The emergence of popular CCG’s like Magic: The Gathering and a plethora of MMOs have all but killed the player base for old school tabletop games, but that could change in the future.
A digital version of tabletop RPG Dungeons and Dragons that uses Microsoft Surface technology was recently developed by a group of students from the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, who uploaded a demo video of the project. [Scroll down to watch it.]
The students created the demo as part of the SurfaceScape project that is “taking traditional tabletop role-playing games to the next level, adding a new layer of immersive and intuitive gaming to the Microsoft Surface Table and assisting both GMs and players in enjoying exciting and engaging adventures,” according to their Web site.
I’m not suggesting that tabletop games are going to immediately become popular again. Microsoft does not have a consumer version of the Surface tech ready to launch in the marketplace and even when they do, I’m guessing it’ll be hellified expensive — enough so that probably only one out of seven of your geeky friends might pony up the cash to get it.
But when that happens, the other six geeks would conceivably meet up to play a Surface tabletop game like D&D. Alternately, the comic shops around the country would have a new way to generate money by charging for tournaments. This of course is all a pipe dream at this point. However, if I were working for Wizards of the Coast (which owns the rights to Dungeons and Dragons), I would be feverishly calling Microsoft to set up meetings.