TT allow social interactions, face to face, with people you know and like, even come to love. (What? It happens!) People who share a common interest, people who are willing to talk about the goblin language and laser-proof armour for hours on end. (This doesn't usually work on the train or in long queues.) And it gets you out of the house for a while, unless the game session is at your place.
Even when you're using Skype or Teamspeak or some such technology, it's still not as good as face to face interactions, particularly if the connection is a bit laggy or keeps dropping out. This is better than a tiny in-game chat box but nowhere near as good as meeting someone in person.
Score one for TT.
There are, as you are probably aware, people in the world who are complete arseholes. Whether online, in real life, or somewhere in between, there's always someone who mistakes opinion for fact, and has the arrogance to proclaim these 'facts' to anyone who'll listen, which is usually just their mother, and she's getting a bit sick of it. With a VG, at least most of the time, these people can be muted, kicked from the team, reported, or in some way avoided. In a TT the only viable way to avoid them is to leave the group, which means not gaming, or having the awkward talk with them about clashing personalities and would they please leave and it's not you it's us.
One for the VG clan.
It's generally true that if you mess up in a TT session, tough. Unless your GM is extremely kind and generous, the fact you just used a scroll of invisibility on the goblin instead of on your thief is irreversible. And you just know this mistake is going to be dragged up every session until the end of time. VG are far more forgiving than GMs, either with saved games, respawns, or just as many tries as you want until you get it right. You can look online for hints and walk-throughs, ask the other members of your clan/guild/free company to carry... help you, and you'll usually get there in the end.
Score one for VG.
Unless you're drinking alone, which isn't recommended by most health watchdogs, TT win hands down on this one. You can drink with friends, swap favourite tipples and generally relax in a warm and safe environment. VG and alcohol don't mix, as many of you can probably testify. I know a few people who deleted their characters while looking at the game through the bottom of a glass, some of them years in the making. (The character, not the bottom.) At least at a TT session there'll be someone there to stop you being too stupid.
One to TT.
Yes, I know both sides of the argument can have snacks. With VG you choose your own, and not have to share, unless you're playing next to your partner, and then it's good to share, right?
But if you're playing TT you get to share and sample other people's snacks, and therefore get a wider variety of comestibles, and try things you wouldn't normally buy. I was introduced to Wasabi nuts and dried seaweed by a gaming session. (FYI whatever anyone says, never eat dried seaweed, ever.)
I think we can call this one a tie. You're a tie! (See what I did there?)
It Was a Twenty!
I hope you haven't come across this one, but the C word, (and by that I mean cheating, what else?) is a terrible thing to behold. Some people roll when no one's looking, some people put their dice on the required number and pretend they've rolled it. Some characters never seem to die, no matter how much damage they take. I don't understand why people do it, but it spoils the game for all the players.
Apart from some dodgy coding or a bot, this one isn't so easy in VG, so this one is all on you TT, and VG takes the point!
Personally, I get more immersion from TT than VG. I think this is because TT is more immediate and requires faster input, as well as the ability to get more involved with your character's personality. With a VG you can put your character somewhere safe, and go off and make a drink, or if it's a single player game, just pause wherever you happen to be. If this task ends up taking several days, you know when you get back they will still be there, frozen in virtual time.
One point to TT.
When it comes to fitting gaming into your life, particularly if you're a student, parent or have a hectic job schedule, it's far easier to VG than TT. You can play on your mobile device on the bus, on your PC at work, (during your lunch break of course) and drop in and out of the game when you need to write an essay/stop a child eating the dog's dinner/suture a wound. Also, if you feel the need, you can tell people you're checking your messages. Just don't shout “die bitch!” On a packed train when you get too involved.
VG wins hands down on this one.
Value for Money
Ok, this is a tricky one. TT manuals, figures, floor plans and dice rolling towers don't come cheap, not to mention the dice themselves, which can be expensive. (anyone else have far more dice than they can actually use?) After you've bought all those things of course, then each session played will only cost a few pennies, so the more you play the better value it gets.
VG can also be expensive. The games themselves aren't cheap, and if you're going to play online there might be an extra sub to pay. There's also the price of the hardware to consider. Like TT, once you have these things it becomes better value. There are also free-to-play games, but as we all know, some people actually spend vastly more money in F2P than in P2P games. But there are some genuinely free games out there, and nothing is cheaper than free.
I'm going to have to call this one a draw.
I find most VG that claim to have role playing little more than a limited choice max/min fest. And furthermore, these choices become not choices at all, because all classes of the same kind will have to make the same choices, because that's how the job works. With TT the choices you make for your character are almost limitless, depending on the system of course. The ability to invent strange little quirks for your character just can't be replicated on a VG, as yet. If your character is scared of tomatoes and likes the feel of fresh envelopes on his skin, you're almost certainly playing TT.
The biggest and fattest of points for TT I think. In fact, it's so big and fat it counts twice, giving the win to TT!
In conclusion, this shock result proves that when it comes to roleplaying, which is the very thing we came here for, table top gaming beats video gaming every time.