I Miss Watching Other People Play Games

I’ve realised I miss watching other people play games. That’s perhaps a strange thought, given the ubiquity of Twitching live-streams and long plays on YouTube – but that’s really not what I mean. I mean sitting in the same room and watching as someone I know plays the game. It’s just not something that happens to me any more.

One of my favourite things about my wife, Laura, is that she has no interest whatsoever in video games. She doesn’t hate them, she just doesn’t doesn’t care that they exist. She remembers playing Bomb Jack (despite being 1 when the game came out), and boasts that the only game she’s ever completed is the 20 minute-long Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure. This is brilliant. After very many years of house-sharing with other games journos, having a way to briefly step outside of the gaming world proves a pleasing alternative. For instance, Laura has yet to ask me my thoughts about the Fallout 4 menu screen, and is unlikely to ponder what Epic’s new game could be. And yet…

Growing up, my dad was a keen gamer, from the ZX81 onward. An enormous chunk of my childhood was spent sitting next to him at the kitchen breakfast bar, watching him play games on the Atari ST. I wrote in 2009 about watching him play Dungeon Master, but that was one of so many games during which he somehow put up with my presence. “Dad, why are you doing that?” “Dad, why didn’t you kill that guy?” “Dad, can I have a quick go, please, PLEASE?” When we got an extension on the house and dad got his own study, the invasion of his privacy only grew, and as I got older competition for screen time grew. But still, I fondly remember watching as he played Betrayal At Krondor (I could never get my head around the grid-combat, but loved solving the chest puzzles), UFO: Enemy Unknown, and a game I cannot ever imagine deliberately playing on my own, Civilisation. I enjoyed puttling the ships around, discovering new coasts, but the moment a graph appeared I was done. To watch though, it was oddly compelling.

A hundred and fifty years ago, when I illegally lived with the esteemed Jon Hicks in a rather shoddy flat at the top of Bath (whenever the letting agents came around I had to hide in town, because I rather obviously wasn’t called “Chrissy”), I picked up the habit again. Our living room looked like an elephant had been shopping at Curries, with two or three televisions at any time hooked up to a myriad of consoles new and old.

Here, at the end of a long day writing about games I’ve played, it was a real pleasure to lie down on the couch and watch Jonty play games I wasn’t writing about. I most especially remember Burnout 3: Takedown. To this day I’ve never played a minute of that brilliant-looking game, but I’ve watched it for hours and hours. My role was to cheer loudly as the ludicrous crashes raked enormous scores, without ever having to lift a finger. Drink was spilt, pizza was wiped on furniture.

Then later when I was in a house with Craig Pearson and Graham Smith of this parish, well, if we weren’t gathering to watch House or America’s Next Top Model, someone was likely peeking at a game someone else was playing. Most commonly I’d watch Craig playing TF2 (and far more commonly hear him ferociously slam his mouse on the desk and scream in his Scottish screamy brogue through the wall and know he was playing TF2).

And I miss it! I miss the lazy entertainment of blobbing on the sofa and seeing a game get played for me. And YouTube just doesn’t count, not least because were I in the same room as most of those people I’d have garrotted myself with a controller cable. It needs to be someone known for it to work, someone to whom I can chat as it’s happening, even if (especially if) it’s just to mock them for screwing up. Not co-op, no no, just the completely passive experience of watching a chum play a game. With my son only 1, I’ve still got a bit of a wait before he’s any use. And, well, it seems a bit weird/creepy to suggest I pop round someone’s house to watch them… So yup, I miss that.

(Top image stolen from Operation Burnout.)

This post was made for the RPS Supporter Program. Subscribe and your money will go towards funding great new articles and videos. Already a member? Thanks for your support!

Sponsored links by Taboola

More from the web

From this site


  1. Marblecake says:

    Absolutely. I used to watch my brother play all the time and before we had a computer of our own I spent most of my free time watching the kid next door play all his games. His parents had showered him with *all* the consoles (NES, SNES, Gameboy) and even a PC. That’s where I learned about X-Wing, Mario, Wing Commander and the like.

    One of my fondest gaming memories is actually a hybrid of this and actual playing. When Diablo was first released, the game was too fucking creepy to play alone. So two friends and me would gather around the PC and cooperate thusly:
    One of us would control the character with the mouse, another would be in charge of the keyboard and potions, and the third would sit and watch and give helpful comments – and enjoy having the willies scared out of him. When the creep-factor and pressure became to large for the players, we switched it up.
    Those were truly golden days.

  2. aoanla says:

    I kinda share the sentiment of this article, although I do think that it’s possible to get most of the effect from carefully chosen Twitch or YouTube streamers. (Many of them are… difficult… yes, but there’s a couple of people who I get on with as humans, and who I’ve watched long enough to have developed something of a [one-directional] relationship with, which isn’t quite the same as the “watching a friend play games” experience, but is often close enough.)

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Recommendations? Literally everyone I’ve tried annoys me in various ways, though I think Day9 has the most redeeming qualities as a fun thing to watch.

      • chase4926 says:

        I’d recommend Chip and Ironicus, Retsupurae, and most other LPers found through lparchive.org

      • GWOP says:

        Do video game diaries count as Let’s Plays? If so, you can try Matt Lee’s Cool Ghosts channel. I rather enjoyed their Subterfuge Diaries (featuring our very own Pip, Leigh & Quinns), which was a spiritual successor to RPS’ Solium Infernum Diaries.

        There’s also ellaguro, whose Doom Mixtapes are soothing and informative.

        You might also give Richard Cobbett’s channel (he of Saturday Crapshoot fame) a shot if you ar hanking for some ancient obscure weird games.

        There’s also Research Indicates, but he doesn’t post very often. But if you want a non-obnoxious Tresspasser playthrough, can’t recommend anyone better.

      • atowncalledbastard says:

        For strategy stuff, quill18 is excellent – as is Marbozir. Sips is amusing, and certainly a lot more tolerable than his Yogscast compadres. Cool Ghosts is doing some great stuff, as someone else mentioned.

        And, uh, me. I suppose. A Town Called Bastard.

      • MikoSquiz says:

        I’m quite fond of post-JonTron Game Grumps (when JonTron was still on board he tended to be a bit much for me, constantly singing and shouting and just generally Putting On A Performance).

        Their modus operandi tends towards “play a game in the background unobtrusively while talking absolute bollocks and giggling”, which is perfect for my tastes. Some of their series are more gameplay-focused, such as the recent 60+ episode Bloodborne playthrough, and those I don’t enjoy as much.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    I probably watched my older brother play Crusader: No Regret and Diablo in their entirety. It would be another five years before he would actually let me play them myself.

  4. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    I remember being amazed watching a flatmate playing World Of Warcraft, as part of a pretty elite 25 man raid (along with another flatmate on the floor below).
    Listening to the guild master managing to wrangle twenty four squirely geeks to all head to the same dungeon, and to all co-operate to bring down the boss. All swapping tactics when he called out changes, well, it was pretty impressive.
    It changed the way I look at WoW and other MMOs, I still think they’re a bit rubbish as games but I have new appreciation of those who play them well.

    In my current house we did have fun playing through GTA V, with a rotating cast of friends sat on the couch, swapping the controller back and forth. sometimes communal gaming is the best.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Dorga says:

    Also playing tandem singleplayer games. Doom “you shoot, I move” is the best Doom.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      My best experience with this was X-Wing or TIE Fighter with one person on the joystick, the other co-piloting the keyboard (finding targets, handling the power to lasers/shields, etc).

    • wwwhhattt says:

      I played Half Life 2 this way with my younger brother. It very quickly became a competitive game…

    • Letmetrythat says:

      Great! We did that too. Played Tomb Raider 1 that way – it was hell of a good time and we actually were pretty good at it, “you jump and shoot and climb and I use the arrow keys”.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I can’t say I ever really did this since I was a child, but back then, in the early 90s I liked to watch my big brother play some of the Lucas Arts adventures. I don’t think I helped with the puzzles a lot, but I do remember laughing at the jokes with him.

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      I mentioned that a few times: that is exactly the way to play adventure games. Two or more people playing the same game, getting stuck, calling the other guy, asking for tips.

  7. Phasma Felis says:

    I miss being able to just chill on the couch with friends for hours at a time. Apparently we, as a society, have decided that this is Not Done after age 25. I dunno what the hell I’m supposed to do for the next 50 or so years, then.

  8. Premium User Badge

    moms says:

    There was no such thing as video games, when I was growing up. In fact, as I look back, the adults in my young life didn’t play games much at all.. unless you wanna count poker and gin.
    My mom would play Scrabble with her brother, occasionally. I used to like to watch that. I enjoyed watching them form (and sometimes discuss)the words.
    Heck, I’ve only been playing video games for 8 or 9 years, myself (about 1/6th of my life) and the only person who’s ever watched me is my husband (whose opinion on gaming is much like Laura’s)and our cat (who is really only interested in watching the ball in Rocket League.)
    Can’t imagine I’d ever enjoy being watched by another “gamer,” however there are a few I know I would enjoy watching.

  9. ulix says:

    WHen I was 19 or 20 I always hung out with a friend and we got stoned and played games together on his hacked PS2 with a hard-drive full of pirated games. Good times…

    God of War 1 & 2, Burnout 3 & Takedown, Ratchet & Clank 1-3… I remember it fondly, one of us playing, the other rolling up the next joint…

    • apa says:

      We used to do GTA3 mayhems: hook the pc to the TV and take turns just to create most chaos in the game. This was, of course, entertainment for drinking before hitting the bars.

      • Krashmoney says:

        We used to take turns play GTA as well, seeing how much mayhem one person could cause before getting taken down, and see what crazy shenanigans we could cause.

        Then we discovered that GTA: San Andreas has a two-player mode with this exact form of play in mind: play as two people that can share cars and are tied together with an invisible tether so you cant wander TOO far from each other, and cause co-op mayhem trying to survive the cops as long as possible.

        Add in beers, and cheats for lots of ammo and health, flying cars and free fighter jets, and you have the most hilarious fun times I’ve ever had playing a video game. Period. :)

        • TheAngriestHobo says:

          That sounds very familiar. My friends and I did the exact same thing, trying to get five stars for as long as possible and switching off every time one of us died. It worked until one of us discovered that if you put a cliff between you and the road, the cops would send endless waves of cruisers plummeting off the edge in a vain attempt to reach you. At that point a lot of the challenge evaporated… although the comedy certainly escalated.

      • Premium User Badge

        Edski says:

        Replace bars with raves and that pretty much fits my GTA 3 styles.

  10. Ergonomic Cat says:

    At the risk of sounding flippant: Have some kids. ;)

    My son is 9, my daughter is 8. They are now at the age where they want to watch me and my wife play, and where I can watch them play without pain.

    Of course the next level is playing stuff like Ark or TF2 *with* my kids.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Haywardan says:

    “And YouTube just doesn’t count, not least because were I in the same room as most of those people I’d have garrotted myself with a controller cable.”

    I have the same reaction watching Tom Francis play. Nor in terms of personality, but for someone with such a keen insight into game systems, he doesn’t half miss obvious things staring him in the face.

    • Premium User Badge

      bonuswavepilot says:

      I’ve noticed this with a couple of LP folks – I think it comes down to the extra pressure of trying to play for an audience, or not wanting to spend too long reading stuff or searching for options because it ends up being ‘dead air’.

      They can be an interesting window into irritating PC-use habits too – watched the Idle Thumbs guys do a Crusader Kings II stream a while back, and Nick’s habit of clicking repeatedly on non-interactive areas while thinking drove me nuts.

      • thaquoth says:

        As someone who has tried this before (more as an easy way to improve my ability of speaking English freely, worked out quite well actually) I can say that playing well and talking constantly (and not gibberish) at the same time is actually not easy.

        Looking back at my old videos I missed so much stuff that is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS when you just watch the videos. Can be slightly infuriating but that’s just what diverting your focus does I guess.

  12. icecoldbud says:

    For me I watched my eldest daughter watching me play age of empires. She patiently waited until I expanded to the next area and when it was time to build the next base and set up the workers etc. she yelled yes, its my turn now as she loved cutting the trees gathering etc. but hated the fighting. Good times. She moved on to sims, go figure, and I moved on to everything else. Then I watched my youngest daughter watch my older daughter playing the sims. Then a turn of events as my youngest daughter found spore and I watched my older daughter watch my younger daughter play that. Good fun!

  13. MadTinkerer says:

    My brother is physically disabled and can’t drive himself. The bus schedule is somewhat limited where we live, so he can have a part-time job, but not a full-time one. So he lives with me.

    I suppose we shouldn’t take it for granted that we can sit down and play games together on a daily basis. Even though we’re both in our thirties.

    Super Mario Maker is the best game ever made, by the way. Undertale is pretty darn good, but it doesn’t let my brother make new Mario levels for me and it doesn’t let me make new Mario levels for him. So by that criteria Undertale is only the second best game ever made, and Super Mario Maker is the first.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      You sound like an awesome brother. :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Edski says:

      Props to you for looking out for your brother like that. Respect.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Third the above.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Good job man. My brother is mentally disabled(hit by a car as a kid/brain damage) and life is hard for him. I help him out whenever I can and my mom just tossed him out on his ass(to be fair he punched my moms new boyfriend). I know how it is.

      • Premium User Badge

        Edski says:

        That’s gotta be tough man. Best wishes from this random internet stranger.

  14. PancakeWizard says:

    Article has a very retro feel to it, but the practice hasn’t died out, only personal circumstances really. I’m 34 and have a 2 year old daughter, but I still get to play the odd game on my telly with my partner happily watching and giving advice or helping me figure out problems. The trick is just find the right game that’s interesting to them. The Batman games, Portal 2 and Bioshock went down well for me.

  15. Zakkeh says:

    My sister just started playing Mad Max through Steam’s in-home streaming. It’s really fun watching someone pretty inexperienced with games play, trying to figure it out and overcome the challenges.

  16. WaitWhatHow says:

    O boy this article hit a good note. I have 2 younger brothers, a niece, and nephew around my age, and only 1 Nintendo when we were kids. A rather loud and large family (think of Shameless, but with real parents lol). I don’t know if you’ve ever see Super Mario World played by committee, but it was interesting to say the least. Probably the thing we argued most on was whether to skip to levels we like with Star Road, or play through them.

    It’s funny, here it is 2016, I’m about to turn 30, and yet at thanksgiving we crowd around the T.V. watching my brother play Fallout 4 and comparing base designs. Now little ones join in too, but our Brother-in-Law just doesn’t get it.

  17. uugengiven says:

    This is the reason that I started my own LAN center. I grew up with a much older brother and then a closer younger brother. We played games together all the time and as we got friends in school, they came and played too. A lot of times, “playing together” was just passing a controller back and forth. That grew into talking about games together and having as much fun discussing the rules behind XCom or Baldur’s Gate as it was to play them.

    It turns out, after having run my gaming center for a while, that people still really like to just hang out and play games with their friends. We have a lot of people, me included, who are happy to just watch and take turns playing. Twitch is cool but just isn’t the same as having someone in the same room as you. But when someone has driven a sports car up the side of a mountain in GTA5 for the 10th time, it’s easier to deal with in person than it is when someone on Twitch/Youtube is doing the same thing.

  18. amateurviking says:

    I used to play games with my brother like this and I miss it a lot.

  19. TheAngriestHobo says:

    John, I’ll be playing Spelunky in an hour or two. Bring beer.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    Look, I am 38 now and I still do that, but I am one of those outsiders that skipped the part where you have children or get married, just because not being straight. I will die alone and broken, but till then I will watch my flatmates play video games from time to time, among other things.

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      Broke. But broken has some poetry.

      • Unclepauly says:

        You can’t get married where you live? Also isn’t adoption always a possibility?

        • Premium User Badge

          Risingson says:

          It depends on your plans of the future, and your actual situation. Have you all people always been partnered, for example? Right now I cannot even afford having a cat (I could not pay the attention it would deserve).

  21. Slinkusss says:

    Well watching others play games is all well and good… except that they invariably do it wrong, and I am compelled to remove them from the controls in service to mankind.

    Honestly, I mean who goes through far cry 2 crouched the whole time?! Crouched!? Who?! Whooooo??!!!!

    • Unclepauly says:

      That would be painful yes.

    • Premium User Badge

      Edski says:

      I can still remember my 3 year old twin nephews playing Mario cart 64 by holding down the accelerator and keeping the analogue stick glued to the left. I blame their parents.

  22. pertusaria says:

    Great article, thanks.

    I watched my boyfriend play most of Ocarina of Time on the N64, which was great fun (and helpful when I eventually got the re-release on 3DS). I’d never had an N64, and his was at his parents’ house so it wasn’t practical for us to take turns on separate saves, given our limited time there.

    We co-op played the Discworld Noir point-and-click, which was brilliant, but not exactly the same as what you describe. I frequently watch him play Football Manager and Nethack, though.

  23. Don Reba says:

    Talking to someone via Skype while they stream their game for you is close, except that all streaming services have at least a 10-second delay. This seriously degrades the experience. Why can’t we have a streaming service without a noticeable delay? OnLive managed to stream game video with an almost interactive latency.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Steam’s pretty diabolical—it’s close to fifteen seconds.

      I don’t know how much of that is not chasing low-latency tech, and how much of it stupidly assuming everything is competative play and real-time streaming would be used to cheat.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Edski says:

    Vicarious video gaming may be the best kind. GTA 3 taught me this lesson, running many hours per day on a projector (640×480) via ps2. People who had no interest whatsoever in video games would actively seek out the controller, and then commit horrible atrocities with wide eyed wonder. Carjacking simulators really bring people together.

  25. racccoon says:

    We had groups of about 5-8 people who used to meet at the next persons home every week,sometimes 2 to 3 days in week we’d play games in a pass it on situation, there we’d all swap code & music created, along with ideas for intros & mini games. we’d all have an enthusiasm to meet, & having a real deep discussions on gaming and computer coding & advancement. At times we’d be their so long we would not know it was past midnight, Then off to work. Unfortunately.. today they’ve gone & hid away somewhere like me, its an isolation with only family now if you have one lucky I do.
    Look as you walk down the street, all the windows are closed, some with shutters, the doors closed, and houses look like cells, those people pop out once in while & never really say hello much. Its friggin sad that this is what life has become. The governments are so pleased about it, we are all concreted into a box, beings as from that old Metropolis movie. Regimental & working for an order.
    I would love to turn the clock back..I tried, it doesn’t work. :(
    For today just go into any queue of any kind & all you’ll see is people heads inside a phone & not communicating at all they maybe with friends but their heads are somewhere else.
    That’s the break down of yesterdays communication..
    Unfortunately it all boils down from the very thing that started it all… Technology.

  26. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    I was oddly proud when last year my son showed this ancient game – HOMM3 – to a bunch of his friends, and it hooked them so bad they were doing playing hot seat for hours huddled around his laptop. While the console with the big screen sat ignored right beside them.

    Which proved 2 things to me – one, a classic like this is never out of style, and two, I’ve raised him right :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Edski says:

      Heroes of Might and Magic 3 was pretty epic. I remember doing sessions of it pretty similar to what you describe (peeps huddled around a laptop) while in high school.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I too felt oddly proud when my son was playing online Starcraft 2 when it released (he was seven). He mostly got crushed though, so my oddly proudness faded steadily. Still, I do feel proud that he isn’t a straight up console bro and has some PC roots.

  27. clive dunn says:

    My daughters (7 and 9) are lucky to have such a plethora of great games to play. Especially 2 player co-op games. Spelunky, Lovers in and dangerous spacetime, Gang Beasts (they don’t fight, they just do acrobatics together), Towerfall and currently Lego Worlds. My eldest is going to write a weekly games review for her school magazine as apart from a few boys playing Minecraft, there doesn’t seem to be any of her peers actually playing these games.
    I might stop buying plastic tat for her to give her friends on their birthdays and start dishing out Steamkeys instead.

  28. OmNomNom says:

    So get more friends / become single (its never too late).

  29. Megazell says:

    I never really enjoyed watching others game. When I was young I would watch others game in the arcade to size them up for challenges in competitive games. Wages on MK III and X-Men: Children Of The Atom pay for my college meals. When I became a Dad I began to enjoy watching my kids learn to game. My oldest started out on DooM. She loved it because I played it so much and it was her dream to “own” her Dad one day in 1v1. My 2nd youngest loves to play exploring games and I’ve learn to appreciate these types of games for what the joy they bring to her. My lady loves UT and QUAKE. While she has tried other games she always goes back to UT99 and now Quake Live *though WINE, though* – I love to see her take on her rivals and some of her brothers when she plays online. As your kid grows – you will come to see so many angles to gaming that the hobby will be more art then you can imagine and that’s probably the best part of watching others enjoy games.

  30. MrNash says:

    To think, this article could have been called John Likes to Watch. Missed opportunity. Reading this, it makes me miss hot seat games more than anything. Those were always the most fun moments of watching others play games while growing up.

  31. Synesthesia says:

    Oh yes. Me and my brother go way back with this. We probably have a full run on FF7, with me playing and he cheering. Same with resident evil 2.

    I’ve found dota has filled that niche now. Whenever i’m at my parent’s house, he boots up dota 2, plays a few games, and I comment. It’s a blast. Thank god for the new wave of couch multiplayer, everything’s coming back to us. Towerfall and Samurai Gunn in particular is becoming a very sane fraternal competition area.

    • Premium User Badge

      Edski says:

      I’m probably not meant to bring up consoles, but the couch co-op for Divinity Original Sin on ps4 is excellent, particularly if you and your brother like playing rpgs together.

  32. mika76 says:

    Me too. I find it so lonely playing games these days. I used to sit with my friends around a single PC and play adventure games (hehe guys screaming try this, or what if you…) or civilization or playing against each other on one keyboard in ironman offroad. Later when someone got a PS1 we would gather together (about 4-5 of us) and take turns playing a game until someone died or we would play Tekken against each other. Games used to be a lot more social.

    One note though – I have a daughter now who likes to play a game here and there and sitting with her and teaching her the game or just watching her brings along the same feeling. So if you miss it, have kids ;)

  33. Sin Vega says:

    One of my fondest memories is the summer of 2007, in the wake of a terrible heartbreak and miserable transfer from a happy little workplace with lovely people to an asbestos-and-dust tosshole full of eejits, was of buying my first ever console, a second hand funsquare 360, and a copy of Crackdown.

    I only had one controller and no way to save the game, so pretty much every night my oldest friend (who lived literally round the corner) would come over in the evening, we’d cook something and get a couple of drinks in, and take turns playing Crackdown, occasionally pausing to talk and solve all the world’s stupid problems, until he stumbled home, usually when it started to get light.

    We’d done the same thing on PC, with games like Hitman 2 an old favourite, but that’s my overriding memory of that otherwise horrible summer.

    Relatedly, while I was glad when games finally remembered that co-op is a thing, I’m still sad that split screen multiplayer is so overlooked. Online just isn’t the same.

  34. Strategist says:

    One other thing is that most LetsPlayers prefer an endless monologue to breathing. Thats a significant difference to my experiences with watching people play in real life! Back then we would talk about the game from time to time or laugh about it. But then again there were segments of silence. Sort of silence one can only enjoy with a friend. And not to mention the smell :)
    It so happened that I launched a gaming channel lately without words but text. It also always has fresh music from FMA.
    In case anyone is interested

    gosh, that was sneaky …

  35. Agnosticus says:

    I remember fondly trying to sneak on my brother and/or sister while they were playing games like Phantasmagoria, Warcraft 1 and Tomb Raider, to get a peak or two on games I was too young to play. Mostly got chased away shortly after. Ah, good times! :D

  36. Unsheep says:

    With Steam and multiplayer focus there’s no good reason to sit down with friends.

    Playing with friends also forces you to compromise and play games you might otherwise not play, and we wouldn’t want our ignorance challenged now would we ?

  37. dangermouse76 says:

    Me and my friends who game still meet up 4-5 times a month and couch co-op or just watch the other play something whilst having a few beers and a catch up.
    Given how busy we all are we do try to make the time for it. Recently I have got back into board gaming as well Pandemic/Carcassonne which is a great. As said above already it’s a great way to see games you may not play.
    And in reality it’s just a fun way to hang out with friends.

    If you miss it……….Go and do it. It makes me sad to hear someone describe socially interacting like this as creepy. We are physical beings as well Mental.

  38. JamesTheNumberless says:

    John Walker you’re a one-man nostalgia factory. I guess what I miss most about watching other people play was that other thing that nobody does anymore – trying to help eachother finish a game, especially a good adventure game. The best kinds of games to watch others playing were always the ones where you could drive from the back seat. It was never terribly satisfying to watch someone play Sonic, but being present when someone was trying to make a dent on the latest puzzle in [insert Lucasarts or Sierra game of your choice here] was a different matter… Also bonus points for finding yet another application for that Dungeon Master screenshot.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Oh, and I’ve just remembered all the time spent at Uni with my flatmates trying to beat Majora’s Mask – that was mental, we had our own charts and timelines of what the postman was doing, etc, up on the walls either because we hadn’t realised there was an in-game timeline or because we wanted to work on the puzzles while someone else was hacking through a dungeon.

      I’m pretty sure there was a walkthrough online (although this was a couple of years before the word “walkthrough” was particularly well known in the UK, and it was hard to find them when your google searches never included the word!), and that we’d even seen it, but cheating was far from acceptable!

  39. Agricola says:

    I miss it too. For much of my 20’s I had one good friend who was as deeply into gaming as me. We spent manys the ‘wasted’ weekend playing on our first serious gaming pc’s back in the early 2000s. LAN sessions were the done thing because there wasnt anything approaching a broadband connection in our neck of the woods (and wouldnt be for many more years to come). Sadly online MP and going over that magic age of 25 have put paid to all that. The irony is we are more connected and capable of gaming than ever, but we never do anymore. Life happened. There certainly is nothing like passing a controller around and watching someone play. Shouty idiots on youtube pale in comparison.