The experience of gaming

I’ve always maintained that playing games with friends, especially in co-op, can make even the most mediocre game a fun fucking time.

It’s only more recently that I’ve begun to understand why I feel this. Why do I and three friends recall fondly our 30-or-so shared hours in Dead Island? Why did I play more Assassin’s Creed multiplayer than the actual game itself? Why is my Halo 3 Master Chief helmet proudly on display when I shrug at the idea of more Halo?

I finally figured it out this weekend. As I spent the last few days couch-hopping* around London suburbs so I could play hours and hours of the new Smash Bros with ten of my closest friends, I realised it was the experience around this (and other games) that truly elevated its standing. Laughing and shouting and jeering and cheering and making jokes as we all shared in our utter joy of discovering what the game had to offer, it helped me realise the answers to the above questions.

Stupid Sexy Shulk...

This image means a lot to my friends and I. It will mean nothing to you.

In Dead Island, the four of us made our own fun. We didn’t take the story or the world or anything about the game seriously, we embraced its janky nature as we hurtled down roads in awful cars, ganged up on individual zombies to kick them to death and came to each other’s rescue more than once.

Three friends and I would regularly team up in Assassin’s Creed Revelations to spend hours killing Templars and each other. We yelled at each other over Skype to co-ordinate capture the flag defence and attack strategies when together. Insults flew when one of us suddenly realised we’d been sneakily poisoned by the other. We made up our own story about ice cream and it was important to us.

My friend excitedly sent me a message when he saw this. "The ice cream is REAL" it said.

My friend excitedly sent me a message when he saw this. “The ice cream is REAL” it said.

Halo 3 arrived for me at 6:45 am on the day of release. I’d had about five hours sleep and work in the evening, but I’d just got my shiny new AV setup finalised and I was raring to go. Throughout the day my three housemates jumped in and out of co-op and online multiplayer with me, and when I headed to my three hour shift at Toys ‘R’ Us my colleagues spent the whole time talking about the game. I got home and finished the campaign before heading to bed, an almost perfect day of playing one single videogame.

These are just a few of the memories and stories I have surrounding videogames, and I’m sure everyone else has their own to tell. It’s these stories that can turn any game, regardless of quality, into a favourite game.

Experience games with other people. Make your own memories. The game only needs to be part of the experience.

*actually I slept on an airbed in one person’s lounge the entire weekend, but that’s less dramatic.

Monday Newscast – 10th October 2011

Seriously, we haven’t talked about it in a while, but we’d really like to get that James Bond Jr. license. Or at the very least, a mod for Blood Stone that lets you change the Daniel Craig Bond to James Bond Jr. His nephew, James Bond Jr., for those of you keeping track.

Okay, I am going to go poop. Or throw up. It’ll be a fun surprise.

– Phil

Both suspiciously sick – Phil and Thez

BGM: Quake II

TGIF Newscast – 30th September 2011

Well folks, this is definitely NOT the last episode ever. I know I joke about it a lot, but don’t worry, we’ll be around forever. :)

….or not.

– Phil

Gone Forever – Phil & Thez

BGM: Bloodrayne Betrayal

PS. It’s been a good run!

(Z – P.P.S. See you on Monday, folks)

Wednesday Newscast – 28th September 2011

PREPARE FOR THE GREAT FINAL FANTASY DEBATE. Well… Not really a debate. More a reflective ramble. Also, we want Skullgirls and Journey but they’re not out ’til 2012. Then I suppose it’s not like there’s a lack of games coming out at the end of 2011.

Also, go get Four Swords 25th anniversary edition if you have a 3DS; it’s FREEEEE. There are some other news items and interesting discussions in a drawling Wednesday Newscast. Yep. That’s right. Wednesday. I thought it was Thursday too… ALAS!

– Luke

Jank Attack – Luke and Thez

BGM: Top Gun

Thursday Newscast – 15th September 2011

Usually I use this space to rant endlessly about Snickers bars or Seinfeld (what’s the deal with Snickers bars) or the music in Ar Tonelico or I guess none of those things now that I think about it BUT!!!


Much more important stuff today.  Stop the presses, hold the phone, and pinch those pennies, because the official Lightning-chan PS3 has been unveiled. Ugu….every detail of her perfect visage captured in elegant monochrome with pink accents… Her icy cold and yet paradoxically red hot stare etched masterfully onto the pristine black surface of the PS3….

ALSO holy crap Thez just linked me to the new trailer for Twilight Breaking Dawn and boy oh boy, that’s gonna be something alright. Wait, what was I talking about again?

– Phil

Wondering why the CG on such expensive movies is so bad – Phil and Thez

BGM: Zelda II

TGIF Newscast – 9th September 2011

Phil suuuure loves Planetside. The only thing he loves more than it is going the way of the Donkey and Walking himself to sleep. Literally.

Ah well. It’s not the most exciting news day, I’m not going to lie. If you have been disgusted by the 3DS, waiting eagerly to get a DSi XL but JUST COULDN’T PULL THE TRIGGER, because it wasn’t quite pink enough for you… Well, we may have good news.

Other than that join us bigging up other websites and talking about random crap.

– Luke

Do not endorse other websites – Luke, Phil, and Thez

BGM: Rock of Ages