The Pleasures of Online Gaming

You love to get a big group of your friends over and play huge tournaments of Saturn Bomberman, Street Fighter, or one of a plethora of sports titles, right? But sometimes it's just so hard to assemble that group of friends in one place. I have one question for you, have you tried online gaming?

I still remember the very first time I dialed up someone else's computer to play a "deathmatch". We were in the midst of a blizzard, so there was no possible way we could get together for some gaming. My friend and I tweaked with all of the modem settings and when we finally heard the modems connecting, we were overcome with joy. Then we got to play...

The game was "Rise of the Triad" and I had honestly never experienced something quite like this before. Sure, playing a first person shooter was fun, but nothing came close to this. My opponent was miles away, yet there he was on my screen. We could type messages back and forth, taunting each other. And when I watched that rocket hit and send him flying, it was just so much more enjoyable than destroying some computer controlled enemy.

Newer and better games came along and now I do my online gaming with either Duke Nukem 3D (because this game is STILL fun to play) or with Quake 2. And the enjoyment I experienced that first time is still there. Unlike games where you learn what the enemy will do and then the game becomes boring, online gaming is always fresh. You can always find someone new to play with, and you are never left trying to get all those people in one place.

And now we are going to be given that same opportunity in console gaming. Sure, Saturn had the Netlink but there simply weren't enough people who owned one. But the Dreamcast should be a huge success, spurred on by Sega's $500 million marketing budget.

And you won't just be limited to directly dialing up your opponent either. Sega has plans to set up a gaming network on the internet. This means you will be able to play gamers in the US, Japan... Anyone that has a Dreamcast and an internet connection.

Imagine playing Virtua Fighter 3 and never having to wish you had a human opponent to play against. Or think of Daytona USA 2 in 8 player mode, and without having to use a split screen! Yes my friends, these are the pleasures of online gaming, and these are the pleasures you will be enjoying at Dreamcast's release.

--Seth Collins