Local cooperative gaming or couch gaming is when you gather friends around and have a gaming session where it allows you to not only play games but be more sociable whilst being entertained. This concept of two players started with early games such as Tennis for Two (1958), Pong (1972) and Astro Race (1973); these allowed players to play against or with each other which opened up a whole new era of gaming.
Since consoles such as the XBox 360 and PS3 have been released and the idea of full online play has destroyed all chances of couch gaming (although games such as the Call of Duty franchise added 2 player missions), the only glimpse we had was to go out and buy a head set so you could talk to players online but we all know how that ends up with name calling and raging!
I’m not saying online gaming is bad, I think the idea being able to play with anyone anywhere is amazing. However I still think going back to the classics of setting up a console with two or more controllers and just relaxing with a friend can be one of the best ways to have fun in a chilled environment and to me, that is refreshing.
I remember around summer time years ago, going to a friend’s house and being able to sit down and scavenge through an assortment of 2 player games until you find the perfect one and then you start and you just forget about time, until its 11pm and you have missed lunch and dinner but it was all worth it to hang out with a friend playing games and just having a laugh.
I waited too long thinking that the idea of couch gaming was lost and never coming back, I had lost hope over the years and then there was a breakthrough! The Nintendo Switch and the SNES mini (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) consoles were released; the SNES allowed you to play classic games (some of which are two player) and now the Nintendo Switch that has a controller which transforms to become two controllers. The Switch is also portable so it could be taken to a friend’s house to play Switch games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which includes online play, so it is suitable for anyone. With these two consoles out and more games to come I am hoping for the era of couch gaming to come back stronger than before! Also if you have a free day to play some games with your friends at your or their house, trust me it will be more fun than playing online with random players shouting abuse at you!
Thank you and play on.