Video Gaming v. Tabletop Gaming

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my fellow co-workers who is an avid video gamer. Specifically, he is focused solely on League of Legends. As I was talking with another of our co-workers about the upcoming Extra Life Unplugged event on April 30th (an event focused on tabletop games rather than video games), he was adamant that tabletop games were just simply not as good as video games.

People getting into a board game

A few people playing a board game during our first Extra Life 2016 Mini Event

It brought me into a passionate discussion as I listened to his points. My first question was "have you played a board game in the last 3 or 4 years?"

He hadn't. It seemed he was basing his entire experience on board games from when he was a kid -- the traditional standbys such as Monopoly, Parcheesi, Sorry, etc. While those games are fun, they are but a starting point into board games.

That moment, I laid down the challenge -- come to the event and pay the $3 entry fee and I will show you at least one tabletop game that will change your mind.

Don't get me wrong -- I love me some video games. I've had a controller in my hand since I was at least 3 years old, playing the Atari 2600. I grew up with Nintendo and PCs, and had Segas, Playstations, and Xboxes in my house at all times. There has not been a moment in my life when I didn't have some sort of video game. My only regret is getting rid of consoles I had gotten rid of over time.

As games switched from being single player and having friends over to play them to playing solely online, my love of video games seem shifted. Gone was having that moment of connection with friends and family that I had always had. We still recount stories of Halo and Duke Nukem 3D LAN parties. We just don't have that with video gaming today. "Oooh, check out this screenshot!" does not have the same appeal to me as "Dude, remember that one time we were playing Halo..." Having your friend sitting next to you is so much more enjoyable than sitting across state lines. While it's great that you can play with your friends from long distances, it just isn't the same.

A few players diving into a game of D&D at the first Extra Life 2016 Mini Event

A few players diving into a game of D&D at the first Extra Life 2016 Mini Event

For me, that experience rests squarely with tabletop games. My favorite nights now are going over to friends houses, or having them over at mine, and playing games like Super Dungeon Explore, Munchkin, Forbidden Island, Risk, and more. I can share that experience with them. When you're playing a game like The Division, it's a shared experience, but you experience it on your own. While your friend might be close to you, they may be looking at something else entirely. In a tabletop game, everyone is focused on the same thing, whether or not everyone is working together or not.

Today, I feel the most creative people involved in gaming are the ones that create tabletop games. Video games seem more and more to be cookie cutter endeavors and shorter. In fact, it seems like most video games any more take less time to play then some tabletop games.

On April 30th, to celebrate Geek & Sundry's International Tabletop Day, we will be holding our second Extra Life Mini Event for 2016 -- Extra Life UNPLUGGED. I am going to lay down the same challenge to you as I did my co-worker -- come to the event and I will show you a tabletop game that you will love. There are so many great games out there I know that we can find something you will love. The event costs you only $3 and you will have lots of great games to choose from.

I hope to see you at Extra Life Unplugged on April 30th in Macon! Get your tickets today!

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