Family Gaming

october 2, 2005

It has been a while since online gaming was a family event. I think the last online game that was played by my sister and I online was SubSpace and that was a long time ago (circa 1996 or so). I remember having to fight with my sister to get time on the computer and the dial-up connection to play SubSpace. We never got to play SubSpace together online though. Then a few years ago, when Albert (my now brother in-law) was hanging out at my parents' place playing PS2 with me, we discovered a game called Tribes. The great thing about Tribes was that we could play online and split-screen. We had the two of us on one PS2 playing online with some 14 other people. That was a complete riot because we could coordinate our attacks and really pick on people. That was really fun. Now, we (my wife, Joyce, Albert and myself) have found a new game to play online and we even get to play against each other. The game is Burnout Revenge. We have now played many hours together (probably more than 10 hours). We have done races, road-rages, and even crashes. The game is damned fun to play online. The crashes are great fun. But, the real excitement comes from the races and road-rages. Tonight, Albert and I went head-to-head with a session of road-rage. We ended up in a tie, but the game was fantastically hilarious. The last takedown of the game was one in which Albert (the chaser) flew right over me (the rabbit) and I smashed into the back of his car -- giving him the win! Yikes! Since Joyce and Albert don't have a headset yet for their PS2, we substitute IM for communication (the built-in chat in Revenge sucks). This communication model works pretty well. The one thing that I would like to see more of from game publishers is the ability to split-screen and play online at the same time (just like how Tribes did it for the PS2). That would make for a lot more fun (then all four of us can race together online). Anyways, it's good that we have found a fun game to play online. Times have really changed when it comes to online gaming with broadband. There are a lot more features that can be used online (like VoIP) and these features only add to make gaming online more fun. Though sometimes the mute feature is quite handy -- as some people are just not mature enough to be given the priviledge of using voice communication.