Sunday, March 4, 2018

Technology and Tournaments

I admit I'm old school, I use pen and paper and I use a laptop/computer for assisting me when I have run tournaments in the past.  Certainly before the easy availability of laptops and other such devices I did all my number crunching by pen, paper, calculator and brain power.

I was invited to an event recently, but declined as being a bloody poor person stops me.  However I did go and look at the players pack.  All fairly standard until I read the following:

"Players are required to record game data to assist with prize allocation. Players will be
required to submit round outcome particulars via the Tabletop TO website – bring a smartphone."


So new technology is easy for those who can access it.  Is making owning a smartphone something that should be a requirement to play in an event?  Is this hampering or improving the options for a tournament player?

I'm getting old and becoming less and less endeared with the "make it easy for me" mentality of so many people today.  This does not mean this only applies to younger generations, but indicative of anyone - society has created this.

I recently played a game where we had to add up our points for a game... I was complemented on my capacity for quick mental arithmetic.  It was standard in my day, no calculators, learn by rote and it has stood by me in all aspects of life.  So many people now grab a calculator or phone App to do the work which should be a simple process.  People lose the skill of mental arithmetic in favour of a labour or in this case mental saving device.

Tournament organisers should be planners, administrators and not just rules lawyers.  I admit I'm first and foremost a planner and administrator and a fairly average rule lawyer.  When I run events my system to record scores and any other minute is critical to my success.  The only time consuming part is finding people cannot fill out a form properly.  Yes I use paper forms to collate data, which helps immensely when people invariable stuff up.

Going back to what upset me was is this requirement (in this case of a smartphone) absolutely necessary for competing in a tournament? (In this case it would appear so.) I am very much about making gaming accessible to everyone, just not to people with deep pockets and the capacity to have what many cannot.  While my hobby is not exactly cheap, the cost to then add another layer of costs on top just to enjoy it, is defeating of encouragement and expanding the community.  By that I mean if you already have the expense of getting the game and paying the entry fee to compete does an additional level of requirement add a burden that is not necessary.

As you can guess from my tone, I find this level of requirement to be hampering.  While I understand that someone would more than likely help a player who did not have the ability to record data, it may not always be the case.  People may be unfriendly and choose not to assist.  While I can use a phone, can wander around the web on it, I find the phone damn useless when it comes to entering data, especially if the App or Web application is finicky.  More than likely it's just me being a cankerous old man who doesn't see the need, or perhaps sees the issues reliance on such "energy" saving systems provide.

Yet I can see the advantage when I put on my "looking from the other side" hat.  It is indeed brilliant that there are applications that allow you to do so much to save you time and effort as an event or tournament organiser.  Though I tend to find these are more helpful to those organisers who play in their own events... (not saying that this is the case for example given, I do not know)

I guess as time marches on the tools which will be deem necessary to life with be mandatory, trying to exist of the grid becomes more difficult, especially if you see inherent issues other cannot.

Till next time.
The Hon. John

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