Pictured: Shear Panic, a fun little game from Mayfair, with adorable ceramic sheep.

     My trip to GenCon in August got me thinking about the direction of gaming. It seems that over the years we’ve sought to make games more immersive. From classic card games, to beautifully illustrated board games, to hyper-real video games, we have enjoyed an ever growing amount of visual stimulation from our games. Video games are getting more and more real while we leave the board games to collect dust.
     But are we really leaving the board games behind? GenCon, the board game mecca for North America, continues to attract huge numbers. Fantasy Flight Games, the company behind board game hits like Arkham Horror and Battlestar Galactica, reported that they’re seeing a steady increase in board game consumption in the US. Perhaps we’re all just consuming more games in general, electronic or tabletop alike.
     Still, there’s the feeling that we should be heading towards the ultimate gaming experience: the holodeck. But I wonder if that idyllic goal would get turned on its head if our gaming had evolved with video games at the beginning. Maybe instead of trying to satisfy our senses with realistic images, we’d seek to challenge our imaginations with the rule systems and stories in RPG taletops, the ultimate goal to strip down the tools to pen, paper, and dice.
     I certainly got a lot of enthusiastic comments about RPGs on my previous post, Got Dice, Need Time. I hope all spectrums of gaming continue to evolve.