+ Some guy's got a page for the Ultimate Gaming Table. It's crazy. In fact, these folks are so into it they have a whole gaming room. The ceiling is bordered in covers from old D&D (presumably, though maybe others, too) modules. And they have an IM system.
While I can't ever see doing something this elaborate, the mind does wander. Wil really likes Battle for Wesnoth. It's an early introduction to D&D-type game-dynamics. And he has a friend named Indiana (after the Harrison Ford character), whose dad is still into RPGs. If Wil wanted to do something like that, I could definitely imagine being involved. How cool would it be to have your dad be cool enough to be your DM (Dungeon Master, to the uninitiated, or, more broadly, GM for Game Master)? In that case, I could see having a dedicated long folding table for gaming.
Of course, given my tech-love, I start to wander if the RPGs won't expand onto some more high-tech platform.
Something you don't know yet if you're outside the family is that Wil and I got a GameCube for Xmas. It's great. And Mario Party 7 is sort of like a high-tech board game, where you can choose different 'boards' that can have all kinds of crazy challenges when you land on different 'spaces', because the platform is so flexible.
All it would take right now is the right kind of display (say, projection, or, down the road, display goggles) and the right kind of more flexible software, and you could use a GameCube (or similar system) as the engine for such a construct. Networked PCs (especially laptops) could do this right now. It probably exists in certain LANs. Also, I know there are similar game parlors in Seoul, the most wired city on the planet.
In some ways, online game play is a lot like this now, but everyone is separated. I'm thinking of playing Halo 2 on XBox Live or EverQuest of Guild Wars or whatever. That's the big difference, though. You're not together in the same physical space. And, as much as I love virtual reality, virtual 'community' is a lot weaker than the real thing. You can present so much differently online.
Chances are, the 'cocooning' of people will continue and this dynamic will develop along the current 'one player in his/her house' networked online together, with all of the related results.
On the other hand, I can also imagine Wil and I (and maybe Bethy) teaming up online in networked games, being in the same physical and virtual space together. Could be fun for us...