Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sales and the life of the business, and the hobby

I guess everyone have heard the news by now, how Pathfinder and D&D are tied when it comes to sales figures. Probably you have also heard how Gareth-Michael Skarka posted his view of things and how people reacted to that. There's only have one thing about this which makes me curious.

It's no news that online gaming is where people are gathering these days. What makes me curious is why people play those games instead of traditional RPGs?

For those who have never played a traditional RPG the question is easy. They don't know that traditional gaming exists, or have preconceived notions about what that entails. If those people would have become our kind of gamers had the online games not existed, then we are obviously observing our hobby fading away. There are those who have ideas how to handle that, like Skarka.

Then there are those who once were active table top roleplayers, who now exclusively play online games. I have personally met gamers who these days not play good old RPGs, but only WoW. Why?

If you have been playing rpgs and enjoyed it, why would you stop? Well, I can imagine that for some it can be hard to keep a regular group with married life, kids, full time work and all that jazz. I've seen it happen to myself. But, what then makes you come back to gaming in the form of WoW, and not traditional gaming? Fading away I can see, but phasing over to WoW?

Is it harder to find a group again? It can't be because it's cheaper. It isn't. Also, one of the good things about roleplaying is you get to hang out with your friends and goof off. Is it so that it's easier to sit down by that ever present computer? You sit by that screen all day, so it's easy to go through the motions again, this time to play the game?

Frankly, I can't see how we could ever snare those people back to the hobby. I just can't see how anyone could choose one over they other. To me they seem too different. I once tried to sway some old friends back into the fold. The lack of enthusiasm was total. What made these people shift from our kind of games to the online kind? Frankly, I just can't understand it.

Oh, and I do think Skarka is onto something. This hobby sure isn't in a healthy state.Talking about that is a much bigger subject, and I'm not sure I have anything more to say than that you should all try to recruit a gamer, and remember to teach your kids.
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