Is This The Future Of Tabletop Gaming?

Everybody loves a good tabletop game. From huge RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, to classics like Monopoly and Yahtzee, nothing can compare to an evening spent with good friends and a board game. As our modern lives get busier, it is often hard to make time in our schedules for tabletop gaming with friends. Well, here’s a place that has done all the arrangements for us. Check out Guardian Games.

Guardian Games is an enormous game store in Portland, Oregon. It has thousands of tabletop games to purchase, and tons of games to try out free in the store, with plenty of tables set up to be used for gameplay. And that’s not all. What about coffee, beer, and pizza to keep you energized while you play? Their on-site bar, called “The Critical Sip,” sells tap beers, ales, and the like. You can show up with your friends, or meet some new pals. There’s no better way to start a new friendships with like-minded nerds than with a good tabletop match.

Is this the up and coming future of tabletop gaming? Will a store like Guardian Games be coming to your town soon? I surely hope so. Imagine a place where anyone could go and buy any game on a whim, or just hang out with fellow nerds and enjoy games, drinks and quality time. Not only would this be fun, but playing tabletop games is healthy and engaging for the mind, and spending real time with friends creates tangible community and lasting connections.

What do you think? Do you see a future for the tabletop community in places like this?

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Thousands Of Copies Of “The Worst Video Game Ever” Buried In The New Mexico Desert

Have you ever hated a game so much that you rage quit? Me too.

Have you ever hated a game so much that you buried truckloads of that same game in the middle of the New Mexico desert?

In 1983, The New York Times reported 14 trucks delivering secret cargo to a landfill in New Mexico. The cargo? The E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Atari 2600 cartridge. Known as “the worst game ever” to many people, sources describe the video game as “badly programmed, utterly boring, not following the plot of the movie and very frustrating to play.” Atari was desperate to get E.T. out before Christmas, as it was a very popular movie at the time, so they spent only 5 weeks producing it. It simply wasn’t long enough to make an acceptable game.

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Despite the success of the movie, the game was very badly received and Atari suffered huge financial losses. Over five million of the games were made, and less than one and a half million were sold. It also turned out that Atari had created more copies of the game than there were Atari 2600s in existence at the time. It was released Christmas of 1982, and many copies were returned, and the game given terrible reviews.

This was the beginning of the end for Atari, shortly afterward the entire video game industry crashed.

James Heller, who used to work for Atari, told the Associated Press he was instructed to get rid of over 700,000 Atari games “as quickly and inexpensively as possible” in 1983. Besides ET, some other things dumped in the New Mexico landfill were Atari consoles, and games such as Centepede, Missile Command, Asteroids and Defender.

Xbox Live’s Larry Hryb told BBC that he expected they were “buried out of shame.”

For many years, there was no proof of this, and it the “Atari Dump” became simply an urban legend. However, in 2014, the City of Alamogordo granted Fuel Industries access to the site, and they were eager to debunk the myth and make a documentary about their findings. They found over 1,300 cartridges and consoles, however only a limited amount of material could be retrieved, the rest of the is buried much deeper than expected.

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Now, 30 years later, most of these “worst games ever” from the dig have been sold on Ebay, for around $108,000. The Alamogordo News recorded that the city sold 881 of the game cartridges, gave 100 to the documentary crew and donated 23 to museums. One of these E.T. games from the dig is on display at the Smithsonian.

The dig site is a landmark on the Roadtrippers’ website.

The full documentary is called Atari: Game Over. Watch the trailer for it here!

Which Video Games Shaped Your Childhood?

I have always appreciated video games. My involvement with the online community didn’t begin but only a couple years ago, and I have really enjoyed the interesting people and comradery of online gaming. Here are a few games that shaped the way I look at gaming today, and got me interested in video games when I was young:

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Ah, the intriguing and mysterious Carmen Sandiego. I wanted to be like her. She was so good at being bad! This was the beginning of my interest in spies, mysteries, and games such as L.A. Noire.

Pokémon Gold

Of course, Pokémon on the Gameboy Color. A childhood love that has never died. I just received Pokémon Moon for Christmas this year! I also have Pokémon print tights that I wear proudly in public. I will always love Pokémon.

Math Blaster Episode 1: In Search of Spot

This was the first alien game I ever played, beginning my lifelong passion for games like Xcom2 and Dead Space (okay, Math Blaster to Dead Space may be a bit of a stretch.) This is a learning game, where you play an astronaut and solve math equations to get about in space to save your little alien friend who was kidnapped by the evil trash Martian.

Street Fighter 2

We had a babysitter who allowed us to play Street Fighter 2 while we were at her house. Thus began my love with fighting games such as Mortal Kombat  and of course, The Street Fighter series. I just mashed buttons, of course, as a 5-year-old, but this made winning so much more celebratory!

Age of Empires 2

I adored Age of Empires 2. Building armies, attacking enemy cities, taking over the world! With all the different playable civilizations, diverse resources to gather and buildings to construct, it was such an exciting venture. I am now playing Civilization 6 non-stop, it reminds me so much of Age of Empires 2.

Goldeneye 007

I was terrible at this game. I was always dropping my gun and had to resort to slapping my attacker. Every time I see this game being played it brings back great memories of the splendid game I was awful at. I enjoy first person shooters now, Like Rainbow Six Siege, and they are much more intense than they were back then, that’s for sure!

What about you? What were some video games that you loved when you were young?