Gaming With Friends

When I was growing up, I played a few video games, but I played them by myself. My friends weren’t interested in them or they consisted of, like, Mario Kart once in junior year of high school. So, while I enjoyed games, I didn’t have that extra layer of ‘this is awesome that I can play this with my friends.’

About a year and a half ago I started spending a lot more time with my cousin, who’s out of college. He introduced me to a lot of games, and I could finally play co-op games (beyond Civilization IV with my parents, which I’m just remembering was a thing that happened a lot a few years before that). So I became more interested in games after that, because I had someone who could play /with/ me and show me which games were good, and how to even begin.

Here at college, I suddenly had a whole lot of new friends who loved video games, and I was basically like ‘this is amazing.’ About two weeks ago I bought Minecraft, and we’ve all been playing on a group server a lot ever since. I started my own single-player world too, and I really love the game, but I honestly don’t think I would have even thought to get it originally if I didn’t have friends who wanted to play it together. And it’s a really cool experience, and something I think I missed out on growing up, whether with Minecraft or any other game.

Playing a video game with other people just makes everything better. You can plan out your Minecraft world together, stupid stuff immediately becomes twenty times funnier, and you can laugh while you put a block of lava on the top of a really tall tower to watch the chaos and wait to see when they figure it out. …This may have been a bad idea, as my own room was summarily flooded. Anyway, the point is, gaming can be a really cool bonding experience, and I’m glad I have friends here to show me that.


7 thoughts on “Gaming With Friends

  1. Interesting thoughts and good point! In this respect, I think for me personally it was vital that I had a sibling growing up with whom I could always play video games. I agree that the cooperative and competitive aspects of video gaming with others can be truly memorable experiences and really help to build (and maintain) friendships and bonds. I don’t get to see my sibling very often anymore, but, when I do, video gaming can instantly bring us together in a way that few other things can.

  2. I definitely agree, a big part of why I got into gaming was because I grew up with no children even close my age except my older brother, who gamed. I spent many years watching him play the games and providing another set of eyes (“enemy behind you”, “missed a chest in the corner”, “don’t forget to heal”) and another brain for the puzzles. My first game, Pokemon, was his, lent to me since he no longer played.

    Fandom is also an interesting (and //fantastic//) part of gaming, what with watching (or engaging in) fan debates about scenes or hunting down Easter Eggs or unmarked quests (like Andale in Fallout 3; I’ll say no more, but if you’ve played the game and not visited, please do so ASAP). For what is considered a solitary activity, gaming is remarkably social

  3. I’m putting this down as one of my favorite four posts of the semester because I have had such a similar experience and can relate so closely. Thanks for putting words to my thoughts!

  4. I agree, gaming with friends makes the experience so much more fun. I thought I’d never play as much as I did in college when I was back in high school. It’s all about the mutual fun. In more competitive games like Smash Bros, my suite had a saying: “one game?” It was like a suite study break where we’d get together to play a game of smash and then get back to our studying. Of course it never ended there, we’d usually end up playing more than one game since we were all so competitive. We would never be satisfied with how the last game went. These sessions would occasionally last for several games; we would regret playing so much since 3/5 of us were writing a thesis, but we’d end up doing it again.

  5. It’s funny because I’ve had a similar but still converse experience. I have a twin, so I’ve never not had a friend to share experiences with, so we used to play videogames together all the time (or a lot of the time I would watch him play like Call of Duty or something). But when I came to college, I had no friends that liked to game, and I can’t afford my own system, so I quickly fell off from gaming in general, especially with this air on campus that I need to always be studying or getting ahead in a class. I really missed playing games, and playing with a community however small. (By the way this was one of my favorite posts this semester 🙂 )

  6. I wanted to let you know that I chose this as one of my favorite posts this semester! What I really loved about this was that it reminded me of all the times that a game changed for me once I was with friends. Currently my friends and I have save files in Mass Effect and Dragon Age that we share and play as a group. It totally changed the experience since you’re communicating with at least three other people to make a decision that you would otherwise make within a couple seconds because you’re by yourself. As annoying as it could be, I love the system that we have because it becomes so new and fun and different from how else I would play. It’s such a great experience and it honestly makes me love games even more being able to share the experiences with my friends.

  7. You know it is absolutely true that playing games with other people makes everything better. I think that playing against computer players is not nearly as fun in games like Mario Kart because beating a computer at a game feels more like luck of the draw than anything. When there are others you can feel the skill and the passion for the game which invigorates us to do better and be better gamers. Games are a way to bring us all together. Thanks for reminding us of that.

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