I’m not sure why this is, but people tend to be in two states when it comes to powering modern technology. They completely ignore the fact that this stuff relies on the flow of electricity until said flow is removed. Then, as if they’re surprised, they run around shouting “low battery, oh no!” and their world slowly crumbles.
If you organize a game which needs an S, we can assume your session is taking place fairly near to a power socket, and not, for instance, in the middle of Sherwood forest. After finding a power socket, the next consideration is does anyone have a suitable charger? If not, the game/reading/this is the thing that killed you session will come to a sudden end, much like your character.
It’s at this point those who’re using a B grin smugly and continue on with their campaign.
B takes the first point with little effort.
With respect to any power considerations, today’s technology is extremely portable, whether it’s a laptop, a tablet, or a phone. And with such huge storage capacity, you can take literally thousands of books and other items, and even download new ones, if you can get a connection to that infinite library called the internet.
B are also portable in all their forms, but any more than a few hundred pages and things start to get a bit hefty. Yes, you can get transportation devices, called cases, but it’s not as quick or convenient as slipping a phone or tablet into a pocket.
S takes the point to equalise.
Use As A Weapon/Armour/Anti-wobble Device
Using something for which it wasn’t designed is not a good idea. You could break the item, nullify any warranty, and in some cases spread glass/metal/magic smoke around. But people still do such things, using shoes/phones/small children as hammers/doorstops/bottle openers.
When it comes to such ad hoc uses, it all comes down to size. A small S or a B might protect the heart, but aren’t much good as a weapon. Larger Bs and Ss make moderate shields as well as good weapons. In an emergency wobbly table situation it’s all about thickness, and in this category a B can be adjusted by opening a few pages, an S either fits or doesn’t, proving B superior. When it comes to desire, very few people are willing to sacrifice their S for the common good of all table users. B users are much more willing to use their possessions in such a away, particularly if it’s only poetry (joking!) or Shakespeare (Not joking!)
I think B just edges the point on this one.
I’m talking here about the flexibility of function, not material, although people are working on flexible screens. (I’m not sure why, a screen you can roll up would be useful, but we all know you’ll have to carry four cans of beans around to keep the thing flat.)
As already mentioned, if you have internet access the world is pretty much your fusarium (like oyster, but suitable for vegetarians.) You can download new material whenever you like, for instance when the smart-arse player cracks the code you thought would take hours in five minutes. You can use an S to keep track of stats and check rules, make notes and edit character sheets, and store it all for the next session.
A B is pretty static, in that they don’t change, unless you write in it, which is usually frowned upon, unless it’s a notebook.
S takes the point, I’d say.
When it comes to S, the financial outlay is all up front, with only tiny amounts of cost for electricity, and downloads are either cheap or often free. The hardware will need replacing at some point, and taking backups (always take backups, no matter what people say) can be an inconvenience as well as an added expense.
B are the opposite, in that once purchased they can be re-read over and over, employing sellotape when the integrity of the spine is compromised. B can also be arranged in a pleasing juxtaposition, with other B or objet d’art in order to impress your boss/partner/fellow geek. This could lead to increased wealth/coitus/smugness, although I’m not guaranteeing any of those effects will occur.
I’m going to call this one a draw.
As you should all know by now, electricity and water are dangerous to all concerned. As we’ve already mentioned, your devices have this electrical potential inside them, running around and making stuff happen. So adding water or water based liquids, (yes, that includes beer) to the aforementioned devices will result in them entering a non-functional state, or ‘breaking’ to those not of a technical nature. Unless you have a device that specifically says it’s water resistant, assume it isn’t. There are things you can try to rescue the device if the worst happens, but it’s probably best to avoid the whole water-electricity situation at all times.
When it comes to B, small spillages are usually only a minor inconvenience, particularly if the water is removed quickly. A more generous dousing might require a few days on a suitable radiator, and after the pages might look like a rhino’s lips, but it will still be legible.
A point to B, I say.
This is a tricky one. S scores highly on the geek index due to it being awesome technology and having lots of gigabytes and version numbers, as well as being shiny black/red/pink and playing the GoT theme tune when it rings.
But B are old-school, retro and cool, dude, and thus also awesome. The drawback is B are only cool to people who think they’re cool, and an adult reading Batman comic books on public transport is liable to be the target of derision and, in the UK at least, a very quiet ‘tut’. Of course, it’s no one else’s business what you read, so you should ignore such things, or answer with a jaunty, “at least I can read,” if safe to do so.
With S, what you’re reading remains private for the most part, unless someone is looking over your shoulder, which is very rude anyway. There are certain times when you want to show off what you have, and times to hide it all away, and so neither side is a winner in this category.
In conclusion, and after an exhaustive consideration of all the evidence, B takes the victory by a single point. So there you have it, conclusive proof that books are better than screens, who would have thought it?
If you would like to make any comments or ask any questions about the above, or indeed anything really, please contact me.