TonyLB starts a conversation about the Social Footprint inherent in various game and non-game activities — the potential time required to get ready for an activity and then actually do it… including the ‘follow-on’ time required for a continuing activity, like an RPG campaign.
Telling quote here, relevant to the massive dearth of FtF RPG activity around the Casa in the last year and change:
I think when you consider a computer game like World of Warcraft [doyce: insert obvious CoH comparison here], which, technically, has a very small social footprint (sit down, log on, play for half an hour, log off), you can see why it is gobbling up a lot of traditional roleplayers, as traditional rpgs have a very sizeable social footprint, especially if you’re the GM.
Now, purposely-addictive gameplay aside, this is a really great point: one of the best things ABOUT CoH play for me (still true), is that if I have an urge to game on a random Tuesday evening, I can log in, start a mission, beat up some bad guys, finish the mission, and log out… and during that time there is (or was — not so true now) a fairly good chance that I’d be able to chat with a fellow player I knew, and socialize.
That’s fucking hard to compete against in the real world, where even with a lot of players around, it’s hard to just call someone up and say ‘let’s do something’, without warning, and having something to play that’s actually FUN with just you and one other guy. Yes, watch a movie, or tv-on-dvd or something, but that’s passive. Even quick-and-fast Jungle Speed really needs about 4 people, preferably more…
I’m betting that’s why Cataan works so well out in NYC — “I’m bored, let’s do something,” and with three people, you can, and still sort of get your Escapism on.
So the question:
How do you combat that? We mostly have disposable incomes — do we purposefully go out and acquire games like Bang and Cataan and Memoir ’44 and Battlelore in order to have that kind of “small Social Footprint, but appealing” stuff at the ready? I think maybe we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘me’) do.
And yes, I know we (and by ‘we’, I mean ‘Dave and Margie’) have a lot of party games, but when you’re in the mood to Smash Evil, Turbo Cranium just doesn’t get it done — it doesn’t even sound attractive. Thus the question.