For my analysis on incorporation/presence/immersion in video games I had to admit that my time and experiences with L4D2 had been too limited to any meaningful analysis of the game. Instead I tried to brainstorm FPSs that I could do the analysis on, and ended up returning to a game I played for hours and days and weeks back before I travelled to the US and subsequently started my academic gamer career on ITU. Ladies and gentlemen I give you Call of Duty: Black Ops.
The hours I invested in this thing, or invested might be a little strong. The hours I killed while killing 10 year old kids online with AK47u and ballistic knifes. I think I spent two days completing the game on veteran, more because I felt I needed to do it before starting my goal to prestige level 100000 than actually feeling for it. I can’t remember if I really enjoyed it, only that I really looked forward to going online and getting the good ol’ endorphin rush in a TDM/Capture the HQ/etc.
I don’t know anybody who were particularly fond of the single player in Black Ops. Yeah, most of gamers probably thought it was fun, but the multiplayer was the main draw. Addictive as hell and easy to jump in and (8 hours later) out. In comparision with Battlefield, which I also kinda enjoy, Black Ops is the easy fix where you don’t have to gather all of your friends to play and be winning. If you’re good enough you’re good enough and can handle yourself without a team - for the most part. And the pacing is so frantic that the three seconds you have to wait to respawn feels like forever before you curse yourself for, again, forgetting to watch the killcam and 20 seconds later you get killed the same place by the same guy. But how I have yelled at the screen during some of my sessions with the game. The days where everything against me and I ended up staying online for 4 hours to finally become the ‘nemesis’ of a british kid who had been ripping me a new one over the span of maybe 20-25 rounds, but nothing compared to the sensation of actually beating an opponent who I knew was better than me, and how I imagined that he knew the same and that he had a temper just as bad as mine, and how his controller was scattered around his room in a thousand pieces. I still don’t care if he was only 10.