Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Chicken Little Syndrome

So many things to blog about, so little time...

I read Tabletopapocalypse and well, I felt the need to respond to it.  Mr. Skarka writes about the "demise of the table top gaming industry".  Yeah right.  How may times have I heard that before?  Plenty of times.  Table top gaming seems to be doing fine to me.  Of course Mr. Skarka seems to believe he has evidence to the contrary, because he is in the business, and has been involved with different aspects of it for a while now.  Well, I've worked in the retail side and the distributor side myself.  Does that make me an expert no?  No.  Does it make him or his associates experts?  No.

It's my opinion that as long as there are table top gamers there will be a corresponding industry, in some form or capacity.

Mr. Skarka has the "Chicken Little Syndrome", and according to him the sky is falling!  His sky may be falling, but I guarantee some people in the business are doing fine.  Maybe not everybody, but then this is probably the case for any industry.  Has he considered the economy of the last few years?  Once the economy rebounds the table top gaming industry could very well see  vast improvement.  Will he still be around to see it?  I don't know, sounds like he wants to stick his tail between his legs and run.  "The sky is falling!"

Such negativity does not help the industry.  At no point in his blog post do I see any suggestions about how to improve things. None.  Doom and gloom, and everyone that disagrees with him are wrong.  He has his evidence after all!

Maybe his sky is falling?  Perhaps his income has taken a huge hit?  I don't know, but maybe deep down he feels if he can't make money in the industry that nobody should be able to?  Perhaps that's a stretch, but some people are like that.

I could go on, but I'm going to take a hard line point of view.  If anyone in the table top gaming industry thinks that there's trouble, that there's no hope, and eventually it will be gone, perhaps you need to rethink this.  Get your head out of your ass, put on a helmet, and plow forward.  Try some new directions, be innovative, I don't know, try something!  If you can't do that, then walk out the door, and don't look back. If you do look back in a few years you will see that the hobby and the industry is still around.  In some form or another it will STILL BE AROUND.  It would be better for all of us that enjoy the hobby if you feel this way then you should leave.  Negativity doesn't help ANYONE.

Of course I may be wrong.  I doubt it, but you never know what's going to happen.  According to Mr. Skarka it's not a matter of if but when.  What we really need are optimists not pessimists.  Help the industry, don't hinder it.

Well, this appears to be my second rant this week.  Two in a row.  Oh well.


  1. Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it.

  2. The hobby will still be here whether or not WotC and/or Some Guy ever publish another product, assuming they don't come to our houses and snatch the books out of our hands. :)

  3. I guess the guy isn't selling enough books. I believe he mentioned in a comment that he realises that the table gaming hobby will probably never disappear, but that the industry would be gone. To me that's illogical, if there are gamers, there's going to be someone, or some company, publishing and selling product.

  4. Hey dude. Remove Synapse from your blogroll and re-add it. Something is fubared. It isnt feeding new posts to you.

  5. I don't follow the industry, exactly, but there is a huge (dare I say) indie community of gamers who don't use the traditional products (ahem, WotC, White Wolf, or even Palladium). Role-play has never been huge, not movie or video game huge, but from a content perspective the genre is pretty healthy right now. People are still *making* stuff, so I don't see the industry-will-die correlation.

    The next boom of table-top gaming won't come from the wider known companies; it will come from the community.

  6. I'd have to agree that there are more mediums out there to compete with tabletop, but he's taking it a little far. That, and his numbers seem skewed.. 1700 books to get in the top 5? 40k and White Wolf aren't on that list - there's no way they didn't sell 1700 books.

  7. Back when I first started gaming, a looong time ago it was hard to find gamebooks, or whatever. There was ONE store in my city that sold them, Toyland, and all they had were TSR products. They also had Grenadier Miniatures. Now if I want to buy a gamebook, I have plenty of options. The only thing I don't have in my city is a FLGS, which hopefully will changge soon. The industry isn't going away anytime soon, but maybe Mr. Skarka is.