Player 2. Please Press Start.

In the past I have written plenty of reviews and offered up my opinions in a couple of pieces on various aspects of the gaming industry as a whole. But this week I take a bit of a departure from the norm, partly due to time constraints in playing anything new or indeed anything at all, and also the thought that I would get a little personal with some scratchings about why I love games. Hopefully you may identify with my sentiments, maybe not, regardless I hope you at least don’t skip straight to the TLDR section (however comments saying you did are welcome)

Like most of you reading I have played video-games since I was a kid, I personally would pile round my buddy’s houses to hunch in front of these almost mythical screens in which you inserted tapes or rather large floppy squares then pick up the keyboard or joystick and move some magical character or another across some crazy levels. Unlike my friends, as a youngster I did not own any of the Commodore’s or Amiga’s in their various flavours as my folks couldn’t really shell out for such extravagances, they were content for me to play outside in the back lane and, for time at least I must have been as well. I guess the nagging must have kicked in at some point for them though because one christmas my brother and I were rewarded with something rather special.  My first console, the SNES, oh how I loved that space age contraption in all its two-tone grey glory, I was mesmerised by every pixel that box projected in front of me and spent many a joyous time playing Donkey Kong Country or some such.

Now you are probably thinking “Jesus, another article where some guy languishes in nostalgia that no-one really gives a shit about” – half right I guess, but there is one little snippet from this genesis which I would like to highlight. This SNES was gifted to me and my brother, my Player 2 and my point is it’s this second player that I relish as much as the games themselves, sharing the experience with another real life person. Alas my brother hardly plays ‘games'(vb) now, or certainly not the same one’s as me, but all is not lost because I have new player 2’s and 3’s and 4’s, a whole community of people who I love playing games with, whether they be old school friends, or just good people smattered across the earth that I met via some online medium.

TL:DR I guess what I am trying to say is, for me, gaming is a unique and superior experience over every other kind of media. When I watch a movie, good or bad, I remember the movie. When I play a game, whether I am good or bad, I remember not only the game but who I played the game with and can discuss and laugh over that moment of skill or epic fail.

Graphics are great, but that shared experience with your player 2? That’s what counts.


2 thoughts on “Player 2. Please Press Start.

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I mean I prefer to play single-player games, but I’ve never failed to have fun when playing with someone else, even if the game is terrible (especially if the game is terrible). For example, I played a lot of DayZ a few months ago, and somehow running through the countryside for 3 hours straight was very entertaining. It was fun to get into fire-fights and such in towns, but it was the long treks across the map that I loved (accompanied with The Lord Of The Rings soundtrack of course). At the end of every journey we would have a few anecdotes to tell, or another inside joke. Most of my favourite games are single-player, but most of my favourite moments are those shared with friends/ random acquaintances on the internet.

    Anyway, I miss having friends around to my house to play games, but online gaming makes the experience more immersive, and strangely, more connected.

    • I’ve never played Day Z with friends but the most satisfying moments of the game are definitely when you happen across other players. I know its hard to believe but I have met some people who didn’t just instantly kill me and take my beans.
      At the same time I don’t think the game would be the same without that dilemma of “to trust or not to trust”.

      In short playing with friends is great, playing with strangers is a gamble.

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