Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wherein I Ramble About Gaming. . .

Matt and I spent the day together yesterday gaming. It has been a while since we did that, so we had a really nice time playing 7th Sea (my favorite game hands down). It was awesome, in fact. But the thing I don't so much like about those all day gaming sessions is that they tend to make the day just disappear. Bye bye Tuesday, it was nice knowing ya. I once lost an entire Christmas break like that, except we were playing Shadowrun almost non-stop. . . for five weeks (Matt was working at home then). I hardly remember it, except to recount what Akasha was doing during that time--trust me, don't ask, the explanation is long and would make zero sense to anyone but me and Matt.

You know, it just occurred to me while rambling along, because you know I had zero intentions for this post when I started writing except to write, that I don't talk much about gaming. I suppose it's an issue of relatability. I figure it won't matter to anyone but me, so I don't talk about it because it's such a fringe pastime that few people can relate to it. I mean, lets be honest, how many people who hear the word gaming think of table top/pen & paper role playing games? So few there's not really a number here. Or really, how many people who do know what table-top RPG's are know that there's a lot more than just D&D out there, that D&D was just the first? Most people hear gaming and just think of video games. That's what the world is coming to. Having an imagination isn't popular anymore, I guess.

And it's something that comes up with Matt all the time because we can't seem to just go to a game shop and buy gaming books anymore. Most game shops are just Magic and other CCG card games, and some still carry Warhammer miniatures. But try finding books, it's ridiculous. Even the game shop in Waco, where 15 years ago he could go and find books lining the walls and shelves, is now mostly cards and miniatures. They still have books, but their selection isn't great. We can sometimes get books at Hastings, but even then the selection is terrible. And dice, don't even get me started. When we want books and dice we have to buy them online and wait for them to get here--and a lot of gaming books have gone to PDF eBooks now, so same price without having something to hold in our hands. Not. Awesome. And we're inclined to blame the rise of the MMORPG for the death of table-top RPG, which sucks because it takes so much more imagination to sit down and play Dungeons & Dragons than it does to run from pixelated quest-giver to quest-giver.

The sad thing is, companies like Wizards of the Coast have to do things like put out a new iteration of D&D every other year to make any money thanks to the MMO industry. Every time we turn around a new edition of D&D is out, or is being play tested, and they're all starting to suck. I haven't had fun with D&D since 2e and when we play we mostly go back to 2e because it was the only way D&D made sense, before TSR sold out to Wizards of the Coast, who turned D&D into a commercial nightmare. I mean, between 1974 and 1997 TSR put out 3 editions of D&D--Original, 1e, & 2e. Since Wizards of the Coast bought the brand, they've put out four editions between 2000 and 2012. It's ludicrous, but maybe they wouldn't care so much about their bottom line that they continually cheat players out of hard earned money for yet another new D&D rules set that's going to suck if MMOs hadn't stolen their fan-base.

Not that it's MMOs fault, per se. People will take the path of least resistance whenever possible and in this case that path is pre-packaged adventure, no thinking required. No books, no paper, no dice, just $15 per month and the sparkly MMO can be yours. Ugh. So I keep telling Matt that pen & paper RPGs are going away, that finding books will become harder and harder, or more expensive, and though he doesn't like to agree, he has no other choice when he looks at it realistically. Soon, table-top will be a relic of gaming past and people who play it will be a novelty, something whimsical and on the fringe. It's the reason AEG stopped making books for 7th Sea, because a game like 7th Sea requires a basic understanding of history and the ability to think. People just don't want that.

Okay, so now I'm starting to realize why I never talk about gaming, because I can go on and on about how it's falling into ruin. It makes me sad. And, other than me, who really wants to hear about that? So now it's time for me to go because it's midnight and I still want to look at the book I got for Wolsung (a new table-top RPG I want to start playing). Good night.