Gaming Shifts From Individual Experience to Mass Experience

Recently, the players of “Twitch Plays Pokémon” beat the game. As fellow classmate, Greg Palermo stated, “The premise is that a bunch of people (reportedly as many as 50,000) control the character 24-7 through a text feed–in other words, by typing “Up,” “Down,” “Left,” “Right,” “A,” “B,” etc.–and try to see if they can actually get anything done.”

It is reported that it took the thousands of players a total of 390 hours to complete the game.

This “social experiment” has led me to look upon past gaming systems their evolution.

Purple Gameboy Color

 

My first interaction with video games was over a decade ago (wow I feel old!). The Gameboy Color let children escape into many different worlds such as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and the notorious Pokémon. There were many accessories for the Gameboy Colors, such as the

lightnifty light that helped when playing under the covers past your bedtime. In addition, there was the magnifier. I remember

magnifier

thinking how amazing this gaming system was with its accessories. I loved the fact that in an instant I could be riding around on Yoshi or avoiding barrels in Donkey Kong while trying to save the Princess. Playing on my Gameboy Color was the time for my own personal entertainment, in solitary.

 

Children began individually playing with their Gameboy Color in groups during recess or play

cable

dates. It was inevitable that the creators of Gameboy created a way for users to change the gaming experience and play together. The Gameboy Link Cable made it possible for individual users to interact with each other within the same game. This was brand new and amazed many. The old solitary style of playing video games was slowly becoming extinct.

xbox-360-headset-00

 

Years later, Xbox 360 was one gaming platform that came out with the brand new feature of users talking to each other from anywhere in the country via headset. This allowed players to interact more than ever before and paved the way for more mass gaming experiences.

 

“Twitch Plays Pokémon” seems incredible to our generation now because of its premise of linked mass contributions with one goal. Years ago, while I was under the covers with my “worm light” attachment, I would have never guessed that Pokémon would be on the computer, let alone be played by thousands of nerds all over the world.

This achievement and disbelief reminds me of Henry David Thoreau’s statement from “Walden:” “Old deeds for old people and new deeds for new.”

I remember my parents being amazed by all my video games, from the Gameboy Color to the Wii; I guess I’ll have to wait and see what my child will surprise me with!

 

2 comments

  1. Daniel Flad says:

    The days of playing my gameboy color under the covers with my light were some grand days! It’s amazing to realize how far we have come when we turn on a gameboy and see the old graphics and the lack of a backlight…
    I’m very surprised that they beat twitch pokemon so quickly! Based on what we saw in class it seems amazing to me that people were able to pull together in such a way.

    Pokemon also did something else to get people connected, (and also to make a bunch of money) where they make multiple versions of each generation of games. Some Pokemon can only be found in specific versions. This way, two friends will have to each get the game and trade with each other to get every Pokemon, further connecting people.

    Cool stuff!

  2. Katie Allen says:

    It’s definitely interesting to see how a technology that used to be and feel so personal now has the capability of connecting people from across continents in real time. Even so, I sometimes appreciate the option of having some one-on-one time with games where I can escape and relax without worrying about other people. But if I’m being honest, I really only play the Sims. Oh, and GTA5, so I can run over pedestrians with my stolen cars. 😛

    One thing I’ve been wanting to say since I read this post is that I’m so, so grateful for the invention of headphones. My boyfriend, who I also live with, sometimes likes to play Call of Duty at an ungodly volume. If you’ve ever experienced one of those games where you connect to a network and play on a team with a bunch of others, it’s also likely you’ve heard a few INCREDIBLY annoying 12 year old boys who like to make the most crude and horrible sounds/insults over their headsets just because. I know I’m stereotyping and overgeneralizing here, but it happens basically every time my boyfriend logs on. It doesn’t bother him, but it certainly irritates me, especially since I’m never the one playing. I did not invite those adolescent boys into my bedroom, and yet there they are, making horrific sound effects and spewing usually hateful profanity all over my house. I’m all for connecting with others, but sometimes I want my personal space to stay that way: personal. 🙂

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