Friday, August 30, 2013

Tabletop Gaming

Gaming is an interesting community because it is almost like it's own separate nation with several subcultures hidden within.

The subculture I want to look at today actually has to do with tabletop games rather than video games.  It should be a nice change of pace.

Tabletop games are something that are a venue of entertainment that goes largely unnoticed and unappreciated by the general public.  Of course, there are the common games we all recognize: Monopoly, Risk, Sorry, Candy Land, etc. and these are all fantastic games in their own right and most of them I don’t really care to play too much (too many late nights getting nowhere, always stuck in jail).

However there are a lot of really good table top games out there that are a lot of fun.  Quelf, for instance, is probably one of the more bizarre games I’ve played.  It is basically a mix between charades and trivia).  Of course there is always Apples-to-Apples and their variations, and let’s not forget card games like Phase 10 and Five Crowns.  Each are a lot of fun.  Some promote teamwork, others friendly competition, and still others it’s all really about the social aspect.

Game night has always been a fond memory for me, even if it hasn’t happened too often.  I think the true beauty of tabletop games though, is its requirement for in person interaction.  Something which our society has slowly worked its way to eliminating as much as possible.

My personal favorite tabletop game to play is Dungeons and Dragons.  There are so many stories that can be told that the replay value is almost infinite.  No game experience is the same.  Whether you want to create your own story to tell and narrate for the players, or use one that has been pre-built, there is a plethora of options and events that would make each session a unique experience.  It is an adventure like none other.

I find that many people are hesitant about D&D but I think this largely stems from a misunderstanding.  There have been so many events where people have gone overboard with the role play aspect that they forgot what it was like to live in the real world.  Unfortunately, it’s those stories that reach the media and make it look as bad as it does.  Yes, there are monsters out there that are under the “devil” category.  Yes, there is magic involved.  However, it is really no different than reading an epic novel.  Examples could include: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and even the Chronicles of Narnia.  All of which are highly acclaimed and very good books in my opinion.  It’s just a story.  It is a chance for people who want to get away from the stressful realities for a couple of hours and be awesome.

But if that’s really not your thing there are several tabletop games that could be just as fun.  If you want some suggestions, check out the Youtube series, TableTop, hosted by Will Wheaton.  They come across some very interesting and fun games.

That’s all for now my wonderful peeps.

Grace and Peace.

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