Today I invited some people over from the neighborhood to hang out and play video games. If someone invited you to do this, what would you expect to be doing? I personally imagine friends sitting in front of the TV controllers in hand, laughing about the ridiculous death some character onscreen just suffered. Unfortunately, my friends' idea of it is bringing laptops for the purpose of playing different single-player games in the same room. So here I sit at a computer after so many failed attempts to pull them to the Playstation to play something together, so bored that I actually remembered to do homework for once.
The "good ol' days" of video gaming are often described as going over a friend's house after school or Saturday mornings to hook up the Nintendo 64 or the Playstation 2 to play that new game that just came out or an old favorite. I ask you, my classmates: Is this dead? Are the "good ol' days" gone for good? Have Xbox Live and fast internet connections killed the togetherness and friendship that was always tied into 2-Player Mode? Can we even imagine 2-Player Mode now that we have Call of Duty servers that hold thirty people we don't even know?
There is at least one lighthouse out at the shore. Do you all remember Scott Pilgrim VS. The World? The film that released last August? The no one had a clue what it was supposed to be about? The entire film reminds you of that couch-gaming era, and the video game adaptation takes the nostalgia even further. It's a side-scrolling two-dimensional beat-em-up with sprite art based on the graphic novel series that started it all. One of the most curious features of the game is that it does not feature online multiplayer, despite the fact that the entire game is built on co-operative play. It's easy to see the reason for it now. I now have friends over all the time to play it with me. (Not the particular set of friends I have over today, clearly.) Scott Pilgrim VS. The World has proved to be the most fun I've had playing a video game with friends in a while, and even though I'm not even 18, I can still say "it takes me back."
Do any of you still play games on the couch with friends anymore?