Have you ever went to a movie theater by yourself? Gone to a theme park by yourself? Eaten at a fancy restaurant all alone? I actually have been to a movie theater to see a movie by myself once. In some ways, it made me feel very independent, but mostly it made me feel like a creeper.
My point is basically that entertainment is better when done together. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for wanting to sit down with a video game and just spending some quality time with you and your game – I’ve certainly had that desire before.
But when I really enjoy a game, I want to share it with people.
In the past this often took the form of talking with friends from work about that particular game. Judging by the willingness of them to participate in these conversations, I imagine that I’m not the only one who enjoys this. Talking about your character in Oblivion, or your created played in NBA 2k, or playing through Ocarina of Time (I should mention here that every time the subject is broached, I will assert that Majora’s Mask was the better of the two games).
I often take it a step further: if the game had a multi-player or co-op feature, I would find someone to play it with. I still remember searching out my college and finding people to play Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates with (I also tend to assert – against ALL reason – that the original FFCC is one of the best games for the GameCube). I can often feeling the eyes rolling when I decide to jump into another MMO and make the rounds on facebook and my e-mail telling old mmo friends and real life friends alike that I’m now playing ______ on ______ side and _______ server, and it’d be awesome if you’d join me!!
For me, this stems from a strong positive association of game nights with my family. Family games of UNO and Phase10, as well as taking turns while we played games like Sonic the Hedgehog together as a family are some of my favorite memories from my childhood (speaking of which, I’ve been investigate card/board games recently, considering my interest in game-building – DiceTower is a great resource for anyone interested!).
I think this element of community is a huge part of playing games, and I love it when a GOOD co-op or multi-player feature is implemented into games. Following the MMO train, I really think that a strong sense of community is going to be a huge part of gaming going forward, and I really want to explore the bounds of making single-player genres into an appropriately shared experience.
- Rediscovering an MMO: SWTOR (origenstudios.wordpress.com)
- The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask Review (zrpgames.wordpress.com)
- Mapping Out Research on MMOs: why researching video games matters (thegeekanthropologist.com)
- Majora’s Mask: the Darkest Zelda? (ourhumbleopinions.wordpress.com)