I prefer the old days of Multiplayer games

This is Mr Gnome and he hails from the game Left 4 Dead 2.

No Gnome left behind

When the game was released a group of us (Rob, Dan and various others) would regularly play through the campaign mode over Xbox Live. This was also around the time that Rob and Dan were somewhat obsessed with getting as many of the Live Achievements that they could which included, Mr Gnome. For those of you who don’t know, the achievement that was attained was for ensuring that the Gnome was carried through an entire episode without being left behind.

Over that period of time we played countless hours online with games such as Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield to name a few but for me there was something missing. Now don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun and still do whenever I get a chance but I do disagree with having to pay for a service that PC users get pretty much free. On top of this, something feels disconnected in the world of online play; I know I’m connected to the other users and that the headset gives me ample ability to speak my mind to them BUT it still doesn’t thrill me like previous generations of gaming.

Back in about 1999 and when I had saved enough money through illegally working for Burston’s, I purchased my first and very own PC. It came from a custom builder at the top of town near the station (Mr Computer) where Richard had been doing a few temporary work shifts and had made friends with the owner and other member of staff. It was a glorious site to behold with its translucent orange case (Pantone 1495 C is about the right colour should you care enough to look) and high spec tech hidden away inside. This computer had become my life and it really allowed me to see what PC gaming was all about with it easily running Counter Strike, Half Life, Serious Sam, and various other titles from those days. These were exciting times but what made me nerdgasm (thank you LGR for the term) was being able to join in my friendship groups LAN parties.

Note: this is not a party we attended and no, I don’t know who they are. We most likely looked identical to this. I will save you the job and just shout ‘Nerd’ now. This is also a far too modern image to really convey what a LAN party really looked like. There are too few cables and it looks far too tidy.

These parties were legendary to us, normally held around Evans’s house with his mum providing hot dogs, bacon rolls etc our group of between 4 and 6 would play for hours. Indeed there were most likely times when 24 hours passed and the games didn’t cease unless someone’s cooling fan failed or it was deemed funnier to tease Adrian about his collection of Anime porn. Beer flowed plentifully and I can’t remember any real negative repercussions bar the occasional rage quite when someone claimed they were being packet attacked from another user.

We can head even further back and prior to us having properly networked computers there were still parties held. These were typically Richard and Simons computers (being the best we had at the time) and were linked together with a serial cable, a very slow and old way of playing multiplayer games like Duke 3D, Quake I and Red Alert.

Does any of this generation even know about these?

One time comes to mind and that was when our trusty serial cable failed. Without it our gaming session was somewhat ruined and only thanks to Evans’s mum and a very quick drive to the local PC World was it saved. During these times we learnt a lot about games and the mod scenes that had begun to grow. Without days like these, being delivered to someones house in a back of a newspaper van sitting on PC towers for seats our group may never have understood the joy of playing the Killer Quake Patch, Rocket Crowbar for Half Life or making alliances in Red Alert 2 only to nuke them two minutes later. To me this was multiplayer gaming, mess everywhere and people being stuck in close quarters trying to not watch each others screen.

I’ll still play games online, I enjoy it and the games that I normally choose are so fast and frantic that it’s quite easy to lose yourself. BUT and there always is a but, I miss the days when friends got together with beer, CRT monitors, towers and a table that could take the weight of several sumo wrestlers before getting down and dirty with some classic games.

Oh, I’m also not thrilled with little bitches who run about online screaming non-stop about cheating etc before rage quitting. We should all agree they should be banned from being online until their testicles drop.


Originator of Weekend Lollygagger and second part of Video Game Basement, Tom is a big geek at heart. Happily doing random things left right and center allows the world to view his insanity in all it's technicolor glory.

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