Knowledge is Power

It’s an interesting yet somewhat sad fact of the game that many players will never be surprised by their opponents. The relevant powers will be known and sometimes even the numbers will be memorized. The surprising Gotcha! monsters are well know so suspicious stalactites, chests, floors, and kittens are dispatched before moving down a corridor. As a forty-year-old hobby the base game has few surprises left. The game can always add a few new twists, but there’s a good chance the players will read them.

I think I’ll pull out my “old man cane” and wave it around and blame the Internet. While reading the Monster Manual or Bestiary is certainly not a new activity cheat guides and internet wikis have certainly made playing through puzzles and facing the uncertain a little less common. How often is a gamer’s first instinct when they reach an unsolvable puzzle in a videogame to search online for a hint? How many Warcraft players walk into a Raid without knowing the strategies for facing a boss? When the collected wisdom of the ages is one mouse waggle away, it’s hard to not take a peak.