Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Sharing ideas

George Bernard Shaw once said that:
'If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.'

One of the reasons why I first started this blog was the opportunity it presented to me to share my ideas with other wargamers ... and on reflection, it seems to have been reasonably successful.

The last few days have seen some of my ideas taken forward and developed by other wargamers to the extent that they have begun to look a bit less vague and ill-formed and a lot more polished and presentable.

For example Archduke Piccolo has taken the very extemporised wargame that I cobbled together a few weeks back using the figures from MEMOIR '44 and the map board from RISK! LORD OF THE RINGS edition and turned it into something that looks and works much better than the original. His blog entries (here and here) about The First Marmon War (1869) were most impressive and inspiring ... and have already sparked off one or two ideas that David Crook and I have been discussing in emails over the past couple of days.

Conrad Kinch and the Mad Padre have provided another example of one of my vague suggestions being turned into a workable idea. I had suggested that the iPad/iPhone application FaceTime could be used to stage wargames where one or more of the players were remote from the tabletop action. By using the built-in camera on the iPad or iPhone (and the WiFi connection that FaceTime uses), the remote player could 'see' the action almost as well as they would if they we actually present. Not only that but the ability to talk to each other ensured that the human interaction that helps to make wargaming such an enjoyable hobby was also present. Conrad Kinch and the Mad Padre have now used FaceTime to fight a wargame, with Conrad Kinch being in Dublin, Ireland and the Mad Padre in Alberta, Canada! (For the Mad Padre's views of how the experiment worked, look here.)

Here's to sharing more ideas ... and many more blog entries!

8 comments:

  1. It is good to see not only ideas shared but to see people merging them for example taking the remote video conference wargames that Rob Dean and I pioneered and your suggestion to substitute facetime to play an inter continental game.

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  2. Ross Mac,

    I think that the development of small portable tablet computers and the Internet/World Wide Web plus all their associated technological improvements has had a profound effect up the hobby of wargaming over the last year or two... and that there is still a lot more to come!

    Primary amongst all the current developments is the ability to share ideas and to have almost instant feedback (we no longer have to wait for magazines or books to be published to see what other people are doing … we can do that almost in the blink of an eye!). Now that we can talk to and see each other, we can move that one stage further on … and I can foresee a growth in international and intercontinental wargames being fought. If that happens, we can say ‘We were there!’ … and be able to prove it as well.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. If you enjoy boardgames it's well worth looking into VASSAL as a virtual boardgaming platform (esp. for C&C games, which are well represented). You can play live and use skype to chat with your opponent, or just use the inline text messaging if you prefer to do it that way. It's marvellous. I have made many friends (and particularly Italian friends, for some reason!) through VASSAL. I would highly recommend it.

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  4. Prufrock,

    I must admit to not knowing much about VASSAL ... but I will certainly have a look at now that you have recommended it.

    Thanks very much for you suggestion.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. That also reminds me that I need to put up my modifications to the rules and try another game with them. I'll also be sure to take a closer look at the Archduke's site.

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  6. Sean,

    I look forward to seeing your modified version of the rules ... and I thoroughly recommend the Archduke's blog.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. I have definitely gathered plenty of ideas, inspiration, and even entertainment from all of the blogs I read. The rapidity of the medium indeed helps in fostering exchanges of ideas, with quick feedback and ideas building one each other.

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  8. Fitz-Badger,

    So many of us have become dependent upon it that one now begins to wonder what we would do without this ability to communicate so quickly?

    All the best,

    Bob

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