Upon entering Nick's apartment last night, we discovered that Nathan was playing Mario Galaxy 2, and the two of us immediately had an epic battle to see who would get the privileged position of Bit Collector. With a sigh of resignation, Nathan dug out a second Wiimote, and Nick and I settled to take turns collecting Bits.
Like its predecessor, the game is an absolute delight, but it took me awhile to realize that the role of Bit Collector had been expanded somewhat. I could now pick up coins and 1up mushrooms in addition to grabbing bits, and if I chose, knock down and kill enemies in addition to just holding them in place for Nathan to stomp. These were nice additions, but still didn't put too much pressure on the Bit collector, which I liked.
Will and I had this conversation about the last game, about how it was very clever for Nintendo to acknowledge that gamers have friends who are not necessarily as good of gamers as them, but would still like to be involved, and accommodate that role. And not just that role, but the role of the Watcher, which is one that I often adopt, even though I do enjoy playing games.
Watching other people play games takes me back to my childhood, and the times when I would sit and watch my brother play games. This is a comforting experience, though confusing to some when I deny their offer to play as well, and insist that I would just like to watch. Bit collecting is just enough sideline opt-in engagement to involve me a little more in the game without overwhelming the brother-watching comfort feeling.
Third on my list of "Lisa's indie games that she'll make someday" will be a hard core shooter that has a casual opt-in support role for the players' less skilled or watch-savvy friends. I'm not sure what that would be, but I have fun brainstorming about it.
ANYway, after collecting the Bits, we gave the Scott Pilgrim game a go. It is a good time, as one might expect, even though I am terrible at 2D beat-em-up games (I have a really hard time figuring out if I'm on the same horizontal layer as the enemy I'm trying to attack).