Growing up, I played a huge variety of games. When I was really young, I played a few games on my dad's old Super Nintendo, all but Donkey Kong Country were single player. The only ones that really stand out to me were Mario, Donkey Cong Country, and Afterburner. When my brother and I were a little older though, we were given a Nintendo 64 with just three games. Those three games were Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart, and Super Mario 64. We were so happy, we immediately went to the den, plugged in the Nintendo and we jumped into Hyrule. We later played Mario Kart with our dad and Mario Kart became something everyone in my extended family played together. As time went on, we added games like Star Fox, Cruisin' USA, and Goldeneye to our library but everything changed when we got to play Mario Party.
There was nothing like playing all those mini games together, racing around the board with our best friends, and what was genuine fun between friends. Today, many of our competitive sides would probably make for some tense arguments at times. But the memories of playing Mario Party with my friends are still with me to this day. I also remember all those days with family where we would rotate through the seats in front of the TV playing Mario Kart 64. These were older times, times when there were only up to four people playing at a time, so yes, we had to rotate.
This time sitting with my family and friends was really fun and was a huge reason I enjoyed gaming so much. When I got older and bought myself an original Xbox, I got myself a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved. It was one of my favorite games to play. I played it all the time myself but it really hit its stride when I was able to play with my friends. We would regularly have parties where we would order pizza, drink some pops, and eat candy while we played halo on four connected Xboxes spread across a couple of rooms. There was nothing more enjoyable than getting together with friends and playing some Halo. We did this from Halo CE all the way through Halo 3 but we never stopped enjoying our time together, even when we accused each other of playing cheaply.
Even after we went off to college, many of us would come back together for local LAN parties regularly and we would play lots of different games. Once, we were all hooked up around a couple of tables in a friends basement and we played some games and someone found the original Call of Duty. We all installed it immediately and jumped into the original with our rifles and our sub machine guns. We spent hours laughing and screaming and enjoying ourselves with just guns and fun maps. Alliances were formed and alliances were broken and at the end of it all, we all felt like that was one of the best choices we made for that night.
This is something that has been missing for a long time in gaming. Very few games are designed for you to play with friends anymore. All the games are meant for you to play along with friends. Taking those friends and putting them at arms reach over an internet connection limits what references and inside jokes you can have with those friends. Aside from Nintendo, there are no games built for local play anymore and it's a huge shame. I can't imagine how much everything would have changed if we had all been on a headset instead of in a room together. We could build our own rules, we could all divide ourselves by teams on our separate TVs and many other situations that would be way more difficult on a digital connection.
We want to try to bring back the ability for a great LAN opportunity. We want to create a game that can bring people together under one roof again. We want the inside jokes, the custom rules, the crazy set ups and the insane plays that make everyone in a house remember than night for years to come. This is a value of gaming that has been drained, and we would like to bring the social aspect of gaming back.
Right now I'd like to promote my friend who hosted SOOOO many of the LAN parties that I found joy in and his company he's started. He started Lasagna Brothers Games and is currently working on a board game that you can play with your friends. It is actively being worked on and he even has a Beta currently going for it. If you have some friends that you like to play board games with, then follow his site and check out his project. He's a good man and has a great idea that's close to completion.