The average modern gamer might argue that Halo kick-started their obsession with co-op gaming, but the people behind the recently-launched cooperative gameplay-focused website Co-Optimus know that this aspect of gaming has been around a lot longer. From Final Fight to Contra all the way back to Gauntlet, gamers have enjoyed finding ways to work together nearly as often as they've found satisfaction in destroying the competition. That's why the Co-Optimus community flooded with discussion when Microsoft's director of games platform strategy, Andre Vrignaud, began discussing a "Co-op Gaming Bill of Rights" on his popular blog.
Inspired by a post on Penny Arcade and the subsequent discussion on Co-Optimus, Evil Avatar, and the blog of fellow Microsoft employee Major Nelson, Vrignaud pulled together the first edition of the Co-op Gaming Bill of Rights in late March. Split into two sections ("Required Features All Future Co-op Games Should Have In Our Humble Opinion" and "Cool, Harder to Implement Features We'd Like to See in more Co-op Games of the Future"), the Bill of Rights lists simple rules that developers working on co-op games should follow to create the optimal friendly gaming experience. Rules in the "required" category include allowing co-op play through the entire single player game, flexible group save points, and simple, easy-to-use communication, while the "desired" group asks for puzzles that require multiple players, replayability, and personalizing in-game characters.
Fans of co-op gaming that we are, 1UP contacted Vrignaud to discuss how he created this list and whether or not these ideals are as important to Microsoft as they are to him...