Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fundamental differences, video games and tabletop games

The two most fundamental differences--which are still differences of degree, not kind--between video games and non-electronic games are

1) it is much easier to provide a semblance of opposition with a computer than with non-electronic means, hence video games are traditionally for one player against the computer (interactive puzzles), and non-electronic games are traditionally for two or more players in opposition

2) for video games, up to a point of complexity, no one has to read the rules. For even the simplest non-electronic games, someone must read and understand the rules. (For toys, no one needs to read the rules, because there are no rules or objectives, just objects to play with. The mass non-electronic market is often called the "toy and game" market because the ideal is a very simple game with minimal rules, or an actual toy.)


Russ Williams said...

By coincidence, I was just reading about a new boardgame with no rulebook and no need to learn the rules first:

Lewis said...

Thanks for the link.

So this game provides a new experience, he experience of "emergent rules", you might say.

But it would appear to be largely a one-shot experience (rather like Brathwaite's Train), not something you'd play again and again (which is the kind of game I think is worthwhile).