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Former Gamers Want More Social Games

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the world-of-facebookcraft dept.

Games 114

Gamasutra is running a series of studies on what people from certain demographics want from games. Their most recent article takes a look at former gamers, from the age of 25 to 35, and how they view their old hobby. Many seem to have replaced games with social networking during their non-productive time, and they also tend to favor games they can play with friends in the same room, rather than anonymous online interaction. Previous parts of the study focused on family gamers and older gamers. "We had some of our test consoles rigged up to an internet connection to see how these Missing Gamers would respond to online play. But whilst they were initially impressed at the ability to play with other people all over the world, they soon picked up on the fact that many of the people they were playing with were either too good, or too immature to endure for any length of time. It wasn't long before the online games were abandoned in favor of the simpler split-screen local multiplayer offerings. The ability to nudge, rib, and cajole each other on the sofa (not to mention share snacks and drinks) was simply too much fun to resist."

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Online games (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25458261)

Ruin gameplay because of OTHER PEOPLE.

Re:Online games (2, Insightful)

Hojima (1228978) | about 6 years ago | (#25459589)

This is a very debatable subject and it varies with the game mechanics and the foresight of the designers. There are many games that get ruined by scamming and ksing, but there are many games that have very altruistic guilds set up. I remember in diablo 2, after I became well equipped on 2 characters, I set out to start a clan that helped out noobs. Eventually, we had a large group of people that had a lot of fun together. We would have the decently equiped lite sorcs do normal and nightmare rushes for many people, and the hammerdins would do hell and get hellforge. The runes would help the noobs a bit, and some of the rushed accounts were made into common accounts that any guild member could use. We only got a few well equipped, and only high ranking members could use those. But it was fun for the noobs to instantly try out a new build with decent equipment without having to build one up alone. Only a few accounts got stolen (there will always be a greedy person), but not so much was lost that we utterly lost trust. We even had inter-clan duels with mid level naked characters for fun. We did a bunch of clan tournaments and events that greatly enhanced the experience of the game to a point that no one could really do alone. Has anyone who played d2 ever done cow level and other quests with 8 summon necros? I only lagged out once and another member lagged out twice, but it was still VERY fun. Another fun event was naked cowing with 8 fire druids. The d-torches made for SOOOO much fire it was hilarious (we had mercs with infinity).

Re:Online games (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 6 years ago | (#25460681)

Most guilds, IMHO, suffer from "High School Syndrome." You join up, get ranked according to personal feelings, or get "forced" into cliques because you don't play enough or do special favors for people. You are berated for not logging in enough (by some) and are kicked for not logging into some forum regularly or don't want to comply by some arbitrary rules. I'm also under the belief that guilds are killing MMOs be artificially segregating the communities and making player comfortable by allowing them to slough off grouping with other players because they have their elitist/normal/comfortable group.

Personally, I play games for the mechanics and the environment. I love MMOs that are huge worlds with complex/diverse classes. MMOs that offer economies that you don't have in single player games, dungeon crawls and adventure of never knowing what's around the next corner. Today's MMOs have lost a lot of that for me. Most of the dungeons/regions/worlds are cookie cutter, bland, and uninspired. Most of the time, the games are built around the guilds that want everyone to be able to drop what they are doing and fly across the world in 5 minutes. That sucks some of the adventure out... don't you think?

As far as mechanics are concerned, let me build up my character from the same core everyone else starts with using skills and requirements like Oblivion and Dungeon Keeper did... but with more complexity. I want to start off as a normal fair Dark Elf and pick up two handed swords, medium armor and fireball skills. I don't want to follow the preset tree and preset quests from zero to max level just to have to join a guild and raid or PVP. I want the progression from zero to max to be interesting, not required.

Re:Online games (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 6 years ago | (#25463205)

"Ruin gameplay because of OTHER PEOPLE."

Get out of here! Not everyone has tonnes of game playing friends close to them. Tonnes of gamers have friends that do not play games at all or think they are lame "omg video games, you loser!". That sentiment is still around. Not only that but many gamers who have good friends are often on the move because of their jobs and online gaming is a godsend for that. Speak for yourself only please. Online gaming > no social gaming at all.

Not only that but online games trump your friends(tm) in other ways, most peoples friends absolutely suck at games and the skill levels between them and there friends are usually disproportionate. This idea that "it's better with friends on my couch" is ok some of the time, but most of us enjoy both and get tired of both at different times.... I have no idea what I'd do without online gaming to challenge me in many games, since I am so good I hand most people their ass that it's not fun for me or them. Therefore I do mostly social / wii'ish kind of games with others if the skill is way too skewed.

Re:Online games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25463455)

I told you to be out of that basement by tonight, why are you still posting on slashdot. I'm gonna add this to your bill!

Oh, dad want's to know if you can fix his laptop.

Social networking replacing gaming (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | about 6 years ago | (#25458317)

I don't know about others but the kind of time I spend on social networking (compiling) is not well suited to being replaced with the kind of time I spend gaming (uninterupted). The gaming time lost now goes to spending time with children and a wife(yes, they do exist).

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25458455)

I see my wife and chat with her all the time...on facebook.

Maybe I work too much.

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (4, Interesting)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 6 years ago | (#25458555)

I'm 29 now and have been gaming for about 25 years. Now it's a struggle for me to sit down at my computer and play a game for more than an hour at a time... or I'll buy a Wii game, play it for a few days, then completely lose all interest in it again. If I'm not LANing with a few friends or playing one of the party games on the Wii, I just don't have the desire to play games anymore.

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (1)

aliens (90441) | about 6 years ago | (#25459179)

Same age here. No real desire, but some sort of lingering commitment to gaming.

It's hard to let it go. Tetris on the DS is the only game I'll play consistently.

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (1)

Bragador (1036480) | about 6 years ago | (#25462309)

I'm 29 now and have been gaming for about 25 years. Now it's a struggle for me to sit down at my computer and play a game for more than an hour at a time... or I'll buy a Wii game, play it for a few days, then completely lose all interest in it again. If I'm not LANing with a few friends or playing one of the party games on the Wii, I just don't have the desire to play games anymore.

I know what you mean. I'm a couple of years younger but now, when I sit down to play a game, I feel like I'm wasting my time. I prefer to do "real things" now.

On the other hand, I really love flash games now. They're short and sweet. I guess it's a comeback to the old "arcade games" I guess... :P

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 years ago | (#25464485)

So the new game playing model would be, wireless mesh networking on netbook computers, relatively simple easy to play games that people can share in the same room on separate, relatively disposable devices.

Of course as an older game player I do still enjoy graphically attractive, complex strategy games interspersed with simple dumb web flash games. I always derived more pleasure from learning a game, rather than playing it, RTFM, that'll be the day.

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (1)

Reapy (688651) | about 6 years ago | (#25467989)

Interesting. My 29th bday is coming up in 2 days, and I'd say I've been gaming as long as you have.

I still love gaming and make time for it in my life. I definitely do a lot more other things (spend time with wife, friends, volleyball etc) then JUST gaming, but when I go back home my priority usually is one game or another.

The WAY i game has changed a lot though. I love all generas of games, and while some people only do RPG or action or sports, I like to do them all. I find myself cherry picking what I think is the best title from each genera as it comes out, and playing it for a bit.

It takes a lot to hold my interest for a long time though. I am very picky with what I get, as I feel like I've played it a lot. So I don't go out and play the raw amount of titles I used to, and for me to keep up playing it for months on end, it has to be something really unique or really well made.

Some examples I can think of include, say mass effect. I played it for like 2 or 3 hours, and that was only to really see the conversations. I was like a little kid in a candy store with how intuitive and smart the implementation of branching dialog was in that game. It is one of those things that when you see it, you can never go back to picking one of 5 responses, and trying to guess what kind of attitude you are taking with the conversation. Brilliant. And, that's about all I needed to see of the game. Eventually I may go back to actually play it, but really, I just wanted to see that feature.

Another example is fight night. The punch controls on that thing were brilliant and perfect for a boxing game, that I couldn't think of a better way to do it.

So, things like that really suck me in, and is sort of the addiction I am looking for in my gaming. So yeah, there definitely is blow out, but, I like gaming way too much to ever ignore it for anything else. But see, gaming is nice, it'll always be waiting for you to come back to while you do your family / friend stuff and wont get pissed at you if you ignore it for a bit. We all need something like that in our lives :)

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (1)

badasscat (563442) | about 6 years ago | (#25460607)

For me it's just that the games themselves have changed. I think the term "social gaming" is being misapplied here. The real story is just that older gamers don't like playing online, and that's my story as well. It's partly what's caused me to quit gaming so much.

The single-player or in-room multiplayer games that are left are mostly sports games or shooters. And sports games are just played out for a lot of people over 30, and shooters were played out 10 years ago for anyone over 30.

What's missing are the new, unique, but simple experiences that used to define gaming and that those of us over 30 grew up on. Where's the modern equivalent of Pac-Man? There is no such thing. Instead we just get Pac-Man itself, rehashed, for about the 400th time, as if that's what older gamers really want. We buy it, grudgingly, because we feel like we've got no other choice. But what we really want is an experience like that, only new.

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#25461517)

Simple is the operative word. The game I played a huge amount as a student was Death Tank Zwei - we played it so much that we got through three Sega Saturns from eBay to keep playing it. It was a hidden game on the Duke Nukem 3D CD, and supported up to 7 players. You controlled a tank (a trapezium) on a 2D mountain range and fired a cannon with a variable force and direction. After a few kills you could buy things like rolling mines, MIRV warhead, nukes, or guided missiles, and other things that let you fly. The game was very simple. People playing for the first time rarely won, but they often came somewhere around the middle of the score board. It was a great social game, because rounds were short (a minute, maybe two) and games were as many rounds as you wanted - we typically played 10-20. You can easily swap people in and out of the game when they want to start or stop playing, and you can still play it when you're slightly drunk.

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25462333)

Scorched Earth clone, in other words.

Re:Social networking replacing gaming (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#25465767)

No, Scorched Earth was turn-based, Death Tank was realtime. All seven players could move and fire at the same time.

"they also tend to favor games they can play.... (2, Insightful)

jolyonr (560227) | about 6 years ago | (#25458329)

"they also tend to favor games they can play with friends in the same room"

So, that's sex then.

Explains the missing gamers.

Next...

Re:"they also tend to favor games they can play... (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 6 years ago | (#25458469)

Or maybe boardgames.

Yeah yeah, get off of my lawn!

Re:"they also tend to favor games they can play... (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 6 years ago | (#25460791)

You laugh, but some of the most fun I've had this year was getting together with two of my friends for some late weekend dice rolling through a cardboard dungeon full of giant molded creatures.

Re:"they also tend to favor games they can play... (1)

eln (21727) | about 6 years ago | (#25458631)

They mean games that gamers can play. That pretty much eliminates sex as an option.

Re:"they also tend to favor games they can play... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25458635)

"Hey, Bill, Larry. You guys want to get together and play sex tonight?"

You know, I'm guessing my friends would much rather I say "poker" or "pool" or, well, pretty much anything other than "sex".

Re:"they also tend to favor games they can play... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25458861)

I used to be an avid Quake player, but I had the most fun playing it on the LAN with my daughters (and occasionally friends).

The youngest now manages a GameStop.

I used to run a fairly popular Quake site, now that the kids are grown and I'm divorced I spend most of my free time in bars chasing women.

Re:"they also tend to favor games they can play... (4, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | about 6 years ago | (#25458947)

So you are saying Quake is like a gateway drug, leading to such unsavory professions as Gamestop employee? Dear me, I'm glad Jack Thompson is disbarred, he would have had a field day....

Re:"they also tend to favor games they can play... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 years ago | (#25459305)

Actually her favorite was Jazz Jackrabbit, which she played online before I let her play Quake.

But I think the gateway drug was "Dad". I played guiter to them when they were little, and changed the words to some songs to make them personal. She's majoring in music in college and has musical notation tattoos (which I heartily disaproved of).

Her fiancee is into gaming as well.

Jack Thompson is quoted on uncyclopedia's entry on black holes: "the only things that suck more than I do".

Interestingly, I just noticed your user name, the kids' favorite song was "Sweet Child of Mine"; I played it soft, in a different key, and changed the words around to fit them.

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25458403)

There are no games more social than WoW, and never will be.

Split screen gaming (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25458473)

Split-screen multiplayer ain't so fucking great when you don't have any friends.

Re:Split screen gaming (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#25458639)

Some of us just want to play the games we grew up with(read: NES/SNES), not yet another dystopic space-marine FPS shootout using 20 buttons and 10 different joysticks PER CONTROLLER.

Even without multiplayer gaming, we can at get our 2-D nostalgic fix from games like Bionic Commando: Rearmed and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night if we don't have an original NES or SNES with a shitload of games. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that there are more of us out there who put gaming down around the time the original Playstation came out(well, except for Metal Gear Solid and the Final Fantasy series, heh).

Gaming in general isn't dead -- it just smells funny.

Re:Split screen gaming (3, Insightful)

that IT girl (864406) | about 6 years ago | (#25458901)

Mod parent up--I miss the days where gameplay trumped pretty graphics. Sure, what they can do with rendering and polygons and all the rest of it is amazing, but if the actual game is boring and uninspired, it won't hold my interest. Back in the day your characters, weapons, environment, etc was nothing but a handful of pixels, you had to use your imagination, and online gaming didn't exist. Therefore the primary competition between companies, the sole focus, was on the actual game premise. As a result, they rocked (well, mostly. ET for the Atari2600, I'm talking to you). Now there are so many other aspects that the designers' attention is divided, and the games themselves suffer. In a nutshell, the spell is broken.

Re:Split screen gaming (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#25459339)

Now there are so many other aspects that the designers' attention is divided, and the games themselves suffer. In a nutshell, the spell is broken.

I think it's more of an "EA Madden syndrome" type thing where there's so much money at stake that they have to stick with what sells. There's kind of a

You are a:
( ) Cyborg
( ) Ex Con
( ) Soldier

Fighting a:
( ) Evil corporation
( ) Alien mastermind
( ) Illuminati
( ) Zombies

At:
( ) Outer Space
( ) Post-holocaust
( ) Dystopia
( ) Ancient ruins


Kind of mentality to almost all action games. Too much of the above and not enough American McGee's Alice.

Re:Split screen gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25459597)

"Therefore the primary competition between companies, the sole focus, was on the actual game premise"

I don't think that's true. A lot of effort was put into making games look good back then too, just like today. It's just really easy to overlook some of that effort nowadays. Look at Activision Atari 2600 titles; yeah, they don't look good now but they put a lot of effort into tricks to reduce/eliminate flicker, get more colors on the screen, display more digits in the score, and so on. I'd say many of these tricks had minimal to no impact on the actual gameplay and just made things nicer to look at...

Gameplay has always been a concern, and making things look and sound better has always been a concern. The best games find the appropriate balance of both.

Re:Split screen gaming (4, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 6 years ago | (#25459949)

Or it could be that, as an adult, your expectations have changes? I've been gaming since the 2600 days as well. You seriously need to go back and play some old games on emulators. Games that had me mesmerized for dozens or hundreds of hours have a hard time holding my attention for 15 minutes nowadays. You also forget that the ratio of brilliant-to-crap was about the same (ET was just the most exceptional crap).

The astoundingly powerful hardware we have simply opens up possibilities. Yes, you have the AAA titles that are expected to push graphical boundaries, but there are lots of titles that are all about the gameplay. I'll use myself as an example - in the past week, I've played three games on my Xbox that I can recall: Oblivion (playing through the expansions), N+, and Puzzle Quest. But the great thing is, now we have a *choice* of games. I occasionally enjoy a purely visceral experience. Do you think Dead Space would be as scary without the amazing graphics and audio? Other times, I hook up with friends for multiplayer N+. Other times, I just feel like relaxing with a slow-paced game of Puzzle Quest.

I think you can find plenty of examples of fantastic gameplay that matches or exceeds anything the past can dole out. You need to take off the rose-colored glasses.

I'll get off your lawn now.

Re:Split screen gaming (2, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25464465)

Do you think Dead Space would be as scary without the amazing graphics and audio?

I don't know if this is exactly the same thing, but I remember playing Wolfenstein back when it was still cool. There were levels that resembled mazes, and sometimes you'd get a random machine gun dude around a corner, where you couldn't possibly know he was there. I had to run through one area with extremely low health and only my pistol. When I met one of those guys around a corner, it was the scariest moment I've had while gaming.

So, while I know that you're referring to a creepy atmosphere in addition to everything else, Wolfenstein got me on the suspense and tension without the pretty graphics.

Re:Split screen gaming (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 6 years ago | (#25465421)

So, while I know that you're referring to a creepy atmosphere in addition to everything else, Wolfenstein got me on the suspense and tension without the pretty graphics.

Doom II was the first FPS I played, actually, and I had the same experience, but in a slightly different way. I remember playing intently, lights turned down low, the graphics, music, and sfx putting me on edge. My brother thought it would be a great time to sneak in and throw a wet towel at the back of my head. I'm pretty lucky my heart didn't explode right there on the spot...

But - that's the thing, though. Back then, those *were* pretty graphics. It's part of what made it such a visceral experience.

Re:Split screen gaming (1)

that IT girl (864406) | about 6 years ago | (#25466181)

I definitely remember a similar experience in that game. Also, the first time seeing the final boss of the first episode... the big robot guy with machine gun hands running out at you all of a sudden? Made me jump about half a foot out of my seat.

This reminds me of something that happened about 2 years ago. I found this game and put it on my laptop to play around with when I went to visit a friend. (She's in university and I knew she'd have to spend part of the time on schoolwork, so I brought it since I know I'd have downtime.) I played it for about an hour and had to stop because of... of all things... motion sickness. It never had that effect on me before, and I'd play for hours. I can't help but wonder, are we that spoiled by all the smooth pretty graphics of today? (Or have I just turned into a big wimp? Ha... I'm not that old...)

Re:Split screen gaming (2, Insightful)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | about 6 years ago | (#25460083)

I'm glad you remember the olden days of gaming fondly, but seriously, Sturgeon's law [wikipedia.org] was just as applicable to games back then as it is now. 90% of them are crap.

I love old games and have owned and played damn near every major console from the Atari 2600 to now - trust me, while there are plenty of old gems, there was far more dross. It's just that the dross isn't as memorable since you likely didn't spend nearly as much time on it. 8^)

Re:Split screen gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25462853)

You may be interested in this game I found out about a few weeks ago:

Dwarf Fortress [bay12games.com]

I don't know what to say other than it's freaking awesome... the game randomly generates a few hundred years or so (depending on your settings) of history before you begin playing, and then your actions are also written into the worlds history. You can play an adventurer and kill an ettin, then start up a fortress (sort of a turn-based RTS mode, with the computer making turns go by as fast as it can process events) and your master engravers will fill the halls with "a superiorly engraved rendering of a dwarf and an ettin. The ettin is cowering. The dwarf is laughing. This picture refers to the slaying of Raxl Goblinsmasher the ettin by Urist Hammertime the dwarf in the year 305."

If that doesn't convince you read this: The Boatmurdered Saga [fromearth.net]
and keep in mind that story is from *several* versions ago.

Re:Split screen gaming (1)

Draek (916851) | about 6 years ago | (#25463947)

Therefore the primary competition between companies, the sole focus, was on the actual game premise. As a result, they rocked (well, mostly. ET for the Atari2600, I'm talking to you). Now there are so many other aspects that the designers' attention is divided, and the games themselves suffer. In a nutshell, the spell is broken.

Care to name the SNES-era shooter on par with Half-Life 2? a football game with gameplay comparable to Winning Eleven 9? or the racing game comparable to Gran Turismo 5, let alone GTR2? or something, *anything*, like Shadow of the Collosus?

Yeah, yeah, Madden sucks, so what, so did General Custer's Revenge. Shit has been made since the beginning of the eras, and shit shall be made 'til the end of times, deal with it.

Perhaps the particular genres you care about have progressed nothing during these last decades, or perhaps you're just seeing the past through rose-colored glasses, but it's undeniable that there are plenty of games that have used the extra technology to improve the gaming experience *way* past anything that could've been made on a SNES, let alone a fuckin' Atari.

Re:Split screen gaming (1)

pizzach (1011925) | about 6 years ago | (#25464019)

I pulled out my NES and for the first time won the original Batman game on it. Having played I really appreciated a few things:

  • No Cinemas I have to sit through
  • No tutorials
  • No load times.

I was in heaven! I'm glad I went back to the game and beat it now. I rue modern games because they make you wait. And then they make you wait some more. And then this piss your time in a tutorial.

Re:Split screen gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25459649)

Split-screen multiplayer is awful for competitive games since you have the ability to watch everyone's screens at the same time. It ruins the fun of wondering where your enemy is, instead of calculating out the fastest route required to get them from behind, while not getting flanked yourself.

Prime time for social life (3, Interesting)

Wiarumas (919682) | about 6 years ago | (#25458503)

25-35 is a pretty prime social time where many people find their significant others and are getting set in having their circle of friends. In addition, I would suspect that their careers are beginning to blossom and are probably demanding more time than their "gaming" years.

I'm not suprised by this study, in fact, I believe I may be a classic example of why this may be. I have a gaming PC, xbox, ps2, gamecube, n64, NES... but most importantly I have a Wii. Me and my fiance primarily play this together (Mario Kart online) or whenever we have company (Karaoke, DDR, etc). But I also have a secret life that my girlfriend doesn't know about - I play EVE Online with a few HS buddies that she has never met. We are states apart and grew completely different apart (one is getting his doctorate in physics, the other is getting by on his HS diploma) but this is the one thing that keeps us socializing.

I wish I had more time to play games like WoW but I honestly don't anymore. I wish I even had time to talk on AIM anymore, but it seems as if those days are over. So before when my gaming time was an introvert activity, its now more of a social event where I can catch up with my friends while getting my video game fix.

That's me, in a nutshell. (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 6 years ago | (#25458513)

I've been playing since the Atari 2600 games. My favorite game? Battle tank, against my friend who owned the Atari. I've pretty much played every game type since then. But there are two trends I noticed in my gaming:
- time to game has gone down steadily.
- tolerance for internet asshattery has gone down as well.
- more and more people game.

The result? Gaming is now a social activity for me. My favorite moments are when my friends and I sit around a table and play some random WC3 mod or beat each other up in a game of VF5 or Halo. I still play single-player games, and I still play network games. But the #1 thing I look at in games is how well it will work with friends in the same room.

Do you hear that, Blizzard? No LAN play might look like a good idea, but you're completely ignoring the current social trends. It's indeed possible to play everything over the internet - but the fun factor of playing L33tH4x0r666 over my internet connection pales in comparison to the fun factor of beating my buddy in Halo. Or crushing them in Starcraft. If you truly want to make the best multiplayer experience, include LAN play. It's a must.

Exactly right. (3, Interesting)

EWAdams (953502) | about 6 years ago | (#25458643)

Why should I tolerate the abusive behavior of some pimpled 13-year-old virgin online when I can have a good time playing with someone I genuinely like?

The behavior in persistent worlds will only improve when they begin to impose cash fines for obnoxiousness on players' credit cards, doubling in amount with each incident. Failure to pay (i.e. card declined) locks up the account.

Re:Exactly right. (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 6 years ago | (#25467171)

Why should I tolerate the abusive behavior of some pimpled 13-year-old virgin online when I can have a good time playing with someone I genuinely like?

So you tolerate the behavior of a bunch of 30 year old virgins on /. instead? :)

Re:That's me, in a nutshell. (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 6 years ago | (#25458669)

Indeed. Despite all the hours I've played (and enjoyed) in MMOs, I have to say the most fun gaming hours I've ever had were multiplayer Tetris on the original Gameboy and multiplayer GoldenEye on the N64. Not far behind are games like split-screen Madden, Mario Party, etc. And of course small LAN parties featuring games like UT, RA2, and AOE2. I'll give up a great many other activities for many of the above, even now. Real life interaction is just something that cannot be replaced by the internet, no matter how hard you try.

Re:That's me, in a nutshell. (1)

AnalogyShark (1317197) | about 6 years ago | (#25462227)

Do you honestly have a situation wherein you can not achieve LAN through the use of the internet? I've never had an issue having 4 or 5 comptuers all hooked to the same router connecting to a Battle.net type service. I don't see where all these complaints about the lack of LAN feature in some games are really coming from. In the example of most games that are online multiplayer only, you can merely have all LAN attendees join the same online hosted game. Sure, I suppose your connection speed and latency might not be pristine, but if you're gaming on a high enough level that you are actually bothered by the change of latency between a LAN game and a cable-internet hosted game, you probably don't fall into the casual gamer group that usually demands this.

The only group that I can see even being upset is about a lack of LAN are those who wish to exploit false CD keys, which are usually only checked for legitimacy (that can't be overriden by a cracked .exe file) when connecting to a public hosting service.

Do you hear that, Blizzard? No LAN play might look like a good idea, but you're completely ignoring the current social trends. It's indeed possible to play everything over the internet - but the fun factor of playing L33tH4x0r666 over my internet connection pales in comparison to the fun factor of beating my buddy in Halo.

No where does anyone make you host a public game that 1337haxxor can join, just host privately. At least in my life, the social and technological trend assumes that people, even in a LAN situation, can all connect to the internet at reasonable speed. I've been doing 5 man LANs of World of Warcraft for months now, levelling together, and pretty much ignoring everyone else on the server. I really think the LAN requirement is outdated, and people need to get caught up with the new age. What ever are you going to do when you want to play a game that is featured solely online? (read as: Quake Live)

Just because you're playing online, doesn't mean you can't be sitting next to each other.

I tried to read TFA but stopped at Integrated Soci (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25458523)

"Integrated Social Experiences"

How about joining a :

Running club.

Bicycling club

A Linux User Group

A church or meditation place

A Masters swimming club

A political party

A charity: they're always looking for folks and there's plenty of single there too.

My point? Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats face to face. The internet has lead us down a very lonely road.

I've been weaning myself off it - hence my posting as AC. I "lost" my login and email so that I'm not wasting so much time here on Slashdot, Fark, or trolling Digg with right wing propaganda - that was fun!

Re:I tried to read TFA but stopped at Integrated S (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | about 6 years ago | (#25458769)

I've been weaning myself off it - hence my posting as AC. I "lost" my login and email so that I'm not wasting so much time here on Slashdot,

Obviously your devious plan has been very successful.

Re:I tried to read TFA but stopped at Integrated S (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#25458843)

My point? Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats face to face.

I dunno, doggy style is pretty awesome.

Re:I tried to read TFA but stopped at Integrated S (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | about 6 years ago | (#25459713)

LAN parties?
Party Games?
Nothing wrong with videogames as a social hobby, it just requires either LAN play (co-op in particular is most awesome with other people right next to you, and the best gaming experiences I've ever had have been with ten friends in team vs games like COD. We auto-team balance, because everyone likes to have fun, teams can communicate well (voice chatter is very easy when you can, you know, just talk to the person), and the combination of co-operation and competition is one of the most satisfying experiences I know. It's like playing paintball, except there are a wider range of games and styles, the weather is irrelevant, there's less risk of injury, and of course, we are all looking at a screen. That said it costs about the same, takes about as much time, both to get a good party going and to stay in practice in between, and it even can encourage the same sort of bonding among those who consistently play together.
Internet play offers almost none of this, but it's easy.

Re:I tried to read TFA but stopped at Integrated S (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25460307)

LAN parties?

Party Games?

Nothing wrong with videogames as a social hobby, it just requires either LAN play

I may be showing my age here, so I'll post anonymously, but have you heard of this archaic institution called an 'Arcade'?

And I'm not talking about the watered-down 'room with a couple of games in it' stuck in the back room of a pizza joint, where the only games they have are either broken or some variation of DDR. I'm talking about a real-life honest-to-goodness big ol' establishment full of games and people to play them.

Places where you could get some snacks, some beverages (alcoholic, even, in some places) and play games against actual people standing right next to you. There is absolutely nothing that can compare to the adrenaline rush you get by going toe-to-toe with some guy you've never met before and being so evenly matched that the game comes down to the last few pixels of health and it could go either way in the last few seconds. When you've gotten an enthusiastic crowd gathered around you cheering both of you on while you frantically try to not lose your grip on the joystick due to your ever-sweatier palms.

That's real social gaming and that's what consoles connected to the Internet and PC gaming have all but killed off. It's a sad realization that future gamers won't know the kinds of thrills that come from beating a skilled opponent or how to lose graciously (or win, for that matter) because the guy you're playing against isn't some faceless voice on the other end of an Internet connection, but an actual person standing inches from you who is fully capable of kicking your ass if you gloat too much.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think there are some kids on my lawn that I need to take care of.

I much prefer playing games with friends than anon (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | about 6 years ago | (#25458535)

I have FUN playing with friends (whether locally (preferably) or over the internet (with skype)). With random internet players, it becomes more of a competition. I prefer the fun.
Also, for games that don't lend themselves to competitive play, co-op (again, with friends) is awesome. It's a pity that so few games support it these days, but generally the good ones eventually get co-op play mods (e.g. synergy for HL2).

Btw: I passed up the opportunity to use mod points on sex games jokes to post this.

Forced social games (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#25458561)

OK, you want social interaction, we'll give you social interaction.

The big time-sink games, like Everquest and WoW, where it's necessary to get everybody on line at the same time for a raid, could be made even more intrusive with a mobile aspect. If someone raids your fortress, frantic messages go out to all the defenders phones, demanding that they get on line immediately and help with the defense.

When you really want to annoy another guild, raid them at 4 AM.

This would probably sell in Singapore.

Re:Forced social games (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 6 years ago | (#25458657)

This would probably sell in Singapore.

Or Korea.

Re:Forced social games (3, Insightful)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 6 years ago | (#25459205)

MMOs killed my favorite.. LAN gaming. We had an active group of LAN gamers that got together about every other month. We had about 50 or so people show up to game and talk smack and drink bawls. Then Evercrack, DAOC, and finally WoW whittled away the people that showed up. When the LANs finally died we had about 20 or so people, and about half of them would log into their MMO accounts.

One bright thing though, there is an annual LAN coming up next month, and since it is rare, there is less MMO bullshit going on.

Re:Forced social games (1)

DerWulf (782458) | about 6 years ago | (#25459451)

I don't understand what's keeping you from going to a LAN when you are subscriped to an MMO. Maybe the problem has more to do with reliable, affordable high-speed internet then online games although the prevalence of the former sure had a huge effect on the sucess of the later.

Re:Forced social games (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 6 years ago | (#25459961)

Nothing kept them from going to a LAN. They just chose not to.. and then a subset of people that showed up played MMOs anyway. And yes..reliable, affordable high-speed internet had a large part of the blame for the drop off as well.

Co-op versus Multiplayer (5, Interesting)

Quantus347 (1220456) | about 6 years ago | (#25458595)

I have to agree. But even more, I would like to see more cooperative multiplayer in games. So many games have a primary "campaign" mode, the standard game itself with all the effort in large scale maps and objectives and such, but when it comes time for the multiplayer option, it a purely competitive arena style thing, where large differences in skill/familiarity with the game ruin the fun for the noob that gets incessantly poned or for the expert that cant get anyone to play out of past frustration. Some games have accomplished this very well (Halo, Gears of War to name a few), but I haven't seen it much outside of the First Person Shooter genre.

What I wouldn't give for a truly cooperative Real Time Strategy game. And not just a basic alliance, which usually just means a non-aggression and map-sharing pact. But imagine for a moment full resource and control sharing. At that point you can differentiate roles and responsibilities. One person to manage resource and production while the other leads the military defense/expansion. Imagine Spore Space Stage if you could have one empire, with one player as the Minister of War, another as Minister of Commerce, and a third as Minister of Colonization. Or even a good military type, but were you can organize a hierarchical military system, with your infantry, munitions, and strike team special forces. The complexity players have achieved in tactics of WoW raiding or Call of Duty, etc. prove that given the freedom to do so, players will plan, cooperate and organize well beyond what you may anticipate.

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | about 6 years ago | (#25458707)

I used to do this with my childhood friend (neighbor) with Age of Empires. You could both play as the same team/empire/player. It was pretty fun too, but I wouldn't say it was significantly more fun than playing just as allies. The only bad part is that in order for us to share IP addresses, I would have to run over to his house since the internet used the phone line.

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

Chickan (1070300) | about 6 years ago | (#25458989)

I completely agree, 1v1 sucks really quickly in games with massive levels designed for online play. A RTS with two commanders would be amazing as well!

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25460717)

Age of empires II did this long ago. Just have two players as the same color, and they control the same Civ.

Yes please (1)

raygundan (16760) | about 6 years ago | (#25461491)

Co-op games are my favorites. I'm not a huge fan of Halo, for example-- but it's one of the few games I can get online and play with (not against!) geographically scattered friends. So I play it all the freaking time.

I've got enough splitscreen multiplayer games-- what I really want now is more co-op, and more online features that make online gaming with friends feel like local multiplayer. Video chat with a window in the corner, easy transitions from speaking with friends to speaking with other players, and more games where we aren't competing with our buddies. Even among friends, skill levels and differing practice make local multiplayer awkward-- nobody likes getting crushed all the time, and nobody likes not having any challenge. Put everybody on the same side, though, and it becomes a lot more fun as you work together to crush the zombie hordes, and chat and catch up on things with friends the same way you did when you were 10.

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#25461579)

Serious Sam. Best coop FPS ever. Have a few drinks, turn difficulty up to maximum and blood to flowers, and it's like House of the Dead with a modern engine.

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

Phroggy (441) | about 6 years ago | (#25461681)

Hell YES. This is what I've been wishing Warcraft/Starcraft could do. Shared vision and the ability to send resources to other members of your team is one small step in the right direction, but I don't want multiple armies who happen to be allied with each other, I want multiple players controlling one army.

I would add that there's no need to label one player a Minister of War, another as Minister of Commerce, etc. If you give all players full control over everything, they'll figure out how to cooperate based on their own personal strengths and preferences. (On the other hand, it may be useful to optimize the UI for specific roles; I'm not really opposed to the idea, just saying it's not a requirement.)

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25462247)

I'm pretty sure Warcraft 3 allowed for resource sharing. Maybe there was something about that game in particular where this wasn't feasible or properly implemented, but I'm 99% sure it was there in some fashion.

Or maybe you're like me and the game just didn't click with you, so the feature didn't do much for you anyway ('cause you were never playing).

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25462311)

You might want to give Eve online a go. I could spend hours writing a post about the complexities of the game play, but I won't. IMO, it's the closest thing to a RTS that any MMO has ever achieved.

And now, I prepare for the Eve hate wagon to roll into town.

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#25464493)

Team Melee mode on Starcraft. My friends and I once got 6 people together to play on a huge map with team melee. Huge battles with massive units, one person running around queuing up the next assault, another person holding off the enemy's assault, and overall a lot of fun. It had the added benefit of allowing someone with great tactical skills the ability to beat someone with better logistics skills. In a single player game it usually came down to whoever got the most amount of money and pumped out the most guys. In that game, my team ended up winning even though we produced 1/3 less troops. We just used ours better.

Already exists Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

Randym (25779) | about 6 years ago | (#25465047)

What I wouldn't give for a truly cooperative Real Time Strategy game. And not just a basic alliance, which usually just means a non-aggression and map-sharing pact. But imagine for a moment full resource and control sharing. At that point you can differentiate roles and responsibilities. One person to manage resource and production while the other leads the ...expansion. ... The complexity players have achieved in tactics prove that given the freedom to do so, players will plan, cooperate and organize well beyond what you may anticipate.

s/players/workers/ . It already exists -- it's called, er, Work World. Takes forever to level, though -- and talk about *grinding*! 8^P Nobody really wants to play, though: they actually have to pay the 'players' to get them to show up (although at some 4500 Lindens/ hour it's more lucrative than camping). The avatars are pretty lame, though -- very little customization allowed (no furries for example). And the 'players' have to be there -- in meatspace, no less -- 5 days a week. I'd say that, as a MMORG, it's pretty unsustainable...

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

Tryfen (216209) | about 6 years ago | (#25465831)

It's a slightly older game, but Star Wars - Galactic Battlegrounds [amazon.co.uk] is great in co-op. While you can't take over your partner's character, you can work together against the enemy/enemies, share your resources, patrol and protect your partner etc.

Re:Co-op versus Multiplayer (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 6 years ago | (#25466593)

But imagine for a moment full resource and control sharing. At that point you can differentiate roles and responsibilities.

A few games support that, in Spring [clan-sy.com] you can assign multiple players to one id and they all play with the same units and resource pool. I don't think people like doing that though, they prefer each having their own units and resource pool (which can usually be freely transferred between players so there's still some budgetting going on).

Friends are gamers, but we rarely play online. (3, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 6 years ago | (#25458625)

I'm not a "former" gamer, but better than 95% of my gaming time is in single-player games or in multiplayer with people in the same room (Smash Brothers, Wii Sports, things like that).

The only time I play online with strangers is when I've also got at least one friend in the game, which doesn't happen too often (most of my friends have the same gaming patterns as me and prefer living-room multiplayer, playing a single player game together, or just playing alone to playing online).

I get much more enjoyment out of a marathon playthrough of a single-player game, switching off with a friend, than I do playing an online FPS or whatever with said friend. My wife loves JRPGs, so we usually play those together, even though they're single player. Done similar things with a couple of the Zelda games, and with some 3rd-person games.

The rest of the time (the majority of it) I play PC-RPGs (single player--I *hate* that this market is so small, since it's produced some of my favorite games), strategy games (currently enjoying Hearts of Iron 2), and single-player atmospheric or story-heavy FPS games like the Half Life series, Deus Ex (I replay it every year or so, took me several playthroughs over a few years before I finally felt like I'd experienced the entire game), Portal, the Thief series, Bioshock, etc.

Get off my lawn! (4, Insightful)

eddy the lip (20794) | about 6 years ago | (#25458715)

I used to spend a fair bit of time playing FPS (mostly Quake and UT) online. Shooting real, unpredictable people and having a bit of a rivalry is much more fun than taking it out on some lackluster AI.

I still play the same kind of games, but I haven't been online in years. Reason? The advent of voice integration. I don't mind playing against a bunch of immature 13 year olds, but I don't need to be continuously reminded of the fact by some snot-nosed momma's boy whining in my ear to stop circle strafing him. (Ok, that time it was funny.)

I know, you can turn off voice chat, but voice did help usher in a new era of team based games. I enjoy the extra strategy and team play of those, but you can't get by without the voice now. Even in an FPS, there's stuff going on on chat you need to know about.

If it all felt less like elementary school playground, I'd probably get into it again, at least occasionally.

Re:Get off my lawn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25459707)

"If it all felt less like elementary school playground, I'd probably get into it again, at least occasionally. "

Honestly, this is half the success of Gears of War. The MA rating and obvious gore really does keep the number of sub-14 year olds lower than games like Halo. I think this is the future of Xbox Live's pay service: An adult-only area with moderators to enforce that restriction.

And before everyone jumps on me about that, would you want to go to a nightclub that was full of 13 year olds? (And if you do, get help)

Re:Get off my lawn! (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 6 years ago | (#25462017)

What's preventing you from playing UT? I still occasionaly fire it up for a round of CTF on Hydro-16 or the priceless assault mode. No integrated voice bullshit, and most 14 year olds would have no idea what UT99 is anyway. Q3-DM is great fun too, and ther's no need for VoIP there at all. The last time I played it there were still plenty of active servers.

Basically, I think this has to do with the type of games you play. I finally picked up Quake Wars after numerous recommendations (on /. and elsewhere) and 49 logged hours later, I recall only hearing a whiny bitching voice once. The game has integrated VoIP, but it's thankfully usually used as little as possible, probably because of the rather nice canned message system which lets players quickly inform their team of the situation or ask for something.

Either by binding keys (which is easy if you're using the correct input device), or through an interactive menu you can choose the message to be sent/read to the players, such as informing them of incoming enemy armor at your location (which is specified in the message) or requesting something. This way, ther's no "WHAAA I NEED A MEDICK HERE!!! YOU ASSHOLES IM WAITING!!!!" but simple "I need a medic" followed by the player's location. Of course, playing on European servers also helps, as it's much easier to use the above feature than to repeat the same order in several languages and still have half of your team not understand it :D

And this is not to say that the teamplay suffers somehow. In my experience, when there are good team players on your team they'll read the situation and do what's necessary at each stage of the game, and, if the situation really requires it, someone will quickly inform you of an enemy camping by the objective or whatever's the problem. On the other hand, if they're all idiots, well they'll just all play as infiltrators and camp somewhere with sniper rifles when you desperately need another engineer to disarm an explosive, and there's nothing you can do to convince them to switch anyway.

By now I've written way too much considering I have to get up in less than five hours and I still wanted to finish a small app for my smartphone, so I'll conclude here: if you insist on playing Halo, then remember that whiny idiots are part of the deal. It doesn't have to be that way though, just choose a better game.

Street Fighter tournaments (1)

zarkill (1100367) | about 6 years ago | (#25458751)

Back in the day, video games were pretty much a staple of any party we threw. While people would hang out and talk and drink and whatever, we'd also usually have some kind of game-playing going on. most of the time it was fighting games in tournament mode and people loved it.

games are frustrating (1, Interesting)

blindbat (189141) | about 6 years ago | (#25458753)

I've played games for over 30 years. I'm just tired of games that are now made so frustrating. They aren't fun anymore.

If a games seems a little short, the developers must make it insanely difficult to beat.

I have put many games aside and never finished them because of this.

And another thing... Many new games are developed for console, so I find the controls to be dismal when trying to play on the PC. I'm much more used to having many controls than using the same buttons for 3 or more different actions based on context.

Re:games are frustrating (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#25459139)

We must have been playing different games. Compare something like The Bards Tale (1985) with Morrowind. Or R-Type vs. Einhander. Or Battle Toads vs The Warriors.

IMO, old school games are usually harder than their modern counterparts. They require twitch like reflexes, memorization, and usually stick you with a limited number of credits. Games these days, they're marketing to everyone instead of the hard core fan. And so, they need to make a game that is beatable by everyone.

Switch gaming (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25459925)

Many new games are developed for console, so I find the controls to be dismal when trying to play on the PC. I'm much more used to having many controls than using the same buttons for 3 or more different actions based on context.

Then I guess you'll absolutely hate these games that use one button [oneswitch.org.uk] ;-)

Re:games are frustrating (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 6 years ago | (#25463215)

I've played games for over 30 years. I'm just tired of games that are now made so frustrating.

You got that all backwards. Games today are relatively long (6-15h for an action game) and pretty easy (reset points all over the place, saving), games in the past however they were very short (1-2h) and very hard (no reset points, limited continues, no saving at all). Also your console vs PC argument doesn't make much sense, in console games you have functions in well documented and well thought out places (i.e. much of the game design is actually build around the controller), on the PC on the other side they are spread all over the keyboard in often seemingly random places and with little or no thought about the actually gaming hardware used, since its different everywhere (game build for five button mouse doesn't play well with three button trackball). Also its much more easy to find a function on a 16 button gamepad then trying to hunt one down on a 102 key keyboard.

Now that of course doesn't mean that gaming today is great, there is tons of stuff wrong with it, but I'd pin that down on lack of innovation and design-by-committee, which makes most games look and feel pretty much the same (bulky space marine with rocket launchers have been around for at least 15 years, so they are rather boring now).

Describes me, somewhat at least (1)

Chickan (1070300) | about 6 years ago | (#25458907)

I spend way more time playing split screen games with my brother (roomate) than I do on online games or single player games combined.

Its hard to find good coop games, as 1v1 gets old really quick. The team games like Halo and Rainbow Six Vegas 2 capture our attention for much longer.

I have no desire to be tea bagged online by a preteen.

Re:Describes me, somewhat at least (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#25460033)

I spend way more time playing split screen games with my brother (roomate) than I do on online games or single player games combined.

Would you consider buying a split-screen cooperative game for PC?

Re:Describes me, somewhat at least (1)

Chickan (1070300) | about 6 years ago | (#25461727)

Actually I might, with a 24" lcd and outputs to my projector.

Also, maybe a game designed for multiple monitors, so we each have our own screen.

M.U.L.E. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25458983)

We need more games like M.U.L.E.

RL Friends (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about 6 years ago | (#25459383)

Since I game online with my RL friends, mostly in MMOs, I have combined social aspects of gaming with the gaming itself. I have in fact given up regular games entirely in favour of MMOs for the past 5 years or so. I prefer that environment overall, and since I don't do consoles the social gaming aspect of having my friends over to play is non-existent. We play our MMOs online then meet for food or coffee etc later on every once in a while.

BAH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25459585)

*REAL* gamers play with themselves!

It's "safer" that way too.

lol

The wii rules in this arena (3, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#25459625)

There are lots of games on that platform that I called "party games" before someone else coined the name "social games." By my definition, a party game has short play times between controller turnovers, are easy to learn and hard to master, and allow even the people who aren't playing to feel involved, usually by capping on how awful someone was at the game.

Soul Caliber was a great example of the 'hotseat' party game; only two people at a time could play but the rounds were quick and it was easy to hand the controller to someone else after you lost. I'm sure the same could be said of other fighting games but I never liked any other fighter as much as Soul Caliber, not even the SC sequels with their impossible balloon tits.

The various Wii sports titles take that fun aspect and moves it beyond the realm of traditional gaming genres, no robots and zombies and T&A. My mom tried out the Wii and it's the first system she's liked since the Odyssey. A system like this has huge, huge multi-generational appeal. Personally, I get a little bored with the Wii Sports games but I also don't like Microsoft Solitaire and that's the most popular Windows game ever so you can see why I don't trust my own opinion on such matters. :)

I see they've ported the old TMNT arcade game to the 360 and I assume they've included four controller support. That's another game that would kill at parties. There's also a Gauntlet port I see, one of the original four-players in the arcades. Pair that up with the big-screen TV's, party gaming can't help but to take off.

It's kind of funny, the basics of racing games haven't changed all that much since Pole Position: try to go fast, stay on the track, don't crash. But the graphics between then and now, heh! Amazing how much things have changed, the games look a thousand times better but it's still the same mechanics -- go fast, try not to crash.

These party games will go the same way, trying to present classic play mechanics in new and interesting ways. The motion controller was a genius move since many people find moving something around in the air more intuitive than pushing a joystick around, especially on today's fancy controllers.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned... (1)

dannycim (442761) | about 6 years ago | (#25460235)

But I can't stand it when in an MMO a total stranger uses foul language. It's impolite and what's most irritating is that they do it casually. I wasn't raised like that.

This is why I'm so excited about LittleBigPlanet. While you can party it up online, you can play levels alone or with 2, 3 or 4 players on one screen (no splitting necessary), and it's tons of fun.

CO-OP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25460245)

I'm a 32 year old gamer and I hate seeing games that have no co-op mode. I mostly play FPS games. DM and all of its various flavors are fun but there is something that is otherwise unobtainable in playing a co-op FPS with people you know over a LAN, using your fav voice comms software or on the phone (local). The rainbow 6 line of games comes to mind, as I have spent hours in terrorist hunt. But this joy is nothing new. Doom 2 is where I estimate it really took off. Coop mods that made more ammo and more monsters available. Serious Sam has wonderful coop.

Many times developers don't include it and it's a trend that I truly dislike.

Old Timer's League (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25460545)

We have that for hockey up here in the frozen North. Age 25+, and "no contact", although the "no contact" is overlooked depending on where you play. (Some play specifically because their boss is on another team...)

But that also reveals the difference - with a meat-sport like hockey you've got the common geographical feature of the local rink. That makes it easy to sign up two or three teams of weekend warriors.

With RPGs et al we /used/ to be able to get initial groups started because of the generational grouping of High School & College/Uni. Now that we're age 25-35 (45+ in my case) we've lost that meat-world contact point to spin-off from. That's the difference that needs to be overcome if we're going to have middle-age groups forming.

Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25460775)

I prefer playing games with friends, versus random people, when it comes to multiplayer. It is generally more fun, and less stressful, because you know who you're dealing with. I played games like Diablo 2 and NWN with people I knew, and it was a generally fun, stress-free time.

Going the anonymous route has mixed results, unfortunately.

Yes, you are likely to meet a few cool people on there who are worth conversing with. I've met a few who I actually still communicate with, even after I've stopped playing the game. This is sadly a minority of the people who you will encounter.

What you encounter more of are the people who have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. They play for 100+ hours a week, but aren't much better than average in terms of skill (though they will likely think themselves to be l33t). They can't type coherent sentences to save their lives, and generally resort to base insults when they lose/don't get their way. Trying to team up with most of these jokers in an co-op game or MMO would test even Mother Teresa's patience.

More Multiplayer Co-op (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25460853)

My friends and I have seriously enjoyed 4-player co-op in the Champions of Norrath series on PS2. It is so much fun to get together in the same room and have a long gaming and bullshit session once in a while.

Still hoping for a sequel in some form. The X-men games were OK, but don't hold our interest as much.

Okay uhh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25460893)

Gaming isn't a hobby, it's a form of entertainment. Sitting around playing Halo 3 for 10 hours doesn't qualify as doing something constructive with your time.

Older gamers DO exist! (2, Informative)

cailith1970 (1325195) | about 6 years ago | (#25460917)

From what I've seen, people enjoy gmes of all sorts at any age. There is a group called The Older Gamers at http://www.theoldergamers.com/ [theoldergamers.com] that specifically cater to people who play games (online and otherwise) who are over the age of 25. You have 30 year olds playing MMOs, and 70 year olds playing FPS, so I don't think you can profile players and the types of games they play by their age.

For the vast majority of these people, their social networking is done via the games themselves or in the forums that discuss the games they play, or general ones. The only commonality is that they play computer games of some sort. And it's massive now, internationally, given how far it's come since it started in 2002 in a little corner of Australia.

So I'll dispute their claim that people give up games for social networking sites as they get older; they tend to be social with other gamers!

No solution - games are additional work (1)

Chess Piece Face (247847) | about 6 years ago | (#25461495)

Those of us who spend 8-10 hours working in front of a terminal every day pointing and clicking under deadline pressure don't want to go home and do more of the same. And that describes the jobs of a lot of 25-35 year olds, myself included.

Maybe they realize today's games suck? (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 6 years ago | (#25462015)

If you're between 25 and 35, you've been around long enough to have played a countless amount of first person shooters, fighting games, racing games, MMOs, sidescrollers, and more. Honestly, there are very few new ideas, so it's harder to get into things. We're still playing the same core gameplay of those genres. They're well-established now.

Kids are into it all because, to them, it's new. Twilight Princess will seem pretty amazing and innovative if you never played Ocarina of Time ten years earlier. Halo multiplayer must seem revolutionary if you weren't around doing the same thing in a trash-talking Quake clan in 1996. StarCraft II will be totally awesome if you hadn't already played StarCraft 1, WarCraft 1 and 2, C&C, and so on.

Incidentally, I miss the old PC Gamer CDs where you could get about 20-30 shareware games, almost all of them coming from different genres. It was a cool time to be a gamer. I feel burned out every time I play yet another first person shooter. I've done all this before!

Former Gamers Want More Social Life (2, Insightful)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | about 6 years ago | (#25462741)

Whoops, I meant games. But seriously... I have absolutely no interest in social games. And I'm a former gamer. So score one for the opposing team.

gamed as a kid (1)

globall06 (1391029) | about 6 years ago | (#25463519)

I look at gaming as a waste of time and potentially addicting. I;m not much into gaming now but the wii fit looks cool would like to try that

Glitzy new games but something's missing... (1)

Michael Snoswell (3461) | about 6 years ago | (#25464269)

Please excuse me for cross posting, but I just posted this on the "30 yr anniversary of MUDs" story, plus I made some relevant changes:

Modern day MMORPGs owe an awful lot to MUDs and MOOs. Often because you don't need as much imagination, a MMORPG like WoW is pretty disappointing (to my minds and similar freinds in my age group - 40-50yo).

In fact I'm yet to find a game that has the immersion level of those early MUDs, but maybe that's because I was younger then. There's a lot more competition for my time with a house/wife/kids/job etc than when I started playing computer games seriously in the early 80s (Ultima comes to mind and Defender on the Apple II).

These days something has to be very impressive to get me interested and pretty much all modern games fail in that. I've have enjoyed Assassin's Creed recently but aside from Counterstrike after work around christmas times, to my mind, none are sufficiently open ended and diverse to replace those older games. Remember we're the old fogies who played AD&D with pencil and paper and you had the imagien the entire scene/game in your head except for a few stats written down.

It seems modern games have gone down a particular direction and left a massive field of gaming/socialising open which has been filled only partially and from time to time by things like CuSeeMe, or IRC or SMS txting, ICQ etc but then each of these specialises and as the world's communities unite more and more vistas (opportunities) open up that are not being addressed.

I think there's a lot of scope for imagination based gaming with high social networking and dynamic (or on the fly) content creation that just doesn't exist at all today. Combine this with almost permanent availability (phones), GPS and the HUDs (heads up displays) that we don't have yet and I suspect there's significant new genres of games to come that will redress some of the things we've missed since those very early days of gaming.

There's considerable scope for new genres of games, such as audio only or on-the-fly player generated content. That's how the old AD&D was and no games get close to that - I'm yet to find a game where the stories/adventure is created by the players and the world is created just a step in front of you. Those old games and their stories outlast every level of every game I've ever played and hence had the biggest impact. Do you remember with relish a level of a game you've played and retell the story with laughter and the warm camerarderie of your old friends?? Well maybe there was a scene from LeisureSuit Larry or SpaceQuest III, or Ootopos but wait...they're all very old games. I do see young kids excited about relating stuff that happened in Halo with their friends and sharing it on YouTube, so maybe I just don't get it. I don't hear my kids (who play a lot of Wow) relate stories on WoW conquests or adventures or things that happened in Quake[1-3,Wars] or Unreal or BaldursGate.

On the other hand, maybe kids todays are just as excited, captivated and immersed by the latest version of Crysis, WoW, Bioshock, SMS txting, MSN or whatever - somehow I don't see it. My kids aren't as impressed, enthralled or excited about games as I (and my friends) were, I'm sure of it. It's a bit like when William Gibson said he wrote Neuromancer on an old mechanical typewriter and then later got an AppleII and realised how primitive computers actually were. He said if he'd known computers were that crappy he never could have written about advanced cybertech in the visionary way that he did. In the same way I think today's familiarity with computers limit kids' imaginations.

It's more than that though. Kids attention span in general is shorter. I remember not that long ago when many European versions of games were different and longer than US versions because if the game was too long or hard it didn't sell as well in the US. Generally the US is ahead of the curve and that shortening of attention span has filtered out and down today. I watched my kids playing Age of Wonders a few years back and one finished it in a few hours. I played myself and after many nights of an hour or two had only completed the first level. I asked him how he found the Elf city so fast and recruited their help to defeat the enemy. He look at me weirdly and said "What Elves?". So you have to think the game is well designed because it could be played fast and superficially or slowly and at great depth???

Mind you, the kids (now mid to late teens) love Mario Galaxy on the Wii. Personally I find it unbelievably repetative but they've play that longer than any other game. Sure this is only anecdotal evidence but I suspect it's indiciative of the generation. Nintendo do seem to know something that other game writers have overlooked - do you recall the general derision when the Wii was first announced?

I'm not going to even mention girls games. Mattel consistently has Barbie and other related games in the top 10 in the US and it never features on the lists because game magazines rarely focus on those game and girls are in a minority for buying those magazines. But there are huge dollars being made with old technology games that address that rather large niche market. Likewise Disney does a good job of addressing the younger (game) audiences. But let's get back to older players...

So that's games. But look at how fast IRC then ICQ then MSN whatever took off. Clearly a social aspect was not being met by games. Sure you can chat to a bunch of pre-pubescent experts online in Halo/Counterstrike but it's not the same. I suspect DigitalPheers's last episode on the Machinima channel on YouTube is close to the level of quality on these particular social forums.

So where to from here? Face facts that older players enjoyed more indepth play but don't generally have the time for that anyway, even if they're disposable income is way higher than your average teenager? In fact I know of studies that have shown that these older players would pay $100+ per month for a high quality MMORPG that had a better quality of social interaction. Some teenagers are mature and fit in just as well with an older crowd so age isn't the sole criteria. In fact I recall discussing a game signup questionaire design (10+yrs ago) that would be psychometrically tuned to allow only the kind of people you like relating to, so a dweeb upstart teenager with a credit card still couldn't get in, nor could a 40-something with a bad attitude. Of course, once you're in you can play any old crazy character you like, but then, that's why it's a game. I mean you want an intelligent, uni educated, critically thinking, upper middle class male to play a psychopathic barbarian (preferably with a comical twist) rather than an actual psychopath. Right...?

A comparison of online games (imo) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25466035)

I do like playing games in the same room as people (wii), and I do like MMORPGs (swg, guildwars), but the game I keep coming back to is subspace.

I played guildwars right through to the end, during a hiatus from subspace, and it was fun. It had massive content, a nice GUI, blah blah blah. The pve play is quite difficult and usually takes a few tries to win in later missions. I appreciate the difficulty there.
But all those graphics are just tiresome after a while. What I want is game balance without needing an entire wiki for the 4,000 skills so I can "build" a character that can win in pvp...

Back to subspace. This ancient and now relatively unknown game is lacking in many ways (and didn't age particularly well), but the game is quite balanced. Developing skill in the game takes years of practice. Years of practice. I'm wary of games you can win without any real skill and practice. This is very addictive. Simple can sometimes be vastly superior.

This comparison is mainly flawed in that 2D shooters don't easily compare to 3D RPGs... But I believe I made a point.

ASIDE (to slashdot): captchas? Are you kidding me? I logged in, I subscribe, now I have to prove I'm human? Seriously?

MMO's are bad mmmkay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25466069)

I have played a lot of different games across the board over the years and I've noticed a few things.

When games like Everquest came out it became acceptable for the pace of game play to run at a turtle speed. Just because it looks nice doesn't mean I'll be willing to sit and sluggishly plod along in a virtual world. I'm too old for that crap (I'm 24 btw).

Second, with the rise of online console gamers, now every douschebag under the sun can get online and run their mouth over the head sets. Just the amount of racist/offensive bile and ignorance that is spit makes me quit sometimes. If it wasn't so much fun killing idiots like that I would quit altogether. People who have been on the internet longer (especially interacting in games) have a tendency to have fewer racist or ignorant views because they've been playing in an international arena longer. Hearing some little racist prick go on jabbering off the n-word makes me realize that there are still a LOT of retards in this country.

Third, with the audience of gaming being opened up sooo much, there are fewer skilled gamers in the sense that, you need to be a better team player to be good. Starcraft and Diablo II are the perfect examples. You HAD to play as a team to do well and everybody seemed interested. On games like COD4 or Halo it's more about who has the twitchest trigger finger and less about teamwork. The co-op team aspect is personally what I love about games the most.

Fourth, I love nothing more than those occasions where I can get together with friends and kick some ass in person. Thinking back a few years when we would play Tiger Woods 2006 together, you'd think the Broncos were playing. I think they hit this nail on the head.

Lastly, with games becoming such a huge money making industry, I think far too much is being invested in how to stimulate gamers. They've finally figured out that RPG's are fun because you are working to achieve a bunch of little goals to built your character. It feels good to achieve and keep progressing in a game the same way as it does in life, but games like WoW never end. There is no finish, you can go on achieving forever and it'll never end. Personally, I played WoW for 2 weeks and threw it away. The story line is decent at best, the gameplay is slow. It's like a mass online 24/7 mental masturbation session. I learned my lesson after Diablo II. The unobtainable will stay the unobtainable in those types of games and I'll stay away from them. Life is a lot more interesting anyway.

Now, for games that got it right. Fallout. That is a game for adults that is pure awesome dipped in awesome with awesome drizzled on top. The game, the story line, the interactions, perspectives, multiple paths/roles/endings are just great. Best of all, it has style in a way that the common trendy games can't touch. I put it on the top of my list of originality with Civ II, and Dune II.

Gaming together is like reading together (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25467399)

I'm 23 and games, as always, are my refuge from other human beings. I like gaming with other people as much as enjoy reading books with other people. To me, the social interaction of gaming is each of my friends playing a game separately and we discuss it as we progress and finish it. When I'm trying to play a game with other people around I'm too distracted by the chatter and don't get a chance to fully explore the various facets of the game.

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