Comparing the pros and cons of Video games and Board games
THE SIMPSONS NEWS
Well, I’m back on Lance’s show. I got quite a few scenes and I even managed to meet my layout quota by Friday. I’m very glad that this week we only have a three day week. WOO HOO! Happy Thanksgiving! Act I of Lance’s show is pain because it has a riot in it (a riot on a Simpsons show? What a surprise! NOT!). Luckily he managed to split up the scenes of the riot to different artists so no one person ended up with the whole thing. It really makes life easier on us that way.
Lately, they been cracking down on scene quotas around here. We have more artists on the show than we really need. This means that only the artists that can produce the right amount of work will be kept. Production is really looking around to get rid of some of us. I really need to start making sure I meet quota.
VIDEO GAMES/BOARD GAMES
I’ve been thinking about the pros and cons of board games and video games in relation to each other. Though I enjoy playing them both, I’ve discovered that I like board games more lately.
If you were to come over to my house and looked at my video game collection, you would probably say, “Wow, you have a lot of video games.” I do. When I was single, I had a little extra money on hand to buy video games and I had the time to play them. Not anymore. Now I have to be wise as to how I spend the money so I could make sure to have enough for bills, necessities and emergencies. This means that I don’t have the cash to be spending on video games or video game systems. Also, the free time I get, I try to spend with my wife and baby girl so I don’t spend any time playing video games the way I used to. Now that I’m married, I’ve come to realize that video games tend to be mostly solitary games that often times tend to be exclusive. Even if your playing a multiplayer game against someone on the internet, they still tend to be, you alone in a room against someone else who is also alone in a room. Still, I really like video games. I’ve been dying to play games like BioShock and Halo 3. Those games sound so awesome I can’t stand it! Thing is, I haven’t got the money for an Xbox 360 nor do I have the time to play the games even if I did (well, maybe I could play Halo 3 with my wife, ’cause she likes the Halo games and they are cooperative). This is one of the reasons I’ve been playing board games more. With board games I can spend time with my wife and family while playing a game.
It’s not that video games can’t be played with or against someone in the same room as you. You can and it’s great to play that way. I’ve spent many hours playing Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Baldur’s Gate, Champions of Norrath, and Halo 1 and 2 with my wife and we’ve had a great time with them. The problem I’ve found with video games is that even when your playing along side someone, there is still a level of detachment from the person you are playing with because your sitting next to them and watching a screen and not sitting across from them and looking at them. Board games tend to provide that extra level of interactivity with the person I’m playing with that I never realized I was missing. Now a days the board games coming out are so good that they give some video games a run for their money as far as game mechanics are concerned. And of course no video game can get you as immersed into a game and give you all the freedom you could ever want as well as a tabletop role-playing game. Still…a game like BioShock or The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion can come pretty close.
Best thing about video games is that you can play them alone and have a great time. Something that is really difficult to do with a board game. Also, they are often times, instantly immersive, creative and they are great for problem solving and getting you to think (my all time favorite game, Civilization II, has all these qualities. Ironically, this game was based on a board game. Who knew?). On the other hand, video games have a difficult point of entry. You have to buy an expensive system or computer to be able to play them, and then, if you’re new to video gaming, you have to learn to use the controllers (something that the Nintedo Wii has been trying to fix with quite of bit of success). Some people find it impossible to get the hand, eye coordination required to play some of the more popular games and therefore don’t find video gaming to be fun at all. Not to mention that some people get motion sickness from some video games. For years I tried to get my family to play video games with me and, for the most part, have failed. Not so with board games.
A board game has a real easy point of entry. All you have to do is buy the game, read the rules and your ready to go. No electricity necessary. Only thing is, that some board games are a little more complicated then others. This means that some people might have a harder time understanding some games than others. Their brain just doesn’t work that way. So even board games have some problems as well and yet the social aspect of board games is hard to beat. Something not even playing an Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game (MMORPG) can do.
As time goes on I’ve become painfully aware of something. As I’ve stated above, I own quite a few video games. Thing is, the game systems that run them are becoming obsolete. This means that in a few years, I might not be able to play them anymore. I like the games I bought. I think they hold up even thought the graphics aren’t as good as they are now. I still think they are fun to play but if my Playstation, Nintendo, or Xbox doesn’t work anymore, how am I to play them? Some game systems are backwards compatible and some are partially backwards compatible but how long will they be made that way? Eventually, a system will stop being compatible with my games. Does this mean I have to re-buy my games? Will I always have to hunt down old systems if mine no longer work? That stinks.
Board games don’t have this problem, (the game “Go” was mentioned by Confucius in his “Analects” around 511-479 BC and yet you can still play it. It doesn’t require a “game system”) although they do have their own. Some board games go out of print. This means that if you don’t buy a board game right away you run the risk of it disappearing. This means if you want to play it, you might end up buying it on e-bay for double the price. Then there are the games that have a limited runs and then they’re gone. Sometimes they are good enough to get a re-release (Case in point: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization and Ra) but that’s no guaranty (Case in point: Dune the board game).
I’m not saying one is better than the other (although it sure does sound like it, doesn’t it?). I like playing games, period. Right now I’m into board gaming because it fits my needs better. Although sometimes I wish I could play the latest and greatest video game out, I think that my time is better spent in important things like spending time with my family. Board games allow me to do both. Maybe someday board games and video games might become one. We’ll have video tables were we move physical pieces around on a digital board that can read what you are doing and we’ll have the best (and worst) of both worlds.
Feel free to disagree all you want. I want to know what you think.
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