When Apple announced the iPad, I was so unimpressed and bored with it, I couldn't even muster a "meh." It seemed to solve a problem that didn't exist, and while I kept waiting for Apple to make the case for it, I don't think they ever did.
I mean, if I'm going to spend five hundred fucking dollars on a device, the company had better make a very compelling case for why I need it. They should also not tie it into the worst mobile service provider in the history of known space, but I didn't even get that far on the decision tree, on account of it costing five hundred fucking dollars and just being a big iPod Touch.
I'm not knocking anyone who thinks it's awesome and shiny and a must-have precious, I'm just saying that at the moment, the iPad (oh, what a truly unfortunate name) isn't for me.
However, I saw an article this morning that made the first move toward a compelling case for the iPad: boardgames. I'm not talking about checkers and chess or even Monopoly … I'm talking Ogre, Car Wars, Settlers, Battlelore, Talisman, Arkham Horror, Dungeon … I think you get my drift.
It would be incredible to play boardgames that look like boardgames on a tablet device. You know that awesome Carcassonne game on Xbox Live? Like that. Imagine how awesome it would be to play Car Wars on a tablet: it would look just like the Deluxe Edition, with counters and a map grid and everything, but all the math and DCs would be done by the computer – unless you really wanted to overlay a turn key, I guess. You'd never have to worry about the dog crashing into the table and knocking your vehicles around, you could play against an AI, and you could flip over to another window to go shopping at Uncle Albert's, all the way back (or, uh, forward) to the fantastic 2037 catalog.
If I could take books, and movies, and boardgames I love with me when I went on trips (even if it was just a commuter train trip for an hour) then I would have to make a substantially more difficult saving throw versus WANT. Right now, I just have to roll a positive number, with a +20 bonus and no chance of critical failure.