North Texas Daily

Tabletop roleplaying games are coming back, and for good reason

Tabletop roleplaying games are coming back, and for good reason

Tabletop roleplaying games are coming back, and for good reason
September 17
10:30 2018

While the modern age has brought both good and bad things with the invention of the internet, one of the better things it has done is revive the dying tabletop roleplaying game industry. “Dungeons & Dragons,” widely viewed as the most popular game of this genre, had its biggest sales year in 2017. It’s needless to say that the industry is on an upswing.

This upswing in interest in the game was recently spurred on by a variety of events that all combined to create the perfect storm. The main reason for the reemergence of the tabletop genre should be attributed to both the increased publicity of the game and the environment becoming more accommodating to new players.

While games like “Dungeons & Dragons,” or D&D, have always been fun to many people, it took shows like “Stranger Things” and streaming sites like Twitch to help break the barrier to entry. These sorts of programs help break down the stigma around the community and show why there is constant support pouring into the industry.

Some of these new shows are breaking the stigma that people who play tabletop games are all skinny, white nerds who play in the basement while eating junk food. While “Stranger Things” doesn’t buck this portrayal, shows on the streaming site Twitch help broadcast a community of players of all different backgrounds. They display people from a variety of races, countries, body types and genders who get together to play a game they love.

The introduction and development of the internet over the years has given many tools to those interested in playing tabletop games. There are thousands of sites dedicated to providing resources and helping players of the many respective games, but the greatest tool the internet gave the tabletop community is the ability to play online.

Without the ability to play online from the comfort of one’s own home, the tabletop industry’s rebirth might never have happened on the scale that it has. Sites like Roll20.net and games like “Tabletop Simulator” allow players to simulate the formerly personal experience of these tabletop games thanks to the capacity to connect with people over the internet.

Introduction of these elements derived from advances in the internet has made playing these games more enjoyable for those who are just dipping their toes in. These online advancements have removed the requirement for costly supplies and multiple hours to visit someone’s house, making the beginning stages of learning a cumbersome game much easier to handle.

The best part about the combination of the internet and roleplaying games is the capability to try out a range of settings without having to get the necessary materials for each game. There are hundreds of games (and variants of other games), so you can try many different tabletop games until you find one that fits you.

The rebirth of games like D&D and its genre provides those who were born in the gap of its popularity to come into the community and try to learn what it was they missed out on. Tabletop gaming’s unique trait of telling personalized stories the players feel invested in will have most people hooked after their first game, feverish to play more and explore the world that was created just for them.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Shane Monaco

Shane Monaco

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