March 7, 2011: The Best Time To Be A Gamer Is Now
It is entirely possible that we are living in one of the best times to be a gamer. Some games have certainly had higher sales in the past, but today we get to enjoy decades of gaming goodness, available on demand via PDF.
Take The AADA Vehicle Guide Volume 2 Counters, for instance. When it was first released in 1988, your purchase got you the counters in the pack, nothing more. Today, you can print out just the big rigs, or just the wrecked versions for battlefield decoration -- or cover! The file still contains the counter key, so you can match your counter to the official stats found in The AADA Vehicle Guide 2.
Space Gamer #61 doesn't require multiple printouts, of course. But since the vast majority of the original magazines are long gone, these digital copies give us a sense of history. Even those of us who were around for the fundamentalist outcry against roleplaying could stand to re-read Bill Armintrout's "Report from the Trenches."
And speaking of history, GURPS Classic: Age of Napoleon takes the world of the 18th century and highlights the gameable bits . . . and there were quite a few of them. Only in the past few years has such scholarly research become easily accessible to the gaming community!
Easy printing, a sense of our own history, and access to the best scholarship about gameable history -- if it isn't the best time to be a gamer, it's a darned good one!
-- Paul Chapman
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