VGT – Gaming is Better with a Friend

I was so thrilled that video game designer legend Scott Adams viewed and commented on my last post!  Read the post and comments here.  I sent him a short email after I was finished writing but I never thought that he would respond in such a way.  What a great and humble person.

I accidently left without clothing.  Text adventures are still humorous!

I accidently left without clothing. Text adventures are still humorous!

I pre-ordered and downloaded a demo of his latest text adventure, The Inheritance.  I look forward to writing a full review when the final version is released on Feb. 14, 2013.  When I played the demo, it was difficult at first as I had to relearn the way that interactive fiction works.  The other night, I searched for an hour just to find a single item.  Then the next day, I started over with a friend and we worked on it together.  I was amazed that the first thing he thought to do was to search for (and find) the item that I had originally spent so much time looking for.  I found that I was enjoying the entire experience so much more with a friend – just the way it used to be back when I was young.

It is dangerous to go alone!  Take this.

It is dangerous to go alone! Take this.

There are many ways to play games, but I have found that my best experiences have been playing with a friend in the same room.  From playing Combat and Asteroids on the Atari 2600 with childhood friend Robbie, to playing text adventures on the TRS-80 with Scott, to playing Street Fighter 2 on the SNES with Hannibal, and to Ocarina of Time on the N64 with my son Nate – my best and happiest times in gaming were when I had a friend by my side.  When I was with a friend, I didn’t always have to play, but I would participate by listening and looking for things that might be missed – or maybe by looking something up in a player’s guide.

Art by Nate - He can't stand Metroid Other M

Art by Nate – He can’t stand Metroid Other M

Then there are the times when I want to be by myself.  I might turn the lights down, put in a game, and turn the volume up just for an immersive experience.  I tried that recently with a free game on the Playstation Plus Network called The Living Dead  (Correction: The Walking Dead).  I was intrigued for a few reasons.  Reason one: it was free.  Reason two: I had heard about this show on TV and learned it was filmed in Georgia – which intrigued me.  Reason three: I had heard that the game really put you in some unusual situations in which you have to make choices that can really affect the game play.  So I installed the game and played some of it.  After about 40 minutes I couldn’t play it any longer.  Dealing with zombies was just too nerve wracking on my own.  I needed a buddy!

How do you find yourself playing a game?  Do you have a gaming friend or do you prefer to go it alone?  There is no wrong way, but for me gaming is better with a friend.

By the way, my friend Hannibal – that is his real name and he is a marvelous professional magician (chrishannibal.com).

4 thoughts on “VGT – Gaming is Better with a Friend

  1. Interactive game writing
    I ‘m writing an Interactive story called “The Alchemist” It’s about a kid (young man) with an Interest in Alchemy who is almost invisible in this world but very important somewhere (somewhen) else.One day a bunch of dwarves get on his bus and start a fight…
    Next part please!!!!

  2. [Edit: The Living Dead = The Walking Dead. ]

    Excellent post, Ted. You bring up an excellent point.

    But yeah, I totally played the first two episodes of Telltale’s Walking Dead by myself and realized I wanted to enjoy it with somebody else. Fortunately, my buddy Bobby absolutely loves the show and wanted to see the game. So he came in on the third episode. We finished the whole game together as the fourth and fifth episodes became available. He likes watching games as much as I like playing them, so it was even better. And my wife doesn’t like videogames at large, so it’s hard for me to find time to play games with somebody else. But yeah. Now that we have fun little Facebook communities to share things with, it’s really fun for sure. All gaming is best when it’s social.

    Great points.

    • I completely agree with you about how great community can be. My wife also has NO interest in video games. If I could find a buddy, I would love to go through those Walking Dead episodes. Are you going to go through all of them?

      • Actually, I already played through all of them. The last one, I couldn’t wait for my buddy so I played it myself and then let him play it when he came over. I’m considering a piece for Theology Gaming called, “Can You Play as Jesus In The Walking Dead?,” kinda following the theme I got going there.

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