Gaming has evolved from single-player to head-to-head to massively multiplayer, but it’s also retreated from public arcades to isolated homes. Today’s launch of the Xbox One makes the whole console experience social, not just the gaming itself. You’ll still be battling other humans, but how you communicate with them and choose what to play is about to change.
Think back 20 years ago, before home gaming devices became the powerhouses they are today. You’d go to an arcade, and the way you’d discover what was fun and popular was looking for which game cabinet drew the rowdiest crowds. I remember discovering Street Fighter 2 in a hotel arcade while on vacation. I couldn’t even see the machine, as it was surrounded by older boys swearing like sailors at every Haduken and thousand-hand-slap.
I knew I wanted to play that game. And when I finally got my turn to get beaten mercilessly as the mob swelled around me, it didn’t feel like I was doing anything nerdy. I was partaking in a new culture, a new community.