Group Play

There are things we do alone. These things are not those things.

Group Play

"Televised gaming in the West, in its current form, is broken. Dressed up in the ill-fitting clothes of existing formats and shuffled nervously around schedule arrangements, shows about videogames are the unwanted orphan children of broadcast entertainment, easier to pity than support.

"Of course, it doesn't have to be like this."

Group Play

"Having a space devoted to games and play was instrumental in forming friendships that have lasted decades. For me and my friends, gaming was a very social activity. Competition, sometimes friendly and sometimes not so much, fueled our contests. Even playing single-player videogames together became contentious when you had to hand over the controller to the next guy whenever Mario got Goomba'd. We were there to spend time with each other, but it was always in the context of gaming."

Group Play

"'Playing videogames was important when we first started to go on outings,' says Matt, 31, a volunteer Big Brother from London, Ontario, who has been partnered with his 15-year-old 'Little,' Patrick, for more than five years. 'It gave my Little an opportunity to do something he enjoys and let his mind drift off being nervous around a new person. We were also able to chat casually while playing and avoided any awkward silences during conversation lapses.'

"Since those early gaming sessions, Matt and Patrick's relationship has grown into a strong friendship based on shared fun."

Group Play

"There I was, the clock nearing midnight, sitting on a couch and watching a hipster in tight jeans attempt his best Elvis Costello impression as he hammered away at the colored fret buttons on the controller's neck. Next to him was a young woman, trying her best to find her rhythm but failing. Slinging the controller off her shoulder in resignation, another guest saw this as an invitation for conversation.

"'You did so good!' he said, slurring slightly, a beer in hand. 'You looked like Debbie Harry with that guitar! It was hot.' That was the first time I had seen someone use a videogame to try to pick up a woman."

Group Play

"The thought first occurred to me in Battlefield 2 as I felt the impact of a long-range headshot while sliding down a zip line in the middle of a fire fight. It may be the most efficient way to travel in a playground, but in the battlefield it leaves you unable to return fire for the duration of the slide. Making it across unscathed would have been more shocking than what befell me. So why'd I keep doing it?

"As I completed my tenth zip line run, up popped a little icon accompanied by a military fanfare, and suddenly I knew the answer: because I was weak."