Videogames amp the future of Board Games


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Thibault de Vassal    (2007-11-02)
Videogames & the future of Board Games

Quite funny to see the same discussion on and forums :


Apparently, two years ago there was a major exhibition sponsored by the Asia Society in American museums called "Asian Games: The Art of Contest." I have been fortunate enough to get a copy of the exhibition book. I found a quote there that I would like you to comment on:

“We hope that this exhibition, in addition to persuading visitors of the historical importance of games, will also stimulate an interest in playing board games. As computer gamers sit in solitary oblivion frantically pressing buttons to manipulate images on screens, it is worth considering how such games could have succeeded, to a large extent, in eclipsing real board games. The answer may be that they have appropriated much of the best of traditional board games. But it is also worth pointing out that the appeal of most electronic games is ephemeral. Ask a teenager if he still plays the same game he played two years ago, and the answer will inevitably be no. We can predict with confidence that twenty years from now, of the electronic games currently in fashion, it is only those versions of classic board games—chess, weiqi/go and perhaps backgammon—that will still enjoy widespread popularity. Does the future of chess, weiqi and backgammon, then, lie solely in electronic media? We hope not. However convenient it may be to play chess or weiqi on the internet, nothing can replace the face-to-face social interaction of real games playing—and indeed the attraction of such games as spectacle. It is no coincidence that there is a trend now among jaded electronic games players to return to board games. This renewed interest undoubtedly reflects the need to compete with a real (as opposed to real-time) person. But there may be another reason for this development. The physical satisfaction of holding a well-crafted gaming piece or die, or of hearing the sonorous click of the pieces as they are placed on the board, does not exist in an electronic universe. No culture better understood the aesthetics of games than the Japanese, whose go, sugoroku, and shogi boards were not only objects of exquisite beauty, but were also designed to enhance the sound of piece struck against board. If, in addition to stimulating more research on Asian games, this exhibition prompts some of its visitors to take up chess, xiangqi, or weiqi—or even better, to work out the rules of liubo—then we will be entirely satisfied.”

Colin Mackenzie and Irving Finkel, “Preface”, Asian Games: The Art of Contest (Asia Society), p. 17


Interesting !

Wayne Lowrance    (2007-11-03 16:46:00)

20 years from now the kids will be playing "samo samo stuff" more advanced, convienient and realistic. gaming sports etc, as for example. For me it is hard to predict about OTB chess in 20 years, I have some mixed feelings about it and what comp chess is doing to it. For sure the structure I believe will change. Perhaps a different sort of world championship definition will appear. I mean in 20 years gm's will be completely subjicated to mere mortals in competition to the comp. It is a shame really, My two bits worth Wayne

Mladen Jankovic    (2007-11-07 09:41:40)
I know...

...exactly what you're saying. I have a backlog on computer games so long that I find it hard to find time for correspondence chess.

I can't even find time just for computer games I really want to play.

Thibault de Vassal    (2007-11-07 15:21:35)

We need more Big Chess players, no chess engines there :)