For some reason, this seemed to annoy many of the other players, but I had a great time on there. Unfortunately, when it came to, say, 1999's Quake III Arena, I just didn't see the appeal in shooting at strangers. I bought into the hype and excitement, but when I played it... I couldn't see the appeal. It baffled me what people saw in playing against strangers, and to a certain degree it still does.
Up until then, it had always been about the split-screen multiplayer; Goldeneye, or Perfect Dark, or Mario Kart, or Micro Machines, or... y'know. Stuff you could play with mates, in the same room, at the same time.
I couldn't fathom why anybody would go on to that new-fangled Internet thing to play games against people they didn't know. Where were the hoots to be had? It felt to me as if it was merely about proving something to yourself - an early indication of that tedious "git gud" mentality, which seems to have vomited all over modern gaming like an adolescent immediately following their first pint of lager.
I didn't really get into online shooters in a big way until the Xbox 360. For a while, a bunch of my mates and I all had a 360, and playing the most recent Halo or Call of Duty became a way of socialising between the gaps in our busy lives. I knew I was never that good, but that wasn't the point; none of us were.
When my more casual gamer friends drifted away, and I was left with a more hardcore gamer mate or two to play with online, I also ended up finding more enjoyable ways to spend my time than being continually shot by snickering teenagers or adults who really needed to take a long hard look at themselves.
There have been exceptions - last year, I enjoyed Overwatch and The Division - but I've never wanted (or, more to the point, needed) to git gud.
This isn't going to be yet another Nintendo Switch puff piece, but the Switch serves as a perfect illustration of what I'm talking about. In designing the Switch to have two joypads and a portable screen, they're speaking directly to those of us for whom local multiplayer is the only true multiplayer. Out of the box, the Switch is ready to offer that.
Let's face it, whether you're playing Titanfall 2, or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, or World of Warcraft... unless you're chatting to mates over a headset, you might as well be playing against a computer. For those of us who don't need to feel validated by coming top of a leaderboard of other human beings, for being better at doing something which has absolutely no useful real-world application, it's profoundly abstract.
Local multiplayer is becoming an integral part of the Nintendo philosophy - Pokemon Go was as much a real-world social experience as it was a game. 1-2-Switch demands players look at one another. I'm beginning to think that this - local multiplayer - might be the real USP of the Switch, even more than its big telly/handheld functionality. Nintendo seems to be railing against the way we're all becoming disconnected - wanting to use its technology to bring us closer together, rather than driving a wedge.
Outside of Nintendo, local multiplayer barely exists anymore. Halo 5 and Destiny didn't even have split-screen, and when it appears in Call of Duty and Star Wars Battlefront and the like, it feels like a begrudging afterthought.
The focus is almost always on encouraging players to spend as much time online as possible in a bid to improve their skills; the only way of unlocking the best weapons, gear, and perks, is through repetition and grind.
I have found myself alienated by it. It has turned gaming into a form of constant practice and improvement, rather than something which serves primarily to entertain. The mentality of it is wholly contrary to what I seek from a game.
I get that everyone needs what they need from the games they choose to play. I get that we're all different.
Online shooters and RPGs only really come into their own with me when I'm playing them alongside close friends. Nevertheless, as tragic as it might be, I appreciate that for some gamers, "pwning n00bs", being rewarded with trinkets and the validation of meaningless achievements, is what they seek, and what they need. Maybe it's about power or feeling in control or something. I dunno.
I've had some really, really big laughs playing with friends online, but never has it come close to the experience of playing Micro Machines or Worms with someone I'm sat next to. Unless you're prepared to put in the hours to get the best gear and abilities, online gaming can be a soul-destroying experience, which mostly only rewards the "gud".
That mentality has infected gaming for too long - the arrogant, snide, elitism of those who are better, who look down their acne-pocked noses at those of us who'd rather enjoy ourselves in a way which doesn't require bettering somebody else.
When you pick away at that sneering arrogance, it merely suggests that these people, these elites, have nothing better to do with their lives than spend their entire time in pretend worlds, firing pretend guns at the pretend avatars of other people, with the primary aim of proving to themselves that they're better than those people.
It's not something anybody should be boasting about, and were it not so damned annoying I'd potentially feel sorry for them.
It had felt for a long time as if gaming was going entirely in one direction - that it was Play Games Online Or Nothing. Nintendo, because they are ancient and wise, have drawn a line in the sand, and want to remind us of the fun you can have playing games against people who are in the same room; that you don't need to be "gud" to enjoy yourself.
You just need to be able to hold a joypad.