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The Apple iPad’s place in gaming

   Posted by: Avaril

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!

Note: This post will make my Operating System preferences clear.  However, it is not a post about Operating Systems, and any comments relating to an OS war will be ignored and probably deleted.

“I just think 3.5 feels a lot more like UNIX You can do whatever you want.”  That’s what one of my players said to me.  That would be great, an gaming edition that lets you do practically whatever you want, writing scripts to let you perform any action, putting input in one end, and getting a phenomenal result on the other side.  Hundreds of small single-purpose pieces that let you pipe input and output however you need to.  You could have a wizard where you put components, casting time, and targets in one end of the equation, and get a a targeted mini-Fireball with each foe’s name on it out of the other side, telling you how much dice to use for each one so that it is balanced with your abilities and the other classes of the same level.  You could have a paladin script based around how the enemy responds to his Smite Evil. Read the rest of this entry »

Ever since the ‘Mythbusterification’ of reality science TV, History Channel has been scrambling for its piece of the metaphorical pie (mmm, metaphorical pie).  There has been misses, such as Combat (which I kind of liked), and the more recent Surviving History (which is condescending and stupid).  So, what is this new series like?  Check it out after the break.

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