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The Future of Tabletop Games

Analog games are sometimes seen as a step backwards in technology when compared to the digital games on offer today. For many of us however, analog games still have a big impact on our lives and we’ll be eagerly watching for future developments.

Card games and board games have been around for what feels like forever, with classic games like Poker, Gin Rummy and Solitaire being played to this day. Some of them are now being played online but there is still a certain magic associated with playing these in their physical form.

analog games

We’ve seen so many games make the transition from analog to online, including the likes of Monopoly, bingo and more. These classic games were once the foundation of any British player’s recreation time, but now more of them want to access them online. Bingo sites in particular have boomed in recent years, with review sites like bingosweets.com all of the best and brightest new additions to the market.

With new technology like augmented reality and virtual reality, perhaps the future of analog games can be digital while remaining true to their roots. Nintendo has been experimenting with augmented reality within their games, with physical cards and characters influencing the digital world.




If you ask most analog game players what they would like to see in future, you’d probably get a vast range of answers. Some are eager to see new indie companies coming onto the scene, others want the integration of new tech and others still just want to play the same games they’ve been playing for decades. There’s no one, set future for these games as the player base will continue to demand the aspects that they want.

analog games

It seems that the future will diverge, with some games taking the route of integrating new technology and others sticking to their classic formulae. We’re still quite a long way off seeing tech like holograms but smartphones are a good addition to our day to day lives that can be used for this type of gaming. Augmented reality game boards and cards could be used with bespoke apps that would make the games come to life.

Other games like Dungeons and Dragons now have mobile apps that can be used in conjunction with adventure books that players have had for decades. This can also cut down on the calculations and learning curve that goes along with playing an established pen and paper game. In this case, technology enhances the game but it doesn’t replace the main elements that make it analog.

analog games

Using technology as a supplement to a game, rather than a replacement, is the preferred route for many players. There are thousands of fantastic digital games out there already, so it’s understandable that they want to preserve their favorite analog ones as they are. On the other hand, some diehard fans just want to use the same pen, paper, board or cards as they always have.

Blurring the lines between digital and analog games is bound to happen. As we are more able to pioneer technological elements to enhance these games, we may yet get to the Card Wars that we see in futuristic media. One thing that publishers of these games are good at is innovation, so the future could be something entirely different that we haven’t even heard of yet!

by Adam Barny



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3 responses to “The Future of Tabletop Games

Scott

Please be more specific regarding who thinks boardgaming is a step backwards. I get the rhetorical device, but why use it when all signs point to the opposite? The r/boardgames subreddit has doubled users in the last year.

Rodney

I’ve got this VR board game by a Japanese designer. It’s quite cool! I think more companies will implement this technology in their board games.

Physical board games that you play with friends around a table are hard to replace by a simple digital version.

I remember as a kid how excited I was to try a digital version of monopoly. Only to realize that it was much less exciting than playing the real thing.

Some part of rule automation can be interesting, but I think augmented reality and VR board games will have to develop their own language and games to be able to provide the same level of fun than actual board games can bring.

Some game carefully adapted will do fine, but I suspect many games will simply feel awkward, or a pale copy of the real thing.

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