The Week In Multiplayer -- Our 5 Favorite Stories

Even though game releases have been reduced to a trickle as Christmas nears, the MTV Multiplayer crew hasn't slowed down. It's all out of love.

This week, instead of pointing you to every story we filed this week, we're pointing out a few of our favorites that you absolutely need to read.

Here's what we picked...

* Nintendo Plays A Game For Me, Includes Slur

Why we loved it: It's the last thing you expected from Nintendo, considering how much security they've layered over their games with Friend Codes. Then, not only did Nintendo apologize (and request for the games back), but the ESRB said it didn't violate their rules.

* New ‘Call of Duty’ Developer Saw ‘Modern Warfare’ As ‘Counter-Strike,’ Not Competition

Why we loved it: Gamers (and the media) love to pit Infinity Ward and Treyarch against one another, though Treyarch doesn't view it that way. Whether they're telling the truth is hard to say, but we certainly didn't anticipate a "Counter-Strike" comparison.

* What I Learned About Gamers By Watching My Girlfriend Play ‘Left 4 Dead’

Why we loved it: I never thought I'd be playing a hardcore shooter with my girlfriend, but "Left 4 Dead" solved that. In the process, I learned a lot about the hurdles casual gamers have moving over to a more hardcore experience.

* Most $9.99 iPhone Games Not Worth Your Money, Argues iPhone Developer

Why we loved it: Just like console gamers don't like paying too much for their downloadable games, iPhone users have resisted anything more than $9.99. Here, an ex-Electronic Arts executive said there's a good reason: the games aren't good enough.

* What Powerful Video Game Developers Dream Of — Literally

Why we loved it: We all love video games, so it's natural that video games would come up in our dreams sometimes. That must be amplified ten-fold for developers, right? In this story, they told us just how much crossover there is.

What do you think of the new form? It's almost 2009, time to get crazy!