Sun, 17 October 2010
Mark and Jeff do an "old school" session report of Days of Wonder's Small World for the iPad.
Also, our Listener Feedback leads us to a discussion of old versus new...paper versus digital...book lights versus backlights. We'd LOVE to hear what our listeners think on this topic, so please send a comment to the blog, or an email to email@example.com!
Stay tuned for Show 11.0 -coming real soon!
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I think it’s time for the other half of the Gameopolis meta-mind to step in. Mark here, to suggest that embracing ebook technology is not going to bring about the demise of the printed word, the library, or the bookshelves of beloved tomes that crowd our homes. We’ve been over this ground with movie theaters. Doomsayers have been telling us movie theaters will go away for generations. TV was going to kill the movies. VCRs were going to kill the movies. DVRs would do the job. No? Well, streaming movies across a home network to a large screen TV with surround sound will certainly put an end to the cinema. But movies are still with us. I bought my tickets to the Lord of The Rings Movies the moment they went on sale, and I stood in line for two hours to get good seats. Not only that, I won’t watch the LoTR movies on TV. No matter how big the TV and how good the sound, it won’t do the movies justice. It’s the same with books. I really enjoyed Ken Follett’s “Pillars of The Earth,” and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, “World Without End.” When I read it, it’ll be the trade paperback edition, not the ebook. It’s not the kind of book I want to read on my iPad. It’s a story that, to me, demands a true “book experience.” I have a great many books that I cherish – the used hardcover of “The Good Earth” that someone named Andrew gave as a gift to someone named Katherine in 1938, the “Lord of The Rings” paperbacks with Tolkien’s cover illustrations that my dad gave me when I was thirteen, my leather-bound copy of “A Centennial History of The Boston Public Library” – The list goes on and on. But I certainly don’t feel that way about all books. For every book that has earned a special place in my heart, there are dozens that have not. Books I’ve enjoy, but didn’t make an impact. Books I won’t reread and probably won’t recommend to friends. They are (gasp!) throwaway books. And an eReader is perfect for such books. Why pack three paperbacks for a vacation when I can simply bring my iPad? How ‘bout the morning commute? Turning the pages of a book while gripping an over-head strap on a lurching bus is a chore. It’s way easier turning the pages of a book on my iPhone. There is a place for my cherished books, and there is a place for my Kindle app. It’s ok to like ebooks. Doing so does not diminish the reverence or nostalgia you feel for the printed word. It does not diminish the pleasure books bring us. And the same is true for games. I am going to continue buying games. I love sitting around a table with friends, rolling dice and talking through the night. But I can’t play the boxed version of Small World on a plane. And I’m sure I’d get questioning looks from coworkers if my team played a game of Scrabble in the lounge (even if it is our lunch hour). Board games on the iPad or on a phone are perfect in these situations, and I will continue to explore (and possibly embrace) this advance in gaming. Doing so is not a betrayal of the many brightly colored meeples that crowd my game closet – I will still be hanging with them on Friday nights.
Just a brief comment... When I heard the listener feedback from 10.0, I wished I could jump through the desktop screen and high-five Jeff for his comments about e-books vs. printed books. I too am a die-hard book lover, and while I think I can understand the appeal of the e-book, they will never be able to replace the feeling of opening a new book (or an old one), and hearing that barely audible "crack" as the spine is stretched, and smelling the new ink or the old dust and paper. I feel the same about games. Opening a box and arranging a game, and hearing the dice roll and the cards shuffle and slap should never be replaced with the nearly silent play of an electronic version. Wouldn't that remove so much of the excitement and anticipation of sitting down with friends for an evening of fun?