The Resurgence of Tabletop Gaming and How to Hook Tabletop Gamers On RPGs


This article is a contributed post.

Many Roleplayers will disagree that tabletop games and roleplaying games have experienced resurgence – after all, that can’t be the case if the industry never died down, now could it? But there’s no denying that tabletop games took a hit when console games overtook the market. Paul and Joao of Spellbound Games in Glasgow, the industry’s been kept alive mainly because of the social aspect of tabletop gaming, and because of the little niches that roleplaying games cater to.

Roleplaying games had long been cast into the shadows of pop culture and the media, but new trends have dictated their resurgence as a popular hobby. Strangely enough, much of this has to do with the mobile gaming industry – which is often touted to bring about the death of console gaming. As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Gaming Realms, the company responsible for the games featured on entertainment hub Total Gold, has noted that games account for more than 50% of smartphone usage. Hundreds of thousands of apps are available on the mobile gaming markets, and some of them cater to the very same niches as tabletop games. Even Wizards of the Coast has tapped into the mobile market and released “Magic 2014”, a simulation of one of the oldest tabletop games known to man. Other games like “Knights of Pen and Paper” have broken down the tabletop gaming system for those more versed in console and mobile gaming as well.

Let’s not forget how HBO’s award-winning series “A Game of Thrones” has also emerged with its own board game, drawing fans of the series to begin discovering the wonderful world of tabletop RPGs. The industry is more alive than ever, which brings us to the question:

“How do I bring tabletop gamers into my RPG game?”

As Paul and Joao noted, the social aspect is a major selling point for the industry, and while it may witness surges of interest and periods of decline, RPGs will always have its own steadily growing loyal fanbase. Surprisingly, many of these people who are now loyal fans of their own tabletop games started out as tabletop gamers as well.

If you know anyone who seems to have suddenly become interested in playing tabletop games thanks to the new GOT board game, then welcome them with open arms. Spread the love of RPGs and try to introduce them to other games that interest you. Chances are, if RPGs just aren’t for them, their interest will wane quickly enough, but if you spark a new passion in them, it’s just one more player sitting around your table.

-by Corey Archer

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