The concept of playing video games together has been around ever since the very beginning of video games themselves. Whether it was playing Pong against an opponent, taking turns on Centipede to beat your friend’s high score, or taking down bad guys with a friend on the Battletoads arcade game, people love to play together!
The two main categories for gaming together are cooperative and competitive. Both of these categories are pretty self explanatory: cooperative is working together to achieve some goal and competitive is competing against each other to secure a victory. Although these categories have been around since the beginning, the style and format of playing games together has definitely changed.
Arcade cabinets were really big in the late 70s through the 80s and are still popular at places like Dave and Busters and Round 1 Entertainment. Almost all home video game consoles, starting with the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, allowed multiple players to play at one time on a single console. This idea became known as “couch co-op” and is still available on consoles today, but has been largely over-shadowed by online play. Even handheld video game consoles allow games to be played together using different methods of linking the handhelds together to play. So why does it matter that we can play games together? What does that do for us? I think its story time.
More specifically, a love story! More, more specifically, MY gaming love story! I play quite a few online games with my brothers and friends on Xbox. One day I was playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 online with my brother, Kevin, and a group of his friends. This was the first time I “met” my future fiancé. Adam (my fiancé) and I friended each other on Xbox after playing games together a few times and eventually added each other on Facebook as well. We never had any intentions of dating especially since I was in Columbia, MO and he was down in Waco, TX at the time. Over the course of a year and a half we grew to know each other quite well. He moved to Conway, AR and I ended up visiting him for a weekend. That weekend turned in to a full week and just like that, we were together. The rest is history. Unlike Mario, Adam didn’t have to go to another castle to find his princesss 😉
Our story is just one of many of how playing games together can bring people together. To this day, Adam and I still play games together, but we both like different styles of games so we don’t play everything together. I have met some of the best people in my life through our shared passion and love of video games. Video games are a lot more social than people think and for me, it was how I met my fiancé, how I keep up with my older brothers, how I can still have a lasting friendship with my best friend even though he is 350 miles away, and how I can meet new people who love the same things I do.
I hope you all have some great memories of playing games with or against your friends. I can say that I have more than I can even count, but I have loved every second I have spent with people I care about doing something we enjoy. What are some of your favorite competitive or co-op games you’ve played with friends over the years? Any moments you remember that you’ll never forget?
Stay tuned later this week for a post about some of my favorite co-op games and another one on my favorite competitive games to play! See you then 🙂
“We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us.” Andrew Ryan, Bioshock, 2007