Monday, January 25, 2010

Sociology of cooperative video games

Et tu, Mario?

I thought the Contra example was hilarious - I totally remember that feeling as well.

Most cooperative games lie in a vast middle ground, however, a no man's land between altruism and gaming Darwinism that offers up a host of ways to misbehave.

Part of the problem (and the joy) of playing games is that such behavior isn't explicitly condoned or condemned. Looting and friendly fire aren't forbidden by most games, which leaves us to figure out our own rules. This is the right decision: Good game designers allow players to be whoever they want and trust they'll come to their own consensus about what constitutes "fair play." That's why the New Super Mario Bros. Wii was more enjoyable when I played it as God intended—with a good friend and copious amounts of beer. There was no back-stabbing, and no one's feelings were hurt.

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