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Subject: Am I just a Luddite? rss

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dark angel
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So I returned to cardboard gaming after I became nostalgic for those nights in my youth when I would sit in the dinning room with my brothers and sister and play board games and built memories. Being a father I couldn't escape the belief that my own youngsters were missing out while they played on their x boxes with detached people half way across the globe. So three years ago I got back into board gaming: and now I have new friends and great new memories with family. This experience has I am sure made me something of a purist. I have an unease with the growing trend to digitalis my cardboard. More and more I hear my fellow gamers talk about their online board gaming sites and now I see apps encroaching and sparking interest in game design (e.g.Mansions of madness). Don't get me wrong I don't hate game consoles etc but I can't escape the feeling that the gaming community might just be reinventing history all over again.Look at RPGs now, most are online played now remote from face to face meet-ups. Please let me be wrong and that we never loose the reasons we chose board gaming. I know,I am a luddite.
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Stephen Jacobsen
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I too have some luddite tendencies (although I jumped onto the smartphone train just a few weeks ago).

I prefer non-digitalized board games. Even playing games online or through apps is not nearly as enticing. I can't explain exactly why, but I generally glaze over when playing board games digitally.

Maybe it's that many of the computations are automatic, and so my brain doesn't "think through the game" as much and I find myself less engages.

Maybe it's simply the bright screens.

Maybe it's the fact that these are often not played live, and having to re-immerse myself each time I log in.

Maybe the lack of physical components makes it harder for me to assess the board state.

When I played Mansions of Madness 2e, I felt like the app almost made the board seem redundant. If we're going to go that far to digitalize the game, why not just play exclusively through the app?

TLDR: I empathize with you.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Yes, you are a luddite.

However, don't worry Mr. Ned Ludd, cardboard gaming is alive and well. I play online games a bit. For example, I play Agricola online with buddies. I greatly prefer playing it in person but they ain't around, so I play it online. I still play it with my wife in real life. I play Heartstone but I still love me the real card games. I play app assisted games (Mansions of Madness) but I'd far rather play a pure board game.

Apps are fine, some folks may go for them, but I think the community of straight board gamers (no, not that way!) is going to do just fine.
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Phillip Harpring
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Digital board games aren't out to replace the physical ones, they mean to complement them. Ask anyone that uses tabletop simulator or plays board games on their phone whether or not they'd rather be playing physically, and nearly every one of them would say yes. But there are very valid reasons why one is much easier to do on a regular basis than the other.

As far as hybrid games like MoM2E, they may not be for everyone, but what games are?
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Greg
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The death of the physical board gaming industry via electronic means is highly exaggerated.

I'd say, don't worry. There will always be plenty of non-electronic board games to keep you busy and in the unlikely event that all board game companies the world over went completely electronic, you have tens of thousands of non-electronic board games to choose from that have already been published.
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Bryan Thunkd
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Face to face boardgaming isn't going anywhere. You have nothing to worry about.
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Andrew Taylor
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It's not an encroachment, it's a diversification.
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dark angel
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s3kt0r wrote:
The death of the physical board gaming industry via electronic means is highly exaggerated.

I'd say, don't worry. There will always be plenty of non-electronic board games to keep you busy and in the unlikely event that all board game companies the world over went completely electronic, you have tens of thousands of non-electronic board games to choose from that have already been published.


Yes but not tens of thousands of gamers if they all go online!
 
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Jerbear
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Your idea that most RPG's are played online now is not even close to the truth. There may be a lot of people playing online, but a ton more are playing face to face.

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Greg
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crewston wrote:
s3kt0r wrote:
The death of the physical board gaming industry via electronic means is highly exaggerated.

I'd say, don't worry. There will always be plenty of non-electronic board games to keep you busy and in the unlikely event that all board game companies the world over went completely electronic, you have tens of thousands of non-electronic board games to choose from that have already been published.


Yes but not tens of thousands of gamers if they all go online!

I do not share your concern, but I suppose each area is different. Where I am at, the number of potential face to face opponents seems to be constantly increasing.
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Pauly Paul
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Well my view is that these digital elements aren't replacement existing ones, they are in addition to them. I think that is an important distinction.

In the cases of those playing RPG's or board games online, instead of around a table I think it's important to realize that if those mediums didn't exist then these people wouldn't be playing at all. It's not that they are taking away from a face to face situation.

Ideally I believe most people would like play in person. However not everyone is comfortable going to a meet up with strangers (I'm not). Some people want to play with those they already know. However we're not always lucky enough to have friends or family that live in the same place.

For example I kinda want to start a regular online meet up with my dad who lives across the country. Right now we play zero board games together and the only way we would play is using one of the online gaming sites.

RPG's really need a regular meet up to be successful however it's not always easy to get a group of people together in one place (an unfortunate reality of growing up). However those same people might be able to make it work doing it online. Perhaps removing the commute time is vital. Or making themselves available to help with the kids if needed. Sure it's not as ideal to pause things while someone runs off, but if the choice was that or no gaming period, which would you choose.

Using completely random and made up numbers, lets say a 100 folks are able to get together, once a month, to play around a table. With online offerings that number number increases to 150. The number isn't going to stay the same with only the method of playing changing. That method is always going to increase the number of people that can play.

Online gaming sites aren't needed by everyone, but for some folks it means the difference between gaming or not gaming.

As for digital apps in games, well that is a different beast altogether. However no matter how one feels about it, the reality is only a handful of games require an app to play. Literally. When compared to the number of games that exist in a traditional, no app, format the percentage is pretty damn small. I don't think there is anything to worry about there.
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Dave Platt
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I thought the days of board gaming were numbered, when computer games were just beginning to take off in the late 70s. Amost 40 years on and board games are more popular than ever.
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Andrew Taylor
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Syvanis wrote:
Your idea that most RPG's are played online now is not even close to the truth. There may be a lot of people playing online, but a ton more are playing face to face.


How many people would you estimate play face-to-face RPGs?

 
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I've been boardgaming the same games in cardboard through Atari 2600, Nintendo, PSWhatever, Sega, PC's, iPads, and whatever gadget du-jour comes out next age.

Gadgets come and go, but boardgaming is always there.

I'll be playing Titan from a box when your Agricola app is LONG obsolete.
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Ergates wrote:
Syvanis wrote:
Your idea that most RPG's are played online now is not even close to the truth. There may be a lot of people playing online, but a ton more are playing face to face.


How many people would you estimate play face-to-face RPGs?

One estimate I've heard is 5.5 million in the US.
 
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K S
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While my gaming friends and I don't share your Luddite impulses at all, we do feel that there's something especially luxurious about cardboard gaming.

It's actually a bit ironic considering that, comparing apples-to-apples, a fully-expanded set of Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game plays quicker and costs less than 5 copies of the Civilization videogame (assuming we all already had the hardware to run it).
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Chris Graves
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I remember in the 80's synthesizers, and drum machines, and electronic drum kits, and even synth guitars came out. As a very young guitar player, I wondered if that was the future of music. Nope. In the midst of Flock of Seagulls and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Stevie Ray Vaughn changed the world with a Stratocaster and a Fender amp.

The other players in my main game group all play online together. I don't because the face to face social interaction is what I love most. Games alone are great and fun to play, but I need the overall experience. I think there are many like me, and there will always be a place for physical games.
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I'm a solo board gamer who stopped playing video games in favor of board games. That said, I like apps when they facilitate solo play or make the board game easier to setup/break down/play the game.
And not liking apps in board games is not luddite. All of us use computers every day. Not wanting computers in your hobby that doesnt need computers is fine.
 
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Kirk Thomas
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F2F cardboard board-gaming is definitely a great experience, and the games themselves are pieces of art. Gaming fills a great social purpose, and I think it will be a valued one indefinitely.

I love online gaming too, but for different reasons. I get to play whatever I want (from what's available), I can play it enough times to really try various strategies, I don't spend any time setting up, putting away, or even driving to and fro for a game night. I can play in any time slot and duration I find convenient.

The more awesome games (not just good ones) that appear with online implementations, the more compelling the advantages of online becomes for me. I think the more technology advances, the more compelling digital versions even in a F2F environment will appear. I'll embrace that as well.

That said, I've had about seven games arrive via UPS lately and can't wait to get them all to the table. Cardboard gaming in-person is just a great social experience and has been throughout history.
 
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Stephen Williams
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crewston wrote:
s3kt0r wrote:

I'd say, don't worry. There will always be plenty of non-electronic board games to keep you busy and in the unlikely event that all board game companies the world over went completely electronic, you have tens of thousands of non-electronic board games to choose from that have already been published.


Yes but not tens of thousands of gamers if they all go online!


There's already a thriving digital gaming industry out there, you know. Has been for over 20 years now. Anyone who's interested in online gaming already has a perfectly good outlet for it, there's no need to invade the board gaming space to get their jollies out.

Even with the relatively recent advent of app-assisted board games, they are but a drop in a much larger puddle. For every new game that has an app, there are at least ten new games that don't. Plus, you still need to get together face-to-face to play these games, even with the apps, which means there's always an opportunity for you to suggest your favourite non-app'd game to be played next.

People used to say that radio would be the death of live music performances. Look how that turned out.
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K S
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Stewi wrote:
People used to say that radio would be the death of live music performances. Look how that turned out.

I think this comparison is very apt (or should I say "app-t"? ), because not only have the live and recorded music industries thrived in parallel, they've also influenced each other to constructively produce entirely new forms of art (e.g. "Live" albums, turntablism) without supplanting either one.
 
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bort
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Cardboard will never die
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T. Dauphin
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I'm with you completely, dark angel.
I love the human experience that comes with ftf gaming, and almost never play a video game any more, though I do not consider myself a luddite. I do use a computer to allow me to play online, as so many others have observed, but in a lot of ways I do behave like a luddite. I do not own a cell phone, for example. I don't avoid technologies because I think they are inherently bad, but because, in general, we use them without caution, disregarding the potential hazards, because they are just so damn convenient.
There are ways that software could improve my gaming experience that I would be happy to try out, but I would only be interested in gadgets as a support system, not a replacement, because I definitely prefer the tabletop cardboard experience, with multiple humans.

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Chris in Kansai
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It won't be too many generations before everybody uploads anyway, and all the great boardgames with their electronic cardboard and digital box farts will be there waiting.
 
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Pete
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You're more of a troglodyte.

Pete (shuns fancy things like electricity)
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