Tales of Tadeusz

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Tabletop vs. Computer Gaming

Perhaps Neverwinter Nights is about as good as many D&D games because many of them were pretty bad. But a good tabletop game engrosses you on a level that the computer cannot even begin to match, and it allows far more options.
I still remember playing "Nine Princes of Amber" a text game, and trying nine ways from Sunday to keep hold of an iron bar which I thought would make a useful weapon. Its gotten a lot better its true, but still the fundamental problem remains.
Speed of action, socializing, immersion, and options, a good tabletop gamemaster outshines a computer game like having your own personal French Chef outshines the best mall food.
However, I will admit, some people have a problem with visualization. For them, a computer game heavy on graphics might be better.
Now I'm a game designer part-time, so I'm an enthusiast, and a game master, but still...
Iron Dragon on the crayon-using board is just cooler than the computer. Or Risk likewise. Or Chess. So too I expect Heroscape with its heavy pieces and beautiful board on the table is going to be better than the game on the computer.
What computer games offer is convenience, and a certain minimum reliably met. In other words, they are the McDonald's of the game world. But for the true connoisseur...tabletop.
/He said with his nose tilted in the air.

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