I still remember to this day picking up the rocket launcher in Halo 2 on the Zanzibar map. I picked it up and looked over the edge of the ledge I was standing on. The four players from the other team game through the gate in the seawall. They looked like such morons in that moment. Three of them riding in the warthog, and one in the ghost. All packed up and headed to Camp Foreman to crush the defending team. They must have been so excited at the start of the match. They had all climbed into the warthog together so in my imagination there where all sitting in the same room in IRL playing a split screen. They passed directly beneath me and the ghost was right up alongside the warthog. All it took was one Rocket and all four of them died instantly. It is the only Killtacular I have ever achieved. That moment would never have really happened if I had not been playing with my older brother at the time. It is a memory I still think of , and I feel it would have lacked some of its luster if I had been alone.
In the age of social media and online connectivity I miss being with people while gaming. Growing up that was a big part of the experience. Your friends and siblings where part of the gaming experience with you. As a child we all crowded around the same 27 inch tube t.v. Talking turns with the only two controllers. Selecting game titles from a library that is smaller than my toddlers shoe collection.
In my teen years LAN parties became a real thing. A dozen or more people at times all in the same physical space fighting it out. Separate screens delivered the knowledge of who was a screen watcher. Those bastards could never keep up in a fair fight. While playing Soul Caliber round robin style I went around a 9 person circle twice with Sofita before relinquishing my king of the hill status.
Online gaming became a thing and changes slowly began to occur. At first it seemed like the internet would be a compliment to the gaming experience. I still played with people online. I would go over to friends a house, and we would split screen online and crush people. Slowly overtime we all seemed to retreat behind our screens of solitude, pushing the majority of game time into a solo process.
Please do not get me wrong! The internet has brought many awesome and amazing things into the gaming experience. Gaming as an E Sport, MMORPGS, and so many other new facets and features that to unwind the clock and go back to the good old days would be unthinkable. But I think we lost something. Those moments when amazing things happened and there was someone there to enjoy the moment. Those moments now are hard to capture.
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