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.
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.