Community Around a Controller


Video games have come a long way from the days of Pong.  We’ve seen radical shifts in graphics, processors getting smaller and faster, as well as seamless integration with Netflix and other services we use on a regular basis.  However, there’s one area where they haven’t advanced much on.  One thing that hasn’t changed during the last couple decades of video game play.

Video games are still more fun to play with other people.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share of time wasting in front of the TV playing alone.  Yet, I can’t help shake the fact that some of my greatest memories of playing games is when I play with others.  Whether online, or just sitting around the living room games take on a different life when we aren’t the only ones playing it.

Cooperative gameplay is such a hit because obviously we were wired for community. 

Humans were created to live in community with others.  So it comes out in our video games as well as normal life.  From the days of putting in an extra quarter next to your buddy at the arcade to now Mass Effect 3 only having a cooperative multiplayer option you can see how nothing really has changed.  As far as the industry has come, it hasn’t outgrown community; and I doubt it ever will.

What’s your favorite sport/game/activity to do with a group, rather than alone? 

3 responses to Community Around a Controller

  1. I bought a Wii basically so that I could convince my wife to play video games with me instead of playing the xbox 360 all by myself

    • Yeah, we’ve bought several games that were so we could play 360 together, and the main reason we’ve considered a wii is for the same reason you guys got one. That’s awesome!

  2. It was actually the multi-player aspect of video games that got me into them. When I was a kid, there was a family–three brothers and a little sister–on my block that had a Nintendo 64, and we had a blast playing Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 64. After those friends moved hundreds of miles away, I got almost every Nintendo system that existed at that point, even a Virtual Boy, but the magic that the games had when those friends lived in my area never returned. I ended up selling all my video games in 2006, and haven’t looked back since, though I do have a few computer games on my iMac.