Multiple Players

Now with fewer admonishments!

I have a friend who enjoys sex. A lot. So much so that one may be tempted to label this person a nymphomaniac, as indeed I have on a number of occasions. One could easily say that sex is this person's hobby, just as one could say the same about gaming and me. And like with gaming, sexual encounters can be had with one or more players, as my friend is constantly pointing out in great detail.

One night over a bottle of tequila, my friend and I were debating the virtues of multiple-partner sex versus the more common "Two-to-Tango" variety. My friend's main argument for group sex was that it offered a more intense and varied experience. My main argument against it was that it opened the door to far too many individuals with whom I would not otherwise care to consort. In essence, it was your basic single-player versus multiplayer debate.

And now let's introduce a statement meant to shock and alarm: despite what many of you may believe, neither multiplayer gaming nor sex were invented by the current generation of 16–24 year-olds. Both have been around for quite some time. The evidence for the prior existence of sex is like a Rorschach painting; you either see it or you don't. The evidence for the prior existence of multiplayer gaming can be summed up in one word: backgammon.

Recognized as the world's oldest game, backgammon requires two players. And everyone knows that two is a multiple of one. Even the very first video game (a decidedly basic effort created in 1958, which was similar to what would become Pong) required two players and was therefore a "multiple-player game." Still, from the days of ancient Babylon up until the late twentieth century, multiplayer gaming involved only two actual players and as many spectators as would fit inside the local ziggurat (or Pizza Hut). Advantage: group sex.

When video game consoles hit the market, a few of them came with four controller ports, thereby expanding the definition of multiplayer video games to include up to four players. But the majority of multiple-player gaming sessions through the early nineties were still comprised of a half-dozen kids huddled around the TV watching two people play. A session of Epyx's Summer Games for the Atari 2600 (otherwise known as "The Destroyer of Joysticks") often blurred the line between group sex and multiplayer gaming. If you weren't there, imagine the aforementioned huddle of kids rapidly swatting and jerking the joystick back and forth in order to make the tiny Olympian run, swim or jump faster. Yes, it often looked as lewd as it sounds, and caused the death of more joysticks than you can imagine. At this point the lyric "Shake it don't break it baby"…" from the 1986 Cinderella hit Shake Me is now playing in my head and I'm going to end this digression right here and now.

The rest of this capsule history is known to all. Video games took an amazing leap forward in style and technical awesomeness in the nineties and, coupled with the advent of low-cost internet access, the definition of multiplayer games expanded to encompass a seemingly unlimited number of players. Advantage: multiplayer gaming (unless you can afford to rent the Astrodome for a day and have enough lube to go around, in which case group sex still holds a slight lead.).

To date, multiplayer games have become so stunningly popular that industry wags have erroneously proclaimed the death of single-player gaming no fewer than one hundred times, and every gamer has an opinion about it one way or the other. Yet whatever you may think of multiple-player games, the fact remains that people need people and gamers need games. Thus, multiple-player games would seem to fill an obvious role in some circles. Much like group sex. And like group sex, I am of two minds about it.

I do occasionally enjoy a good deathmatch, but afterwards I always feel a little bit "dirty." As if I'd just shared my mind with ten or so complete strangers. Some of whom I didn't like all that much and who used the word "bitch" as if it were "Aloha." It has been suggested that multiplayer gaming, like group sex, may be an exercise for the young, and the fact that I care less for either as I grow older would seem to support that statement. Whether or not my nymphomaniac friend will ever settle for one partner is unclear.

What is clear is that how we spend our time, and with whom, is entirely up to us as individuals. These days I find much more gaming fulfillment on my own. Thus my hobby has become less of a shared experience and more of a solitary pursuit of perfection. Like with sex, I no longer feel the need to play with everyone in the world. Now if I could only teach the Xbox how to make a perfect martini, I could bring this analogy full circle, accept my Pulitzer and go home.

But for now you'll have to settle for"…

Fletcher wrote this.

Comments

Interesting parallel... One major difference between sex and multiplayer gaming is that in gaming you can pull out at any time and not explain yourself.

I'm not sure how comfortable I am playing with Fletcher now that I know he's comparing our gaming to group sex in his head.

Alright, I'll ask the important question:

Is your nymphomaniac friend guy or girl?

Actually, now that I think about it, I only want to hear one answer. Just tell us it's a girl so the dream doesn't end.

EDIT: Huh. You learn something new everyday. I didn't know that nymphomaniac referred only to females. Guess if it's a guy that's obsesses with sex, you call 'well-adjusted'.

Hmm...that was a different way at looking at gaming.

Not different= weird, just different.

Haha! Funny stuff. To me the difference between multiplayer and single player is sex with another person and sex with a machine. If I was a woman that might make more sense I enjoy a little single player if it's a great game like Rome Total War, or HL2, but for me it's mostly all about multiplayer. I like the challenge of playing against other live, thinking, people in an FPS or the community that is forged in a MMORPG. Ever since I discovered MUDs back in the mid 90's I've been hooked on it.

Btw, you can rent the Astrodome pretty cheap these days, so if someone has the lube I've got the Dome.

I already find myself approaching Fletchers articles with an equal mix of trepidation and curiosity. If nothing else, I know I will be reading his stuff, so I guess thats a positive.

Based upon his closing paragraph, I fear that Fletch will be giving up on women alltogether and using masturbation to fulfill his 'single player' aspirations. Don't give up on women so quickly Fletch!

Ya know, from a southern girl's perspective, I can think of another similarity between group sex and multiplayer gaming. If you're in a bad group, there's no polite way to leave.

Fun article Fletch! And I promise to try and not think about orgies when we group.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Alright, I'll ask the important question:

Is your nymphomaniac friend guy or girl?

Well the definition of nymphomaniac is "a woman with abnormal sexual desires" (Princeton).

So if the term was used correctly, it would be a girl.

However, upon further review, Fletcher's profile interest reads:

Interests: Sex, games, sex, drinking, sex, games about sex, origami

Therefore, I submit Fletcher was actually speaking of himself in the third person.

Or, given his prior employment, perhaps he was speaking of one of the smokin' ex-TechTV women.

*Legion* wrote:

Or, given his prior employment, perhaps he was speaking of one of the smokin' ex-TechTV women.

One can hope, but I doubt it. For all you know, he could be talking about Wayne Brady.

heh interesting comparison, although it would seem that a better analogy for monogomous vs. group sex would be the Head to Head vs. Rumble Pit argument, and which would mean you are a better gamer / lover?

And what would Team based gameplay be equated to? oh goodness... i think this is one rabbit hole i'm going to skip over...

Hmm a martini making Xbox reminds me of Dorothy Parker's (I think) quote

"Oh, I love a martini but two at the most, three and I'm under the table, four and I'm under the host"

I just wonder what the host could do after 4 martinis...

I do occasionally enjoy a good deathmatch, but afterwards I always feel a little bit "dirty." As if I'd just shared my mind with ten or so complete strangers. Some of whom I didn't like all that much and who used the word "bitch" as if it were "Aloha."

Turn off voice chat and ignore text chat.
At this point you can pretend all of your teammates and opponents are mature, intelligent individuals who are well past puberty.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2002/20021004l.gif

This debate always reminds me of this comic. Even with voice and text chat off, other players can still ruin your game experience, bots are always fun.

fap fap fap fap fap fap fap high score fap fap fap fap fap

In the interest of preserving the dignity of my former colleagues I must categorically deny that the friend I refer to in this article is any current or former employee of ZDTV, TechTV or G4TechTV.

That said, I believe that in all other respects the article speaks for itself. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Cheers.

P.S. Propagandalf: We need to talk. Call me.

**Edit: I removed the admonishment. It was unnecessary. You guys have the best of intentions, and I should have remembered that. Sorry.**

But no defense of Wayne Brady in that post.....

And nobody here will hound anyone, rest easy. This is a very different forum than those at sites like GameFAQs or, well, G4TechTV.com.

*Legion* wrote:

But no defense of Wayne Brady in that post.....

And nobody here will hound anyone, rest easy. This is a very different forum than those at sites like GameFAQs or, well, G4TechTV.com.

You're right of course Legion. I apologize for being hasty. What's up in here today? Mercury in retrograde or something?

Hey Fletcher, since you're an admin now, when are you going to get a nifty Forum Tag? Don't you get to jump to the front of the line? Or something?

For Fletch they made him jump in the back of the line. Just how he likes it.

Fletcher1138 wrote:

You're right of course Legion. I apologize for being hasty.

Don't sweat it. I'm still getting used to a "civil" video game forum myself.

Coming here from other sites is like going immediately from the riot guard to a tranquil beach setting. It's such a sudden and dramatic change, it takes some adjustment!

I've ruffled a few feathers myself. It's just karma biting me back.

So when we get our yearly perv-search report, we will certainly see a spike of group sexers this time around. Fun article, btw. Gotta go round up a posse for MP now.

I've ruffled a few feathers myself. It's just karma biting me back.

Now, now, I only bite on occasion!

As usual, Fletcher, an interesting look at our gaming experience.

One wonders if our choice in the multitude of gaming styles mirrors our choices in life? (I say probably not but a thought none the less?)

Swat wrote:

fap fap fap fap fap fap fap high score fap fap fap fap fap

fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap HEADSHOT fap fap fap fap fap fap RAMPAGE fap fap fap fap fap fap fap HUMILIATION... ... ziiip

fap fap fap fap fap fap fap fap HEADSHOT fap fap fap fap fap fap RAMPAGE fap fap fap fap fap fap fap HUMILIATION... ... ziiip

I'm pretty sure it's not healthy for the humiliation to be before the zip. (Unless you just didn't put in the "MOM COMES INTO YOUR ROOM".)

Use your imagination! Picture it... in your mind! Now... go scream into a pillow for a few hours until the visions of fuzzy palms hugging strange serpents leave your heaving thoughts...

Multiplayer? You're all kicking butt and stuff... taking out the beeyatches... P0wning some nubs... then some jerk walks up and shanks you AFTER you unload a 'clip' in his face. It would make me 'jack out', if you know what I'm saying?

*edit* Otherwise it sounds weird!

buzzvang wrote:

Hey Fletcher, since you're an admin now, when are you going to get a nifty Forum Tag? Don't you get to jump to the front of the line? Or something?

I think I'm going to have to stop making fun of the boss before I get the key to the washroom.

So in all likelyhood it will never happen.

You know I would think that with group sex you'd still have problems of jealousy...assuming you group with one person more than others.

And yet, I have yet to hear, "You always capture the flag with him!!" or "You always mow down everyone but me with your deployed mg."

Maybe it's just easier not to get jealous, when everyone feels more... anonymous.

Bear with me while I tread lightly on this subject. It's my understanding that jealousy is either a huge issue or a non-issue. And among those for whom it is a huge issue, group sex tends to not be a long-term lifestyle choice.

You know, I could probably get behind -- no pun intended -- the whole group sex thing were it not for the fact that you're bound to wind up face to face with, well, a dong. If I can get through life without facing down the barrel of any dongs I will call it an unqualified success.

Of course, I guess I could simply amend the definition of "group sex" to exclude all other males. Yes. Yes, indeed. That's something that appeals. Theoretically, of course.