Conversation! It’s what the Cluetrain Manifesto pushes to business. And now it is time to push it to game designers. People have done the play-against-each-other to death and now they want to play co-operatively. They want in-game conversations, conversations about how they played together, and conversations about how they will play together. All software needs to take this into consideration at the design phase.
Personally – Oblivion is the one game that would benefit fantastically from co-operative play. I don’t mean in a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG type way. I mean in the way a few local friends could hook into their own host and play out the Oblivion war, or perform the Fighters’ Guild quests, or simply raid a ruin for treasure together. All the elements of a great experience exist and need to be integrated, or shoe-horned, together to create such a thing. I don’t have the coding skills but I do have the design skills in creating a believable and internally consistent world for the user-experience!