Great Party Games For The Social Butterflies
Gamers aren’t really seen as social creatures by the general populace, but as I’ve said in my article about common gamer misconceptions, they don’t really know the extent in which we hang out and really get our rocks off. A social gaming circle is a wondrous thing to behold. People that share a common interest that have that chemistry to really connect with each other and just have the best time in the world. It’s almost like the Bay Area Thrash scene of the 80′s (I’ve been obsessed with music history lately, I apologise), but with more Cheetos and probably a lot more profanity. I’ve been involved in this gaming scene for the better part of my life so I understand all the intricate details that come with having a fantastic gaming party.
I’ll admit that even though I’ve hung out with a wide variety of gamers from all across the spectrum, the majority of these people are what I consider “non-gamers”. They still gamed, but on a much more casual and laid-back level as opposed to the hardcore, deep and obsessive manner in which I’ve played games. But an important thing happened in this process. I’ve started convincing people that only occasionally played games to really invest some of their time into the medium and discover what it presents us. This proved effective because in one point in my adolescent life I would become absolutely shitfaced every weekend and party like a madman, all while playing some games.
With that said, let’s look at some games that are a blast to play at parties.
I don’t really want to pick a specific game out of the genre because it all depends on which game you own at the time of deciding to punch each other in the face. These games can range from the violently gratifying Mortal Kombat, the ludicrously fast paced Street Fighter, the realistic fighters such as UFC and Fight Night and everything inbetween. There have been nights at my house where we would play my secondhand copy of Fight Night Round 4 to absolute death and have mini-tournaments to see who was the best at knocking the shit out of the other player. It does help when nobody knows what the hell they are doing because it puts everyone on equal ground.
This might be controversial, but I really hate “that guy”. You know, “that guy” that studied every move on the move list and can kick your ass like you were nothing. It’s an impressive skill to have, for sure, but it’s not the best quality to have at a party. Regardless, the small crowd that two players have is always gratifying. People shouting “oooh” and “you’re getting your ass whipped” is satisfying because it makes it all the more fun.
We’re talking FIFA, whatever Rugby game people have, tennis, table tennis and even golf if you have the necessary crowd for that. I’ll admit that I’m so absolutely goddamn horrible at sport games that I usually take a backseat when people start breaking out the FIFA. But I always had the opportunity to observe this phenomenon. People would scream at each other and get monumentally excited with the shenanigans happening on the pitch. It’s a glorious thing to behold and I’ve even started getting invested in it, such as tormenting the losing the player and throwing my hands in the air and screaming profanities when my prefered player narrowly missed a goal.
It’s a world that I’m not familiar with, but by Ares, I see the appeal of it. Many of you long time sport gamers would provide a better explanation of the actual feelings and excitement you experience, but know that I know exactly why it’s so exhilarating.
Ah, breaking out the good old shoot each other in the face games for the absolute hell of it. Most of the time I was “that guy” when it came to competitive shooters because I was just too experienced. I usually had to only play with a pistol or limit myself in other ways such as having a sniper on a close-quarters map. This is where split-screen Call of Duty, Halo and Counter-Strike come into play. It’s a magical experience to be involved in so much profanity and absolute madness. People swearing each other to shit and wreaking havoc upon each other all in the name of pure revenge. People gripping their controllers and playing their hearts out while having a great time and laughing at the absolute chaos of it all.
We’ve all experienced that one quick session of competitive split-screen multiplayer only for it to last hours just because you all were just having too much fun.
Petrolheads do like to fire up the split-screen racing and seeing who is the fastest of the lot. It can get really competitive if all parties involved are determined to take each other out and claiming victory. It does make for some interesting times with regards to people in the backline cheering the players on and really hitting that competitive mood. Then there’s the instances where everyone becomes a little bit bored of it all and decided to just crash into each other for the pure fuck of it. That’s when things get side-splittingly hilarious. You will also get two drunk people that smash into walls and do stupid stunts just for the pure hilarity of it all. Some of these instances have made me and my friends roll on the floor laughing.
Racing games were made to be played with other people. For the pure competition of it all or just the dumb shit you can possibly get into.
The absolute king of party games. Before rhythm games became collector’s items because they just became extinct, people really got into them when they were still new and exciting. Once again, I was “that guy” because I practiced for hours and hours and was a god in some people’s eyes. This didn’t make playing competitively very valuable because I would just destroy people. But then they brought out the band peripherals. Drums, bass and vocals as well as the guitars. The two main players in this genre are, of course, Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Both have their strengths and weaknesses that would make this feature stretch over thousands of words if I had to explain them all. Regardless of which one you prefered, both were equally fun band games.
When I first introduced my friends to the games, they were a little hesitant. And horribly bad. These games take time to really get into, but thankfully I helped my friends along the right path. For years, the game that was always present at my parties was Guitar Hero or Rock Band. With my friends gaining some skill, we could really rock our hearts out. I was usually on drums because for some reason that was the most difficult instrument for people to learn. There were some many instances where we would just go completely batshit insane. People were jumping around, headbanging and even doing elaborate choreography at one point which surprised me. We would play sets that would stretch for hours and by the end of it all, it was just one big pile of sweat, missing hair and smiles all around.
Then there’s the aspect where alcohol got involved and people would make complete fools of themselves. People would sing absolutely horribly and making me miss notes because I was just roaring with laughter. I would also sometimes lose grip of my drumstick and fling the thing across the room which prompted so much hilarity. Also the guitarist and bassist would hump the air next to me while playing Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. All these instances make rhythm games the ultimate party game. You just have to experience it yourself to understand it.
There are probably a lot more games that I’ve skipped over that other people play at their own parties. I’ve also not included LAN parties because that’s a scene that I haven’t really invested much time into, but I fully and completely understand why it’s so appealing for people. I guess it all depends on the situation with regards to parties. You will have people that exclusively play racing games while you may have people having Pokemon battles for all I know. These are just my personal experiences with party games and I urge you to share with me some stories about some killer parties you’ve had that had games involved.