The Sad State of Multi-player Games

Maybe I am just old. Not THAT old. Old enough to remember the only way to play video games with a friend was face-to-face. Sitting on a couch, standing next to each other in an arcade, or head to head on a hand held game. AND WE LIKED IT!

I loved, still love, having a friend over, grabbing a beer (or four - don't judge) and having some good smack talking/world saving/tea-bagging fun. Actually witness a crushing defeat on your friends face, getting punched because you stole a kill. It is a different type of interaction.

Goldeneye was one of the first games to really show us what a multiplayer game could provide. Not a lot of co-op going on, but good fun. I remember setting up the game/tv's to keep my brother from "screen-looking". We would get fairly elaborate in our setups. Video splitters to a another tv, paper covering half the screen, blanket dividers, all in the name of fun with friends!

Halo really stepped up their game. Why not do split-screen campaign! Now that was a joy. My friends won't hate me so much if I am "helping" them win! I loved it! My brother, father and I would schedule "gamer days" where we would reserve a whole day to play through the campaigns. Lot's of junk food, soda and laughing!

Now. Now if I have a friend over and decide it would pretty frickin' awesome to play some games together, I tell him "Sure, let me know as soon as you get home we can connect. And by the way, you should stop and pick up a console, and the game too." I think someone is missing the point. Or maybe not. Maybe this has caused an increase in console sales, game sales and higher ISP speeds. It's a win for everyone. Everyone except my friend sitting on the couch next to me. Screw him. I would rather play with strangers that can't string together cohesive thoughts and probably aren't old enough to enjoy a beer with me.

Looking for more information on cooperative gaming? One of my favorite resources is They live and breathe co-op.

Would love your thoughts, I need a good good friend to drink beer with.

BY TIMOTHY STRUM - freelance games writer, humourist, and gamer -
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