Between the ages of eight and twelve or so, I played a shitload of my single favorite game, no, not a video game [although Mike Tyson's Punch Out was probably a close second], but Dungeons & Dragons. To nitpick a little, I was actually playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons; I can't recall what the real difference between the two was/is more than a decade later though. I haven't played since, but I still very much still have all my dice which may still worry Joey Sweeney. From d4 through d100, I got 'em.
And earlier today, I read this NY Times article on how D&D is about to go online. At first I said Nooooooo! But then I thought of all the knock offs that are already online. All those sim games are derivative of D&D. The one that sticks out the most, and the one that has gobbled up dozens of hours of my life, is Final Fantasy. The original Nintendo game which is now on Play Station and is set for it's thirteenth or so iteration. I'm gonna buy it up and not be heard from for many hours when that happens. But then I thought that while all these derivative games were out there already, D&D was different in that it was always a pencil and paper game and never was simply a video incarnation of a role-playing game.
Transforming that analog/organic pencil and paper game online, that's just about impossible. There's some form of the gathering of friends around a table with masses of dice and junk food that cannot be transferred online, call it, say, the organic geek quotient. Something about the clack of the die as it hits the table and rolls around. The eager looks of anticipation on your teammates' faces as the dungeon master reads aloud a scenario. Stephen Colbert knows what I'm talking about. So does Vin Diesel [so does Vin Diesel?!].