Online Board Gaming

There are lots of sites available for playing board games online, whether they be Diplomacy, traditional games such as Chess, or new games, like Ticket To Ride.

They can be a useful resource. If you don’t have a local gaming group, then you can play online. If you want to play these games at 3am, then you’ll doubtless be able to find other players willing to play against you (the beauty of timezones). It also allows you to try games before you buy, which is a major benefit.

I don’t feel that playing online is as good as playing in real life. I think that the gaming experience loses quite a lot, and could even mean that a game you’d really enjoy when played for real leaves you cold when you play online.

Gaming online misses a lot of the social aspect of gaming, which is important to many game players. It is possible to add much of this back in, using chat programs and so on, but it is still not as good as face to face gaming.

I also feel that people tend to invest less in an online game. I’ve certainly seen cases of people leaving a game when they are doing poorly, and hardly paying any attention whatsoever to the game. This is occasionally a problem in face-to-face play, but it happens many times more frequently online. This often, in my opinion, leads to people packing up a game when there could still be a chance of winning, or at least an opportunity to learn more about the game.

These players will be unlikely to get better at the game, and will never be fun to play against. They need to realise that you get better at a game more quickly by losing it than by winning, but they won’t learn this playing online.

So, online gaming has benefits, but there are drawbacks, pick the places you play carefully, look for sites that reward playing to completion and not just winning, and you’ll likely have a better experience, but if you can find people to play against for real, then that’ll most likely be more fun.

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