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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

RPGs and Wargames

Posted by garrett Tuesday November 2 2010 at 10:50AM
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As I continue my step away from MMOs for a while. I am back on the conventional gaming track to remember what the joy of all this game stuff is about.
As much as I like computer games and MMOs and console games etc. etc. I still maintain that RPGs and getting together with a group of friends for a night of D&D or Warhammer is really where the soul of gaming exists.
There are so few game stores left in the world and visting one on a Saturday afternoon is still fun for me 30 years later from the first time I went. Sure there are tables set up to play and gamers are either deep in a rules book or arguing across the board. There is a pulse here though, there is an atmosphere that I have yet to see captured in an MMO.
As I get older, I wonder if other people still get this joy out of a trip to the game store. Is it the artwork, the new games, the chance to play in front of an audience while people shop and order pizza from right next door?
As much as MMO can bring us together as gamers, there is still something great about going to a game store and hanging out on a Saturday afternoon. Playing wargames or RPGs and trying out new ideas. I wonder if video game developers ever make this journey for some inspiration. I know just recently Blizzard had mentioned that part of their success is the fact that their staff are truly passionate gamers and even if a game comes from the competition, they are excited to play and try new things.
So if you are feeling stuck in on your PC as the weather gets colder, why not try a Saturday down at the game store? It might be just what you need and give a great perspective on where the soul of gaming got its start.
semajin writes:

If there were a bar or pub in the local area that served up a communal area for rp and other gamers along with the standard fare of alchohol and food, would you frequent the establishment? Speaking for myself, I think I might be there a few days a week, and I know with the relatively recent popularity of online gaming there has been a sort of acceptance of people who partake in the playing of roles, so why haven't we seen any nerds buying a local bar and turning it in to one of these places?

Tue Nov 02 2010 3:03PM Report
Lord.Bachus writes:

We allways play in our livingroom, almost every wendsday evening for over 15 years with the same group of friends enjoying beer and junkfood..

No MMO can ever replace that.....



Tue Nov 02 2010 3:29PM Report
Sovrath writes:

I"m sort of jealous of Lord Bachus. That sounds great.

Tue Nov 02 2010 3:36PM Report
SeriphinX writes:

There used to be an awesome 'hole in the wall' comic book shop near where I grew up.  It was narrow from wall to wall walking in from the front, but it was deeper from front to back.  It was the greatest place to get your ''nerd on" I have ever seen.  D&D, Magic, comics, video games...toward the back after you passed the merchandise they had a few card tables set up..well lighted..TV up in the corner.  This place had everything.  And most time once you got to know the owner, if you were in the middle of a game, he'd just hang out past closing time and let you finish.  By the time you all left, everyone just seemed like a small group of friends leaving for the night, owner included.  That's been about 25 years ago.  Never seen anything like it since and I've came close a time or 2 from opening up something similar. 

Tue Nov 02 2010 3:50PM Report
Senadina writes:

Being a female, I have always been intimidated by the all male environment at the game store. In the past I would have loved to join them for Magic: The Gathering, but seriously, there are NO women there. Even my tabletop game has a good number of women( wives and girlfriends but still...). Have fun boys, I'll never get up the nerve to join you.

Tue Nov 02 2010 5:04PM Report
Rohn writes:

I agree completely with the OP - computer games just don't capture the same feel you get from hanging out and gaming at a local game shop.  I've been an on-and-off regular at the same game store I hung out at as a teenager when it opened back in 1981 (though it's moved a few times).  A lot of good times, and fun people to play with, over those years - and a hell of a lot of Coke, Spree, Doritos, and pizza consumed.

Tue Nov 02 2010 6:37PM Report
erictlewis writes:

It has been a long time since I did that.  I used to enjoy a good game of melee, or ddo.  Unfortonatly nobody plays those types of games any more unless its magic the gathering.

Card games just dont do it for me.

A very long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Tue Nov 02 2010 7:40PM Report
Ariesian writes:

Lord.Bachus has the dream done right, IMHO.

I have had dozens of gaming groups since 1977, most were awesome, a few caustic, but nowadays I just listen to podcasts, read blogs, and work on RPGs I will never play (I love Rifts, 3.5 D&D, and old World of Darkness). My local games store does have lots of gameplay, mostly Magic the Gathering and 4th ed D&D. I just feel too old to hang with these kids.

MMOs and MUDS are not generally as good as face-to-face, but they have the advantage of availability and, arguably, better immersion.

Tue Nov 02 2010 7:52PM Report
Ithi writes:

The game store and pen & paper rpg have been two separate entities (and lifetimes) for me.  Nowadays my husbands and I love to crawl through gamestores (some of which I would not enter without him--they drip testosterone), but unfortunately, these have never seen a game table, I don't think.  Arcade machines, yes, but no actual game players instore.

The P&P I fondly remember is when my son and all his cousins would get together for their Star Wars journeys.  They had their own favourite figurines, and the oldest cousin was the Gamemaster (obviously he had to be the fount of wisdom, being the oldest).  They went into such depth with it, trying to figure out how to keep each other alive.  It bonded them all together.  That game was their passion for years!

Wed Nov 03 2010 4:57AM Report
therez0 writes:

Oh, the fond memories of the PnP days.  Late middle school, through to the end of high school...  I actually had several groups that I gamed with.

One was the CTG group and we had daily grudge matches at lunch and monthly tournaments at the game store in town.

Then there was the daily afternoon RP group.  Our town is small so, the game store only evr bought one copy of the DnD, Star Wars rule sets... and we were unlucky not to be able to buy them (mind you kiddies, this was the era before Amazon so we couldn't just order up copies willy-nilly) so we had to write our own game rules and scenarios.  The custumization was so much better than anything you could ever get out of pre-made rule set.  I stil have all my documentation and such for the game and have been refining periodically it for nearly 15 years now.

Then there was the weekend DnD sessions.  Being a small town with very few copies of the DnD books, this was a huge gathering.  Three DMs and three different groups each playing and sharing the limited books.  On occasions, the DMs would pool together for an epic encounter that would join all three groups into a common adventure, and then afterward the groups would shuffle into new parties and spit back up.  The black dragon encounter was one of the coolest session I've ever played.


Its just too bad all of it ended after high school... everyone moved off to college and refuses to come back to the little town D:

Wed Nov 03 2010 5:38AM Report
Scot writes:

Role-playing is dying out, but its embers glow strong. I house a regular meet up at my flat, so I am somewhat insulated to how bad things have got. Clubs seem to be doing alright; they may even be doing better than they were in the past. But home role-playing has taken a knock, I can remember when we thought online rpg could be the answer, how naive we were. :)

What I would say to any gamer who roleplays is go and try it with a real life group. Then you will see why we make such a fuss about it.
Wed Nov 03 2010 6:07AM Report
Ambrose99 writes:

Sena, the same reason you don't do it is the same reason I don't do it. I've always had a passing interest in it... but really, without at least a woman or two around to converse with, I don't see the point. The social aspect is what drives it, and just a sausage-fest of nerdy guys, to me, is not real socialization...

Wed Nov 03 2010 10:38AM Report
Shinami writes:

I find that MMORPGs are not really about "community" as much as they are about Self-Indulgence. Remember, my name for MMORPGs are "TAGs" (Turn-Based Adventure Games).


If you want must act out the part. That is not a rule I made up. Its the rule of Theater Arts and claiming some guy is roleplaying a knight from controlling a character in a game and bashing things with a sword....


is an insult to the many who have acting roles in TV and Movies throughout the world.


I am one who left MMOs for a very long time and found shooters to have more "RPG" elements than MMORPGs due to mortality being prevalent in FPS games.


Typical MMO = You are level 40 and Your enemy is Level 60 in PvP = you will lose thanks to the SYSTEM creating a DEPENDENCY where LEVEL links weapons, items and skill power.


FPS = Winning and Losing is in your corner, not in the corner of the system. The System exists to moderate and set the game conditions...(scan for cheats and serve the gametype and keep score), You win and lose based on your actions and the actions of others...


unlike MMORPGs were the System controls the action on a level deeper than China.

Sun Nov 07 2010 2:16AM Report writes:
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