Analog Pastimes Are Making a Big Comeback
Analog is so in.
The prevalence of video games hasn't slowed the growth of the tabletop market. Eurogamer noted board games were back in 2012 and since then, outlets have been charting their growth each year.
The board game business isn't quite as lucrative as the video game industry, but it rakes in around $880 million a year in America and Canada alone. This growth is expected to continue, says Milton Griepp, ICv2’s boss in an interview with The Economist: “We’ve seen double-digit annual growth for the past half-decade.” So, why the sudden resurgence?
The rise of this analog social pastime is somewhat indebted to digital apps and downloads. Board games weren't something people typically stumbled upon like they do now. I was introduced to Magic the Gathering through friends and they were introduced to it through their friends or parents. The spread of tabletop games were mainly through word of mouth. But apps, YouTube "Let's Plays," and social media have demystified them a bit — people have more opportunities to curiously peek in on these activities without anyone seeing. TheHearthstone app could very well be the new gateway drug to Magic the Gathering.
This increased exposure has, in turn, created more acceptance of the medium, and Kickstarter has made an opportunity for more unconventional games to come onto the scene.
A few months ago, Caroline Hobbs put her story-driven tabletop game, Downfall, up for funding on Kickstarter and was met with a flood of support (in the form of money). The game is unique in many ways; it has no board and no combat — it's all about creating a civilization and destroying it.
The players craft this world, its values, sigels, and proceed to act out scenes, centering around three characters and the catastrophic event that brings this city to its knees. This kind of gameplay was entirely new to me — it was D&D without the stat sheets and combat — and Hobbs explained that “story-driven games are popular and [a] growing family within the community.”
She has play tested her game among a number of different people and “[e]very game is incredibly unique.” The place can be entirely fantastical or based in a contemporary world. Part of the wonder of games like these is being able to connect and share an experience (and I don't mean through Twitter). I'm talking about something more immediate.
Hobbs explains how she's able to achieve this in Downfall, saying, “It's all about giving players the tools to make the story they're interested in telling.”
Eva Moskowitz explains why geeking out on games is so important for youth.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Elon Musk took issue with recent ideas for space exploration from Jeff Bezos.
- Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have sparred over space exploration previously.
- Musk wants to focus on Mars while Bezos has the moon and space colonies as goals.
- In a recent tweet, Musk called out Bezos's plans for space colonies as unrealistic.
If you don't want to know anything about your death, consider this your spoiler warning.
- For centuries cultures have personified death to give this terrifying mystery a familiar face.
- Modern science has demystified death by divulging its biological processes, yet many questions remain.
- Studying death is not meant to be a morbid reminder of a cruel fate, but a way to improve the lives of the living.
- Push Past Negative Self-Talk: Give Yourself the Proper Fuel to Attack the World, with David Goggins, Former NAVY SealIf you've ever spent 5 minutes trying to meditate, you know something most people don't realize: that our minds are filled, much of the time, with negative nonsense. Messaging from TV, from the news, from advertising, and from difficult daily interactions pulls us mentally in every direction, insisting that we focus on or worry about this or that. To start from a place of strength and stability, you need to quiet your mind and gain control. For former NAVY Seal David Goggins, this begins with recognizing all the negative self-messaging and committing to quieting the mind. It continues with replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones.
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