Played a bit more Zelda: Four Swords Adventures on the weekend. It’s a great game and creates interesting social dynamics.
For those that aren’t familiar, it’s a cooperative game played with (ideally) four gameboy advance handhelds connected to a gamecube. Each player can move their character from the television screen to their own gameboy screen. Also, some information only appears on the (personal) gameboy screen, and this can make for novel play mechanics.
Onto the social dynamics. At the end of each level, each player is asked (in confidence on their GBA screen) for their opinion on who was the most annoying, and who was most helpful. This affects the final ranking. So even a player that got most of the treasure and took out most of the enemies could find themselves losing.
As a result, some players who initially irritated others by doing thinks like continually shooting them with arrows (you know who you are!) started to be a bit more helpful. On the other hand, sometimes a player who put so much effort into gathering treasure was voted as annoying by others in an effort to reduce their ranking (or at least some people may have felt that way).
Oh and in case I didn’t mention this in an earlier post: Highly Recommended if you have 3 friends with gameboys.