Is it really coming to the end of Table top roleplaying?

I love table top gaming (and I assume roleplaying here), ever since my friends introduce me to it with game of White Wolf’s Werewolf: the Apocalypse, back somewhere in the 90s (I think). I’ve tried LARPs and I’ve even tried roleplaying online, but table top, with friends or even at a convention has always been more engaging for me.

It’s like playing the Wii. You can play games by yourself, but if you play with your friends it’s truly memorable.

Anyway, I came across this article via @fredhicks on twitter: The Designer Monologues » Blog Archive » Tabletopocalypse Now.

It’s not a matter of debate though. Anyone who has paid attention over the past two decades has seen the undeniable shrinking. There are far fewer dedicated speciality stores any more (current estimates place total numbers in the US at somewhere in the low-to-mid 2000s, according to ICV2, Diamond/Alliance distributors, and others). Fewer stores means fewer orders, as well as fewer social centers for the tabletop gaming community. Sales numbers are massively down from the 90s, much less the numbers seen during the ‘d20 explosion’ of the early 2000s.

I’ve seen clubs close (or merge with computer game clubs) and shelves in shops shrink. Yet Gaelcon starts this evening here in Ireland, it’s the biggest gaming con in Ireland. I haven’t gone in a few years (mostly due to awkward scheduling, and sadly it’s the same this year), but the excitement among Irish gamers is pretty evident if you go by twitter.  I think table top gaming will take a long time to die, but it’s being on that path for a long time already.

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