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‘Cat in the Stacks: Four in February, Pt. 2 (Co-op Games for <3 Day!)


 I’m Michelle Callaghan, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.

Did you know Falvey Memorial Library houses the Villanova Electronic Enthusiasts Club? You can join Fridays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the first-floor lounge of Falvey Memorial Library for some fun. The VEEC is a social club, focused on recreation and relaxation. Participants gather to play video games in a safe and fun environment. The VEEC is always accepting new members and is open to all!


It’s the second week of Four in February and, with Valentine’s Day coming right up, it’s also Love Week! In honor of the holiday, and to continue February’s ‘Cat in the Stacks video game trend, let’s talk co-op games. For the lay folk, a co-op game is a game played cooperatively between two or more players. Players use teamwork and camaraderie to work toward a common goal. What better Valentine’s Day activity could you ask for? A nice dinner and some quality gaming time? Sounds good to me.

Here are some of my favorite cooperative games to play with your sweetie or squeeze. After each recommendation, you will be linked to a scholarly article regarding the suggested game (all accessed through Falvey Memorial Library, of course!). The chosen articles cover topics from the use of games in sociological studies, the ludological study of games, an analysis of game creation, cultural ownership of brands, and even studies in cognitive science! Who knew, eh?

For the record, playing co-op with your bae might test your relationship as much as strengthen it! That being said, let’s take a look at what’s out there…


Portal 2

game art for portal 2Portal 2 has a single-player main story, but also has a cooperative mode featuring two adorable robot characters. This game is all about logic, puzzles, and physics, so bring your brain and your patience.

Read The Power of Play: The Effects of Portal 2 and Lumosity on Cognitive and Noncognitive skills


Star Wars: Battlefront

battlefrontStar Wars: Battlefront (EA 2015) is a multiplayer game but you have to option to partner up online with your favorite gamer pal. When you partner with someone, you have access to all of your partner’s unlocked powerups–and you get to play strategically with each other!

Read Star Wars Fans, DVD, and Cultural Ownership: an interview with Will Brooker



borderlands logoBorderlands (obligatory warning that this game is rated M) features a co-op campaign, so you can play through the whole game–story and all–with another person. This is a pretty rare and fun mechanic! Typically, games with stories feature separate co-op modes; in Borderlands, co-op is a main feature, not an extra.

Read Breaking the Game: The traversal of the emergent narrative in video games


Guild Wars 2

guild wars 2Guild Wars 2 is a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG, or MMO for short) and the reasons I suggest it over, say, the ever-popular MMO World of Warcraft for a night with your boo thang are many. For one thing, the game doesn’t have a monthly subscription, so if you wanna make it a relationship hobby you don’t have to make it an addiction. You can pick it up and put it down whenever you want! Secondly, the game focuses a lot more on story than most MMOs and presents you with a lot of interesting narrative choices, so the experience gives you something more to think and chat about with your partner of choice.

Read Building a Virtual World: The Pipeline and Process


Mario Kart 8

mario kart 8Okay, okay, remember when I said playing games together might test your partnership? I was mostly talking about this game. Mario Kart veterans will absolutely know why. This game technically isn’t simply co-op if you’re racing each other, but there are alternate game modes. Frankly, there are few games that make people angrier than this cartoony and colorful title. Why? Well, it’s mighty competitive and can bring out the worst in people. On the other hand, it’s extremely fun, extremely family-friendly, and no matter how angry you get, you can’t stay too flustered when everything is so adorable.

For the record, Will D. Cat and his giant paws creamed the competition in Mario Kart at our most recent finals stress buster in Holy Grounds! Can you say talent?

Read Confronting Student Prejudice with “Mario Kart” Nintendo Wii

So there you have it, five recs for gaming with your beau, and five great scholarly articles featuring the aforementioned game titles–a little love for your heart and brain!

All game art covers used for nonprofit educational purposes:
Portal 2 cover art (c) Valve Corporation
Battlefront cover art (c) EA Digital Illusions CE, Electronic Arts and Disney
Borderlands logo (c) Gearbox Software and 2K Games
Guild Wars 2 cover art (c)ArenaNet and NCSOFT
Mario Kart 8 cover art (c) Nintendo  

Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.



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Last Modified: February 11, 2016

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