Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Technology and Gaming

It's funny. I love technology. I love all of the doors it's opened for us. I love the possibilities it has presented to us. Both in gaming and in the rest of our lives.

But I'm still resistant to games with a required technological component. Take, for example, Fantasy Flight's XCOM game. By all accounts, it's a phenomenal game. Players seem to love it. But it requires the use of a smartphone app.

It's not like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, where the app facilitates play, but isn't actually required. You flat cannot play XCOM: The Board Game without a smartphone.

And yet I have no problems playing in campaigns where the GM requires the use of Obsidian Portal.

Or playing Space Alert, which requires a CD player. And - as MP3 files take over - CD players are in process of disappearing from homes. When I bought my current computer, I had to pay extra for an optical drive. Because those are slowly disappearing, too. Microsoft Office? It's a subscription program, now. Not a CD with an authorization code and hoops to jump through. And I can access most (if not all of it) online. When even Office doesn't require a CD-ROM ... well ... 

Wizards of the Coast has keep the 4e D&D Insider tools up for those of us who want to keep paying for them. It costs them a pittance and brings in some subscriber fees even now. And (honestly) I've found it much easier to track my character online than the old-fashioned way with pencil & paper.

I have a smartphone. Like most smartphones, it's crazy-powerful when compared to the computer my family had when I was a kid. It's more powerful than the computers we used in school. And I trust Google. I actually have a couple of apps on there that aren't in the Appstore anymore - but when I upgraded my phone a few months ago, Google transferred them for me. Automatically. I didn't have to call anyone. I didn't need to go online and track down some obscure file to install the apps on my phone. They just installed themselves on the new phone.

So I don't know why the app has been such a barrier to entry for my interest in XCOM. But somehow it is. And that makes me feel like a total Luddite.


  1. +Craig, I think you've nailed it, there.

  2. Allow me to join you in throwing my wooden shoes into the machinery.