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 – 4th July 2011 aka Indepencast Day

Oh boy, another fun filled week. Unfortunately here in the UK, America day is not a recognised Bank Holiday, otherwise you can bet I’d have stayed home all day and watched Mr Smith Goes to Washington over and over again. Or Independence Day. Big Willie Style.

…That actually would’ve been pretty sweet. Much better than my actual day. FORTUNATELY our absentee nature on Friday means that we have a little more to cling to than just the dregs of Monday’s news.

Still, we are lacking Phil. Here we are, frauds trying to hijack a national holiday we have nothing to do with. If only Jeff Goldblum had answered our call to come guest host…

– Luke

Have terrible American accents…y’all – Luke and Thez

BGM: The Star-Spangled Banner, Portal 2

E3 Cast 2011 Day 3

We may be rapidly advancing through the excitement and surprises that E3 had in store for you, and being away from the heart of the action for the conference itself we don’t have much in the way of hands on experience to write up, but we do have a hell of a cast for you.

It may well be the last. Yes, in two hours Duke Nukem Forever unlocks on Steam. Smart money says to bet on Duke. Well I’m betting his arrival will herald in the rapture. It’s either that or the London 2012 Olympics. Or maybe just the launch of the Wii U. Definitely one of those three. Probably.

It’s times like this where we really embrace our podcasting roots and remember what’s really important: puns and/or pogs. And stopping BOBBY KOTICK FROM STEALING EA’S THOUGHTS.

All the mysteries of what the hell I’ve gone on about and commands shouted at Xbox Kinects revealed on the last E3 Cast!

– Luke

(Z – Duke Nukem Forever is claiming to be decrypting. STILL SKEPTICAL)

Preparing for the post Duke Nukem Forever world – Luke, Phil, and Thez

BGM: Duke Nukem 3D

Tuesday Newscast – 1st February 2011

Well howdy partner, it’s Thez here back in the ol’ writing saddle. For some reason I felt I pulled off a good Texan accent on the podcast (haven’t heard it though yet so probably sucked (UPDATE: Eeehh…)), and decided to start off this description typing like I had one.

Ok, I’m stopping this now.

Anyway, so yes, game news, didn’t get any complaints about my description last time so going to repeat it.

Oh, before I do, I sent a load of English stuff to Tested, they’re really great guys, and you should check out the video.

Deals: 75% off Global Agenda on Steam
Release Dates: Pokémon Typing
Announcements: Partial PSN update, Splinter Cell Trilogy, Dark Souls, Gunstringer, Bit.Trip Flux, Ico Novel
News: Homefront PC Specs, Jast on Twitter, I am Alive rumours

And an extra special segment after the news…

Enjoy the Tuesday Newscast!

Can’t wait for Dark Souls – Phil and Thez

BGM: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth

Wednesday Newscast – 1st December 2010

Back to a sober cast tonight. You know, I keep listening to the beginning of our Monday Police Squad Cast, and I think “damn, we put a lot of effort into that…and had 6 listens”. I mean, I don’t want to ramble like Phil, but it’s kinda disheartening I guess.

Ah well, can’t get big without working hard like this.

Anyway, we have news today. As it’s a Wednesday, we got your PSN updates 24 hours after they happen, along with some Xbox Live based deals and some very loose and possibly not true release dates. Otherwise, some things have been announced, like the new game by the Yakuza guys, and the novel for a game with perhaps a questionable story.

We also have news on pornographic uses for motion controls, the greatest man who ever lived working with Uwe Boll, Scientology and Vegan baiting, and various other items and rumours that are barely worth mentioning.

Hear them all, on the Wednesday Newscast.

– Thez

Eat Meat and fucking LOVE IT – Phil and Thez

Music

Gamesperg Theme and “Rocketh” by Matt Javanshir
BGM: Ninja Blade

Wednesday Newscast – 3rd November 2010

Wednesday is a glorious day for news. GLORIOUS.

And by that, we mean Thez pushes the conversation along really quick for no apparent reason. Would you like to hear about PSN store update? We got ya covered. New Battlefield info? Right here. Stupid questions posed purely to state an affirmative answer? Yes sir, sorry sir.

Tune in for the Wednesday Newscast

Your hosts for this evening: Phil Cordaro, Rob “Thez” Zwetsloot



Music

Gamesperg Theme and “Rocketh” by Matt Javanshir
BGM: Silver Age Side Scrolling – Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley

You can e-mail us at podcast@gamesperg.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gamesperg, join us on Facebook, and subscribe to us on iTunes.