If you read today’s title and instantly went to multiplayer pairing systems, you’re a huge geek and pretty much belong here. If you went to the other kind of party, you know having people over etc…, then you’re more accurate and if you went to political parties… well that’s just weird. I mean it wasn’t really a likely topic of discussion now was it? Silly person.
So anyway let’s talk about parties. You have a bunch of your mates round to have a bit of fun, possibly to consume a responsible amount of alcohol and even to eat some canapés if such is your desire. Of course you can’t just sit and eat canapés all night, you need something to do. The activity? Well it could be a video game.
“Video games at a party?” I hear you cry. “Surely such things are best saved for when you’re alone and not suitable for a canapé driven party.” Well you’d be wrong, and possibly from the 1980s. It actually does surprise me how much of a social activity games have become, and how many people you can get sitting around a TV wanting to get their hands on a controller.
I’m not really sure when the tipping point actually happened, when games shifted to a ‘proper’ social activity rather than something you did with maybe just one or two friends helping you clear a level. Quite possibly it was when Nintendo decided to put four controller ports on the N64 and then put out the highly addictive Mario Kart 64. When you moved from two to four player things instantly became a lot more social, letting you quickly rotate through a large group.
More recently of course we’ve seen a social boom from rhythm gaming and motion gaming. The lack of a ‘traditional’ pad seems to have opened gaming up to a lot more people, I think mimicking an actual action is a lot less intimidating than using a d-pad or analogue stick. People certainly seem a lot more willing to grab the Wiimote or guitar controller than they are to pick up a DualShock.
So are games part of your parties? Do you love to rock out with your friends? Or do the games consoles not get a look in when it’s party time?