Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Future of Nerd Culture Delivery?

I know there'll be people out there with a lot more to say about the iPad than me. I am hardly a computer nerd (I'm typing this on my iBook G4 for instance), I don't have an iPhone, I don't have a bleeding edge desktop computer, the last thing I was an early adopter for was the original Nintendo DS in all it's sexy bulkiness. That being said, this product excites me. It's the missing link between computer and kindle. It's also a bit of the future right now. Any sci-fi movie worth its salt has kids sitting at the breakfast table with their little notebook-sized (real notebooks, not electric) computer doing some homework or something equally futury.

I've been thinking my next computer, whenever I actually upgrage from good ole' reliable SPHINX 1! (the name of this here iBook), would be a netbook. They're crazy cheap at the right time of year, and I don't do any PC gaming as it is (I own a Mac, duh!), so this was really shaping up to be what I would go with. However, now with the iPad (terrible name!), I may wait a bit longer until the inevitable price drop brings it down to $400.00 or less. Between this and a decent smartphone, I really wouldn't need much more than that for all my computing needs.

But what about nerd needs? Well, if I'm looking to run a White Wolf game in the next five years, chances are the best books will all be pdf's to begin with. That means an ultra portable computer for the gaming table. With the recent Haiti relief fundraiser, I probably own more pdf files than deadtree books to begin with, so I'm covered there too. It's only a matter of time before Wizards makes all the D&D books available in pdf format as well as their nice hardcover releases, so I'd be set there too. You know what the iPad really brings to the gaming table though? Character sheets. Imagine 5 to 10 years down the line when most gamers have one of these things. Can you imagine the apps for full real-time character sheets? I'd be shocked if Wizards and White Wolf wasn't already trying to do this. It's really gotta be the way of the future.

I can't neglect comic books though! I hate reading comics of any length on my computer, with scrolling and repositioning of the screen it can be a bit of pain. That said, you know there's going to be comics formatted specifically for the true tablet PC (made disctinct from general tablet laptop's with full keyboard/mouse controlls).

This is so exciting!


  1. I agree that the iPad is the ultimate at the table tool for gaming. .PDF rulebook reference, visual aid, DM notes, etc. in a very portable format. I think the biggest problem I have with gaming books in .PDF format is that I hate having to scroll down than back up because of the two column layout - having an iPad would eliminate that and make it way easier to use .PDFs at the table.

  2. Don't give in to the iPad! There's netbooks that can do so much more! (just no 3G). Their pad itself is very questionable hardware wise, you're really just buying a conduit to the app store on a battery draining kindle :).

    Anyway.. I know everyone and their mother has a love or hate opinion of the pad, but I call it evil and not as good as a netbook with a real OS.

  3. I will admit that I did some more reading, and the ipad in it's current specs are just not appealing. I'll stand by my original point though that this kinds of computers (which I agree, the ipad is barely a computer at this point) are going to be the future of gaming/comics/nerds having their pixels and such at the tips of their fingers. And to this end, a mass-produced piece of hardware that can turn a lot of people onto the technology is still a good thing in my book, even if the technology itself can't display a Call of Cthulhu character sheet and play a Midnight Syndicate song at the same time.


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