You hear a lot about online games and social games in our ever-increasingly connected world. In fact, I think most of the games I’ve played recently have been online in some way. So much so, in fact, that I’m sick of it. I miss the good old days of playing in a room with a bunch of my friends, shouting at the TV. Thus, for your pleasure, I’ve compiled a list of five reasons that local co-op rules.
1. Actually Seeing Other Humans
Did you know that by playing games together, there’s a psychological bond of trust created between people? It’s true. I heard it on the internet or something… maybe it was like a TED talk. In all seriousness, though, actually getting face-time with your gaming buddies can be a challenge nowadays. Very few games support local co-op, and many of those that do are, well, not good at it. I like seeing my friends and playing games with them. Plus, how else would I show off all my random cool video game themed t-shirts?
2. No Waiting for Matching
Don’t get me wrong, matching can be great, but sometimes the wait times are killer! On Gears of War 2 I’ve waited more than five minutes sometimes– same goes for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. As a DPS in World of Warcraft I have to wait more than 30 minutes to do a random heroic. Those are precious minutes of my life ticking away. I mean, with all that wasted time waiting I could be doing something important. Like thinking up witty blog posts.
3. No Trolls!
How many times has this happened to you: you finally get matched in your game of choice, and then you’re stuck with someone either completely inept or who has apparently entered into a competition to be the most annoying twit on the face of the Earth. While normal social convention would work towards teaching the troglodyte how to behave, the online nature of your relationship with this person makes it nearly impossible to get across that you would rather date a cast-member of Jersey Shore than play with them. Local play eliminates this problem– provided you aren’t friends with a lot of trolls. You aren’t, are you?
I freakin’ love tournament-style play. It opens up a world of possibilities, match-ups, and ridiculousness. I have fond memories of doing local brawler tournaments with friends long into the wee hours of the night. I suppose you could do tournaments online, but do you really want the loser complaining that it was lag that killed them? Tournaments always have been, and I think always should be, local.
Can you have a party while playing online? If you said yes, you are unfortunately wrong. One of the best parts of playing a game locally is that the fun happens just by being in the same room as your friends. I bet that that when it comes to playing a game locally versus playing a game online, you’ll have more fun with the local play every single time. While online gaming has come pretty far, there’s really just no substitute for the real thing. (That’s what she said…)
So there you have it. I think it’s time for a local play resurgence.