Is Monopoly doomed? Sometimes it seems like it, with our attention shifting to the Wii, smartphone games, and all of the entertainment available on the iPad and tablet computers. But maybe, just maybe, tablet computers will become the board for a whole new generation of board games (as well as new versions of all-time faves). That’s what seems to be happening, as I wrote in a recent column.
The iPad isn’t out to destroy traditional board games, but it is appropriating them—and reinventing what a board game can be. A generation from now, that standard feature of many homes — shelves stacked with board games in tattered cardboard boxes — may be a relic of the past. All of your faves will still be available, just in a super-charged form, and on the same device, a tablet computer.
I see this happening in my own home. I love the traditional Scrabble set, but why use it when you can have the iPad on the table and just put it away for a bit if you want to take a break from the game. Tablet games, after all, have a number of advantages: They keep score for you, there’s no cleanup, and you don’t have to worry about losing tiles or game pieces.