When you get togeth­er to play games with friends, the space you’re in becomes a rit­u­al space, like the stage at a con­cert or the altar at a wed­ding. It’s a space where you can trash-talk your friends or howl in defeat, where you can trick peo­ple, where you can laugh at their expense and dance on their grave. It’s a space where you have per­mis­sion to look fool­ish in front of your fam­i­ly mem­bers. Impor­tant­ly, it’s a space where you can look up at your opponent’s face, lock eyes and dare them to make the first move before your split-sec­ond counter-attack. The best local games aren’t just offline ver­sions of online games — they are designed to inten­si­fy these social dimen­sions of game­play.

Why you don’t want an online mode in Tow­er­Fall | Poly­gon

Clear and detailed argu­ment by Fod­dy on the virtues of local mul­ti­play­er. I love these kinds of games. And I appre­ci­ate design­ing for local mul­ti­play­er is a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent thing from net­worked play.

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.