Being able to play online with friends that I would other wise never get a chance to play with is great. But no matter how fun it is sometimes, I always feel like something is missing. Now it’s unfair to say that the newer, or even the newest generation of players will never know the feelings I did while playing Super Mario Kart. They will have their own joy filled experiences in the only way they know how, and that is disconnected from the personal aspect of multiplayer gaming while being online.
When I was younger,Super Nintendo was the reigning champion of that generation’s console war. Games like Super Mario Kart were just to damn fun to put down. You and your best friend could sit down and race for hours on end, or until dinner was ready. It was that personal connection you had with the other person sitting right next to you. The games of the time gave you a reason to be social and have friends. Some games were just more fun playing with other people. Golden Eye on the N64 was a shining example. You could get three of your friends together one night in the dorms and have an incredible time.Sure there was trash talking and petty squabbles about using Oddjob but it is nothing like the arguments and flame wars of today.
|Don’t worry, they’re smiling. I hope.|
With multiplayer gaming being taken to the online realm, any and all forms of video game etiquette have been thrown out of the window. When at one time you would call someone an asshole (with a smile) for laying the banana peel that just cost you the race, now you’re subjected to being called every homophobic and racial slur in existence. Since you aren’t in the same room with your fellow players you don’t have to fear any type of reprisal for acting like an ignorant ass. You say what you want no matter who you might be offending. Make no mistake I enjoy a little trash talk from time to time, but my personal rule goes as such. If I say something to a friend without the idea of getting my head beat in, it’s OK to say. If I’m going to fearing for my life after I open my mouth then just keep it to myself.
Since the personal connection is no longer there during multiplayer games everyone can be an internet tough guy and this can really take away from the experience of any game. Any time someone starts to act up, the normal reaction is to mute them or even the entire chat in some cases. This further takes away from the game because not everyone acts like this. It takes away a vital part of communication you could use to actually win the game or match you’re playing, you might have even made friends with someone during match making and would like to play more with them and get to know them as a fellow gamer.
Without being in the same room with someone now, no matter what is said there will be reprisal and will just continue to take away from the experience. Now I’m not blaming children just yet, because they learn this behavior from their older brothers and sisters while watching them play. In the end it’s all about returning to your roots. Try to get your asshat friend that likes to call everyone the N bomb during a game to play a few games at your house. Every time he acts out make it known he’s being an douche and give him a nice smack up side his misguided head and give him something to thing about. Maybe then, and only then will more game feature side by side multiplayer.