheaper than buying all the new map packs individually when they arrive.

when I want to socialize I go to the pub. when i want to game - i game

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PoopsMcGee
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 2:17:45 AM
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I'm the last man on Earth that is not on Facebook.

No thanks.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 10:12:19 AM

Second-to-last. ;)

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BikerSaint
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 3:20:21 PM

PoopsMcGee,

Hate to break his to ya....but you are actually third-to-last

And Sorry Ben,

but you're second-to last.


(At 59, age seniority rules, or is it senility rules age , damn, can't frigging remember which anymore, LOL)

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/16/2011 3:27:01 PM

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PoopsMcGee
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 8:58:49 PM

The Last Of Us!

Lol!

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Fane1024
Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 3:06:59 AM

If age determines position, then I'm ahead of Ben as well.

Do I get extra credit for also not having a cell phone?

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ulsterscot
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 2:56:11 AM
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Yeah I signed up, got sent those stupid poke things and never used it again - waste of time. I have gaming for that ... lol

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nogoat23
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 4:32:16 AM
Reply

I went through a phase where I played a bunch of multiplayer games with my roommates. Castle Crashers, Dead Nation, Borderlands. But there came a point when I just wanted to play by myself. It was like watching a movie with someone that talks the whole time. Shut up, I'm trying to enjoy this. One of my roommates would run ahead and kill and loot everything so there was nothing for me to do when I got there, and the other would fall behind because he could never decide which gun was better.

I have my social activities that I enjoy like hiking and board game nights and going out to dinner with friends or watching sports in a sports bar, but for me gaming is my solitary delight.

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Ludakriss
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 5:00:26 AM
Reply

Well this is if anything, a piece to make me feel sane again.

I also am one for not getting in the whole "oh, let's connect! It'll make it so much more fun!" yeah, well, it would if you weren't hyperactive in this seemingly, deep, sad, scene that were playing O_O

That's one of the reasons I think if you play with someone, it ABSOLUTELY HAS, to be optional and the team mate you're playing the game with, HAS to be the same/similar mindset or mood.

No point in trying to play something that requires concentration and depth out of the player when the supposed partner is screaming "shoot him in the nuts!"...and there aren't even any guns in the game!

Last edited by Ludakriss on 12/16/2011 5:02:08 AM

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 6:49:39 AM
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Gaming isn't just a symptom of this though. It's permeating all our lives digital social media. I was at a graduation for my partners uni degree. A speaker had drawn parallels of facebook to getting through her uni degree and her uni life. I was also at a funeral. There too AGAIN, people were talking about facebook.

It's everywhere man. For me not a good thing on the horizon. It's exponential the growth into all facets of life.

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Ichigo40
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 8:58:17 AM
Reply

First off Ben this is a great and much needed article. I know I'm much like you in the sense of jumping into a game to unwind and get lost in whatever universe I might need at the moment. I think online gaming can be fun when its your (the gamers) option and not mandated by a studio or developer. I know there have been times where I just want to forget what's going on in my life and I dive into games old and new that are single player games and are very story driven and just get my barrings in order. There have also been times where I play an online shooter and take my frustrations out on the people I play with...kind of like punching a heavy bag. haha

But back to the topic I think its ok to jump into a game and play with your friends that may not be in the same town as you are...but like I said its nice to have that OPTION. All of my friends prefer games that we can play on our own and have good stories because it gives us something to talk about when we do see each other. The whole social sharing aspect of gaming is a nice side option to have but I don't want it to be a deciding factor in how the game should be played...

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Underdog15
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 10:33:46 AM
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I played me some AC:Revelations last night, and I thought about how much fun it was. It wasn't MP... it was the SP campaign. I had so much more fun solo'ing it up than I've had in gaming over the last month.

By the way, I don't mind the hook. You can still use it as the traditional second hidden blade.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/16/2011 10:34:27 AM

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Teddie9
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 7:20:04 PM

I probably won't touch the multiplayer in AC once I finally get it.

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Fane1024
Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 3:13:33 AM

After playing in the beta, I feel the same. It wasn't horrible, but it also didn't grab me. I've kind of soured on MP gaming in general, though.

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PharaohJR
Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 9:00:13 PM
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this is exactly what im talking bout. its nothing wrong interacting with others online but if games become only that i wont spend that much time gaming anymore.

i congraj games like Mw with there huge #s of profits & sales but when present developers & new developers see this they get on the route of only producing something for money. i hope in tha future they just dont forget tha foundation of gaming.

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Rogueagent01
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 5:31:56 AM
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Its weird on one hand I am with use and on the other I am against.

I don't like when games put online trophies in their games(unless it is online only) as I wish the developers would respect that some people don't like playing online or technically cannot, be it slow internet or no internet at all. I wsih they would come up with two seperate trophies a online platinum and an offline so that the customer never feels like they are being forced into anything.

When it comes to online gaming I am all for it. The best way to make sure it is always fun is to go out and find yourselves a good decent sized clan to be part of. A clan is the best way to make sure your all like-minded individuals, and if the clan is big enough you will most likely always have someone to play with no matter what game it is. Plus games like Demon's Souls, Borderlands, Rockband, White Knight Chronicles, Sacred 2, Two Worlds II are all smart enough to have the ability to play both on and offline making only the trophies a issue(see above). I love online gaming as many of my friends were never able to compete with me over the years and the online community was the only place I could really go too for real competition as AI still isn't that good in %90 of games.

Anything Lamebook or Twit related is out of the question. I don't care that Facebook has their own games, but stay the hell off of my console...I don't like games like BF3 either that force you to go to their website to join up with your clan, that is straight marketing BS and should have been in the game on the console. I have a facebook account but it is simply to stay in contact with people that I can't go and see in real life. Everyone of the people that have tried to get me to help them with Mafia Wars or Farmville are essentially on my ignore list, as I said in another article "I DON'T LIKE YOU". The funny part to me is I may have liked the person before they flooded my email accounts with these marketing requests, but now I see that you are a moron and your trying to take me down with you. I can't wait to see a Facebook implant for people. It will be the biggest thing since sliced bread and the best part is all the people that get it will probably get cancer and die, giving us the bottleneck that the world sorely needs as of now. Yeah I know it is pretty morbid sounding and I am half joking, but I am also half serious.

I am sure I have made some typos and or need to clarify some of my post, but this is getting to long. Lamebook SUCKS and as someone already said above, Zynga is even worse as they are responsible for bringing the business bunch into full swing making the public think it is a complete success because it makes money.

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SS4
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 11:30:13 AM
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I play MMO as single player games most of the time, i don't care if they try to force me to do anything, i'll socialize when i feel like it and i'll play games my own way :P

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Gordo
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 3:13:26 PM
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I don't mind multiplayer or online as a concept but hate it when it invades my singleplayer experience.

Dark Souls. You can play it singleplayer but it's a lot harder than when you get help (and why can't I get a pause button in single player?).

Mass Effect 2. Cannot get half the bonus items like the comic unless you connect to the EA site.

Dragon Age Origins. Playing quite happily then speak to some trader who offers a quest and the screen then says go online to buy the quest and download it.

Borderland GOTY edition. This was the best. The original game on disk and just codes included to download the dlc.

All these things to punish the single person playing offliner...

So no, I don't think I'll be using the Facebook integration!

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F302Pilot
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 9:54:11 PM
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we should go back to the prefacebook days, i rather play singleplayer than multiplayer

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