There was a time when playing video games was a hobby you did on your own. You had your own Game Boy and if you were lucky, you had a good friend that could come to your house and bring his own Game Boy with him and you two could play the same game and have a great time together. In time new technical innovations appeared: the Nintendo Game Link Cable. It allowed players to connect Game Boys of all types and in that way you could finally really play together. Depending on the game, a Game Link Cable could be used to link two games of the same title, like Tetris, or two compatible games like Pokémon Red and Blue. You could have a real head-to-head competition, trade items or unlock hidden features. That was huge fun!
The gaming world opened up even further in console gaming when the Game Boy Advance Link cable came along and could connect the GameCube to the Game Boy Advance. That way you could download use the GBA as a second screen or as a second controller, but even more important, you would get extra content in your GameCube game, little mini games or you could do things like move Pokémon from one game to another. Some games took it even further: Animal Crossing on the GameCube was, as it often is, a leader in innovations in gaming. It had its own memory stick. On it you could copy data from your game, allowing your little villager to travel by train (actually, by ‘stick’), put him in your bag, and take him with your to your friends GameCube. There he’d arrive in your friends town, and have a nice visit (hopefully enjoying the sunshine and a nice cuppa together).
But, that is all in the past. Travel forward some 20 years, and look at where we are now. My, my…we are getting old, Gandalf! Anyway, so much has changed since then. Even though you can still play your game alone if you would want to, there are a myriad of options to connect to the outside world nowadays. Whether you play on your console, your handheld device or your mobile device. They all have their own ways of connecting to other people. Sometimes it even gets hard to guard your personal space should you not want to connect too much! First of all, I love the way the developers think of new ways of socializing through games. I think you had already guessed that seeing as I took up blogging for a hobby and broadcasting my thoughts out there. For me it heightens the fun I have in gaming, sharing with good friends, or sometimes sharing with anonymous people who happen to have the same way of spending their spare time at that particular moment. So many ways of connecting too, though I can only tell from personal experience with my Nintendo and Apple devices. I’m never short of friends to share with, though there will always be those extra special gaming friends all over the world who makes gaming together extra fun. Like the friend that used to come over with his Game Boy.
What I wanted to ask you though: lately it seems that, particularly in app gaming, you are forced more and more into connecting to a Facebook account. And I wanted to ask you, what do you think of that? Do you happily click that Facebook can access your friend list and can send them messages from your profile? Or does it bug you that in order to earn some gems or diamonds or whatever, that you have to sign away your friends to…to what exactly? I’d really like to know your thoughts on the matter!
I’m not a big fan of everything being linked/connected to one big social network. I think too much personal information is being given to these big companies, and I do wonder what they’re doing with all this information. I am a big fan of wi-fi support however, so I’m eager to share games with folk whenever I can.
Thanks for your comment Jonah, I’m a big fan of the wifi-connection too, as it’s much more equal, I mean, without,interference from a big company. I only have experience with Nintendo of course, but I think they’ve done a nice job connecting people. By the way, I think Apple’s GameCenter works perfect too.
I have two Facebook accounts – this profile is my gaming profile. That way I can limit the amount of personal information out there and still be able to have lots of friends who play similar games. I do tend to be on my “gaming” Facebook profile most of the time so I don’t keep up with personal profile as often. But that’s ok, there isn’t that much activity from my family on Facebook anyways.
I considered that too, would have been easier in a way. But as I don’t do much on my FB account at all in personal life, it works out for me at the moment. But I do think it’s an excellent idea if you can set it up like that from the beginning.