WHAT ARE YOU DOING DAVE?
I think computers have been a veritable godsend for the board gaming hobby. I owe much of my interest, knowledge and enthusiasm to the internet and the relationships it has made possible. It's very unlikely that I'd be as involved as I am if it were not for the machine sitting in front of me at this very moment.
However, as much as it has helped the hobby side of things, it hasn't really done much for the games themselves. Yes, the games are prettier and it's easier to get questions answered but the actual mechanics of the games remain largely unchanged. For the most part every game on my shelf could have been published with the technology available 50 years ago.
With almost every facet of our lives affected by computers doesn't it seem strange that boardgames remain mostly unaffected? There have been attempts at introducing electronics but none have been really successful. I recently played an excellent Java implementation of Dark Tower. It was great as an exercise in nostalgia but I was quickly reminded just how poor a game it is. There were high hopes that King Arthur would prove to be revolutionary but the initial reports indicate disappointment.
Perhaps boardgaming is simply one of a number of fields that resist technological improvement? Despite the efforts of many companies the humble book remains the state of the art in publishing. Maybe it's just that the truly wonderful qualities of board games do not benefit from the advantages of computers?
No, it's not the second coming of Settlers but I must say that I'm very pleased with the recent release, Attika. At first glance it appears to be a very simple straightforward game but there's some depth hidden there. After only a few plays I thought that I had a handle on the strategy but I've been surprised at the different approaches one can take to the game. Very nice and a very pleasant addition to the game shelves. See if Anthony Simons agrees with me in his review.
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