What Happened to Playing Games Together Offline?

Long before COVID-19 the trend for gaming online had taken over that of going to a friend’s house

Ben Shelley

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Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

COVID-19 pushed the accelerator for many industries. One of which has been gaming. A popular past time has been catapulted to the attention of the world, with runaway successes such as Animal Crossing taking centre stage. In a year that has seen much change, the move to seeing friends virtually has taken precedence.

The virus known as COVID-19 has required the world to adopt a certain level of distance from each other. Friends have been kept at bay and moved into the corner of the screen, where they can be muted at will. The ability to come and go has taken the limelight and left late-night gaming sleepovers as a distant memory.

Gaming Sleepovers

I was born in England and throughout my life have adapted a great many gaming consoles. From the Commodore Amiga to the Nintendo 64 and the Sony PlayStation. I remember the day when wires were your friends.

If you wanted to play a two-player game, then you needed to invite a friend around to your house. Those wishing to push the boat out even further needed to invest in additional controllers, many of whom ended up with wires looking worse for wear. In a similar vein to when you pack the Christmas Tree lights up, the lights would tangle over each other and require strength to separate.

Tripping over controller wires, endless multitaps and missing memory cards are some of my early memories of gaming. We would play into the early hours of the morning, rest for a few hours and start again. This was until the advent of wireless controllers and online multiplayer.

The Decline of the Second Controller

Around the time that the PlayStation 4 was released, I noticed a growing trend. After a few months, console deals begin to reduce the number of controllers in the box. This was no longer a selling point.

If you wanted an additional controller, then you had a critical decision. Do you buy the latest videogame or a new controller? They cost the same.

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Ben Shelley

Someone who has no idea about where their place is in this world, yet enjoys writing about books, education, entertainment and videogames