My Fellow Single-Player 'Smash Bros.' Gamers, Unite!

Pikmin Alone In BrawlIf you are playing "Super Smash Brothers: Brawl" alone -- you are not alone.

I'm with you.

If you have ever bought a multiplayer game of any kind before without the intention of playing it against other people, I've been there too.

Are you like me? Are you playing "Smash" as a solo gamer? I've played the coin launcher, looked at the trophies, played a few brawls against the computer. I did a couple of the target levels, whacked the punching bag and am a whole 2% into the side-scrolling mode, the Subspace Emissary (which could be played by two people, but not when I'm involved). I'm playing this game solo, because, well, that's how I play games.

It's not that I hate playing games against other people (spot the telling denial!). And I know I edit a blog called Multiplayer. But I just don't game against other people that much. Back in the old days I didn't because I liked to settle in with adventure-driven games, games with a table that seated only one. These days, I also don't, because my Internet connection is slow. "Halo 3"'s matchmaking service will only match my Level 4 skills to a Level 30-something, because it can't find a closer match suited to my inferior Internet connection. So, solo-play it is.

Did you just say I should have people over and play games with them? Not happening.

Yes, my friends, I have played more "Halo 3" single-player than I have played "Halo 3" multiplayer. Swap in "Call of Duty 4" and the same holds true. I suspect it will for "Brawl" as well. Like I said, it's not just my Internet connection that's to blame. I bought "Mario Kart 64" years ago, unlocked every track, but I don't know if I ever played it against anyone. Yes, my friends, I have friends. I just don’t play games with them.

iceclimbersI'm told that "Brawl" should get me over this problem. I see that it can. I've tried it online and learned that my Internet connection can handle a "Brawl" match. At least I think it can. I understand that when people drop out of an online "Brawl" game that the computer takes over. Maybe the two matches I fought online were against real people; maybe I was just fighting artificial intelligence (that would explain how I won one of them). I don't know. I don't know if I want to know, because, hey, wouldn't it be nice to keep my solo-playing streak?

My solo-playing ways have turned me into a bit of a stalker, I confess, though I'm not sure if that's a Friend-Code-approved term. While you're all playing "Smash," I'm just, uh, watching. I've used the spectator mode to observe a few matches. And I've used that wonderful, all-ages feature that allows me to bet on your matches. I'm watching you. I'm putting fake "Smash" money on you. I'm just not playing a game against you. Creepy, right? (Suggestion to Nintendo: if you're going to include a gambling mode, then let me place my bet with a slot-machine style yank of the Wii remote).

Do I not want to play against other people? It would be nice, I guess. You'd probably all trounce me. I don't have time to practice and get good. I don't have the patience to swap 56 digits worth of friend codes to match with people I trust. I do like being connected to the rest of the world -- I've been comparing my rankings in "Devil May Cry 4" and "Burnout Paradise" with the rest of the world's. I'm just not that eager to play with the rest of the world. Not at the expense of my own private gaming time.

So solo-players of the multiplayer gaming world, join with me. Don't play against me. That's too much. Just join with me. Let your voices be heard. We're playing "Smash" alone, and we don't care.