Guest Post by: John Martins of gametablesguide.com
Playing games is an unseparated part of our life. It’s an effective way to reduce stress and have fun with our loved ones. Either you love playing table tennis, chess or Call of Duty, the thing is that you must love games. It’s in our human nature.
There are many types of games. Board games and video games are popular ones.
Board games have been around since ancient times and have even been a huge part of human civilization. Just take a look at games like Chess or Backgammon, which have been played by kings and even decided entire wars during history.
However, in our modern age, video games have taken the forefront of gaming entertainment, growing into an industry to rival even that of movies and TV shows. Both entertainment mediums have their pros and cons and here are the main differences.
Board Games: Old but Gold
We have always loved to play games. It is a way for the human mind to relax and even to play out fantasies. Games can even be considered to be healthy for a human being. And board games were the very first around.
Without going back into antiquity, the best example of a modern board game is Dungeons & Dragons. Having been created in the early 70`s, this game became so popular that it is even played today, almost 40 years later. And it also shows two huge differences between board games and video games: The social aspect as one, and using your imagination, as the other.
The Social Interaction Aspect is undeniable
Board games have always been social games. You gather around with a couple of friends, have good food, beverages and generally a very good time.
D&D requires at the least 4 players to play, and it also involves a human Dungeon Master, who co-ordinates the whole game. You are required to go to a place, meet with people and play with them face to face and interact socially.
Besides getting you out of the house, it is also a great way to improve your social skills. While some people may argue that video games have always had multiplayer components and that you can play them as well with other people, it is not the same thing. Playing through a monitor and computer is not the same thing as sitting around table with other people throwing dice and deciding on how to proceed in the game.
And the same thing is true for other types of board games, from Monopoly to Warhammer to the humble Chess. The main pro for board games is the social interaction you have with other people. Or in other words: Having fun together.
Board Games Enhances Your Imagination
Imagination is another great plus in regards to board games. When you play D&D, as an example, all you get is a wall of text, describing where you are, what your options are and what you could possibly do. You are required to put yourself into the mind of your created player character and interact with your companions to figure out what to do.
There are no graphics showing you anything about the landscape, location, not even your foes. You have to imagine it all, and so do the other players and even the Dungeon Master. The same is true for other board games.
In Warhammer, all you get are hand painted figurines that act as your units and army, and maybe a well-made combat map.
In Risk, you get a map of the world and a couple of figurines to shove around it, telling the other players what is yours and what you conquered.
Generally speaking, most of the game takes place in your head, and it is a great way to train your creativity. And that is true for almost all board games.
Video Games: The Modern Age Way of Entertainment
The basic truth about video games, is, that they are a natural extension of board games through advanced technology that we possess in our modern age.
The very first video games that lay the foundation for all others were inspired by board games of a type of another. And it evolved so far, that some video games are hardly distinguishable from a Hollywood movie. And that is one of the major advantages of video games. The other one is ease of use.
The Visual Graphics Keep Getting Better
The cinematic aspect of modern video games is undeniable. Beautiful graphics showing awesome landscapes, vehicles, monsters are one thing, the movement of your characters, the things they can do, even down to the script for conversations and the general story, is another. And rounding it all up are incredibly well done musical soundtracks that only add to the experience.
Modern video games feel just like a movie, only that you can interact and play it out yourself, with you being the main protagonist. This is something that board games will never be able to top. But on the other hand, you lose imagination for the sake of having everything presented to you on the screen.
They Are Straightforward and Easy to Use
Ease of use is another huge aspect of video games. Since most video games are based on a ruleset or another, just like board games, your computer or mobile device will take over the task of rolling those dice, figuring out if you succeeded or not or if you won a battle or lost, without the need of a game master or a bunch of rule books that you have to check for a specific rule that you are not sure about.
That allows the player to fully immerse themselves into the game without worrying about such things and just enjoy the experience. And this opened up games that were really complicated in their board game format to a whole lot of people that came to love them, but did not have the patience or time, to learn all the rules.
Video Games Vs Board Games: Which Is Better?
There is no real competition between board games and video games. Most avid video gamers are also avid board game lovers, and board games are still going strong, with new systems and settings appearing almost every month.
Most gamers who are into role-playing video games are also D&D fans and are still playing it with their friends in the weekends.
Both entertainment mediums have their merits and in the end, it`s just a matter of preference.
And the best thing is, you don`t even have to choose. Just play both.