Ben, Phil, EGX, Earl's Court, video games

Better with a friend

Anyone who has seen The Bromance will know that there’s a certain amount of love between the 1001Up lads. Here Ben explains why it’s better with a friend.

Ben says…

If you’ve watched anything of The Bromance on Twitch, you’ll know that there’s a certain dynamic between Phil and I. He has buckets of gaming skill across all genres and tends to focus on the job or quest at hand. I, however, am much more prone to distraction and I won’t lie: I definitely play up to the camera a little (maybe a little too much!).

You might think this was just limited to when we’re on air; you might think that when the lights aren’t on and the camera isn’t rolling that Phil and I form a slick and efficient team. We don’t. Well, he does; I tend to lag behind and marvel at what the game allows me to do, admire the architecture and generally allow my attention to wander. Phil is an absolute gentleman about it and shows eternal patience online and off. He tolerates my wanderlust and inane comments.

It makes me realise how fortunate I am to have a gaming buddy who is willing to appreciate my quirks and foibles, sharing in my stupidity without becoming annoyed or agitated. Most of all we have fun. We enjoy each other’s company and, believe it or not, work well together.

For that I thank him and long may his tolerance continue. There aren’t many challenges to have beaten us despite my short attention span and as long as he remains willing to revive, I’ll remain honoured to die again and again by his side.

It’s a complete contrast to a pick-up group or joining online with strangers. Communication is often non-existent and if microphones are turned on it’s usually to hurl abuse at opposing players or teammates. There is an underlying expectation that everyone knows what they are doing and exploration, viewing of a cutscene or simply taking the time to enjoy the game is frowned upon. There’s no doubt that works for some people and that’s great: what’s fun for me isn’t going to be fun for everyone else and vice-versa.

What it reinforces is that multiplayer games, especially the co-op variety are much more enjoyable when played with a friend. Obvious it may be but the point is worth making and if I’m honest, I’d rather spend a few hours in Pandora with Phil than down the pub.

See you next Thursday – 20:00 GMT on Twitch.

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