Real world gaming: the retrograde motion of players
If all you have ever known is the world of electronic gaming, you are missing out—and there are many gamers out there finding out for themselves how enjoyable real world gaming can be.
Don’t get me wrong; while I have a great sympathy for Society for Creative Anachronism (and more than a passing interest), I am good with the world of digital games. I have been reviewing iOS and Mac games for just under four years, and there are some really good games to be had out there. This past June, I even got to attend E3 for the first time. I saw games ranging from “meh, I suppose” to “holy cow, that’s fantastic!” and I met some really nice people who live and breathe in the gaming world. There is a wonderful variety of titles and no end of fun to be had with what’s out there and ready to run on everything from your smart phones to tablets to laptop and desktop computer.
That being said, I will mention one person in particular I had the pleasure of interviewing at E3 2015: Dan Tudge, president/director of Sword Coast Legends. After the interview was over, we started talking about “real world” gaming and the joy of sharing the experience of an imaginary world (in our case, an AD&D adventure) becoming a visual reality in the minds of the players. Once this happens, a whole new kind of experience opens up, and you start craving dice instead of random number generators. You may also notice a strange attraction to books (Players Manual, Monster Manual, etc). If the disease really hits you hard, you may actually want (dare I say it?) miniatures. As gamers are wont to do, we got enthusiastic and animated while sharing our experiences, joys, and frustrations. A thread which seems to be growing in the gaming community is keeping one foot in the digital world and sinking a little more of the other foot in the table top world.
A quick search will reveal a large number of sites from which you can acquire everything you need to start your own table top adventure. I would say everything except the players, but you can find those online as well (they’re everywhere…).
As with many things in life, there is a balance and harmony which can be achieved in the digital and real world experiences. It sounds a bit like going forwards in reverse, but if you haven’t already tried the real world gaming scene I would encourage you to try it. Check out some board games, RPGs, and other real world stuff; you just might like them.
And don’t worry; we’ll still have plenty of digital game stuff waiting for you, too.