WARNING: This video is from James Rolfe. If you're unfamiliar with him or his character the Angry Video Game Nerd, there is a lot of adult humor and language. You've been warned! :)

I was catching up on some AVGN when I found a new series with James Rolfe and Mike Matei just playing games and chatting about them. This one in particular got me thinking about the old days with friends all crowded around the TV in the floor, playing the new game you just rented obsessively. Much has changed with games getting huge and the internet enabling remote multiplayer, and not all for the better.

I can remember so many hours spent playing so many games, including but not limited to Mortal Kombat, NHL, Double Dragon, and of course Super Mario Bros. 3 with friends. There's something special about sitting next to someone that is lost entirely in the internet multiplayer days. The experience just isn't personal. Even with voice communication, it's hard to really focus on everything at once. It's considered a distraction to just talk about whatever and react to things you find interesting or funny as you play.

It seems like there's a resurgence of this lately, to an unfortunately small degree. Games like Borderlands 2 allow split-screen on consoles. Serious Sam 3 even allows split-screen on PC with multiple keyboards and mice. And Nintendo is one major player that still keeps this going strong. Even in Super Mario Galaxy there were minor things a second player could do to influence the world. I couldn't have gotten all the stars without my wife's help!

But for the most part, multiplayer is online-only these days, taking social gaming into a less social place than where it could be. It's amazing that we can play games with people all across the world, but it's sad that some people will never experience the joy of couch multiplayer. Perhaps I'm just being a bit of a gaming hipster, and my gaming proclivities haven't kept up with the times. Maybe I'm wrong, and it's just that I'm nostalgic for a time when gaming was a brave new world to me. What do you think?

jdodson   Admin wrote on 01/02/2013 at 03:55pm

In person I'd say its easier to just play split-screen muiltiplayer on a console than get a game working across a few computers. At least, lately it seems to have gotten harder for some of my friends. Plus they have to have a beefy laptop as no one, generally speaking, wants to bring over a desktop anymore.

I wish Nintendo wasn't the only company to still do 4 player split-screen though. Like I bet we would play more split-screen on console if the typical ps3 game was more than just two player, shooter especially.

That said, like you I had a great time with Mario Galaxy playing it with my wife. She loved collecting the stars, shaking bushes and helping push back bad guys.

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 01/05/2013 at 08:52pm

I do miss the days of couch multiplayer and LAN parties. Playing on-line is awesome, but it's just not the same as having your friends there in person.

Then again, as teens my friends and I had a lot more free time to plan entire evenings to playing. As adults, it's difficult to arrange our schedules to align well enough for an hour or two of gaming on-line, let alone trying to meet in person. Still, it would be nice if more games at least gave you the option of local multiplayer.

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