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New PBM Magazine from PlayByMail.Net
Quote:Turn-based gaming CAN refer to board games online - and if you think about it - that's very much what PBM is too.

Yes, 'turn-based gaming' can refer to a great many things, which is why I've long maintained that it's not a valid description of play by mail gaming. There is an intrinsic difference between an off the shelf game being played by mail, and a game specifically designed to be played by mail.

The fact that any board game can be played by mail if you put enough effort into it also serves to lessen the usefulness of 'turn-based gaming' as a meaningful descriptor of anything beyond the difference between a real-time strategy game and everything else.

It's not just about the method of play, I could play Monopoly by mail if I thought about it, it's also about the intent of the design.

So, no closer to choosing an unambiguous descriptor for the industry.

It needs to explain:
Turn Based/non-real time/self-paced/flexitime
The various submission and return mechanics - postal/email/forum/user interface (both online and offline)
Games commercially written purely for this medium
Text rather than graphic
Games play over months/years

It also needs to define what it is not - online poker, web monopoly as well as play by post (forum)

Further, whatever is decided on, we all have to adopt the term and plaster it all over our websites, bang it into wiki etc and use the same definition. This is very important because anyone stumbling onto one of our websites might not like our product but be interested in this concept so can search for it.

Turn-based Correspondence (TBC) games are multi-player games written specifically to be played in non-real time. The game is maintained and processed by a company while the the players control assets within the game through correspondence. Correspondence, the submission of orders for their assets is through a medium such as sending a letter, email and/or user interface. The non-real time factor is the period between processing of orders. The can range from minutes through to weeks. This non-real time factor is a core design feature, allowing for organising large quantities of assets, in-depth strategies and communication with other players.
TBC is an umbrella term covering specific mediums of correspondence such as Play by Mail (PBM), Play by eMail (PBeM) and the online variants though differs from Online Casinos and interfaces for playing Monopoly over the web in so far as they are primarily text driven with an emphasis on depth of game play, often extending into role-play and longevity.
The games can be further sub-categorised as persistent universe, in that the assets remain active even if orders are not submitted for them; open-ended, indicating that the game has no end point or winning criteria and asynchronous in that there can be different non-real time factors for specific assets/players/situations.
I'm not on a mission to figure out for the industry what the preferable unambiguous descriptor is for the industry.

The industry has had its entire existence to figure such things out on its own. It's had the entire life span of the Internet, to date, to sort that out.

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