Sunday, February 8, 2009

Listened Lately: Gamers With Jobs #121

  • This week's Gamers With Jobs Conference Call had an interesting discussion about face-to-face gaming and how computer and console gaming has supplanted it. While there was nothing to argue about, I did want to share my take on topic.

  • The high point for face-to-face gaming for me was high school. Back in the days when my biggest worry was whether or not I would remember to do my homework, I had a lot of time to get together with friends and play games. The game of choice in those days was Dungeons and Dragons. That's not to say we didn't play anything else, but everything else was of the roleplaying variety as well. Top Secret/S.I., Robotech, Paranoia, and Call of Cthulhu all came out at one time or another. But it was never hard to get a bunch of adventurers together to kill, pillage, and loot.

  • As I got older, though, my tastes changed and my circle of friends narrowed. In college, I discovered Avalon Hill and the great board games they produced. My problem was not having a group of people or the time to play them. I tended toward games with a solitaire component, but could not keep myself from buying games on the off chance I could get a group together.

  • After college, my face-to-face gaming came to a stop entirely. Nowadays, I pick up the core rules when a new edition of D&D comes out, but mostly out of nostalgia. I don't buy many board games anymore, though I do have a copy of Runebound sitting on the table behind me, read for a solo run-through. What I do have is online games.

  • For someone who has self-selected a solo gamer role, I find myself constantly amazed about how much fun I have have playing with people online. Raiding in WoW was tremendously rewarding, in spite of the time commitment. And accepting a blind guild invite was one of the big reasons I'm enjoying LotRO so much.

  • I do occasionally miss the days of sitting around with a group of friends and slinging a handful of dice, but online gaming is able to scratch that itch. It may not be the same, but it is enough.

© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. It's almost spooky how much my change from face-to-face to online gaming mirrors your own.

    It was actually someone that belonged to the same gaming club that turned me onto my first MMO. Very recently, I've made a start in LOTRO as a Minstrel, but I too miss the days when three or four of us would gather around the table on a Friday night and play until the sun came up.

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane and if you're on the Landroval server, feel free to give Aethion a run-by waving :)

  2. @Exeter - I'll have to do my waving from long distance since I followed the recommendation and picked the Meneldor server long before I knew anyone in the game. Thanks for stopping by!