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Games Entertainment

Former Gamers Want More Social Games 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the world-of-facebookcraft dept.
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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Former Gamers Want More Social Games

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  • by internerdj (1319281) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:39PM (#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: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

      Maybe I work too much.

    • by Ogive17 (691899) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:51PM (#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.
      • by aliens (90441)

        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.

      • by Bragador (1036480)

        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

        • by rtb61 (674572)
          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.

      • by Reapy (688651)

        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 thi

        • by potat0man (724766)
          I'm with you, 25 and still look forward to an occasional weekend of gaming, alone. School and work have definitely cut down on the time available to do it. But mark my words, once grad school's done in a few years I'll be back to enjoying the maturing art form in long, solitary sessions.

          Though, since trashing video gaming as something for unimportant, intellectually-lazy people with nothing better to do is en vogue on slashdot right now narratives like ours will be kept hidden beneath the pile of highly-
          • by Reapy (688651)

            Yes all too true :)

            I think it might have to do with gaming/geek getting more mainstream so it's cool to talk about how I was there first before you, so I know how cool it is, but now I'm totally over that childish stuff and scoff at your frivolous habits!

    • by badasscat (563442)

      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

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        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
    • I find social networking a chore. I would much rather fire up a single-player game than tool around on Facebook. I really don't want to know that much about my friends, I'd rather spend time in person with them than rummage through their Facebook pages.

      Gaming for me is an escape from the social activities of the day. I am very fortunate that my wife and I have the same taste in games (we were in a TFC clan together, a WoW guild and both enjoy RPGs and strategy games) so we have some common ground and can t

  • by jolyonr (560227) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:40PM (#25458329) Homepage

    "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...

    • by Daimanta (1140543)

      Or maybe boardgames.

      Yeah yeah, get off of my lawn!

      • by nschubach (922175)

        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.

        • Seriously.

          Some of the best times I've had this past year have been playing Zombies!!!, Risk, or Settlers of Catan.

          If I do play computer/console games now, it's usually with other people -- either split screen or LAN.

          I still do play games in my own spare time, but how much time they get fluctuates quite a lot. It's definitely not as much as it used to be when I was younger.

    • by eln (21727)

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

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      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.

      • 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....

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          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 notice

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:47PM (#25458473)
    Split-screen multiplayer ain't so fucking great when you don't have any friends.
    • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:55PM (#25458639) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • by that IT girl (864406) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:10PM (#25458901) Journal
        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.
        • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:33PM (#25459339) Homepage Journal

          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.

        • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @05:10PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

            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 additio

            • by Dutch Gun (899105)

              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.

            • 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
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          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^)
        • by Draek (916851)

          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 decade

        • by pizzach (1011925)

          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.

        • by Reapy (688651)

          Holy shit, can we take the rose colored glasses off please.

          Please, please, go find a mid 90's pc gamer mag, and read it. I bet you will see 30 pages of "OMFG GAMEPLAY OVER GRAPHICS PLEASE"

          Yes, back then, that blurry blob of a weapon icon was FUCKING SWEET GRAPHICS. Look at wing commander now. It looks like a blurry piece of shit, right? WRONG, that was JAWDROPPING AMAZING GRAPHICS when it was released. Jawdropping. No, I'm not joking.

          Graphics are a part of gaming. They really are. For some generas of games

          • And if the graphics are what does it for you, more power to you! I'm sure you're having the time of your life these days. But for me... hell, Crono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, Seiken Densetsu are still games I love and play to this day. I'm thinking you will really like it when/if we get virtual reality type games, where you can really immerse yourself in a digitally-rendered environment. :) I will too, but for me the actual step-by-step, the dialogue, the gameplay is what does it. And there really are a lot
            • by Reapy (688651)

              See, I think we get pleasure from these old games because to some extent is like flipping through a photo album. I can go back and play dragon warrior and love it, even though it is simplistic pile of crap compared to what you can play now a days, but I like it cause it was my first console style RPG.

              But take crono trigger, I never got to play it back in the day, and going back to it, I found the graphics pretty bad, and the dialog very simple and short, not having much depth at all. But then I could go ba

  • by Wiarumas (919682) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:48PM (#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.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:49PM (#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. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EWAdams (953502)

      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.

      • by Ogive17 (691899)
        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? :)
    • by Endo13 (1000782)

      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

    • 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
  • 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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:51PM (#25458561) Homepage

    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.

    • by compro01 (777531)

      This would probably sell in Singapore.

      Or Korea.

    • by Sporkinum (655143) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:28PM (#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.

      • by DerWulf (782458)
        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.
        • by Sporkinum (655143)

          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.

  • by Quantus347 (1220456) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:53PM (#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.
    • by Wiarumas (919682)
      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.
    • by Chickan (1070300)
      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!
    • 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, an

    • 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.
    • by Phroggy (441)

      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

      • Starcraft ALREADY did this...

        http://www.battle.net/scc/faq/multi.shtml [battle.net]

        "Just what is "Team" play?
        Team games add a whole new level to cooperative play. Set before the game starts, a Team is effectively one side controlled by two or more players. Resources, technologies, and vision are all shared by the Team members, who don't have to play the same species. Unit control is also shared-- units that are currently selected by your teammates are marked so that you won't accidentally override your teammate's orders

    • 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 mos
    • 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

    • by Tryfen (216209)

      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.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      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).

    • This exists already. I forget what game though :( I think someone mentioned age of empires... I think another game has it as well, I remember this game style existing for RTS games out there.

  • by Fallingcow (213461) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:54PM (#25458625) Homepage

    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! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eddy the lip (20794) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:58PM (#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.

    • by mobby_6kl (668092)

      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

      • There are still UT99 servers around? That's still one of my favorite takes on the genre. I miss Liandri Core.

        I'm going to have to try finding a few good servers again. A friend of mine was on about (some FPS he's into) the other day, and he also maintained it was just a matter of finding the right game and the right server. I'm old and crotchety, so I may have just let myself get too cynical about online gaming over the years ;)

        Thanks for the Quake Wars recommendation. The canned message system sounds like

        • by spyder913 (448266)

          3 Liandri Core, and UT99 in general. I played sooo many hours of this back in college.

          I still load up UT99 once in a while and destroy bots on Deck and Liandri for a couple of hours.

  • 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.
  • by blindbat (189141)

    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 b

    • by Hatta (162192)

      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.

    • 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] ;-)

    • by grumbel (592662)

      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 t

  • 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.
    • by tepples (727027)

      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?

      • by Chickan (1070300)
        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.
  • 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.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:51PM (#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.

  • 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.

  • by cailith1970 (1325195) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @06:19PM (#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!

  • 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.

  • by bonch (38532) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @07:55PM (#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!

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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 wi

    • by Reapy (688651)

      I think you are making the mistake in thinking that your kids are you, and represent the entire generation. Even their friends and neighborhood kids, don't really represent EVERYBODY.

      I mean in general gaming is an 'accepted' hobby in school now. Way back I felt I had to hide it cause it was wierd and dorky. Now the geek thing seems to be "in". That's one landscape difference.

      For me, I got so wrapped up in games and books cause I didn't have many friends growing up. I had lots of time to explore every nook a

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