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Are YOU a Chicago-style gamer? Or the boring kind? [roundtable]
Most of you should know what I mean, but the essence of Chicago-style multiplayer gaming, to me, is just simply this: Live to Grief. The converse wouldn't even hold, because even dying is but a small price to pay for a good rage-inducing grief. So share your stories of multiplayer assholery! Share them, I say. For only a Chicago-style gamer can truly understand (or perhaps even tolerate) another Chicago-style gamer.

I shall start. Need For Speed, the first - PS1: My brother is a racing aficionado, so he was attracted to this (surprisingly playable) EA racer. As was I, for the collision physics were positively exquisite. It was technically a 'racing' game, but for me, it was a griefing game. More specifically, a fishtailing game. Winning meant nothing to me. My only goal in playing Need For Speed 1 was to slowly push the back of the opponent's car to the side with my hood, until his racing line dissolved into a glorious fishtailing spinout. So satisfying. And that is what the game became about for us. He would try to win by racing, and I would be attempting to spin him out at every step. One of the earliest examples of asymmetrical multiplayer, you might say. And, sure, a particularly good fishtail might have resulted in my victory, which would allow for a nice bout of trash-talking, but what it was really about for me was the pleasure of the corruption and destruction of the earnest efforts of another. Because, yes, good guys should finish last.

Your turn! Confess!

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Posted: 10/27/12, 18:52:27  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/12, 20:09:26
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Detroit style here. If we don't like your style, we shoot you. For real. With bullets.

Posted: 10/27/12, 18:54:05
Eh. Fistfights are more manly than gunfights.
Posted: 10/27/12, 18:57:55
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. This is the best.

I think we define CHICAGO STYLE (all caps) slightly differently, but the end result is pretty similar. To me CHICAGO STYLE kind of means something like... not overly serious? Not always so "goal-oriented" but more about enjoying the moment? Willing to just sit around and mess with the mechanics of a game and see what you can break? And this will often naturally lead to chaos, and griefing of course, whether the intention was there to begin with or not. CHICAGO STYLE gamers don't play by the rules, we make the rules baby. And then we break the rules all over again.

I'm assuming the discussion on Baby Park spurred this on. When it came up in chat last night (too bad you weren't there) it instantly clicked in my mind. Of course some people will hate on Baby Park, it throws out their precious structure and creates complete chaos. Mind you, I complain a lot about not liking the racing / item balance in newer Mario Kart games, but that's because I miss the feel of "racing" as a whole that existed in the older Mario Kart games. I certainly don't mind one track built for item chaos. I probably wouldn't even mind a whole game built for item chaos, if it wasn't replacing something that I loved.

My Chicago style gaming story involves the ultimate Chicago style game, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. And it's not so much a story as a description of how we would play the game. It was usually me, my brother, and 2 of my cousins, and we would spend upwards of an hour finishing each stage that, if you actually focused, you could probably finish in 15 or 20 minutes or so. Because every single room turned into a warzone, and no one was willing to move on until we got our fill. And even when we thought we were willing to move on, someone would say "ok come on guys, let's go" and everyone would run to the edge of the screen and then they would grab a bomb and throw it at those sitting ducks. And don't even get me started on the rooms with bomb plants everywhere, those... man. We could spend a good 20 minutes in a single room just bombing the heck out of each other.

The thing is, no one ever agreed to play this way, it just came naturally for us. And I sort of assumed that this is how everyone played the game. And I've found out since, after playing with others, that some people actually like to coordinate things better and work together (ha!) more and get things done in a timely manner. It's confusing. In fact, that seems more like breaking the game to me than playing it CHICAGO STYLE, because the mechanics were clearly built to induce chaos.

I also remember us taking a long time with Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles stages, which were not built for chaos, but we seemed to introduce into it anyway...

@GameDadGrant Oh I think Chicago can go toe to toe with Detroit for gun violence, at times. I vaguely recall like 5 or 7 years ago Chicago being the murder capital of the US, whatever that means. Detroit might have won that back now.
Posted: 10/27/12, 19:32:00  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/12, 19:45:53
Chicago-style gaming sucks worse than their ...... well.... actually I like a lot of things about Chicago, BUT! .... ain't no room for non-good-natured griefing in games. The world is griefy enough, we don't need it in our games.

Also, I've only had ONE good deep-dish pizza in Chicago. Can't remember the name of the place but only ONE! It ain't tomato soup on a crust, people! It's supposed to be pizza!! Buffalo OUT. *drops mic*
Posted: 10/27/12, 19:36:40
I wish I was a flea on a dog's back. Or a barnacle that's too stubborn to be taken off by breaching. Like how I've been in the chat constantly.
Posted: 10/27/12, 19:48:59
Yeah, this roundtable was inspired by the Baby Park discussion. Four Swords astounds me, since it seems that all four players almost telepathically agree about when they've screwed around enough to progress to the next room. And then the cycle begins anew...

NSMB is kind of the same way for me. Which is why I don't even really understand Coin Battle. In my book, the co-op mode is already a Deathmatch.

Based on my anecdotal experience, Rochester-style gaming would be the complete OPPOSITE of Chicago-style game. Clean, rather than dirty air.

Also, I think that Chicago-style gaming IS good-natured. Well, I should say that the griefers are good-natured, but the griefed may not be. Regardless, it isn't like an XBLA thing.

And if you've only had ONE good pizza in Chicago, you need to try more Chicago pizza!

By the way, 50% of the people who have played with me on XBLA have apparently cited for "Trash Talking". If it were possible, I would cite them right back.

Posted: 10/27/12, 20:17:46
@Anand See that's the thing about 4 Swords with my brother and cousins though... we never could come to consensus about when to move on, and most attempts at moving on ended in pain and sorrow and another 2-5 (or in a bomb room 10-20) minutes of insanity. Sometimes it simply had to be forced, the two people ready to move on would pick up the two who weren't, and...

And co-op Mario doesn't score you like coin battle does. I need artificial scores to determine my worth.
Posted: 10/27/12, 20:21:58  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/12, 20:23:09
It ain't griefing if it's against opponents! You can only truly grief friendlies! I don't grief friendlies, because that's actually annoying as fuck after a while if you're on the receiving end, and not very funny to begin with. But I am the biggest dick in the universe to enemies.

I'll race in the wrong direction in Mario Kart just to put the guy in first place in last place. That's always my favorite!
Posted: 10/27/12, 20:23:40
Griefers aren't funny.
Posted: 10/27/12, 20:27:30
Hmm see I find it interesting that a lot of you guys are defining it as annoying, when, with the right group of people, that is how everyone wants to play. Admittedly there is always a point where it becomes "too much" (and that point is different for everyone), but up to that point it's all good.

I don't even know if it would work for every game though.
Posted: 10/27/12, 20:27:43
@Zero Griefing is about being as annoying as possible. If everyone's having fun... that's not griefing. Hence the term "griefing," you're giving them grief, and not in a fun way! Griefing in WoW for example (be it from friendlies or from enemies, despite what I said earlier, I forgot about WoW and slaughtering low levels!) caused many, MANY people to quit the game entirely because it could be so amazingly frustrating.
Posted: 10/27/12, 20:29:29
Hmm, this is just semantics now though. It's like saying spankings are meant for discipline, so if you're enjoying th... wait. I dunno.

I still think it is "griefing" to say... pick someone up and throw them off of a cliff in 4 Swords, and yet to certain people that is part of the appeal of that game.

But like I said, I define CHICAGO STYLE a bit differently than Anand. I'm not as concerned about explicit griefing, I just think that it's fun to play around and see what a game allows, and then see how much chaos can come of it.

This reminds me, another game that was awesome to play CHICAGO STYLE was Animal Crossing. I actually felt a bit sad reading that when you visit a town in the upcoming game it will be some "simulated" town or whatever where nothing you do actually happens in the real town. Hopefully this is only one option and you can still go in and screw around in a friend's town. My brother and I used that game to see who could creatively screw each other over the best. That's like... a huge part of the appeal. For instance, you can make a "path" out of fruit that goes from their house to the forest that you recently chopped to bits, and then teach the villagers to say "I miss the trees". Oh yeah!
Posted: 10/27/12, 20:55:20  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/12, 21:01:27
@Zero Wikipedia, first sentence:

Wikipedia said:
A griefer is a player in a multiplayer video game who deliberately irritates and harasses other players within the game, using aspects of the game in unintended ways.[1] A griefer derives pleasure primarily or exclusively from the act of annoying other users, and as such is a particular nuisance in online gaming communities, since griefers often cannot be deterred by penalties related to in-game goals.[2]

Basically, griefing is what you're describing, but in a strictly non-friendly sense, and is meant to please only the one griefing. In a situation of a bunch of friends being dicks to each other in 4 Swords or NSMB, usually EVERYONE is laughing. You're not trying to actually, seriously piss people off like griefers are.

Trust me, the difference between your friend tossing you off a cliff in 4 Swords and some random asshole on your team shooting you in the head every time you spawn in a shooter where you get 1 life per round is a massive difference in execution, even if semantically it doesn't seem all that different!
Posted: 10/27/12, 20:56:14  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/12, 20:59:03
@Xbob42 But your definition doesn't say anything to exclude what I am talking about at all. It actually fits perfectly. I'd say it is a very good definition for the way me and my brother and cousins would play games together.

See, the thing is, you ARE trying to piss them off. That's the point. It... man. I had to try to explain my family dynamics to Shirley once and it is difficult to put into words if a person has not experienced it themselves. Everyone is trying to piss everyone off and that is why it is hilarious fun? And then eventually someone gets really pissed and like insta-resets the game or something, and in the moment it's annoying, but it creates an unbreakable bond and everyone laughs about it later and...

Something like that. Serious question, did you have any brothers growing up? I think most brother / brother relationships play out in the way I'm referring to, at least in some form, and then my cousins were basically brothers too. It's like... tough, almost hostile love? And you can have this with close friends too...
Posted: 10/27/12, 21:02:54  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/12, 21:09:14
Hm, nope, I don't recall ever having an experience like that. And for a while now I've played mostly co-op games.
Posted: 10/27/12, 21:20:41
@Zero I'm the eldest of 9 siblings. I have 6 sisters and 2 brothers. I absolutely know what you're talking about. The kind of annoyance is absolutely different, though. There's the annoyance where everyone's laughing and eventually someone gets pissed for a minute, then there's the annoyance when you're pissed from the get-go and eventually want to fucking pay someone to find out where the motherfucker on the other end lives so you can go punch them in the goddamned mouth and burn their house down, and never play that game again!
Posted: 10/27/12, 21:21:46
Ha ha well man, I don't want to argue about it. Griefing is Anand's word anyway. I just say CHICAGO STYLE, and you either know what it means, or you don't.

But I think both Anand and I agree that CHICAGO STYLE is not malicious by nature.

Going back to Animal Crossing, did any of you guys ever mess with others? I feel like... how could you play that game and not mess with others!? We had me, my brother, my cousin, and my sister all playing on the Gamecube version. There was all kinds of craziness going on, including things like signing into one person's game and gifting yourself their best item, or writing an evil letter from "them" to someone else, or creating wallpaper / shirts / etc. that insult them and pasting it all over their stuff, or pushing all of their furniture right in front of the door so they have to move it all to get out, etc.

Hmm. Come to think of it though, most of our best stuff involved signing into someone else's game, which would be tough to accomplish with friends online...
Posted: 10/27/12, 21:31:18  - Edited by 
 on: 10/27/12, 21:32:13
Yeah, playing Chicago-style is fun in short bursts with the right people. I don't think it's entertaining to turn into a full on Griefzilla at every possible chance, but I don't think it's bad manners or whatever. If someone playfully starts griefing me in a game, I'll usually laugh and try to turn the tables.

A few examples: Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers on the NES is a Chicago-Style dream. Over and over again, I'd pick up my little sister and throw her into the cactus. And then she'd do the same to me. Sometimes we'd have to start the game over because of it. But we'd be laughing the whole time, so where's the harm?

My Nintendo-hound nephews are master griefers in NSMB. I kept telling them, melodramatically, "Ugh! You're RUTHLESS! RUTHLESS!," as they knocked me down holes and stuff. Eventually they started saying it themselves. I was very proud of that. Funny stuff.
Posted: 10/27/12, 22:42:53

Cooperating is the name of the game!!!!!

Although being a dick is fun sometimes...
Posted: 10/27/12, 22:43:41
I am completely, totally lost here. I've never been to Illinois in my life.
Posted: 10/27/12, 23:53:13
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