Monday, November 29, 2010

Dice Are Nice and the Table Is Able

One idea that's really found a presence in the marketplace (and an eager market) is custom-made gear for entertainment. This sort of thing can run the gamut from customized pool tables (art, mostly – there's only so much you can do to a pool table) to much more elaborate gear like custom poker tables, with a head-spinning number of designs on a basic concept.

The reasons to pursue this are many. People always like to put their custom stamp on something, for the sake of individuality, which is why people have been spreading graffiti, painting murals, and decking out their cars for a very long time. Artistic statement is a fundamental part of being human. But it gets more complicated then that with games. Games are a way for people to express themselves and imagine in a way and style they cannot otherwise. Customization offers a degree of creation and power otherwise unavailable to them.

You see this especially in the tabletop games, which involve complicated rules, statistical management and role-playing, but also a tremendous amount of customized gear for playing. People spend a lot of time painting their miniature characters with which, like chess pieces, they will act out their games. Some go so far as to build environments and the like to give the role-playing added tangibility.

Companies have seen this interest and catered to it. There is gear available that offers all kinds of convenience to complement and enable the creative urge in role-playing. The popular tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons, for example, has a powerful market in merchandise, whether it's fancy dice and screens for the dungeon master to hide his machinations, or elaborate tables with all kinds of accessories and design features. This kind of equipment is not cheap, but for those who can afford it, it provides additional excitement to the action.