The past generation of consoles almost killed a social phenomenon that made gaming big in the first place: playing games together with friends on the same couch, in the same room. Most multiplayer games for Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 connected friends via the net, not the same screen.
It became a rare opportunity to sit, play and talk. In the meantime, a new trend of game design from the indie game scene arose: “Local Multiplayer Games”. These games such as Nidhogg, Gang Beasts or Towerfall are based on two core principles: they are accessible also for casual gamers and they are fun to watch. Designed by rules ofsocial interaction, these games - celebrating the community of players - raise a new paradigm of playing together, open up chances for games as public events and support social interaction not only in private living rooms, but also in bars (like the Nidhogg bar events in NYC), at festivals (like the A MAZE. events), in semi-public forums on the internet (like the Let's Play genre on YouTube) and in new places like cinemas (like the Game <3 Cinema event series).
What does this mean for concepts of games and spaces? What new ways of interacting with individuals and society become possible by this? And how can we benefit as designers and game enthusiasts?
The talk shares a vision of games as public interaction and thinks about new approaches on how to make games social events, not only with friends but also with society.