Virtual Tabletops (VTT) for Role-Playing Games (RPG) and Do-It-Yourself (DYI) Interactive Surfaces as Examples of Vernacular Design
Mon 21 Nov 2022 17:55 - 18:07 at Rutherford House Mezzanine - Posters, Demos, Doctoral Symposium Evening Session Chair(s): Rachel Blagojevic, Steven Houben, Rafael Kuffner, Jason Leigh, Can Liu, Daniel Medeiros, Aaron J. Quigley, Anne Roudaut
Pop culture-driven nostalgia for the times of the second half of the 20th century - with their music, aesthetics and entertainment, in combination with the increased need for casual interpersonal contacts observed during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a kind of renaissance of classic tabletop board and Role-Playing Games. At the same time, the pandemic necessity of isolation has led to the emergence of new solutions in the field of social but remote entertainment - specially through software called Virtual Tabletops(VTT). In classic RPGs such as "Dungeons and Dragons" players often use boards, mockups, models, dioramas and miniatures for tactical orientation in situations where it is essential from the mechanics point of view (e.g. during combat sequences). Virtual game tables allowed for this types of props to be digitized including automation of some mechanical activities related to the game (statistics of objects, markers for area effects, fields of view, fogs of war etc.). This turned out to be so attractive that some players began to mix the classic pen and paper RPG’s gameplay (requiring the physical presence of players at the table and face to face communication), with virtual tools which then allow for projection onto table’s surface, walls or to the TVs, tablets and smartphones. This niche but extremely interesting example of vernacular practices in computer based media seem worth further investigation.