Is it your baseball game as a hologram a la Star Wars?  Is it the recently pre-announced flexible screens demonstrated by Samsung where they can unroll with your game board on them?  Anything beyond that and it will be the next-next generation.

Baseball Classics defines Next Generation Tabletop Baseball Board Game as the following:

  1. Graphical user interface player cards
  2. Entire game is in full color
  3. Player cards can also be used as a baseball reference guide for player stats
  4. Generating result outcomes with random numbers (no spinners, cards, etc.)
  5. The same board game play is available through the internet
  6. Participate actively with the tabletop baseball board game community via social media, blogging, etc.
  7. Offering any MLB teams and seasons from 1901 to the present

Baseball board games have been around for many decades.  They have provided great value and pure joy for baseball fans ever since, coming in a variety of formats and still do today.  However like many joys in life, there comes a time when a new generation comes along and updates what was once the standard.  Many long-standing companies survive as they reinvent their products and solutions leveraging new technologies, naturally those that don’t eventually fall behind and fade into the distant past.

Baseball board games aren’t immune to this, thus can either become a collector’s item or a relevant play in today’s modern age of savvy baseball fan.

Baseball Classics baseball game has evolved since its inception from the ground up in 1986.  Back then the Internet was not a household word, technology was just starting to revamp in the business world ultimately revolutionizing the way the world worked and people communicated.

Baseball Classics offered any Major League Baseball teams and seasons since 1901 from the very beginning.  As stated in a previous post “The Game That Inspired Baseball Classics”, once I had the experience to get to know players from the late 1800’s to the present through Sports Illustrated’s All-Time All-Star Baseball Game, I knew this was the way baseball games were suppose to deliver.  Playing teams from 1901 to the present was all about the experience and appreciation of their play to me back then and still is today.

Rudy York of the Detroit Tigers, have you ever heard of this fellow?  What a versatile and multi-talented player he was, yet who in modern-day ever heard of him?  There’s so many like him among the nearly 75,000 players Baseball Classics offers today.  With my technology background, I have parlayed that into a system that affords being able to make that many MLB players available.

Baseball Classics was always based on dice to generate random numbers.  Dice have proven out to be the single best system to do so outside of the technology world.  Spinners fall apart, cards need to be shuffled (every time – who has time for that?) to offer random play, and any other device just isn’t even a close call to dice.

Thus offering any MLB team from 1901 to the present and dice were the only two on the Next Generation list.  Baseball Classics has evolved over the recent years, adding full color player cards in 2004 with 11 batter statistics.  Today there are a healthy 16 to feast on.  Pitcher cards spawn 14, thus plenty of ways to tell their story.  So many of the old baseball game player cards are text-based, some can’t even fit any stats on a card let alone these amounts.  Others provide some routine stats.  The player cards should be like a mini-reference guide, teaching the baseball fan about what they did.  It’s an experience.

Telling the story is important, and revealing their story graphically is just as valuable for baseball board game play.  Who wants to buy a black and white TV?  Can you imagine not watching the World Series in full color?  Not seeing all the replays in full color?  Remember when cell phones were not in full color?  How quickly all that changed once the technology became available!  Our world is in living color, so why shouldn’t our baseball board games be by now?

With the advent of the computer reaching the masses and then cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices we are an on the go society.  Mobile devices passed up desktop/laptop computers 3 years ago.  Board games still carry all the same charm when carried into that world.  If your baseball board game isn’t in that world by now, you are already behind and falling behind faster by the millisecond.  Today, you can play Baseball Classics baseball game on mobile devices (free), thus no learning curve as all the same game components are there.  Board games like Scrabble, Yahtze, etc. have all moved over to the mobile platform years ago and are as popular as ever.

Thanks to the Internet, the social world is enormous for gaming and all industries.  How many Tweets per second, YouTube videos are watched per second, blogs are written per second, and how about users in Facebook?!  The numbers are mind-numbing, staggering, and growing tremendously by the hour.  According to studies, data is doubling globally every 6 weeks!  Your baseball board game should be serving you in the social world, providing valuable content to enjoy, not just merely offering a web store.

These elements make up the next generation baseball board game play.  Baseball fans are as savvy as ever through the use of technology.  We will continue to leverage technology in Baseball Classics as the means to listen to our customers, serve our customers, and continue to provide next generation tabletop baseball board game play.

How would you like to see your favorite tabletop baseball board game evolve?