Better With Friends

Some things that are boring – or even of poor quality – done solo gain brilliance by adding friends. Quality is situational, contextual.

Back when I had a video game show, the Mario Kart game for Switch was a frequent point of contention between me and my co-host Daniel Costa.

For me, the game represents the worst example of what a racing game can be. The tracks brim with visual confusion, it is not clear the effect of the various parts’ characteristics on the performance of the cars, and – the worst sin within the genre – it’s sometimes difficult to understand whether the car is accelerating or not. As a racing game, it’s a stain.

But still, it’s my most played game on Switch. Why?? Because it’s the game that I booth up whenever I have friends over. Because when we’re playing with friends, it does’t really matter if the game is well-crafted – it matters that it’s visually stimulating, and that it gives us a way to tease each other.

The latest Mario Kart is a bad racing game but an excellent party game.

Context is more important than quality.