Thursday, August 31, 2006

GameDaily: Video Games vs Board Games

Article here.

My response:

Regarding the article "Board Games Vs. Video Games" by Robert Workman.

Robert compared modern video games to fifty year old board games. The most recent game he assessed was Trivial Pursuit, more than twenty five years old.

Would he so easily compare modern board games to twenty five or fifty year old video games?

Robert should learn that board games have made major strides in modern years. Without even a passing knowledge of Eurogames, one can simply not take his article seriously.

As far as points go, here is my take:

Strategy: The strategy of video games lasts, maximum, six months. The strategy consists almost entirely of "learn what works and then do that". Compare this to board games such as Chess or Go (older games) or Puerto Rico or Age of Steam (modern games), and there is simply no comparison. I will still be playing the same board games for ten years. You won't be playing the same video game in ten years.

Multiplayer: I will concede multi-player, but bear in mind that several hundred people can easily enjoy simultaneous Bridge games.

Technology: This is a rather silly comparison, considering the definitions of the two items you are comparing. In any case, Phillip's Entertaible, and several other products, are going to change this soon.

Price: 'nuff said.

Set-up: You actually gave this one up too easily. Video games have are hard to set up initially, but afterwards are not generally too hard. However, some board games can take quite a while to set up.

Concept/Imagination: Sorry, you really blew this one. Modern Eurogames are nothing but highly imaginative, each game being completely different in mechanics and skills. In Princes of Florence, you use auctions to attract artisans to produce great works of art in your kingdom. In El Grande, you try to curry favor with the traveling king in medieval Spain. Comparing video games to Monopoly is just silly. On the other hand, video games are endless series of the same games, over and over, where the only thing that changes is the graphics and specific numbers.

Cross-over appeal: no complaints.

You forgot a whole bunch of other issues:

Social interaction
Educational
Portable
Obsolescence
Modifiable
Variants
Compatibility
Easy to make

And so on.


Yehuda

P. S. Another mainstream article about card playing. This one would be unremarkable, except that it's a grandfather and he extols the creation of game variants. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

3 comments:

Coldfoot said...

He did mention "Scene It" which isn't too old.

On the other hand, his ignorance of boardgames is astounding. One would think a writer would want to have a passing knowledge of the topic before commenting upon it.

On a related note, and I'm not sure where this is going:

Good, cutting edge video games are available at WalMart. This could lead one who is only familiar with boardgames sold at box stores to conclude that "Scene It" represents the cutting edge of the boardgame industry.

Katja said...

Wow, that guy is ignorant and biased. I think I'll send hima note too.

Anonymous said...

One thing to say HALO is better than any board game i have ever played. It tells a story, they haven't written any books on monopoly.