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Digital Gaming vs Tabletop: The Future? Pt II

Published on 15/04/2015

  • Digital Gaming vs Tabletop: The Future? Pt II

Greetings friends and welcome back to Part 2 of my discussion about Tabletop vs Digital wargaming. Last time we looked at how the Digital medium had failed to usurp Tabletop despite producing a variety of high quality products. This time I want to look at the reverse: just what can the digital medium give us that the tabletop can not?

Communication, Communication, Communication!

For the past few decades social commenters have insisted on telling usad nauseam  that we live in 'the digital age'. That the World Wide Web, Internet Super-Highway and of course NASAesque Super Computers are the future for every part of our lifestyles including, but not limited to: Gaming.

Thanks to the use of the Internet we are now able to communicate across the world with people we would normally have zero contact with. Hey, I am the host of a podcasthobbysofa.coda.net, who despite being a Brit myself has an American as a co-host who joins in with us via Internet based Voice Chat where we discuss our ongoing loves and loathes of our hobby.

Currently I am in the process of designing an indie sci-fi skirmish game with the help of a collaborator. About once a week we meet up online to test out our latest build via the tabletop emulator Vassal. Without this our geography alone would dictate that at most we did this once a month.


Then we have the online wargaming community itself. Just pop onto a search engine and have a look and with as little as a few clicks you will find a wealth of Twitter accounts, Facebook groups, Forums and more just waiting for you to contribute and add your own input to an ever growing and shifting meta community.

Fancy learning how to paint Object Source Lighting? What about building a textured road base? Maybe you're interested in an unboxing of the famously fabulous Operation: Icestorm box? There's videos for all of these, all you have to do is ask!

Hey, let's be honest, if it wasn't for things like the Internet and our current state of technology I wouldn't be here writing these words for you right now!


Ok so maybe e-books and PDFs are a bit boring, and back when they first started appearing you had to be sat at a computer to use, but now in the time where almost every man and his dog has a smartphone and/or tablet, with the swipe of a finger you can build an army list, search your favorite rule book or wiki and pull up more reference material than you will ever need in your own lifespan!

So what?

Well yeah; has the digital age brought with it a game that toppled the Wargaming Giants? Absolutely not!

But has the digital age brought us closer as a wargaming world? So that at the very least you can meet new people from the other side of the world and arrange for meet ups at such huge events and venues the likes of Adepticon and GenCon? Absolutely!

So what do you think?

Have I made for a convincing argument? Is digital wargaming as we know it here to stay? Are we on the cusp of a new frontier?

Let me know in the comments below and I'll be seeing you again next time when I look at what trends we're seeing at the moment and how the digital and tabletop mediums can complement each other to produce results that would have never been possible without the other.

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

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