Gamer Roulette: Group Gaming Guide
From Kanto to Hyrule, Mobius to Santa Destroy, Planet Reach to Little Big Planet, Cinema Student, Screenwriter, and all around gamer, Eric Parra is a bad enough dude to bring you your weekly fix on relative gaming. Whether it’s reviews, previews, or FAQ’s, matters that are professional or just personal, make sure you check Neon Tommy every week for all sorts of interesting tidbits in the world of video games. And remember, it’s dangerous to go alone.
“What is college life about?” A naïve incoming freshman may ask an older, more experienced freshman--not unlike myself. And to that I would answer that college life is about living each day with pride and enthusiasm, like a decked out University of Southern California Trojan at a UCLA Bruin’s Football game. Or that college life is about getting a fresh start and a new reputation, like an outdated comic book turned into a blockbuster movie. But mostly that college life is about getting the smash ball with Sonic and winning a match to a chorus of “cheap!” like a flock of birds that didn’t get their share of bread crumbs.
Analogies aside, one thing I have to say about college life is that it’s the best place to have some group gaming. All the kids are doing it, and you should too! “I like playing games. Games are fun!” Margaret Admire, a USC School Of Cinematic Arts and Occasional Video Game Club member commented while taking a break from her consecutive win streak in Smash Bros 64. As a counter, she added: “but usually the guys are more concerned with the games than the girls who are present, and it is very annoying that they just don’t care how much effort they put into their appearance.”
And there is more to it than the easy-to-pickup party games that get everyone to gather. There’s been many a time where groups would gather for Uncharted or Portal 2 Co-op, Call of Duty split-screen, and many a FIFA (that’s soccer if you were wondering).
“I know a lot of people at other colleges also play a lot of Smash, but I’m around a lot of FIFA, way more than I thought I’d be,” Baldur Tangvald, an Interactive Media gamer had to say. “A lot of guys are actually competitors, it’s crazy. They just sit around playing games, waiting for their turns and talking about games. It’s a gamefest.”
But it’s not just all fun all the time. Setting up can be a hassle, which Max Palazzo, also from IM, added on a technical side, “If you want to play a multi, it’s a big deal. Over in New North we have to clear the space, set up the projector, and it can be a lot of work. But there’s a lot of people interested. I’ve been playing a lot less online gaming and more split-screen.”
You see, when you game in a giant space, with friends, roommates, or just people who happen to stumble in because your door is open, you build a sense of companionship. There is a mutuality and understanding, even if you don’t know the person or understand what’s going on with the screen. Chances are, neither does the person next to you.
Jori Lynn Richman, a freshman in Theater Arts, gave her personal analysis that, “the transition from the isolated single gaming experience to the rambunctious social setting of a group entertains and integrates gamers on a new level. The experience moves beyond that of a simple button pushing-people can watch, cheer, and challenge in a way that single gamers cannot. But all and all, it’s pretty chill.”
This isn’t just a freshman thing though. Anyone can play video games, and anyone can get a group of people to do it. But your firsttime in college is probably the best time to set things up with a bunch of strangers that totally don’t creep you out. Or at least it could be, if more people were to know about and had access to public gaming.
Miranda Due, a double major in Interactive Media and International Relations had to say, “I see too many empty lounges. There needs to be more games set up in the dorms and apartments and everyone needs to join in. Even if you’re just watching, you’re participating and everyone feels more connected.”
So what’re you waiting for? Just hook up your gamestation, open up your doors, and start playing while making a lot of noise. Assuming an RA or your neighbors or whoever doesn’t put an end to your shenanigans, maybe you can convert them into best gaming buds.