I love my Dreamcast. I've only had it for a few months, and in that time I've enjoyed countless hours of high-quality gameplay. Jet Grind Radio, Skies of Arcadia, Chu Chu Rocket, and Soul Calibur are all very fine titles, and purchases that I in no way regret. But I have often referred to it as my multiplayer system, since Chu Chu Rocket and Soul Calibur are both such fine multiplayer games. But recently I came to the conclusion that this is not enough for a console game system.
The other day, as I was playing Crazy Taxi 2 in my room with some friends of mine, a group of mouth-breathers from around the hall who often join in on games of Soul Calibur came by. When I say "often", I mean that the moment they hear the Dreamcast turn on they come rushing over to get in a few rounds. And when I say "a few rounds", I mean they play four hours and hours and hours. And hours. I don't mind this at all, really, since games are one of my fondest pastimes, and I like to share the wealth. But back to the point: the mouth-breathers came into the room, saw that we weren't playing Soul Calibur, and whined about how they didn't see why we'd want to play some other dumb game. That's fine, screw them.
But then I realized multiplayer games' primary appeal: they are games for people who don't really care about games. You pick them up, you play them, then you put them down and get drunk. Woo. They may be a nifty diversion, but they are by no means a serious part of gaming. In all honesty, I would rather watch someone play one of my favorite single-player games than participate in a multiplayer game. Why is this? Because I want people to realize that games are serious. That they are art. That they are PERSONAL. With a multiplayer game, we may as well just get out a deck of cards. It's fun, but it's not about the game. If I want to do stuff with my friends, I can do just about anything. Gaming is separate from that for me.