In all seriousness, this has been weighing on my mind lately. A friend of mine had been nagging for months for me to join he and a few other people in a friendly game or two of Counterstrike on the PC. I was hesitant, because I just don't feel that I'm very skilled in FPS games, but last week I finally caved.
Aside from some basic issues with maps not loading properly, it was fun-ish. I, of course, got slaughtered within the first minute of almost every round, but it was fun to watch the rest of them...well, get slaughtered shortly thereafter. There is voice chat, which was nice--when I was able to understand what was being said. One guy must have had a mic buried between his gums and inner cheek because I didn't understand 90% of what he was saying. Typing messages was ok, but mostly something I did after I was dead.
All in all, the experience was mediocre. Back in the day, I used to play things like Quake 3 and Unreal online, but it was usually brief as I can barely hold my own in those games. AvP2 was fun as well, and had some interesting elements of terrifying surprise to keep me interested a little longer. There was a short time when I played some MMORPG called "The Realm", and that actually ate up quite a bit of my playing time until it got overrun with hacked players and items. Total, I have probably spent less than 100 hours of my life playing online multiplayer.
So, on to the question. Why do people play games online? I'm interesting in seeing reasons for it AND against it. Do you play for the interaction with other people, the challenge, the ability to verbally abuse your opponents and/or friends? What elements of online play make it so alluring, or such a turnoff? I'm on the fence, as I've yet to play much of anything online that really hooked me in, but I haven't given up on the genre. There has been some recent talk of an Animal Crossing game for the Wii going MMO and that would be interesting, if done well. What do you think?