We talk at length here about game structure, analyzing everything from critiquing widespread gender disparity to broader subject matter like breaking down the multifaceted fantasy genre. That’s all well and good, but what about something as simple as who you choose to play all those video games with? It’s something intimately interwoven into our experiences as gamers: the ability to connect with another person through a mutually cherished game. With that in mind, I put this to the FemHype team: who comes to mind when you think of your player 2? I’ll be asking you the same question at the end, so have a comment ready.
Easy: my two childhood friends, Zachary and Jessica. Video games were just one of the many glues that held our friendship together throughout the hot summer days in California. While we played many games from Diddy Kong Racing to Final Fantasy to Legend of Zelda, the game we consistently pooled our heads together over was Pokémon.
I still remember being enormously upset when they received Pokémon Gold Version and Silver Version for their birthdays and my mom wasn’t able to afford it at the time. It just felt so wrong not to join in on the experience with them and debate over who gets which starter! Thankfully, their parents took pity on me and went and got me a copy. Cue us immediately sitting down on the floor to coo over the full color graphics.
Playing video games with others is similar to reading the same book or watching the same television series; you compartmentalize your friendship/acquaintance into a mini-journey where you can reflect not just inwardly, but outwardly. There’s just something really memorable about walking along the same path and doing it a little bit differently than those beside you. And let’s face it: it really, uh, enhances the experience to have someone else to play a horror game with.