Growing up, I had to take my game console over to a friend’s house in order to play together. Just me and my backpack, full of cables, controllers and memory cards. This was the old way of creating multiplayer fun. Unless both, you and your friend, had the same console, this was the way it was done. It seems like a million years ago, but it was only within the last two decades.

Online Gaming has changed the way we interact with each other, whether you’re a gamer or not. Technology has been pushed forward at a rapid pace, thanks to video game hardware doubling-up in power every single year. This has advanced our phones and internet structure. However, it has disconnected us in a disheartening way.

Contrary to many concerned parents’ beliefs, video games are actually designed to be social experiences. A lot of friends I’ve met over the years, were due to our connection to video games. It’s just as strong as how we connect with others over similar music or movie tastes. Nowadays, though, it’s difficult to socialize meaningfully with the power of the Internet in our hands.

This is why games like Minecraft, Mario Kart and, most recently, A Way Out, have succeeded so well in the Local Multiplayer space. We yearn for the same-room, gatherings advertised to us on video game console commercials. Even games, such as, Keep Talking & No One Explodes or other VR experiences, encourage group engagement.

While it’s great to play with your friends from the comfort of your own home, it takes away the fundamental satisfaction of seeing the smiles and laughter when you win together, or on the other hand, the utter defeat when you beat them face-to-face. This was the way of social gaming, and it still exists. Our Gaming Lounge aims to bring this kind of environment back into the mainstream.

The Classic Console Area encourages local, couch multiplayer. Whether it’s a turn-based 2-player game like Super Mario World on SNES, or a 4-player first-person shooter, like GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo 64, the comradery is real, and in person.

The same goes for our LAN (Local Area Network) Area. Three PCs are hooked up to the same network, which creates a same-room multiplayer experience. However, each player gets to enjoy a screen all to themselves. Games like The Forest, League of Legends and Fortnite: Battle Royale, have online multiplayer features, but also have cooperative modes that highly encourage LAN functionality to be in place.

These are only a few of the examples where video games deliver great social interactions. Sure, it’s not as great as going outside and playing with sticks and dirt. But video games stimulate our imaginations and test our problem solving skills like no other medium out there.

Here at Alpine Computers, we hope to create a social environment where gamers can meet face-to-face, trade “war stories”, and make new friends. Online Multiplayer is great, but nothing beats the satisfaction of being in the same room with gamers who know and understand what the future holds for technology, and how it brings us all together.

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