Remember When?: Multiplayer Was Exclusively Offline

By François Chang

August 12, 2010

I know that internet in gaming has been around in various forms since forever. So I’m going to rephrase my title and correct it by asking this: Remember when console multiplayer gaming was still something that seemed light-years away? I’m talking about the early 90’s! I’m talking about when you still needed a multitap to play with more than two players! I’m talking about being around actual people! Yeah, people still do LAN parties and go over each others houses. But I’m talking about a time when playing online wasn’t even an option! Remember those days?

I remember being around my older sister and cousins, and we would gather around the Super Nintendo for our chance to play some great games. Super Mario Kart, Final Fight, Super Mario World, U.N. Squadron and Street Fighter II were some of the many games played during such a great era in video gaming. It took forever for your turn to come up, but I think I enjoyed watching just as much as I did playing.

When I became old enough to start hanging out with my own friends, gathering at someone’s house automatically meant it was time to play video games. We would jump through hoops and do everything we could to play a session of WWF No Mercy or Conker’s Bad Fur Day. If we weren’t allowed to gather at anyone’s house to play, we would still find a way to get some gaming in. I remember one time a friend of mine had a 5-6 inch monitor and we gathered in the hallway of his apartment (where there were outlets) to play some split-screen action. Each of us barely had a couple of inches of screen space, but it was absolutely worth it. We would go above and beyond just for a chance to play games with each other. Now, online gaming makes it too easy. Things I wished for in the past have come true now, and I don’t even appreciate them.

It was once worth the $50

I remember a time where I wish there would be an online Mario Kart game. It got so severe that I would even have dreams about Mario Kart. I got my first taste of online racing with Mario Kart: Double Dash!! This game had 16-player LAN, and with the addition of hacks, you were able to connect to other players over the internet. It was a little program called “Warp Pipe,” and it required you to have a GameCube LAN Ethernet adapter and have both the GameCube and PC connected to a router at the same time. After you had everything set up and found a player to connect with, it some of the most ridiculous fun I have ever had. The irony of all this is that I barely played Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart Wii. I invested so much time and money into playing Mario Kart: Double Dash!! online, but when the time came, I couldn’t appreciate online that was available right in front of my face.

What is wrong with me? Have I been spoiled? Has online gaming ruined my ability to enjoy multiplayer games? Everyday I have people to play with, but I somehow get bored. I don’t know about you, but back in the day I never got bored playing with friends. The only reason we would stop playing video games was because our time had come to either leave or go to sleep. I just want the old days back.

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François Chang

Working on the DualShockers staff as both an editor and community manager since late 2009, François is absolutely no stranger to the videogame industry. He is a graduate from the City College of New York, and has his Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising. His next step is to obtain his Master's degree at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Before starting his career, François has been gaming since the age of 2 with Super Mario World, and he has never looked back since. Gaming may be his profession, but it has always been his passion.

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