November 6, 2012

Using Techology as Part of the Game

Games already use some technology at the table - projectors for maps, computers for rules and PDFs, electronic die rollers, Google+ and other chat systems to play online. But I am not talking about using technology at the table, I am talking about using it as part of the game. I am talking about integrating it into the actual game play, using it as a game mechanic. I have already written about this in part in my Use the Internet IC, which dealt with allowing modern day characters to use the internet as a resource and tailoring adventures to make use of the internet.

However, this idea can be expanded and has been in this latest Kickstarter, Magicians: A Language Learning RPG. As background, this RPG is a modern day fantasy in a Korean setting placed at a school for gifted children, similar to the Harry Potter books. It looks to feed on the Korean mythos in depth, which by itself sounds interesting. However, the real interesting thing is that spells are cast by speaking Korean, the real-world language...and a smartphone app (which is free to download) checks to make sure pronunciation is correct. Correct use of the language means the spells goes off correctly. You can check out the Kickstarter to see this in action as they have some in-play videos there.

This Kickstarter promises that it can be used to actually teach a player how to speak Korean. Spellcasting has levels of usage from the simplest (limited use of selected words) to the most difficult (full use of Korean sentences) and the app checks the process...which is good because if I was running the game I wouldn't be able to check the spellcasting. But the more the players play the game the more they will learn of the language, or so the Kickstarter promises.

Either way, I like this use of technology. I think technology should be used more, not to replace game play or decision making, but rather to get players to try a different approach, to add a higher layer to a game. Do you know of any other uses of technology in game play?
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