Video games have been an integral part of my life as long as I can remember and gaming with others has been a part of that since I first picked up a gamepad. One of my earliest memories of gaming was Combat on the Atari 2600 with my sister and cousin and I can confidently say that I was one of the most vile and toxic little bastards to ever pick up an Atari joystick.
Like Joffrey, but with a bigger sense of entitlement.
The Atari was well suited as a 2-player console, mainly because it was so painfully primitive and awful. I was only 5 years old at the time and even at that age where I didnít know jack, I knew that the Atari 2600 was utter shit. Playing single player games on the unit was horrible and boring. I would rather go outside and play in nature, LIKE AN ANIMAL! However, get another person into the game, get those competitive juices flowing, and before you know it, a joystick has been smashed, someone is crying and the dog has pissed himself and is hiding under the couch terrified. FUN!
Atari eventually gave way to the NES where the games improved greatly, but I honestly never felt that the 8-bit generation was great for 2-player gaming. I really canít remember many great 2-player games from that era, but feel free to jog my memory in the comments. If you make a good point, I will gladly give myself a Ribbon of Shame.
With the exception of Tecmo Bowl, the 8-bit era was the golden age of single player narrative games, where the goal was to ďsave the princessĒ rather than getting the high score and or pummeling your opponent into submission. Tecmo Bowl, however was an amazingly fun game for this generation that was great for 2-players that caused many a wet willy, wedgies, super atomic wedgies, and general mayhem. God forbid anyone selected the Raiders with the terminator-like Bo Jackson. That was an action that was punishable by waterboarding. Selecting the Raiders was a faux pas of epic proportions that could lead to banishment and or someone leaving a paper bag of dog shit on your front steps and setting it on fire.
Bo knows football, and how to ruin childhood friendships.
The 16-bit era of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis was fantastic for 2-player gaming. EA was crapping out some good sports games at the time. Yes, they were nowhere near as realistic as today, but they were a blast to play. NHL í94 is perhaps the greatest sports game ever and I fucking hate hockey, but when I played that game I became an animal. If I checked you and took one of your best players out of the game, I would storm around the room like I was high on PCP.
At this time you also had Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat which were ridiculously fun and are meant for 2-player competition. It was all about the trash talk and bragging rights. Also, donít even think about using Blanka you dirty fucker. What is Blanka anyway? What is his story? Why is he green? Why is he electrically charged? Iím telling you, his mere existence is an affront to the entire Street Fighter universe.
Whatís interesting is that during the Playstation and beyond, I began to mellow out when it came to 2-player gaming. I attribute this to a number of things. I got older and my friends got older. Gaming became more of a solitary pursuit. Sure there were instances when we would all meet up and play a game of Madden, but nowhere near the frequency that I used too. Also, online multi-player exploded. Instead of playing a game against someone whoís sitting next to me on the couch, Iím playing against multiple strangers online, who are probably not wearing any pants, like me.
Today, gaming with me is boring as hell. If you had to chose gaming with Spieler Dad or getting a prostate exam, take the exam, and bring the lube. Gaming is an escape for me now. It is an opportunity to take a break from the massive pile of bullshit that I deal with on a daily basis. Itís a break from dealing with the endless morons and kiss asses at work, itís a break from all the responsibilities of being a dad for a short while, and itís a welcome break from the grind of bills, budgets, and all those things that I never thought of when I was younger.
So much better than playing Gears of War with Spieler Dad
You better believe that when I sit down to play a game, the last thing I want is drama or aggravation. That means that the little racist fuck screaming into his head-set, eat shit and die. The asshole that is barking orders to his team acting like General Patton, Iím avoiding you like the plague. The sore loser who drops out of a game when itís obvious that winning is not possible, I hope you get consumption and every old-timey disease in existence.
Iím here to cure you of the douche.
So there you have it. Gaming with Spieler Dad is awful. Iíve turned into an old fart of gaming. Iím like the old man yelling at the teens to lower that racket. Iím the grandpa telling the neighborhood kids to get of my lawn. Iím the old fart at the gym walking on the treadmill watching the goddamn Weather Channel. So just leave me alone and just give me some peace and quiet, because I just want to relax (without pants) and play a game.