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.
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.