Lenovo, EA, Intel unite to DESTROY our childhood memories
Today's happy nuclear family basks in the glow of a 'Table PC'
CES 2013 Exactly why someone would want to play Monopoly on an all-in-one PC lying flat on the kitchen table, Intel didn't say, but a tableau vivant of a nuclear family doing just that was the centerpiece of a "Bringing Back Family Night" demo the company presented during a press event at CES 2013 on Monday.
In the demo, introduced by Intel PC Client Group headman Kirk Skaugen, little brother, big sister, mom, and gramps – or perhaps a silver fox with trophy wife and second family – sat playing one of EA's Monopoly games on Lenovo's 27-inch IdeaCentre Horizon "Table PC" all-in-one that was announced at CES 2013.
The IdeaCentre Horizon, Skaugen explained, is one of a new breed of "battery backed" all-in-ones that can be detached from its power source and laid flat on a table, where its ten-finger touchscreen can be accessed from all four axes.
"Here we have a typical family," Skaugen explained. "Whereas instead of everyone kind of huddled around their phone, we've actually brought the mobile computer over to the coffee table, and they're playing Electronic Arts Monopoly." According to Skaugen, playing on the computer what was formerly an archaic, analog board game is "really bringing the family together."
Color us unconvinced. Where are the marvelously tactile pewter dog, top hat, race car, thimble, iron, and so on? Where is the joyfully multicolored paper "Monopoly Money", with its richly hued orange $500 bills – £500 in the UK, one assumes. Where is the challenge of keeping all those tiny green houses perfectly lined up in each square?
How can our kids learn to cheat when the game is controlled by an ever-watchful Intel processor?
More importantly, where is the opportunity to surreptiously bag a beige $100 bill from your brother's stash when he is called away from the game to answer the call of nature after one too many Yoo-Hoos?
And finally, the fatal flaw. According to Lenovo, the IdeaCentre Horizon's battery lasts a mere two hours. Have you every played a full game of Monopoly that ended so expeditiously? No.
In an increasingly digital world, some things are better left analog, the advancements of Table PCs notwithstanding. Certainly, such devices might have their place in business, commerce, or even classoom education, but there's a lot to be said for the pleasures to be derived from shared family experiences not mediated by Yet Another Touchscreen.
Where are the Luddites now that we really need them? ®
I can hear the question forming in your mind, so I'll answer: your humble Reg reporter is 62 years old.
+1 for analogue
The real reason for games is not to play them. You play them as an excuse for social interaction.
What's the chance of "helpfully" moving an opponent's piece an extra square along from a safe square to a chance to get assessed?. Where's the fun in arguing if the dice roll is valid because its half off the board?
Unless you're teaching programming you can probably take IT out of the classroom too, or at least, out of the student's hands. Sure you can produce great results with a computer, but where is the achievement in using clip-art over drawing freehand? I'm not interested in my child producing a perfectly presented project, I'm interested in them learning about the animals, not cut & pasting from Wikipedia.
Call me when I can flick pictures and diagrams from my enormous horizontal screen up into a hologram projection. I don't know what I'd do with it (apart from redesign the Death Star without ventilation shafts) but it would be cool.
Board Games = Fun
Not often I say this, but no computer required for family fun.
Sure the Wii is good and the 360 have more family games available now (if you have enough space to set up Kinnect), but what is wrong with sitting round table with friends and family and just having fun.
My kids have developed a healthy taste for games and understand that not everyone wins someone has to lose every single time!
My 3yr old loves Candyland (counting game, sort of like snakes and ladders), Hungry Hippos (new version feels flimsy compared to original), and Yahtzee.
My 7yr old loves Yahtzee, Risk (transformers version naturally lol), First past the post (horse racing gambling/counting game) and Escape from Alcatraz.
We have a games cupboard which has everything from Murder Mysteries (which have the story and plot on a cassette tape (must get them digitized soon hmm!!)) to card games. The shelf above has the Xbox and Wii games. Teaching kids to win and lose is as essential as teaching them to read and count, so many children are growing up with an unbalanced sense of fair play in which they believe they are all winners and they dont have to earn anything to get something.
Same old problem
"Technology's gone robot-happy. Any job has to have a robot, or the engineer in charge feels cheated. You want a doorstop; buy a robot with a thick foot." - one of Asimov's robot stories.
The tech industry has been criticised for decades for its emphasis on punting tech over solving problems. Unfortunately they're still at it.
Re: i think the latency is better on the real game as well
Isn't it obvious?
WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
Danger of damage
My mum used to throw the board and contents on the board at my dad, usually when she found him helping himself to the pile of money like a banker.
She refused to play after one such episode where my Gran was giving my dad unauthorised loans to keep him in the game. It is so much more tactile when you can throw objects at other players.....
I miss those days..
But if it were my iPad/Tablet flying through the air I might not see the funny side.