Nancy wrote an excellent piece in her blog this week about her experience in Lineage. One part in particular got me thinking. She wrote,
"Here is where the most remarkable part of the online interaction occurred. As a group, a large group, we got through the cave well as everyone worked together to fight evil creatures."
This idea of cooperation is an interesting one. I am a long time Counter-Strike player, I've enjoyed it for well over three years now. There is something about it that brings me back to play over and over and over again. It's not the violence, or the adventure, rather its the cooperation. You can only get so good at counterstrike. When you can jump, aim, run, and know the maps, how do you improve from there? Why doesn't the game become boring?
I think cooperation is the answer. I can only do so much on my own, but there are a few select times in the game when somebody takes charge. "You go here, I'll do this, and the end result will be that we win." And it works.
You watch what the other team is doing, make a plan, and two organized team members, who have a plan, and the ability to communicating are worth four players just running around shooting at anything that move. The game actually encourages you to cooperate, to get to know the other 'faceless' players. And when a plan works, even if you end up the cannon fodder, it's thrilling.
Games like lineage don't encourage people to lock themselves in their basement, away from the rest of the world, rather they encourage you to get out, to meet other people, offer assistance, and hope that that assistance is reciprocated. It can be a great experience in cooperation.