Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ereaders for Gaming or “How I learned how to get from behind my Laptop and join the action!”

OK I admit I use my laptop as a DM/GM/Keeper/Storyteller whatever all the time in games.  Let’s face it, my trusty lappy360 helps me keep track of initiative, npcs, combat, notes, character sheets and allows me to check references in rules at the touch of a few buttons.  I also use my laptop to podcast some sessions as well as to play music and surf the internet for names and other roleplaying goodies.  Without lappy I would be back to keeping notes on a pad with pen and paper (gasp!) I absolutely love my laptop and even though I am considering additional game aids which we will get to in just a moment, I believe that my lappy360 will always sit next to me on the separate table area someone nicely marked DM only!

Ok so time to get what this article is all about – ereaders!  If you have not been living under a rock or deep in the bowels of Shubnigaroth you’ve no doubt heard that ereaders are all the rage.  Now there are quite a number of these little bad boys on the market among them the giant Kindle and the ereader-but-not-really-an-ereader ipad.   
In case you do not already know what an ereader is it is basically a very skinny version of  the Nintendo gameboy that has been expanded in size to roughly a novel or a little bigger and allows for eye-friendly reading of novels, magazines and periodicals.  The concept of an ereader is that you can read a book without having to actually own it (a novel concept thank you public library) and you can have multiple books all in one nifty little device (much like a laptop or pc).

I saw this ereader at Barnes and Nobels a few months ago called the Nook and it got me to wondering if they would ever make a color version of the ereader other than the ipod?  Well guys guess what?  The Nookcolor has just been released!  This little gizmo is really cool but it unfortunately does not have the 3g capability of nook but it does have wireless. 

The ipod is really super cool and something I have considered awhile now but at the heart of myself I am really against the whole apple cult phenomenon.  While I did play on it with my friend Byron to play Small World and messed around with it to get some game updates.  It is kind of like paying money to Heaven’s Gate but not actually getting to ride the comet…  Now if Asus came out with an ipad type I’d be all over it.

The Kindle is also really cool but when I heard they pulled all Orwellian books even after people had already purchased them it sent up a red flag that said to me “IT’S INGSOC!” and well who really likes thought control?  You do not do you.  I knew you were thinking that.

So, I am leaning towards the nook color. Tell me has anyone else here used an ereader for gaming purposes?  What I want/need it to do is to be able to quickly scroll through pdfs during a session but also allow for some quiet down-time reading in between sessions.

The really cool capability about the nook is that it will read any pdf up to a certain file size.  The tech guy did not tell me what the file size maximums are for the nook.  He did say that files can be transferred to and from the nook.  So yes I can copy my Pathfinder books to the nook and back and forth.  Of course, I know that you probably already have the book in printed form so why not just use it right?


  1. I'm no Apple fanboy. I have seen the iPad in action and I think it's probably the best for at the table use. I just will not pay that much for something I can't carry around with me. I went for a iPod touch as an always available e-reader and I love it. It's just too small to use at the table. Which is fine by me, as I hardly ever even use a laptop.

  2. Bought a older Nook Wi-Fi only model, I'll let you know how it works out.

  3. Lappy dogs are fine as long as they don't roll dice for you and do all "the action" for you - one thing I don't like about computer generated games, i.e. carnage and glory - the fog of war is to foggy for me. But they can be useful especially for us "older" gamers for the nuances you mentioned. Also for rules look ups - I have "heard the positives on various websites/yahoo groups on the advent of this "new" technology. Time will tell.

  4. Well, I can tell you with the Kindle3 I have, while it can view pdfs, the screen is too small and has issues with formatting.