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Archive for January, 2010


The Apple iPad’s place in gaming

   Posted by: Avaril    in Advice & Tools, RPG, Tech

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of days, you probably heard that Apple is going to release a new tablet computer, called the iPad So, I began to think what advantages it may have over any given netbook or laptop.  Now, I don’t want to turn this into a melee over if it’s “better” or “worse” than a netbook; you could find that discussion already on a number of other websites.  What I want to explore is what advantages it may have for the gaming table.

Computing at the gaming table is nothing new, due to the prevalence of laptops and smartphones.  However, the first is obtrusive and obstructive, and the second is often too small to read.

So, that leaves an opening for the iPad.  It seems that it would be large enough to be readable, without standing between the players like a laptop does.  The first obvious solutions are digital versions of game books, and dice rolling apps.  But, I think there’s more options here.

With the size of screen on the iPad, and the coming herd of iPad-specific apps, I think there are other options as well.  There could very easily be a tool with everything needed by a DM — initiative tracker, dice roller, reference books, etc.  There could even be a game board app for very close quarters combat.  Zoomable maps are another possibility, since we consistently reference maps of our game world as we play.  If tablet computers became common enough, everyone could have quick access to their rulebooks in the same app that contains their character sheet.  This would greatly clean up the gaming table.

While it may replace books and character sheets, I think that people still prefer the physicality of dice and miniatures, so it can’t replace everything.  But, I do definitely see the advantanges.

What do you think?  Will tablet computers help or hinder the gaming process?  What features would the ultimate gaming app include?  Tell us in the comments!